Christmas and babies

Christmas and babies

Having a baby at home has really deepened my Christmas. Watching her and her antics and how helpless she is makes me appreciate more and more just how awesome the Christmas story is.

How is it that the Creator of the Universe not just became man but a baby? It seems almost insane! What can a baby do? He/she can’t talk, walk, sit, stand or run let alone fight….and God sent His son to conquer sin and the devil.

But it shows God’s wisdom which surpasses the wisdom of this world. It was not war or fighting that would win the battle for men’s hearts but love…..pure unconditional love….which is best expressed by a mother taking care of an infant.

She breastfeeds, baths, cleans, changes and plays with her baby without ever hearing a word of thanks or even knowing for sure what exactly is wrong with baby.   Her life is completely disrupted and she has to adjust so baby is comfortable…..and this has to be done over and over again…..because baby is helpless and can do nothing.

Guess God was right after all…..at the appointed time, God sent His son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law. The best gift to give out this season is the message of redemption. Tis the reason for the season!

Christus is born! Rejoice! Glory to God in the highest!

24/12/16
Angela Azumah Alu, Te

On change

On change

On change

Change has happened in Ghana….for good or for bad, we don’t know yet, only that it has happened. But that is not the subject for this article. What is then?

Well, lessons I learnt from the whole election story and how to apply those to my own life. I learnt that sometimes, no matter how things seem stacked against you, when it is just your time…..things will happen for you. I mean remember all the issues NPP has had to deal with from having to suspend their party chair and general secretary to many many other issues. No matter how bad things are, you can still win.

Then I learnt also about not giving up. Nana Addo has wanted to be president for God knows how long. It’s always seemed to elude him….yet by not giving up…at age 72 he finally is. Do I have an option? I’m not even 30 yet….so giving up is not even a question.

About how your opponents can do a lot for you….well, NDC actually did a lot for NPP by all the impunity and the many lies they told. Till it was so bad that even usually “non political” individuals like my friends Esther and Sophia all become very political and really wanted them out. Since many young people felt their intelligence had been insulted too much, they rallied behind the NPP and that made all the difference. Ghana is a youthful nation after all.

I learnt also that even your “world bank” can disappoint you. No one likes to  be taken for granted….as many NDC MPs and the NDC as a whole found out when the results came out. Warning to all democratically elected leaders: if you ignore us, we will vote you out. Same goes for all other leaders. God even promised to come as the Good Shepherd because the leaders had failed his people.

Finally lesson is not just to talk about change but to prepare for it. When you are working toward a goal, know what you will actually do when you get there….so you don’t get it and can’t deliver. On that note, I wish all winners in this election all the best…to the losers, better luck next time (if there is a next time). If not, change has still happened, enjoy it.

Remember, God is the only one who does not change and that is why we are not destroyed. His love and mercy endure forever. Trust in Him alone.

Peace

Angela Azumah Alu, 10/12/16
Legon

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image courtesy of: https://twitter.com/marion_fairy/status/489934905787559937

On anticipation and planning

On anticipation and planning

I’m a serial planner…..that’s me. I love to tick things off my list. It makes me feel in control of my circumstances…no matter how small. I feel productive and feel like I’m making a difference. I think, it’s a carry over from the melancholic side of me trying to control the sanguine. I’m sure there may be lots of reasons assigned for why that may happen anyway.

Well, the point of this article is actually the opposite of the title. It’s not about planning. So though, my rational melancholic side will vouch for planning….from planning my days to weeks to months to years….and do my best to achieve them, I have found out and continue to find out that “best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley”. To wit, the best laid plans of Angie do not often happen.

I have found out that for the things that do not happen as I wish, especially where God is concerned, I get much better than I ever expected although it doesn’t even seem like that in the beginning. And yet sometimes, because I have already made up my mind, I get very disappointed when I do not get what I planned for and do not see what God has given me. I have spent many a time crying over things which I realized only made me stronger in the end and were much better than what I asked.

So what brought on this article? A rather interesting discussion is going on with myself and a friend about life choices. I don’t quite get why it started but I seem to have taken the view that planning is the all and he’s coming from the perspective of not being bogged down by your choices.

