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Three important Lenten season choices you can make – 40-day fasting in the Catholic church

The Lenten season is one of the most significant periods in the Catholic church. You practically walk Jesus through His forty days fasting after which He gained the power to trample on the devil. Satan had no other option but to flee from Him.

Jesus was not in a temple, chapel or with His disciples. He was all alone in the quietness of the desert. God tested Jesus by exposing Him to the temptations of Satan but He never gave in.

Looking at it critically, Jesus received the baton of fasting for forty days from Moses. That symbolized continuity of the Ten Commandments that Moses received after his forty days fasting. Jesus, on the other hand, qualified to take the position of the savior of the world after His 40-day fasting.

Christ similarly passes on the baton to you. The Lenten season is a time that you entice God to reveal Himself more and take you to the next place He has destined for you. He did it for Moses and Jesus. He can also do it for you.

What have you lined up for your lent period?

Are you ready to receive that gift God has prepared for you although you do not know what it is?

As you prepare, do not ignore this important rule of thumb. https://healthysoulties.com/the-fourth-commandment-of-god-honor-father-and-mother-live-long-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-fourth-commandment-of-god-honor-father-and-mother-live-long-life

You can choose what suits you best from these three options.

Pray and fast with suffering

Both Moses and Jesus suffered to accomplish God’s mission because they denied themselves the luxury of eating at the body’s demand.

At one point in the three-year journey of Jesus’ teachings, He reiterated that some demons can only leave through prayer and fasting.

Sometimes you may not know what exactly is cooking inside you yet you experience one challenge after the other. Problems are somehow permanent. Such a case requires you to commit yourself to suffer in order to attain freedom.

It involves reorganizing your meals to accommodate the fasting period you have chosen per day. We all love food and hunger pangs may become worse than ever before but you have to realize it’s a temptation to break your fast so that you lose the target.

Refrain from a bad habit

Addiction kills your relationship with God. It is not just about addiction to alcohol, drugs or illicit sex. Some addictions easily go unnoticed and we tend to focus more on other people’s problems that appear bigger than ours.  

The love of gossip and lazing around are examples of addictions that seem mild but are equally dangerous.

You can pinpoint a habit that you find so difficult to detach yourself from and dedicate it to Jesus this Lenten season. Your goal should obviously be to freely walk out of it by the end of the forty days and never go back there.

Thank God this Lenten season

Some years are smooth running and others come with unexpected challenges. Prayer and fasting have great rewards; those who practice this can attest to it.

It’s not unfortunate though if you cannot fast this year because God always has something for everybody and He will still give you what He plans to if you stick to your schedule. He knows you are sick, on medication or recovering from a delicate health condition that may take you some time to fully recover.

Rest assured that if you understand Him, He understands you too.

You can do exactly as these verses suggest.

Psalms 50:14; Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God, and give the Almighty all that you promised.

Psalms 50:23; Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me.

God does not ask for what you cannot give, He doesn’t want to hurt you. You can also find more helpful tips to guide you here. https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/season-of-lent-40-ideas-to-get-the-most-out-of-it/

Conclusion

The option that God feels is the best for you this Lenten season is the one that holds the keys that will unlock God’s plan for you. Don’t favor yourself with the simplest option when your background check requires the heavier option. Take up the challenge and move those mountains that are sitting on your freedom.  

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The Secrets behind the Fourth Commandment of God – Honor your father and mother so that you may live a long life.

Back in the days when we were young and very good at mastery, we recited the Ten Commandments as laid down in Exodus 20 with resilience. It looked like our love for Christ was budding on our faces yet we did not quite figure out the comprehensive purpose of the Commandments. This Fourth Commandment directly touches on all persons as we are all grown children to our parents.   

The Fourth Commandment is the only one with a promise attached to it.

We understood obedience and fortunately our naivety resonated with the submission quite well. Along the way, as we grew up, many of us found ourselves moving from respect to disobedience. Flashing back, I realize the phrase “so that you may live a long life” was not well elaborated neither did we even notice it. Conversely, we can rephrase it to mean “so that you may not die prematurely.”

Why human life cycles defy the Fourth Commandment

I picture a recurrence of rebelliousness based on ignorance of its repercussions through generations. As we get busier trying to make ends meet, we tend to delegate our children’s Bible Study to schools and churches.

We forget that the indelible bond God created between a parent and children is a permanent responsibility to lead our kids to heaven. Children will grow up and leave those schools. They will also move from one parish to another as they relocate. In the process, they lose touch as they meet new people.

On the other hand, nothing can erase the parent-child bond no matter how far apart they live.

Some of the children end up disappointing us in the better part of their teenage and early adulthood. We may be partly to blame just like our parents may not escape the blame for our misbehavior.

Before I go into the secrets, let’s, first of all, understand the living a long life that God spoke about in the Fourth Commandment.

Premature death

The opposite of not living long is dying prematurely. Death occurs across all ages, some die as toddlers and others go beyond 100 years. Many Christians have literally understood premature death to mean dying before the 70 years stated in the Bible (Psalms 90:10). I do not dispute that but looking at it from another perspective, it could have a hidden meaning.

The death that leads to eternal life (necessitated by God) can occur when the Lord feels a person has accomplished the mission God intended for him on earth.

On the other hand, the real premature death is instigated by the devil because of the exposure of the said person to sin thus being too vulnerable to the attacks of the evil one.

As much as our human nature doesn’t allow us to judge the spiritual state of a deceased person, let’s take an example of five people of ages 30, 40, 60, 80, and 100 years dying on the same day in different places across the globe. Assuming that they were all great people of God headed for eternal life, what reason would we give for their early deaths?

We leave it to God because He is the one who understands better.

However, among other reasons, they may have accomplished what God intended for them on earth which reverses their death from premature to full-term death!

Fourth Commandment rules

Our human nature doesn’t like rules and regulations whether in school or at work because they tie us down to discipline. We naturally dislike controls. 

