You are a ‘FRENEMY’ if you Show any of these 15 Traits…

You may be a frenemy without knowing it. Read this post to confirm if you are one or not… 

True friendship is that relationship you have with an individual who isn’t your relative, neither are you bonded by any vows to be true to them, yet, you truly love, cherish and care about them and, will do anything in your power to ensure they are comfortable. The Bible even testifies that two heads are better that one (Ecclesiastes 4:9) and Proverbs 27:9 also says:

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” 

If true friendship is this beautiful and everyone wishes to have a friend that they can lean on, then why are there so many complaints of mistrusts and betrayal among ‘friends’ recently? This phenomenon is so bad that the radio station that I listen to at dawn has dedicated the entire week to praying against bad friends (can you imagine?) 😯. This implies bad friendships are gradually creeping into our churches and among Christians.🙄

There must be a thin line between being a genuine friend and gradually taking on the status of an enemy. I don’t want to believe anyone sets out to want to be a bad friend and cause heartaches to another person (I may be wrong, though) but the process of becoming a ‘frenemy’ may start in the mind, in the form of tiny droplets of envy and could later degenerate into actions which may be detrimental to a relationship. That is why the Bible encourages us to guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) because all of a sudden, the friendship that people cherished so much could detonate into a rivalry, transforming two people into ‘frenemies’ and the results are not pleasant.

All is not lost, we can still be good friends with each other but first, we need to do some introspection. These 15 signs listed below should help you determine if you are ‘frenemies’ towards certain people.

You are/may be a ‘frenemy’ when…

  1. You do not genuinely pray for the progress of your friends.
  2. You can’t stand to see the progress of your friends. You either want to be on the same or a higher level than they are and would, therefore, do everything in your capacity to ensure that.
  3. You thrive on unhealthy competition and, therefore, would want to be ahead of everyone, including your friends.
  4. You stop checking up on friends when you notice they have advanced in certain areas of their lives. For instance, they have new jobs, gotten married, travelled, etc.
  5. You only check up on your friends to see what’s new so you can silently ‘pray’ evil prayers for them.
  6. You only check up on your friends when you need their help.
  7. You do not want to offer a helping hand to your friends even though you are ‘up there.’
  8. Your heart skips a beat (out of envy) when you see their social media updates and that makes you want to probe further into their lives to see what’s new.
  9. You provoke your friends to bare their hearts to you only for you to blackmail them with that information or use that as fuel for your gossip.
  10. You always want to take from them but not give out.
  11. You start hating because your friend (in your opinion) has not experienced enough challenges like what you have, hence, does not deserve their blessing.
  12. You feel better after discovering the flaws of your friends. That amuses you.
  13. You can’t give genuine compliments to your friends.
  14. You are relieved when you are not in their presence because you pretend when you are with them.
  15. You are always looking for ways to outdo each other (rivalry).

Do you display any of these sentiments towards a friend or group of friends? You should probably stop referring to them as friends and start calling them your ‘frenemies.’😀 That is the first step to the healing process. You need to admit you are keeping a toxic relationship if you display any of these traits and find ways of cleaning it up or running away from it.

© picasion.com_9CWp

3 Life Lessons to Take from Anas’ Number #12 Documentary

Whether you are a Ghanaian football fanatic or not, in the past weeks, there have been two names in the trends of both mainstream and social media – Anas and Kwesi Nyantekyi. The former is an investigative journalist while the latter tripled as the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council Member of FIFA.

