A committed Catholic goes beyond the stipulated routine.
All baptized Catholics hold the title as long as they have not left the church. Some do not go to church. Others attend Sunday mass occasionally. Die-hards never miss Sunday mass. The other group extends its commitment to attending daily mass.
Is it all about attending mass?
Prayer life, character, adherence to the Sacraments, tithe, and charity are some of the expectations of a good Catholic. Well, you know all these and are probably getting bored of reading what you already understand.
Why would anyone go to the extent of attending daily mass?
Didn’t God only insist on honoring the Sabbath Say?
I’ll tell you something today. People who strive to attend daily mass know something extra that you may not know. Their inner eyes are wide open. They look at life decades from today.
Four weapons that can help you become a committed Catholic
Never ignore the Sacrament of confession.
They say the truth is bitter, and it hurts, but they forget to tell you the truth is life. You can follow all the church rules and actively participate in voluntary activities. But if you avoid confession, all that is vanity.
Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Marriage are one-time Sacraments. Partaking in the Holy Communion, and Confession are lifetime Sacraments.
When you receive the Holy Eucharist in a state of sin, you are adding material to that mountain that you have built through the lack of confession. Your inner eyes will never open.
What is a state of sin?
Every human being makes mistakes daily. It’s either through thoughts, words, or actions. I do not think there is anyone who can declare themselves not guilty of sin in a whole month.
If you want to become a committed Catholic, you need to have a confession schedule. You can confess after a period that suits you. The urgency of confession should push you! It’s possible to repent today, and sin tomorrow! In such a case, you’ll not wait for your stipulated time to lapse!
A committed Catholic does not postpone confession
Sin opens a door for easy entry of the devil. Confession closes that door immediately. Is it not better to seal a leaking roof before the rain comes?
If you don’t, you slowly begin to crumble.
You lose your zeal.
Let the evil one never find a home in you.
This FREE ebook is a good startup. Download a PDF copy from https://healthysoulties.com/books/christian-retreats/. You’ll also find it in other stores in different formats. Kindly check “My Amazon Page” on this website for more details. You can also email me with the words “The Power of Retreats.” I’ll be glad to send you a PDF copy.
Vincentian Retreat Centers have transformed many lives. You’ll never be the same again. All priests have given their lives to God. But the Vincentian priests are exemplary. They will teach you until the word sinks in you.
Mass takes a maximum of 90 minutes. At Vincentian Retreat Centers, services last the whole day. Retreats take three or four days. There is ample time to get to know more.
NB: Please note that these services do not replace the Sunday mass. They are supplements to help Christians build their faith. Anyone with the tag “human being” is free to enter a retreat center. Whether Muslim or atheist, it doesn’t matter. We are all children of God.
Catholic Charismatic Renewal has been alive for more than 50 years.
In this group, you will learn how to consecrate yourself to the Lord. A committed Catholic goes beyond the primary guidelines.
The gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit are alive in you. You’ll have an opportunity to awaken them and use them for the glory of God.
With constant practice, it will become easier to walk away from sin. God will open your inner eyes. Your memory will become upbeat. God will give you a new spiritual name even if you cannot know it or change it on paper.
Finally, becoming a committed Catholic is a calling. You want to be an Abraham, a Moses, an Ezekiel, or a Daniel. Are you up to the challenge? A lot is in store for you that you cannot see now. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Depression and anxiety are both associated with stress.
Depression lowers the human zeal to perform tasks, to below average. It is normal to wake up feeling low. However, if it goes beyond a day or so, it is classified as depression.
Anxiety lifts the spirits to excessive heights. Expectations do not match the reality on the ground. In both cases, an alteration has taken place in the mind.
What to do when you have depression and anxiety symptoms
Consulting a doctor is an option you cannot afford to ignore.
A psychologist will talk you through to help you know what exactly is happening. The first psychologist, though not trained, is the closest person to you. A parent or sibling could do.
Why are they important?
Your mind is not static. Or let me say, you are not the person you should be. Someone who loves you and cares needs to help you think. If you fail to take this step, your health is likely to deteriorate.
Next, you need to see a trained psychologist. They give you a one-on-one consultation. You will need to answer all the questions correctly to help the psychologist help you. Psychologists are well-versed with the psychiatrists around them. They will link you up with one if need be.
The psychiatrist is a specialized medic in this field. Theirs is to prescribe medication to help balance your state of mind.
Some cases may only need a psychologist. Others require a combination of both the psychologist and the psychiatrist. It depends on the extent to which yours has reached.
A psychiatrist cannot work without a psychologist.
The medication helps return your state of mind to normal. A psychologist helps retain the normalcy.
Pray – depression and anxiety control the mind
Other ailments affect the flesh. Depression and anxiety attack the spirit. In the beginning, nobody will even notice you have a problem.
When you pray, God is likely to reveal to you the source of your problem. He will go ahead to show you how to deal with it. Perhaps you need to change a habit that drains you emotionally. You might have to delink yourself from some friends.
If you do not uproot a tree from the roots, it will still grow.
What if God does not reveal anything?
Depending on your prayer life, character, and background, you may need a third party to hold your hand. If your parent or sibling is spiritually stable, you can use them. If they are not, it’s high time you find a committed Christian. When God notices you’re knocking at His door, he will lead you to the right person.
Be active – inactivity paralyzes the mind
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. In normal circumstances, you’re likely to overthink when you’re not busy. We all have something that we want to put straight in our lives. God only gives what we need.
It is the ‘wants’ that lead to depression and anxiety. We try to force life to take the direction we want. When it does not happen, we get an attack.
Activity will exhaust you. By the time the day ends, you need to take a deserving rest. It denies your mind time to run around looking for impossibilities. Just make sure you’re doing something that doesn’t annoy God.
Come up with a schedule and follow it.
If you’re a student, help with work at home when you are free. Always have something on the side to keep you busy even if you are employed. In case you lose the job, burry your mind in the side hustle. You never know, God might just be opening that door wider.
