Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Our Saturday here in Namibia

Last Saturday was crazy and wonderful!

We visited a school in one of the poorest areas here in Windhoek / Namibia. Where it has only zinc shacks without electricity or any other structure.

I was arriving with the Sisterhood girls and we could see the children running down the streets toward the school, as they could see from afar the jumping castles we were putting up for them ...

It was a long day and the children could not contain the joy.

We took drinks, toys, candy, sweets, sandwiches and hotdogs!

We played and danced with them too.

When we were giving away the things, the children entered the queue several times!

They came with their mouths smeared with ketchup or bread crumbs and spoke ..."Auntie, I did not get anything!"

You know, I could not be sad with the lie, they were hungry and never got what they were having that day ...

I heard them saying to each other ... "Yes! Today is our day!"

We were so tired as the line seemed to never end!

Thankfully enough that we could give out repeats.

By late afternoon everyone was happy and content on the way to their houses, at least on that day, empty stomachs was not a problem ...

I share below some pictures from that day.

Things Women do that annoy their Husbands:

  1. Reprimanding him in front of others
  2. Always criticizing what he does
  3. Interrupting him when he is talking
  4. Arguing for insignificant things
  5. Taking away from his authority
  6. Not taking into consideration his opinion
  7. Talking about his flaws constantly
  8. Taking too long to get ready, making him wait for hours
  9. Making him go into all the stores in the mall, knowing he does not like it.
  10. Wanting to talk about problems when he is angry and thinking about other things
  11. Being super jealous and controlling
  12. Treating him as if he were your child and not your husband
  13. Being extremely sensitive and crying for everything
  14. Always saying no, no matter what he asks for
  15. When he is silent and asking him constantly what’s wrong.

I prepared this list with the help of some friends. My intention isn’t to criticize women; I just want to give advice to better the actions we take in our marriage.

Since the list is a bit long, I’ll continue in the next post.

I hope I can be of help

By Tania Rubin

Monday, 29 November 2010

“Ms. Goody- Two- Shoes”

During a certain phase in my life, Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes would come visit me frequently- we were great friends.

Generally, during a strong message or when I read a passage in the Bible, she would come visit me.

She would sit beside me during the meeting and whisper…

“Do you see? So-and-so should be here to hear to this!” “Hummmmm, this word fits like a glove on so-and-so.” “Look at her… Check to see if she’s paying attention, that’s exactly what she needs to hear…”

During my Bible readings…

“Just look at that verse!!! It speaks so strongly to that other so-and-so! She needs to read this!”

The funny thing is that Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes never told me when something was wrong with me; she only had eyes for other people. I never had any flaws; the word was never directed to me but always to others…

One day my eyes were opened and I realized how ridiculous and mistakenly righteous Ms Goody-to-Shoes was. I gathered courage and expelled her from my life!

Now I can hear God’s voice for myself and not for others.

During the meetings I always invite Ms. Look-at-Yourself to sit by my side and contrary to Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes, she makes me look inside myself… The words preached during the service are always for me. During my Bible reading I see that I have to a lot to change!

It isn’t easy, Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes doesn’t want to lose your friendship, and especially not to Ms. Look-at-Yourself!! Every once in while she reappears and I need to put her in her place.

Of course, there are times that we think, with no malice intended, that a certain word can be of true benefit to one person or another. But this shouldn’t happen with much frequency because if it does then we will become arrogant and mistakenly righteous and that will surely not help us at all; what’s worse is that it doesn’t please God.

Look at your life and your actions; observe who has been visiting you frequently. It its Ms. Goodly-Two-Shoes, get rid of her and invite Ms. Look-at-Yourself to sit beside you. She will help you a lot more…

War and Faith

Whoever is in faith is in Spirit, and whoever is in Spirit is in faith, and consequently is at war. There can be no peace in this world for those who live by faith. We can only have peace with God when our conscience is washed in the blood of the Son of God.

But to live in the world by faith is to depend on the Holy Spirit. Why does God give His followers faith?

Faith is not given to comfort people in times of pain, to help them keep religious traditions, or to serve as a mere accessory to their lives. Faith is the power of God to confront the devil; it’s the light of God to dissipate the darkness. That’s why those who are in faith are by nature in a revolt against evil; they are at war because they cannot accept what the world imposes upon them.

The Spirit of faith refuses to accept bowing before adversity or making alliances with the servants of evil.

The faith of the early Christians has nothing to do with the spiritual and moral corruption of this world. That’s why the Lord Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” In other words, Christian faith separates those who belong to the Light from those who belong to the darkness; the goats from the sheep, those who are of God from those who are not.

Moses said, “The LORD is a man of war” (Exodus 15:3). In other words, God is like a man of war. And in order to please Him, we have to live in faith and by faith.

It’s impossible to please Him without being in faith.

Bishop Macedo

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What team are you on?

