Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!!

With all the preparations, the frantic rush for the last box of lasagna of the shelf, the long lines to buy the Christmas cake, the picking of the perfect gift, the decorations on the tree - it all comes down to this..1 day- December 25!
Oxtail and beans/carrots

We will sit, and we will eat too much and have regrets but most of all, we will enjoy family, friends and speak to persons near and far. Yes, many will be sad, for loved ones that are no longer here or for those that couldn't make it for the festive feast. Let us never forget that Emmanuel- God is with us- in the best of times and in the worst of times.

Fresh Sorrel
From my family to yours - Have a Merry Christmas!! and God bless.

A few persons were curious about the Jamaican traditional foods, so I will attach a few pictures just for you!
Jamaican Sorrel drink

Jamaican Fruit/Black  Cake

Photo credit: The Lovely Pantry A Jamaican foodie who cooks, bakes and eats with love!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Mary, baby Jesus and the song that the world rarely sings at Christmas

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

I first heard this song a few years ago when my classmates and I had to put on a production for a drama course we were doing. We decided to do a modern twist on the story of Jesus's birth. We zoomed in on Mary, more so than Jesus being a Saviour. The song, Mary did you know was played towards the end of the production when Mary and Joseph went looking for Jesus when he stayed back at the temple doing his father's business. We got a B. We were quite thrilled, it was so much work and we were glad it was over.

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

The song came to me today because for the second time in two days  I've been called a scrooge! Not because I don't get the meaning and significance of why as Christians we celebrate Christmas, but because for me Christmas means work! Too much work and if grades are being handed out for Christmas cheer this year - I'll take a C! If you know me, you will know, if I got a C....well I'd cry!

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

In Jamaica, Christmas is steeped in traditions. Enough, that I will make a list.

  • There is major home renovations which includes but not limited to: painting your walls, grills, verandah, bedroom, remodelling your kitchen, bathroom.....
  • You shop for gifts, toys and the Christmas tree but only at the very last minute
  • You bake- black cake with fruits that have been soaking from the previous year
  • You cook up a storm complete with ham, different meats, and sides
  • You make sorrel
  • You invite family over
  • You go to kids school events
  • You attend church services

I'm sure I left some things out but that list is all that I have to look forward to in the Christmas season. I usually do all of the above, well except the painting bit. This normally leaves me totally exhausted just thinking about all I have to do and literally exhausted when I get through doing them.

This year - I'm just plain ole tired, and I haven't even started any of the list! And I don't even feel like I will! There is no tree, no decorations, no presents bought, no fruits soaking in wine and the ham is still sitting frozen in the freezer. It's going to be a long Christmas Eve!

For as traditions go - I know I will force myself to complete them all by Thursday! In Jamaica - Christmas dinner, Christmas Day is our Thanksgiving. The show must go on!

And everybody says - do it for the children at least! Afterall, Christmas is for the children! They get the presents, the good cheer and tidings, they get the love and extra pocket money! Do it for them!

And then guilt seeps in and I am reminded of the song - Mary did you know?

 It makes me thoughtful. I think about the messages I am passing on by being the scrooge, of not providing the best Christmas memories, I know too that every mundane day, is a still a day that makes a lifetime.

Mary did you know.. Mary did you know
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

 But, I also think on the flip side, what I am also teaching about doing things merely out of tradition, and am I really doing what is important and right. The season afterall isn't about cake, sorrel, ham and presents - isn't it about the birth of our Saviour?

As a Christian family, I know my children know this, they hear it every year at church but do the traditions compliment or contradict that teaching. I said to my friend this week - I'm not buying any gifts this year- I'm giving every body Frankincense! She laughed out loud! Truth be told, I didn't even know what it is or how I would find it but if it's good enough for surely good enough for my bunch!..hahaha!

I have become weary of the traditions of men! Jaded even...Christmas celebrations is creeping up the list!

But that pesky song! Who am I raising? What is my responsibility to them at this time of the year? What do I teach them in my actions and not necessarily my words? Do I carry out traditions and a culture to make them happy for that 'one day' we celebrate as Jesus's birth or do I just stress the fact that Emmanuel is with us?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Truth be told - I'll probably do both!
Christmas, is a happy time, a time when people see strangers. A time when people actually talk instead of text, a time when family visits from near and far, a time when we eat way too much cake and a time when we open laughter, smiles and happiness wrapped up in a cute red bow, all because Emmanuel is with us!

And what of the next few days - when the nostalgia starts to fade- what do you teach then? What do you do when the traditions of men take a hiatus until Easter when you are supposed to be sad for Jesus's death? It seems like it is a roller- coaster ride that has out- lasted its purpose.

Emmanuel you see, never really left us, he has been that ever present God from creation to flesh to Holy spirit our comforter this whole time. I prefer to celebrate that all year round. And did Mary know? I'm not sure she did in entirety; just like me, as I stare at my children, I do not fully know if one day, they will walk on water, or deliver me!

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.

I just know...that like Mary, I was chosen to carry them. I was chosen to have them fulfill the purpose of God in their lives. I was chosen to guide them in the way of God and not the traditions of men.
So even if there is no tree, there is still love.

And the greatest of these is love. Isn't that what Christmas is all about anyways?

Related Reading: John 3:16

Song words taken from :

Friday, 18 December 2015

Will you accept the gift without the wrapping paper?

