Number Of The Day: 100 (Dedicated To Thanksgiving Day)

As you’ve probably noticed, I briefly discontinued my Bible Story series.

My initial plan was to celebrate my 100th post on this blog a little bit more subtily. However, this was not meant to be.

You see, just a couple of hours ago, I used to be part of a select group of special humans who thought that Thanksgiving Day was the Fourth of July!

(Disappointing! Yeah, I know 😦 )

Well, as soon as I settled that ‘minor’ issue of dates, a significant verse popped into my head:

The Message Bible translation of Psalm 100:4a which reads,

“Enter with the password: Thank You”

One shouldn’t wait till Valentine’s day before love is shown to everyone around him. Only hypocrites do that. Love is to be shown everyday.

One shouldn’t wait till Christmas or Easter, before Christ’s redemptive work for mankind is remembered. Only the heathen do that.
We should walk in the awareness of Christ salvation of our souls everyday.

In the same vein, we shouldn’t wait till Thanksgiving Day, before we appreciate God for all He has wrought in our lives.
As the Message Bible rightly points out, thanking God on a continual basis is the only way to get even more goodies from His inexhaustible blessings!

Thank Him.
Bless His Name.
Give Him praise.
And worship Him.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Return Of The Ark (Part 3)

Abinadab couldn’t believe his ears. Hurriedly, he took permission from the king and went to fetch his sons. Moments later, two well-parloured and healthy young men were lying prostrate before David.

King David studied the two men. The duo would surely not be out of place in the army. David quickly dismissed the thought as soon as it came. That was an issue for a latter period. Getting the ark back into Jerusalem was of prime importance.

“Which one of you is Uzzah?”, asked the king.

The taller of the two men signified by raising his right hand.

“I see. Alright, both of you, get my men to come and pick the ark. We have to start moving back to Jerusalem”

Outside Abinadab’s house, there was still a lot of fanfare and celebrations and rejoicing before the LORD. There was even a greater shout of joy as the ark surfaced. The ark was so heavy that it took 8 strong soldiers to lift the ark’s poles upon their shoulders, two men at each corner of the ark. They were most definitely not going to carry the ark in this manner to Jerusalem. That would be too strenous!

Abinadab devised a plan to make the work easier. He got a new cart that had never been used before. That way the transport of the ark would be easier for everybody. David liked the idea.

The cart was yoked and joined to two oxen. The ark placed was placed ever carefully into the straw-padded cart. Soon, all was set.

Ahio and his brother Uzzah took charge of the oxen and the cart. Joab and his men were directly behind. And King David and his ‘Mighty 30’ followed up in the rear.

The road back to Jerusalem wasn’t particularly smooth. The cart endured a bumpy ride. Uzzah was worried about the ark of the LORD falling off.

So he called out to his brother,
“Hey bro!”. His voice was in a hushed tone laden with agitated excitement.

Ahio narrowed his eyes with a little frown. What was wrong? He looked silently in his brother’s direction.

“With the road full of gullies and potholes, do you think the ark might fall off?”

Ahio glared incredulously at Uzzah.

“What are you saying, brother?”

“I don’t know. It’s just a passing thought. Besides, my concerns are genuine”

“Uh…Okay”

Ahio couldn’t understand his brother’s fears. After all, when the Philistines captured the ark years ago, it was put on carts. When they also returned the ark, it was put on carts. Nobody had watched over the carts in those instances, yet the ark didn’t fall off.

“Look….”, Uzzah interrupted Ahio’s thoughts,

“…stay here and lead the oxen. I will watch from the back of the cart. If anything unusual happens, I’d be right there at hand”

Uzzah had made up his mind and started off to the back of the cart. For peace’s sake, Ahio kept mute.

The ride was now very bumpy and rough. Uzzah stared at the ark. He played in his mind’s eye how he was going to act when the ark fell off. When the ark fell off? How on earth did he know that the ark was going to fall off? Uzzah kept on dwelling on these thoughts.

The ark’s entourage soon reached the large threshing floor on Nachor’s land. That was when it happened. One of the cartwheels got into a gully. Time seemed to freeze. The impact of the shock caused the ark of covenant to stumble out of the cart! Uzzah had seen the scenario in his mind before. He knew what had to be done. He made for the ark.

Everyone who saw the scene knew what must not be done.

Behind Uzzah, Commander Joab and others with him yelled,

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

It was too late.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

The Return Of The Ark (Part 2)

Moments later, the hosts departed the highly fortified city of Jerusalem amidst a lot of fanfare. Cymbals clanged and trumpets poompaahed. The crowd shouted joyfully as the army men trooped out of the city. They seemed to be as numerous as a troop of locusts invading a ranchland. Commander Joab was in front of the men, trotting slowly on his big, black and powerful horse. The crowd cheered his name. The commander afforded himself a wry smile. He waved back.

