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God’s Endless Love

The book which has impacted my life so much is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. The manner in which she demonstrated the love of our heavenly Father was so intricately presented that I became so confident that there was nothing I could do that would stop God from loving me.

Even when I fail, I disappoint Him, I abandon my secret place, I apply my own foolish wisdom and fail, I go astray, and ignore His ever available love, God’s love remains the one constant through all seasons of my life. Hallelujah

Now, I am securely grounded in this love that in all devastating experiences I go through, I know that I can always count on Jesus’s love to see me safely to the end.

I will follow Jesus to the end. No turning back.

May God lead people who are struggling to accept love or love themselves to find His unconditional love. Amen

(c) Joy Ozono

April 2020

Do it!

Really cool spot along one of the paths.

Having always been one who loved to walk prior to the global lock down, it was rather shockingly surprising that I felt no inclination to go out at all except to the shop which was speedily done before racing back home.

Staying at home full time with loads to do but with an equally matching lack of zeal to get anything done (order than to binge eat, sleep, watch all sorts of both worthy and weird shows on TV) was something that was really difficult for me.

I’m one of those who enjoyed spending time at home when I could find that time. I have lots of books to read, half completed articles to edit, carry on writing and finish. I could do some crocheting which is an on and off hobby of mine. Cleaning and organizing were ways I passed time if bored. Cooking various mouth-watering meals and trying out new dishes came in handy. I did slight physical exercises most days and spent about half an hour some days walking on the spot and around my home.

However, I just could not muster up enough motivation to go out for my fun activity of outdoor walking. Whenever I tried, it felt like such an arduous task having to dress up in suitable walking outfits; making up my mind whether to use a face mask or not; deciding on the direction I would go to as well as for how long I would be walking. So, the result was not walking at all!

I made it out one day and walked for half an hour to and back and it felt absolutely invigorating. If only I had done it more times prior to that day! And continued too!!!

Well, as the lock down was partially lifted, I spent more and more times with my family. Whilst with them, I would remain at my sister’s while she and her kids would go cycling. The girls always asked me to come along but I was constantly armed with loads of lame excuses why I couldn’t go. Some of the excuses were genuine on a couple of occasions, though. Few days ago, I decided to accompany them. We walked to a park not too far from away. Having been in that neighbourhood for a long time, I had no idea such lovely location was situated close by.

It was a really cool weather!

We all had an incredible time going on the foot bridge across a clear, little shallow stream, up a not so obvious hill (only the tough ascent reveals its presence) and the wide field across which were pretty horses foraging. (The horses had gone by the time I remembered to snap the photograph!) There were lots of beautiful trails that led into more fields and helped all those who were about to avoid meeting which was great for the social distancing still in place.

The exhilarating feeling was so tangible that I needed no invitations to tag along the next day as we went to a different route which was further away. Deciding to accompany my family on that first walk became one of the best things I had done during the stay at home order. It left me craving to go out more regularly whilst maintaining the social distancing as well. The company was great. The scenery was beautiful. The feeling was refreshing. I became the one who prompted my folks for us to venture outdoors in the days to come.

My main point here is that had I known how much the walking exercise was going to be beneficial to me, I would have embarked on it sooner. I should have simply just done it without finding silly excuses to avoid it. Procrastination has always been and would remain a chief thief of precious time. Instead of putting events, activities or plans off, it is best to just do or try them out. The resultant impact would determine whether we would carry on with such activity or desist from them.

What is that thing you have been attempting to do and have not started yet? You are encouraged to get rid of all those super relevant justifications why and get doing. It is always better to try than to not at all.

For next time, I will try to avoid postponing or making excuses. Just do it!

© Jouyoz June 1st 2020

I can’t wait…

To see and hug my family members again.

To tell my loved ones that I love them face to face.

To return to my church and meet my Christian family physically.

To go shopping for other items other than food.

To return to work.

To receive family and friends in my home.

To go to the saloon.

To see children in school uniforms.

To travel out of my city.

