Our 9 to 5 jobs or part time hours, including voluntary inclinations including working for ourselves are procurements for a standard of living and added interests for daily existence in this life. However, job titles and positions of authority, pale into insignificance when we ignore the calling of duty, for the Kingdom minded undertakings. So what do we do in the meantime?
(2 Peter 1) Thus they could remain faithful, living useful and fruitful lives until the coming of the day of the Lord.
Of course! We should work. Here we are instructed. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Does our job reflect and align with God’s purpose in our life? Do we recognise our calling to the bigger picture? A clue to this transition is key in understanding the father’s path for all of us. We may be in jobs for years as believers, which may not equate to any Kingdom principles, in spite of the times we are living in.
Have you ever thought what life would be like working and living out our purpose with urgency and passion? Instead of passiveness, leading some, to stagnate and waste valuable time. Nonetheless, God has the ability to shift our position if we seek his face, although not without the understanding of human resistance to change. Proverbs 12:11 “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”
Our fears will diminish by submitting to his will and are not always understood by the natural man or woman. But on the contrary, though when you have FAITH it is like a powerful force and the worldly human flaws cannot compete with His spiritual laws.
The choice is up to us and determined by, whether we want to clock up more hours and time to the temporary things of life, or instead ‘ Reporting for Duty’ and get the chance to live on purpose for the coming of Kingdom Life. Selah.
Petula Hippolyte Writer/Freelancer Writer908.Wordpress.com
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, is a bestselling slave narrative which was first published in 1789. By his own admission, Olaudah Equiano was born in 1745 in Nigeria and belonged to the Igbo tribe. At age 11 he was captured by slave-traders and trafficked to Barbados in the West Indies and then Virginia in America.
Equiano stood out from the rest because unlike many other slaves he was not put to work on the plantations but instead on board slave ships. As a slave he travelled across the West Indies, North America, Central America and Europe and was sold on 3 different occasions – the most notable of these being to a Michael Henry Pascal – an officer in the British Navy. Pascal is noted as being responsible for renaming Equiano after a 16th century Swedish king called Gustavus Vassa. Under Pascal’s ownership Equiano learned to read and write as well as pick up some valuable skills which would work to his favour later on in life. Having impressed his slave owner with his high work ethic and industriousness, Pascal promised to free Equiano but at the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1762 would break Equiano’s heart by selling him on to West Indian slave owners. However, the education he had received during his travels along with the practical skills he had learned and embraced under his slave owners, plus a degree of good fortune, led to Equiano saving enough money which enabled him to purchase his own freedom in 1766. He moved to London where he would embrace John Wesley’s teachings of the bible which led to his baptism into the Methodist Church in 1773.
Having developed a strong spiritual life, Equiano would then make it his life mission, based on his earlier experiences, to heavily involve himself in the early abolitionist movement. The stories he would hear of African slaves being severely whipped, beaten and then the weakest of them being tossed overboard into the ocean would lead to him becoming a full-time anti-slavery activist. It was during this time that he would meet and marry Susannah Cullen – a white English woman from Soham in Cambridgeshire with their union producing two daughters – Ann Marie – born on 16th October 1793 and Joanna – born on 11th April 1795.
Along with the publication of his autobiography and letters to newspapers, Equiano would unite with other famous former slaves such as Octobah Cugoano and Ignatius Sancho in the formation of a group called The Sons of Africa – which aimed to put a stop to slavery through its exposure in the form of speeches, letters, lobbying and publications by those who had experienced the horrific act themselves.
Equiano worked tirelessly to put an end to slavery though he would not see its end result having died on 31st March 1797, a year after the death of his wife – Susannah. It would be ten years after his death (1807) that the abolition of the slave trade would be legislated before its full abolishment by law in all the British colonies in the Americas in 1838.
As a result of his industriousness, tireless campaigning and important publishing of his personal testimony (which is said to have been read by John Wesley on his death bed and given a favourable review by famous author Mary Wollstonecraft), Equiano had, in his will, left his surviving daughter – Joanna, an inheritance of £950 (on her 21st birthday in 1816) which today is the equivalent of £80,000 or $120,000. Olaudah Equiano is truly a unique hero in Black British history.
Darell J Philip is a freelance writer who also blogs at: darellphilip.wordpress.com
If you had millions of pounds, would you build upon this sickened land?
