Before the Game

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Lets face it! We’re so used to our comfort zones. How often do you step out into the unknown? Do the things that scare you? Take that blind leap of faith that you need to take? How often do you challenge yourself? And I mean… really challenge yourself to break new barriers and push the boundaries a little further?

Life’s too short for you to be complacent.

So do the things you want to do and can do while there’s still breath in you.
Get up.
Be counted.
And make a difference.

That bench you’ve been sitting on has been warmed long enough. Don’t you think?

I know the one I’m sitting on certainly has.

A few years ago, while at the Pacific Community (SPC), I had been given the priviledge to manage our volleyball team that had entered the Business House Volleyball Tournament. This was not only a challenge but also a process of discovery on my part as I had never done this before.

Always remember:

You will not recognize greatness in you being released if you never try.

As the team prepared for our first game I was contemplating what I could possibly say to inspire and encourage them.

Today, my oldest son Inoke will get the privilege to represent his school, Marist Brothers High School, for the first time in the Under 14 grade.

Something he has diligently been training for the last few weeks. The enthusiasm with which he talks about rugby is fueled by his passion and commitment to the sport. He’s been passed over a few times for the bigger and faster boys (or at least that’s what he thinks) and my advice to him has always been the same whenever he rants about it.

Put your head down, train harder, push yourself further. Your time will come.

As a parent I want my children to continually break new boundaries. I want them to be the best that they can be in whatever endeavour they undertake. I want them to realise the endless possibilities that lie before them if they but only take the first step.

Tomorrow, one of his seven siblings will be preparing to do something that scares them a little for the first time. In case they get cold feet or doubt themselves I’d share this with them as I did with the volleyball team I managed back at SPC.

To you reading this right now,

*Potential is defined as:

  • Dormant ability
  • Reserved Power
  • Hidden talents
  • Unused Success
  • All you can be but have not yet become
  • All you can do but have not yet done
  • How far you can reach but have not yet reached
  • What you can accomplish but have not yet accomplished

Potential is not what you have done but what you are yet able to do.

As you prepare yourself mentally for the task at hand, know that in you lies a vast ocean of unused potential.

In you lies gifts that you have yet to bring forth, treasures that you have yet to unearth and greatness that you have yet to discover.

Today is the day to unearth the treasures that lie deep within you.

To go where you have not yet gone before.

To do what you have not yet done.

Today is the day that you’ve been preparing so diligently for.

And now it’s here. And it’s yours for the taking.

Will you go back into that cave of comfort that you’ve always been in?

Or will you come out to discover and release the greatness that lies dormant within you?

Will you give the world the privilege to appreciate your gifts and the opportunity to stand and applaud you?

Will you allow them to nod their heads and concur that you truly are a remarkable individual?

Today is a beautiful day to shine.

This is your day.

Now is your time.


Feel free to copy it, add your child’s name to it if you want, print it and pass it on to them for encouragement.

Comment below if you have questions or would like to share your thoughts.

*Definition of Potential adapted from Dr Myles Munroe’s teaching on potential.

Will you take a bloody break MOM!

You know how things slow down once you get married and the kids come along? Everything we do revolves around them. We become so busy worrying about them, working to provide, paying the bills and all else that adds to the stressful living of Mrs Jones, that we forget to take care of ourselves at times.

And so it’s a good idea to pamper ourselves every once in while. Take a much needed break so to speak. Have a date a night. Go bungee jumping. Tackle a six tonne truck with goggles on. Jump out a moving plane without a parachute. Wrestle a lion in your underwear. Or do whatever else thrills you. Just take a break will you!

I practically had to force my wife to go join some of the ladies from our local church for dinner tonight.  It’s not that she didn’t want to. It’s just that she was more worried about the children. And their studies. And the baby and his milk because he’s still breastfeeding at 1 year. And probably whether all hell will break loose with her gone.

And of course my looking after them. Whether I was going to be spiritually present as well or just physically taking up space like I do sometimes. You know what I mean right? Sometimes we’re there. But we’re not all there. Well the good thing is I’m not too busy with any big projects so I can promise to be totally there tonight.