Going back to God’s attachment to the Fourth Commandment, we are all children to our parents as the hierarchy transcends to the older folks and descends to our kids and grandchildren. So, God actually speaks to all of us in this Commandment but one thing I capture is that it is a permanent work in progress.

Children pick a character from parents. 

Parents are at the center-stage of this whole activity. Since everyone wants to live a long life, I collected some points to help instill these values in our children. We cannot keep telling kids God loves them without demonstrating that without them loving Him back, they are bound to lose!

Sirach 3: 1-16 disintegrates the Fourth Commandment caution into bits of information that if we subscribe to, we cannot miss to qualify for the promised long life. Without further ado, let me explain the teachings as they appear in the Bible.

The Lord has given fathers authority over their children and given children the obligation to obey their mothers.

Considering that God said a man and a woman will both leave their parents to begin their family, this theme suggests that the authority also applies when the kids are still dependent on their parents.

Since whoever is reading this article is not a child, it takes you back a few steps to help you figure out at what point you might have gone against the Lord’s Word and failed to repent.

Remember even in the law of the land, if you fail to appear in court for a case, a warrant of arrest is issued and once you get caught, the charges increase.

Therefore, disobeying a parent and declining to repent are two mistakes.

Begin by making up with the parent. You will understand why as you read on.

If you respect your father, you can make up for your sins and if you honor your mother you are earning great wealth.

What does God really mean when He tells us this? The Lord may decline to answer your prayers or to forgive your sins if you have no respect and honor for your parents as the Fourth Commandment instructs.

As a result, you will not earn great wealth. Wealth in a bigger picture includes good health and living a comfortable life.

Going against this statement can sink you into poverty no matter how much you pray.

If you respect your father, one day your own children will make you happy; the Lord will hear your prayers.

I said earlier on that rebelliousness replicates in consequent generations.

It will not be long before you also shed the tears your parents shed because of your ill behavior towards them. Your children may treat you badly not because they know you left your parents to suffer, but because you never garnered enough points to warrant their good treatment.

Every employee has a file in the human resources department. The employer files any documents concerning your conduct at work in that file. At the end of the year, the documents speak for you.

Your annual appraisal can, therefore, give you a salary boost and a bonus. Likewise, you may get one or none of the above because your file judged you.

The Lord also maintains His own type of a file for each of us. The clutter on the Fourth Commandment page is heavy enough to soak the other Commandments pages in the mud.

If you obey the Lord by honoring your father and making your mother happy, you will live a long life.

When you put a smile on your parent’s faces, you’re actually doing the same on the Lord’s face. Your parents are the bridge you cannot afford to ignore if you want to reach out to God on the other side of the river. Otherwise, you will slip into the river and drown because you have not put your parents in the mood to grab and save you.

Obey your parents as if you were their slave.

What this means is that even if your parents are on the wrong, try to solve the problem with utmost respect so that you get to a consensus without making them angry.

“Slave” is the keyword here. If you’re lucky to have at least one employee or more, you know what that means. If the disagreement is too heavy on you, you’d rather keep quiet and let it pass. That is what an employee does to enable him to keep putting food on his table through his earnings from his employer.

Honor your father in everything you do and say, so that you may receive his blessing.

Your words and deeds whether in the presence or absence of your father ought to give him a name worth respecting. This is because there is power in spoken words.

If your father keeps saying my son just drinks like a fool, you are likely to gradually move from worse to worst.

When your parents appreciate your behavior and support, their lips will be full of praises and that is powerful enough to trickle down God’s blessings upon you.

When parents give their blessing, they give strength to their children’s homes, but when they curse their children, they destroy the very foundations.

You surely have a home and your greatest desire in that home is a steadfast family full of peace. As much as your parents may be living miles away, whatever they think or say about you contributes to the stability of your home.

Parents are in fact some small gods that we have to cautiously relate with without bruising them.

Never seek honor for yourself at your father’s expense; it is not to your credit if he is dishonored.

“At your father’s expense.” Don’t leave your father crying foul because of your mistake.

You honestly can’t afford to divert your father’s hard-earned money to use on something you hadn’t agreed on and probably doesn’t benefit you or him! Your father will definitely come to know the reality and even without him saying a word, his hidden tears puncture your life.

“It is not to your credit.” In the long-run, you will lose simply because of a blunder you could avoid.

Your own honor comes from the respect that you show to your father, if children do not honor their mothers, it is their own disgrace.

Even the most arrogant or brutal personality expects to be respected. That is the irony of life. But God tells us here that you only deserve that demand if you respect your parents.

Surprisingly, the people you deal with may not even know the relationship between you and your parents.

The truth is, the moment you neglect God’s order to honor your parents, you invite the evil spirit to take control. It then manifests in the folks you expect honor from.

Sadly, you may not relate it to the relationship with your parents if you do not crave to understand the Word of God.

My son, take care of your father when he grows old; give him no cause for worry as long as he lives.

If your parents ever die before you, they should go smiling at all the good things you ever did for them. For instance, if they happen to live for long and get weary, their energy levels have to go down.

Don’t let your parents strain doing their house chores. Employ someone or live with your parents so that you can closely monitor their lives and health. Their peace of mind is a huge chunk of blessing in waiting for you.

NB: This is just but an example, there is more to it.

Be sympathetic even if his mind fails him; don’t look down on him just because you are strong and healthy.

You can never exchange your parents for others and if they die, there is no replacement. In whichever state they are, continue to love them and support them.

A failed mind can make the affected person distraught. God is telling you that since you are sane, it’s your responsibility to bend low and take all the insults that may come with your parents’ condition. In one word, persevere.

The Lord will not forget the kindness you show to your father; it will help you to make up for your sins.

No matter how much you have lived in sin, God will never forget the care you gave your parents. The moment you go back to God with a changed mind, ready to discard the sin from your life, it will take him lesser time to absolve you from your sins if you obeyed His Fourth Commandment.

In the real sense, you were stocking accolades. 

When you are in trouble, the Lord will remember your kindness and will help you; your sins will melt away like frost in warm sunshine.

I hope by now you realize that you cannot detach yourself from your parents whether they are still alive or not.

