Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Only Girl Syndrome

Backgroud: As a little girl, my one wish was to have a big sister. I imagined how it would be like having someone to set a standard for me, to advise me and to do “whatever sisters do” with. I would always think of my non-existent sister every time I was tasked to do chores (I still do). I would imagine how fun it would have been if I had someone to help. But with time, I got over my imaginations and accepted the fact that big sister wasn't there.

My experience as the only girl in the family is great! I get more than enough attention (if I'm not up early enough, it doesn't go without notice). If I'm not in the kitchen when my mom gets home from work there will be a lot of explaining to do. If my mom isn't home, then I have to make sure that everyone is well fed and happy. (I am also known as - the second mom.)

However the not so great side is being mislabeled. Most people’s first impression of me is that I am a spoilt brat (spoilt brat even sounds like my middle name now). My background and upbringing is quite unique from most people. Being the only girl and middle child, I grew up in an environment where I set my own standards without pressure of meeting any expectations. (There was never anyone my parents could compare me with.)

I might appear like that child that gets everything they want whenever they ask. But trust me, everything I have I had to work for (one way or the other). My mom is a bit lenient on this, but with my dad, you have to give a reason why you deserve whatever you are asking for. (Imagine finding a good reason why you need $1 calling credit or airtime, which is not talking to friends).

Some might take my not being a fan of crowds as a sign of being a snob. But the truth is, I was never allowed to leave home and go anywhere as I please. The first time I ever went for a movie was when I was in University. I remember one time when I asked my dad (way in advance) to go for ice cream with my friends, he didn't say yes or no. But the next day he came home with four or five 5 litre tubs of ice cream (judging from that, my answer was a big No). I asked to go for a movie once and I was asked what movie I wanted to watch that wasn't showing on DSTV. I never attended any parties. I have never been to any sleep over. I was never exposed to most places where young people hang out. (hence my idea of going out is CHURCH!)

I whine a lot! But that doesn't mean I want anyone to deal with my problems. My dad tolerates my whining (never my mom) but his policy is “I can tolerate your whining as long as you realise that after your ‘whining show’ you are going to get the work done.” (When you hear me whine, I probably miss my dad, nothing much, and you are not expected to do anything about it.)

Moral of the Story: It's always good to first understand why someone does certain things or acts in a particular manner before you can label them (if you really have to). Heaven will definitely not have people who are just like you in every aspect, so practice to be more accommodative and show a great deal of tolerance to those who are different from you. 



Monday, 23 November 2015

Saying No to Emotions!

Jesus taught that, it is our responsibility to say no to those things which appeal to our fallen nature. We have a choice to choose the master that governs our lives. We can even sit down and make up our own rules if we so choose, but one fact must be clearly understood; we will never get to heaven by that route.

If we are saved, IT WILL BE ON GOD'S TERMS ALONE! 

We must be conscious of the fact that, every time we make a decision, its either we are following emotions or conviction, impulse or principle, Christ or Satan. 

Moral of the Story: Satan always makes the path of sin attractive. Right and wrong can never be tested by what it looks like, feels like or tastes like. Satan spoke flattering words which appealed to Eve's ego and vanity. What she heard and saw influenced her feelings to such a degree that she became blinded to right and wrong.

[This post is based on Chapter 4 of the book Enemy At The Gate by Joe CrewsCLICK HERE to read posts in this series.]


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Holiness by Separation

End of 2014, I started a series based on the book Enemy At The Gate by Joe Crews. CLICK HERE to view posts in this series. 

This post is based on the third chapter entitled - "Getting rid of the Enmity."

The Bible designates two things which are at absolute enmity with God. Firstly, "the carnal mind is enmity against God" ~ Romans 8:7. Secondly, "friendship of the world is enmity with God" ~ James 4:4.

These two verses scream out the concept of 'holiness by separation'. To love the world is to be an enemy of God. Basing our lives of the carnal mind is to be separated from Him. Here are two relationships which cannot co-exist. It must be one or the other.

Moral of the Chapter: Like many stories in the Old Testament, the story of Samson teaches us that, we cannot gain victory over a foe that we secretly admire. We can not mingle with the impure and remain pure. We can not tease and trifle with sin without be contaminated.



Saturday, 21 November 2015

Conversations with my Dad

I love talking to my dad. Every time I talk to him via Email or Whatsapp, my spirit is uplifted. Even the simplest conversation will leave me glowing. (He just has that effect on me.) He is more than just a dad, he is a friend. When your dad makes it to your friendship circle then that is special.

I know I can talk to him about anything and everything. He is always willing to advise based on his own experience. (Yes, even guy issues!) I have grown to trust him to the extent that, before I make any important decisions I always seek his counsel. Sometimes when I pray, I even ask God to answer me through my dad. (And he always does!)