Or delegate to fight poverty, knowing the poor had emptiness in hand.
We should not set our eyes on covetous wealth? Because suddenly it’s gone
For riches certainly make themselves wings, to us, no longer belongs.
When the righteous are in authority, the people will rejoice,
So when the wicked rule, people mourn, because they have no choice.
To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and does not fade away
Reserved for us in heaven, for our God has made a way.
He tells us do not love, or the things of the world, for the father is not in him,
For all that is in, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, a sign of human sin.
Would we rather be stay in this temporary residence, filled with hate, marred by social warring disease?
Or His permanent residence, bringing heaven to earth,
His perfected, place of PEACE.
Petula Hippolyte/ Freelance Writer/ Blogger/ Writer908.Wordpress.com
Can you remember what it was like to trust, whole-heartedly and not doubt what you were told? When life was simple and uncomplicated and childhood was filled with jam sandwiches, swings and birthday cake and we embraced life as a child, unguarded in thought. Unfortunately, because our exposure to rejection and painful events in our lives in adulthood meant that we gathered up, anger, bitterness, unforgiving attitudes, which we harbour –Gen. 50:20). The remnants of its symptoms in our hearts, now act like a protective shield. The knock on effect, sets the trail of caution and doubt to such a degree, that we have lost some of that pure innocent vulnerability and trustnecessary. The kind, that stops us from entering into God’s rest.
Luke 18:17 NLT
‘I tell you the truth; anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it’.
This powerful scripture is enough to remind us to rekindle our dependence on Jesus, to not do so, means we will forever struggle to make sense of what he wants to do in our lives. We then lose the ability to see anyone through child-like eyes, therefore rendering any heart-fixing amongst each other, in the body of Christ to take place. God’s promises as a provider and father are questionable to us, as a result of disappointment and a lifetime of hurt, abuse. However, God has not given us a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy1:7)
So let us look back for a moment and remember his promises and relearn that child-like faith that trusts him without reservation. Unlike man who fails us daily. God is faithful to his word!
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Dwell in the land and feed on his faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord.
And he shall give you the desires of your heart
Petula Hippolyte Freelancer/ Blogger/ Writer908.Wordpress.com
When God made ‘Man and Woman’ in his image and likeness (Gen1:26)we were also blessed with his abilities to create wonderful things. However, originally our disobedience and fallen state meant we were left, to toil the earth instead of enjoying a life of ease and reaping the natural resources and ruling with dominance. (Gen 3:17)
In spite of the fact, that we still carried his inventiveness with us – tangible things that has made our lives conveniently, a lot easier. Throughout time, our innate God- given sense of creativity has spawned amazing inventions, from building rocket ships to discovering Atoms and ascertaining how our bodies work and infinitely so much more.
The onset of 21st Century living could be said, heralded the age of the most ground-breaking time, in technological history. The computer was born and Social Media had not been used in the way that we use it today. The mainframe was and is much like the human brain, a hi-tech device that houses millions, if not trillions of stored information- now so sophisticated it can operate on its own, just as well as human intelligence, by coded instruction. Just like us!
A sign of fallen man’s pre-occupation with chasing ‘God-like’ status? Because of this, Man now proclaims they are God!
So could the inception of Social Media, be one of the signs of prophetic lamenting? Which the bible states, ’Inventors of evil things‘(Romans1: 29). We know that the creators of the W.W.W (World Wide Web) no longer suggests, but proudly, overtly declares, global dominance over our public and personal information – Abuse of power, by a small minority of clever people or a brilliant example, of human ingenuity? The globalisation of interpersonal, interactive business, conducted by the tapping of the QWERTY keyboard, seems pretty harmless, wouldn’t you say?
The advantages – it appears, balances out its innumerable benefits, which we reap, of a ready- made pool of information, where convenience reigns and we would not be the same without it. Biblical scriptures and recorded video sermons bless the converted, while ministering to non-believers. Job seekers the online bible of agency sites and daily updates in registered emails. The opportunity of brand labelled clothing, at slashed prices and delivered to your, in a matter of days. As well as, the vast array of YouTube tutorials, on how to do pretty much anything, from DIY to hair and make-up or even developing your culinary skills and managing your finances. Cheaper holiday packages and comparison sites, offering huge discounts for the discernible online shopper. Historic articles on infamous pioneers who shape the way we live now. Albeit, distant relatives and old friends meet and talk for the first time, after many years online, from across the world in seconds.
