Archive for the ‘THE PANTRY’ Category

Affirmation

Two people come together, to share their lives but something soon comes in between. For a time they cannot place a finger on the cause, but all seems rosy except for this one thing: beauty is hindered by a piercing elusive to them. Touching a porcupine will let you know what his coat is made of – if your eyes cannot tell you as much.

The critter sneaks its way, nosing the ground, nibbling here and there at invisible things. His coat, though a mass of quills, does not cloud his cute face. “Quite cuddly”, muses the silent observer, “why turn such beauty into a prickly mess?” If you stretch forth your hand to touch him, you will see why.

In wanting the best for her man, a lady may make this suggestion and that one too. Soon, another seems a worthy condiment to add to the broth, and won’t that other one on the other matter complement the adjustment made yesterday? The poor chap probably cannot put two and two together and that leaves them lying side by side to make twenty-two – which is awfully wrong!

Love is a worthy tool for it covers a multitude of sins. It does not simply whitewash an ugly wall, but brings out the best in those it is given to. It is a cake that contains one ingredient amiss in many others; affirmation. This adds flavour to bring life to deadness, and bonds the cracks in the wall onto which it is applied. The wall of false confidence is such one; it is as a beautiful coat covered in quills. It wards off any touch for fear of its weakness being found out. It seeks to protect itself because it cannot endure reproach.

I very well understand the place of affirmation, especially when the desire to love and be loved comes in. It is not long since it left me hollow and cold but thankfully, a later time brought another spark which built a fire that warmed me up. She came into my life and brought out the good I had inside. My hand is ever held in hers and I’m shown that life is beautiful; there comes sunshine after rain, and even though I fall I am able to rise up again.

Take time to affirm someone today and you will count so many who have a smile in their hearts.

His Life

A drop of dew is as gold to parched land. The desert floor comes alive and none Solomon’s garb could match the beauty. Petals unfurl and the leaves spread as open palms, soaking in the sun to get about a baking the food, science tell us the leaves make. Dew brings hope of rain and better days ahead. The ants, the crickets and the chirpy gang are not left out. There is dancing and there is rejoicing. There is newness about and the brownness that was the horizon is a thing of the past. All is green and wet and is such a beauty to behold.

The scenery leaves no better way to describe his life. The days past are well-remembered and tag a smile about his lips. Sunrise would make him grunt for if it weren’t for the little cafe down the street, only the hastily prepared cup of coffee got his body fuelled up for daybreak. There were times of course when reason would convince him to do an egg and probably get some bread slices to celebrate the rising of the sun.

She may be a simple creature, two-legged just as he is, and probably bears a more fragile frame but a drop of water and a grain of sand compare the same. He stands tall and bears out his muscles; he may be unkind at times and seek to crush her core but the truth remains embedded in his heart – he needs her.

She comes into his life and things just cannot be the same again. He never cared much about what lay around him but the den soon bears shape. The musty smell of things unwashed goes away because her fragile senses will not take strength of odour and the trademark unkempt nature has to disappear for the rough side of neatness is sure to scare away the charm. He will make many attempts at order and will succeed in many fronts but failure too will take its seat.

The earth may struggle to do much for itself with dew but rain comes to set all at rest. The rain will break dormant seed in the ground and help it grow, the dust will settle to provide much soil to hold the plants. Yes, she comes in and brings more lasting order. In all truth, his existence depends on her just so that he remains sane.

As every being may have a soft underside beneath a hard back, so is a man. When the battles are won and the enemy is subdued, he needs assurance for tomorrow and warm broth for his tummy; he needs someone to be tender towards him and give him reason to fight another battle.

We may not say it out loud or act in ways that show it outright, but we love and appreciate you all, our dear ladies.

Men

Machetes clash, spears make their airborne curves, and gleaming bodies crash to the ground. Yells ring across the valley as streams of men rush in from both escarpments. They are at it again, the display of might that determines to whom a whole village will pay allegiance at the setting of the sun: so fight they must. Skill with the spear and strength to endure strain is what wins out. The victors march home in triumph; they march to ululations of waiting women and children. Tales of valor have, by this time been stored up for the future ears of grandchildren. Such, was a man’s life.

Times have changed and war no longer is as the days of old knew it. It no longer calls for heavily muscled arms but a swift mind and an intelligent mind. Not the kind of intelligence that guesses the path of a flying javelin or that of an upheld machete but one that can read screens and look out for lurking land-mines. The bigger change has been easy to notice but not the subtle shift that has come along too.

Relationships are no longer as they were; at least in the foundational sense. Winning a sword fight or a wrestling match might get one somewhere but emotional connection and support carries the day. We no longer serve a deity who is all about deeds and animal sacrifice. The Lord, our Father, asks us to come to Him with a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

Society has shaped us men to be macho – tough people who go through life without a flinch. What with the circumcision rites where one stares at a gleaming blade and when one swipe is done, no sign of a tear is expected. We have been socialized to be providers, protectors and heads of homes. So much lies on our shoulders but as things change we have to learn to change too. Because some of us are not embracing this, or maybe don’t know how to, emancipation of women is driving us to a corner.

Our ladies are getting good jobs alongside us and as some say, are performing better. They have come together to form support networks and for the most part, are well-meaning. I wouldn’t want to touch on the other extreme.

God has called men to be priests of their households, to love their wives as Christ loves the church. To effectively carry out God’s will, we have to surrender to Him. This means, slacking the tight cord of our kites of pride so the kite may come down and His glory soars instead. We must learn to be vulnerable.

Being weak in God we are made strong. We become men after God’s own heart. We get to know that there is nothing that could ever vanquish us because we are hidden in Him who holds the universe. By holding onto a machismo spirit, we uphold the very pride that God detests.

I desire a society where men are free to open up to each other, to help one another through the challenges that are there to be faced each day; be it the struggle with sexuality, inferiority in relationships, inability to do whatever activities well – we need each other. We need to lean and learn from each other so that we are men of integrity and those who are able to uphold the dignity of everyone entrusted to our care and be instruments of Godly leadership.

A New Beginning?

When we choose to give our lives to Christ, we have called out war against our sinful selves. It is not enough for me, then, to simply pray, ‘Jesus, I realise I’m a sinner and I turn my life to You,’ then sit back and expectantly wait for deliverance. It is important to pinpoint that which one struggles with and as they confess it, one by one, make deliberate effort to starve the root cause of that sin. Am I reading or watching something sensual, so that I’m struggling with lust? To live a life of following Christ, I have to let the Holy Spirit teach my heart- and obey- as I set my mind on what is true and good and right; by thinking of things pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others (Philippians 4:8)

Our Stories

Only a sailor can truly tell a nice tale of the sea, right? That is because he has the experience of being tossed about by waves, and perhaps has broken masts a time or two.

Our story in life is no different; we are able to tell what life is, from our perspective because we went through it and understand better.

That, is the catch. We go through experiences so that we are able to tell a story. This then, only happens when we allow ourselves to walk through or be walked through whatever life brings. It works best when Jesus is the beginner and finisher of our lives. He says in His Word that we have to count it all joy when we go through tough stretches, because our faith is being made complete.

Are you facing a tough patch? Why not get down on your knees today and ask God to help you make a story of it? Ask Him to help you join the company of sailors who told their tale. For, because of this, other ships are making it safely to harbour in far away shores.

Be blessed.

Judge Judge Judge

We possess in us, a little of the wisdom of heaven but we use it in corruption. Whatever flaws present in our neighbour, we tend to magnify. Look at the dog or beast; does he discrminate against his mate because of a blemish on the skin? Given that we judge, there has to be a final judgement- fate the beast will never know.