I have come to a point in my life where I am no longer afraid of losing you. I am headed to a place and baby I wish you were there. But now, I am completely okay if you are not there at all because baby, I know enough heartbreak to stop expecting. I used to be so afraid if I arrive and you won’t be there in the end, and you’ve said enough to let me know that you are afraid too, if I’m not where you end up. But baby, I love you enough to let go of you. I love me enough to be completely okay with me as I am. And one thing you can take from me is this- that you should love yourself enough to be okay just as you are, without a company on the front seat of your car.
I have learned to walk alone, to work alone, to be alone.. But that sounds all too paradoxical because I’m never actually alone. I have my Saviour’s promise that broke down all my walls. So you see, I can never be alone in my singleness because I am in deep communion with my King. The King that gave me a purpose, the King that assured me a destiny. As my desires slowly shifts from you to serving my King, my prayer is this- that baby I pray daily that we are headed to the same direction, pursuing the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.
Because I am adamant and convinced that no man will ever measure up if his heart is not in love with my King.
Jesus has set the bar too high for me- a man loving a woman because I’ve tasted how Christ loved the Church. And unless you’ve tasted His love, how can you point me to my King for the rest of our lives?
Aduo Keduoneinuo Solo
(This letter, written by a beautiful friend of mine who is having a major breakthrough in her life. It was a struggle and it takes time but she is overcoming the obstacle day by day through His grace. She also wrote one article which was posted earlier in this blog – RELATIONSHIP GOALS she wrote this during her transitional period. I posted her articles on my personal blog because I don’t want to keep those beautiful words unread by someone who might be having the same issue like us. One can also relate this article to my own WHY I DON’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND?, it’s about how I struggled and move on by forgiving myself. Like she did, I’d also written a goodbye and thank you letter to my ex. It’s not easy to write to someone whom you are going to meet them often in life but telling them ‘we are over.’
“The best gift you can give to someone is to let them go and be themselves, even when you know it’s hurting you so much. You let them go not because you hate them but because you love them so much… I promise you baby you will enjoy the journey without me.” I really appreciate her for taking a bold step by choosing a healthy and righteous relationship.)
I am damn sure my local church members will not be surprised to see me asking this question. There will be a gossip or talks about me, because they haven’t seen my name in the tithe list. They will never find my name there because I stopped giving tithe. My dad one day told me if I ever thought of giving tithe to our church. I don’t know why he asked me this, maybe as a father he wants to show me the right path or maybe he wants my name to be listed in the church list so that he can at least show to his friends that his son who works abroad had given this much amount to the church.
The pressure goes high when I got a job in 2014, people started asking me if I ever tithe or give donations to the church, even my best friend started to ask me. I questioned myself why people are so much into my money which is just a few thousand bucks. It’s very interesting to know that I stopped giving tithe as soon as I got a job. I am sure many of my church members were surprised too, because when I was a student, I always give my share of tithe whenever I earn anything during my weekends. I was a religious person for sure. I never knew God will bless me even if I don’t give tithe. I thought I got job opportunities during weekend because I was sincere in my giving to church. At the end of the year you will find your name in the church report list, that Sunday will be only a day of reports on financial things. You compared your amount to your friends and families; you are often lifted up for been the highest donor.
I stopped tithing when I start to question the authority. What benefits do I get by giving my ten percent of my earning? Why would God wants me to tithe when everything I have is all His? Why God wants my money? So many things came into my mind and I decided to stop. I do research on tithing, but I couldn’t find anything that is relevant to my mind. I would often get the answers like, ‘you should give back to God because He is the provider.’ ‘If you want a treasure in heaven, then start giving tithe.’ ‘Tithes are for God and you shall not steal His money.’ The fact about tithe is not only about money, it includes everything of your earning or livestock. “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”- Lev. 27:30. When I saw this verse, I was totally damaged. Because I thought tithe is something to do with cash. I failed miserably in doing the cash thing and now the verse is saying everything from the land. It discouraged me, but that doesn’t stop me from finding my answers.
When we look at the New Testament, we find that it’s through the grace of God that we are blessed and saved. God never demands anything from us; He just supplies all our needs. Whereas in the Old Testament we find that God is a demanding God. I always put this question back then, why should I tithe when God is not asking me anymore in the New Testament. I ask one of my facebook friends –Selie about tithing things, and it really touches my heart, here is what he says,
“1- Collection on Sunday for the Church in Jerusalem: On the first day of the week, each of you should set aside some income and save it to the extent that God has blessed you, so that a collection will not have to be made when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2
The principle of OT tithing is incorporated in the NT: Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a part of the offerings? In the same way the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:13-14.
The point in the NT is to give liberally and not just 10% for mission and for the glory of God. The need to give for the gospel and extension of God’s kingdom is much more vital than during the time of the OT. So it’s not only a matter of tithing financially or materially, but going beyond tithes by giving even our time and energy for the gospel.
We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. Faith is always active. We are not saved by tithing or good works but our faith overflows into good works”
I sure many of you will agree with me to the above statement because nothing is clearer than the Word of God itself. So, I believe it’s not where you give but it’s whom you give to. We need to give so that people who are working for the good news will live by it. Pastors or missionaries cannot live without their basic needs, so it’s our duty as a church to provide the needs so that they can travel or provide necessary things to God’s children.
