Posts Tagged ‘Eternal life’

…as you say!

Be very careful when a naked person offers you a shirt – African proverb

First of all, how can someone give you something they don’t have themselves and secondly, why are they not wearing that shirt? Clearly, if it’s good for you, it will surely be good for them because you are both naked. It’s like food, if someone doesn’t want to eat something, but insists that you eat it; you get suspicious or eat it with discontentment in your heart knowing that this poor person is also hungry yet they are giving you all their food. The intention may be good, but the reception may not be entirely perceived in the same manner, it usually comes with a bit of an after taste if accepted at all. Parents may be an exception to the material application of this principle but not in its entirety.

A parent will go hungry for their children any day, however as the children grow older, they may not be as accepting of this sacrifice and will insist on sharing. The predicament comes when the parent lays out rules that they do not follow themselves. Most parents would say “do as I say and not as I do”. You use bad language, gossip, are untidy, stingy, lazy, etc. while preaching the opposite to your children. It’s not rocket science that your children will probably turn out like you. You cannot teach them something you don’t know yourself.

Another great example is a relationship. You must really be afraid of someone who doesn’t love themselves and yet claim they love you. This person overworks themselves, they don’t deal with hurt in their lives, tolerates disrespect from all and sundry, puts absolutely everyone and everything ahead of him/herself. They basically do not take care of their bodies and well being, either by living a risky lifestyle or engaged in other self destructive behavior. Now tell me how can this person give you love, which is; patient, kind, gentle, non-envious, etc.? Because of the inadequacy within themselves, their idea of love is distorted from the onset and what they consider love may be a very dysfunctional realty. Unfortunately you end up trying as hard as you can to “understand” this persons’ distorted definition of love and that is where abuse begins.

Unless someone does something themselves, it is not easy for anyone to follow their example. It is in our nature to judge others by their actions and only judge ourselves by our intentions. The world is not going to change by what you are planning to do, it is only what you actually do, and well so, that will change it. A manager, who knows absolutely nothing about the role and is not even trying to change, cannot expect you to shoot the lights out. That not only leaves you disgruntled, but you lose respect very quickly for that person. They don’t have the ‘work-hard’ shirt themselves, but they expect you to wear it, cleaned-and-ironed everyday. At times, the manager does manage to make you to comply, but, this usually comes through some intimidating re-enforcements. This is damaging in the long run, more to themselves than to you, interestingly.

Most importantly, we need to apply this principle on a very personal level and allow it to shape our characters. Before you expect something out of other people, please make sure you posses it yourself. No matter how many lies you tell yourself to believe that you are exhibiting certain noble traits, people can see right through your nakedness. You can fool some people sometimes, but not everyone all the time. It’s not good enough to think and speak your truth; you need to live it as well. Wearing the shirt is no easy task, I know, it takes intention, discipline and perseverance. We are not all born with brilliant traits, in fact we have had to learn these over time and the learning never stops. To build credibility, you need to do what is required of you, from yourself and towards those you have committed to deliver to. Doing as you have promised, when you promised it – consistently, will make others respect and consider you honorable. I read in one book that: Holiness is when what you think, what you do and what you say are in perfect harmony.

Self-leadership is key to you getting to the next level in life. How you lead yourself will determine how others perceive and treat you. It is absolutely necessary for us to be able to be great leaders; leaders of our homes, companies, children, teams, and the world.

Proverbs 18 vs 3

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity”

Life begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

comfort-zone

Just like when we are born. The moment we leave the comfort of our mother’s womb, life begins. The comfort of being carried, fed, warmth, safety and being thought for ends. Then, only then, do our real lives begin. Our lives take on that same cycle of growth throughout lifetimes. Our comfort has to be compromised for us to rise to the next level. It’s our nature, we learn through pain or passion.

Allow me to illustrate

 

As a child, you learn to walk learn because you are frustrated with not being able to reach the many things that make you so curious. You endure the discomfort of falling many times because you know, once you get it right, your life will never be the same again. As a teenager you fast learn that to stop people from bullying you, you have to stand up for yourself, find your own voice. It forces you to overcome your fear of conflict or confrontation. As a young adult you know that for you to get your degree/diploma, you have to forgo your comforts of sleeping and passivity and strive hard to get what you need to get. We all know what happens to those chaps that attempt an easy way out of varsity; they either dropped out, or kept on repeating years until they got their work ethic right. There’s just no other way.