For the purposes of those who do not know these two, Anas conducted an investigation into football administration in Ghana and came out with evidence that indeed there are corrupt officials who were ‘spoiling’ the beautiful game including the latter. After the documentary was aired, one of the questions people kept asking was why the former GFA President, in particular, allowed himself to be caught in such a compromising situation. Before you try and pass any judgements, please read three key lessons we have compiled from the above expose:

Lesson #1 If You do not stand for something, you will fall for anything

During an Ethics class back in school, our lecturer kept hammering on the importance of culling personal statements. In short sentences, these statements should include everything we stood for as individuals and should have the ability to govern every area of our lives, especially, when we are caught up in difficult situations. If you are Christian in any institution, perhaps, what should guide your personal statements are some of the prescriptions in the Bible. For instance, the Bible says we should obey those in authority so you can go with that. The Bible also says we should love our neighbours as ourselves, therefore, the last thing you’d ever do is to consciously hurt anyone. Practically, even when you are caught up in a queue at the bank, you wouldn’t cross the line while ignoring all those who have been in the hall. Before you take a bribe to influence a football match decision, as an official, you’d probably think of all the people seated in the stadium who are passionately supporting their teams. There are several biblical principles which we can adapt to guide our lives. Even if you not a fan of the Bible, adopt some good life philosophies (normative ethics) and let them shape your decisions. Yes, some institutions have Code of Ethics designed to define what constitutes right and wrong, but as an individual, allow some personal principles to guide the decisions you take.

Lesson #2 Whoever loves money never has enough – Ecclesiastes 4:10

We are living in a society where people are abandoning their purpose/passions and chasing after money and power because that is the new definition of success. We say ‘people are making it big’ when they are driving the latest cars and living in big houses. We give people respect when they are able to give fat tips or are dressed in the most fashionable clothes. No wonder we hardly get satisfied with what God provides for us and will go to all levels to enrich ourselves. After the documentary was aired, most people were shocked at the former GFA President in his pursuit to become rich despite all his credentials. Perhaps, if society shifts its focus off money and physical possessions as being the measure of success, individuals will be more patient, more content with the little they have and spend more time seeking and proudly running with their purpose, and that will ultimately eschew corruption in all its forms.

Lesson #3 Do not judge, or you too will be judged – Matthew 7:1

Put yourself to the test, before you cast a stone at Kwesi Nyantekyi or any of the officials who were caught on tape in compromising situations, ask yourself if you are an angel. Conceivably, you are seeing yourself as ‘holy’ because you haven’t been tested at that level. Personally, when I cast my mind back, there were positions I have held where I had to compromise a little bit to make the people around me ‘comfortable.’ It was a difficult decision and my conscience was severely pricked but I did that. Probably, you have not been presented with a huge ‘deal’ that when you pocket a small amount, nobody would notice. That pending contract which has the potential of changing your fortunes forever has not presented to you so we are unsure if you’d pass the test. Thus, let us be more circumspect in the words we use on the people who have been caught on camera while we pray we aren’t presented with such a test.

Have you seen the documentary? Are there any lessons you picked? What are your general views on corruption? You’d definitely love to hear from you. 

© picasion.com_9CWp

Motherhood – My Story

When I was ‘diagnosed’ of pregnancy in 2016:

  1. I was surprised.😯  I didn’t realise getting pregnant could come that easy for me. I could count the number of times I had had sex since I got married in December 2015 and I was certain it was not up to 50 times, so how did I get pregnant so quickly?
  2. I was disappointed. 😞I had planned out my year and that included going back to school and combining that with my job. Secondly, I had assured my friends I wasn’t going to get pregnant in my first year of marriage so how come?
  3. I was scared.😩 Who am I to be a mother? What are the theories of motherhood? What were the characteristics of good mothers? I had a lot of questions but no answers, initially. I was unprepared.

“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain—your life will never be the same.” – Catherine Jones

My husband was at his supportive best, answered most of the questions I had medically, and referred me to one of the best (in opinion) gynaecologists. During our first meeting, the gynaecologist encouraged me to be happy because I had no idea of what other women had to endure just to have babies. That statement got me reflecting, I felt I had been ungrateful for something as beautiful as the opportunity to bring life into the world. I started seeing my pregnancy in a new light and considered the best ways to make the most out of the situation.

I began reading and researching and of course, Pinterest (my favourite social media platform) and Baby Centre (app) were very resourceful and they cleared most of the misconceptions I had about childbearing. I spoke to other young mothers and there was a similar theme running through their conversations – Yes, delivering the baby was painful but an experience every woman needs to go through. Probably, the nine-month gestation period was designed by God for us to accept our new state and make preparations for the new addition. I made some adjustments to my career in order to combine schooling with motherhood (blog post for another day) and God has been faithful.

