He gave me laughter!-Meditations on Genesis 21:6

He gave me laughter!-Meditations on Genesis 21:6

Gen 21:6 Now Sarah said, God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me. (NRSV)

Now one of my favourite stories in the bible is that of Abraham. It’s filled with drama.

And there are a lot of stories. If you want to explore more, look at from Genesis 12-23. But my focus is on selected verses from Genesis 12, 15,16,17,18 and 21.

So here goes.

So God called Abraham (his name was Abram then) in Chapter 12 and asked him to go a foreign land. He promised to make him a great nation and to bless all nations through him. Fair enough. Only one problem. His wife Sarah (initially Sarai) was barren. So they had no children. That sounds pretty ridiculous right? Why promise to make a man with no children the father of many nations?

Anyway, Abraham actually leaves and goes to settle in Canaan. And he doesn’t own anything there yet. Until the burial plot he bought to bury Sarah in. But that’s not the focus of the meditation.

So, in Chapter 15, God appears to Abraham again and promises him a son. Abraham believes God and it is reckoned to him as righteousness. Then, in Chapter 16, his wife suggests that he impregnates their maid so they can have a son by her. He does that and Ishmael is born with Hagar the maid as his mother.

Now God comes back in Chapter 17 and tells Abraham that it is Sarah who will give him a son. Really? I loved Abraham’s response! He fell on his face, laughed and asked if a son could be born to a 100 year old man and a 90 year old woman. (Well, that’s what actually happens in the end anyway). Anyway, God even adds that the child is to be called Isaac: He laughs (guess God wanted to have the last laugh!)

Then in Chapter 18, God comes to visit Abraham and tells Sarah that He will come back in a year’s time and she will have a son. She also laughs! But denies when God confronts her about her laughter.

Then in Chapter 21, we read that God did for Sarah as he promised. She actually has a son whom they name Isaac: He laughs! That is when Sarah cannot help but exclaim: Godd has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.

So now lessons:

God knows you and loves you. That may sometimes be hard to believe but He really does.

He has a plan for you. It may take a long time but trust Him. Abraham was 75 years when God called him. Isaac was born 25 years later.  Trust God.

Don’t be afraid to talk to and dialogue with God. There’s nothing you do that surprises Him. He is able to take any sorrow and turn it into laughter for His name sake. May that be your story!

And finally, build your relationship with Him.

There are many more lessons. I’d encourage you to visit the bible and glean them for yourself. Ciao!

Angela Azumah Alu, 3/1/17, Legon

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2018: To be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight

2018: To be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight

Enjoy! I loved this!

Sharing my life as a phd candidate

On the 1st of January 2018 around 21h54, I sat down to write down my goals for 2018.

I do not have a lot of goals for 2018. I always say I am not such an ambitious person. One of the most important points I wrote down is to be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God.

(Sorry Sandy B, I am about to snitch on you)

Okay so Sandra is a good friend of mine. She did her year abroad here in Nantes last academic year. She posted a photo of me on her WhatsApp story with the caption “Elle a un coeur comme celui de Jésus” literally translated as: She has a heart like that of Jesus. Of which I replied: I am humbled but I don’t think I am anywhere near Jesus.

It got me thinking. I am a deep thinker haha! I wondered if Jesus…

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Musings on barrenness

Musings on barrenness

19/12/2017
08:15

First Reading: Judges 13: 2-7, 24-25a

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 71: 3-4a, 5-6ab, 16-17

Gospel: Luke 1: 5-25

God loves barren spaces! It’s such a contradiction isn’t it? That fruitfulness is a fruit of walking with God yet when He wants to show His power, He chooses a previously barren space, presupposing a lack of fruitfulness, and turns it into a garden.
He makes a way where there seems to be no way. He puts rivers in the desert. He makes the dry land rejoice.

Stories of children born to barren women in the bible are stories of children born for special purposes and marked out for greatness. From Isaac to Jacob and Esau, Joseph and Benjamin, Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist, each was born to a barren woman. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Samson’s mother, Hannah and Elizabeth. Each of these women has a story of the challenges associated with being a barren woman in a society where children are considered a blessing from the Lord. Each of their children was marked for a special purpose.

So as today’s readings teach, I challenge you to have faith in God and to trust His timing. Supposedly barren spaces are the ones He chooses for special purposes. Are you barren in any aspect? Keep praying, trusting and rejoicing….no matter how hard. Your barrenness may be just for the purpose of His glory. Trust Him!

Angela Azumah Alu

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Image from: https://www.google.com.gh/search?q=barrenness&client=firefox-b-ab&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIsL7i05bYAhVkBMAKHV8VB5IQ_AUICigB&biw=1280&bih=912#imgrc=IBS2DVwaPYf2hM

Musings on Season Finale for SGIT season 4

Musings on Season Finale for SGIT season 4

Okay….so since my friend Jenner introduced me to Skinny Girl in Transit (SGIT),a Nigerian web series produced by Ndani TV which basically tells the story of radio presenter called Tiwa, I have been an avid fan. I have faithfully watched each new episode on Friday….sometimes amazing myself with my dedication….I’m not a very “seriesy” kind of person.