King David rode his white horse behind the marching troops. He was in the company of the ‘Mighty 30″- a group of selected valiant men of valour who had been with the king through thick and thin. They had seen it all: The wars, the hardships in the desert and the search parties organized by King Saul, David’s predecessor. And in return, David treated them more than his aides- they were his brothers.

Eventually, the King and his entourage arrived at Gibeah. It was as if the whole nation had turned out to see the ark, as well as the king. There was a lot of music and fanfare. The people and the troops mingled joyfully. They all danced about like playful birds.

David alighted his horse and got into one of the first houses near the city’s gate. It was Abinadab’s house. As soon as the middle-aged man saw the king, he prostrated himself in obiesance to King David.

“You may stand up. May the LORD God bless you and your household”

“Amen. Thank you, your majesty”

David now looked beyond Abinadab. That was when he saw the ark. It was much more beautiful and glorious than anything he had seen before. It was a large golden cuboidal box. On the top of the box, there was the shape of two golden angels facing each other. The wings of the angels touched each other at the top. There were also two long golden poles along the length of the cuboidal box. These were used to lift the ark.

But the most amazing feature of the ark was its luminscent nature. The body of the ark seemed to radiate a special light that did not cause the eyes to ache. David’s heart leaped within him. He turned to Abinadab,

“Is this how it appears everytime?”

“Yes, your majesty, isn’t it wonderful?” There was emotion in Abinadab’s voice.
David looked at the man. He definitely loved God too.

King David cleared his throat, “We’d take it from here”

Almost immediately, Abinadab fell on his knees before the king. David wondered what the matter was. Abinadab clasped his hands together and used them to touch his forehead.

“Your majesty, if you will, please, I have one last request to make of you, regarding the ark, sir”

David motioned him to go on.

“Your majesty, if I have found favour in your sight, please let my sons Uzzah and Ahio take charge of the transportation of the ark from here to Jerusalem”

King David took a moment to think. There was no harm in the older man’s request.

“Very well then. Where are the boys?”

(TO BE CONTINUED)

The Return Of The Ark Part 1 (My First Short Bible Fiction Story)

It was still early in the morning. The sun was just coming out. The skies were clear and the birds hopped, flew and made joyful chirps all around the trees nearby. The building in the compound was different from any other type one would see in Jerusalem. It was very much larger. And it was well guarded by tough-looking men armed with spears or swords. The reason was simple: It was the King’s palace.

Inside one of the largest rooms in the building, David Barjesse could hardly control his excitement. He shifted excitedly on his large ivory throne. In his mind’s eye, he replayed how the fleet-footed messanger, Ahimaaz, had recounted the news just moments ago. The news was simply too good to be true.

David signalled at one of the servants waiting on him in the throne room

“You beckoned, Your majesty, sir”, said the slightly built young servant. He was already kneeling on the soft and furry animal skin directly in front of David.

“Get me the commander of the Army, immediately”

“Yes, your majesty”

With that, the servant hurried out of the room in a manner similar to the movement of a squirrel on a tree branch.

King David looked at the gold-plaited ceiling above his head. He smiled to himself. Of course, it was not the beauty of the ceiling that fancied his amusement. It was another article made of a similar material, yet so much more important…

The ark of God had been found!!!

David had heard so much about the ark all the while he was growing up in the backlands of Bethlehem. Yet he had not so much as set his eyes on it. The ark had been captured in a battle with the Philistines, Israel’s fiercest enemies, over 40 years before. This implied that throughout the reign of his predecessor, King Saul Barkish, the ark was nowhere to be found. And for years, the annual ritual at Shiloh still went on. The people and the priests knew the ark, which represented God’s Presence was absent from the tarbernacle in Shiloh, yet they still went on worshipping an organized structure, rather than the Personality.

But that was in the past, thought David. Now the ark was back in Israel, specifically at the house of a certain Abinadab in Gibeah. It was within reach.
David silently muttered a deep heart-felt praise to the King of kings for counting him worthy to witness the ark’s return…

” Your Majesty?!”

David blinked. Joab, the army commander, was already standing in front of him. David briefly studied the expression of the sturdy, battle-hardened man before him. They had been together right from the harsh days in the cave of Adullam. Joab might have been savagely brute but he was loyal, and that was what count. David went on to speak.

“Today is a glorious day in the history of Israel. I’m sure you’ve heard that the ark is back in Israel!”

Joab’s bearded face remained expressionless.
“Your majesty, I am fully aware of the new developments, sir. Ahimaaz debriefed me. I also double-checked the details with Cushi. The two pieces of informatiom tallied, sir. It appears that the ark is seemingly safe in the house of a certain Abinadab in Gibeah, sir. May I know your plans, your Majesty?”. Joab’s voice remained in a flat, emotionless monotone.