I was very pensive just now…

It’s incredible how certain people can give up so easily on their dreams.

The first stone, the first obstacle and that’s it! They don’t want to try any more, they give up!

“It’s too hard” they say.

My God! What about their salvation? Will they give up on that too? Way too hard? Too much sacrifice???

Well, I learned that those that play on God’s team never give up!

They fight till the end. They fight, fight and fight!

Of course, if your dreams are things that are contrary to God’s will, then that means that you are not playing on God’s team.

My friends, we will never conquer anything without fighting for it and persevering. Have you ever seen someone conquer something without fighting for it?

Those that give up don’t conquer and are defeated.

Therefore, before accepting a challenge, before getting into a fight, think it through…

How have you been dealing with situations?

Do you give up? Do you fight?

The response demonstrates who you are and what team you’re on…

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Sweets...

It is funny how we feel a certain liberty to say what we want out loud when we think no one around us understands…

Have you ever traveled to a country where people speak a different language and don’t understand yours?

That can be dangerous…

The other day during one of our visits to a hospital here in Namibia…

“Where are you from?” I begin the conversation with a lady that had such a sad and anguished face. She stares blankly and looks very lonely and distressed.

“I come from the north.” She responds turning her attention to me.

“What happened to you? Why are you here?” I ask.

She shows me her bandaged arm and says that she was brought to Windhoek in a hurry as the hospital in the north didn’t have the resources to care for her and she needed an operation…

We continue talking and she tells me about how she had to come in a rush and didn’t have anything or anyone to visit her.

She didn’t even have soap to take a shower, a change of clothes, toothpaste, nothing at all. I was moved, for she wasn’t asking me for anything, she was just opening up…

Since there were 6 to 8 people all in the same room, we spoke a little bit more, we prayed for her and prayed for the other ladies in the room. I knew what I must do once we left that room…

I, along with the other pastor’s wives that were with me on that day, looked for a nearby shop where we could purchase basic toiletries for that lady.

We found the shop and each one of us looked for something: soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, under garments, etc…

On our way to the cash register, our basket full of items, I remembered the other ladies in the hospital room and picked up bags of sweets to give them. I was full of sweets in my arms and headed to the line to pay along with my friends…

When I reached the line a young lady that was standing in front of me turns around and gives me a warm and friendly smile; Surprised, I return the friendly gesture.

To my great shock this same young lady turns around to her friend and speaks out loud in PORTUGUESE…

“Look at that white woman behind me. That’s why their kids are full of rotten teeth; she should be embarrassed to be walking around with all of those sweets. She doesn’t take care of her children and then she complains…” With that she turns back to me and gives me another one of her nice and friendly smiles.

I didn’t waste any time, I smiled back at her and said nicely… “I’m sure it never crossed your mind that I also speak Portuguese, which is why you should be more careful when making your comments in the future and just to clarify, I don’t have children and these sweets are gifts that we will give to some ladies that we have just visited in the hospital.”

The young lady yelled in disbelief and said …. “Oh how embarrassing!” She got out of the line and left.

Her friend that remained on the line said… “Look, it was very good that this happened because I’m always telling her not to do things like that but she always does it. It was good, who knows, maybe this way she’ll change…”

When I look back I even laugh about it but in reality this served as a lesson for me too…

Especially when it comes to our eyes…

Not everything we see is what it looks like. Jumping to conclusions is very dangerous and it can lead us to make horrible mistakes and even hold grudges in our hearts.

Dining Etiquette - European vs American Dining...

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Little Plant and You...

Folks, oh how I love flowers!

Tulips are my favorite, so lovely and delicate…

I don’t just love flowers but plants in general. I love green and it’s really one of my favorite colors.

But I am terrible with them! I try to care for them but I always end up drowning them or letting them die of thirst. I’ve tried to have plants several times but the same thing always happens- they die…

I’ve heard people say that plants require lots of love and attention and others even talk to their plants…

So, what am I trying to say with all of this?

I have no idea! I was getting ready to type about something that has just escaped my mind… can you believe that?

But here goes the main point I was trying to make…

We need to be strong and healthy, not just our physical body but mainly our soul…

The devil plans our defeat daily, he is patient (that disgusting thing!), he knows how to wait for the right moment to bring problems, which is generally when we are weak and while we are weak he attacks.

Therefore, when facing hardships don’t forget:

*Your faith is your fortress. If your fortress is weak, the city will be seized! Strengthen your fortress and use it against your enemy.

*During these moments the only consolation we need comes from the Holy Spirit. Do you know those moments when people can try to help and speak to you but nothing consoles you? Well, He will help you. Seek Him today and always!

* The weak say I AM STRONG! Don’t accept defeatist thoughts that can come to mind.

*The devil enjoys and has a blast when we cry. He teases us.