To not only communicate with family and friends through social media although I enjoyed chatting with/seeing them online.

To enter public spaces without fear of getting infected.

To go to a restaurant and simply enjoy the company even if they’re not with me.

To stand by the roadside and appreciate the traffic.

To get stuck in traffic no matter how long.

To go to the cinema.

To hear the laughter and voices of people on the streets.

To see children and families playing in the parks.

To see my friends and hug them.

To board an airplane.

To go to the beach.

To have a house party.

To not see empty buses ply by every day.

To enter a library again to return and borrow books.

To get on a train into the city.

To not feel trapped inside my own home.

To see and hear the news of our world being completely free from the stomping virus.

To see or hear airplanes in the air.

To not hear about more people getting infected and increased dearth rate.

To hang out with friends or colleagues.

To go for or receive guests for sleep overs.

To attend a party, any party at all.

To not have to wear face mask.

To not remain at home whilst wishing to just drive off somewhere.

To see a world void of hate.

To share my stay at home experience with other people.

To meet with that special someone.

I candidly cannot wait for the new life waiting to be experienced!

I can’t wait!!!

New hope. New realities. New horizons. New strengths. New skills. All waiting to be explored.

© Jouyoz May 2020

the monster god

How does one represent a monster in a photograph to make them look a tiny bit nice? You cannot purely because of the simple fact that there’s no way a monster can be depicted to look nice. They have never been, are not, and can never.

It is not in their nature to be anything remotely close to nice. Trying to portray them as such will be absolute deception and a frightening fallacy!

I am delighted to have a God whose pictures abound, (all over the world) in various ways, shapes, and forms. They all illustrate His unconditional, endless love, eternal presence, calming peace in turbulent times, inexhaustible forgiveness, unfailing patience, infiniteness, and warm embrace every time I go to Him. Thank you, my Lord Jesus for I see You everywhere.

When I look at my fellow human being, I see You and I am guided to treat them as You would have me do. Fellow humans are not monsters no matter what colour their pigmentation might be.

Dear God, I ask that you rid our world of the monster god which can never ever be seen in any picture for there is no goodness whatsoever in it. Please release the spirit of tolerance, respect, resilience, unity, responsibility, perseverance, and love upon people everywhere. The monster god is no longer welcome amongst us. Amen!

© Jouyoz May 2020

He cries too!

Who can recollect the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden? I do. The part that gets me the most, in recent times, was after they both had violated God’s instruction to not eat out of the tree of good and evil. Has anyone considered how much they broke The Father’s heart? They had permission to be and do anything in that exotic location yet chose to disobey the one thing which they were forbidden to not do. I could not cease to imagine how much our heavenly Father would have felt hurt to have to discipline His children after that. He must have wept!

What about when Jesus surrendered His life on the cross to redeem mankind? He didn’t have to do it. God could have stopped those folks from laying a finger on His beloved Son. I am so delighted that He did not! Our Awesome Creator had to turn His back on His own Son to permit creation to be reborn through the sacrifice of The Sacred Lamb on the cross. I am very certain that God shared tears back then!

Thank You for the cross, Lord.

Let’s look at ourselves for a little bit.  

When we have our hopes dashed after believing this was the last straw; we cannot take anymore, and we cry. God cries too!

After we missed the way; strayed from the path He set before us and groped in darkness for as long as our feeble strength would carry us only to stumble and got hurt. God cried too!

Remember the times when we tried so many times but repeatedly failed as we chased the shadows of our misguided dreams. Many were the nights we kept vigil crying, holding clandestine, private, pity parties. You alone know how long those parties tarried. God cried too!

What about when you returned the engagement ring which you so looked forward to. He left you for a friend of yours. God cried too!

The miscarriages occurred back to back five years in a row! You could not take it anymore after he impregnated a colleague of yours. God cried too!

Foreclosure finally found your abode. You and young children sofa surfed between family members, friends, and homeless shelters. Your secret tears would float a modern titanic. God cried too!