Psalm 23: 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – I will fear no evil – for though art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

I was at the cemetery, I was looking for my grandmother’s grave stone, me and my family. We walked through the valley of death, from the year 2000 to 1989, - 12 years of death, grief, sadness, tears, unfulfilled hopes, dreams, purposes, I saw just this- and it gave me pause, a beautifully wrapped bouquet of flowers, most likely left by a visitor of graves, just like myself. 

Thing is – the flowers were still perfectly nestled in the beautiful wrapping paper but the flowers- well- they were all rotten- brown- and moldy. It was sad. Goodbyes, are indeed, the saddest words we ever hear.

I thought- death- looks exactly like that bouquet and many of us do too. Beautifully wrapped packages with rotten insides.

And it's Christmas, and no one wants to really talk about death, when we are celebrating Christ's birth; what a morbid subject at the most wonderful time of the year but oh how because of a birth- death no longer has to look like a beautifully wrapped bouquet of rotten flowers.

Death now equals life.

I was at the graveyard because I was attending a funeral, and as I looked around at all the people crying, I considered that people cry at funerals for so many different reasons; many out of guilt and regret. This day, thankfully, I had neither. I just cried because death is sad.

It's that I will never see you again..
I will never talk to you again..
I will never touch you again...
I will never hear your voice again...
It's that natural, tangible experience that we crave and will forever miss... that..why didn't you come before...Lazarus has's too's been days!

But... unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and death took on a whole new face......

1 Cor. 15:55 O Death...where is thy sting? O Grave...where is thy victory?

I imagine death now looks like a perfectly perfect party scene, complete with red Bistro table- the centerpiece- the masterpiece- the blood of Jesus's peace. A place where there is a table set before you, and you are feted until... meet the ones you have left behind; who walk through their own valleys of death, mourning; not knowing, not owning, the best open secret the Good News has offered. 

Eternal life. Life after death. Hope. Grace. Freedom. Victory!

I miss my grandma...still...and she died in 1989, and as I stood over her gravestone; life standing looking down at death, I still cried, just a little. something the living will never get over. So, the living must live like they want to live forever. We must live in Christ.

....but most importantly, we must die in Christ and leave our graveyards behind; for Christ has come to give life, and life more abundantly, not to have us wading through the desperation of this life.

Readings: Isaiah 9

Friday, 11 December 2015

When did God ask for your help exactly?

As I sat in air conditioned comfort, huddled between a stranger and a friend listening to a Korean pastor sharing God's word in a most animated tone, I couldn't help but smile in my heart at a God that sends messages in the wind that need no translation. The very last day of this seminar that I was invited to a week prior, was about faith - the very thing I was struggling with, just this week.

The message - just have faith - wait on God - don't try to help him accomplish his promises to you - he doesn't need your help!

After this message that I almost missed due to a full day of Christmas activities, there was a one on one 'ministering session'....being a strange face...I was bait. Not only was I bait - I was perplexed bait.
A sprightly chap tried his best to explain....needless to say - I didn't get it.

Do nothing while I wait? What do you mean do nothing? I have to do something...afterall - do I just sit around twiddling my thumbs and just wait?....NO - that wasn't flying with me. There must be something I can do....

The message referenced Abraham, Moses and David....

Abraham did something while he waited on God to fulfill his promise to him. He had Ishmael.  We all know how that turned out!

But still...what do I do in the between time?

Nothing! Just wait. Just depend on God's unwavering hand to do his work- his way - instead of  him having to accomplish his will plus fix your mess; you know- the mess you made trying to 'help' him.

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 

For there is nothing impossible for the Lord but there are many things that are not possible for you. And if you believe you had a hand in achieving God's plan for you; you might be tempted to glorify self!

But just do nothing?! 

So if the Lord promised you a husband, wouldn't it be logical that you would start to go out more? Visit some more parks? Attend more social events? Visit a few more churches? Become more social? Sign up for an online dating site perhaps? have to meet the person somewhere right? mean to say that a God that created the universe needs your help in providing a meeting spot for a husband he picked out for you since before the beginning of time? Really? Do you believe if you never leave your house again that God wouldn't still have you meet this person?

In the natural, the answer would be:  'to meet someone, you need to 'meet' them, so I would have to Do Something in order to 'help' God.

But, again the question is  "Is there anything impossible for God?"

Well, how about helping God to save people? How about starting a blog to get God's word out to the nations? Putting his words and work out there, showcasing our lives and experiences to build God's kingdom? Following truly the 'Great Commission" (Mathew 28:19)

Truth be told, most of everything I write ends up speaking to me and what God is trying to accomplish in me! If it's helping anybody else, it is not because of my writing style or bible knowledge - the two- need plenty of work - it is simply because of this - God's word cannot return void, but accomplish what it will. His will is being done. I am merely an instrument. If it were for me alone..I'd be fast asleep in bed!

Does God need our help? Probably not!

 But, I had an issue with what the pastor was saying!

My reasoning - God uses people, people come into your lives, they change the course of it; many help you find God, some help you rekindle your relationship with God, others through their hurt, betrayal and disappointment help you to lean on God - all done through- well - People. So you look through a lens that views - people- as the vehicle in which you 'found' God.