This evening, one of my girl friends put up a update on our whatsapp page. Our outreach to St. Catherine’s SHS (which I have already prepared my talk for and cancelled a funeral for) will not come off. Well, two ways of looking at it: either get disappointed that it won’t come off or appreciate the free Saturday and make the best of it.

There are many more examples of things that do not go exactly as we planned and of situations in which what we end up with is even better than what we planned for. So what’s my point in all of this?

That by all means plan and prepare….in fact commit your ways to God but by all means remember that by His sovereign will He knows what is best for you and thus will lead you there if only you give Him first place in your life. And because He knows the end from the beginning, He’s the best person to trust your life with.

Is there anything that is too hard for Him? No there is nothing. Do you think your sins impossible to forgive? They are not. Remember He forgave David for coveting, adultery, bearing false witness and murder. Will He not forgive you if you turn to Him? Do you think your sickness  is impossible to heal? No, it is not. He is the divine healer. Are your children wayward and you feel God cannot bring them back? Guess who the father of prodigal you and I is? He is more than able. Do you feel abandoned by Him? He promises never to forsake us. Only turn to Him. There are many more examples I could give but remember there is nothing that is too hard for Him. Only turn to Him and see how lavish His mercy is.

Peace.

Angela Azumah Alu
9/9/16, Legon

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Image courtesy of: https://8-images.blogspot.com/2014/03/trust-in-lord-with-all-your-heart-and.html

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Prayer Meeting-Legon Campus 19/02/2012

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Prayer Meeting-Legon Campus 19/02/2012

A.    Exposition on the Theme by Paa Kow Quansah (Co-ordinator)

Theme: Be awake; holy and led by the Spirit (Rev 16:15, Eph 1:4, Rom 8:5-9, Gal 5:16-26)

1.       Be awake (Rev 16:15, 2 Pet 3:10, Jn 10:10, 1 Thess 5:2, Rev 3:3)

It is a clarion call for all of us, an alarm if you please. If you are asleep, wake up and become conscious of your surroundings. If you are half asleep, please wake up! If you are awake, become extra awake. People build walls and have other security measures to take care of material things; what are your spiritual security measures?

Remember: time with the Lord is very important that’s why Satan tries to steal that. Be on your guard.It’s time to return to your first love.

2.       Holiness (Lev 11:44, Eph 1:4, 1 Pet 1:13-16, Rom 12:2)

Holy: consecrated/sanctified, set apart for holy use. Should be an everywhere affair; not just in church.

It’s God who calls us to be holy. We should be holy for Him and not pretend because of our Christian brothers and sisters. Keep to the standards of Christ-always go back to the bible. And when you fall, run back to God immediately! A time will come when your faith will be tested; when that time comes, remember God loves you and is with you.

3.      Being led by the Spirit

We are encouraged to surrender all and yield to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Be led by the Spirit in all you do. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in all you do so God is glorified by your life.

B.     Expectations of Archbishop Palmer Buckle of the CCR in the Greater Accra Region

  1. Encouraging intense holiness
  2. Quality growth in the Catholic faith
  3. Contribute to evangelization
  4. Call to cultivate the spirit of self reliance
  5. Deepen the communion with the parish community and the universal church

 


 

About sexual immorality

About sexual immorality

The bible is replete with examples of what sexual immorality is and clearly shows that sex only makes sense within the context of marriage. Both fornication and adultery are sins God takes very seriously.

The fact that casual sex has become the norm does not make it right. Even those who have sex outside of marriage know it is wrong. God’s rules do not change.

As salt and light of the world, we are called to be sexually pure and to teach others to to same.