 

Challenging our comfort zones, has taught me 3 things about life;

 

  1. Grow, or die. If a plant is not growing, it’s dead. If you insist on your comfort, you are slowly dying an invisible death inside. When you bask too much in the comfort of your achievement, your ambition dies. If you get comfortable with your partner and assume their affection\attention will remain perpetual without any extra effort from you, well, sooner or later, their excitement for you will eventually die.

 

  1. Life will repeat the same lessons until we learn what we need to know. Only then will we graduate to the next level of thinking, being and succeeding. Ever wondered why the same life experiences keep on happening to you? It’s like there’s something you do that invites these experiences. In Eastern texts they attribute it to your karma or darma that you need to fulfill before life can present you with new experiences. You need to either change your mentality, they way you do things or interact with the world. You need to learn; otherwise you will repeat that grade in life over, and over again. Unfortunately most people are never aware of what hinders them within themselves and they get stuck on the same level for most of their lives

 

Lastly, I have learnt that once you know something, you know it! No one or anything can take it away from you. It becomes embedded in your character because you have gone out of your way to attain it. As a child you only have to learn to walk once and that’s it! You only learn once (the hard way) that nothing good comes easy and from there on you appreciate the good things your have and are weary of the ones to come too easily. If you’re not ready to grow, then you’re not in enough pain.

Life is a continual journey. As we grow physically, we also evolve mentally, spiritually and metaphysically. Nothing is a hindrance to your development except yourself. The only competition you have in life right now is your thinking and attitude towards life. Everyday presents an opportunity for growth, no matter how small. Staying in comfort will not open you up to new ways of thinking and risk stagnation.

 

Be alert. Life is a test from when we are born until we die. Because, think about it; had you resisted exiting your mother’s womb when circumstances required you to do so, you would be dead. And be still born.

#Ayashisamateki: New Beginnings

So lately my weekends have been spent up and about jozi streets, looking for worthy children to benefit from the Ayashisamateki project. By worthy I mean: they are younger than 20, are not completely drowning in drugs and they can show me where they stay and tell me a bit more about themselves. I’ve spent time with street children (and adults) in Berea, Hilbrow, Braamfontein, Jozi.

I have, however, developed a special bond with the young boys living under the Mandela Bridge. Mostly because they are the first group I was introduced to by my friend Alex who visits them regularly and they have the youngest age group living there (as young as 11). So I’ve grown to know some of them personally, and when I get left-over food donations around town I take it to them. Engaging with these young men has taught me something very important about life: If something is meant to happen, it will happen. And, you can only help people that want to be helped- you cannot force your compassion on other.

So when I first saw the 11 year old boys at the bridge, I collected their names for shoe sizes with the rest of the group. However they were so tiny that my heart didn’t allow me to leave them behind so I arranged to take them to the orphanage in Mofolo that I have I have been supporting for the past year. We begged the little boys to come with me so they can be fed and warm and we were already making plans to get them to school. One was very reluctant, but *Tom (not his real name) who is from Limpopo wanted to go to the shelter and was excited to leave the street. They spent 2 days at the orphanage and on the 3rd day they stole money (R50) and ran away-back to the street. About a week later, I went to collect Tom again who admitted he was influenced by the other boy and wants to go back to the home. When we got there he was so happy to see the Gogo and hugged her like she was his mother. I felt our mission was accomplished and a young child will get to be taken care of, go to school and find his family. A day later I got a call from the older guys at the bridge telling me Tom was back. I was sad. But oh well, I tried.

At the same bridge I had met another young man (Boyza), however he was 21 years old and wasn’t my primary concern really as the little ones had captured all my attention. Boyza only had 1 request: He wanted to go back home to Qwaqwa. He came to Joburg with his mother when he was young. At age 9, his mom left where they were visiting as though to go to the shops nearby and she never came back for him. So at that tender age he was forced raise himself and live on the street. With that said, when you come across him today you can never tell he lives under a bridge. He washes and gets piece jobs washing and parking cars to have some decent clothes.

I had given my number to an elder boy Lebo, to contact me as he was helping me move around jozi to find beneficiaries (esp girls) and it helps to walk the streets with a street wise person. So about a week after Boyza asked me for money to go home, he took my number from Lebo and called me to remind me about his request. I told him I will make a plan after we distribute the shoes (as he might also get a pair). My biggest worry about this was that; what if he gets the money and doesn’t go home? Or if he does get to Qwaqwa and finds no one home or he can’t even remember his way there. After all I was there to buy them shoes, not to be a social worker. This was just tricky.