But was all God...all the time...working through people! They were not helping God. God was helping them. Helping them to reconcile his people unto himself.

The fact that God works through man to accomplish his will does not mean he needs our help to do anything! I have to let this marinate a little. I need time with this one.

Humans, are busy little bees, buzzing around, pollinating brightly coloured open flowers, who are blowing in the wind, waiting to be impregnated with the Word. Trouble is- all these busy little bees are buzzing around with their own words, their own ideas, and their own thoughts on how they can 'help' God accomplish his will. Many have good intentions. The road to hell is paved with many a good intention.

Bees, are responsible for one-third of the world's food supply! Imagine that! Now imagine us being busy bees pollinating one-third of the world with our own version of what God wants us to do to help Him! Scary thought!

So, do nothing to help God probably doesn't mean to sit around and twiddle your thumbs afterall. Maybe it means do nothing of yourself.
Do nothing from your own imaginings.
Do nothing from the standpoint of vain deceits, because God's ways are not your ways; so in helping him it is perfectly plausible that you will create major problems for yourself and others.

So, instead, wait on the promise. Have faith in the unseen. Read, study, pray and be guided, even if the rain you are waiting for takes 120 years. Building the Ark doesn't mean you are helping God, it means you are being obedient to what God has told you to do for Him to accomplish His will.'s what I think anyways. Maybe you disagree...

Related post: Birthdays and Mercedes Benz

Readings: Isaiah 55

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Faith, the substance of things hoped for yet not seen

I've written about faith, but it seems I see in the natural. It seems my faith is written with disappearing ink. Paper based. Read off the pages of the Word, processed in the mind, understood in the heart but not transferred into everyday reality. Houston! - We have a problem!

Everyday I wake up,I see my realities. I do not see faith

Everywhere I go, I see my needs. I do not see faith.

Every time I ponder about new opportunities. I do not see faith.

Whenever I look at a bank statement. I do not see faith.

I see...a Natural reality!

I see...wants. Needs. Hopes. Disappointments. Delays. Progress too but...I do not see faith.

How do I get to see faith?

How do I abandon all that is mulling around in my head and take the plunge into unadulterated faith?

How do you get to a point that faith is all you see?

What does it look like? Feel like? smell like? Taste like? Can somebody please tell me?

Tell me so that I can breathe...........................Tell me so that I can please God.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Let it go - or be forever frozen

And this is a story all about how my life got twisted turned upside down, and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there and I'll tell you how I became the queen of a town not Bel-Air ..........forgiveness

After my defiant hardened reaction, I had to face myself and decide if I was playing church or was actually trying to be more like Jesus! Turns was the latter.

It takes much more effort to actually be upset and mad at someone than it takes just to let it go.....

Let it go......

or stay........


Frozen in time, frozen in your attitude, limiting your altitude and compromising your state with God. God tells you that your body is a holy and living sacrifice; a place that he dwells. I'm pretty sure that although he created the seasons, frozen over hearts wouldn't be his favoured place to hang out.

I decided to forgive. To let it go. In the moment when I did it, I literally felt weightless. Like water running from a once frozen stream. Free.

I got it, unforgiveness is like weight you carry around, everywhere you go. Everywhere, with each person you choose not to forgive, the load gets heavier, you move slower. You grow colder. You have less room to trust people, less room to love people. Less places to let anyone in.

My daughter taught me a little goes like this...

A habit is a habit,
Everywhere you go you have it
If you take off the h 
you still have a bit
If you take off the a 
you still have bit
If you take off the b
you still have it

And wouldn't it be better that if you are going to carry around a habit, it be one worthy of taking every single place you go?

People are going to hurt us, despitefully use us, persecute us or just plain annoy us but if we have a habit of forgiveness- well- we will forgive them and keep it moving, everywhere we go!

That's a habit worth habitual about being spiritual.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Forgive- in the moment- for you may not have the luxury of time

Forgiveness is a hard thing for us human folks. Hard for us common folks. Hard for us broken folks. Hard for us hurting folks. Forgiveness, is even harder to 'give' in the moment when you are being hurt, wounded, mocked, lied upon by people you helped; people you love deeply. But we are called to forgiveness. It's hard.

I watched the movie War Room with my trio last week Friday, at first my daughter said - I want my money back, can we watch something else? She had paid no money, and I certainly wasn't watching a cartoon- because I was about my father's business. But as the show progressed she grew quiet; the seed was embedding. At the end I asked her what she thought of a war room for our house, she smiled- I'm not sure, where would we put it? I wouldn't want anybody to be able to read my stuff, she declared. She had become open to idea.

Praying is a powerhouse of a tool. I don't do it quite as much as I should.

For me, the movie changed my perspective on the 'enemies' we fight, and how I have been going about the fight All wrong this whole time! I have been fighting against people- pushing back against people instead of fighting the real enemy working through them. I need a war room, in-fact...I need a war house!

When people hurt me,and I look at their faces, and I hear their voices, all I see, hear and feel is my hurt, my pain, my betrayal. All I remember is how good I was to the person, how much I helped, sacrificed and gave my all. All I can think is how good I am and how bad they are. All I AM is angry. All I AM is hurt. All I AM is not forgiving. All I AM is fighting the wrong enemy. All I AM is losing.

