Monday, 13 August 2018

Who are You?

There is a popular saying among Christians: "God works in mysterious ways." I just found out that it’s actually not a verse in the bible, shocker 😱. Anyways, God works in mysterious ways and speaks to us in different ways; we just need to be attentive.

So I took my car for servicing recently and while the car was jacked up, I saw how dirty the underside of my car was and in the midst of my shock, I got the inspiration. II Tim. 3 :16-17 says that all scripture is inspired by God. So while looking underneath my car and observing how dirty it was, I couldn’t help but compare and contrast it with the outside of my car and how I constantly got compliments on how neat it was, if only they knew how dirty it was underneath. I couldn’t help but think, how many of us look so beautiful and clean on the outside but dirty on the inside?

The Outside of my Car

The Underside of my Car

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel‬ 16:7‬ NKJV‬‬. 

There’s a reason why God looks at the inside of our heart and not the outside. We can make up our outward appearance in order to pretend to the world but we can’t pretend to ourselves and that is who God really wants to see and who He wants the world to see. The person that we see when we look at ourselves, not the image we portray to the world. In doing so, we can then reflect God’s glory to the world 
As we go into this week, ask yourself, who are you really? See what Matt. 23:25-28 says. Are you the same person on the inside and outside or are they different people? If you’re living two separate lives, reconcile yourself with God and ask him to cleanse you and He'll do it (John 3:16). If you don’t know what to say or how to pray, just read Matt. 6:9-13.

Stay blessed. 

Sage

P.S. Football is back!!!

Monday, 6 August 2018

When Christians Pray: Great Things Happen

Hello Readers & Followers,
It's another Monday! Are you excited to start this new week or are you feeling weary? My prayer for you this morning is that the Lord will grant you divine strength for this new week in Jesus' name.
This week's post is an opportunity for you to reflect on why you pray to God.


Recently, God told me that one of the prayers that I had prayed to Him was prayed out of my normal Christian routine. God told me that my prayer was not from a heart that wanted an answer. Isn't God amazing? The fact that God knows the depth of our hearts and the purpose of why we do every single thing that we do. 
God reminded me that it was crucial for me to pray to Him with a mindset that He will answer my prayers. God's word says that: when a Christian prays, the prayer of a Christian can produce wonderful results (James 5:16 Paraphrased).
Back to you readers, I have a couple of questions to ask you.
Is praying to God part of your daily Christian routine? Do you sometimes pray to God without thinking whether God will answer you or not? or have you just proposed in your heart that as a Christian, you must pray?
David in Psalm 5:3 told God that: "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Check out how David ended his prayer?- "Wait in expectation". David prayed with a mindset that God heard Him and he waited in eager expectation for the manifestation of his requests. 


Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison
There's a story in the bible in which church folks had gathered to pray for a man named Peter to be released from prison, whilst they were still praying, God had answered their prayers. God had sent an angel to rescue Peter from the prison. After Peter was rescued by the angel, he immediately went to visit his church folks, upon his arrival, a girl named Rhoda met him at the gate, she was in awe when she saw Peter, she ran in and announced that Peter was by the gate. 
Guess what? 
----The church folks didn't believe, in fact they said it was Peter's angel that Rhoda must have seen. This story is a reminder that there were believers from the time of Jesus Christ that did not always have immediate expectations of God answering their prayers (Acts 12:5-17).

The Charge For This Week
When you pray and you can't fathom how God will answer your prayers instantly, believe God and expects to see results as when a Christian prays, great things happen. 

Let's talk, I'd like to know your thoughts about these two questions:
  1. Do you normally pray the same prayers until you see physical manifestations?
  2. Or do you wait in expectation for the answer without repeating the prayer points?
Enjoy your new week! See you next Monday. 

- Mysses Lafunky

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Acrimony: A Review

Be warned, there are spoilers!

The movie starts with a powerful song by Nina Simone that draws you into the first scene. The protagonist and the antagonist of the movie in a court setting with specific focus on the angry and hateful look on the face of the protagonist. Two minutes into the movie, she’s sentenced to attend anger management sessions with Nina Simone’s soulful voice in the background. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ll know it takes no effort to go from love to hate. From happiness to anger and suddenly the person that brought butterflies to your stomach becomes the object of your anger, so the movie goes.