On Sunday morning, Boyza called me again, this time almost in tears. He told me he got stabbed the previous night and he is tired of the street life, he desperately wants to go home. He is not even willing to wait for his new pair of shoes from Ayashisamateki. He wanted to go. I think he called me 6 times that day. So my friend Alex agreed to accompany me to see them on Tuesday evening. And Boyza showed me his scars (not too bad) and he was still on that going home tip. He assured us that he remembers his way back and will try his best to get his life together. He said he realises that if he keeps moving with the street motions he will either end up dead or be like the dirty old men that eat from dustbins and he didn’t want that.

I gave in eventually and Alex was willing to accompany him to the taxi the following day. I agreed to help save his life from danger only of he allows me to tell him how his soul can also be saved. I introduced him to Jesus Christ and he was delighted to meet Him. He told me he loves going to church but was never sure if he’s saved. This was a brand new start for him, and He now had the Lord of all on his side to face this new chapter. I was beyond happy. We started planning how he’s gonna start a vegetable garden at home while he looks for work. He asked that I organise him a small bag for his clothes so he doesn’t get home with plastic bags and maybe an extra pair of shoes to see him through the next months as the ones he had were almost finished. Again, I said i’ll make a plan and we parted. What happened from here on was both out of this world and humbling.Bye Boyza

At home I managed to find him a small bag my brother didn’t use anymore. In it I packed him some oranges for the trip, a motivational Christian book and a t-shirt. On Wednesday morning I went to the storage where we keep the Ayashisamateki donations to get him some socks and possibly shoes. To my surprise, I found a fresh pair of Puma sneakers (donated recently as it was sitting on top of a packed pile), and they were exactly his size! Brother Alex came to collect the bag and transport money (obtained from the shoe donations- thank you guys). His fare was R 170 and I gave him an extra R50 for pocket money.

Alex walked him to the taxi rank. Got him onto the taxi, paid the driver and wrote Boyza’s details down and they said their goodbyes. Just make sure he was indeed serious about going back, Alex waited by a corner somewhere for 10 mins and afters seeing that Boyza didn’t run of, he went back for the final, final goodbye. To his surprise when he got to the taxi he found another man sitting next to and talking to Boyza. This man thanked Alex for paying this young man’s fare to go to Qwaqwa. I turned out the guys is Boyza’s uncle and they have been looking for him years on end. And there he was in the same taxi, going to the same house with him. Immediately he called home and told them he was coming home with a special somebody. If this is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Alex had this to say about Boyza’s trip: “I have never seen Boyza take such bold strides. He is walking tall, confident, smiling with no clue what to expect when he gets to a place he calls home. The streets are all the love he has ever known. They; embraced him, Hugged him, Protected him, Abused him, Yet comforted him.”

All along I have been trying to help kids that don’t want to be helped (or don’t know any better), while there was someone who needed the help and was ready to receive it. Yes, Alex and I happened to be at the right place at the right time to help Boyza, but already His help had been prepared by the Lord. For many are the plans in a man’s heart, but only God’s will prevails. I don’t believe any of this is coincidence, it was pre-destined and God had set His eyes on Boyza’s life way before we came into the picture. He is indeed sovereign.

As for Tom, I’ve sort of given up on him; he’ll find help when he’s ready. Even though I’m a person that looks at world through my heart, I haven’t got time for games; I honestly have way better things to do with my love. I want to thank Brother Alex for introducing me to guys and walking this journey with me. To Sis Mpume Myeza; thanks for creating the atmosphere for Boyza to share his request and a bigger thank you to everyone that donated to the project which ultimately help give Boyza a new beginning. As for me, everyone says the Lord will bless me for reaching out to the destitute, I say: I am already blessed with the honour of being God’s hands and feet. That He entrusts me with His children and He gives me so much love that it overflows.

#Ayashisamateki clearly isn’t about shoes, but lives.

Blessings!

 

PS: I got a call from Boyza on Thursday morning telling me he arrived safely. He told me he was on his was to get information at a local FET to learn welding. It will definitely take a while for him re-integrate to his community. But he will never spend another night on the street. Mission accomplished!

What does it mean to you?