And today I thought about forgiveness and these words  Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do....." as I stared at a face I felt too hurt to forgive. The wound was still fresh, and forgiveness was too much to ask. Hard.
As the words of Jesus danced upon my heart, I hardened it even as I thought this :- How awesome a God we serve that in the very moment that they mocked, geared, spat, betrayed, pierced, and abused him, the I AM, the creator of the universe, could say and live out the words - Forgive!

Here I AM, just a regular lady who had been hurt that was refusing to forgive, after the fact, and looked upon a face of someone that betrayed me and see them as'bad' and myself  as 'good'. I was the good one, the kind one, the one who was wronged. I have all right to be angry, upset, and militant about my unforgiveness. I AM wrong and strong! And this is why ALL our righteousness are but filthy rags, for our 'goodness' - well - it's just no good!

And God calls us to do the hard things. The things we don't want to do, the things that stretches us, the things that prepares us for what is to come. If as a Christian I want to be more like him, well, forgiveness - in the moment - has got to be a new normal and I will have to look myself in the mirror, swallow deeply and ................................follow Christ's example. Hard.

Last year, I ate a lot of pork; this year I decided that I didn't want to eat as much pork. I was resolute and I had pork, maybe four times this year. Three out of those four times, my body totally rejected it. It was upon the third occasion, just this weekend, as I sat curled up with a case of the runs that I realized what my body was trying to tell me on those other occasions.

My body said - 

Tanya, even though pork tastes so good to the taste buds, we, the digestive system have decided that we will no longer accept it, after all this time; it is foreign to us now and we do not want it any longer. In the event that you decide to forget what we clearly showed to you two times before, we will continue with the 'runs' in a more serious way, until you understand our position.

 Best regards, 
The Digestive system

Since, I have better things to do than fight with my own body, I think I'll give up pork altogether, hoping in the back of my mind that giving up fresh pork doesn't include me having to give up ham! For Christmas is a coming! 

It isn't the first time my body has rejected foods that I like to eat, it did it before with mangoes, fish and rice, and for each of those foods I did something that got my body to re- adjust ever so nicely to accepting them again!

Follow me- I promise I'm going somewhere with this!

This is what I did - even though my body said no - I kept eating those things my body didn't want - a little at a time, even through the occasional tummy aches and upchucks- I continued eating them until my body got used to them and I could have some of my favourites again without any painful reminders that once signaled their arrival into my digestive system.

It is the job of an active conscience to tell you when you have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, if you keep denying and suppressing that conscience, eventually it becomes less active, and you end up waist deep in a sinful unforgiving state of being. 

Like my digestive system, that voice of reason that speaks to you when you know you are wrong, that voice that brings a scripture to your heart that solidifies your wrong, is trying to save you from a night curled up in pain and anguish. It is trying to save you from a more serious case of the runs. But the more you indulge in sin, a little at a time, is the more that you will become accepting of it, and the less you will feel that conscience pricking you to do what is right. 

So I am caught in my wrong and I must make it right - 70 x 7. Hard. Yet doable, if I consider the consequences - and I must.

A little song I learnt recently from an African missionary to Jamaica...

I want to be more and more like Jesus
I want to be more and more like him
I want to be more and more and more and more
More and more and more and more 
More and more and more Like him

When I sing these words,I want them to be true, I want to be forgiving,I want to show God's love to those who hurt me, I want to learn to forgive, in the moment. I want to soften my heart instead of harden it. I want to do it so that in loving my enemies - I give them pause - I give them thought- I give them a moment to have questions dance on their hearts. A simple question like - how is it that she still shows me love, when I gave evil for good?...........and maybe, as they go about their daily lives, if not me, then someone will be able to answer that question and simply say :-

"Isn't the love of Jesus something wonderful?"

Then the I AM that is within me would be winning!

Forgive the moment....for we may not have the luxury of time

Related Post:How to forgive with an eraser called time

Friday, 27 November 2015

Let's plant seeds on date night, for we reap what we sow

My daughter says, can you spend some time with me today? And when your kids say it just like that, in that voice that sounds so 'wanting', all you as a parent hears is just this - "I feel like you are neglecting me!"

Now, that my child actually wants to spend time with me, I best grab at the opportunity, because I've been reliably informed by parents of teenagers that soon enough, they'll be asking you to "Just leave them alone!" So I'm thinking.

I still see her as my little baby, the one I brought home thinking, 'Whose is she exactly? How come they let me leave with her? I haven't a clue what to do with her! Now, I'm a little less clueless when it comes to daily activities but every now and again, I marvel at who she is becoming. 

So tonight, I write a quick post, for I want to keep my commitment, but I think tonight will be hers. I think I'll watch War Room. See, spending time with your kids doesn't just mean fun and games, but it's also that comfortable place to plant seeds. 

The world is planting seeds in your kids at every turn, and I find myself having to say often - even with her education - that's what your teachers are paid to say, but that's not what we believe! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Cartoons, movies, songs, even commercials are filling our children with messages from the world and as Christian parents we have a responsibility to push back, pray for them, cover them with the blood of Jesus  and show them the right way.

So, a daunting task it is to teach a teeny tiny 6 lb. baby, values and beliefs to last a lifetime, but I was chosen to do it for this child of mine. 

I wrote once : My children are the best mistakes God has ever planned; and nothing else could be more true; for the plan was never mine to have them but God always has a plan, and he always makes a way to fulfill his plan and will for all his children.