1.Genesis tells us that Adam knew his wife; not his girlfriend. (Genesis 2:18-25)
2. God upheld the values of marriage such that even when Abraham and Isaac lied that the wives were their sisters, there were consequences for the men planning to take them as wives. (Abraham-Genesis 12: 10-20), Genesis 20: 1-17); Isaac-Genesis 26:1-11)
3. It was emphasized that Rebecca was a virgin; no man had known her. (Genesis 24)
4.Jacob could only have sex with his promised bride after the marriage ceremony had happened. (Genesis 29:1-30)
5. Sexual immorality, include rape, was such a serious crime that Dina’s rape caused her brothers to kill her rapist and his entire family. (Genesis 34:1-31)
6. Tamar was to be stoned for prostituting herself. Her life was spared because her father in law Judah realised it was his inaction that had caused her to act that way.(Genesis 38:1-30)
7.Joseph fled Potiphar’s wife because he knew sex outside of marriage was a sin. (Genesis 39:1-23)
8. God gave clear commands about virginity and sex. Adulterers were to be killed. (Exodus 20:14, 17; Leviticus 18; Deuteronomy 22:13-30)
9. We know what happened to Samson and David.( Samson-Judges 16:1-31; David-2 Samuel 11:1-27;12:1-31)
10. Proverbs tells men to be sexually satisfied with their wives and entreats men to flee the adulterous woman. (Proverbs 5:1-23; 7:6-27;30:20)
11. Jesus calls us to a higher standard and teaches that looking at a woman lustfully is as adulterous as actually committing adultery. (Matthew 5:27-30)
12.Paul teaches clearly on adultery and fornication. Fornicators and adulterers have no part in the kingdom of God. (Romans 1:18-23; 2:1-25; 1 Cor 5:9-13; 6:9-10)
13. He also says there should not even be “a hint of sexual immorality” among Christians. (Ephesians 5:3)
14.He even advises people to marry rather than burn with passion though he thinks it is better to be single so as to be dedicated to God’s work. (1 Cor 7:1-40)

Marriage is such a strong union that it is God’s metaphor of choice to describe his union with Israel in the old testament (Ezekiel 16) and with the church in the new testament (Ephesians 5:25; Revelations 19:7)

#My two biscuits.

May God help us all.

Angela Azumah Alu, 14/3/16

Short Message for Students of Jinijini SHS

Short Message for Students of Jinijini SHS

Dear students,

It is a pleasure to send this message to you.
We thank God for your lives and for the many wonderful potentials He has placed in you.
Our message is that with God there is nothing that is impossible. (Luke 1:37)
I challenge you today to offer your hearts to God if you have never done so before.
If you have, I encourage you to reaffirm your commitment to Him and to trust Him with everything. In Joshua 1:8, he promises that if we meditate on His law day and night and obey it, we will have great success.
He has great plans for you if only you commit yourself to Him wholly.
And in the bible He shows us examples of many young people like us that He chose and gave great success too.
He used Joseph, formerly a spoilt brat who became a slave, to save the people of Egypt and his own family.
He used Esther, an orphan who became a queen to save the Israelites.
He chose Ruth, a young Moabite widow, and made her an ancestress of the Messiah, Jesus.
He chose David, a young shepherd, to be a king.
He chose Jeremiah to be a prophet when he was young.
He chose Daniel, a young exile, to be a leader.
He chose Mary to bear the Messiah when she was young.
There are many other examples of young people that God chose.
Even recently,
Martin Luther King Jnr was a young pastor who stood against racism in the USA.
In Ghana, there are many examples of young people who have achieved great things……Kwame Nkrumah was a young man when he joined the fight for independence for Ghana.
There are many other examples of young men and women who are doing amazing things like the 9/11 year old who wrote a book, Justin Bieber and Adel (musicians), even President Obama who became president of USA at a youthful age. We can talk of Wiyaala, a Ghanaian musician who came from a very poor background….her first time of going to Accra was to audition for stars of the future.
Portia Dery who is helping to teach Ghanaian children in the North love reading and is an author herself,…….the examples are innumerable.
He does not promise that the going will be easy but He promises to be with you and to deliver you. (Jer 1:19)
He knows all about you and knows your deepest desires but He invites you to commit your ways to Him so He directs your paths. (Pro 3:5-6)
He has great plans for you….only trust Him!Learn to hear Him speak to you if you have not done so already and always be prepared to obey His words.
Know that you are unique and that God has a plan for you. (Psalm 139:16). Believe in your own uniqueness and never listen to the devil’s lies that you are not good enough or that you will amount to nothing. No matter how many people you hear that from, it is NOT TRUE! You are created in God’s image and likeness; you are His work of art and you were created for good and amazing works. (Eph 2:10)
Only trust Him! He is faithful and ever able to do much more than you could ever hope for imagine. (Eph 3:20) Do you think your dreams are too big? To God they are not, He will do more than that for you. If you don’t even have dreams, I pray that you begin to dream today and see how far God takes you.
May He give you a desire to leave a legacy in your school, your community, the nation and even the world as a whole. But most importantly, may you come to know Him as He truly is and see the extent of His love for you. (Eph 3:14-19)
God loves you and so do we!
Angela Azumah Alu 5/12/15, Legon
Brief overview of the Bible