Your terrific plans for your children have not worked out so far and you’re completely disappointed. God cries too!

Rising to become a senior partner in your firm after many years of hard work, sweat and tears only to lose it all after one silly error. God cries too!

Feeling inadequate, unlovable, a failure ready to end it all. God cries too!

Fear of the unknown as you turn fifty and still single with increased pressure from both family, friends and the society. God cries too!

It seems to be one calamity or another in your family. Father left. Mum is alcoholic. Older brother incarcerated. Older sister dropped out of school; now roaming the streets hooked on every substance available. You’ve exhausted all resources trying to look after yourself and your mother. God cries too!

Denied due promotion. Failed professional exams twice in a row. Staring at a bleak future. God cries too!

Your best kept secret – bulimia (or whatever else) – is killing you slowly but surely. You are not sure whom to turn to. Numerous are the months you spent enslaved by the fear of being discovered. God cries too!

News of the hurricane hitting nearby streets greeted you with trepidation. You watched as your own street began to flood and the water levels steadily rose until your forever home was submerged under murky filth before you and your family were rescued to the local sports complex. God cried too!

You have lost count of emails which said, “Unfortunately, you were not short listed for the position.” God cried too!

The entire world is experiencing a novel crisis that nobody could have ever imagined. Feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, pain, depression, hopelessness, starvation, loss, abandonment, etc are eating thousands of millions around the globe. I am certain that the quantity of tears that must have been shed in the past three months could easily replicate all the oceans on Earth to create a fresh watery planet somewhere in the galaxy.

But as folks weep individually or collectively as a family or nation, God is there with each person and each group sharing in their tears. He most definitely did not bring this calamity upon the world. For God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son… John 3:16. Our Father gave His all. Why then would He afflict His creation? No point at all.

Every hurt, every pain, every tear, every disappointment, every negative event that we suffer and experience, God is there with us. My Bible tells me in Hebrews 13.5 and Joshua 1:5 the second parts of both scriptures that He will never leave nor forsake us. He hurts as well. He cries too.

If we, as humans could empathise and share in the pains, sorrow and sufferings of our children, wives, husbands, family members, friends and neighbours; why won’t The Everlasting Rock whose love is perpetually unfailing not partake in our distress? John 11:35 Jesus wept! That was The Sovereign Lord sharing in the grief of His friends after Lazarus died. Not only did He cry, Jesus went further to bring Lazarus back to life.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation that brings tears to your eyes, remember, and be comforted that help in whatever form (as might be peculiar to your case) is available because the Soon Coming King is with you in that circumstance and He does cry too!

© Jouyoz  May 2020

One Hour as a Dyslexic Child (Conclusion)

Dyslexia, according to the Oxford Essential English Dictionary is an abnormal difficulty in reading and spelling caused by a brain condition. It does not affect general intelligence just the ability to interpret letters and other symbols.

To anyone who stumbles upon this article, it will be much helpful to return to the first two parts to fully grasp the entire contents of the journey embarked upon by this incredible young chap. Thank you to all those who have followed from the start, taking the time to read through each article. Your comments, feed backs and likes have been most encouraging to me as a writer. I sincerely appreciate each of you. Be blessed.

Now, let’s return to our special young person’s experience.

I could feel my grin from ear to ear. Bursting with pride, I joined in the chanting that went on for a few minutes. People gave me thumbs up, fist bumps, high fives, and taps on the shoulder. Some said, “I knew you could do it. Cheers mate. Well done, Jude. Great job!” Even those few classmates who picked on me for wasting their learning time expressed joy in my little success. The atmosphere was electric! It felt like a billion voltages had been switched on to transform my classroom into a brand-new planet of its own.

 I had heard the word ‘dyslexia’ talked about by my parents, teachers, and various adults everywhere. I still have no idea what it means, to be honest. The one thing which I do know is that while I understand that reading can transport me to worlds beyond my imagination, I simply have no idea why I cannot make meaning of certain symbols, words or phrases on a page.

This is so real for many folks.