Time is the master. So time I spend so she can master at life and fulfill her purpose, one moment, one hour, one day, one month, one year, one lifetime.

 Related Readings: Luke 8:5 : The Parable of the sower.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Change takes time, change happens one child at a time

We are an instant generation.

Instant coffee.

 Instant oats.




 Fast food!

 You want it; you got it, fast, quick, easy, hassle free. It isn’t our fault really; let’s just blame it all on engineers shall we? Plastics don’t make it possible- Engineers do! They think of ways to make our lives easier – and I don’t think I would be much of a fan of going out and hunting game anyways, so I'm not mad at them.

But an instantaneous lifestyle can have a deleterious effect on many other aspects of our lives. The biggest one is Change! If things are changing, if something is happening, I want it to happen ..well kinda instantly.

And...I told you that God is doing a work in me and I was going to embrace the change?.....I have in many respects but I wanted the change a tad bit faster than he seems to be taking. It's not that I wanted him to hurry up or anything- it's just that, I wanted the change to be like those pretty press on nails. 

You see it, you like it, you order it, it comes in the mail, you pull it out, match it to your fingers, and voila! Nicely manicured fingernails with minimal effort that still lasts about the same time as a professionally done job. It's not like I put zero effort into it, it's just that there wasn't this huge hassle.

Life changes in God, takes often this term I Do Not even want to say out loud - Long Suffering!

I came across a most delightful insight by C.S.Lewis, and it was an instant screenshot - yup- instant again! No need for exercising that brain with memorizing!- another downside of instantaneous lifestyle.

When I read it I said- yup- so true! And a big construction project such as rebuilding a life from the ruins of sin - takes time, real time and slapping on a coat of paint is like putting on a band aid on a surgical wound! It just doesn't make sense. 

As I looked into the eyes of a broken child today, who said, all his life he had been told that he was dumb, and he stopped believing he could learn anything; so he instead wasted time and misbehaved in class- I knew. I understood. Change.

Change. Takes. Time.

When I said to him, " they lied to you, " "anyone who told you you were dumb, lied to you." Something happened to his eyes that I have yet to put into words. But his entire countenance changed and for a moment, he believed. Me.


It's not just that change is hard or that as humans we don't like change. It's that change takes a long time, for most of us and for most situations. The hardest part is that our mind carries a memory of our former life and deeds and it makes a habit of never letting us forget. It stands in the doorway of change. A gatekeeper that says - no! You are not worthy to come in! You are too dumb to learn, you are too much of a sinner for God to love you. You....can't go speak to the boss! 

You are a murderer and your people know and they won't accept you as one to 'save' or free them - so, you look at the master of change and say - I'm not worthy, I can't change my story, they won't want me! I can't speak, I can't.....But ...................... that's lying to you too!

Moses left from a palace to a desert. That's a Big change, it's a change that I'm sure at first, he must have taken some time to adjust to, I'm sure he had resigned himself to a life of a husband of keeper of the sheep; he wouldn't have expected this change to lead to his life's purpose. He needed his desert experience, so that he could succeed at his wilderness journey with the people he was born to free.

God's ways?...Not our ways...God seems to like things to be authentic - if your purpose is to lead people to a promised land through a wilderness - he's going to give you a little working experience first.

Joseph? He had a big change too! His change was of the grandest kind - both in his ascension and descent. From palace to prison and back to save a people!

The voice says, it's going to take too long.
The voice says, no one will believe you
The voice says, you can never really change
The voice says, you will be back to your old self in no time and I'll be waiting to say I told you so!
The voice says, even though others did it, doesn't mean you can
The voice says, stay with me, I love you just the way you are

But that's only half the wrestle against the flesh and the spirit...

A spiritual change that calls for newness, a new creature. A new creation. In Christ.

2 Corinthians 5; 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away: behold,all things have become new

And so now you understand just what C. S. Lewis was saying, a new creature is being build at the same time that an old structure is standing. So the change cannot be instant,at least not everything. And I've seen renovations of old houses, the builder works from the inside out, he painstakingly removes walls, windows, doors, grills, but he is careful to keep the supporting walls and beams and then he gradually makes his way to the outside, and many times when the structure is finished, it's unrecognizable! And that's how God works- he changes from the inside out, because putting paint on an old house does make it look a little better but it's still just an old house with fresh paint. Everything inside, is still falling apart.

So that moment when someone tells you that you can, when all your life you have been told that you can't.........believe them! It's possible to see lasting change but it won't be instant and try as they might - engineers can't make it possible!

So my challenge is to make change for a child say......

Yes, you can 
Yes, you will
Yes, it is possible..............even also for me.........

But you must believe who God says you are and no other voice that says otherwise - not even your own- and that's a change that takes time, for you have to live with your own voices....

but this promise......1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

A call to action.....Save one child that is not your own, let them know who God says that they are.

Readings Exodus 2-5

Friday, 20 November 2015

For the love of God! Can we just love?

It's Friday, the weekend. The day to unwind, relax, wash off the stresses of your week with a long shower and raise your glasses and cheer in the weekend. It goes by so quickly.