I have also noticed that, if lets say Person X tells me to do something, many a time, I will find a good reason not to BUT if my dad advises me to do the same thing, chances are, I will definitely do it, maybe not immediately but eventually. (This has taught me that, for me to be able to obey God’s word, I should first love him.)

Moral of the Story: The reason for all this is simple. It is all because I know my him, I love him and I have established a trust relationship with him. In like manner, God is calling us to take time to know him. It's only after knowing someone that we can be able to love and trust them. God wants to be our friend. He wants us to be able to talk to him about anything and everything. He is always willing and ready to advise us through his word, only if we let him. (My prayer is for nothing less than for you to love Jesus more!)


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I have a friend #1

I have a friend - Zvikomborero Murwira

This lady has been nothing short of a blessing to me. (Her first name actually means blessings - the irony!) She is that type of person that you know if you are close to her, then your spiritual graph is bound to go up (by beholding you become changed).

When I first interacted with her, I felt so much love. You know when you just know that this person loves you? That's exactly how I felt with her. Because of that love, I was inclined to also give out the same love (only by love is love awakened).

She has touched my life in many ways. The way she loves Jesus, motivates me daily. She is just one of those friends that I know have my best interest at heart. She is that person that you know, if she can't assist you personally, she is definitely talking to Jesus about it.

She has been a direct answer to my unsaid prayers. Some days when I felt like not going to church, she would randomly call telling me that we’re meeting outside in 5 minutes to go to church. (In my head I would just say - Really God? You just had to!) Those days when I am feeling low, she would randomly send a relevant word of encouragement. Just yesterday (17 Nov 2015), she randomly called me to share a verse in Matthew which talks about not worrying about tomorrow and leaving all cares to Jesus. (This was at a time when I was wondering if I will survive the coming exams on the 18th, 19th and 20th of November.) When you have a friend like her, there is definitely no room to doubt God’s existence.

Moral of the Story: Your friends have the power to influence you for good or for ill. Sometimes your journey heavenward is hanging on your friendship circle. The journey is not meant to be easy, but it can be lightened by the right choice of close associates. (Question - Are you honouring God in your choice of associates?)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Feminist?

I have heard of the phrase that says, “what other people think of you is none of your business.” I agree with that statement to some extent but (in reality) I actually care about what people think of me.

They say “righteousness within testifies righteousness without” so if I profess to be a Christian (Christ-like), I also expect people around me to think of me likewise. If they don't, I strongly believe there is a possibility of a flaw in my character that needs to be fixed (okay, let's say sometimes).

A personal illustration: I have been labeled a feminist on a couple of occasions. Some have even used that fact to explain my “failed” relationships.

The truth is, I'm very far from being a feminist. I am actually ‘old-fashioned’ to the extent that, I believe the man is the head of the house and the wife ought to be submissive. I don't believe in gender equality, not because women can't do certain things or are too weak but simply because God assigned different roles to them.

Analogy: Take the human body for instance, it is one body but the different parts were assigned different roles. The mouth is for eating and the ear for hearing but they both serve one body. It's as simple as that.

I don't hate men. I have nothing against them. I actually believe men can be real darlings (from my experience with my dad, brothers, uncles and some friends). But of course, there is a kind that I would rather have being as far away from me as possible. The kind that will take my sensitivity for granted. That will mistake my being tolerant to being desperate. That will think my life revolves around them.


Moral of the Story: One lesson I learnt in life is that, being single is not a chronic illness. If I am not getting the same respect that I believe everyone deserves, then I certainly don't mind walking away. It will hurt me YES, but i would rather go through pain for a short while than for the rest of my life. If that is being a feminist, then I happily accept the label.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Happy and Sensitive

At a ‘Night with God’ (aka all night prayer meeting), everyone was asked to say two words, one positive and one negative, that best describes them. For me the first two that came to mind were ‘Happy and Sensitive.’

From those two, the speaker rightfully pointed out the type of person I was. He said I am generally a happy person. I expect everyone to be happy, and if someone is not happy, I get emotionally disturbed. (I would not have said it any better.)

When I started High School, I got the “ever smiling” award. Right now, I often get questions like, “Nontie do you ever get sad or mad?” Shockingly enough, the answer to that is YES! Just not in the eyes of many. When I'm sad, hurt, sick or unhappy, I almost always attempt to keep the smiling face on. It's not easy but I always tell myself that “it's not about you Nontie, its about the next person that will have their day made by your smile.”