“Arrange for 30, 000 of the finest soldiers and get the men ready to pick the ark of covenant. I would be coming along too”

30, 000 soldiers!
Joab felt he would rather use that amount of men to expand the kingdom of Israel than employ them as entourage for the ark. He maintained his expressionless exterior.

“Alright your majesty. Permission to fall out, sir?”

David nodded and waved his heavily ringed left hand in dismissal.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

A Heart Condition

Picture this:

You are in a doctor’s office, waiting anxiously for the results of the invasive tests you just did. The doctor soon comes in with his professional poker face. He sits. And looks at you squarely.

‘You have a heart condition, sir’

Well, the fact is that you actually DO have a heart condition. And so do I.

Fortunately, by ‘heart’, I don’t mean that fleshy, four-chambered, fist-shaped organ in our chests that pumps blood through our bodies.

No. I mean that inner you where the very fibres of your emotions are knitted.

If it were possible to check your heart condition, what would be found?
Anger, Bitterness, Strife, Envy, Lust and Jealousy?
Or Love, Joy, Peace and Gentleness?

No one needs to tell you which is the better option.

To crown it all, the best Heart condition one could have is a Heart of Worship. And I don’t mean those slow songs that we listen to on Sundays. Those are fine, but it goes more than that. A Heart of worship is a lifestyle!

When you look at the magnificence of nature and you wholehearted bless God. That’s worship!

When you bless God for the very breath you take in every moment. That’s worship!

When you remember to let your heart sing uninhibitedly to the King of kings, not only for the large milestones in your life, but also of the daily benefits. That’s worship!

Cultivate the best heart condition today.
A heart of worship!!!

Four Cardinal Points

When I was younger, I used to tease my female classmates. A lot!

For instance, I once asked them how they would feel if on their wedding day, the officiating minister read John 4:18, instead of I John 4:18.

The latter reads:
‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love’

And the former reads:
‘For you hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly’

Needless to say, the very prospect of that scenario sent shivers down the spines of those ladies. Bless their hearts!

On a more serious note, the most memorized Bible verse is John 3:16. It talks about God’s love for humanity and how God sent His Son to give everlasting life to as many that believe in Him.
However, not many Christians are familiar with I John 3:16:

‘Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren’

For some reason beyond me, we all have been indoctrinated with an attitude of selfishness.

Our 4 cardinal points seem to be: Me, My, Mine and Myself. For others, it’s worse: I, I, I and I!!!

We all naturally want to amass and amass for ourselves to enjoy alone.
But alas, we are instructed to walk in the steps of Jesus.

Jesus put aside the splendour of His glorious heavenly majesty and came to the earth as a full man. Yet He was without sin. This fact alone should motivate us to be less self-oriented.
But Jesus didn’t even stop there!
He went on to die for our sins and imputed us with His righteousness. And we’d never be able to repay Him for His act of love.

Now, it’s highly unlikely that you are going to die for another person. Christ has already done that!
But are you willing to get ‘spent’ for the benefit of the less priviledged?
Are you willing to offer yourself as a living sacrifice in whatever manner that seems neccessary at any point in time?

Remember, you can’t walk with God and stay alive (to your Self-ish Cardinal points)

Lose your (Self) life, and you’d find your (God) life. The difference is so clear!

Is ‘COOL’ Really Overated?

When I saw it again this morning, I just knew it was time to chip in my two cents’ worth.

Is it a good thing to be ‘COOL’?
Is ‘COOLNESS’ really overrated?

Well, let’s first identify what ‘COOL’ is.

For some, it could mean being reserved, shy and soft-spoken.
Others would disagree and say it means being smart and trendy.

As a Christian, I believe being ‘COOL’ entails much more.

Yes, I understand that we are different people with different characters, mindsets and ideas. And as a result, our interpretations of ‘COOLNESS’ is a subset of who we are…

But allow me to submit to you, this day, that the height of ‘COOLNESS’ is being totally wrapped up under the control of the Holy Spirit!

Really.

Don’t you know it is possible to be charged up with the FIRE of the Holy Ghost, yet at the same time you are overflowing with living WATERS?

Duh, THAT’s cool!

You can be as BOLD as a lion, and still be GENTLE as a dove? Logically, they just don’t go together. But again, nothing in the Spirit ever makes sense logically.
How much ‘COOLER’ can one get?!

Be sincere now:

If you were just a regular ‘Joe’ and you came across a highly anointed individual, who manifests spiritual gifts and fruits, what would be your response?
I, for one, would go into my closet of prayers and desperately cry out for the Presence of the Spirit in my life, more than ever before!

My point is this:

There is a dearth of genuinely ‘COOL’ individuals out there.