By God’s grace, my pregnancy experience was problem-free. No weight gain, no sicknesses, small tummy size and I could walk very well. Fast-forward to the delivery day, I had read so much about the process and I was certain I was going to sail through. I knew labour was painful but breathing through it gave you relief and that was going to be my strategy. When the labour started, my strategy was working perfectly until the process was augmented. That was when the pains switched from first to fifth gear. It was P-A-I-N-F-U-L and U-N-B-E-A-R-A-B-L-E. 😂 That level of pain is simply out of this world and for 12 hours, my body had to go through that to bring a 3KG baby girl into the world. There is a popular notion that when you see your baby, you forget about the pain. Well, my body didn’t forget about the pain. I felt traumatised and abused after going through that experience and I could barely sit up to touch my little girl. Before my delivery day, I had planned to dress my baby in a white dress, swaddle her nicely and take selfies when she was handed to me but, after what my body went through, I could hardly remember any of those plans. I’m not even certain who went into the suitcase to give the stuff for the baby to the midwives. When I saw my baby, she was already dressed in orange ‘welcome’ clothes (probably selected by her father)😁. Thank God for her father who was present throughout the delivery process and offered all the help.

When women get pregnant, we probably believe we’ll be free after the delivery process but, that is one of the biggest misconceptions ever. The delivery process is actually the baptism into the ‘new’ life. There is absolutely no rest even if you have help, you still have to breastfeed and adjust your sleep pattern to accommodate the little ones who want nothing but comfort (blog post for another day).

Before I became a mum myself, I thought Mothers Day was overhyped but after I experienced what I experienced and I’m still experiencing, I feel mothers are not even celebrated enough. In fact, every day should be mothers’ day because the job is tough and the sleepless nights, numerous. The job description includes being a cleaner, a nutritionist, an entertainer, a clown, a cook, teacher and any other role prescribed by the baby.

 “Birth is a mystery. Words are not enough.” – Marie O’Connor

Let me take this opportunity to celebrate all mothers because the role is a challenging one. To women who do not have biological children but sacrifice to make others comfortable, we say Ayekoo. And to mothers who have children with special needs, you are also doing brilliant jobs and we celebrate you today.

As a society, is it possible to ask us to stop questioning married couples on when they intend to have children? Childbearing is a choice, therefore, please stop putting people in uncomfortable situations when they have to keep explaining themselves to you. You have no idea of what their plans entail nor are you aware of what they are going through. The pressure you give may push them to do stuff in their power just to have babies and that could be deadly.

Motherhood is an amazing journey which never ends and to all the women giving lives and hope to people, we say a big thank you.

 

”Congratulations! You are going to be Parents!”

This announcement is greeted with a myriad of emotions depending on the circumstances surrounding the conception. It could be one of extreme excitement, for example, when the couple has had issues conceiving and suddenly, they receive this announcement. It could also be one of relief when the couple just got married and God blesses them with the fruit of the womb. It could be one of confusion and even disappointment in instances where the couple has vowed not to have children or are unprepared, and POOF 💥💥💥💥 one of them pops up.

This reminds me of a trending video on Facebook, where the husband was livid when his wife announced her pregnancy test result was positive. In the video, the couple already had three children, hence, the man’s reaction to the news.😄🤣 He ranted about his age, the number of children they had already, insurance, diapers, childcare and almost everything that comes with childbearing.

And his concerns are legitimate. Children come at a cost and if you aren’t ready for them, you may hit your head against the wall when one suddenly shows up and you are unprepared. Aside from the money involved, children take up your time, space and may even take a toll on your relationship as a couple. Babies understand nothing and all they want is to be comfortable. They don’t know how to manage any emotions or care if their parents are broke and can’t afford certain things. When a baby wants something, they need it immediately or they will shout and make you uncomfortable. 😂😂😂 Not to talk about how they can alter every aspect of your life, including your intimacy as a couple. It’s almost as if children can sense it when you slip out of your bed to be with daddy. 😂😂😂No wonder counselors warn new couples to give themselves some grace period before bringing these young ones into the world.