A reminder to myself, I need to give more, not because my church wants new building or new car but for the extension of His kingdom. Amen!
The simple reason why I don’t have a girlfriend is because I am not ready to take any responsibilities; and I am not settling soon. Girls, don’t be offended by my statement. Yes, I really want to have a girlfriend in my life but it’s not the basic needs. It’s just a desire or say a new trend of the modern society. There were times in my life when I used to get jealous of young couples, who were so much into each other. Other times I feel lucky that I am single because you are not bondage to anything; you are free to do what you want. You spent more time with yourself, and question yourself, ‘Why am I still single?’
I jumped into a relationship half a decade ago; actually I was the bad guy trying to break someone’s relationship. I never knew a small hello will make a big impact in my life. There was this girl in my college whom I started to like, and not too long, we were talking and messaging. We met face to face, and I was totally mesmerized by her beauty.
I told myself that I am not falling in love, but my heart won’t agree with me. It was only a matter of year, and I am upgraded to the level of boyfriend. I was like her direct reporting manager. I took control of the relationship, and it’s a crazy journey. I knew she have a boyfriend, but I won’t give up on her. I was her trouble maker for five years. There were times when we’re just ourselves and the world is only us. I don’t remember how many times I’ve asked her hand. She would sometimes say yes and sometimes no. I waited her for five damn years to let her break up with her boyfriend.
We’re the craziest couple in the whole world in those five years, she considered me as her best friend, and I considered her as the love of my life. She never give up on me, this is one reason it keeps me going after her. I have seen her having a hard time with her boyfriend and my heart was a safe haven for her. I thought she love me, indeed she does as a friend but never as a lover. On the other hand, I assumed that she love me, though I knew she don’t. I just don’t want to disappoint myself.
I was told by my parents not to give up on the things which I love, but I think they were wrong to some extend sometimes. It’s best to give up when you can’t hold on anymore. After a serious research, I decided to give up on her. I totally disconnected her from my life. She is now a stranger who knows all my ups and downs. I still miss her, and I often whisper her name when I closed my eyes in prayers.
I regretted that I jump into a relationship which was never mine, now, the result is I am disconnecting her from my life whom I thought will be the love of my life. If ever I approached her as a friend back then, I know we will be the best friends forever. I regretted that I considered her as my girlfriend; I regretted that I broke her relationship many times; I regretted that I have wasted her time; I regretted that I couldn’t be her friend; I regretted and regretted.
No? Yes? I like both the answer because I have been into both the answers. There were times in my life I just can’t get anything about God. I encountered so many things about God’s love yet it takes so many years to completely understand His love. I am not going to tell you the definition of playing as you can Google it in the internet. There were moments when you don’t even want to talk about God, you just feel like God is playing with you, when you see those words or messages saying “God loves you; Jesus loves you; God bless…” you got irritated because you are falling in everything and you question God’s love, am I really loved? How can I say He loves me when I am always sick? There are so many questions we asked ourselves and God. We just think or assumed the things in Bible are just a word and nothing else because those were written thousand years back.
Those of you who know me may come into conclusion that I am a playboy, and I must admit it (but not a rich playboy, okay), yes I do. My love for somebody else is temporal, if I find something which I do not like in them; I would usual keep myself a little further from them. I often send messages to ladies telling them I love them and miss them, which is totally bullshit. There were times I make friends with someone not because I want to be their friend but just to maintain my social status or to get something from it. How fake we humans are, we wake up take several photos and uploads the best one with a caption “wake up like this” and you received thousand likes for that lie. We failed to understand our own stand, and we question God about His love.
The demonstration of love can be found in the book of Romans 5: 7-8 – “It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love for us in this: while were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The verses clearly tell us that God is not playing with us. His love for us is always genuine. There are so many people in my life I stop contacting, not they hate me but because I couldn’t get what I want from them. How selfish we all are when we think about love. The verses keep me wondering how could someone possibly died for somebody else who don’t even know the person. Read the verses again, it has a power in it. Jesus is so savage that He don’t care who we are; He just died for us anyways so that we could meet Him face to face in heaven. God is totally crazy for us, when the reality is, we should be the one going crazy after Him.
Let us put ourselves in Jesus’ shoes, let’s say, you are going to die for someone who doesn’t care you exists. How stupid and foolish you will be, right? We don’t even want to donate a single penny to someone whom we don’t know, or incase if we know them, we would ask a favor in return. Jesus become stupid, foolish, crazy because He loves us, He doesn’t want anyone to be unsafe. God is not kidding you, He is very serious about your life. God is much more possessive than your two-day old boyfriend. He even counts your hairs; the book of Luke tell us this, Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows.” He cares for the smallest to the biggest.
So the answer to the question is ‘no,’ God is not playing with you, instead we are playing with God, sometimes we are good, and sometimes we are bad; our faith goes up and down; our love is always temporal, but the love of the Father is everlasting. John 3:16 my favorite bible verse tells us how loved we are in the eyes of the Lord. All we have to do is just to believe in the finished work of Jesus. Amen!