* Open up to God, tell Him everything you are feeling, empty yourself until you have nothing left to say.

* Trust, trust and trust! Even if you can’t see any sign, even if it’s very hard to keep on going, even if it seems impossible to find a way out, even if everything gets worse, even if everyone is against you, even still let’s TRUST. It’s not easy at all my friends but it is essential for our victory.

Our God never fails!

Even after so much incoherence, I hope I was able to pass on what I wanted to say…

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Daily cleaning...

Have you cleaned your heart today?

Having a clean heart isn’t an easy task, especially for us women who are more sensitive.

The devil works in our heart, he uses people so that these, with their words and actions come to dirty our heart.

A person can be of God, but at the same time, if the person isn’t vigilant he/she can be used by the devil to say or act in a way that can affect someone who at that moment is the devil’s target.

It is important for us to use our X-ray vision to see that the devil is behind that situation.

It’s even more important to know what the devil’s purpose is…

The devil’s target is our heart. He wants for us to have a dirty heart full of grudges, sorrows, hatred, envy, etc… for a heart like that doesn’t please our God! Even worse, a heart like that will weaken us…

For this reason, we must do our daily cleansing.

The same way we have the habit of brushing our teeth every morning (I hope so!) we must also clean our hearts of all the “dirt” nothing can accumulate, otherwise, it rots!

My friend, care for your heart as if it were a precious jewel. A clean heart is priceless!

Thus, I ask again… Have you cleaned your heart today?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

For reflection...

All the care in the world is not enough when it comes to our testimony.

Testifying is not only telling people about the changes and marvels that God has made in our lives but above all it’s to show these changes and transformations through our gestures and actions…

Surely gestures and actions speak much louder than words; with these we can either glorify our God or embarrass Him.

Now I ask... What kind of testimony have we given?

Have we glorified or embarrassed Him?

You say… “I’m a Christian, I go to church!” and at the same time you don’t think twice before lying.

You say… “I believe in God” but you always get to work late, you don’t stand out in anything, you complain about everything, you don’t add, you don’t make an effort…

You say… “Jesus Christ is the Lord” but at home with your family you are incapable of helping out whether financially or physically…

We would be better off not saying anything, for at least we wouldn’t be embarrassing our God.

Analyze your actions today. What kind of testimony have you been giving? Embarrassing or glorifying?

Only you can change this situation!

Let’s decide today to be vessel of honor for our God!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

You've decided...

Cristina can’t sleep and as much as she tries she can’t stop thinking about Paul’s insinuations.

Lying on her bed she keeps staring at the ceiling and the thoughts keep coming.

Why does he suddenly have a problem with Patricia? We’ve always been friends and he never questioned it…

Is there something wrong? Is it possible that she knows something and hasn’t told me? Cristina ponders.

If it has something to do with Paul, is it possible that he is so shameless to the point of saying that she isn’t a faithful friend? Of course not!

“I have to sleep! I must wake up early tomorrow!” She turns on her side and falls asleep.

******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******

“So Paty, have you decided what to do about Cristina’s case? Did you tell her?” Priscila asks her sister.

“I still haven’t decided what to do, I’m not sure if I will tell her. She likes him so much and will suffer a lot Pri, I’m not sure if I should.” Patricia answers.

“I don’t think that you will have the courage to tell her. It’s already been over a week and you haven’t, maybe its better if you just forget about the whole thing.”

“It’s not that easy Pri, I found out that it wasn’t the first time that he did that.”

“What? Tell me everything Patricia!” Priscila asks curiously.

“Do you know Carlos?”

“Yes I know him, he’s Paul’s best friend.”

“Well, he told his girlfriend who then told me that Paul has gone out with lots of girls but he says he really loves Cristina! Can you believe that?” Patricia said with disbelief written all over her face.

“Oh my, I’m in shock Paty!”

“Apparently Paul has this idea that Cristina is the person he wants to marry, the one he loves and the others are just for fun.”

“It’s unbelievable but many guys have that idea of “woman to marry” and “woman to use.” It’s a reality.” Priscila adds with a sad sigh.

“That’s revolting but at the same time they have it easy because many girls give themselves to them on the first date!” Patricia comments with revolt.

“It’s true, some girls let themselves be used.”

At that very moment Patricia’s cellphone begins to ring and before answering she looks at her sister apprehensively as if telling her who is calling…

“Hi Cris, how are you?”

“Hi Paty, I wanted to ask you something” Cris says with a sad tone in her voice.

“Ok, ask me.” Paticia says with her heart racing.

“Look, I don’t know where to start. Maybe it’s nothing but I have my suspicions… A few days ago Paul made a strange comment. He wants me to distance myself from you. I have no idea why! Do you have a secret that you aren’t telling me? “ Cristina asks her best friend.