Even marriage partners developed from months of Skype conversations, professing undying love for one another; make it to the church on time. Studying an array of subjects, affords the less able- bodied to learn something new, in the comfort of their own home. Grown men and women, rekindling teenage moments, experiencing the emotional angst of lost or new love, by downloading favoured tracks, from back in the ‘good old days’, where real music existed and made them feel momentarily happy again.
The boom of Social Media, makes for good business it seems ….or does is it?
A tap of a key and the world is at your fingertips. What an invention! Such creativity!
Nevertheless, there is a sinister side to this powerful human construct. The bible clearly indicates the state of our true fallen nature (Jeri 17:9-10) On the surface, the seemingly innocent looking, sleek laptop, or computer in the office, albeit your regular internet cafe one, conceals the worst of human depravity, in all its unspeakable wickedness.
Faceless duplicity operates behind colourful screens and stylised imagery. Paedophile gangs, which target innocent children, whilst pornography tempts the weak, destroying marriages and giving rise to dysfunctional men/women and young adults, who believe the fantasy – Expectant of the same in reality! As if, that was not evil enough, bestiality sites, promote its benefits, boasting their profanity. ‘Well you can’t get pregnant by a dog or a horse’? (Rom 1 22-32) Homosexuality and Lesbianism endorsed as the new normal relationship standards, for heterosexual men and women, subliminally instilled, in subtle ads on flickering computer screens. The influx of the rise and rise of gambling sites that are no longer constrained to street corners, instead, facilitating your groomed addictive personality, while you fritter away your money for the fun of it.
Not forgetting, fake Bank Advisors, sending emails requesting account details, desperate to rob you of your hard earned cash. All the while, property websites offer you rental space that only exists on screen and in photo shop imaginary, but insists on cash up front, before you view its bricks and mortar. Nothing can be more depressing than viewing – Anorexic, self-taught ‘gurus’, encouraging young girls and boys to aim for mannequin status, (Matthew 15:13-15) by guiding you step by step – ‘10 ways to’, convincing you to purge yourself of anything wholesome, and by doing it, only brings you one step closer to death. The Face book and Instagram apps lures you into a false sense of security, while beguiling your fleshly desires to show, tell and expose more of yourself on a daily basis, just to be liked and approved by others – The list is disturbingly endless!
In all of these scenarios, Social Media acts as a vehicle, allowing the human experience to express itself, publically and globally with no filter. So the question of whether Social Media seeks to enhance our lives, and evidently there are clearly visible signs for that. Conversely, there is an undeniable case of permeated human immorality that exposes our weaknesses and searches to corrupt those, who are open to it.
When God made ‘Man and Woman’ in his likeness and image, (Gen1:26)we inherited his creative genius, and our God-given ability to create, comes with a price.
So is Social Media a Blessing or a Curse? You decide…
Petula Hippolyte- Freelance Writer and Blogger Writer908Wordpress.com
“We came to see that, it is more honourable to walk in dignity than ride in humiliation. So in a quiet dignified manner, we decided to substitute tired feet for tired souls, and walk the streets of Montgomery until the sagging walls of injustice had been crushed by the battering rams of surging justice” (Dr Martin Luther King JR).
History in the making
On the night of 4th November 2008 history was made when Barack Obama became the 44th and first African-American President of the United States of America. This unprecedented historical moment was the embodiment of the American Dream which prides itself on giving all American citizens an equal chance to succeed. However, perhaps this incredible feat would not have been achieved had there not been a woman who made a determined stand for justice and equality just over 60 years ago.
“First Lady” of the Civil Rights Movement
Born on the 4th February 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks has been hailed by many, including the United States Congress, as the “Mother” or “First Lady” of the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa’s mother, Leona (nee Edwards) was a teacher and her father, James McCauley, was a carpenter. Rosa’s ancestry through her grandparents was a varied mix of Scottish, Irish and Native American. Rosa’s parents separated when she was very young. As a child, she grew up on a farm with her maternal grandparents, mother and her younger brother, Sylvester. Rosa was a relatively petite child for her age with poor health. The family were all members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rosa attended school right up until secondary age when she dropped out to take care of her mother and grandmother when they became unwell. Then in 1932 Rosa married Raymond Parks, a barber in Montgomery who also worked alongside the National Advancement Association for Coloured People (NAACP) – an influential movement which fought for the rights of African-Americans.