Being blessed with a child comes with a responsibility and what is most glaring is our level of preparedness to nurture these little ones to become responsible adults. How equipped are you for this new role? How wide-read are you on the subject of parenting? Do you intend to use your instincts or the parenting style your mum and dad used on you (even though times have changed)?🤨🙄

Like every other subject or course, the art of Godly parenting needs to be studied. There is the need to read around this subject even before we bring these little ones into the world. At every stage, we must know what is important to them and by reading, we’ll be properly equipped with the right tools to ensure they turn out fine. When we hear of seminars being organised on parenting, we should be quick to attend to seek some knowledge from the resource persons. There are several programmes which are run on radio and TV on the subject of marriage and Godly parenting. Examples include Famlife on Citi 97.3 FM on Saturdays at 7 am, Home Affairs on Joy 99.7FM on Saturdays at 6:15 am and Helpers of our Joy on Sweet Melodies 94.3 FM on weekdays from 9 pm – 10 pm. Apart from educating ourselves on the subject of parenting, there is also the need to pray constantly for these little ones. We need to be directed by the Holy Spirit when it comes to the subject of bringing up these children. At all times, we must lay hands on them and speak some good words into their lives. We must also walk our talk, in other words, portray what we want these little ones to emulate in our daily interactions as parents.

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Parenting is not just being labeled mummy and daddy, it’s a calling, a responsibility which has been bestowed on us by God and we need to get it right!

The ‘S-A-L-V-A-T-I-O-N’ of Our Salvation

S – Save.

Jesus Christ came to die on the cross to save us. While we were born sinners, He came in the purest form through the conception of a virgin, lived a short but purposeful life, proving right all prophecies concerning his birth, death and resurrection. We get saved when we accept, believe and confess his Lordship over our lives.

A – Amazing

Amazing grace – that is what saved souls like you and I. We were once lost but this amazing grace found us. We were sick but now we are healed. We were powerless but by His amazing grace, we have the authority to stand against the devil and his cohorts.

L – Love

His death on the cross portrays nothing but the extent of His love for humanity. The Bible says,

‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life’ – John 3:16.

1 John 3:16 goes further to define ‘love’ as Jesus Christ laying down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

V – Victory

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ spells victory for us in the sense that He defeated death and Colossians 2:5 puts it like this;

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

This victory transcends to us when we accept Jesus Christ as our saviour. We become victorious over all negative situations – poverty, sickness and all complications in our lives. We overcome them through our salvation and live victoriously.

A – Awesome

His death and resurrection has created that awesome relationship between us and God once again. We, who were once sinners, through the deeds of one man, can call the God of perfection, our Father. We take over God’s nature once again through salvation – Colossians 2:13.

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T – Thankful

We can be thankful to God for coming to die on the cross to save us from our sins. We can also show our appreciation by witnessing to others and depopulating hell. Let’s evangelise to others – through our way of life and words.

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              I – Incredible            

Just cast your mind back to when God created the world and made man in His own image and righteousness. Throughout scriptures, there were prophecies made about His birth, death and resurrection and He came to fulfill each and every one of them. If this cannot be described as incredible, what else qualifies as such?

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   O – Outstanding

Our acceptance of the gift He has given us makes us outstanding, different and unique. Our lives begin to change the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and personal saviour. Our speech, understanding of events and lifestyle begin to reflect this new life that we have:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

N- Noble

Can anyone’s death be described as noble? Yes, the saviour of the world’s death can be described as such and the result is our salvation.

You can only manifest these beautiful adjectives when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour. Have you accepted him yet? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? 