If you have servants to help with chores, you’re lucky. Don’t oversleep. That comfort zone will create room for unnecessary thoughts. It will awaken the problem.
Some jogging, running, or rope skipping keeps the stress away too.
Mary the mother of Jesus, is often referred to as the Ark of the New Covenant.
The Covenant Box housed the Word of God, as the Israelites crossed over to the Promised Land. Mary too clothed the Word (Jesus) in her womb. The stone tablets represented God.
At no point was the covenant box separated from the stone tablets throughout the journey.
Catholics don’t separate Jesus from Mary. They find her an important emblem in the journey of faith.
Does it warrant Catholics to devote themselves to Mary?
In normal circumstances, death separates us. That fact does not apply in the case of God, Jesus, and Mary. They are alive. God is immortal, whereas Mary, the mother of Jesus is a living saint.
Catholics do not worship Mary. They venerate Mary. Mary clings to Jesus for as long as God hasn’t separated Himself from her. We don’t expect Him to, anyway!
God never delinks Himself from us too, irrespective of the numerous times we sin!
Respecting Mary is more like giving the first lady the prestige she deserves. She is not the president, but the honor we bestow upon the president is the reason why we do not treat his wife with contempt!
What is the importance of Mary the mother of Jesus?
Mary is a backup. She is the bridge Catholics pass through to get to Jesus. It can be difficult to reach the president, even with an urgent issue. We have to book appointments, fill forms, and answer several questions to get to him. More so, if we are in his bad books.
If we know his wife in person and relate well with her, she can request a faster appointment on our behalf! The same concept applies in the case of Mary.
Now you understand why Catholics cannot leave Mary behind. Jesus is not far from us, but sin keeps Him away. Mary pleads with her Son on our behalf.
The Lord forgives our sins as soon as we genuinely repent. Mary plays a big role in asking God to exonerate us from the consequences of our sins.
She’s like an exam leakage. We can choose to use her or not, but the buck still stops at us.
Are you still confused?
Imagine yourself crossing a river. Either you are strong enough and good at swimming to get to the other side. Or, your only option is to use the bridge.
If the river is too wide, we all would need the bridge. The width of the river here refers to the loads we carry (sin). Some are too heavy, dating back to the ancestral tree.
At any point in time, we have weak and strong Christians. We are never even sure where exactly we fall. Only God can judge us.
Mary the mother of Jesus is, therefore, a pillar of the Lord’s mercy. How have you benefitted from her intercession?
Confession is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. It is the divulgence of sin committed by a Catholic faithful to a priest. With priestly authority, the priest exonerates the confessor from the said sins.
Some of the common utterances I hear are these:-
I cannot confess to a human person.
Jesus is the only one who has the authority to hear my sins.
The Old Testament and the New Testament are the two segments of the Bible. Both of them have pointed out Confession as a vital sacrament.
The Old Testament
In the Old Testament, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were siblings. They all devoted themselves to God. When Aaron and Miriam spoke ill of Moses, God did not take it lightly. Moses was God’s favorite, considering the responsibility God vested on him.
God punished Miriam for her cheap slander with Aaron. Aaron pleaded with Moses to intercede to God to reinstate Miriam’s health.
From the way God spoke (Numbers 12), Moses was above Aaron and Miriam in terms of Spiritual hierarchy. In Aaron’s wisdom, he respected that order and reached out to God through Moses. Moses was a prophet. Aaron was a powerful priest, but still sought the intercession of Moses.
The second occasion of priestly authority in the Old Testament is when Abimelech tried to take Sarah (Abraham’s wife) (Genesis 20: 1-16). God punished every woman in Abimelech’s palace with barrenness. In normal circumstances, anyone would be furious at Abraham. Instead, Abimelech lay low. Abraham pleaded to the Lord on his behalf.
The New Testament
Jesus healed a paralyzed man in Capernaum. Some teachers of the law seemed not to agree with Jesus. Jesus expedited His priestly authority through His words, “get up your sins are forgiven.” Jesus was a man (priest) with permission to stand in the gap.
The same confession replicates in James 5:16. “So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. This one looks self-explanatory.
After the resurrection of Jesus. These were His exact sentiments. “Peace be with you,” He said. After saying this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20: 19-23).
Jesus showed them His hands and side to prove He was the crucified Jesus. He also officially handed over His earthly job to the disciples.
What happens during confession?
Officially it’s only you and the priest. Spiritually, you are four. Jesus stood in as God and as a priest. The priest too represents the Lord, himself (as a priest), and everyone else you sinned against. He is three in one.
Remember the above verse concerning confessing to one another? United in one body of Christ, your confession becomes complete.
Every event in the Bible happened in the full glare of the Lord’s eyes. The Holy Book is alive and active. God is still on His throne. Going through His chosen servants to reach Him is a silent command. Confession is, therefore, a sacrament we need to partake in as much as possible. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins that prevent Catholic Faithfuls from honoring the sacrament.
I have personally found confession to keep me on toes. The thought of confessing the same sin again dreads. What about you? Do you confess or don’t you? Why? Let’s hear what you have to say in the comments.
Jesus was a High Priest; He still is. He left His inherent duty to the Pope as He partook the next responsibility of dying to save the entire world. Peter, the first Pope, was that person. The rest have been taking over for reasons we all understand.
Age catches up with us.
Death is inevitable.
Life must continue.
Pope Francis once visited my country. People had mixed reactions. They did not understand why some of us, especially Catholics, gave him such honor. After his visit, I heard this comment quite often. “Is he not a human being like us?”
Jesus was the human representation of God when He lived on earth. He handed over to Peter (First Pope). The Pope represents the Lord on earth. The Lord ensured no broken links between Him and humanity. God honors the Pope, as much as He did with Moses and Abraham at their time.
After the death of Jesus, there is nobody in the entire Bible God gave authority as He did with Peter.
Matthew 16:18 – And so I tell you Peter; you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.