So will you take a bloody break MOM!

Anyway, after convincing her to go and take a break tonight I was inspired to write a little poem to mark this day.

Here it is. Enjoy!

Oh Mrs Qarau
Oh Mrs Qarau
Let down thy hair thou can
I bid thee good leave
To spend time with some thieves
That will steal thee away from thy clan

So enjoy thyself
As a fair maiden tonight
Worry not of thy children’s plight
For they are in good hands
With that handsome stag
Who stole he thee away
From that old grizzly mad
Otherwise known as “Dad”

So take flight my love
And make thee new friends
For life is filled with joy in a band
But when the clock strikes 12
Remember that frog
That swept thee off thy feet with one hand


Feel free to copy it, change the name and pass it on to your partner when you feel they deserve a break.

I haven’t thought of a title for this poem yet so do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Waiting in silence

Waiting in SilenceAs my wife waits to give birth to our youngest child I can only wonder what’s going through her mind. Truth is I can’t even begin to imagine what she’s been through both physically and mentally over the last 9 months. She surely has been a silent trooper through all of it. True to the call of motherhood upon her life. Slowly inching her way through the exhaustion in preparation for the pain that she’s about to endure. A pain that’s now all too familiar to her.

My only experience to such pain was witnessing first hand the birth of 3 of our sons who were so adamant on waiting for their father to be present. Unlike their sisters of course, whose independence found me arriving after their births. An independence they still carry today.

This is going to be the 6th time she goes into labor and I have nothing but the uttermost admiration and respect for this woman whom I have been so blessed with.

We’re expecting another girl to balance our current tribe of 4 boys and 3 girls.

There’s a lot of talk and mixed feelings when it comes to having a large family. You have those that are genuinely happy for us, and those who think we’re crazy because all they see are expenses and feel we’re being unfair because we won’t be able to give them the best, or the attention they all deserve.

I won’t argue with them or try to prove the point of “God said be fruitful and multiply.” Then only my foolishness will be heard.

I think one of the logic behind this shallow thinking (yes I do think it’s shallow), is that people have a tendency to only see what’s before them and not what can be.

By this I mean we only focus on the outward appearance and judge a person by what they’ve achieved thus far.

We see the man or woman before us without seeing the immense potential that they carry.

We only see where they’ve come from and what they’ve done without realizing the dreams and visions they have.

We pay no second thought to where they may be heading or the legacy they’ll leave behind when all their living is done.

On the flip side of the coin we often measure a man’s success based on his accumulated wealth. Job. Position. Salary and social status.  For some, that success is often proven through material possessions. The obvious conclusion of course being: the more he makes & owns, the better off he must be, the happier his family will surely be.

We’ve become so wise in our own eyes that we sometimes fail to realise our own foolishness.

Truth be told, I’m tired of hypocrites. I’m tired of pretenders. I’m tired of those that rejoice before me but silently mock me in their hearts.

It shouldn’t surprise us then that Jeremiah 17:9 states:

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

I think there comes a time in our lives when we should only surround ourselves with genuine people.

People that smile when we smile.
Laugh when we laugh.
Cry when we cry.
And truly rejoice when we say “We’re having another baby”.


I guess we’re all entitled  to our own opinions and are free to feel and speak as we wish.

Whatever others feel or say about us having a large family is their prerogative.

One thing is for certain though, this woman waiting in silence as the countdown begins…

Is the bravest person I know.

She. Is. My Hero.

What every child (and every human being) craves for

Deep within each of us is a longing that can be traced back to when we were children. Even as adults we still desire what every child craves for. What is it and why do we crave for it?

What every child craves for picturePhoto Credit:ICAN International

Because we’re social beings and we delight in social interaction. Unless of course you’re suffering from a phobia and have locked yourself away in a castle guarded by a dragon, so no one can get to you.

There are people that fall into this category and they have their reasons to live a recluse life. But, for the rest of us, interaction!