The Salvation Analogy

You are going through life and depending solely on your abilities. You have a thriving business and can afford most of life’s luxuries, yet, you feel burdened. You wish there was that person you could confide in but, you’ve had your fair share of disappointments. Your family, friends and colleagues, in the past, have disappointed you, hence, you’ve decided to keep to yourself. One of your biggest fear is how your future will turn out. Who do you share your joy, achievements, anxieties and sorrows with? As you were thinking about these, a salesperson walks into your office with this amazing product:

Salesperson: Good morning. My name is Kwame, I am a salesperson from Life Can Be Better (LCBB). I have this amazing product that I want to introduce to you. It has been on the market for some time now and it has the ability to make life much easier for you. Can I go ahead?

You: Hi. How did you know my life was a difficult one? And what product is that?

Salesperson: People who do not have this product in their lives face a lot of challenges. Those who have accepted it can testify to how it has changed their lives – it is free, though. All you need to do is to accept the product, believe it will work and confess that, indeed, the product is what you use. That’s how you can activate the product. Simple huh?

You (getting angry): Which cheap product are you coming to sell to me? I’ve been by myself for three long decades and I’ve been managing. How do you think some free product can make my life easier?

Salesperson: I’ve sold this product to a lot of people. I use it myself and really, this product has made my life more beautiful.

You (rolling your eyes): Keep your cheap product to yourself. A free product which can solve all of my lives’ problems? I don’t need it. You know I use designer perfumes and I wear designer clothes. The number plate of my car, as you can see, is customised. I simply cannot accept this cheap product of yours.

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This is how most people react when the salvation story is told to them. It is too simplistic and unbelievable and the process of being saved, too ‘cheap.’

 

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If the process of accepting Jesus Christ was a little more complicated and stylish, like paying a fee or performing some gymnastics, it would have been more believable and acceptable.

The process of being saved as a Christian is indeed simple and involves three main steps:

  1. Accept that you are a sinner because you are a descendant of Adam
  2. Believe that Jesus came to die in our place (the reason for the Easter celebration) and
  3. Confess the lordship of Jesus Christ over your life and receive Him as your Saviour (Romans 10:9-10; John 1:12).

It is that simple. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour? If you haven’t, you can say this simple prayer:

Dear Father, I thank God for your son who came to die for us and shed his blood for the washing away of my sins (reason for the Easter celebration). I, therefore, declare his Lordship over my life and invite him to be my Lord and personal saviour. Lord Jesus, come into my life, wash me with your blood and present me righteous before God. I thank you for accepting me into your kingdom as your child.

Amen

 

 

 

The Faith Digest

If Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen and

It is what gives us the assurance about things we cannot see,

Then,

Faith is believing in Jesus Christ, His resurrection and second coming.

It is believing in every word that is written in the Bible.

Faith is the understanding that the worlds were framed by the word of God.

It is obedience and without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Faith is believing in the word of God to the point that even when things are not going right, you’ll be hopeful.

It is trusting that whatever God has said about your life will come to pass.

Faith is walking away from that prayer meeting without any doubt that your heart desires will be fulfilled by your Father.

It is sowing seed with the last money in your wallet and trusting that God will pull a miracle.

Faith is starting that business and believing it will work even though everyone around you tells you otherwise.

It could mean packing items into your suitcase even though you have not received the visa to travel yet.

Faith could also mean purchasing those work clothes even though you have not been called for the job interview.

It is starting that church or fellowship even though you do not have the physical building or the members.

Faith is following the voice within to buy that plot of land in the neighbourhood where no one is building.

It is believing you are healed even though you do not feel it.

Faith is buying the wedding gown even though your beloved has not proposed to you.

It is refusing to have sex or get pregnant for that man you are not married to simply because you are almost 50.

Faith is preparing the nursery for the baby even though the pregnancy test hasn’t yielded positive results.

It is preparing for your graduation even though your examination results are not yet in.

Faith is not yielding to the pressure around you.

It is being convicted of what God has said about you.

Faith is smiling in challenging times.

It is not being doubtful.

Faith is walking in that vision that God has revealed to you.

It is simply putting your confidence in the one has created you and given you that purpose to fulfil.

Faith is simply trusting in God.

 

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– This post is inspired by Hebrews 11