Jesus was amazed when Peter confidently reiterated that Jesus was the Messiah; the son of the Living God. From these sentiments, we refer to the Catholic Church as the Apostolic Catholic Church. The death of a Pope goes with the person, but the position is taken over by the next appointee.
When Jesus says Yes to someone or something, we have to do the same. If He does not agree with anything, we also need to avoid it.
What does the Pope do?
He leads the church. The reason behind we Catholics implementing activities as guided by the priests. God speaks to His chosen servants. They are obligated to act accordingly. We do not need to question the authenticity of the message. If it adds value to our lives, we click the go button. Our hands are not tied though. We are free to research to understand the action better.
I would be glad if you can add more to the importance of the Pope in the comments.
Adoration is to convey great love and affection to a friend for his sacrifices towards a better you. It is the constant reflection of the beauty of life courtesy of that person.
I have heard expressions like – “If it were not for my mother, father, husband, wife, son, daughter, aunt, friend; I wouldn’t be where I am today!”
The depth of the relationship is etched in your memory like that wedding ring that you have to set your eyes on, uncountable times as you use your hands.
If my best friend calls out on me right now, I would stop writing this article and head straight to her aid. That is how deeply I value our friendship.
Everything else can wait.
Going beyond worship
To adore Christ is quite different from adoring a person. Christ’s invisible nature makes His adoration unique.
Come to think of this; before the death of Christ, people had a one on one with Him.
Do you want to know how they adored Christ?
In the Gospels of Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-11, a woman poured expensive perfume on the head of Jesus.
The disciples thought it was better to sell the perfume and use the money to help the poor. They were aggrieved at the lady’s gesture.
Jesus calmed the confrontation by stating that the poor will always exist. Christ promised that any time this gospel would be preached anywhere in the world, it would be in memory of that woman.
That is how much Christ can appreciate the little things we do to Him.
Can we distinguish between adoring Christ and helping the needy?
Adoration of the Lord, and stretching out our hands to the poor are two distinct services to God, yet still, run concurrently.
The less fortunate present as someone in need of some support whereas in Christ’s case, He feels good to receive a special ovation for the greatest of all the sacrifices to humanity.
Imagine helping someone without really taking note, and then he states how you played a major role in helping him achieve his goal!
Take this example of appreciation;
I don’t know how to express my gratitude! I lack words for your generosity. Try to imagine what would have happened if you didn’t volunteer to rush my daughter to the hospital? You jumped into your car with your night gear to save my daughter’s life! May you never lack anything.
Although you will appreciate either of the three give-backs, the last has so much weight. It gets to the deepest point of your heart and glues itself there. You’re likely to bless the person back and cheerfully lend a hand again.
Now let’s take it somewhere awesome.
How to adore Christ
First and foremost, Christ was human and therefore presents with all the emotional feelings. He feels honored when we express our gratitude and reciprocates. It is as simple as was received by the woman who poured perfume on Him.
You may have the perfume, but you don’t have a visible Christ next to you.
What do you have?
There are so many beautiful things that you can tell Christ that make Him feel you deep in His heart.
It requires a private session. That is why the church provides Eucharistic Adoration sessions.
Forget about a mere thanks-giving!
Not even asking for forgiveness!
Close the petitions chapter for a moment!
It’s only about adoration.
Now get hold of the tips!
You know pretty well about the passion of Christ; right from the time, He was taken captive until He died. Remind Christ that He did all this for you. Mention them one by one as much as you understand them.
Tell Christ that you appreciate the far He has brought you. Point out the sicknesses, emotional pain, joblessness, childlessness, financial crises, past life, and marital problems that are now part of your history.
Do it with zeal.
Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. He converted himself to bread on the last supper and asked us to receive the bread in memory of Him. Apart from receiving Him during mass, the church has adoration chapels that allow us to spend as much time as we want with Jesus.
I recently discovered some parishes have gone ahead to provide online perpetual adoration. It comes in handy during times of adversity when we cannot access the nearest chapel. You only need to search “adoration live,” on YouTube, and you’ll be lost for choice. Here is one of the links for a quick check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz5gektkF0o.
For me kneeling and praying for a minute or two does not amount to adoration. Making time for Christ seals the deal. What can you give Christ in return if not your time anyway?
What will you tell Christ during adoration and for how long?
When you want to go shopping, and you don’t want to forget anything, you come up with a shopping list.
If you don’t want to leave out any single thing you want to tell Christ, have the list in black and white. Move around with your list and keep updating it.
Alternatively, set aside a private time of say thirty minutes to one hour and just speak them out as they come without any hurry.
I love the first option because it saves time instead of having a session with breaks thinking about what to say next.
All in all, that’s me. Choose what is best for you.
Ready to take up the challenge?
It’s easy, heartwarming, with so much inner peace.
If you ever tried adoration and stopped, it’s time to go back to it.
Start now if you’ve never done it before.
If you want to discover the beauty in harboring the fruits of the Holy Spirit, this is the way to go.
Promises attached to the adoration of Christ
We desire to know what God has to offer in return. Unfortunately, this is beyond our imagination. It varies from person to person.
Continuous adoration slowly broadens our reasoning and gives space to more wisdom. At such an advanced level, we recognize the blessings in our lives no matter how small.
If I have to convince you into adoration using personal examples, I would have to list them down then explain each of them independently from scratch. It’s a whole conglomeration of dots that have to be joined, for anyone to understand.
That will be a book I guess!
Holy Trinity one God, my greatest prayer is that through this adoration, you will grant me the grace to keep mum to the world and open my ears wider for you. Help me not to lean on my understanding, but look up to you during both good and bad times. Go ahead of my thoughts and filter my words and actions to conform to only what you approve of. In Jesus’ name, I pray and believe, Amen.
It is unheard of for anyone to invest in a marriage only to look forward to its downfall. Couples always expect the first days glam to last forever. Unfortunately, partners usually do not comprehend when the bright future of the marriage changes to dysfunctional marriage. Most of the time, they innocently blame each other for the mishap.
