Friday, 31 December 2010
For those who don't know me too well, there's two things I'm fond of : Nandos Restaurant and Next (the clothes shop). I know some peeps don't like Next, they say they never find anything cool there but I always seem to get all my best wedding and party dresses from there and other bits and bobs. I guess those closest to me know that when they get stuck with gifts for me, a Next gift card always does the trick. This year I even got a Nandos gift card as well...so this chick is in for a treat. :) Anyway soon after Christmas, the sales usually kick in and people head to the stores with gift cards and bonuses to spend. If u know much about sales in the UK, you know there's not many sales like the Next sale. It's in a different league altogether...
I love my sleep so getting up in the wee hours of the morning to queue up outside Next for their 5am opening has always been a bit of a challenge for me but I do always make my way to the Sale eventually around 7 or 8 am. Yeah so maybe a lot of stuff is gone by then but eventually I always get nice things. This year was a bit of a frustration.When we got to our local Next this is what greeted us. A queue almost a mile and a half long....
So we headed to another big shopping mall which was better coz there was no queue outside but there was a mini China inside - people milling about everywhere... but my dream coat had disappeared and so had my dream dress. ugh. The place looked like the remains of a bomb blast, clothes and shoes everywhere. It was worse than Primark on a bad day, I kid u not.
Anyway when I prayed the night before, I'd asked God to hook me up with the things I wanted. I'd seen them a few weeks before the sale and I believed that I would get them in the sale at a good price. I knew God was faithful even in what may seem like trivial matters as long as one exercises faith. Lo and behold I did end up getting my coat and dress, plus jeans and boots all for a very good price. Another customer who had come very very early, later decided she didn't want the coat and same thing happened with the dress and both were my size. No wonder God says not to worry about what to wear at all in Matthew 6, He's got it all covered. :) The pic below sums it all up, like Destiny's Child said years ago, "I am a survivor!"
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Years passed and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said. The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!" The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax the third tree fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty ship was made that day. Instead, the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river. Instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."
Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him," her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful," she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.
So the next time you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.
As the year draws to a close, maybe your life doesn't seem to be turning out the way you hoped, don't lose hope, God is up to something great. Merry Christmas to you and to yours.
God bless, love u all
Friday, 17 December 2010
Last Christmas was great, we had a lovely family Christmas. Ate, danced, twas good. The one before was lovely as well. I have a video from that one, of myself and one of my BFFs singing "Santa Baby" with our stuffed bellies looking like they are about to pop. I would have shared the video but she would kill me so...I have to pass on that... *grin*
Anyway I asked some kids what Christmas was all about and here's what they said, "Santa, turkey, presents, reindeer, elves, playing games and watching movies." Ok so Santa may be cool and all that when you're a child but kids need to move beyond this. (though in my case I always knew he wasn't real; I never questioned the grown ups about it, I just figured it was a great way to get gifts. How can children even believe that a big fat Santa can fit through a chimney anyway?)
Not one of the children I asked about Christmas even mentioned Jesus. It's not surprising in this day and age, so many children live in homes where their parents never ever talk about God or anything mildly religious.
I think we need to share the biblical story of Christ's birth with as many children as possible otherwise we will have a generation coming after us who will have no inclination of the truth whatsoever. Take your kids, your nephews and nieces, your friends' kids, your neighbours' kids and any other kids you know to Sunday school, Nativity plays, carols for kids. Also when you buy them presents on top of getting them Nintendo Wii, PS3 and whatever else is hype these days also try to include things that will teach them the truth of God's words. There's plenty of stuff out there and it doesn't have to be boring...you can get games, interactive books, DVDs and so on.
A lady I know said she always buys Christmas cards with nativity scenes as opposed to ones with snow and Santa as she says they detract from the real meaning of Christmas. All I can say is do what works for you as long as you try and do your little bit.
So as we tighten our dancing shoes and get our parteee on, lets share and remind everyone the real meaning of Christmas and above all folks lets remember to stay safe. For now enjoy this video ... I thought it was so cool I just had to share it...
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Somewhere in the Heart of Africa, 3rd of July
Keeta stirred. Her stomach hurt. She hadn’t eaten for days or was it a week? She couldn’t remember anymore. Several flies buzzed around her and her three sisters and brother all huddled together in their tiny shack. Someone in the corner coughed so hard, it seemed their lungs would explode.
A few rays of sunshine invaded the wooden shack through a big crack in the roof. It was almost noon but she was too weak to move. The memory of her last meal had almost faded. She and her four siblings had shared a measly roasted dry dove which Baba had killed. There had been nothing else after that.
Keeta slowly licked her top lip - letting her tongue move slowly across it moistening her chapped dry lips, whose cracks resembled the cracks of a dry dessert. Maybe today would be different. Some of the others said the trucks might come today. Keeta didn't want to hope too much. Last time she had hoped that they would come and they didn't.
She had waited and waited.
Later she had heard Baba discussing with his friend that The Aid Organisation had run out of funds. The Aid trucks usually brought bags of supplies and big fat men and women would unload food, water and sometimes they had these special things called medicines which helped you feel better. Keeta had never seen people like those big fat men. Their skin always seemed to glow and they were always smiling. Keeta supposed if she was fat and had a glowing skin she would smile as well.
Nobody she knew smiled much. Everyone she knew was thin and bony.
Everyone moved slowly and never said much.
She shifted again.
The pain in her stomach was almost unbearable now. She closed her eyes hoping that maybe she could miraculously go to sleep and forget the pain and misery ruling her life.
A thousand miles away
5th Avenue - New York, 3rd of July
Mandy looked at the price tag again. $1 250 for a pair of shoes? “Tiana this is too expensive. Why don’t we look for something cheaper?”
“Why? You can afford it,” Tiana said pouting like a goldfish.
“Yes, but just because we can afford it doesn’t mean we should buy it. Do you realise that there are people in other parts of the world that don’t even have a crumb of bread to eat? You don’t realise how lucky you are.”
“What do you want me to do mum? I can’t feed the whole world.”
“Maybe not, but it’s kind of like the story about eating an elephant. You don’t attack the whole beast. But you do it bit by bit. You start off by helping one person at a time. If you help someone and the next person also helps someone else, before you know it all of us would have helped so many people.”
Tiana rolled her eyes indignantly, “Eeeew, elephant is certainly not on my menu for today so forget that. Anyway mum someone else can help all those poor people, I mean does it have to be me?”
Mandy merely stared at the monster of a child she had created. There was no twinkle in her eyes except when she was getting something new which would inevitably find its way to the back of the wardrobe unworn and forgotten. This scenario had replayed itself so many times in their lives, it was beginning to grate on her.
“Right, I’ve made up my mind, I like these heels and besides all the other ones are far too common. I want something that will,” Tiana paused as she thought for a moment, “ something which will make a fashion statement. I want people to think wow, that girl’s shoe rocks.”
Mandy sighed. It was mostly her fault that Tiana had turned out this way. She had spoilt her from the time she was born and no surprise she was so used to having her own way without an ounce of consideration for the next person. She could only hope that someday she would learn to empathise and find greater meaning to life than getting this, getting that and more getting. Hopefully she would eventually realise that there was more to life than a shoe that rocks.