God looks back to your relationship with your parents any time you cry out to Him. If your parents are genuinely unhappy with you, I wonder how God will handle your prayers but I guess this is one of the reasons some people claim they have prayed for years but don’t experience changes.

Go back to your parents and sincerely make up with them if you recognize some blame in you. This is not a simple phone affair,  facial contact is paramount. Let them know that the one and the only reason that has made you travel all the way is to seek their forgiveness.

Those who abandon their parents or give them cause for anger may as well be cursing the Lord; they are already under the Lord’s curse.

In simple English; if you are not with your parents, you are not with the Lord.

You are the mountain that is sitting right between you and God and since you cannot roll yourself away to reach out to the Lord, you remain static.  

You can take a quick refresher of the Ten Commandments here although you can sure check them out in the Bible. https://www.dummies.com/religion/christianity/catholicism/catholicism-and-the-ten-commandments/

Summary

Isaiah 22:22; I will give Him complete authority under the King, the descendant of David. He will have the keys of office; what He opens, no one will shut, and what He shuts, no one will open.

One clarification I have heard often is that once Jesus shuts off the devil from your life, no one can ever have the audacity to open that loophole again. I am in total agreement with this explanation and I like the way people give a loud Amen to it. Jesus has the keys that open the gates to all the heavenly promises.

In reference to no 14 above, do you realize that disobedience of the Fourth Commandment suggests you have shown the Lord your back? How would He communicate with someone who isn’t looking at Him?

Take note of the word “complete” in the verse. Let me simply say that without Jesus you are caged in a cell.

If your actions necessitate a curse, even if it is unspoken, nobody can reverse it except Jesus. Remember to reach Jesus, you have to go through your parents. Parents give way first and then Jesus rubberstamps.

The Fourth Commandment as explained by the writer of the scripture in Sirach affirms that parents hold the keys of the heavenly gates here on earth. They have the keys of office; what they shut, no one will open and what they open, no one will shut. No matter how much you may seek counsel from peers or friends, this is beyond any human being. Care to open a friend’s inner eyes by sharing this article.

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WhatsApp group etiquette – keeping the friendship alive

WhatsApp group types

WhatsApp grouping is one social forum that really comes in handy for cheaper, faster and easier communication. Many are the times the groups bring people together for either permanent or temporary needs. Running family, job or estate affairs is just but a finger away. An invisible panel converges to deliberate and make resolutions without much pressure thus saving on resources.

There exist two types of WhatsApp groups; permanent and temporary. I have come across several articles that concentrate on permanent WhatsApp group ethics.

Permanent groups somehow demand our continual presence for as long as we are associated with the main purpose of the group. For instance, we remain part of a family group by virtue of the fact that we are part of that family forever. We also cannot exit a colleague’s group for as long as we work in that organization; otherwise, we would miss out on relevant updates.

My views here lie more on temporary groups that are usually disbanded as soon as the need is met. Most of these groups are meant to aid in settling overstretched bills. Weddings, sickness, and death are some of the needs that call for temporary WhatsApp grouping.  

The little-understood shocks of social media

It’s been about five years since I bumped into a comprehensive article where the writer expressed the insensitive nature of Facebook posts especially those that pertain to injury or death. She was mostly concerned about people learning about their loved ones’ injury or death through social media.

I just can’t figure out how exactly she titled it, otherwise, I would attach it here. The message, however, wriggles in my mind any time I sense insensitivity on social media. Her post taught me a lesson I may never forget. Can you imagine logging onto Facebook and realizing someone very close to you has been involved in that horrible road accident you’re just learning about on social media? While in that state of disbelief, as you keep scrolling you notice it has already been shared several times yet nobody has told you about it? You then begin to call your buddies to confirm what the media tells you! It is horrific, traumatizing and confusing, to say the least.

Meanwhile, as we hit the share button in seconds, we usually presume we are trying to reach the concerned parties as fast as possible. But what exactly are we doing to the casualty’s loved ones? In reality, the message should be conveyed the other way round. Loved ones first and then the rest can get it from them.   

The other side of real life

Every social grouping comes with its challenges. The do’s and don’ts are somehow of personal prescription based on several factors. WhatsApp groups have had challenges too. Just like I learned something that accompanies my senses daily from an article of concern, I equally spread the gospel after numerous observations.

If you know what my website is all about, you must be wondering why I write this. Yeah! It’s still about spreading the word of God. Too much work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Consistent prayer without taking time off to critically look into issues affecting our daily lives denies us a chance to apply the prayer points.

Life is like a chameleon. One morning you wake up and everything seems to run so smoothly. Another time, every approach to make ends meet seems to slap you on the face and tosses you back to the point you want to run away from! Irrespective of status, everyone must have good and bad moments.

Something’s happening in your friend’s life and he needs your help. He requests to add you to a WhatsApp group towards that course and the only answer you can give is “yes, please do.” You really want to help but your source seems to be dry at that moment. The situation is demanding your support.

It’s an emergency and the timespan may lapse before you chip in. Deep inside, you feel obliged, you are stuck but cannot give an excuse. We all find ourselves in that dark corner. Unfortunately, we forget that we were once there when it’s another person’s turn to shift base to the dark corner.

Somehow, we all occasionally go through a situation others may know nothing about! That’s what life is anyway!

WhatsApp misdemeanors that can cause havoc

People begin to keep the treasurer busy by sending him money. He comes up with a list and posts it to the WhatsApp group. This is where the etiquette finds its way into my mind as I see a lot of disregard for slow contributors; of course not in all groups. Sometimes we act like some people are just refusing to pay! How I wish we could consider that the heart could be willing but the pocket may not provide at the time! We have all been there!

While it is important to ask for permission to add someone to a WhatsApp group, it does not warrant exiting as soon as we are added even if it was without our consent. Imagine a group of two hundred and fifty people. Would it be possible to talk to each person before the add considering that such temporary groups are mostly created for emergency bills! I know you will argue that addition should be via a WhatsApp link but there has to be a starting point. In most cases, you want to bring people together then write the first post explaining the purpose of the group and oops! Someone has just exited while you’re still doing the addition.

