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Devotions Faith

The Carpenter’s Son

Colossians 1:15-20

I spent 9 of my most formative years growing up in Ghana, and in middle school in Ghana, there’s a subject that every student has to take called Pre-Technical Skills. Basically, it’s the equivalent of Shop Work or Wood Work, but with a heavy emphasis on the technical skills needed to build things – perfecting angles and lines, and understanding how to draw a blueprint before actually setting forth to create a piece of work.
And man, did I hate Pre-tech.

Devotions Faith

The Thief of Joy

Someone asked me a few days ago about Joy.
She had just accepted Christ into her life, and was wondering if it was possible that the Joy she felt in the aftermath of that single decision could last for ever.
I wished with all my heart that I could tell her it would. There’s nothing worse than having to tell a new believer that this walk is not all rainbows and sunshine. In my mind I am inclined to spin it – to come up with creative ways to bypass the truth that the path we walk is a narrow one. But instead I told her the truth: in this life you will have to choose Joy.

Devotions Faith

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! (Freedom from Lies)

A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. (John 8:34-36)
 
Don’t you hate that Voice?
I’m sure you know the Voice I’m talking about. It’s almost impossible to miss:
It’s the Voice that greets you in the morning, reminding you of all the things that went wrong the day before and how the day ahead is only going to be worse.
The Voice that pipes up in that conference meeting telling you to pipe down because you are shy and you don’t actually have anything of value to contribute.

Devotions Faith

Beautifully In Over My Head

One of the reasons I try my very best to stay away from large, expansive bodies of water is my completely rational fear of drowning. I have no shame in admitting this lol. There is something unstable and unpredictable about water as a force of nature – and a force that is uncontrollable is generally one that I want no part of.
At the same time, having lived long enough, I know that the fear of drowning is not restricted to situations that involve bodies of water. Life itself can prove to be an even greater expanse with its own threats of going under.

Devotions Faith

Withstanding the Drought Pt 2: Provision

God then told Elijah, “Get out of here, and fast. Head east and hide out at the Kerith Ravine on the other side of the Jordan River. You can drink fresh water from the brook; I’ve ordered the ravens to feed you.” Elijah obeyed God’s orders. He went and camped in the Kerith canyon on the other side of the Jordan. And sure enough, ravens brought him his meals, both breakfast and supper, and he drank from the brook. Eventually the brook dried up because of the drought.
Provision is central to the human existence. Almost every action we take is in someway or another tied into our desire and need to provide for ourselves and for those we love.

Devotions Faith

Withstanding the Drought Pt 1: Go Hide

Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River.  Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”
If you haven’t read the story of Ahab in 1 Kings 16, I can summarize it by telling you that he was the worst king Israel had ever seen, and did great evil in the eyes of God.

Dear Diary Devotions Faith

The Silence of the Lamb

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the pop culture reference lol
It’s the best phrase I could come up with to describe the heart-wrenching horror that comes with those seasons when God is silent in our lives – when we feel most distant and most removed from our center in Christ. While a lot of times these seasons come when we ourselves have turned away from God and followed our own devices, there are times when we have not moved an inch, when we are still firmly planted in the Word and House of God, and yet there is a sudden unexpected chasm between our hearts and His.

Devotions Faith

Dirty Feet

The current going rate for a pedicure where I live is somewhere around $35.
Now, while that might seem like not that much money to you, my economist-trained mind thinks of cost in terms of alternatives forgone.
$35 is at least half a week’s worth of groceries.
$35 is a bottomless Sunday brunch.
$35 is 6 bottles of Trader Joe’s wine.
$35 is an outfit from F21.
$35 is 7 Baked and Wired cupcakes.
$35 is two-thirds a bottle of Lancome’s Teint Idole ‘I Slay’ Ultra Foundation.
$35 is a utility bill payment, y’all.

Devotions Faith

Refocus

I realized last week that I have such a problem with asserting myself and speaking up.
It’s not quite full-blown glossophobia though. Put me in front of a crowd or hand me a pen and paper and I’m great – i’ll spill my guts. Give me authority, and I’ll run with it. Ask for my opinion and i’ll give it – because I always have one. But when I have to take authority? When I’m in a board room or at a table of people I don’t know, and I have to speak up? I feel totally overwhelmed.
Maybe these feelings stem from my Ghanaian upbringing, where we were told our opinions did not matter unless we were asked for them (and we never were).

Devotions Faith

The Day Grace Was Born

Every year, I get very reflective once Easter rolls around. Seriously – from Palm Sunday all the way to the Resurrection Sunday that follows, I find myself in an way overly reflective mood lol. This year, what stood out most in all my pondering was that the point of having Easter as a holiday is not just to celebrate Christ and his resurrection – Easter is also the story of Grace: forgiveness, mercy, freedom and life, all packaged into one beautiful gift, secured on a cross just for you and me.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled to understand Grace. It is one of those things we say we believe in, but find difficult to accept in our own lives.

Devotions

Hiding Behind Fig Leaves

 
How hard is it to be vulnerable?
This is probably a rhetorical question since we live in a world where being vulnerable is not only nearly impossible but actually frowned upon. Not only does no one not want to know about your problems, chances are they don’t even really care! And so we have just become accustomed to keeping our problems and struggles to ourselves.
Personally I have always had an issue with vulnerability. I don’t know whether this stems from the fact that I grew up in a family dynamic that didn’t bode for much communication, or because I’m from a culture where sharing personal issues is downright taboo and depression is considered fictional.

Devotions Lifestyle

Confessions of a Commitment-Phobe

It’s that time of year again when everything turns red and we are bombarded with messaging telling us that the key to happiness is a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers from the person we love.
Of course, if happiness had a physical manifestation, I couldn’t imagine it BEING anything other than chocolate and flowers, so I’ll let Consumerism have this one.
Being single, I’d love to jump on the ‘I hate Valentine’s Day’ train, but that would be a lie. I love Val’s day.

Devotions

Take the Limits Off

When it comes to personalities, I am a Planner, and being a Planner means a lot of things frustrate me.
Slow people, for one. Like when you’re in a hurry somewhere to do something, or late for something, and everyone around you seems to be taking their leisurely time with strolling – I literally can’t deal! The sinner in me literally has to stop herself from going ape-crazy and just shoving people out of my way lol.

Devotions

Clique-ish

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector [a superintendent to whom others reported], and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, but he could not see because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran on ahead [of the crowd] and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So Zaccheus hurried and came down, and welcomed Jesus with joy.

Devotions

Keep Fit

I went to an all-girls boarding school in Cape Coast, Ghana. During the first academic term of every year, we’d have sports season, and the entire school would go into training mode, regardless of whether you were an athlete or not.
We called it ‘Keep Fit’.
Conveniently (but not so conveniently for me) my school was located right on top of a hill. Every morning, girls were required to wake up at 4:30am, throw on their running shoes and gym kit, and run down the hill and back before laying their bed, taking a shower or doing any chores.
Now, personally, I have never been a sportive person.

Devotions

HIStory

It’s that time of year where everyone’s doing a lot of reflection – and my own brain is in complete overdrive.
I think one of the biggest hurdles I had to jump this year was recognizing that my life was more than about just me. That in order for God to use me I had to be willing not to just live the life I wanted to live, but the life He had set out for me – a life that encompassed all my dreams and heart’s desires, and yet at the same time was so much bigger and better than any version of life I could have dreamt up for myself. It was really a case of me having to come to an oh-so-difficult-to-grasp truth:
God needs your story to make HIStory.