My children love my attention and a remark by daddy after they’ve had a shower, combed their hair and dressed up all pretty just makes their day. How good they look isn’t quite established until dad’s looked in their direction and commented with an “oohhh…cheechee…you man!”

What fascinates me about these little encounters is that their reaction is always the same. A soft smile, flutter of the eyelashes and a slow sway from side to side as if they heard the most pleasant thing.

Almost two years ago I started with the NGO I now work for and in that time I had the privilege of meeting a great man. We’ve now become very good friends and soon to be business partners. In truth, he’s become like a little brother to me. What intrigued me the most about this individual was his character and ability to light up a room with his sense of humour and goofiness.

Last year, we both represented our volleyball team for the business house tourney at work and he had this uncanny ability to make losing…Not Suck! Yes indeed! We could laugh our lose off as a team and continue on as winners in our own right.

But this wasn’t what set this particular man apart in my books. When I began at work, and we were still getting to know each other, there was something I did or a story I told him to which he replied: “I’m proud of you.”

Now at first I found this a bit strange coming from another man. I mean seriously, wouldn’t you? This however happened numerous times over different things I had done and I must say those three words kind of grew on me. What felt awkward at first, with bells ringing in my ears and a warning sign to run in the other direction, became quite comforting.

Of course the question that you’re probably asking is, “why would those three words feel awkward?” The truth be told is, I had never heard them prior to this grown man telling me. Maybe I did as a child and simply can’t remember. And if I did, it definitely ceased over the years as I grew older.

I wouldn’t hold it against my mom though (God rest her soul) because I was a total headache in my teenage years. Which is probably the reason for my not hearing those words in the first place.

Anyway, here I was, one grown man hearing these three words from another grown man and for some reason it brought about a comfort and satisfaction that I can’t really explain.

Was it because he said he was proud of me or what I had done? No, not really.

When those words were spoken, they were received by the child in me. And I believe the root of this satisfaction goes back to what every child craves for.

Simply, to be acknowledged.

The term acknowledgement is defined as –
“the action of showing that one has noticed someone or something.”

It breaks my heart to think of the numerous children in the world that are missing out on the attention they fully deserve.

Children that want to be seen.

Children that long to be heard.

Children, that need to be acknowledged.

Now that you know what every child craves for (and probably every human on planet earth)…GO!

Acknowledge your children today. Tell them you’re proud of them just because. Acknowledge other under privileged children as well. Even your friends, colleagues, partner and family members. Tell them you see them.

And if they answer with a blank “HUH!?”

Then simply tell them that you understand…

“Nobody wants to be invisible.”

Feel free to leave your highly appreciated acknowledgement in the comments below 🙂

What makes you even more powerful than you can imagine?

 What makes you even more powerful than you can imagine picture In my last post, The greatest secret to achieving your goals that you can pass on to your children; one of my readers, Troubled Jon Jon, left this comment:

“True true. what you do daily determines what you become permanently … I don’t think I can ever stop myself from those habits, everytime I try to make a better me there’s always my kryptonite that makes me weak and pulls me back, but deep down inside I know and feel that spirit of change …and just how light illuminates the dark… yeah my darkness devours the light”

And that comment has warranted a full post. So here goes.

Let me begin by saying that the darkness in us will only devour the light if we allow it to. The truth is that the spirit of change in you is greater than you may know. There is an incident recorded in the bible [Deuteronomy 30:19] where Moses tells the Israelites:

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live,…”

The key here is that you have the freedom to choose. Unless of course you live in a country where your freedom of choice has been stripped from you, then you have the right to be only what you know…a slave.

For the greatest power that lies within you, is your freedom to choose. Take that away and you are but a slave.

A slave who knows nothing beyond the shackles that he is bound by. Wearing the stripes of a leather whip that he so wretchedly curses while waiting for the sweet sound of that final lash to be delivered with all it’s scorn.

Fortunately enough, you, are not a slave!

So every excuse you make can only be considered lame.

I have seven children and I continue to remind each one of them that they are mighty warriors and tell them that “if you set your mind to it, then you can do it” (whatever it is they want to achieve in life).