Effects of prematurely exiting WhatsApp groups

This is what happens when we exit as soon as we are added. It portrays us as selfish and anti-social. Naturally, our action never leaves the minds of those who needed our help at the time. They read the other side of us they never knew and tend to deal with us on that basis henceforth. That is not what God expects of us but you will agree with me that it happens.

Then there is the other lot that exits immediately after making their payment. For them, it’s all about money. Following proceedings and hanging around for moral support doesn’t make much sense to them. It’s not a better option either as the real human nature calls for the same when tables turn.

My final word

It’s important to courteously post reminders. At times, the unexpected crop up forcing members to unwillingly dishonor their pledges.

We all have quite a lot running in our minds such that the WhatsApp groups tend to be distractors at times but at least we need to humbly excuse ourselves before exiting. There is a next time and we do not know who will have to face it. Unity, especially during hard times, builds life-long relationships.

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Financial Freedom as a Dream versus the Reality

Financial freedom is the talk of everyone irrespective of age. Some are too young to comprehend what they are talking about but in the end, the message is quite clear. My ten-year-old son tells me he will drive a Subaru when he grows up. But does he know that he’s got to work extremely hard to afford such a car? Probably not; he goes to school, performs well and that’s just it for now. That is exactly what I was until I got to an age where I needed to support myself financially.

Salary

My salary could not allow me to live the life I wanted; and like every other person, it’s never enough! And that is just how God created us! Quick money gimmicks crossed my mind. I heard a lot of stories from friends, especially as a young adult. The youth are going through the same today; it’s like a stage of life that nobody can escape.

Deals

More often than not, friends approached me with stories like there is gold mining to the west; you can act as a middleman linking the miner and the final buyer as you make your cut. It sounded so appealing and fixed me into some sleepless nights imagining how I would get in touch with the miner and the buyer. Well, I was just building castles in the air.

Multi-level marketing

Then came the multilevel marketing of products; I joined in a rush but got disappointed along the way and stopped. I was dealing with health products, convincing desperate people that they would get complete healing from terminal illnesses like arthritis and asthma.

I felt a cheat when after about five months; most of my clients complained there was no difference yet the supplements were too expensive. I stopped and started looking around for the next catch. Maybe I joined the wrong company!

 I lost quite some amount in this, but I kept nodding my head as I pondered the next move. For me it had to happen, I just had to get rich; that was my motto.

Online jobs promising financial freedom

Finally, the internet landed in my country. It was a hot cake; I tried a lot of things online, but I got conned big time. All these happened in a span of about ten years, and my desire for financial freedom did not get fulfilled! The best choice I had was to slap that hype on the face and begin all over again.

I sat back and realized I had to rediscover myself; I had to slow down, rethink and develop a strategy. Something was lacking in my life all these years. I had abandoned God, thought it was a waste of valuable time to pray; little did I know I was missing it. I continued working but put aside any other financial freedom thoughts and began to look for God.

You must be asking yourself where? In church; in the Bible; through personal prayer and prayer groups, just to mention a few.  I can attest that it is not easy being in a comeback situation to God. You are at the center; God on your right and the devil on your left; both pulling you so whoever wins carries the day. My adamancy saved me; I only had one choice, and that was God.

Slow but sure wins the race

I learned quite a lot; became much more patient and began to steadily gain financial freedom. I got to realize we cannot detach our general life and God. He has to play His part, and that can only occur if He is invited to do so. I allocate time to pray every day, put into practice the new discoveries as I steadily rise the ranks of financial freedom. Jesus tells us “man shall not live by bread alone,” so without the existence of God in your life, some areas of your life could be lifeless. This article clearly brings out financial freedom from a Christian point of view https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rhemedia/2013/07/to-all-those-christians-who-want-financial-freedom/

 I am not a millionaire, but God floated many good ideas; I adapted some, and the progress is evident day in day out. The wasted ten years were full of stagnation and trying to imitate what my peers were succeeding in, without much success. God has something for everyone. Whatever works for me may not work for you.

The truth about financial freedom

I am reminded that true financial freedom is a gift from God irrespective of one’s level of education. Jesus tells us we can only get what we want from God if we ask for it through Him. Since everything belongs to God, we have to involve Him in our daily lives to attain not only financial freedom but also to free ourselves from the snares of this world. Otherwise, struggles may pitch a tent in our lives. His words “I am the truth and the light; anyone who believes in me shall get saved.” Financial freedom is another wing of salvation from the extreme struggles of life.

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Infidelity – one of the monsters that consume families in broad daylight hit.

Getting married is one thing and maintaining the marriage is another. The pop up of infidelity has often come as a shock to many victims. Betrayal is usually unexpected thus triggering emotional pain from the aggrieved party. You will agree with me that quite a number of the marriages you know have had to bear the pain of infidelity.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to discuss betrayal matters, so many victims suffer in silence. In my research, I realized that it is important to know the exact source of the problem and then deal with it from there. It is not possible to line all of them up here as the list is endless. Some are tiny fragments that flare up into a big issue if not attended. I have only listed five to give you a guideline but expounded on one. You can, however, find the bigger picture of infidelity in this keenly outsourced collection of data from real victims. https://healthysoulties.com/books/infidelity/. Knowing that you have a counterpart who has worn the same shoes and gotten over it is a step in the healing process.

Five causes of Infidelity.

  1. There is often a general talk that seems to support infidelity among peers. Those who easily get carried away find themselves becoming victims of infidelity out of influence.
  2. Material dissatisfaction has led many people into cheating with economic seniors whose wealth prowess is the attraction factor.
  3. Disconnect with God denies victims the wisdom to put together all the pros and cons and come up with a tangible account as a guiding factor against adultery.
  4. Some adulterers feel conquerors when people of the opposite sex run after them. They take advantage of any slight opportunity to get intimate with their easy catches.
  5. The demeaning of one’s partner has adversely attracted betrayal.