And today, was just for friends - just me, having long conversations with friends. I am happy for being blessed with good friends. It is God's way of taking care of me. For we all need a Lazarus. A friend we love that if we lose them, we would just..well...weep. Jesus wept. Jesus understood the value of a good friend. It's what makes him a friend to many.

It was a day just to abandon my plans, and just listen, laugh and love. The greatest of these is love...! Some that are old enough might just burst out in song - 'what the world needs now is love sweet love, it's the only thing that there's just too little of '.

The world seems to be at a turning point, a tipping point even, it's the 2nd Friday in a row that there was some kind of hostage crisis, and people lost their lives for no apparent reason; and we all have to wonder...what's the matter with the world?

Are our ideals so far apart that we seize to

Are our views so different that we seize

Are our clothes so different that we seize

Are past mistakes of one time oppressors so great that hate has overthrown

And we die on cold hard concrete with blood, red blood, making a halo around our heads....

God forbid!

Life as we know it is changing, and the world is becoming a scarier place but I feel calm, for I know to Look Up and not out into the abyss that has become this world. 

So, on a Friday night, I had long conversations, with friends and we spoke about just life....just life, for it is what we have and what we must use to spread the gospel of love that is Christ Jesus. For such a time as this!

1 John 4 :4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is within the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 

You may also like: How to be colour blind in a red hot summer of tears

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Listen- it's not intuition like you were told

 John 2 :5 Whatsoever he says unto you, do it 

I had to get something copied today, I passed a spot, even though my mind said to me -"Go there-"
to go to my regular copy place. My regular place had familiar faces, I thought too that it was cheaper, plus the air conditioning was always on high; living in the in tropics - that is something I can appreciate! I got to my regular place, and the regular persons were not there. They had left someone else in charge and he didn't know how to do the copies the way I wanted! I stared at him, I rolled my mind's eye and I grunted....ugh!

I didn't follow my mind. It cost me about 10 minutes, I had to drive back to the place that my mind was telling me to go to...and you know what? They knew how to do the copies the way I wanted,  they were cheaper - the air conditioning was high too PLUS there was a blessing waiting for me there! Freebies!

If you are an Early childhood teacher, you can appreciate the value of free paper! You can also appreciate recycled materials. At this other place, I not only got things I  could recycle, but an offer to come anytime for more! How cool is that?

I got a tad bit too excited! Then I smiled on my face and in my heart at a God who gives us provision at every turn. Every turn, if we just trust and obey. If I had only trusted my mind's voice, I would have saved myself 10 minutes plus gas.

The world calls it intuition, for years I called it 'woman's intuition', today I call it the voice of my creator, redeemer, provider and friend.

Oftentimes, I would get upset and angry when I get into the car and it doesn't start, or there is some other unexpected delay. I would oftentimes ignore and dismiss that inner voice that says - 'not that' or 'don't go there' only to have something happen that confirms why I had heard that in the first place. Disobedience can cause much harm. But still, His grace and his mercy still protects and provides even in our disobedience.

God is faithful, He is just. It's a daily struggle, and the trust that I am learning to build, has not come overnight, but it is coming. In our most human state, we look so much to the things that we can see, touch, feel, hear- it is indeed sometimes the hardest thing to trust in that still small voice coming from within.

Is it my voice? It sure sounded like mine today when I drove past the first store that held my blessing. How can I tell who's voice it is?

John 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give them eternal life' and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Do you ever realize that when you know someone really well, you can pick them out in a crowd? You can even pick them out from behind. You can tell too by just their lips, smile, teeth even! I have steps at home, I know who is coming down the step, just by the sound their feet make on them; the mind is powerful like that. It's the same way we need to know God....without any doubt or reservation, we ought to be able to pick him out in a crowd, we ought to know how his footsteps sound coming in- we ought to know his voice in the wind of chaos that blows in the world.

How can I tell it's his voice?

I can only tell if I spend quality time with him, just talking to him, being around him, having fellowship with him and learning to tune out the world and just listen to him, and only him. No, it's not intuition - its in tuition - the price he paid, so that I could get in - so he speaks to me from within to remind me, protect me, keep me - and to get me freebies - cause he is my provider and he has promised me cities that I did not build. And you know what? I'm there for it!


Readings: Joshua 24

You may also like : When delay feels like denial

Friday, 13 November 2015

That Friday when death came to all our doors...and we all cried

And someone close to my family has died. I heard the news, late today, and I cried for a minute. Then I stopped. I was too angry to cry...

Angry at death for giving no warning. Angry that death doesn't care about any of our plans. Angry at death because for the most part, we never get to say goodbye.

The last time we spoke, cheeks were still rosy, eyes were wide open with expectations and hope was abound. Perfection wasn't abound, but it was pretty close. Now death came and laughed and there is just a feeling of gloom that has sucked all the air out of my lungs.

I had a planned post, but death impacts us in such a way that all our earthly plans just go awry. I couldn't face the family. I don't have the words.

Then I turned the radio on and heard about the Paris Attacks................... and when you know that numbers don't lie and you are looking at a figure of 153 - dead - my heart just feels heavy and my body weighed down and my spirit broken for a world  perpetually mourning.

Death in the midst of life feels like a worm in your reddest, juiciest apple. When you step into the store and make your way to the fruit aisle, and see the myriad to choose from, then your eyes take you to that perfect apple, blemish free and shiny. You allow yourself to imagine how sweet that apple will be. You take it home, you wash it, and you are momentarily in euphoria. Then you bite. There is the worm- you spit it out, the apple falls. You feel disappointed, the next apple you pick will not be trusted, for a while, you will probably cut it with a knife. Worms in apples - no good.