I strongly believe and stand by this statement with all of my heart. As a dad. As a writer who’s hoping to bring about the winds of change in peoples lives through his words. But especially as a man. A free, man.

The question to ask is:

What do you want out of life?

The answer to that question warrants an even greater second question:

How badly, do you want it?

Always remember, that your darkness will only devour the light, if you allow it to.

So, you can either continue to take a beating and get your donkey kicked over and over again. Or, you can tap into the spirit of change within you, grow a pair, fight back and kick darkness in the nuts so hard that he’ll think twice before messing with you again.

The choice my friend, is yours.

The freedom to choose however, is what makes you even more powerful than you can imagine.

Feel free to leave your highly appreciated two cents in the comments below 🙂

The greatest secret to achieving your goals that you can pass on to your children

the-greatest-secret-to-achieving-your-goalsHave you ever seen a lion silently crouching behind a bush while staring with piercing eyes at an elephant? Then as if to break the silence he opens his mouth slowly and mutters under his breath, in a deep almost soothing voice… ‘Dinner’?

Well, neither have I. But that’s not the point to our little anecdote as you will soon discover below.

Last year, in an effort to become a better and more productive me, I set out creating resolutions for myself.

I even created a template, which you can download below (shameless self promotion), to help with achieving your resolutions. The approach was slightly different from the usual to do list as I also catered for the ability to track your goals, remind yourself of why you are doing it in the first place and encourage you to press on.

Do note that I had never done anything like this prior to this whole goal setting experience. Now, while I didn’t succeed in fulfilling all of my resolutions, the whole exercise however did pay off as it allowed me to discover the secret to achieving goals.

What is the greatest secret to achieving your goals that you can pass on to your children?

It isn’t sitting on your royal behind and hoping things will change for the better, that’s for sure.

The greatest secret to achieving your goals, that I found, is to create habits. Good habits that is! Just like digging for gold or scratching your golden nuggets in front of your in-laws are bad habits and something you probably wouldn’t do (especially if you’re not married yet) then all you need to do to succeed in achieving your goals in life is to create good habits.

Simple enough, don’t you think?

Unfortunately the problem with this is the need to break free from a lifetime of bad habits. And to break away from some of these bad habits you’ll need the ferocious tenacity of a hungry lion. Being single minded and not allowing anything to come between you and your meal, or in this case, your goals.

Why bother with creating habits anyway?

Whether you’ve realised it or not, everything you now do is a result of allowing the repetition of little things to go on in your life. Either consciously or unconsciously.

Over time these repetitions become habits. These habits become a discipline. These disciplines become a lifestyle. And your lifestyle becomes your brand. Be it good or bad.

The good news is, after one year of being a guinea pig to my own goal setting endeavours I can honestly say that there’s really nothing to it. Why? Because you’re a hungry lion…remember.

So. Whatever your goals? Whatever your dreams? Whatever your visions? Create the habits that will drive you toward achieving them. Good habits that’ll change the course of your life for the better and see your goals being achieved over and over again.

I’m not going to lie to you by saying it’s going to be easy. But what I can promise you is a feeling like no other when you stand on that mountain top after you’ve crossed the finish line. That single moment of victory will be worth the pain, the sweat, the blood, the tears and the time that you invested toward achieving your goal.

How can I be certain of this?

Because like the lion…

You will have never given up.

And that in itself is a victory worth celebrating.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.
— Seth Godin

Download the Resolution Template to get a fresh perspective on goal setting and feel free to leave your two cents in the comments below 🙂

Download The Resolution Template

Creating fragments

It was two days before Santa did his twenty-four hour shift of delivering presents to all the children that made it on to his nice list. Not that I was expecting anything from him this Christmas but indeed I was overwhelmed with joy for some odd reason as I sat listening to the tune of Mexican Girl playing over the stereo.