Brief overview of the Bible

So I wrote this for a friend who mentioned that she didn’t really get the bible. The point of the write up is to see the bible as one story …..

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE

The bible essentially tells the story of God’s interaction with man and how He wants to have a relationship with you and me.

So in Genesis 1&2, He creates a world for man and creates man and woman to live in union with each other and with Him.

He loves man so much that He gives him free will to choose to love Him and unfortunately man chooses to disobey instead. Man listens to satan, disobeys God and breaks the perfect union with God. The rest of the bible tells the story of how God uses various ways to repair that relationship until he finally sends His son Jesus Christ. Now even in Genesis 3, after man disobeyed God, God still prophesied of the seed of a woman who would one day crush the head of the serpent (satan).

So to begin this process, God begins to choose individuals….Enoch walked with God, he chose Noah and used him to save the world. He starts afresh with Noah.

Then he chooses Abraham, promises to make him the father of a nation and bless all people of earth through him. He chooses Isaac, Abraham’s son and then Jacob, one of Isaac’s sons.

Joseph, one of Israel’s sons, presents an image of a savior for his family. But God continues his line through Judah.

Then he brings the Israelites (descendants of Jacob) to Egypt to save them from famine and they live there for 400 years. After that they become slaves in Egypt. God then sends a savior in the person of Moses to rescue them. He does that through the Passover. He takes them to the wilderness, gives them laws to live by and makes them a nation. They travel till they finally reach Canaan, the promised land. And even in Canaan, they have to defeat various enemies so they can possess the land God promised them. This they do under the leadership of Joshua, another Jesus like figure.

Then in Canaan, he first gives them judges, people who lead them for a period of time-usually when necessary. Many times the people sin, God punishes them, they repent and cry, he sends a savior and then they repeat their sin.

Finally, the people ask for a king so thy will be like other nations. God gives them Saul, David and Solomon. Then after Solomon, the kingdom breaks into two and various kings rule the two kingdoms. Some are obedient to God like David but others are disobedient to God. Anyway, David is a descendant of Abraham and God promises to send them a king who is a descendant of David.

The people keep sinning even though God warns them through prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos. Finally, God sends them into exile in Babylon. Even there He speaks to them through prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel. He also saves them through Esther even in exile. Finally, after a set period (70 years), he turns the heart of King Cyrus who allows them to return to Israel. They go back and try to rebuild as we see in Ezra and Nehemiah. God also speaks to them through prophets like Haggai.

Then , finally, in his own time, God sends His own son to come and show man how to have a relationship with God. His son dies on behalf of all men and creates a situation where anyone who believes in Him receives a new heart and mind so He can be a son of God as seen in the gospels.

The Acts of the Apostles tells of how his followers go round proclaiming his message. The other letters talk of various aspects of faith.

And revelations shows that in the battle between God and satan, God finally wins and takes his people to heaven to be with Him. So God’s original intention in Genesis 1&2 of having a perfect relationship with man is fulfilled.

Thing to remember is that God is a Holy God who cannot stand sin. He loves man but man has sinned against Him and cannot have a relation with Him. Only a perfectly sinless person like Jesus could shed his blood (blood is the only thing that can wash away sin) and bring unity between God and man.