Moral of the Story: Sometimes the best way to overcome negative emotions is by stepping out of your shoes, and considering how your grumpy, unhappy self will affect the people around you. You might be going through the hardest moment in your life and all hope seems to have been lost, BUT instead of focusing on your struggles, aim to make the next person’s struggle easier to bear. Give them a Smile. Ask how they are doing. Pray with and for them. And trust me, your load will lighten up. The moment you focus on self, you will notice all the things that are going wrong. But when you shift your attention to others, you will find all the reasons to praise God.

Friday, 13 November 2015

I have a brother #1

I have a brother - Blessing Chitsato

One of many but this one is different. He holds a special place in my heart. Despite not being from the same tummy, it feels awkward to not think of him as a biological brother. Every time I talk to him, my heart always melts. We talk about anything and everything. He is one of my strongest support system. His life, his marriage, his family, his example, reminds me of how God can always make things happen for his faithful children. The day they announced that he was made ‘Elder’ at church, I subconsciously screamed. I can't even explain the joy, the excitement I felt on that day.

The way we relate to each other is as if we literally grew up in the same home (that is special). The connection is too deep, it can only be one that is sanctioned by heaven.

[Author’s interjection: On that note, I am reminded of his heartfelt response to my “Happy New Year” message on January 1, 2015.]

I can't recall it word to word, but if my memory serves me right, I said something like “I know we are not blood related, but it really feels like we are” and I was thanking him for being a great brother. Then he said something along the lines of us being related through the blood of Jesus. I can't remember the exact words of that message, but I know it made me drop a tear. I could not believe the love. (Side-note: I cry whenever I experience love that is too deep).

Moral of the Story: Because of the love that is shown to me, I am also encouraged to give out love. Not only to those who love me but to someone out there. Someone who has never experienced being loved, being appreciated. It's only through love, that love is awakened. And I learnt that, love is not love until you give it away. 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Current Favourites

Here are a few pointers to my heart. (Side-note: my favorites change depending on the occasion, that's why one has to LOVE Jesus before they can try to understand me, BUT these have remained constant for a while so they deserve to be mentioned.)

1. Pink
- an attempt to do away with my tomboy tendencies.

2. Netherlands
- this is still a lot random but I hope to go there very soon. I have great plans for Netherlands, in my mind. (Still negotiating with God, hopefully I will get a YES!)

3. Morning Jogs
- this was the biggest shocker to all the people that have known me long enough. It was the greatest step out of my comfort zone. 

4. Flowers
- I was one of those that preferred airtime or calling credits over flowers BUT now, I love flowers. They are such a soothing reminder of God's love. (You want to make my heart smile? Buy me flowers!)

5. Peanut Butter Sandwiches
- I know this is weird, but I actually dream of peanut butter sandwiches. Breakfast always seems so far away. (When I sleep, I sleep with a smile knowing that when I wake up it will be breakfast time - yay!)

6. Tamirira (Stand Album)
- I failed to pick a favorite song, so I love the whole album. The lyrics just get to the inner core of my heart. 

7. Professor Graham Glover (my Contract Law lecturer)
- He believed in my potential at a time when I was performing the worst in his subject. He encouraged me to work harder. He always says the right words. (I call him daddy, in my heart.) 

8. Public International Law
- i haven't had a single lecture on this. I don't formally know much about this area of law, but I am hoping to specialize in this area of Law. 

9. 2 Corinthians 10:5
- this verse helps me in  my greatest struggle against emotions. I feel and think too much, every word, every action and energy goes straight to my heart.

10. Christian Books
- I believe in book therapy. Every time my emotions are disturbed, I get a book and read, after that I will be fine. (Hint: wondering what to get me as a present? Buy me a book, I will remember you forever.) 

Two Laws: Moral and Ceremonial

Many try to blend these two systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished, but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and priesthood. This ritual law with its sacrifices and ordinances was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ. Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease. It is this law that Christ “took ... out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” Colossians 2:14. – {EP 255.3}

But concerning the law of Ten Commandments the psalmist declares, “Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89. And Christ Himself says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law... . Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17, 18. Here He teaches that the claims of God’s law should hold as long as the heavens and the earth remain. – {EP 255.4}

Concerning the law proclaimed from Sinai, Nehemiah says, “Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments.” Nehemiah 9:13. And Paul, “the apostle to the Gentiles,” declares, “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12. – {EP 255.5}

While the Saviour’s death brought to an end the law of types and shadows, it did not detract from the obligation of the moral law. The very fact that it was necessary for Christ to die in order to atone for the transgression of that law, proves it to be immutable. – {EP 256.1}

Reference: Extracts were taken from the book FROM ETERNITY PAST by my all time favorite author ELLEN WHITE. Based on Colossians 2:14.