For those of you whom I grew up as a kid might agree with me that my dad was a bad dad. Who always beat up his kids for playing and not being home on time, he was a kind of dad who never compromised with anything when it comes to educating the kids. I grew up in a place where my dad set the rules, and we, the siblings follows them, but at the end of the day we ended up following our own rules and get beaten up before the dusk. I have never seen Hitler but my dad seems like him, very strict. He would even beat up a neighbor’s kid if found guilty. I hated my dad so much for always controlling my life. He always chooses a friend for me and those friends are my brothers. He used to boast himself that he knows who is bad and who is good, he make sure that we don’t fall into bad company. I don’t know how many beating I got it from him, maybe I should get an award for surviving those beatings. I stole money; get caught. I stole milk powder; get caught. Run away from school; get caught. Forgot to carry water; get caught. Pretended to study; get caught. Smoked tobacco; get caught, and you know what happens when you get caught, it’s like a movie, your hands and legs were tied, and there your villain started beating you up. You keep lying until you couldn’t endure the pain anymore.
After my dad had done his part of beating his sons, my mom would come and showered grace to us. With tears in our eyes we would say sorry for what we did, and promise not to repeat, but within twenty-four hours you are as naughty as you again. I remember myself that I was a stubborn kid back then, I still do. I don’t give up on things so easily; I always hang on and received the beatings too. I remember asking my grandpa for an orange biscuit, I don’t know if he had any money that day. I cried my hell out for the biscuit; it was 4 Rupees per pack. I begged for an hour, my grandpa could do nothing but to hand over the last 4 Rupees to the vendor in exchange of my favorite biscuit. I miss my grandpa so much; I would buy anything for him if he is still alive. I am sure he is smiling up in heaven looking at me and what I have become.
After my high school education, I never see my dad as an angry dad. He becomes the most beautiful dad ever; the smile, the humor and everything about him cannot be compared. I am not scared of him anymore instead I am scared of losing him. My dad and mom would narrate the stories how we all grew up, the fights, the troubles, the pain, the good and bad times etc. I will vote for my mom and dad for being the most influential humans on earth, no matter what happens in life, they will always be my number one.
They sacrificed everything they had for me and my brothers. They admitted us in a private school; they set our foundation better than someone, if you are able to read what you are reading now, then, remember it’s all because of my parents. People laughed at them for spending money on education, even my relatives mocked my parents for giving up everything for their children. I don’t know how they managed to pay our school fees. My family is like a refugee, we don’t own anything, not even a single piece of land though we are officially the citizens of Chizami. Though my parents had nothing they never give up on their dreams of educating their children, they have done their parts, they have shown us the world; they have guided us; they have done everything; their dreams are fulfilled. They are the best humans ever.
Right now you might be thinking that God is angry with you, I have been there too, I hated my dad so much as you have read it, but I never knew that he love me so much that he gave up everything for me, what my parents had done was not to harm me but to build me up, and today I am where I am through His grace. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- (Jeremiah 29:11). I know you are going through a hard times, maybe the things which should be yours are not turning towards you; maybe you are facing challenges in life and you think it’s God who is behind your failures or difficulties; maybe you have come to a point where enough is enough; maybe you just want to give up on everything; maybe you are just a shit; maybe you are not loved; maybe you are in bondage; maybe nothing is right in your life; maybe someone is abusing you; maybe you are not rich; maybe you are rejected; maybe you are ignored; maybe you want to die; maybe and maybe I don’t know what’s going on in your life. What I want to say is take a deep breath and remember you are loved by God. If you want a proof that God loves you then, here it is in John 3:16, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not die but have everlasting life.”
My dear beloveds, like my parents, who gave up everything for their children, no matter how stupid or dull we were, they saw us that one day we will be somebody. They didn’t give up. So, if my worldly parents could do that, then, imagine the love of our living God. God knows you are dull, stupid, sinner, cheater, rapist, murderer, etc. but he gave His only son to get you to heaven. Like my grandpa’s last penny, God’s last penny is Jesus and that is more than enough to buy the whole world an orange biscuits.
If God hates you or is against you, then, he would never let Jesus died for you. Remember no matter what kind of person you are, I want you to know that God does not condemn you anymore because of Jesus. Maybe you are like the woman caught in adultery, and the whole world is against you, and you thought not even God will forgive you, baby please read this verse of John 8:10-11– “Then Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Now, go and sin no more.” This is the power of grace. Our God’s dream is to see you in heaven with Him; let us help God in achieving His dream by receiving the blood of Jesus, by achieving His dream we are receiving the unmerited; unearned; undeserved salvation.