A marriage never moves from good to bad and eventually worse in a day. As the partners gradually pull apart within the same home, they ironically expect a better tomorrow but get disappointed. Knowing what happened when they already spilled the beans leads to regrets. Underneath the smiles lies the unseen cracking union.
What happens behind the scenes?
Yeah! The breakup takes place behind the scenes because they hardly notice the little input towards the division.
They want the marriage but unknowingly lead it to the pit.
To avoid other failed marriages acting as your role models, you need to get to the inner core of what is likely to have led to their breakups. These ten points will keep you alert and help you make wise decisions concerning your relationship.
10 dysfunctional marriage catalysts chronologically explained
Negatively discussing your husband.
Confronting your husband based on suspicion.
Mounting a grudge between you and your husband.
Denying your husband his conjugal rights.
Your husband begins to look around for a place to relieve himself.
He develops divided attention between you and his new catch.
You catch him cheating beyond a reasonable doubt, pack and leave.
The first few years of divorce or separation look promising.
Your situation converts you to a newscaster against marriage.
Negatively discussing your husband
Some cases are worth the involvement of a third party whereas other cases aren’t. Speaking out has built marriages and destroyed marriages too. Before you mention your spouse, evaluate its necessity and the listener. She will either help you build your marriage or assist you to destroy it.
Women have somehow proved to be consultants by nature. In the process of consultation, comparison creeps in and converts the well-intended discussion to gossip.
You become the first to infringe on your privacy.
A spouse is more like private property. What you say or do as a couple is incomparable to what you do when you engage a business partner, sibling, or friend. Your intimacy begins from your thoughts to your words and actions. Before you make any move, you have to carefully consider its pros and cons.
Looking at what exactly sent you to your friend, it was not even disagreement in the first place, but a mere friendly chat. You walk out of that discussion with an altered mind that makes you approach your spouse with an unusual attitude.
Whether he asks you or not, the tension affects your relationship.
Confronting your husband based on suspicion
You opened the pandora box. Your friend planted some imaginary good qualities of a husband which your husband seems to be lacking. You will effortlessly try to convert your husband to what he is not.
In your friend’s opinion, if her husband cooks, yours should cook too. Since her husband reports home early after work, she expects your husband to do the same. She likes the fact that her husband is an introvert and makes you believe that all men have to be antisocial for marriage to work.
Socializing does not necessarily breed the dreaded habits that break up marriages! If anything, we learn more by engaging with the right people. Good business ideas come from the most unexpected discussions!
After observing your husband for a while, you are likely to confront him with baseless suspicions. You’re likely to become snoopy over his phone discussions and even check his phone for suspicious messages. Coincidentally, you might come across a message that might cut your relationship in the middle.
Your husband will either decide to ignore your allegations, amicably explain himself, or confront you. If he chooses to ignore or confront you, the situation worsens. A dysfunctional marriage begins to unfold although you may not see it.
Mounting a grudge between you and your husband
Since you first discussed your husband with your friend, something changed. It has now spilled from you to your husband. If you go ahead and hold a grudge, you ruin the relationship more. He is also likely to keep you at bay! The essence of living as a couple begins to lose meaning.
Lack of communication finds its way into your marriage. Meanwhile, you keep updating your friend on the happenings in your home. She also keeps adding salt to the injury. You have probably incorporated more toxic friends. Matters are getting worse. The two of you are not in talking terms.
One of you then decides to let go. The relationship gets back to normal for a while. This is where you get cheated yet in the real sense, the devil has carefully knitted himself at the hem of your marriage. The devil has to test the waters with the first step. Whatever happens at this point leads to the next. He is now watching from within. He patiently waits for recurrent grudges.
The moment you discover something unusual in your husband, you get angry at him again. Your mind is not under your control. Somewhere in your conscience, you decide to do something that appears more vicious.
Denying your husband his conjugal rights
You’re getting to the next level. Denying your husband his conjugal rights is an advanced way of holding a grudge. You have graduated from bad to worse. The mountain that you began to build from a simple friendly discussion is growing. You’re getting to the core of a dysfunctional marriage.
It may look simple in the beginning but even with the best of husbands, a time comes when hell breaks loose. He has tried his level best to ensure your relationship gets better but you are adamant. You have transferred your disagreements from the living room to the bedroom.
Depending on your husband’s personality, he may not want to appear unreasonable. He perseveres in this situation for a while. Meanwhile, you deny him his conjugal rights on an on-off basis depending on the previous factors that led to the rift between the two of you.
It may look normal but the more you deny him his conjugal rights for no apparent reason, the more he walks away yet still within. You begin to lengthen the dry spells. When nature calls, he gets tempted to find a helping hand!
Your husband begins to look around for a place to relieve himself
We meet so many people in our day to day activities. Some of them make sexual advances, but we decline based on our allegiance to our spouses. We also want to maintain our dignity.
Irrespective of the fact that sex is sacred and meant for couples, we cannot run away from the reality on the ground. Illicit sex takes place much more than we would imagine. The moment your husband dips himself into this hotbed of infiltration, he changes for worse.
Your disagreements graduate from external to internal. It has now moved from your bedroom to another place, with someone who isn’t you. He has defiled the Lord’s temple and disregarded his vows. At this point, it is bigger than it looks.
For as long as you do not know about his extramarital affair, life continues as usual. At this point, he has no intention of divorcing you. He just wants to feel adequately supplied with his needs. There is a possibility that he doesn’t even love the other woman! Maybe he feels sorry within! Without a doubt, he now thinks of someone else besides you. The vows he took are no longer in the picture.
He develops divided attention between you and his new catch
Your husband begins to share his finances with her too. Depending on the type of person she is, she is likely to demand exorbitant amounts. This will eat into your home treasury. Maybe you have realized your bedroom life is crippled but you have no evidence, so there is still no cause for alarm!
Initially, you denied him his conjugal rights. He is now the one denying you your rights not because he has a grudge, but because someone else has stolen his attention. Remember, the devil came to steal, destroy, and kill. It no longer matters whether he gets intimate with you or not.