“Secret? What do you mean?” Surprised by her friend’s question, Patricia launches another one without knowing how to respond…

“Paty, Paul insinuated that you are not a faithful friend and I am very distrustful of that. I can’t understand his reasoning. I thought that maybe you might know something that you aren’t telling me…”

At that moment Patricia feels like she’s pushed against a wall but despite of all the anger she feels against Paul, she thinks about how much her friend will suffer if she knows the truth.

“Cris, you know I tell you everything.” Patrica says with little courage.

“Okay, I trust you my friend. I need to go now; we’ll talk more later. Kisses!”

“Ok, kisses” She hangs up and looks at her sister.

“Priscila, you aren’t going to believe what I’m going to tell you…” Patricia tells her sister about Paulo’s foul play.

“I didn’t have the courage to tell her but now I am sure that it’s the right thing to do! How can I be part of this! He has no character at all!” Patricia tells her sister.

“I’m going to call her right now!” She says reaching for the phone.

“Hi Cris, It’s me. Listen, please forgive me for not telling you before but the truth is that I saw Paul kissing another girl. That’s why he’s playing this dirty little game!” Patricia tells her friend in one breath, as if she would lose her courage if she extended it.

“Cris? Cristina? Please say something!”

“Say what?” answers Cristina and through her voice Patricia can tell that she’s crying.

“My friend, don’t cry! I didn’t say anything before because I didn’t want this to happen!” Patricia says with sadness in her voice.

“I expected a lot more from you Paty. I’ve been playing dumb and if it weren’t for Paul’s insinuations I think you would have never told me anything… that hurts me much more…”

“Cris, you need to understand that it’s a difficult situation. I feared making you suffer, of you not believing me, loosing you friendship, in short, it’s was a difficult situation!”

“Paty, a friendship isn’t only flowers and happy moments. In a sincere friendship it is necessary to have devotion of one towards the other. Through this zeal you should have analyzed what would have been less painful… First of all, I wanted to know the truth from you and not through others. Secondly, always tell the truth because surely sooner or later it was going to come to light and knowing it as soon as possible would have spared me from feeling so used and so dumb to my own eye and those around me that also know the truth.” Cristina explained sadly.

“Forgive me Cris, you are right. I should have told you sooner but I was afraid of your reaction. What are you going to do now that you know the truth?”

“I’m going to end it.” says Cristina.

“Think it through Cris, you love him so much, you have been dating for so many years, if you make a rash decisión then you will break up, change your mind and get back together and I am going to be the bad one in the story!” says Patricia.

"Paty, I expected more from you tan a comment like that! I have self-love and a “love” that makes me stay with someone lacking of character, that lies like he did, doesn’t exist. I need to be rational and leave my feelings aside. I know it’s going to hurt but it’s like the saying… “What burns cures and what’s tight secures!”

Cristina was true to her words and ended the relationship with Paulo who tried everything to get back together and recuperate Cristina’s love.

Many months later Paul was still trying to resume the relationship. Many friends in common would speculate how long Cristina would resist Paul’s romantic advances as he sent flowers, chocolates and gifts.

Nobody won the bet since they did not believe that Cristina would never return Paul.


Five years later…

The two friends were sitting next to the pool in Cristina’s new house taking advantage of the hot summer sun...

“Cris, I am so happy for you. It’s great to see that Eduardo and you were made for each other! To think that you wasted so much time with Paul, remember him?” Patricia asks her best friend of many years.

“How can I forget? It was hard to forgive him and leave my feelings aside but it was worth it! I’m happily married and I love Eduardo a lot.”

“You guys complement each other! But till this day I don’t understand how you managed to resist Paul’s appeals. I’ve never seen anyone insist so much, I think that deep down he really did love you….” Patricia comments.

“Look, it wasn’t easy but what made me be even more sure of my decision was when I found out that people, even my parents thought that I wouldn’t resist and get back together with him. I think that from that point on it became a matter of honor! I needed to love myself more than him… Today I feel more than happy with the decision made!”

“All of that was a lesson for me as well! There are times that we need to set emotions aside and act with our head. It’s not easy but your example shows me that it’s worth it. Especially after I found out that Paul got married and always cheats on his wife. Look at what you freed yourself from!” Patricia states.

“Poor guy, surely he isn’t happy and his wife isn’t either. Avoid commenting that with others and let’s pray for them.” Cristina responded with a sad tone in her voice.

“You are right my friend, I shouldn’t have commented it with you. Perhaps in my subconscious I imagined that it would bring you some comfort…”

“Not at all Paty, I feel sad for them.” Cristina answered pensively.

“Hey, let’s change the subject?! I heard that tomorrow the two love birds are going on vacation!!”

“It’s true; we are going to take advantage of the summer.” Cristina answers thinking about how she was going to have to pack her bags later.

“Ohhh how lovely… holidays with my love….”

The End

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