These days I am so much into dating and relationship stuff. For those of you who have read my friend’s post on “RELATIONSHIP GOALS” might have some idea about what real relationship or dating is all about. I am not an expert in this field because I never had an official girlfriend so far and I am not thinking to have one till the day I am ready to hold her hand forever. Who knows you might be my missing rib. Honestly, I have lots of friends who are ladies and some are so close and some even more than close friends. I don’t know why my brothers are all the same as me, always after ladies. Maybe our instinct is telling us the absence of ladies in our family except my mom. We never know or experience sisterly love or the pain and hardship every sister went through. Our family is like all boys gang, the yelling; the fights; the beating; etc. I can’t imagine how my mom endures all the troubles we created for her, not that we are trouble makers all the time, but as we guys often failed to understand the core issues of household things. Talking about girls or about dating in the family is like a taboo, and moreover who would share those to our parents when we were young, right? I still don’t really feel comfortable sharing it to my mom and dad about ladies whom I like, especially if she is from our village. I think, I was seventeen when I heard about menstruation and the pain women go through. It was hard for me to believe such things, but as I mature more in age and thoughts, I discovered more than usual in women. One of my friends told me that she usually gets pissed off during her period, other says the pain cannot be compared and many more which I couldn’t even mention here.
The one thing which women have and men don’t is the natural self-control. Men react very quickly when it comes to sexy things whereas women don’t. I was on a date with this lady; I was so in love with her, she was a world to me. My life was just confined to her. That day I lost self-control, we kiss each other, and we went beyond our limits. We were both semi-naked on the bed. Before we went further she pushes me away and dressed up. I had a guilty feeling after the incident because I was trying to commit a sin against my own body. I just thank God that I didn’t have sex with her, or else I won’t be writing this article today. The reason why I am not ashamed to share my sexual story is because I don’t want somebody else to fall like me. After a year I was with the same girl again, same place; same situation; we were both alone; the night was dark. I tell you if someone calls you for a date at night, remember devil lives in a dark place. Never go out with someone after the dusk, or if require call your siblings to accompany you. The temptation was still there, the animal instinct in me was so strong but I tell you the power of the Word is much stronger. I remember the Word of God in the Bible – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;. I also remember how Joseph fled from sexual temptation (read Genesis 39:12) I didn’t ran away like Joseph, in fact she refused to let me come any closer. After this incident I promise not to date anyone in the dark, or in a private place.
You may say that I am the most unusual guy in the world, because I am not usual. I am totally different from anybody else. Recently, a close friend (girl) of mine requested me to buy her a sexy cheeky from Victoria’s Secret store, I was like what the heck did she requested. It’s not that I can’t buy for her, but I dare not enter the store and bargain on sexy under wears. I dare not look at those though I want to see. My love for her and the friendship is bigger than my fear of entering a panty store. I faced the fear at the store, acting normally and paid the bills. I don’t know how I am going to handover those to her, only God knows. I sent her the pictures and she was freaked out that I really did it. She said she can’t wait for my arrival which is a long way to go. She promised to have one more date with me by the end of the year. We named it as ‘Secret Panties Date.’ I can’t imagine myself handing over those sexy inner wears to her.
All the above things will be common to some of you, but as for me it’s a strange thing as I never grew up in such kind of environment. I never knew, a tiny transparent underwear could make someone so happy, yet a tongue slip from the underwear can kill you forever.
P.S- it’s not an easy task for me to buy bras and under wears for ladies, because you have to know the size. I am not buying anymore wahahhahaha
Yesterday, as I was at my work place and God gave me the idea to write about my old slippers. I was at the elevator with some of my colleagues, they were smiling at me, and some even started to laugh. I was sure something was wrong with my face or dress. One of my friends asked me if I just woke up and went straight to work. She pointed at my old slippers and they all had a good laugh. I forgot to change my footwear, I was wearing an old blue slippers, I bought it from Dimapur on 26th Nov. 2014. This pair of slipper are so attached to me that I took them with me to Kuwait.
I also had one yellow T- shirt which I wore it all the time when I was in Mumbai, one day my friend’s girlfriend took it away intentionally, because they both don’t want to see me wearing it again. I miss that T-shirt even today, as the quality is good plus easy to wash. One day the girl who stole my yellow T-shirt called me up saying that she used to wear it and commented that it’s very comfortable. I told her to keep it safe as I still have a soft corner for it. I also had one black sweater which I gave it to my younger brother after being with me for four years and it’s still good. Last time when I was on vacation I wore it with pride after asking permission from my brother, I went for a date wearing that old sweater. I still remember the shop where I purchased it six years ago.
Today, at the pool area I asked my friend why the two ladies never changed their bikinis, as they were wearing the same color and design for three consecutive days. We both laughed with dirty mind. Later, my friend shared his friend’s yellow shirt and blue jeans collection story. So we both came into conclusion that those bikinis were comfortable or closed to them.
I am sure many of us have something which is so personal to us, that we don’t even want to throw it away, though it is no longer useful. I have seen people repairing their cars hundred times and spending huge amount and time on that old car. I also see people still using an old black and white phone though they have money to buy smart phones. There are so many of our personal belongings which we are so attached to it, no matter how old or ugly it looks like. As for my old slippers, I still want to keep it though it’s very old and discolored, not only materials but even in our daily life, no matter how often a husband and wife had an argument, at the end of the day they will both sleep together and make love.