I remember looking out into the garden as the leaves swayed briskly every now and again in perfect sync with the cool breeze. Spreading themselves out so the rays received by their suppleness was not in vain. Even the off white concrete driveway in the neighbors compound dictated that I wear shades if we were to exchange glances as it reflected the gloriousness of the day. Joy was definitely in the air and this was reiterated by my second youngest son’s request for a hug  after our goodbye kiss as I headed on down to the squash courts with his three siblings, two cousins and an aunt.

If there was ever a woman that my wife should be threatened by, it was the beautiful game of squash. How anyone could fall head over heels with the sound of a small black rubber ball hitting the concrete wall at speeds averaging 151 miles per hour and the feel of a sleek streamlined racquet being drawn down in one hand, as determined eyes burnt holes into the ball, before the two kissed to become one and abruptly parted ways again, was beyond me.

But I had given in to her charms and we courted for two hours every Wednesdays and Fridays after life slipped out of the office.

I, of course, was not alone in this one sided relationship as there were other colleagues who shared my sentiment (probably not my madness) and joined me in this weekly ritual. Being on leave however, meant that I had to take the children down to the courts to introduce them to the game just so I could steal a few moments with her for the sake my own sanity.

But unlike the fast paced, high adrenalin games that I usually crave for, the pace of the game on this particular day was more like a snail in labour (if you’ve ever witnessed one).

This truth however didn’t deter me from enjoying the game as I spent time coaching and nurturing the four individuals that were enthused with learning the sport. Besides, it was also a time of learning and birthing much needed patience in me; and whatever time we invest in the lives of our children will reap great rewards when they are older.

So here I was. No fast paced game. No pausing for a while to try and catch my breath. No sweating profusely as was the result of playing a worthy opponent. No breaking new barriers by my heart rate. Only my impatience trying to rear it’s ugly head every once in a while as I forced myself to silently keep it in check. Something I find impossible without the help of the Lord.

In spite of all this, we spent an almost good three hours at the courts. After which we all walked for about a half a kilometer in order to get some DVDs from the nearest shop. The walk was made all the more eventful with my second youngest daughter riding on my shoulders.

While there however, I took the opportunity to get hot dogs from a nearby stand for the children and their aunt as I scouted around for an ATM.

It was a glorious day indeed, as I think back now. What was I doing anyway? Why go through the whole process of playing a game that you love but not at the pace you love playing it? Why go through with the coaching and the excruciating need for patience as the children hit the ball from Bangkok to Timbuktu? Why buy hot dogs and sit on the pavement outside the shops, like homeless folks, enjoying our meal?

Well, I was creating fragments. You see, we don’t remember everything we’ve ever been through (kudos to you if you do) but what we recall are fragments of them. And all it takes is a sight, a sound, a smell, a touch or a taste to whisk us to that particular instance in which that fragment was created. Where we have those deja vu moments as we get lost in reminiscing about the ‘good ol days’.

One such fragment is of little children taunting a fierce looking dog named Scatter, to rouse him from his slumber and run for our lives as he gave chase after the little culprits that disturbed him. Oh the priceless sight of the little faces of the children he caught up to, who couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry as they tried hard not to wet their pants.

On another occasion an aunt of mine, not much older than I, was climbing for mangoes while the rest of us were giving directions from the ground. Suddenly out of nowhere pops this huge green lizard causing her to yell her head off before jumping from the tree just as the lizard jumped toward her. Fortunately her slightly drunk father broke her fall as he came to her rescue.

Fragments. Some of them good. Some bad. But all have played a part in shaping the man I am today. I have taught myself to retain the good ones, learn from the bad ones, and even let go of the ones that stifle my growth and kill my potential.

Anyway, back to the glorious day of squash that I had with my children. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and look forward to having more adventures together. Why? Because I had the opportunity and privilege of creating fragments for them and with them. Fragments that will outlive me. Fragments that will be the very foundation on which my legacy is built. After all, people remember you by how you make them feel.

With all that said, 2013 has been a great year of discovery and a journey filled with so many fragments that we will definitely revisit in years to come. Especially with my wife keeping track of everything on her iPad. As I now stand at the crossroad of one year closing and another beginning, I find myself truly grateful for the beautiful woman whom I have the honor of calling my wife, and the seven beautiful children that the good Lord has blessed me with.