The one point I will expound on resonates with the personality of the victim. Only one thing gives him the confidence to cheat on you. His achievements over your stay together period have widened the economic gap between the two of you. As a result, he begins to humiliate you. That is reason number five. I will use a true story to help you get the real picture.

How Irene transformed infidelity into fidelity.

Irene is one woman who has never wanted her marriage to be a statistic among failed marriages. Appearing in the list of broken marriages has never been an option. She always wanted to do anything to keep her marriage alive and for life, like she promised when she uttered her vows on her wedding day. Anytime her husband put her down, that is the first thing that rang in her mind – the vows. She did not want to taint her relationship with God. She only had one option, and that is to keep the marriage. Irene preferred to devise ways to solve the problem rather than run away from it.

How Irene changed her husband’s perspective on her.

It was about ten years into the marriage, and Irene already had three children. They had gained some comfort as a family compared to how they began the marriage. She studied her husband and came to the conclusion that his wealth was the driving factor that led him to infidelity. Her only solution was to counter-attack his wealth to bring sanity in her home.

Irene began to engage in a small business besides her low paying job. When the business gained stability, she quit her job to give it her all. Her concentration in the business grew the income much faster, and within two years, she was able to earn much more than she did while in employment. If you look back, you will agree with me that Irene’s husband was engaging in infidelity based on her inability. He began to have some sense of respect for her and even apologized for earlier events.

Infidelity shines light upon Irene’s family.

As the business expanded, demand superseded the supply yet Irene did not have enough workforce to run the business. It came at a time when her income was way above her husband’s income.  They had since reconciled, and he was keenly following the events of the business. He quit his job to join Irene in the now family business.

Irene’s family today.

Imagine yourself holding a lottery card not knowing that there are one million dollars underneath just awaiting your scratch! Irene was the lottery card for this family. Her husband was holding the lottery card although he scratched it via the pain of infidelity. He accepted that he did it the wrong way and started working together with her to build the family empire. It is now a family of peace, wealth, and comfort.

Warning!

Do not try scratching your lottery card via infidelity. Your spouse’s personality may not be similar to Irene’s. Therefore, the results will not be the same. Yours could end up in total war and lifetime regrets. You can read more facts about infidelity here https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-things-you-must-know-a_b_7247708.

Conclusion.

I am not condoning infidelity but making you understand that a problem can turn out to be your eye-opener. It does not have to be a case of betrayal!

Running away from a crisis has never been a solution. A worse difficulty may find its way into your life. It is wiser to seek God’s wisdom to use your trouble as a bridge to reaching out to the solutions.

Never underestimate your spouse’s ability. She or he may end up being the person that makes your life worth living.

You can transform an infidelity story into something meaningful that goes a long way in helping another person. Someone’s mind could be at a standstill somewhere because his current situation may not allow him to figure out a solution. Your story could be a ‘God sent’ that re-energizes him and provides a solution. Better still, share this post with a friend!

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A jealous God – the secret underneath the gifts of the Holy Spirit

It is not any other god but the same God we serve that referred to Himself as a jealous God. Looking at the Bible references where He uttered these words, the message rotated around idol worship. He simply made it clear that He has no equal; He is supreme.

Some of the weighty scriptures that we cannot afford to ignore are:-

Exodus 20:5; You shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation.

Deuteronomy 6:14-15; You shall not follow other gods such as those of the surrounding nations, lest the wrath of the Lord, your God, flare up against you and He destroys you from the face of the land; for the LORD your God who is in your midst is a jealous God.

In those days, idolatry was composed majorly of worshiping things they could physically see. They owed allegiance to them as their gods. Worshipping false gods is a wide topic that cannot be covered in an article. For that reason, I will concentrate on the relationship between God’s jealousy and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in this article. Firstly, let me break down jealousy into smaller segments to help bring out the affiliation between the jealous God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit clearly.

God’s jealousy in comparison to human jealousy

A practical reminder of the pain Jesus experienced. It justifies His reference to Himself as a jealous God.
A practical reminder of the pain Jesus experienced. It justifies His reference to Himself as a jealous God

In worldly terms, jealousy suggests having feelings of hatred towards someone whose achievements you envy. God, on the other hand, referred to the fury we inflict in Him when we worship other gods. It’s like not recognizing that He is the ruler of the entire universe and His opinion matters the most.

Secondly, we can also compare God’s jealousy to a similar scenario in the case of human beings. A manager in a corporate organization feels the juniors are answerable to him and ought to put him in the know of everything work matters. Parents have the same feelings towards their children. If the juniors do things contrary to expectations, feelings of disrespect will obviously present in the seniors.

Thirdly, when you strike a deal with your landlord and you go against the lease agreement, he is likely to take you to court. The reason being, you understood the content of the lease before you appended your signature. The mentioning of the court suggests that the landlord is obviously annoyed. If he took you in as a tenant without any proper agreement, he will have no choice but to let you go. It is at this point that we can understand how furious God can get. Maybe we can look at it from a home point of view.  

Jesus’ home

We all have homes or houses where we live. There are visitors who don’t gain entry even at the gate. You finalize your talks outside the gate and the major reason being you do not know them at all.

Then there are those who gain entry into the compound. You have a glimpse of who exactly they are but you cannot trust them into your house!

Next, are those who enter the sitting room and the only other room they are free to use is the washroom. You are not yet so attached to one another as there is a stopper.

Lastly, you mingle with others as though you are young children growing up together. I take the example of children because they are blameless and innocent. These visitors enter into rooms in your house as though it is their home and you do not mind.

Looking at it from the human point of view, you realize that a slight disagreement with the very close visitor who knows you in and out pains the most. Jesus feels the same when we have climbed the ladder of attaining the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then entertain the fluff that brings our achievement down. He cannot help it but express His jealous God attribute.

The jealous God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit

There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. For anyone to get to a point where these gifts are part and parcel of his life, I can say without a doubt that he is spiritually mature. You can read this exhaustive article to learn more about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/gifts-of-the-holy-spirit.html

A point to note is that the devil is running after spiritually mature people. He has nothing to do with his easy catches because getting them is a walkover.