Our protagonist is now in an anger management class and so begins the narration of the movie and how it all unfolded. A story of an innocent young girl and how she met a guy. They fall in love, one things leads to another, everything is perfect (like it always tends to be at the beginning) then they get to the middle of the relationship. You know that part? When things settle into a routine, you begin to notice the person’s fault and all that stuff. So they’re right there in the middle and they start to notice each other’s flaws. One thing about this movie is how polarising it has been. Opinions and reactions tend to be divided across gender lines, so I’ll try to keep mine balanced.


A simple search on twitter will show you all the available reactions to the movie. Two of the most interesting analysis I’ve seen conclude with two things:

  1. The guy didn’t fight hard enough. 
  2. He shouldn’t have moved on with his life and fought for his marriage even though she’d divorced him.
My question to this then is this: who determines what is hard enough before it becomes stalker behaviour or some other term if this had actually happened in real life? Should you really wait for someone that’s ended their relationship with you and done their best to show you that they no longer want you and would rather tear you down when you try? At what point do you say ok, let me think about me and pick up the broken pieces? So here are my thoughts:


  • They built their marriage on a poor foundation. How do I know this? Not one mention was made about their spiritual life or having God as the focus of their relationship before marriage and in marriage, they were never seen praying or even at the least, going to church. Matt. 7:24-27, Jesus gave a parable of a house that was built on a rock and another that was built on sand. Of course, their marriage crashed because it was built on sand. One of the most important things in any relationship is the foundation. Food for thought: Ps. 11:3.
  • They lacked counselling. Proverbs is one of my favourite books in the bible and three times(that I know of), it mentions the importance of counsel: Prov. 11:14, 15:22, 24:6. Now you may say Mel got counsel from her sisters but I’ll say to you, never take decisions based on counsel from someone who hasn’t heard from the two people involved and put in the effort to bring you both into one place to discuss whatever the issue is (I’m guilty of this mistake). No matter who they are to you. Family member, best friend, youth pastor, whoever. 
  • Offences were never discussed in-depth or attempts made to work at forgiving and forgetting. One constant theme, you’d hear while watching the movie are all the things she did for him and all the ways he hurt her. As human beings, it is very easy for us to get offended and to be honest, there’s nothing wrong in getting offended but what is wrong and dangerous, is to allow that offence take root in your heart, germinate and begin to bear fruits. Before long, those tiny offences build big fences around your heart and close out the person you love. The scary part? The person may not even know until the fences have been built solid and you take the decision to close them out. Study Eph. 4:26-27 and listen to the link I’ll share below. Practice forgiveness every moment of every day. 
  • Wisdom and understanding was not consistently applied. The movie is littered with too many situations in which this was the case. Wisdom is the principal thing, then understanding (Prov. 4:7). Study: Prov. 3 :19, 24 :3.

Before you proceed to break a relationship or marriage for that matter, sit down and think. Is it the person or is it the situation? More often than not, it’s the situations and if you can get your partner to sit down in one place, have a heart to heart frequently and also have regular prayer sessions together, strictly for your relationship.
The devil will always fight relationships. It’s never about our differences but about what we choose to focus on and the moment we choose to focus on the negatives or the offences, the devil begins his victory dance. Your focus determines your perspective.

The charge for the week
The charge as we go into the week is to examine our relationships/marriage and try to apply the four steps above among others.

Sage

P.S. Please listen to what’s hurting your relationship by Steven Furtick:
https://youtu.be/q5vffxSQibk


P.P.S. One of my mainest guys got married over the weekend. I wish you a happy married life bro. 

Photo credit: Acrimony Movie twitter handle @AcrimonyMovie

Monday, 23 July 2018

Common Sense vs Uncommon Sense?

Hello Readers & Followers,

It's another week! Do you feel ready for this new week? Or would you like a longer weekend? If I could choose, I'd want every single day to be a weekend; if only we can get our wishes come through. This week's post is about our thought processes and some common sense saying that we say or think. Are they really common sense? or uncommon sense? What does God think of our common sense?


Common Sense 🆚 God's Word

  • Common sense questions: why are some world leaders so horrible?
  • God says: Trust me, I haven't lost control, I can turn the leader's heart in any direction I choose (Proverbs 21:1).

  • Common sense says: I need to work this much so that I can live very comfortable.
  • God says: Do not wear yourself out to get rich; be smart enough to stop making yourself uncomfortable, depend on God for wealth that you can enjoy and be comfortable with (Proverbs 23:4Ecclesiastes 5:19 & 1 Timothy 6:17).

  • Common sense says: My own money is not enough, so why should I give to people that are poor?
  • God says: Whoever gives to the poor will not be in need, but he who ignores the poor receives many curses (Proverbs 28:27).