While kids dream of being a doctor, a lawyer or maybe even an astronaut, there is a particular fragment of a young boy who dreamt of having seven children when he got older. But that’s a tale for another day, best told over a hot cup of coffee and cold truffle.

So until then, from my family to yours.

May 2014 be all that you hope that it will be and more. And may the good Lord shower you with His blessings and grace as you go forth to create those fragments for, and with your children.

What fragments do you hope to create in 2014? Share it in the comments.

When talking to yourself is a good thing and why you should do it more often!

talking-to-yoursel-is-a-good-thingThere’s something about a white Pierre Cardin cotton tee that can make a man feel sexier than he actually looks. And I could almost make out the abs behind the flabs as I watched the shattered reflection of this handsome young man, over a dark brown wooden wardrobe, slip on the hugging pair that his beautiful wife had so generously bought for him. Ooh…such comfort was made for kings.

Standing there in my towel and fitting tee, for some reason I felt compelled to start speaking life and declaring positive confessions this particular morning. So without giving the urge a second thought I began blurting out:

“I am as fit as an eighteen year old. I have a high metabolic rate and I love to exercise and work outside with my hands. I am an intelligent young man. I am creative, handsome and strong. Whoah!! There’s power in words!”

I felt empowered by the very words that I was speaking and it was amazing!

Prior to this whole “I am handsome and strong (you better know it) confession…” I was overcome with a feeling of worthlessness as I sat trying to get some personal work done on my laptop at six in the morning. Suddenly out of the blue I felt frustrated, I couldn’t think and felt like I was running late with time catching up on me.

I felt worthless, useless and lost. What was I late for? My destiny? My calling? My purpose? I guess it felt like nothing seemed to be coming together and I was procrastinating and wasting time. Have you ever felt like this?

How do you deal with this feeling?

Do you wallow in self pity accepting your circumstances?

Do you let it get the best of you and roll over and just die?

Or do you let it fuel the determination in you to reach out and press on towards your dreams and visions?

How do you respond in moments like these?

There was once a young man, by the name of David, who was also plagued with a similar situation. He had just returned home with his men and found it burnt to the ground. To make matters worse their wives, sons and daughters had all been taken captive by the enemy.

What did David do in the face of this devastating situation?

His response can be found in 1 Samuel 30:6

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

Pressed in on all sides and with no one around to encourage him, he would have thought about giving in and giving up his leadership role. But David, encouraged himself in the Lord. I can almost picture him talking to himself saying:

“This situation is not going to get the best of me. I shall not be moved or shaken. I am a mighty warrior! I am strong. Handsome. And married! – so Cleopatra better stop checking me out! I’m going to get my women and children back!”

I normally tell my kids that people only fall into two categories when they talk to themselves (or when they find me talking to myself).

They are either –




Sometimes some situations in life will try to get the best of you and there may not be a friend around to listen, lend a hand or be that shoulder you can cry on. You may be alone, confused and scared or feel worthless, useless and lost like I did.

It is in moments like these that you need to get up and encourage yourself.

It is in moments like these when talking to yourself is a good thing.

But, instead of waiting for those moments…why not start now!

So go on. Don’t be shy! Get up and yell out what you’ve wanted to tell yourself for some time now.

Shake somebody’s hand and tell them you’re good looking.

And if people begin looking at you strangely, just tell them that you can’t help it…

You’re Brilliant!

Start by leaving a positive confession about yourself in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

What a paper punch can teach you about life and learning

lessons-learned-from-a-paper-punchOh what a beautiful morning tis indeed, when at first we get up with a thirst for knowledge and ride out on a steed!
[Tweet that]

I got up this morning and had to help my oldest daughter, Sharon, complete her school project. Which really meant getting it printed, punched and placed neatly in a manila folder for her to take to school as she had already done the hard yards with her mom over the weekend. This also meant leaving the house because I didn’t have a working printer.