Your chain of destructive friends may have grown. That suspicion that they initially instilled in you has become a reality. When you reach out to them, they make matters worse. Some of them could be close relatives!
Your husband gets so drowned in this affair to the extent that he doesn’t see the repercussions. He’s not right either; both of you are wrong. The other woman seems to be supplementing what he doesn’t get at home! Irrespective of the fact that he felt guilty of the relationship when it began, that guilt fades away. He even forgets that he owes his responsibility to you, and becomes a bit careless.
You catch him cheating beyond a reasonable doubt, pack and leave
The slowly drifting marriage becomes a dysfunctional marriage. You are unable to comprehend the fact that your discussion with an undeserving friend gave birth to your breakup. Your bitterness cannot even allow room for reconciliation. The devil sends you back to the same people and makes sure they continue to misadvise you.
Your husband’s attempt to make up with you bears no fruit. You are fully decided. Without a second thought, you pack and leave. You keep blaming your husband for the painful new phase of your life. Your little ones have to put up with the fact that their father’s face is no longer in the vicinity.
The initial source of anger does not cross your mind. Separately, you continue to live your lives while the pain kills each of you. He regrets his immersion in the other relationship, but you don’t seem to take any blame! According to you, you’re not the source of the problem.
Your relatives and friends support you. A mother’s pain consumes your mother and she develops hatred towards your husband. Everyone around this whole saga is stressed. They feel your husband has wasted you, yet they don’t understand his side of the story.
The first few years of divorce or separation look promising
After a while, you get used to living as a single mother. When you hear your husband moved on, it somehow validates his cheating on you. He waited for your return in vain. He is the bad guy in the eyes of your circles.
Marriage comes with responsibility and a need for consultation to partake in some activities. Single life on the other hand is a one-man show. Nobody else matters in your decisions.
Soon, some married man tries his luck on you. He is rich, affords to take responsibility for your children’s needs. He provides beyond your husband’s ability. You become comfortable and get deceived he loves you more than he loves his wife and family. Once again, you begin to glow. The pain that the separation inflicted diminishes.
Meanwhile, your husband already has a child with his newfound wife. You have no intention of getting children with your new catch. Life is just good and your friends can see it. They use you as a practical example to aid the devil in destroying other marriages. In their words “she quit her marriage, and she’s doing much better.” Other people get duped to take your route.
Your situation converts you to a newscaster against marriage
When you have moved from grass to grace, you are likely to think it is God’s favor. The favor of the Lord begins on good grounds. We cannot refer to anything that began on mischievous grounds as the Lord’s favor. Never will the Lord link you up with a married man. He cannot go against His commandment that says “do not commit adultery.”
The evil one deceives you with temporary joy so that he gets an opportunity to lead you to the worst state. You are likely to mingle with like-minded ladies. You unknowingly wrecked your marriage and you’re now converting someone else’s marriage to a dysfunctional marriage! It was painful when you learned that your husband had an affair to the extent it sent you out of your home.
Are you anticipating that your boyfriend’s wife will leave her house because of you? Your friend’s wife may not do what you did. Even if she discovers your affair with her husband, she may choose to fight from within. A secret you may not want to mention; every wife dreads a dysfunctional marriage.
Sooner or later, the man begins to pull away. He has weighed options and discovered your presence disrupts his family’s peace. You have to get moving once again but to which direction?
Looking back at your husband, he has no space for you. He tried to make a comeback, but you wouldn’t listen to him. Several years have elapsed. Your children are older. You are aging too.
Your husband has another family. His new wife tries to make him as happy as possible to keep you away from them. She believes she’s all right and tries her best to avoid a dysfunctional marriage.
Your children know their biological father. They call your ex-boyfriend uncle. Irrespective of the fact that other men are trying to woo you, you find it difficult to give in. Several questions run in your mind.
What will you tell your teenagers?
Who is this new man?
What will they feel about your decision?
It is either you make a stern decision to live a single life with your teens, or secretly engage in an affair without their knowledge. Cat and mouse games are not easy to play.
Through friends and family, you keep eavesdropping to keep yourself informed of the happenings in your husband’s life. Most likely, you’re regretting but want to appear unperturbed.
Your friends have also gone through a myriad of challenges and have each withdrawn. They concentrate more on their personal lives. You are in a self-renewal world. Probably, you’re trying to deepen your relationship with God for consolation.
Marriage works if only we can implement some level of maturity. Your elder’s dysfunctional marriage needs not to be your point of reference. What you say in your first year of marriage can distribute the rot to your entire life and to other families too. You can imagine how many more people unknowingly wreck their marriages! Watch out! The tongue is too costly.
Nothing can be more liberating than working in financial freedom. Gaining this freedom is however not easy. It calls for discipline and lots of diligence. God intends that we manage our resources. You can easily do this by not letting your money control you.
Money issues can be a source of stress and anxiety. It has broken many marriages and deterred so many people from pursuing their dreams.
Whether you have a small salary or a six-figure salary, if you don’t learn financial discipline, you may not gain the much-desired freedom. To obtain financial freedom, you have to keep these in mind:
Everything you own is from God, and you are just a steward
It is easy to think that you earned everything that you have. The Bible says that everything belongs to Him. He has simply given us the privilege to own these gifts.
It is God who gives us the power to make wealth. The talents, the gifts, and Providence all come from Him. Without Him, we can never achieve anything.
So how do you use what He has graciously given you?
It is possible to waste when you are living in abundance. Being wasteful is not good stewardship. The Bible in John 6:12 shows Jesus instructing His disciples to gather everything so that nothing gets wasted. It clearly explains to us the need for making the most of what God has given to us freely.
In Matthew 25:14-30, God puts us to test to see if we can handle great things. He is not going to provide you with riches and abundance if He is not sure that you can take care of it. The Bible clearly shows us to be better stewards to the little we receive. If we are faithful with the little the master gives us, He will gladly add us more.
Money should not rule you
We need money to survive. Without it, life can be difficult. The Bible in 1st Timothy says that the love of money is the root of all evil. It is easier to think that we can achieve everything if we have money. This kind of thinking is wrong because it draws us away from God.