Many are the times we attain this level of spiritual maturity then begin to dwindle into thin air after some time. Unfortunately, most people never notice the downward trend until it is late. That is where God begins to express his anger.

When the jealous God gets angry

If I would put words in His mouth, I imagine He would say, “Have you not known me in and out? Why have you chosen to desert me?” It feels extremely painful. God does not feel as much hurt when someone who is not yet so close to Him misbehaves; for instance, the one He addresses outside the house, within the compound.

Even in our cases as human beings, if your son and your brother lose their jobs at the same time, you’ll give your son first priority in job hunting for them. Your sons’ case touches you more than your brothers’ case because of the closeness. He is actually in your kitchen cabinet. God feels the pain too when a member of His kitchen cabinet slips off the kitchen.

If you look at the opposite of these seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, I bet you wouldn’t want to have a second glance.

Five ways to retain the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Our jealous God does not work by himself. He works with each of us independently because He has also apportioned ability in different quantities. You have to be part of this retention; you must do something every day of your life and as much as you eat.

Tithe your prayer time

Prayer and action go hand in hand. They are like a husband and wife in love. One cannot do without the other. A day has 1440 minutes. If you dedicate144 minutes to meet God each day in prayer you will never lose Him.

Religiously adhere to your prayer life

Distractions are part of life. Heeding to those interruptions for no proper reason is one of the devils’ secret ways of making sure you lose the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Scrutinize what interferes with your prayer life and make a wise decision before it is too late.

Pluck off the eye that causes you to sin

You cannot be so naïve to continue keeping the same friend who has interfered with your prayer life several times for no apparent reason. If you were taking him to hospital, well and good. But if you were just going shopping, it’s not worth it. You can’t afford to lose God for him.

Avoid controversy

Arguments always end up messy. Whether you are right or wrong, act like a fool. It is better someone considers you weak as God rejoices, than look powerful as God cries foul.

Allow the jealous God to ring in your mind

When you imagine how jealous God is and the cost of ignoring that jealousy, you will always be on toes, putting God first in your life. Discipline becomes your lifestyle.

The Lord has the final say

Not everyone enjoys housing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. So God has a reason as to why He chose you among many. If there is anything you should avoid like the plague, it is to provoke God.

Ignorance has no defense in court. Do you notice it also has no defense in the spiritual realm? The jealous God gets to a point where He cannot tolerate answers like “I did not know it could turn out that way.” Once you are above average in the spiritual realm, never entertain anything that will drop you down to average because it will eventually take you to below average.  

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Single Mothers array of hope

Single mothers deserve respect
single mothers deserve respect

Single motherhood begins in varied ways depending on the attached circumstances. It’s either pregnancy by naivety, by choice, rape or marriage gone sour. However, my focus here is not to remind single mothers of the pain behind their motherhood but to cheer up that mother who may occasionally feel drained because of her status.

Let your pain not dictate your future

Becoming a single mother is not the end of life, but it is the beginning of another phase of life. It’s normal to occasionally find ourselves in situations where we have to open new chapters in our lives, not necessarily in relationships. What matters most is how we merge the past with the present to come up with a fulfilling future.

If you were to take a survey among those couples whose marriages are admirable, you would realize that they have also gone through some pain in their lives only that it differs from yours.

Single mothers fears and how to overcome

A sense of feeling that every man is a liar creeps into most single mothers’ minds and may stay on for ages. It’s propagated by fear as the saying “once beaten twice shy.” Fear can alter your life making you lose out on the plans God had put in place for you. Other ladies even begin to feel they have made the worst mistake in life. But if I may ask, who has not made a mistake? I’m, sure nobody would own up to being stainless.

To begin a new fulfilling life, it’s important to know God’s opinion of single mothers. God is only asking one question; are you leading a righteous life as a single mother? If your answer is yes, then rest assured God always stands in the gap that your traitor left. His promises endure forever.

Isaiah 54:5-8; Your creator will be like a husband to you, the Lord Almighty is His name. The Holy God of Israel will save you; He is the ruler of all the world. Israel, you are like a young wife, deserted by her husband and deeply distressed. But the Lord calls you back to Him and says: “For one brief moment I left you; with deep love, I will take you back. I turned away angry for only a moment, but I will show you, my love, forever.” So says the Lord who saves you.

Sainthood is open for all

And like one day one time someone will tell your beautiful story of a single mother who met a loving husband and led a happy life with him, why not hear the revitalizing story of Saint Margaret of Cortona! The fact that she faced rejection everywhere did not hinder her from making it to sainthood!

Margaret’s mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother did not quite welcome her. When she was a little aged, she eloped with a man who later died. Her father rejected her together with her son when she returned home. As young as she was, she had to decide what to do next. You can read her amazing story here; https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=234

Margaret’s story and journey to sainthood is an affirmation that single mothers have a place in God’s heart. Allowing anyone or anything to snatch away this privilege denies you a chance to harvest from God’s abundant love.

Overcoming the single mother spiritual fluctuation

Unfortunately, single motherhood may be a constant reminder that somebody somewhere should be taking part in the child’s upbringing. Bad memories are awakened by those times when you are unable to comfortably provide for the child and steal your focus on the Lord. Nevertheless, our heavenly Father who promises to stand in the gap is usually ready to hold your hand up again.

But how!

God has several avenues of doing His work, and He can choose any. He could send you to the Bible or to an ordinary person that you least expect. Solace in the Lord does not have to necessarily come directly from the Bible or the Holy Spirit! God uses His chosen people to speak to others.

It doesn’t have to be a prophet!

You don’t have to tell him your story!

The Lord’s invisible messenger to single mothers

Out of a different conversation, a single phrase would spike your emotions and lift your spirits once again. To be precise, you occasionally need people around you to fill the vacuum. Know where to find the right people and join productive prayer groups that have regular prayer sessions.

Irrespective of how human judges would want to condemn single mothers, God will never do so. A good relationship with God is the foundation of His promise to stand in the gap.