  • Common sense says: When I am angry, I let it out as it is difficult to hold it in.
  • God says: A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise person controls what he or she says (Proverbs 29:11).



  • Common sense says: It's best to visit my neighbour/friend every time.
  • God says: Do not visit your neighbour's house too often otherwise, your neighbour or friend may see too much of you and hate you (Proverbs 25:17).

  • Common sense says: It's not easy to rely on anyone's word as people are not reliable.
  • God says: Come to me, rely on me, I am reliable, my word is always true and it has proven to be true (Proverbs 30:5)

  • Common sense says: No one knows what I have done wrong and nobody needs to know.
  • God says: You need to tell me everything that you have done wrong and you need to abandon those things ( Proverbs 28:13)

  • Common sense says: It's okay to get away with things that God says are wrong as God is very old school.
  • God says: Consequences are certain for doing things that are against my Word (Romans 6:23).

  • Common sense says: The more you accumulate money, the more you get richer.
  • God says: Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything (Proverbs 11:24).
Final Words
The charge for this week is for you to know that common sense is not God's sense. In other words, you can't always follow common sense in fulfilling God's purpose.

Have a lovely week. See you next week Monday for another post.

- Mysses Lafunky


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Ride or Die?

Ever watched The Fast and the Furious? It is one of the greatest movie franchises of all times, one theme that runs through them all is family and commitment. The relationship between Dominic Toretto and Letty is the stuff of fantasies; the length they went through for each other across countries and continents. Imagine having someone like that supporting you, someone that you know that no matter what happens, they’ll always be there for you. As human beings, we want to have such a person on our side.

Hence the desire for relationships, for family, for community. People that will always have your back and no matter what comes our way, they will always be there for you. In spite of this desire, due to our human nature, commitments are easier said than done. Commitments are broken when our flaws come to the surface and more often than not, those flaws come to the surface when we’ve either gotten used to the person we’re with or the environment we find ourselves in.


God's word encourages us not to feel dismayed as there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24b). God's word also says that He as a God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).  In actual fact, God is the only friend that you can trust without a shadow of a doubt that even when the very worst of our flaws show themselves, God will always be there; loving you, never forsaking you, committed to you always and forever; even before we loved Him, He loved us (Romans. 5:8). 

He didn’t just use words to tell us that He loved us but He backed it up with actions by giving his only precious son to die for you and I.  Therefore, if you ever want a ride or die person, look to God; He is the only person that you can truly count on to ride or die with you, in fact, He already died for you. To use the phrase from The Originals: always and forever. That’s the pledge God said when describing His commitment to us. To love us always and forever. Let us all aim to this kind of commitment, this kind of love as described in 1 Corinthians. 13:4-8

As we go into this new week, the charge is simple, be that friend that someone desperately needs.  If you are unable to be that friend, pray to God to send special friends to people that you are unable to be there for.  Stay blessed and have a great week ahead. 

P.S. The World Cup was awesome 😊

Sage

Monday, 9 July 2018

Lashing Out


Are you stupid?! What sort of nonsense is this? You’re useless! Ever heard these words? As a child growing up, you may have either grown up in a home where these reactions were the first, second and third reaction from your parents; the shoot first, ask questions later policy. If you were fortunate not to grow up in such  an environment, you may know someone that did.  Even though it’s a common occurrence, lashing out is a terrible trait.  Why? Because by the time you’re done, you regret what you did or said and would have damaged the person you did or said it to. 

I recently had to sit down and re-evaluate  life and I found out that whenever I lashed out, it always hurt those closest to me and even when things got better, the damage from those lashings still existed even though I had forgotten about them (like I always say, it is the person that gets hit that always remembers the accident). It was then it hit me, lashing out can cause you to lose relationships and even opportunities.

James 3:6 refers to the tongue as a little flame and if you track back to vs. 5 of James 3, it talks about how a great forest is kindled by a small fire. That’s exactly what the tongue does when we lash out. It burns down all the great plans that you’ve built and no fire service can quench the fire.
While it may be hard to do, the Bible has a very simple advice, God said:

“Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 MSG

Be careful with your words. No matter how provoked you are, be careful with your words because once they come out, they can’t be taken back in (James 3:9-12). 


Picture your teeth and your lips as the gate that guards your tongue. You never open your gate down due to security reasons. Don’t leave the gate of your tongue open.