What we have mostly, are individuals who fit into our preconceived notions of what ‘COOL’ should be. And as always, our preconceived notions are usually wrong.

The right kind of ‘COOLNESS’ is like a beautiful masterpiece of the Spirit.
It can never, never be overrated.
And thankfully, it’s meant for all!

The Mark Of The Beast Is ALREADY Here!

666. The number of man. The mark of the beast.

Imprinted on as many that want it.
Without it, buying and selling would be impossible. Talk about cashless economy!

Some have opined that the mark would be in the form of electrosensitive microchipped fixed into the forehead or right hand.
Perhaps they are right.
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before it all happens.

(For more Biblical details, check Revelation 13)

Without disreputing the claims of those who see a worldwide usage of microchips for safe business in the future, it’s imperative for all to know that:

The Mark Of The Beast Is Already Here!!!

Doubtful? Pay attention to the following nuggets:

¤ The Mark Of The Beast

It has been suggested that the Beast would probably be a powerful political leader in the near future. What I’m sure of is that the Beast symbolizes the evil and corrupt world system. Today, evil and corruption are being ‘worshipped’ in the world. A way we can know this fact is explained in the next two nuggets.

¤ In The Foreheads

The forehead houses the brain, which is the bodily organ through which the mind operates. The mind comprises of the will, the emotions, and the intellect.
Now, if the beast represents evil, and his mark is placed on the mind, what do you think would be the product of the mind?

Evil!

Look around you. Isn’t that what is rampant in the world today?

Evil everywhere.

While you’re still waiting for microchips and all, the mark on the forehead is already operational!

The worldview of the evil world system is,
‘You use what you have to get what you want’.
And when that worldview is queried, the reply usually received is,
‘That is how ‘it’ is done!’.

So, we have evil bills passed into laws.
We have the evil music industry churning out lewd songs that boss our airwaves.
We have rotten practices in the business and academic spheres.

The list could go on and on.

¤ In The Right Hand

The right hand is usually the stronger and more active hand in most people. We use it to write, eat and WORK!
I believe the mark in the right hand symbolizes the evil handiworks of men.
It’s only normal to expect the evil mind to produce evil actions.
Tune in to the news, you’d find that regardless of your location, the common denominator of all the news items is evil works!

My dear, irrespective of your willingness to believe these truths, the events are already happening. Ignorance, in this case, isn’t bliss.

I don’t have a final say on the sequence of events that would highlight the end of time.
But in the meantime, don’t lose your guard!

“And what I say unto you, I say unto all, ‘Watch’ “

‘Para’ Mode, aka, ‘Boys Are Not Smiling!’

They are three seated in the living room: A father, his son and the son’s friend.
The friends need to share some ‘highly sensitive’ information that must not register any meaning in the older man’s mind.
They succeed!

How? By these ingenious inventions fathomed by every generation at that period when they decide not to be as stupid as the older ones.
(I’m sorry, but that’s how the youths think)

These inventions are Colloquialisms.

In this part of the world, one of the most frequently used colloquialisms in the youths’ parlance is ‘Para’. This is totally different from what you’d find in Chemistry’s 4-paranitrobenzene. (By the way, I’m not sure that compound exists)
‘Para’ here simply means ‘angrily serious’ or ‘seriously angry’, whichever makes more sense to you.

You’re probably sitting leisuredly, skimming through this post.
But haven’t you had enough yet?
No! No!! Not this blog, of course!
I mean your status quo.
That routine you are already enslaved by.
Yes, it’s safe, tested and trusted. But it’s boring too.
It feels like you’re forced to do it.
All indicators are pointing to a dire need for change.
Creative juices flow no more. Instead, you’re squeezing yourself like an exhausted toothpaste tube.

You’ve got to ‘para’!

Anger is harmless when it is directed at one’s self or situation. That way you’re motivated to do all in your power to get things moving.

God has equipped you with all you need for success. You were not created to be entangled in a web of boring routine.
Imagine 80 years of mechanical predictability.
That doesn’t sound like abundant life to me!

Don’t fold your hands and watch your life waste in an eventless fashion.
Get angry and challenge yourself.
Don’t just sit there, waiting for a miracle to happen. Oh yes, miracles do happen.
But they require you to get angry with your current situation and have an expectant heart.

Unless you throw aside the garment of complacency..
Unless you desire more than suffering and smiling…
You’d probably remain at the same spot.
For a long time!

You are delaying your progress by your stubborn refusal to move out of your rut.
God isn’t going to move until you do. By the way, He doesn’t even have to move, as all things are contained in Him.

The ball’s in your court.
How hard are you going to hit it???

‘Para’!

Stockdale Paradox

“You must maintain unwavering FAITH that you CAN and WILL prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time, have the DISCIPLINE to confront the most BRUTAL facts of your CURRENT reality, whatever they might be”