Monday, 17 March 2014

Words, please come back

Sometimes there are seasons where there are lots of activities
And milestones to mark on the calendar
The days run so fast
Sunset comes and I ask, “Where did the day go?”

There are seasons where there are few words to write
I am barely catching my breath after all the events of the day
So many thoughts and planned written words
Yet those words escape me

In the midst of it all, I feel very blessed
Indeed, I am blessed
I thank God for His uncountable blessings
The experiences, good and bad are a learning curve
I wouldn't trade my life for another

Indeed, I am blessed 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

2 Popular myths that appear as if they are from the Bible…

… BUT are not. 

1.  Myth:  “God helps those who help themselves.”

Truth: God helps those who are helpless.  Throughout the Bible, it is evident that God has a special heart for the helpless and the vulnerable such as the poor, the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, etc. In the Old Testament days, God gave specific instructions for the care of such people. See Scriptural examples of God’s zealousness for the care and protection of the poor, orphans, widows and the foreigner below. The first example has really strong words of warning from God to the advantaged group.

Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless. Exodus 22:22-24 (NIV). 

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18 (NIV)

At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 14:28- 29 (NIV)

Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.  Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. Deuteronomy 24:17-22 (NIV)

When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.
Deuteronomy 24:19-22 (NIV).

If Boaz and his farm servants had not practiced the command to leave some of the barley sheaves behind them, do you think Ruth would have gotten food for Naomi and herself? (Ruth 2:1-23).

Under the New Testament covenant, Christians are expected to continue to care for the needy. To share is one Bible quote which for me, sums up the subject: 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 (NIV).

I believe this principle is different from fighting for or claiming what belongs to you as most people interpret the statement above. Even then, when one is at the receiving end of a twisted deal that goes against the person, God will come through for this person when he/she calls on Him. Read the example of the widow and her persistent petition to a godless judge, from Luke 18:1-8. 

2. Myth: “Money is the root of all evil”

Truth: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, (1 Timothy 6: 10: NIV). Some Bible versions say, “a root” while other say, “the root”. Discussions about money seem to be a thorny issue for most people. Is it because there is never enough? I don’t know. There are many pastors who would rather not talk about money or preach about money in their congregations; they often condemn their follow pastors who preach the “prosperity gospel”. The “prosperity gospel” pastors seem to excessively preach about money and wealth to the point of disregarding the message of first import: the salvation of lost souls. These are the two extremes. But whatever position one stands for or whether a person does not have any position at all, money is a necessity that one can’t live without. Just know this… it is the love (greediness) of money which is the problem, not the money itself.  

May the LORD bless as all as we confound myths with the truth of God’s Word. 

Blessings,
Lady Akofa.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

3 ‘Randomities’ of the First Quarter of 2013

By the title above, I’m not in any way saying that I’ll bring you ‘Randomities’ for the second or third quarter or whatsoever. I couldn’t think of any better title, that's all.

Sad but not sad, sad: Earlier this week, I decided to keep up to date with my blog reading and read an update from Google that  Google Reader  was going to be discontinued in July. “Oooh Google Reader!” was my response. :-( But whatever, I decided to check out other free RSS readers and found, The Old Reader. It’s simple, less colourful compared to Google Reader but good. I’m currently in a looooong import queue. Are you in the queue too? Crazy mad rush!  

Blessed and very blessed: New job, new environment, new home (coming soon!), …everything is just new. Well, at least in my rose-coloured world. I cannot thank God enough for His mighty works and goodness.

Hair Secret that Works: I discovered a secret ritual for permed hair that prevents split ends and it’s working well. So I don’t always have to trim my hair at every retouch. My hairdresser is famous for her scissors; she loves trimming hair. Not sharing, not yet, you gotta ask to know. : -) 

My random thoughts. 

 Can I bow out now?

Thank you,
Lady Akofa.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

My Scriptures for 2013


So these are my Scriptures for 2013, as given by the Holy Spirit in December (mostly paraphrased). As I meditate on them and read the Bible, I’m seeing more verses that relate to my current circumstances. I’ve been digging my nose or should I say my eyes (?) in the Bible these days. It’s like eating the Word in its raw state like one would eat raw, organic veggies. Salad, anyone? :-)

This was certainly, adulterated salad, lol! I was trying out a new salad cream and just had to splurge.