Challenging the system
Since 1876 American states had been governed by what were known as the “Jim Crow Laws” which stated the need for “separate but equal” facilities for Black Americans. This meant that there was a system of segregation in schools, restaurants, theatres, hospitals and places of work. However, on 1st December 1955, this system of segregation underwent its most challenging test yet. While leaving her job as a seamstress, Rosa waited and then took her place at the back of the segregated bus. When it became full and a white gentleman got on and asked Rosa to vacate her seat she politely refused. This she did a second time when the bus driver threatened her of police involvement. Rosa was arrested for disobeying segregation laws. Prominent figures within the church and the NAACP were unhappy with this and so along with Civil Rights Leader, DR. Martin Luther King Jr, they led African-Americans in a nation wide boycott of the buses on the 5th of December 1955 which lasted for a year before the US Justice system relented by changing the law in favour of desegregated buses on 20th December 1956. African-Americans had no idea of the positive impact their simple act of non-violent resistance along with Rosa’s determination to fight injustice would have in American history. As she said herself in her 1994 autobiography, Quiet Strength: “Our mistreatment was not right, and I was tired of it. The more we gave in, the worse they treated us. I knew someone had to take the first step. So I made up my mind not to move. I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving in. I felt that what I did was right and I did not think about the consequences.”
An unforgettable legacy
After winning many accolades and awards later on in life for her heroic act of defiance and bravery, Rosa Parks (aged 92) died on the 24th October 2005 in Detroit, Michigan and became the first woman and third non-US government official to lie in honour at the Capital Rotunda.
“It was so unbelievable that this woman had the courage to take a seat and refuse to get up and give it to a white gentleman. By sitting down, she was standing up for all Americans” (US Congressman and Civil Rights Activist – John Lewis).
Darell J Philip is a freelance writer who also blogs at: darellphilip.wordpress.com
Heaven is Our Goal
We’re Marching to Zion, These words we often sing.
We’re Marching Upwards to Heavenly Zion,
But who will be ushered in?
Heaven Now is in View; The skies will soon roll back as a scroll,
One by One thr names will be called,
But are we on the Heavenly roll?
If I came now, would you be ready?
If the trumpet sounded, indeed would you fear?
Today, if you hear me seeking you,
Seek me Also in My Word and in Prayer.
My JOY is to see you make it,
My PEACE I leave with you still.
My Love for you, I cannot fake it,
But Until Then, Whosoever Will, Whosoever Will.
Heaven is Our Goal
And the Spirit and the bride say ‘Come.’ And let him that heareth, say Come. And let him thst is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
‘Our Brother & Sister’s Keeper’
The ‘renewing’ of the mind can be tough to embrace, if we’re not willing to forgo and allow ourselves to decrease and let the spirit of God increase in our undeserved self- importance. The responsibility (James 5:19) to help our brothers and sisters, by using the word and holy- spirit leading, in human relationships, can be fraught with disputes and unloving gestures; however, it is an accountability of paramount significance, according to the bible. (Rom 12 4-6)
The bible tells us, about intervening when one is being led astray by the world. This is our duty (2 Tim 4:1-5) some will react and see this as judgement, instead of receiving it, as a ‘gentle rebuke’. Often our resistance to ‘walking in love’ can be tinged with self-righteousness and offenses. Even our language becomes filled with criticism and smugness, rather than spiritual principal. We then start adopting the ‘enemy’s sayings,’ which exposes our egotistical attitudes towards each other. These acts of unkindness are more prevalent within social media apps, especially on Face book, notoriously known for its unfiltered gateway to unguarded memes. By way of intentional misleading, with statements such as these…..
‘I want to be around likeminded positive people’….. ‘Know your circle’…..’I don’t want negative people around me’….’Surround yourself with the movers and the shakers’.