So, my point here is, it is our love for them that we want to keep them, just like that, God wants us to be with Him no matter what our condition is, He loves us just the way we are. You might be like my old slippers that my friends were laughing at, but I tell you, they don’t know the love story behind it. They don’t know how much I love it. My beloveds, don’t let society defines you, be yourself. It doesn’t matter what people say about you, it doesn’t matter how sinful you are, it doesn’t matter how stupid you are, what matter is God love you so much that He gave His only son Jesus (John 3:16) in exchange of our sins and shortcomings. You might not have the knowledge or power to influence people but God can still use you in an unexpected ways. “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory.” (See Matthew 12:20)
My beloveds, don’t be discouraged when you see yourself behind someone be it in spiritual or worldly things. You might be in addictions, broken hearts, bankrupt, or just don’t know what is happening around you, maybe you just don’t want to live this life anymore, maybe you just hurt somebody, or committing an adultery, no matter how hopeless you feel. Maybe you don’t need Him or want Him because you went too far that you think God will never forgive you. I tell you God love you just the way you are. He just wants you, he needs you in heaven. He wants you more than anything else in the whole world. It’s like my old slippers don’t needs or wants me but I want them and need them. No matter what my favorite shirt smells like, I will still love to wear it, or maybe I will put it for washing and won’t mind waiting to let it dry. God is not done with you, He is waiting for you.
The simple reason why I never fast is I am always hungry. I was born and brought up in a Christian family and believers around. I attended the Sunday schools, memorized the verses and songs. I never dare to ask any question about God or the church, because it seems like a taboo to ask why, how and what, about the institution and God. I keep following what my teachers or elders instructed me to do, because I am often reminded of the bible verse, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right…”-Ephesians 6:1. I obey my parents like that holy holy type of boy in the village. I remember someone telling me that I will go to heaven alive because I don’t drink alcohol or consume tobacco. I would put myself to the next level when I hear all those comments from my friends and people around, but deep inside my heart I have lots of question about salvation and life after death. There was this teens camp I attended at the village, there was an altar call after the sermon, inviting anyone who wants to receive Jesus as a personal savior. Few people decided to take risk and they were baptized after few days, the rest is history. Come on! Who on earth would not want to accept Jesus? Everyone, but show us the steps and revelation how to. I clearly remember that the preacher was not preaching about salvation that day, so how on earth did she invite people? It was like inviting your friend for a dinner at six am in the morning.
The point here is I am not pointing fingers on anyone personally, but my point is, are we feeding the right food to our children? One must be wondering why I never fast though the church had organized hundreds of program on fasting. All I remember about fasting was not eating food before noon, you go to the church sing a song, pray and listen to the preacher; go home and enjoy heavy lunch, that’s my daily routine when I fast. But I don’t remember when was the last time I did that, my stomach would ask food early morning on the day of fasting program. I really don’t know why. Slowly I began to question people around me why I should fast. I was never convinced on this topic, some say it’s because the church says so; others say because Daniel, Queen Esther, the kings and men of God etc. fasted and they got liberated, received power, blessings etc. Some even say because Jesus fasted so you need to do it if you want to follow Jesus. I quit attending those kind of programs because I don’t want to do something which I don’t know about, and moreover I wasn’t sure if heaven is for me.
I took water baptism on 27 June 2010, I did because I want His blessings by referring Matthew 6:33, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything will be added unto you.” As soon as the ceremony was over, I questioned myself if I am really going to heaven when I die some day. I wasn’t sure, I just took baptism anyways; I was after His blessings and not His kingdom and righteousness. The reverend pronounced to the whole congregation that I am a new creation, everyone rejoiced except me. I was not sure where I am going. I received the Holy Spirit when I was in Guwahati, I am sure God put me there to experience His love. I met one pastor who asked me if I am born again. I proudly proclaimed that I am a born again Christian. He further asked me if I will go to heaven when I died. My answer breaks his heart, because I said, “I don’t know, pastor. How would I know by the way?” I never knew the pathway to heaven is so easy. I tell you beloveds it’s the easiest destination. I am sure the pastor prayed to God that day about me. “Mr. Naro, if you have a pen, and I took it away. Where is it now?” he questioned me. “It’s with you, pastor.” I replied without any difficulties. He smile and gave me another question, “So, Naro, if you have a sin, and Jesus took it away. Where is it now?” I hesitated to answer, but I got no other option. “It’s with Jesus.” It took me one week to really believe the good news of Jesus though it’s very simple, Jesus gives us the righteousness and we give our sins to Jesus, I called it the divine exchange program. This is the only way to salvation. In simple words, it is by the grace of God you are allowed to exchange it. We all don’t deserved to go to heaven but it’s through the gift of righteousness that God gave it to us through Jesus, we are now a VVIP members, no one can question us at the entrance gate of heaven.
One might have thought that since Jesus forcefully took away my sins without consulting me, now I am free to commit any sin because I know He will take that away too. My beloveds I want you to read this verse, “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.” (1 cor. 10:23) This is the power of grace, you can do anything you like but the bible clearly says that everything is not beneficial, and you know what is good and bad. In Hebrews 10:16 it says, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” It clearly says that we cannot be ignorant about God, because our heart and mind will be filled with Holy Spirit.