2 Peter 1:3-4 – God has given me everything I need that pertains to life and godliness through his very great and precious promises…
Ephesians 1:8 – God has already blessed me with wisdom and understanding in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 – God will provide ALL my needs according to His riches in GLORY in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do ALL THINGS through Christ Jesus, who strengthens (who gives me strength).
Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer, petition, with thanksgiving… peace of God will GUARD your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  
Philippians 4:8 – Whatever is pure, lovely, admirable, true, noble, right, excellent or praiseworthy … think on those things.
Isaiah 54:17 – No weapon … shall prevail/prosper. 
Direction/Guidance – Psalm 32:8-9, Isaiah 48:17, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 30:15, Isaiah 26:3
Psalm 23- the LORD is my SHEPHERD, I need no thing or I lack nothing. Goodness and mercy shall follow me – ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.
Romans 8: 28-32 – All things work together for my good… to the glory of God.
Psalm 34: 17-19 – Promise of protection and deliverance
Psalm 91 

They may or may not make sense to you, my dear reader. Or some  or all may speak to you. But that’s okay because they are meant for me in the season of life that I’m in now. Some speak of protection (physical, mental and emotional), deliverance, direction/guidance, the certainty of my future, (which is good), empowerment to do what I’ve been called to do, provision (past, present and future), etc. In essence, my security and my future are good and assuredly granted in God through Christ Jesus. I need not fear or be concerned about the uncertainties of tomorrow. 

What I really want to encourage is the habit of asking God to speak to you about whatever is on your mind or whatever concerns you through His word and by His Spirit. The Holy Scriptures are solid and firm. You can, like a lawyer, always refer to the constitution (the Bible) to justify your petitions, requests or claims. Again, like a lawyer, you must have studied or prepared in the specific area before you stand before the Judge. But even if you are unable to, you can always start as a baby would in simple, imperfect language and the Holy Spirit will teach you to stand on God’s word. Step by step. It’s a process. Nobody grows to be an adult in a day.

Little by little, eat the Word,
Lady Akofa.

Please click here to read part 1 of this post.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

... I walk with Him always

I have been meditating on Psalm 23 and I keep thinking, “Wow, David (the composer of the Psalm) really knew what he was talking about. He had such a deep relationship with the LORD and had so much revelation!” 

Talk about provision:  The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want
Talk about rest: He makes me lie down He leads me beside still waters  
Talk about calm & peace: He leads me beside still waters
Talk about emotional healing: He restores my soul
Talk about guidance: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake
Talk about the glory/honour/reputation/character of God: for his name sake
Talk about discipline, comfort and guidance: your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Talk about protection and deliverance in the darkest hour and lowest valley:  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
Talk about God’s guaranteed presence: for you are with me
Talk about a banquet/party (physical or spiritual feast): He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies
Talk about vindication: He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies
Talk about being consecrated/set apart by God for the banquet: you anoint my head with oil
Talk about overflowing joy or a generous pouring of drink: my cup overflows
Talk about continued abundance of good things (physical or spiritual) and mercy: Goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE
Talk about your own commitment to God for all eternity: and I shall dwell (live/abide) in the house of the LORD, forever. 

Lots of goodness in this famously recited Psalm! If it doesn’t blow your mind, then I don’t know what else to say...

May the LORD be your Shepherd, 
Lady Akofa.

Please click here to read the first part of this post.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The LORD is my Shepherd...

The LORD is my Shepherd,
I walk with Him always.
He leads by still waters, 
I walk with Him always.

Always, always
I walk with Him always.
Always, always
I walk with Him always.

I woke up in morning with this song (above) in my heart sometime last week. I let it play in my mind as I relished the memories of the times I sung it at Sunday School and with my sister and cousins at home when we were kids. Then I took out the electronic keyboard and managed to find the rights keys and played it. Worship mode: activated.

This is a song that I haven’t sung or heard in years.  No, we don’t sing it (not this version) in church these days. And I don’t recall hearing it sung in Sunday School in the past five or so years, now that I teach Sunday School. Lesson preparation in this song: activated.