Death- the only certainty of life. When people close to you die, you think of your own mortality; it's naturally normal. It makes me repeat what Jamaicans often say when people die "What is man ?"

Ecclesiastes 12:7 " then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it."

I just feel sad. We all want to go to heaven but no one wants to die. I don't want worms in my fruits, I don't want deaths in my midst.

But...I know better. I know all the things you are supposed to think and say.

"Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?" But when people die - it just leaves a void. It just leaves an emptiness that even words from the Bible seem hard to swallow; like a wormy apple.

Living without hope, a hope for a life free from people that blow up market places, planes, buildings or shoot people for their own twisted reasons, seems so much worse. So I cling to a God that hasn't lied yet! He says that he has gone to prepare a place for All of us; and he's coming back he said; coming back for us.

We must live ready! 

I can't write anything else...I've got nothing!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The moth, the screaming lady, and the light - let's All come in

Imagine for a minute, a grown woman running around her bedroom with a can of insect spray screaming. Just screaming. Not spraying. Not spraying anything.

Now, imagine on the other end of the shrill, a moth. Not just any moth. A big one. Brown. Spotted, with strips. Teeny tiny googley eyes. Imagine it flying around. It too must be scared of this grown woman running around with a can. Screaming.

That was how I spent about an hour last night. A big brown moth had flown through my window. In Jamaica, we calls these big moths - 'duppy bats'. Translation for duppy - ghost! They are apparently evil, and if someone dies and they fly into your house - it's thought that it's that dead person in 'duppy bat' form! So do I want a 'duppy bat' in my bedroom? I think not. I shrieked.

It flew around in my bedroom, and I didn't take my eyes off of the thing, I screamed- just screamed, and woke everyone up. Then it went to the window and I took my eyes off it for one minute, to get the spray and it was gone. I felt a sense of relief but the fact that I didn't see it fly out myself, I wasn't at ease. I turned the light on and off - no moth. I exhaled. As I was ready to turn in and turn the lights out - it flew straight at me!

It was me, the moth and a can of insect spray. I lived to tell the tale, the insect spray is still here to kill again- and the moth? It died from cruel and unusual punishment from numerous sprays from the tin plus hits from my pillow when it landed on my bed dazed. Talk about overkill!

That poor moth died more from cultural beliefs than from being a scary creature. For as I went into the bathroom, there was a tiny moth by the light, resting, I assume. I wasn't the least bit perturbed by that one. It wasn't the size that mattered - it was the whole - well - 'duppy bat' thing.

I thought to myself - there is a post in this event - I just know it. And then it came to me, the moth are our fears - they fly in suddenly and take route. Every now and again, we overcome them but like the moth; they are there under the surface just waiting to come out until we finally just kill it! Dead.

Perfect post! But then - my father said- NO! That's not it Tanya. Think.

So I thought, but what I came up with made no sense, at least not to me, until I did some reading about moths, and then I smiled at a God who speaks to us through his creation. We will see it, if we look.

Moths are positively phototactic - meaning they automatically move towards light.

I worked at a company that had an all glass showroom, in the mornings I used to come and see dead birds at the door, I felt bad for them. They flew right into the glass and died. Birds see the reflections in the glass, they can't tell the glass is a barrier. I transferred part of that knowledge, albeit wrongly, unto my moth situation. The moth I thought can't even tell that it is flying through someone's window into a house. It must just be directionally challenged. Lost. If it realized, it would never have flown in. Perhaps?

The moth, died, somewhere between all those sprays and hits with my pillow and being thrown through the window - three quarter way dead - for one thing- LIGHT!

Moths, it is believed, fly towards artificial light, not because they are attracted to it but because they use the moon as a navigational source to fly, but artificial light confuses them, so they fly towards it instead. But, I came across this page, that gave a most interesting spin on this theory.

While scientist battle over why moths gravitate towards light, I already know why, and I'm sure, so do you....

John 8:12 says Then spake Jesus unto them saying"I am the light of the world, he who follows me, will not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

The newest moth navigation theory ( yes, there is a moth navigation theory!) involves a researcher called Henry Hsiao, who studied moths and found that they do not use light as a navigational tool but they head straight towards it and circle it - he doesn't know why. Other scientist believe they circle because they are confused.

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehend it not.

It is now believed that moths fly towards light, as a way to find a place to hide!( Read the full article here)

I can almost fall off my bed laughing with complete joy.  Isn't it Psalms 91 that tells us to abide in the shadow of the Almighty? Isn't it this same Psalm that says we will be delivered from our enemies if we abide in the Almighty? 

The Light.

 The light we should fly towards and circle until we rest right by Him - like the moth?

The moth cannot help but be attracted to light, haha...interestingly, the article said, the moth doesn't fly much when it's a full moon. Why? It's too bright for them! And even the moth knows it can't have all the 'glory' of the Lord, lest it be consumed.

The big question is? Are we attracted to God as the moth is attracted to light?
Do we go everywhere we see God's light and rest there?
Do we just have to have it, even unto death?
Is the moth trying to show us just the way we should live?