To be totally honest, I didn’t really feel like going anywhere this morning but it was either take the older kids to school and get the project printed or breastfeed my youngest son – which I must say, as of right now is looking physically possible.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of milk producing glands my obvious input was the free use of my laptop and the responsibility of printing and binding the project.

So I converted the double zigzag borders her mom had so gladly used on every page to single straight lines, saved the PDF file on a flash drive and off we went to get it printed for Sharon to take to school.

We found a little Copy Shop down near Nabua [nam-booah] Town to do our printing. Upon arrival in this little five PC internet café slash printing slash ‘we do passport photos here’ shop, I gave the flash drive to the guy working there and asked him to print seven black and white pages and one in full color.

He went about his business and printed the project on two separate PCs and upon completion of the black and white prints I asked if they had a paper punch that I could use as we had brought the manila folder and clip with us.

Sure enough they had one (what copy shop doesn’t, right?) and the young lad, neatly dressed in sulu and shirt, promptly goes behind the counter, that two people couldn’t squeeze into, to get it. Here I was expecting a big, shiny paper punch with which to punch holes into this eight page project.

Much to my surprise, he brings out and hands me a punch that should have been in the museum. Seriously! I should have worn a gas mask just to handle this thing that barely fit in the palm of my hand. “I might cut myself” were the words that popped into mind. I wondered if it was actually up for the task of punching holes (or would I need to stand on it just to get it to cut through the paper).

Anyhow, since this was all they had, I had no choice but to use it. I divided the collated papers into two lots and marked off the center of the page in preparation for punching. Slowly but surely I slid the first lot of pages in between the paper punch and curiously pressed down.

To my amazement; this old, rusted, hazardous paper punch, cut like a hot knife through butter and my task was completed before I knew it. In fact, I found it quite sharp for its age and it did way better than some of the newer, sleek looking paper punches which I’ve used. OK, I could be exaggerating a little here but you get the picture.

With the project printed, punched and clipped neatly in the yellow manila folder, I parted ways with the children who were off to school while I eagerly made my way home to share this experience with you.

What’s the moral of this story? I know it’s a cliché and one you’ve probably heard more than you wish to count but here it is anyway: Don’t judge a book by its cover!

Don’t dismiss people too easily based on what you’ve heard or what you see before you. If you take the time out to get to know them for yourself instead of jumping to conclusions, they may just surprise you.

My wise wife (brownie points for me) has taught me to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Not to ignorantly listen and accept what so and so said about such and such a person. Because a personal opinion is just that – A personal opinion!

Don’t stop listening to somebody just because you don’t like them or can’t stand them. If you lay your personal differences aside (cause you’re a dear child of God that loves those who curse you) you may just learn the secret ingredient to “the secret ingredient noodle soup”, like Po did in Kung Fu Panda.  And what person in their right mind doesn’t want to learn the secret ingredient to mouth watering noodle soup. I mean…Seriously!

The writer of Hebrews wrote in the first two verses of the 13th chapter –

“Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

So don’t sell yourself short on learning from the stranger that begs on the street just because he looks old, unkempt and withered. You may learn valuable lessons that will serve you well in life, if you but take the time out to listen.

What lessons about life and learning have you learned from the people you would least expect to learn them from?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Do I keep the baby or have an abortion?

Do I keep the baby, give it up, or have an abortion imageI wonder how many women ever have doubts about being pregnant? Or have to decide between keeping their career alive or raising a child? Or have the question pop up in their minds on whether they should keep the baby, give it up, or have an abortion?

This post is about a young woman [whom we’ll call Anne for the sake of anonymity] and her feelings and reactions when she discovered that she was pregnant. Anne is a friend of my wife and written below is their correspondence. It has been edited ever so slightly.

With their approval, I am posting this here in the hope that soon to be dads may gain some insight into what some soon to be moms go through. And also for you soon to be moms out there, may you be inspired and encouraged by this encounter between friends as I was.