Would you mind sharing your experience as single mothers, where you found comfort and how you overcame judgmental sentiments if any?

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The mystical pain behind my wedding

Sometimes the wonders of life get me by surprise and one of such moments is my wedding. A month never ended before a priest mentioned the importance of solemnizing a marriage in church. For some reason which I did not understand then, the message went out as soon as it got into my ears. A wedding was not my priority. I suppose I just had not opened the entry door to my soul wide enough for Jesus to get in!

The lit-up Sunday

On one Sunday, I had an opportunity to listen to a lady narrate her adoration experience. I seemed to be unusually more attentive on that day. She spoke with a lot of emotion, and I thought; why not give it a try? Unfortunately, my all-over sudden quest was brought down as soon as my desire stepped in. The presiding priest affirmed that only those who receive the Holy Eucharist are allowed to adore the Eucharistic Lord! I got tongue-tied, “where do I start from,” I thought to myself? Giving up has never been part of my life, so I pursued after the mass, and there I was; allowed to attend adoration!

How retreats saved me

Within a few days, our parish hosted an inner healing retreat. I got bruised a second time when the teachings seemed to divide the attendees into two groups. Those who receive the Holy Communion can confess their sins, whereas those who do not should write them on a piece of paper and put them in the allocated container. Why cheat; I considered myself the greatest sinner! After benefitting so much from one retreat after the other, I thought of sharing the benefits with you too. You can find the details in this link. https://healthysoulties.com/product/power-retreats/

I cried on and off, throughout the retreat; not because of how much I got hurt but because of how the urgency of a wedding hit me. Let me admit that the retreat uncorked my brain. When I was over and done with the retreat, I started preparing for my wedding!

My problem was more of connecting with Christ than the glamour almost everyone focuses on! We simply pulled resources and budgeted with what we had. The invitation was via phone. We picked a few committee members whose work was to help us plan for the wedding, and the day eventually came.

It has been years, but every day of my life, I thank God because the wedding is the best gift we ever gave to ourselves. A good thing is better shared so that those in need can benefit from it and that is why I write my story so that it can find and solve as many cases as possible.

I, however, admit that challenges differ from one person to another and have come up with a few common obstacles to many people’s wedding desires. As I explain, I will concentrate on what resonates with my case. 

Four obstacles to wedding desires

  1. Parents may insist on full dowry payment before they okay their daughter’s wedding. Let me not go deeper into this because it involves a third party (parents). Nevertheless, you’re the only one who can know how to deal with the situation since they all differ from culture to culture, spiritual maturity notwithstanding.
  2. Self-denial. Wanting to be what you are not can keep you in a come-we-stay marriage for years. One thing I believe is that you can spend as much money as you have or as little as you can afford to wed. Remember you can only scratch your back up to a certain point and the wedding is all about your relationship with God and not what your relatives, friends, neighbors or colleagues think about it.
  3. Your partner may be least interested in the wedding, thus requiring greater wisdom to deal with the situation.   
  4. Ignorance of the importance of a wedding.

To be honest, I was a bit ignorant; I did not give a wedding the importance it deserved. When I saw the light, I knew buying time would kill the morale and take me back to that comfort zone I wanted to leave. Whatever people thought was not my problem but rather my relationship with Christ.

As I give a snippet of my story, I encourage couples who have not yet recognized the secrets behind a church wedding to dig deeper and get to know what they are missing. My wedding was one of the simplest, but the aftermath effect is a long, interesting story for another day.

Financial implications

Many are the times we get lost in perceiving a wedding to be one of the most costly events. I have met several couples who tag their prospective weddings to a specific cash figure. My case was unique. I was all over sudden desperate to receive the Holy Eucharist, and nothing was going to stop me from getting there as you can tell from the expenditure as listed!

There were no wedding cards!

No ladies and gents in the lineup; just the four of us; we and our best couple!

A few witnesses involved!

No white or cream dress!

Caterers did not have an opportunity to make money!

No hired reception venue!

We did not need to hire tents and chairs!

No hired entertainment band!

A sizable cake enough for the visitors was good enough; no seven-tier cake!

No debts!

Cheap is not a sin

My dress cost me five thousand Kenya shillings; shoes seven hundred Kenya shillings and veil Kenya shillings five hundred, to mention a few! If you want a cheap but fabulous wedding, find more tips here. https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001291115/how-to-have-your-dream-wedding-on-a-low-budget

If only I had a video trail to attach! From the video, you would realize it just looks like one of those big weddings apart from the not-white dress, which is conspicuous! However, friends and relatives will never fail to unleash surprises.

By the way, most people who have seen my wedding photos ask one question. Why did you decide to wear a normal dress? My answer is always simple; we need to have a proper appointment for you to understand my choice because it’s not just a quick answer.

Donations

The sacredness of a marriage is sealed on the wedding day.
My small wedding with lots of unexpected gifts

One of our friends wouldn’t imagine a wedding without flowers. She took it upon herself to incur the costs. The cars, hotel, and the church had quite some decorations courtesy of her contribution.

Another friend wondered how the event would look like without entertainment. He veered in with entertainers who made the occasion more interesting.

You must be wondering if people had something to eat, considering we had no caterers. We booked space and lunch for the small expected number in a hotel. To seal the deal, the cash presents were good enough to pay the bill!

Besides, God will always send His people to give support where He sees a loophole for as long as it is all for His glory. He is the same God who converted water to wine at the wedding in Cana!

My final thoughts

Someone out there is in the situation I was in when I badly needed to receive the Holy Communion. I would say give your desire to wed a different approach and see what happens. Minimize your demands! Leave the world alone and focus on God! Without a doubt, slanderers must talk irrespective of whether the wedding is small or big! It has not deterred us from getting to where we are today; it, in fact, hastened the process.

God says; come the way you are, so, go down the aisle the way you are! You may not see the need until you are in a situation similar to what the Israelites experienced in Egypt. The Egyptians in your case are all the forces that are trying to make sure you don’t marry in the church; rest assured they exist even if you cannot identify them. Why wait? A wedding is like Moses striking the red sea for the Israelites (you) to get to the Promised Land.