Fundamental transformation occurred in my school life that day. Although the ability to decode symbols, graphemes, letters and other phonetic signs continued to be a real challenge, I was equipped with one unique tool. That was to never give up rather to believe in myself and maintain my focus on making positive progress no matter how miniscule it might be.

Hasty conclusion???

I will always be grateful to have that teacher who encouraged me to believe in myself. She motivated a terrified, special learner to do what he could do but did not have the patience or bravery to face it. I went on to finish that book in the next guided reading lesson, by the way. Although I still had a few glitches a couple of more times before the end of that year, my radical improvement occurred that day during that one hour session. This was because a young woman decided to let me know that I was cherished, and important enough to pause everything else to make room for me. An hour-long lesson orchestrated the rebirth of a nearly aborted destiny.

The real reasons behind Miss Q’s sweet tears may never be known to me, but that image is eternally etched in my memory. I believe that it will drive me to greater successes in my life’s journey. Very often, what any learner deserves is just one person on whom they can count to not give up on them.

Thank you for reading my one-hour experience as a dyslexic learner. Maybe I just might invite you again to come with me on an adventure into my entire remaining two years in primary school. Remember to be kind, patient and supportive the next time you encounter anybody struggling to pronounce or read a simple word which is not that simple for people many with special needs.

© Jouyoz     18th May 2020

The Comforter

Amen

Whenever I have had to attend a funeral, it was always difficult for me to know what to say to the bereaved family members. Very often, I have tried to chat about the life that the lost loved one had lived if I knew them personally. If I did not know them, I say that the pain gets better with time and that I pray that God will console them all. Sometimes, I have just sat down with the family as they shared their memories of their loved one. This brings lots of tears (most of the time) but it also helps to begin the healing process.

I have also observed some people as they try to comfort the family. Some folks have got it while some just don’t. Some can’t stop talking and families are not able get a word in. Some clam up. Some know what to say. Some do not. Some are not strong enough. Some are born with it. Some have been referred to as the outsider that wept louder than the bereaved. Others are stone cold, no emotions.

Use them wisely.

The loss of a loved one is not a trivial issue. Death is a concrete part of the cycle of life. It is only natural for other people to want to support a grieving family. Unfortunately, not everyone can be a comforter. Who recalls a time when they tried to console a friend but everything they uttered tended to be the wrong thing to say? It is at such moments one should apply wisdom to stay silent. I think that the silence of the trusted friend does better than the many meaningless words of a talkative. Proverbs 17:28…a man of understanding shuts his lips.

To comfort anyone, who is mourning or has experienced some forms of loss or calamity, is not a comfortable experience. Given that there is no manual on how to cheer those who have lost someone, it takes courage, wisdom and understanding plus, maybe, experience, to do it successfully and appropriately.

I wish we had a different way to maintain the life cycle without the hurts, pains, feelings of emptiness that accompany death! Since there is no other way, it will be agreeable for everyone to apply wisdom the next time they attempt to calm a grief-stricken person or family.

Take an inward honest assessment of yourself to reflect on these questions:   

Am I a comforter?                                                                                                        How uplifting are my words to those in mourning?                                                 Who would I want to have around me in my time of grief?                                   How appropriate are my words as I attempt to comfort a friend?                         Can I remain in supportive silence instead of rambling on?                                 Will I end up being a miserable comforter just like Job described his friends in Job 16 verse 2?

My Bible tells me in John 14:16-18; verse 26 that The Holy Spirit is the Comforter who will be with us to console us in all situations and teach us all things. May we learn to turn to the One who alone can help us order our words appropriately if we must speak or to direct us to dwell in silence as necessary. What time do we need help to speak right than this period when our world is being ravaged by a deadly virus?

He promises to be with us through it all, Halleluyah!

Maybe we are the ones our families and friends look up to for hope and relief during their trying times. It is my prayer that our words would bring blessings and upliftment to our hearers when they are consumed by grief, fear and anxiety.  God bless you all and keep us safe.

© Jouyoz    12th May 2020

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