If we put wealth first before God and people, we end up losing our mandate on earth. We were created to worship God. Wealth should not be a hindrance to that great purpose. In Matthew 19:24, Jesus teaches His disciples how putting money above everything can prevent us from seeing the Kingdom of God.
The Bible also warns us in 1st Timothy 6:17-18 against putting our wealth above God and people because it grieves God. Our wealth should be a blessing to the less fortunate in society. We should use it for the glory of God and enhance His work.
Having a huge salary does not guarantee financial freedom. You can live a more fulfilling life if you know how to manage your finances well. The following principles will save you from living from hand to mouth:
Work hard for your money
If you don’t work, you won’t eat. Working gives us a sense of purpose. God will not drop money from heaven. He simply blesses our efforts. In Deuteronomy 28:8, the Lord promises that He will bless the work of our hands.
It clearly shows us that we need to put in effort in every little thing God gives us. Always strive for excellence in everything you do.
What is the point of having money if you cannot spend it? God has not called us to be miserable. Spending, however, does not necessarily mean you waste it on things you don’t need. When spending, keep the following points in mind:
Know what you want
Having a clear perspective of your monthly expenses will help you budget for your money wisely. Categorizing your expenses into wants, needs or likes is prudent. This way you will learn to prioritize. You, however, need to be strict to follow this budget.
You need to assign each dollar to a destination. It will help you track your expenditure. You will also avoid spending money on things that were not in your budget.
It is important to set some money aside for unforeseen events. Life is unpredictable and having some savings will cushion you from life punches and save you from agony during hard times. If you are diligent, God will increase you as He promises in Deuteronomy 28:8.
Take it as a way of paying yourself. Invest in profitable ventures that will bring in significant returns. By doing this, you allow your money to work for you. Invest in real estate, mutual funds and allow your investments to grow before you can withdraw from them.
There is nothing as good debt. The truth is that some debts are better than others, but that does not mean that debts are good. If you have debts, purpose to clear them. Living a debt-free life gives you the flexibility of giving generously and living in abundance.
Break those habits that make you borrow. Proverbs 15:16 urges us to accept the little that we have than desire great wealth that will only bring turmoil. The Bible also promises us that our good Lord knows what we need and He shall gladly provide for us.
Learn to minimize and be content
Be happy with what you have. Learn to do away with what you don’t need. You will be truly happy only if you have a relationship with God. Material wealth does not give satisfaction. If you are not content, you are likely to covet other people’s things and be greedy.
Philippians 4:11-12 teaches us to be happy with whatever little that we have. If we practice this principle, we won’t spend much on unnecessary things.
Be a blessing to others. Your life will be richer if you help people around you. Mark 10:29-30 shows us that whatever we give, we shall receive a double portion. Giving does not take away from us, it increases us.
Endeavor to tithe so that the Lord will honor His promise in Malachi 3:10 that if we bring food to His storehouse, He shall never deny us anything that we ask Him.
It is easy to walk in financial freedom if God is part of your journey. Work hard, spend wisely, invest, avoid debts, be content, and live generously. You only have to be disciplined and diligent in whatever you have chosen.
A recap of the drastic twist coronavirus has brought to humanity
We are not all infected by coronavirus but we are all affected. Living with restrictions that we are not so used to, is a challenge we will have to contend with for quite some time.
Manufacturers of hand sanitizers must be making unexpected profits as we are in a rush to secure the lives of our loved ones.
We are living in the days when even non-news fanatics get glued to the televisions to keep themselves updated with the scary turnouts. The rate at which the virus is spreading is mind-boggling.
It has come to a point where with or without coronavirus, self-quarantine is mandatory. From the time the first case was detected, things have been moving from bad to worse.
Supermarkets are packed with rush-shoppers trying to secure enough necessities. It suggests we are likely to experience a lockdown.
Some countries have already restricted their residents, not only from traveling beyond the borders but from movement within their countries.
One message we hear from the authorities every day is – do not panic.
What are we doing as we wait for the unknown outcome?
Every man for himself and God for us all as stated by Geoffrey Chaucer is a phrase, we may each need to keenly revisit during this time of the coronavirus epidemic. Every individual must do something to curb the virus.
Maybe you are already working on it! Bring it on, I do not mind puffing my knowledge base with some more, as I also share my explicit vision with you. You will find it right ahead.
I believe the message I got came from God after a long plea for His intervention. Within the next few seconds, I struggled to come to terms with what I had read because it startled me. I developed an interest to research further and collected quite some information that is good for you too.
Coronavirus is beyond human understanding.
That’s the message!
Straight away, you can tell where I want to take you to!
Jeremiah 45 was my cup of coffee early morning today, short, and precise with only five verses. I could tell that God gave us that message without blinking an eye. It is worth quoting the heavyweight verses for ease of internalization of the message. The vision I share ahead also relates to it.
Jeremiah 45: 4-5; “But I the LORD, I’m tearing down what I have built and pulling up what I have planted. I will do this to the entire earth. Are you looking for special treatment for yourself? Don’t do it. I am bringing disaster on the whole human race, but you will at least escape with your life where you go. I the LORD have spoken.”
It is worth noting the significance of the three characters mentioned in the whole chapter. They were Jehoiakim who was the king of Judah at the time. He was the son of Josiah who was the previous king and Baruch was prophet Jeremiah’s secretary.
Understanding these three characters will help you pick relevant points from the coronavirus prediction and the interpretation of my vision ahead.
But what did God want us to derive from the message?
Without much ado, let’s get to understand each character more profoundly.
The chronicles of King Jehoiakim’s reign
God spoke these stern words during king Jehoiakim’s reign. It goes without say, that a lot was flimsy during his leadership. He only ruled for eleven years but messed a lot even though he began to rule as an adult at the age of twenty-five years.
His leadership was lukewarm. He, therefore, bent God’s rules in favor of the world a lot of times. You can read more about him in 2 Kings 23: 35-37 & 24: 1-7.