The song is based on Psalm 23. It is one of the Scriptures God gave to me at a friend’s wedding. And it’s one of the most recited prayers in churches, Christian gatherings and schools (even public schools) in Ghana. It is usually learnt in KJV. I figure, most kids can recite it in their sleep, lol! : - ) I remember, a lady in our church gave a testimony  of how God led her sister to pray aloud the Psalm while she was in labour. Wow!

Interestingly, there are many musical renditions of Psalm 23, check out youtube.com and you will see.

to be continued...

Please click here to read the second part of this post. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

God’s Word: My anchor in 2013


So I was at a friend’s wedding about 3 weeks ago. I arrived late because I got lost on my way, so I sat at the back. Fortunately for me though, I got in just in time for the vows. After the vows, the pastor preached the salvation message while sharing a few thoughts on marriage. 

As I sat there, I had several things on my mind, mostly major decision issues. I needed clarity and direction from God as the New Year was fast approaching. While I listened to the pastor and agreed with much of what he said, suddenly several Scriptures (not related to sermon at all!) started flashing through my mind in such a fast pace that I quickly took a notepad and wrote them down. As they came up in my mind’s eyes certain phrases and words jumped at me and flooded my soul with light and filled me with renewed purpose. 

God has spoken to me through these specific Bible verses over the years at different points and in different circumstances in my life. However, this time, it felt like God was giving me a cumulative collection of Scriptures for 2013. Each verse countered each anxiety or concern that I had. Indeed, I could add on more Bible verses to the list and create a little pamphlet out of them. 

I don’t know what 2013 holds for me, but I’m so comforted that God has already given me divine tools to work with in the days ahead. His words are my anchor for 2013. 

I pray that God will speak to you also and that you will hear Him speak to your soul. A new day has come!



Afienhyia pa!
Lady Akofa.

Please click here to read part 2 of this post.




Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Be careful what you ask for


Throughout the year, Ghanaians have been praying for peace before, during and after our December elections, Christians, Muslims and traditional believers alike. Many persons and groups have campaigned in various ways to advocate for peace; celebrities, school children, religious leaders, etc. It was overwhelming to hear of the many churches/denominations and Christian organisations who organised prayer-fests or prayer marathons, for the peace of the nation during this critical time and how Christians eagerly responded to the call for prayer for the nation. And there were peace concerts, peace walks and other events organised as well. I was amazed to watch a documentary in which grandmothers were admonishing the youth not to undermine the peace that Ghana had enjoyed over the years. In the unlikely case there is war, it’s usually old folks, children and the vulnerable who suffer the most, so I get the drift. 

In spite of a few skirmishes here and there, overall, I believe God has answered our prayers. We asked for peace. God has given it. So everywhere you turn, this or that person is saying, “peace that” and “peace this.” To say that I’m grateful for this peace is an understatement. But note what is being said, “... for the sake of the peace of the nation” and NOT “... for the sake of the people of the nation.” Who or what is more important: the peace or the people? Maybe I need a teacher to take me into another level of learning, haha!

So, I’ve been wondering, what if Ghana had prayed for say, “transparent, free and fair elections”? Wouldn't that have prevented claims of election rigging?  While, I’m not for or against any of the major political parties, I think that any persons or parties that have  evidence to prove in court that the election process or results were manipulated should freely do so. That is a true test of our democracy; people should be able to seek redress in the constitutionally viable manner, without hindrance from any opposing person or group.

Ghanaians, particularly Christians, should realise that this same God, to whom they fervently prayed for peace, is a holy, righteous and just God. I do not suppose He will overlook the injustice and sweep it under the carpet like human beings do. But then, I don’t know how God will work justice out for those who seek redress except through Jesus Christ; He is such a big God for my small mind. Hear me well: Be careful what you ask for. More importantly, know the Person to whom you are making your requests.

Peace!
Lady Akofa.:-)


Friday, 16 November 2012

How times have changed!

Before the internet days, I mostly read books, cover to cover and thick books like Condensed Readers’ Digest Collections, often one at a time. But now, a considerable amount of reading is done online, and they tend to be short articles.