There was a man who had 2 dogs (one black, the other white) and he had these on 2 separate chains. When feeding time came, the owner would unleash the black dog to go and eat as much as it can and then as soon as it’s almost finished the food, the white dog was unleashed to go eat. Poor white dog will scramble for whatever is left while it’s still being intimidated by the black one. When the owner now puts these dogs to fight, obviously the black dog will win because it is much stronger. These 2 dogs signify who we are, the black dog is your flesh and the white dog is you spirit. More often than not we do things that feel “comfortable” and “fun” even though we know they’re wrong “for the good I will to do I do not do, but the evil I will not to do I practice” Romans 8vs 19. So you see these 2 dogs are at war with each other and the black one wins most of the time because it is well fed. That’s why you find that when people are pop-dronk, they start singing hymms and church songs, this is because the spirit sees that the body is now weak and cannot fight against it, so it also tries to feed itself by worshiping its creator.

 You need to feed the spirit with God’s word and to eat off the spirit, you need to be born off it. So dear friends you are either, here or there. It’s either you are with God or not (which is against him). Remember that darkness does not exist, yes there’s so such thing as darkness. A place with no light is in darkness, therefore darkness only exists because there is no light. And Christ said “I am the way, the truth and the light, and no one will come to the Father except through me”.  We celebrate Easter; to accept and commemorate the grace that God has granted us through Jesus since He loves us so much. Actually he’s a very cool God, see how he gave you 5 day’s leave in the middle of the year through his grace in Christ Jesus. Love Him 🙂

John 3, gives a clear illustration of darkness and light. It gives an understanding of what it means to live in the spirit and living in the flesh. For the white dog (spirit) to be strong and grow, it needs to be the primary pet in this household. You need to be born off the spirit to live in the spirit, for human flesh cannot comprehend nor handle the things of the spirit. Let’s read the words of Jesus:

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

Walking in the light, means accepting and doing all things through God and we can only experience light if we accept the light of the world who came to reveal the Father to us. Jesus, brought a pinch of heaven to earth when He was here. Heaven is calm, peaceful, full of trust, light, hope, love and most importantly it is where God resides. Jesus taught us how to relate with God and experience the fullness of His love. He did not come to remind us how evil we are, instead He gave us an understanding that our very nature is sinful and we need to be born off the spirit for us to walk in wholeness and be one with the spirit of God.

If you say Christ is not the son of God and He did not come to redeem the human race, what makes you think what you believe will be bring you closer to God? Do you feel close to him right now? How do you know  what you have to do to stay there? You see being born again, means being born off the spirit which is one with God’s spirit. The Holy Spirit (which Christ left with us when He went up to heaven) teaches us all things and guides us in all our ways. It intercedes on our behalf and gives us discernment. God did not give up His son to condemn, but to redeem and if you reject the light then it means your darkness is just bright enough for you and you do not wish for a brighter light to shine in your darkest places. (Luke 3 vs 16) “John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” John was speaking about Jesus, so we do need Jesus in our lives so we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I bear testimony that in all the wisdom I thought I had, I could never feel the peace I now know since I am in Christ. There is a wholeness that comes with being born again. The words from God’s mouth fill me with even more life and I thank Him for making a way out for me out of the darkness. I believe Jesus Christ is the light of the world as He brought me light. If the miracle of the cross did not happen, I really don’t know where I would be. My heart would be fixed on the things of this earth, which will soon pass away. But Jesus came and told us the truth and taught us what really matters in life. Yes He knows because He was here before the earth was and will be there after it passes away, and guess, what? We will all be there to share eternity with Him; Only if we believe.

All these things were revealed to me by the Lord, only He opens our spiritual ears that we may hear and understand the things of the spirit. If you are unsure about anything, just kneel down and pray. Ask Him all you need to know and He will be faithful to answer. God takes delight when we enquire about His ways, He sees your yearning for truth and will honor it. As you draw close to Him, He will draw closer to you. And you don’t need to change anything in your life before you do, because Salvation is not about Perfection, but Transformation (Romans 12 vs 2).

Have a safe break and do take time to remember why Easter is celebrated. This time is not about you, but God, in fact everything is for His glory, but that’s a story for another day. Remember that He loved you enough to die for you and I also love you very much that is why I wish for you to share in the joy and hope that is in me.

 I am grateful for Easter, because it has granted me a personal relationship with my Creator, who gives purpose to my life, sustains me, provides for me, forgives, loves and protects me (Jeremiah 29vs11). What does it mean to you?

PS: Feel free to drop me a mail on Noluthando@1635media.co.za  should you need further guidance.