King Josiah’s peaceful leadership
The mention of Josiah may look insignificant in this chapter but I will tell you why it makes sense.
Josiah was Jehoiakim’s father and he ruled pretty well for 31 years. The fact that he began to rule at the age of eight years and did handsomely well disqualifies Jehoiakim’s ugly rule irrespective of his age.
We needed to know that Jehoiakim was the son of Josiah so that we can compare the rule of two members of the same ancestry. Worth to note is that Josiah took the example of his ancestor King David. Josiah’s father Amon and grandfather Manasseh also disappointed the Lord during their tenures.
It’s worth mentioning that the first time I heard about coronavirus, I flipped my Bible and landed on King Josiah’s rule and specifically when he was destroying the places of pagan worship (2 Kings 23: 1-20).
That was a direct message that we need to bring out the Josiah in us if we expect coronavirus to come to an end.
Concerning Josiah’s story, I will leave you with this order to help you derive some helpful tips that can guide your conscience. Take note of the order, the first being the oldest and remember they are from the same lineage.
Manasseh – Disappointed God
Amon – Disappointed God
Josiah – Ruled according to the will of God
Jehoiakim – Disappointed God
The light from the little heard Baruch – Prophet Jeremiah’s secretary
God promised to save Baruch as indicated in Jeremiah 45 but Baruch did not stop there. He wrote a short book that only has five chapters and there is a lot to learn from it.
One significant message I got from the book of Baruch is that when it was read, everyone cried, fasted and prayed to the Lord. You have heard this a lot, but you will get it well pronounced from the book of Baruch. It is the book of the coronavirus season.
Looking at the Bible content mentioned herein with the coronavirus fears, we are in a situation similar to the situation in Judah at the time. The book of Baruch is a good prayer guide that resonates with the current situation.
It has a lot of information that puts you in the required prayer mood for the season.
Remember we are in the Lenten season where each of us is expecting to cross over to our individual Canaan’s before, during the Holy Week or thereafter.
It is hard to believe prophesies from fellow human beings yet it is sad to imagine that you dismissed a prophesy and it caught up with you unprepared. Anyway, people did not believe Jesus too.
Maybe it will allow you to leave this coronavirus desert a changed person. No matter how good you are, you cannot miss something to top up your goodness or make amendments.
And this was my vision
There was plenty of water, more like a big river or an ocean in one of the areas hit by coronavirus. I stood on one side of the huge volume of water and I could see a few people on the other side.
Cars willingly drove into the water and got submerged. I felt like that water was so deep. There is not a single car that attempted to swerve to escape the tragedy.
All over sudden, I found myself on the other side together with the few people who were there. We could hear people screaming in the water, definitely in those cars, but we could not help.
The cars landed with the bonnet facing down and the car boot facing up and remained in that position. I could see seven number plates of the cars lined up in two rows.
My friend Regina and I had a short discussion and settled on a particular person whom we thought could help save them. I don’t remember if we appointed anyone to contact him but I know we waited for him in vain.
On our left was the church so I decided to go and attend mass. The church was full. I rushed back to the scene after mass and realized there were no more screams. Nobody had come to rescue them and probably the worst had happened.
I walked away after a while, leaving my friend Regina and the others on site.
Interpretation of the vision
Seven is a symbolic number that denotes completion in the Bible. God has had enough ridicule from His children and the decision He has made is final. You can refer to Jeremiah 45 which I already mentioned above to understand that finality.
As people were honoring the Lord at mass, others were screaming helplessly in the water. It means there is still room to make a choice of which direction we want to go. We also need to remember that it is only God whose power is supreme.
The use of cars indicates human power. The bonnet facing down, and the car boot facing up means the human head facing down, and the feet facing up. Coupled with the eventual silence of the victims, it suggests a permanent end to an era since we cannot walk or operate with our heads touching the ground.
The fact that we waited for someone who was thought to have the machinery, to come and save the victims, and he did not come suggests the coronavirus is beyond human ability. We need to take it to the Lord.
Coronavirus may turn around the world at large but that is not what matters. Our position matters more. We should focus more on what the calamity teaches us.
Baruch went ahead to plead on behalf of Judah yet he was promised salvation. He felt the need to experience God’s goodness with everyone else. Don’t sit back even if your hood is still safe. The affected may not be in a position to pray for themselves, they need you.
If we embrace God, He works in three faces. Repentance, deliverance and then restoration in that order. Baruch brings it out so clearly in his book. His writings are very enriching prayers. Don’t just read the book, pray like Baruch.
God does not expect anyone to permanently play the secondary role of relying on others for guidance. He wants growth and therefore requires all His children to lead like Josiah.
Please care to help a friend bury coronavirus and get a soothing sleep by sharing this post.
You never know it happens until it happens to you. News is all about locusts. The epidemic has struck a number of countries. We don’t know if we are next. Looking at the swarms from our television screens, we can’t figure out the damage as it has not yet affected us.
With little knowledge about the locusts, we make fun of the images our fellow kinsmen post on social media. We still cannot tell that the damage the epidemic has caused to their crops directly translates to the unpredictable near future whose outcome we have to share. After all, it is our first time to see them.
We don’t have farms. Our offices are the farms we go to and harvest through our salaries. Somehow, we feel we are still untouched until they get closer.
Locusts in my neighborhood
Days have passed and I can no longer lay on the couch and laugh at the fun that seems to be going around the internet.
The sky looks dotted and funny thing, the dots are moving. As the reality that the dots must be locusts sinks in, my son shouts, “that grasshopper looks weird!”
The locusts have caught up with us. I have no crops in my compound. Looks like it just fell on the grass from above. A keener look unearths some more and I quickly burn them only to realize my neighbors are in the same business of getting rid of the locusts.
It’s a physical fight against an epidemic, I sigh!
What if they keep multiplying and overwhelm us?
As I try to figure out what to expect after the locusts leave, I remember locust’s invasion is widely spoken about in the Bible.