Nevertheless, the bible states (Eph 5:1-2) andit’s easy to see how subtle the enemy can be, at influencing our thought patterns, because while you may think that the above comments sound positive and empowering to those in the world. However, to true believers, would these kinds of attitudes be welcomed in the Kingdom? (Gal 5:19-26)(Gal 6 2-4) They can be seenas, mere conflict-ridden tools, to encourage disobedience and promote sin. Therefore, we need to be on our guard! Here’s what else the word says, to encourage us against the spiritual warfare, that rages within. (Luke- 14:11) (Co 12:24-25)
When we start thinking high-mindedly of ourselves. Not wanting to associate with those who remind us of poverty, insecurities, and old habits and ultimately, giving way to unwanted negative feelings. So the bible warns us of this. (Pro 14:21, 31) Only being around those who make us feel good about ourselves, it’s easier to declare spiritual superiority, under these circumstances, just by exposing our conduct towards each other. This is not morally healthy! Consider what the bible says here (Prov 28:23)
We compare and assess; yet, we say we want to be more like Jesus!?
Consequently, it does not help when the thin line, between the emergence of motivational talks, videos and books are ‘absent of spiritual principles’, which appeals more to the flesh, rather than the spirit. Convincingly, taking into account that, everyone is at different stages of spiritual maturity, so more susceptible to its ‘narcissistic doctrines’ and exactly what the enemy intended. As a result, it does not negate the fact that, if we don’t put the word into operation, then we have failed at being, our brothers and sisters keeper. (Eph 4:16)
The bible reminds us simply and clearly. ‘Do unto others, as you would have done unto you’ and we should ‘love our neighbours, as we love ourselves’. We may not always get it right all the time, but God is a loving God and the gift of grace, allows our hearts to learn and grow from our mistakes.
If we are truly to become our Brother and Sister’s keeper.
(Romans 14:10, 19) (Rom 15:1-5)
Petula Hippolyte Freelancer and Blogger
As last month was Black History Month I have decided to kick off this blog with some profiles over the next few weeks which will focus on some of the unsung black heroes to have made a significant contribution to both American and British history.
Born in 1888 in Folkestone, Kent, Walter Tull is undeniably an unsung hero in black British history. His father, Daniel Tull, who hailed from the Caribbean Island of Barbados and was a carpenter by trade, moved to England where he met and married Alice Palmer (Walter’s mother) in 1880. Tragedy struck however in 1895 when at the age of just 7 years old, Walter’s mother died from breast cancer. Two years passed before Walter’s father would remarry again. Just as it seemed the family had cleared all the hurdles another was put in their way when Daniel sadly passed away to heart disease. It was a devastating blow to Walter and his siblings. During those dark years, Walter became particularly close to his older brother by 2 years – Edward. They played together at home and attended the same school. However, Walter’s stepmother found it increasingly difficult to look after the children on her own and felt she had no other choice than to give the children up for adoption. Luckily both Walter and Edward (aged 9 and 11 respectively) were accepted into a children’s orphanage in Bethnal Green, East London. It was during his time there that Walter began to develop an interest in football, playing for the orphanage football team. Then one day there was a knock at the door. It was a couple from Scotland looking to adopt a child from the orphanage and to Walter’s dismay they chose his brother, Edward. Suddenly Walter found himself alone and heart broken. His school work suffered. His only hope was football and it was while he was playing for the Clapton School boys team that he was scouted and approached by Tottenham Hotspur where he was known to have been one of the first players of black origin to have played in the English Football League. While today it is every aspiring footballers dream to play for a top English football side, the experience was bittersweet for Walter who was a constant target for chants which often referred to his skin along with monkey sounds reverberating around the stadium each time he got a touch on the ball. As a result his career did not last very long at Tottenham. In 1911 he was sold to Northampton Town for whom he went on to play over 100 matches and scoring over a dozen goals.
Then on the 4th of August 1914, football was put on hold as the country went to war with Germany. Many footballers, Walter included, were enlisted into the British army. Walter, who had been used to lost, separation and suffering would use these experiences to make him stronger. His strength of character and determination would lead his superiors to hand him a commanding role in the army in 1917, when under his leadership he would successfully return from two separate missions without any casualties to his predominantly white soldiers. However, Walter (aged 29) was killed during battle, on 25th March 1918 on French soil and though clearly noted for his coolness and gallantry, has to this day (despite widespread campaigns) not been awarded the Military Cross for his leadership during the war.
Darell J Philip is a freelance writer who also blogs at: darellphilip.wordpress.com