Moths, have brains. They sense. They act.

Right now, if I knew that if I go directly towards something I'm attracted to and its possible that I risk death....I'm not going...sorry

but if you ask me to...............

.....go towards a marvelous light, encamp there, build a tent there, and risk death there.......I might still say....sorry...I'm not going.............not because I don't love God but......

I have a family...
I have kids...
I have a nice job...
I'm comfortable here...
I sing on the choir...
I go to bible study....
I'm already in the Women's Auxillary
I feed the homeless...
I visit the prisoners at Christmas...
I'm a good Christian....already though God - why the whole die thing has to come into play?

And that's when you know....

That's when you know if you are ALL in. That's when you know.......if you actually lived to tell the tale or is the only thing left standing the can of insect spray.

My window is closed tonight, but I thank the moth for flying in last evening. No coincidences. I want to be ALL in, for to die in Christ is gain.

How about you?

Readings: John 1

You may also like : When delay feel like denial

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Liebester award

So, I never win anything! ....ever!....I think it has to do with the fact that I don't enter anything...haha but I was pleasantly surprised by a comment left on a blog read....
“You’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award”
Well that sounds kind of fancy - I wonder what the prize is? A weekend getaway perhaps? That would be lovely...but no...I immediately went t o the link and this award is basically this -

Liebster is a German word meaning “sweetest, nicest, kindest, dearest, beloved, etc.” The Liebster Award is given to promote love, encouragement, and recognition for new blogs.
She is apparently a super mom, who waters dry places with her words and passion for God.
As I discovered, there is no behind-closed-doors voting process that goes on to be nominated. This is a gesture from one blogger to another blogger (who has also been nominated) to acknowledge the good work they see you’ve been doing on your blog.
But it doesn’t end there. You can’t just say thanks, grab your button, and run. You have homework to do!
I chose to follow most of the “Official Rules of the Liebster Award”, which you can read at
The rules are as follows:
  1. Once nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  2. Include the Liebster Award sticker in your post.
  3. Nominate 5-10 (or 11. I don’t know where this odd number came from) other bloggers with 200 or less followers. (This is the hard part, because not every blogger has this information visible on their site. I say, do the best you can with this rule. Who needs the added stress?).
  4. Answer the questions of your nominator and then ask 10 (or 11) of your own for your nominees.
  5. Include 10 (or 11) random facts about yourself that your readers might not know about you. This is optional.
  6. Notify your nominees via a comment on their blog.

1. What is the best thing about blogging for you? 
The best thing is that I get a chance to just write out the things that are swirling around in my mind and heart. Many times, I discover things when I write that affects my thinking from then on. 
2. What do you find the hardest about blogging?
Marketing, Marketing and Marketing
3. Do you have a garden? If so, what do you grow?
I do not have a garden, I have a pot...haha, where I have since stuck an escallion plant in. Let's see where it takes me.
4. Do you have any pets or take care of any animals?
I have no pets or take care of animals.
5. What is your favorite chocolate dessert? I know. How can you possibly choose just one, right? (But if you don't like chocolate(?!), then what is your favorite dessert).
I'm not really a fan of chocolate per say - I like white chocolate, which isn't really chocolate is it? I love cheesecake!
6. What is something that drives you crazy?
Hmmm....I don't know...
7. Where in the world would you love to visit?
Everywhere...but for some reason Hong Kong has always been on the top of the list.
8. In the morning, is it coffee, tea, or neither?
9. What is your favorite season and why?
I live in Jamaica! It's summer all year round- that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
10. What are you afraid of?
I think I'm afraid of not living out my purpose.
11. And now for an extra-credit question: What have you always wished you could do?

Sing - like Celine Dion kind of singing.
10 random facts about me!

  1. I would eat ice cream or breakfast- in fact- I have
  2. I have been trying to read 1 book for in excess of 10 years. I never got past the first chapter
  3. I like tulips
  4. I have a favourite colour but you would never find me wearing it
  5. I practiced writing with my left hand for a while; it doesn't look half bad either.
  6. I find this task quite hard - I realize, we rarely just sit and think about ourselves
  7. I'm not afraid of lizards
  8. I have no grandparents
  9. I do not like my feet
  10. I am not a fan of creamy fruits like sweetsop

Now here are my nominees:

  1. Jaime at Seeking God in all I do
  2. Kathy at Adventures in everyday Holiness
  3. Anika Jones at  Christian Family values
  4. Jane at A lifestyle blog
  5. Kendra at and Peace

I don't get a chance to read a ton of blog, but these I do read and enjoy. I hope you will check them out and be blessed.

Now for the fun part...This is your mission should you choose to accept it...answer my questions for you

  1. What activity do you do that makes you forget time and space?
  2. What is your all time favourite movie?
  3. Do you dance in public when you hear your favourite song?
  4. Whose music are you listening to right now?
  5. When Jesus called, did he say your name?
  6. What 3 things make you happiest?
  7. Have you ever visited Jamaica?
  8. What is the best writing tip you have ever received?
  9. If you knew blogging would be this hard, would you still do it?
  10. Are you ridiculously happy ?
That's it
Tag - you're it. 
Apparently, you are under no obligation to accept this nom, but like all the Hollywood people say - Oh, it's such an honour to be nominated! Now ..... if I only knew what was the prize :)