Anyway, we have all watched with tenterhooks during this season when Tiwaa had an old lover resurface from the past. After a series of bad decisions that kept us shaking our heads, she finally confessed to her boyfriend and the expected break up happened. After one miserable episode, today’s episode had a happy ending. Yay!!!!💃💃💃

Here’s how the happy ending happened…so  Shalewa (Tiwa’s sister) told Tiwa’s boyfriend Mide and basically told him to either forgive Tiwa or break up with her as the silence wasn’t doing both of then any good.

Also Mide’s sister Derin (the evil sister we all hate), seeing how miserable her brother was went to basically ask Tiwa to go and fight for her love.

Long story short, Tiwa went to Mide’s house and…and although he was travelling, he read the messages she had sent him and turned back. He got home only to meet Tiwa…she kept apologizing and finally asked him to be her boyfriend again while waiting to change their status. They kiss and hug….😍😍. The next day while brushing her teeth, Tiwa finds a ring on her finger…the coveted ring…finally!!!!!

Okay, now let’s draw some biblical parallels…Tiwa’s bad decisions remind me of sin. It always starts out very innocently and once you don’t run to God and decide to try reasoning with the devil, before you know it you’re in over your head and it’s harder to come out. May God help us to run to him at the first temptation rather than trying to fight it on our own.

And the messages Tiwa sent to Mide and both Derin and Shalewa’s interactions remind me of the importance of evangelization. The words you may speak may not seem to bear fruit immediately but may be a seed that will germinate later. So don’t give up but do the work of an evangelist and trust the Lord for the outcome.

Third was how Tiwa’s going to Mide was very remiscent of the prodigal son. So the prodigal son went back to the father and asked to be considered a servant…but was reinstated as a son. Same way Tiwa went back apologizing and asking to be considered as a girlfriend whereas she had done that already. And when it all seemed so uncertain, she actually woke up with the ring she thought she had lost. I pray that we never get to a point where we think anything is too big for God to forgive but run to Him no matter how bad our sin.

And finally…family and friends. How well do we mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice as christian brothers and sisters? I loved what Tiwa’s dad did after the break up. He didn’t ask questions but just reminded her of who she is and how she has always been a fighter….a reminder that she will conquer this too. Whatever it is. I also loved Mohammed’s advice to Shalewa to just be with Tiwa.(both scenes were in episode 11)  And Didi! That girl is the epitome of real friendship! I pray for grace to be a friend like that.

Cheers to SGIT…now let me go and get my aso ebi….we got a wedding coming up!!!💃💃

Angela Azumah Alu
15/12/17

Advent and the Covenant keeping God

Advent and the Covenant keeping God

Advent is one of my favourite liturgical seasons. It’s a four week period of preparation before Christmas. The focus is to prepare for the infant king and to remind ourselves of his second coming.

During this period, a number of daily readings focus on the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. Last year, I did a study and I was amazed at how many and how accurate they were! But from the Israelites point of view, it seemed to take forever and it didn’t even seem happen as they thought it would. It took people like the shepherds, Anna and Simeon to recognize the Messiah even in his swaddling clothes and his poverty. And of course the Magi.

So question for you and I…what has God said about you that seems to delay beyond the word delay? Are you starting to think God is actually a liar? I invite you to hold on to your hope and your faith. He is not a man that He should lie. And His timing is always the best! Praise and trust Him! He will surely do it; you will be amazed!

Peace
3/12/17

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God indeed does make all things work together…

God indeed does make all things work together…

30/11/2017

21:28

So, exactly two weeks ago I slipped and fell at work. I’m not joking. I cut my forehead and broke my teeth. It seems like something out of a movie right…even I think so.

There were so many things that came to mind. But guess what, whatever may have been the reason, it became an opportunity for God’s love to shine through in my life. I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support everyone has shown…especially my family and close friends. It was a great opportunity to take some well needed rest even though I was upset about being indisposed when I had many things to do. And of course, it was a reminder about how many things I take for granted. I never really think about my teeth…so it took being without them for a while to appreciate how important they are…for my face, my smile, for eating and even for talking. It was interesting sounding funny when my teeth were “incomplete”. I experienced the suffering of those who cannot smile easily because they have less than perfect teeth and perhaps, for the first time, I actually took notice of teeth. Ento woa da! In addition, I saw face to face the struggles people go through to access healthcare. There’s a lot more to say and share but I’ll end like this: I’m sure I’ll forget and take things for granted again. But guess what,for now…while I remember, I’m thankful…for everyone and everything. And the next time something supposedly bad happens, I’ll try to remember that all things work together for my good and pray for the grace to see the good.

Peace!

Angela Azumah Alu
30/11/2017

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At home a day or so after the fall. Thankful for life

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Last Friday (24/11/17) after receiving my composites.

The best is actually yet to come…stay tuned.

 

A New Catholic Reflects on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

A New Catholic Reflects on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

This Catholic Family

500 Years

500 years ago some crazy business went down in the world of Christianity. And this Halloween, the 500th anniversary of that business, which we refer to as the Protestant Reformation, will be celebrated by some and mourned by others.

As someone who, just a year and a half ago, crossed the Tiber to become Catholic from a pretty solid Protestant background, all this hubbub about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation brings a lot of thoughts and feelings to the forefront for me as well.

I want to preface this article by saying that I have many amazing Christian friends who are Protestant. I love you all, and there is so much I look up to and respect about your faith. But the Reformation anniversary is hard for me, and my writing here details the reasons why my stomach sinks when I see posts celebrating what happened 500…

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