Okay, we are forgetting about fasting. Let’s go back by asking ourselves why fasting is needed for a Christian. I was on a date with this Kohima girl again at her ex. boyfriend’s café, I was little nervous because her ex. was with us too. All set and done, coffee cups are emptied, time to leave. But I want to stay a little more, so I asked her one question. “Why do I need to fast?” Booom!! There was a fire in her, “Fasting is good for our health, and we should allow our digestive system to have some rest. Our mind become blurred when digestion is going on, this is the reason we feel sleepy after our meal. But when you fast your brain become sharp, and you know it’s very powerful. If you want to sharpen your mind through the Word then, start fasting. Our brain is more focus when our stomach is empty.” I praise God for this girl for clearly my doubts on fasting. Beloveds, fasting can be done anywhere at any time, but for me I prefer to be alone and in a quiet place. When you read the Gospel of Mark you will find Jesus having a quiet moment. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35). You can perform miracleswhen your mind is filled with the Word. We all knew the story how Jesus’ disciples failed to cast out demons from the little boy in the bible. “He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him unto me… …“And he said unto them, this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:19, 29.). This is the power of fasting and feasting in the Word of God.
So beloveds, there are sometimes in life where you found the answer to your life in an unexpected way. I never thought a hyper girl like her would know the answer I am looking for my whole life. She is not a theologian, or a person who knows everything about the bible. She is just like everybody else, but God lives in her and He is using her. Sometimes I tell God by saying that he is very cunning because He often sends ladies to change my life. God works in a mysterious way. He turned my weakness into strength.
So the answer to my question “Why I never fast” is – because I didn’t know the truth. Now I know why the church organize fasting program before noon and not after noon, the simple reason is our minds are sharper in the morning. And hey I was fasting the whole time I was writing this, isn’t it mysterious?
P.S- Correct me if I am wrong because it is not just for me but it is for all of us. Amen!
I know it’s one of the most attractive topics of our time- at least to me. Everybody, I think, wishes to have good relationship with other people. We don’t start off any relationship hoping that one day it will end. In fact we won’t actually start a relationship if we knew it was gonna end. We all have an idea of relationship goals through images in social media and when you read relationship goals as the heading, you probably thought it in a sense of a romantic relationship between a guy and a girl. Yes I mean that and actually, I mean so much more.
It is interesting to know that dating rate has increased and is increasing even here in Nagaland. (I wish I could present the statistics but I didn’t know how) We hash tag and comment ‘relationship goals’ and I believe that we have all understood the ‘relationship’ part of it because we are psychologically hardwired to be in connection with people. The Bible tells us that we are one body but many parts (see 1 Corinth. 12:12). There is no wonder in that, that health of your gut can be determined by the condition of your skin. We need connection. We need each other to be healthy, to be healthy ourselves. We are all trying to connect to something bigger than us through people. We need to feel love and belonging. That is a basic need of human beings and we understand that in a certain level. But what we don’t really understand is the ‘goal’. We don’t understand the goal and that leaves us aiming at every direction. We go from relationship to relationship, friend to friend, group of friends to group of friends, from business to business, church to church, job to job and the list goes on. I have been there. I have a testimony of my own life how I struggled with not knowing the goal, and without a goal, there is no aim, and without an aim, there is no meaning. It becomes only a distraction and a waste of time. It leaves us high and dry.
For the longest time I’ve allowed the society and media to define my standard of relationship goals and I believe I speak for many young people here.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be in a relationship with people, to want to connect. In fact it is natural and again, I cannot emphasise the fact enough that we are biochemically engineered to be in connection with people around us. It doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic relationships between the two opposite sexes.
The problem is that society and social media directs us. But trend is always changing. what the pop culture say is unstable unlike the Word of God. The world leaves us confused and exhausted if we look into it to define our standards. Or worse, we become indifferent and passive of whom we embrace and allow to shape our lives. Passivity is becoming an epidemic but that is another whole subject.
I believe that many genuine, zealous young people in our church, I myself included are unable to move towards our destiny, because we don’t understand the ‘goal’. I’ve talked to many young people and they are truly sincere but they lack vision. They just know that there is something more, and media tells them what. They’re aiming at something that keeps changing. Many of us fall victims of relationships that we thought would complete us but rather it took away from us. It robbed us of our time, our joy, our innocence, our childlike wonder. We sing praise and worship songs, we pray in tongues, we serve in the church, we lead services, we do charity works but we miss out the ‘goal’ and come back home only to fail to love our family, our neighbours and fail miserably to love ourselves.
So here’s the math: we can’t really win at relationships until we learn how to love ourselves well. The greater equation is that we learn to love ourselves well when we encounter the love of God the Father. God designed us to connect. That need is revealed in our restlessness- our hearts cannot rest until we encounter His love and have a relationship with Him.