Here is Anne’s letter:

Hi Telu [teh-looh],
I woke up this morning and was feeling discouraged. The first person I thought of was you! I dunno how to explain it but I just got drawn to you. So I took my phone, logged in LinkedIn and started reading your husband’s Blog site on Father To Be!!

I was going through a really rough patch! LOL who doesn’t! After reading the articles on Father To Be, I was really encouraged by your husband’s personal experiences.

During my 4th month at work which I was enjoying, I found out that I was pregnant. I was devastated and felt that my career was going to be cut short.

I didn’t want to keep the baby….that’s how bad it was for me! I wasn’t thinking straight at all, I felt lost and I’ve been having really bad morning sickness and lost 10kg in just one week!

Because I was suffering badly, I decided to resign from work. I cried for days trying to find refuge, and just trying my best to spend some time alone with God. I cried and cried so much after realizing that I was deciding to take a life!!! That day I spent with God changed my life! And on that same day, I read your husband’s articles and instantly thought of you. How you handle your life and your kids! You enjoy each and every life in them! I got more discouraged….

And here is my wife’s reply…

First and foremost a hearty CONGRATS for the mini-you on the way (Don’t worry my lips are sealed!) Wish I could hug you in person right now….

Thank you for having the confidence to share what you did with me. It’s not easy pouring out your heart/soul to another and I am privileged.

Isa[Oh] my dear! I know when hormones are running wild and emotions at their peak we tend to make irrational decisions.

Believe me I know exactly how you feel…because I too opted not to keep the baby during my last pregnancy. Yes me! The thought of having 5 biological children with 2 step-kids (7 in total) scared the hell out of me. I knew both my husband’s family and my family would greatly disapprove the rate we were having kids especially my in-laws. I was worried about work having to go on maternity leave AGAIN & how on earth we were going to provide for our 7 kids.

And you know what??? GOD told me to ‘Cast all my burdens unto Him’, that He would ‘Never leave me nor forsake me’ for He was ‘Jehovah Jireh’ my Provider who would ‘supply all my needs according to His glorious riches’.

So 7 months into my pregnancy I decided it was time to leave the career I worked so hard to build…it was time I fulfilled my ‘PURPOSE’. The reason I was knitted in my mother’s womb and brought into this world.

And it’s true what they say about work! You can easily be replaced…but it took 7 years for that to finally sink in. So exactly 7 years of having worked, on the 7th month of 2013 (July) before giving birth to our 7th child – I resigned from my job. It was the best decision I ever made!!!

God reminded me – if He could give my husband the position of Web Designer at an NGO with no degree/diploma, after 5 years of staying at home, studying the bible and learning on the internet …then He could pretty much give me the career my heart desired as long as I lived & breathed His word.

So here I am at home – a full time Mom for the moment nurturing my 7 little purposes whilst waiting to fulfill my calling.

Don’t be disheartened! Count your blessings…for the Lord has said ‘The fruit of your womb is a reward!’

Think of the couples who have been trying numerous times to get pregnant.

Your little one is here because he/she has a purpose. He/She is here to fulfill a calling GOD has specially ordained his/her life for.

In this day and age we worry about career, making a name for ourselves, money, investments etc but in reality if we die today we take none of those with us.

I’m enjoying my children now because I want them to be able to vouch for me as the mother who nursed them when they were sick, held their hand when their tooth was pulled out, read to them before bed time, enjoyed tea time with their imaginary friends, cried & laughed with them, lived life with them.

Look around you…ask the Holy Spirit to take away your morning sickness. Speak life to your child in your womb…cover your husband & family in prayer…commit your baby’s life, the delivery and contractions to the Lord in prayer whilst you are at home.

This is the greatest investment you can contribute to the lives of those you love for now.

Stay blessed my dear! Remain favored…for you are a daughter of the King!

I hope this post has inspired or encouraged you in some way.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to write a guest post or share a story that we all could learn from.

Leave a comment and share your thoughts and please share the inspiration with others on your social network[s].

You may also like:
What are you thankful for?
An utterance from the Lord, for you today!
What do you plan to do when you are dead?