A copy of this book will undoubtedly go a long way in enlightening you on marriage and wedding matters that seal the deal as the saying “till death do us part” comes true. https://healthysoulties.com/product/secrets-matrimonial-bliss/

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Christian Religious Leaders on trial – the tales of the life of a priest

Christian religious leaders are servants of God tasked with the responsibility of guiding the flock. We cannot talk about leadership without mentioning their lives. The two have to go hand in hand. No life; no leadership! Separating their lives and responsibilities is like talking about the Holy Spirit without pointing out sin! The same temple (our souls) that ought to house the Holy Spirit sometimes harbors sin instead!

I know you are not here to find out how to help someone else. It was all for your good. But did you know that the answer to your problem may lie underneath doing a simple thing for someone else? Burdening yourself with someone else’s load stores up treasures for you. It’s just a matter of time and you will be able to harvest the rewards. Look at this verse!

Jeremiah 29:7 – Work for the good of cities where I have made you prisoners. Pray to me on their behalf because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too.

Religious leaders and social life

The general perception is that religious leaders are exempted from sin; which is not the case! They live in the same world; use the same vehicles; visit the same malls and interact with fellow human beings at different levels of their duties! They are not in some world of their own presumably between earth and heaven! As Satan hovers around, religious leaders are bound to experience the same challenges as the rest of us! The devil tries his tricks on them too only that their spiritual maturity helps guard them more than most of us!

I’m not trying to justify any mistake made by church leaders. But when we make a fuss out of our own understanding of any issue at hand, we lose something.  My point is; let us not hype too much when we hear a religious leader has stumbled. As Christians, we have a job towards the stability of our leaders.

If you occasionally trip, what makes you think the religious leaders are saints? Remember slipping doesn’t only mean physically engaging in an inappropriate activity; it could just be a spoken word! I have never understood why a Christian would opt to tear a church minister into pieces because of a mistake! You will agree with me that it is a common phenomenon.

The truth about spiritual leaders

They understand God more than we think. While we are busy spreading a rumor about a priest, God heartily accepted his repentance. The priest may be so gifted to the extent that none of his mistakes goes unnoticed. He confesses as soon as he commits the offense!

Do you know what that does to him?

It keeps the Holy Spirit and the man of God bumper to bumper. His spiritual life is under lock and key. He seals any loopholes before the devil discovers them.

A priest presiding over mass.

Isn’t he smart!

It’s unfortunate that we may not realize how such defamatory statements affect our lives. The more we malign the religious leaders, the sweeter it becomes and the wider the gap between God and us. Is it not a sin to defame their character irrespective of whether they are right or wrong? Imagine what we do to that person who is struggling to grow his faith and admires that particular minister as his mentor! We break him into pieces and push him away from the church. Would we then sit back and expect God to happily answer our prayers? That is food for thought.

Refer to these scriptures

We may unknowingly suffer the consequences of mistakes we could have easily avoided. Here are some Bible references concerning the character assassination of religious leaders. Sometimes I like to call the Bible a power bank because it answers purely every question about our relationship with religious leaders.

Religious leaders power bank
Religious leaders power bank

Numbers 12:9-16: Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses. A dreaded skin disease immediately sprouted on Miriam’s body. Aaron began to plead with Moses on her behalf but she had to face the wrath. Numbers 12:7-8 sends chills to my body. It says; It is different when I speak with my servant Moses; I have put him in charge of all my people Israel. So I speak to him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he has even seen my form! How dare you speak against my servant Moses?

Numbers 21:5-9: When Israelites spoke against God and Moses, the Lord sent poisonous snakes. Many Israelites died out of the snake bites. Moses pleaded for the Israelites and God came to their rescue. Do you notice it is the same Moses they spoke ill about interceding for them!

2 Kings 2:23-24: Two she-bears tore forty-two of the boys who mocked Elisha to pieces. Elisha was a prophet through whom God performed one of the greatest miracles of the time. He made impure water pure and since then, there were no more calamities associated with that water. (2 Kings 20-22).

Cautionary Scriptures

1 Chronicles 16:22 – Don’t harm my chosen servants; do not touch my prophets. This is basically a warning repeated two times in the Bible with exactly the same words as you can see below.

Psalms 105:15: Don’t harm my chosen servants; do not touch my prophets.

David, on the other hand, said; “the Lord forbid that I should try to harm the one whom the Lord has made a king!” (1 Samuel 26:11). He was referring to Saul. I suppose we should be as careful as David. What we say about our priests should never destroy any single soul including our own. David’s obedience to God is one to reckon considering he was one of God’s favorites.

How do we help our religious leaders?

It’s hard to be a leader because we often expect too much from leaders. We queue at their offices with our baggage seeking solutions to our problems. Protocol demands that they give service irrespective of whether something may be amiss or not. You and I can share our challenges unlike them! The same concept of a parent and child applies. No matter what we may be experiencing, we have to be strong for our kids.

Facts about church leaders

The more we expand our network, the more enemies we make. A church minister is a public figure with a large network. He may know a few people but the fact that he is known to many certainly exposes him to the evil one. Wickedness tries its best to reach out to the intended person and only gives up if it finds a barrier.

How lovely would it be to know our prayers are included in that barrier? Not forgetting that we also get a piece of the cake!

Furthermore, religious leaders are human and they are therefore vulnerable to temptations. As we cry out to God for our sick, let’s keep in mind that spiritual disability is the worst of illnesses. It goes without saying that if a leader is spiritually sick; his followers are likely to become victims too. What would the world be like with crippled church leadership? On a serious note, religious leaders need our prayers.

I have saturated your mind with tons of verses that condemn the demonization of religious leaders. Whether it is new to you or it’s a reminder, too much inspiration without correction is like trying to fill a broken bucket with water. If you walk in the path of light, darkness will fear you. It calls for religious life on our part to be able to understand how exactly we should handle religious leaders. Most or if not all of my books are guidelines on this sensitive matter. You can check them out here. https://healthysoulties.com/books/