As you go into this week, the charge is simple, be careful with the words you speak and go back to anyone you’ve ever lashed out, seek for their forgiveness and make a commitment to treat them better (if you’re fortunate to still have that opportunity).

Before you speak, consult your security guard (your mind) on whether or not the gate (your teeth and lips) need to be opened. I’ve had to lose so much to learn my lesson, trust me I’ve learnt it. Don’t wait till you lose as much as I’ve lost before you learn it.

P.SWords are important, treat them as gold. Pass it through the fire to purify it and weigh it carefully before you let it out. 

P.P.S: Study James 3:1-12

Have a lovely week. See you next Monday.

- Sage

Photo Credit: Youversion.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Last Night I Died

Last night I died. My heart broke and yet it was still beating. My pride was shattered yet I tried to stand tall. I tried to stand tall as I watched my home and comfort zone reject me but inside I was on the floor crying my eyes out.  My home was destroyed yet I sat in it trying to sleep, I couldn’t imagine that I would once again feel a part of me die but I have died before, yes I know, but it hurts most when you finally know what it feels like to be alive. 
Image result for a black man looking down

It hurts even more when you realise you were the cause and you could have done better.  It hurts so much when you see the door shut on you. I knelt down, I pleaded, I cried but it changed nothing and my only option was to die. So I went back to the home that was no longer a home because the warmth was gone. The light was out and there was nothing but darkness and a hollow sound as I tried to talk over the phone. 


A friend said, fill your time with activities, I turned to DSTV to no avail. I turned to the internet, to no avail. Then a voice whispered, search for porn, it’ll help you calm your nerves and take your mind off it. Then I remembered that porn only provided a temporary solution and I couldn’t handle the guilt that would come with engaging in it. Mix in depression and the pot of stew would be complete. So I resisted and turned back to DSTV. Fortunately I found Tom & Jerry but it wasn’t as funny as the ones I watched growing up, so I zoned out.
Then I remembered oh wait, you need to back up your phone, so I did, then I remembered how Eminem always spoke to the pain in my heart growing up as a teenager in a broken home, wondering why I saw my mum cry at a young age, wondering why several times before my teenage years, I took a knife and pointed it at my tummy, seeking for the strength to just plunge it into my soft belly and give up on life. It dawned on me, get a knife, end it all. Life isn’t worth living when everything around you is failing. 


So I stood up, got a knife, came back to the living room while I played with the pointy edge seeking the strength to do what I couldn’t do at the age of 8. Alas I still didn’t have the strength, despite over two decades of heartbreak, so I got up, returned the knife to the kitchen and remembered I had a post to write. Yes I wrote this while listening to Eminem’s ‘when I’m gone’.

But guess what?

I want to live. I want to love and be loved. I want to prove that I can be a better man than my father. I want to prove that I can have a happy and loving home than the one I grew up in. I want to prove that suicide isn’t an option when there’s so much to live for. So I’ll live, if but for a day, I’ll live.


If but for a moment, I’ll live. I’ll live just to see the sun rise and to say the one I love: good morning baby, even though she may not reply. I’ll live just so I can message my mother to say hi and call her motherly. I’ll live just so I can see the smile on the faces of my colleagues when I walk in and debate politics. I want to live, one day at a time.
Tupac said sometimes it’s hard to wake up in the morning when your mind is full of demons, got you heartbroken. Yes I played it too but still I want to live. Finally! A friend replied, another reason to live. Then Eminem said ‘there will never be another me and no matter what they do, there’ll never be another you’. As I heard it, I knew I had to live. Why? There is just one me and that one me has a purpose on earth (Jeremiah. 1:5---God said that "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations".

So while I wish I could die a man, with my love and pride intact, I choose to live. Broken but alive. Sad but alive. Alive with the hope that one day, all will be well. One day, I will be happy. One day, I will look back at this moment and say thank God I returned the knife to the kitchen.

I don’t know if I’ll ever share this post for publishing but if I do, know that I’m alive! With life comes another chance. If you’re going through this, know that you’re not the only one. We are plenty in it. The charge for this week is a very simple one, choose life (I’m crying in my heart as I type this, so trust me, I’m typing from experience)
With life comes opportunities. With life comes a new day in the sun created by God. Suicide is not an option. In the words of Logic, I finally wanna be alive!! Joshua 1:9, 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Now I can call this post, I wanna be alive!
Inspired by life and the song titled 1-800-273-8255 by Logic.

- Sage 
Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/images/B5KQTK[O1] and myblackmatters.com