So the goal is knowing this- that our God is a relational God and having a personal reationship with our Father is the beginning of all good relationships in our lives. Like how we love a lover, He wants our hearts. He wants to connect with us. He wants to be a Father to his sons and daughters. He wants a relationship with us. That deep need to connect in us is actually met in getting to know our Creator. GOD WANTS OUR HEARTS MORE THAN OUR SERVICE AND GOOD WORKS. That is why the Bible says “these people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (see Matt. 15:8, Isaiah 29:13). God wants our hearts more than any offering because He wants to have a relationship with us. This revelation of God as a loving Father revolutionised my life. The realisation that I could never love and be in a relationship with someone in a successful way until I learn how much God loves me personally changed my life. Let’s look at two verses in the Bible: Mark 12:30,31 (a) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… (b) love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
(a) So loving the Lord your God comes as number one priority. The ultimate relationship goal is to get to know God in a personal level. We love Him because He first loved us (see 1 John 4). He wants your heart and that is what your heart really need. Developing a relationship takes time and as the journey unfolds, I believe we will thrive with one another as we run our race. I also believe that there is nothing more attractive than sons and daughters of God who are focused on running the race that God has set for them.
(b) My understanding of the second commandment is this- that there is a pre-requisite to loving your neighbour and that is to love yourself. Love your neighbour as yourself. If you have never taken the time to love, embrace and accept yourself, you will fail at loving your neighbour. I believe the source and empowerment to be able to love yourself is through the Cross of Jesus Christ. It’s not just about pampering yourself, but rather knowing who your Father is and what you are to Him. (see Romans 8:14-16)
If God so loved the world- if God so loved you as you are, that He gave his only son to die for you so that you can have a relationship with Him, you ought to know that you are loved, blessed and valued. If you walk in this truth of the gospel, you will learn to love and embrace yourself and your neighbour as yourself.
So the next time you come across the phrase ‘relationship goals’, think of this: your Father in heaven smiling down on you and you walk with your head held high, very confident that the God of the universe and you are in a love relationship and that is awesome! I would safely comment #relationshipgoals on that one.
(The writer is one of my favourtie girl. She is a preacher; a drama queen; a literalist, and a romantic girl. She supplies hot cakes and God’s grace in and around Kohima. By the way she is single but not alone.)
Yes! You read it right that I am still for clean election. You all have seen or witnessed what had happened: the beauty and ugly side of election. One must be wondering why I should come up with the topic of clean election again when it’s all over and settled.
Election enemies becomes your best friends and your election friends becomes your worst enemies. The parties or groups that travels up and down and talks to you like an angel during election are nowhere to be found, you hardly see anybody waving at you. We all have heard or seen that lives are just turned into objects. Families are broken; friendships are broken. Proxies are still considered as fashion, polling officers failed to exercise their power, re-polls are on the process and the list goes on. All you do now is go back to your own field and resume your own profession. The end! Game over!
I must say the clean election is a successful one though I know things are not right in our own family. I say it’s a success because for the first time in the history of Nagaland election many families decided not to sell their votes, this is the first step of clean election. I believe there are hundreds of families who decided to clean their own family before pointing fingers on someone, I bless you all; keep going, we have a long way to go. I also believe there are some families that are divided between clean and unclean election, I tell you, you are just one step behind, don’t give up but keep on cleaning. Maybe your brother or your dad have a choice but decided not to follow what is right, do not blame them but instead tell them it’s not too late to change though election is over because we are going to run miles and miles again. Tell them to join the clean election with you because this campaign is not confined to just a season but it is a continuous process; as long as the state exist this campaign will continue. I am sure NBCC will agree with me and it will continue to fight for clean election. NBCC have sown the seeds, it is up to each and every individual to destroy or to nurture. It’s our choice.
Some of you might be surprised why I emphasis so much on this campaign when my dad was a unit member in one of the political parties. You must have seen him going house to house doing which are not allowed in the constitution of India. I have no doubt in that. I called up my dad and I can proudly say he is honest, he didn’t take any money. But, what he and the other agents did to the voters need to be changed. So what am I saying here is, there are two types of people. The voters and the candidates; and one can see clearly from my family. One can say my dad represents the candidate who tries so hard to win the election by any means and the rest of my family represents the voters. I am not blaming my dad here I am just so proud of him, because he never lied to me. He promised me that our votes are not for sale. This is one hell step he took it for clean election. He took one step this time though he failed to take the second step. Dear beloveds, the whole point of talking about my kitchen here is, we Nagas are not bold enough to point a finger on our own when we clearly know something is not right. Instead we waste our time finding a fault in someone. We blame the govt. officials, people in power and so on for everything when we all know solution and corruption starts from our own small family. I am sure my dad will be very proud of me because he always reminds me to be honest and truthful in what I do. I am sure he is proud to have a family like us. And I pray that he will take one more step very soon to clean election.
So, you have read it how a Naga family during election is all about because I represent a Naga as a whole. I am sure everybody has their own stories and I would love to hear them too. I have no doubt that some of you have accepted a few thousand bucks in exchange of your vote, you took it because you are broke as you are jobless since December, all your earnings are gone during Christmas and New Year parties and election was the only source of income. You accepted the money because you need to pay your children’s school admissions and fees; you need to send pocket money to your children studying in the cities. You had a choice not to take it but you did because it was the only chance in five years.