The damage that locusts cause
It’s my first time seeing locusts but I have heard of their pattern of destruction. At least I know they consume all the crops and leave. In my interest to get to understand them better, I grab my Bible and confirm my fears as this verse states.
Joel 2: 3; Like fire, they eat up the plants. In front of them, the land is like the Garden of Eden, but behind them, it is a barren desert. Nothing escapes them.
Once they settle in our farms, they leave no stone unturned. This is worrying. If they stay on for the longest unexpected time, hunger will definitely strike. When there is no food to buy, the salaries earned mean nothing because we cannot eat the money.
The little available food will obviously be damn expensive. It is a plague that will bite everyone so hard.
But why are these uninvited visitors around in the first place and until when?
The Lord’s stake on locusts
Still, in the same book of Joel, we are reminded that the Lord can speak through such an epidemic as is in this scripture.
Joel 2:1-2; Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm on Zion, God’s sacred hill. Tremble, people of Judah! The day of the LORD is coming soon. It will be a dark and gloomy day, a black and cloudy day. The great army of locust’s advances like darkness spreading over the mountains. There has never been anything like it, and there never will be again.
Zion is to watch from afar as Judah gets consumed into the misery they could as well have rejected. (Also see Psalms 91: 7-13).
The love God had for Zion is immense. Remember God’s favors only ensue where He is loved.
The above Bible excerpt suggests that there will never be such an epidemic again in that particular place. It is therefore either the finale of a famous territory or the new beginning as they turn back to the Lord.
Something significant must happen.
Solutions to the plague of locusts
It is important to realize that God has used a territory or a large group of people to demonstrate the locust’s invasion. In the real sense, He isn’t speaking to a nation because a nation is not a living human person. God is addressing the people in the territory.
Considering that God deals with each person individually, He isn’t addressing us in a group but independently speaking to each one of us.
The scare of the locusts impulsively rushes us to do anything within our means to get rid of them. Unfortunately, we destroy the product in the short term but leave the source untouched.
For as long as the manufacturing plant still remains firm, it may not be long before the locusts invade again. Or better still, they can stay on and only leave once they are confident, they have accomplished their mission.
These are visible locusts but remember invisible locusts can gradually consume us without our knowledge. The spirits that lead us to disobey the Lord are unseen but very dangerous. They are the locusts that eventually prompt the Lord to release the real locusts.
There are three long-term solutions that can help us get rid of the locusts.
Identify the entry points of the locusts.
Sweep the Temple of the Lord clean.
Refurbish the Temple of the Lord.
Identify the entry points of the locusts
God does not destroy, He builds. Anything that comes to destroy is not for the Lord but for the evil person. In order for God to let loose the locusts, something is not wrong with the territory but with the people of that place.
When God says He will do something, He does it.
Deuteronomy 28: 15-68 has listed the consequences of disobedience that anyone wouldn’t like to experience. It is a scripture that I like reading often to keep me on toes and I believe it is one that everyone needs to bookmark.
We need to evaluate ourselves, list down all the things we have done that have defiled the Temple of the Lord and find ways of reaching out to Him for renewal. The Temple is our own body that houses the mind and soul.
Sweep the Temple of the Lord clean
The soul, mind, and body, work in unison to make up the person we become. When the soul gets triggered, the mind and body automatically receive the current. Whatever happens thereafter depends a lot on which side of the coin we belong to.
To ensure that we stand with the Lord and avoid future controversies, we have to clean the soul, mind, and body and never look back at the remnants. Catherine Parks elaborates on the way to repent as David repented in Psalms 51 and God forgave him. It is worth your time. Find the details here. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/steps-repentance-psalm-51/
The Lord is light and cannot dwell in the darkness. Now that the locusts have left, invite the Holy Spirit and ask Him to occupy you without leaving any vacancy.
God speaks for life and when He told us we can move mountains He was stressing the point that there must be life in us to be able to move those mountains. We can only house that life in the form of the Holy Spirit, who is the only helper Jesus left us when He gave up His life to save ours.
To accommodate the Holy Spirit means to spiritually leave the world and live in the spirit in terms of character.
Once you have dealt with the locusts in the Lord’s Temple, it becomes easier to manage the live locusts because you have surrendered yourself to the Lord. He is your Managing Director and must be involved in every detail of the activities in the Temple. You then begin to pray in purity.
The essence of praying in purity
You cannot remove the speck in your neighbor’s eye before you remove the log in your eye. The log will not allow you to reach that speck or even see it. You will spend time making fun of the locusts rather than settling down for the best way to keep them off.
When you are pure, you have power. Ezra pleaded to the Lord and confessed the sins of the people on their behalf. When he went back to speak to them, they were in agreement with him.
In purity, you have the power to win God’s heart for your spouse, children, siblings, parents, neighbors, community, country and the whole world. You may not see it but your prayers can make one of the prominent leaders make a decision that impacts positively in the whole world! Or better still, convert that hardened heart next to you.
How to pray
Focusing on the swarm of locusts that already looks unmanageable, you might be tempted to keep asking God to get rid of them.
For who is He getting rid of them?
Is it for obedient or disobedient children?
Have they allowed Him access to His Temple or they have locked Him out?
As you ask God to finish the locusts, remember to ask Him to touch the hardened hearts of His children. When you are surrounded by people who understand how God works and what He expects of them, it melts the heaps you must pass through to reach God.
Never forget that prayer is a continuous process.
If there is a fire burning in you, you cannot put off your neighbor’s fire. You need water to put off that fire.
To manage locusts within the shortest time, start with yourself. Empty yourself of the invisible locusts, clean and invite the Holy Spirit.
With such power, attack the locusts in your surroundings, and don’t forget to ask God to soften the hardened hearts.
Please care to share this long-term solution to the invasion of locusts with your friends.
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You never know it happens until it happens to you. News is all about locusts. The epidemic has struck a number of countries. We don’t know if we are next. Looking at the swarms from our television screens, we can’t figure out the damage as it has not yet affected us. With little knowledge about […]