My reading habits are not structural. I fail at my goals to complete one book per month or whatever. Instead, I read several books in a month but do not finish them. So what does it mean? Perhaps, two half-read books make one? Haha! I tend to reread old articles that I’ve printed from the internet as inspiration for personal growth. I often take notes, when I get an insight every now and then. I also save articles in PDF or download free e-books and read them straight from my laptop. So if, I regularly read 1,500-2,000 word articles… how many would I have to read to be considered as a full book? Haha!

Anyway, what I find myself doing often when I’m online, is noting recommendations or reviews of newly released books and noting those that I would like to buy someday. That way, I can ask a family member to purchase them during his or her travels for me.

There is also a booming market for both motivational and Christian literature in Ghana, so I often go the noted Christian bookstores in Accra to check out what is in stock. To be in the midst of books, either at a library or in a bookstore, gives me pleasure.

Now the challenge is to be an author too, haha!

“Of making many books there is no end,…”
Ecclesiastes 12: 12b; NIV

Books, books, books!
Lady Akofa.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Confession: I’ve not always loved reading.

My sister was the one who loved reading. Growing up, she almost always had a book in her hand; in the kitchen, in the car, while eating, walking from the dining room to our bedroom, etc. Our shelf was full of books. I probably owned 0.05(!) of them. What a pity.

My mother noticed my apathy to reading and sought to do something about it. I was about 8 or 9 years old then, I think. She encouraged me to read and decided to reward me with money for every book I read and gave a verbal review of. Sounded good to me; I wanted the money. So I’d read one of my sister’s books and would tell her what I read. I would ‘earn’ money, come back with more reviews and then ‘earn’ more money. But the interesting thing was since I was young and didn’t have many financial aspirations at that time (I already had lots of toys and a bicycle), I would always give the money back to my mother for safekeeping, which I never claimed. At some point, I stopped reading for money because I was reading several books per week! Another reader in the family had been born.

But then, in my early teens, my father felt I was not reading enough African literature (remember: Sweet Valley High, Baby Sitters Club, etc.), so he gave me couple of African books that, I think were difficult for my age at that time… or maybe not, only he knew what his intentions were. But his approach demanded more: unlike the tales I would narrate to my mother of which book I had read, I was to write my review of each book, write all the unfamiliar words I came across in my reading and learn these new words by finding out what they meant from the dictionary. And he did make sure to mark my homework (or do we call it, daddy-work?), of course, he is a professor of Ghanaian and African literature!

So in my living abroad experiences, I’ve always been a card holder of public libraries. It’s fun to walk into a library and surprise the old lady volunteer (they have mostly been old ladies!), when I ask for the bestseller section and she provides me with her take on a few of them. I would check out a variety of books each week and return them often before the due date. I intend to keep this habit, should I have the opportunity to live abroad again in the near future. Perhaps, I will return to Ghana with a ship full of purchased books for consumption and to be given as gifts, lol! I also have an ambition of owning a bookstore. My wish might just come true. But first, I need to add to the collection of books of this world. So help me God.  

I would want my children to develop a love for reading much earlier than I did. I know an older woman in my church who taught her grandchildren to read by the age of three years. When she told me this, I exclaimed, “Wow, three years!” Then I understood why her grandchildren were proficient readers among their peers in my Sunday School class and why her own children, who are my peers, had been avid readers when we were growing up. I’ll need to go back to learn some skills from this woman on how she accomplished this in her family. In recent years, I’ve started building a collection of children books. I try to select them with care, so that I can answer questions when they come up, but you never know, kids always ask the most unsuspecting questions, don’t they?

I’m grateful to my mom, who sparked the fire for my reading craze. Yaaay, it’s my hobby now! Although I did not catch it earlier, I’m beginning to see why it is not healthy to have an appreciable understanding of one’s own local literature and I believe that is one on the things my dad had been trying to teach me in my teen years. I’m always amazed at how much my dad reads despite his impossibly busy schedule. I’m also grateful for my sister, her personal library became mine in those early years and I was never for want of books or have never been because I still get to borrow her books.

Now, I love reading!
Lady Akofa.