I am sure some of you have washed your hand by saying that you didn’t accept money or buy votes during election. And now you are a proud citizen but deep in your heart and in your file you want something if your candidates comes to power, you might have already budget everything, like how much you will gain from this and that project instead of the real development. Some of you need a good vehicle, and you’ll ask because you did everything for that person to let him be in power, as if your vote carries hundred votes. Some of you will demand a job instead of asking the govt. to create more job opportunities. The list goes on and on, your representatives can say no to all these but he’ll say yes and let you have it all because he wants to be elected next time too. So, there are two types of people in the process- one who takes money before election and one who takes it after election. And at the end nobody gets development. This is our story and our society.
I think some of us have failed some way or other, but we can all still change. Our representatives are supposed to bring developments and opportunities to our constituencies, yet we stop them by asking our own personal share. We started eating the seeds before it turns out to be a fruit where it can feed many families. I was sharing to my mom and dad how a small development can change a generation. I am so proud and thankful to my grandfather under whom the Civil Hospital Chizami (Now primary health center) was born. It’s a small hospital but when you really studied the details you will know there are hundreds and thousands of people that got benefited from that small development. I personally want to ask those people who are going to form a govt. this time. Please give us development, create more job opportunities by bringing better infrastructures and we will show you the real Nagaland.
The other day I was talking to my uncle about clean election and what he said was true, “Unless the youth of our generation started to have a work culture, chances are less to have clean election.” I totally agreed with him, we the youths are failing to do our job; we are looking for easy money; we are looking for four hours jobs that pays high; we are looking for a jobs where we can be the boss of the bosses; etc. we are still looking because we are over qualified for all those jobs and so we become jobless because there are no such jobs in our state, we have to create one.
Let me tell you my story how I was failing and how Jesus pulled me out. I was working in Mumbai when I got a call from my dad that there are some chances that I could get a job in Police Department through officers’ quota (I believe there is no such thing). He told me that a friend (a church worker) of his knows one of the officers and he recommended that I should take it. His intention was good; he wants to help my family but in a wrong way. It took me one week to think about it, I say yes but on one condition, that, it should be a level of Sub Inspector. I prayed to God that I am failing and I promised to God that I will do my job well if appointed. God was silent. When God is silent then there is something happening. This appointment never happened. I praise God for rescuing me from it before I totally fall. If ever I was appointed, then there are going to be four people who will be known as a corrupted people- me, my dad, that church worker, and the officer. Thank God we are all safe. I am sure there are lots of cases in your own kitchen, how your brother or your sister gets a job. No doubt, you will be a slave to that person who appointed you no matter what. I am not telling you to quit that job, I am just telling you that you are forgiven and now it’s your duty to give your best to the society.
Whenever I do anything mischievous my dad used to always catch me. I just hate him sometimes because he was always after me and he still do, but I don’t hate him anymore. I love him more because he teaches me with an iron rod when I was young, that’s why I am bold enough to write this. God never allows me to fall totally; He’ll always come and rescued me before I fall completely. I remember one day in my work place where I was caught for slinking a tip that was mean for the whole team. My boss summoned me to his office and asks me if I took the money. I could have said that I didn’t, I could have told him I kept it in the tip box, and I could have walked out from his office as a guilty free man. But my conscience would not agree with me. I said I did it. My boss thanked me for my honesty and closed the case or else I would be fired that day. See, this is how God rescue His people.
I think we are all like Peter in the bible who was with Jesus and have seen everything from healing the sick to raising the death; from calming the sea to walking on the water; from turning the water into wine to multiplying the young boy’s meal, etc. He has seen it all but when the last hour comes he changed his mind set and denied Jesus. I think Nagas are like Peter; we all know that things are not right but like Peter we are afraid to stand for the truth and just ignored or denied it. The Peter story goes on; he repented and become the foundation of the church. Dear beloveds, let us learn from him, yes we had failed to do our parts, but all hope is not lost; it is never too late to start again. For one moment let us forget the ACAUT, NSF, and NTC, Students ’ unions, Hohos and even NBCC and look at our own family. Let us all look back where our parents, our brothers and sisters have gone wrong, let us look at ourselves in the mirror and think what we have done or failed to do in this corrupted system. Let us all unite our hearts and minds and ask where corruption, unclean election, illegal things, war and bloodshed, etc are coming from, it all start from the individuals and from family. Let us all question ourselves and repent like Peter. We all failed but not fully fallen.
The reason I am writing this is because I have been through all; I have been in corruption; I cheated people in my work place; I lied to people; I broke the promises; I failed to be honest in simple things, etc. I have seen it all and experienced it all. This is the reason I am writing to all of us, let us all contribute a small thing for the change. Maybe, just one step to do good and one step back to do bad. Let us stop blaming the authority for corruption. Let us stop pointing fingers on Churches or NGOs. Let us change our mindset and start from our own kitchen. Let us be honest with our family. Let us say black is black and white is white. Let us not allow our conscience to blame us. Let us be honest with ourselves.
CHANGE IS COMING! YES IT WILL, BUT NOT FROM THE CHIEF MINISTER’S OFFICE. CHANGE WILL COME FROM US AND FROM OUR FAMILY ONLY IF WE ALLOW JESUS TO TRANSFORM OUR HEARTS! CHRIST IS STILL FOR NAGALAND AND NAGALAND IS STILL FOR CHRIST! AMEN!