Owning up to our realities

All there is to life is facing reality. You can’t escape the realities of life; you can only live through it (facing one reality after the other) and hope to grow through it. Nobody’s life is easier; we are all facing realities, but just differently.

Reality is always staring us in the face but we always try to look the other way. Many times, we truly just don’t want to face reality. Perhaps, it’s a much bitter pill to swallow; so, we keep trying to run away from it…forgetting that we may only be plunging ourselves into another reality in a different form.

If you think somebody’s life is rosier than yours, think again. If you think somebody’s relationship/marriage is better, happier and shinier than yours, think again. Accept yours as it is and invest in it. If you think those who are married are better and more fulfilled than you, think again, my dear. If you think those living in cosier houses, environment and own expensive cars are way much better and happier than you, think again. If you think those who are academically more accomplished than you are better than you, spare yourself a moment and think through again.

Perhaps, you also think those who have never experienced a relationship failure (“broken heart”) are better than you? Think again. Do you know what they might have lost in life? Well, maybe you might also be thinking those who married young are better than you who married late? Think again, for in this life, nothing is ever a sure guarantee.

No permutation is ever a sure bet in this life, trust me. We’ve seen young people die in their prime. We’ve seen young marriages collapse. We’ve seen far too many young people becoming widows and widowers. We’ve seen people’s fortunes turn upside down just overnight. We’ve seen and heard all the unthinkable happen! Why then do we place so much confidence in this life and worry ourselves to death, thinking we are perhaps the only ones experiencing the harsh realities of life, and trying to wish it away? You may be surprised that life is fucking everybody up!

It’s important you enjoy your own little life and be thankful for it, for the day you hear people’s full stories, you would wish you were never them. If life could be traded or exchanged, many will regret purchasing other people’s lives. People only show you what they want to show you, and trust me, there’s so much gabbage in people’s lives that you wouldn’t want to buy or even envy, if only you knew the full story. People are fighting hidden battles we are never privileged to see.

Sometimes, it is only when God opens our eyes to see what is going on in other people’s lives that we become thankful and accepting of our own realities. In such moments we realize after all, that our own lives and realities are perhaps better off than we thought or imagined.

We should make the best of our time here on earth for life in itself is not promised (guaranteed). Here today, gone tomorrow. That’s the life we’re truly living. Grace is the only differentiator.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Cover image credit: https://instagram.com/museumofblackart?igshid=9r194jprooxh

A Philanthropist in Need?

Sometimes, the people who make the big sacrifices, who readily go out of their way to help others, don’t get help easily when they need it.

Maybe people just don’t believe their helpers can also ever be in need. How can a Philanthropist ever be in need?

But thank goodness there’s a God who supplies man’s every need.

Man out of his limited resources will draw, but God’s resources are limitless; what better helper than Him? He alone remains our help in ages past; our hope for years to come!

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

When we get to Heaven, we’ll be surprised

When I Got to Heaven….

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door
Not by the beauty of it all
By the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp
The thieves, the liars, the sinners
The alcoholics, the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Uncle Bill, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, “What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must have made a mistake.”

“And why is everyone so quiet
So somber? Please give me a clue.”
“Hush, child,” said He. “They’re all in shock
No one thought they’d see you!”

Never judge another person – leave that up to God!

Always remember; never forget

Here are some things to always remember…and one thing to never forget.

Your presence is a present to the world.
You’re unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You’ll make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Don’t put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal, and your prize.

Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets.
Don’t take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot . . . goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life’s treasures are people . . . together.

Realize that it’s never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have health and hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a star.

And don’t ever forget . . .
For even a day . . .
How very special you are.

The two visitors 

Two visitors came to see me, both at the same time,

Both were trying to win control of my body, heart, and mind

One was dressed quite plainly, one dressed fit to kill,

I couldn’t see the battle they were waging for my will.

One promised to give fame, friends and riches beyond compare,

Anything I wanted, it seemed, and while I was standing there,

He showed me how life could be, for a little while at least,

I couldn’t see beneath the clothes, to recognize the beast.

The other told of hard times, of sacrifice and pain,

Ridicule and persecution, nothing much to gain,

But there was something deep in this visitor’s eyes

That made me feel to choose Him, somehow would be wise.

I guess you know the outcome…..

Accommodate people’s personal choices 

Tell me why you feel my life choices offend you or are wrong to you?“. This is the question I mostly ask “nosy, know it all people” who enjoy prying into my personal life. And on a countless number of times, I realize they don’t always have any good reason for their disapprovals; it’s just something they themselves are uncomfortable with, their own fears, their self-created rules (dos and don’ts) for life.

In the end, those who are wise enough realize one simple truth: their fears do not have to be my fears; their life choices do not have to be my life choices. Their mission in life is completely different from mine!

The kind of man we will become in the future is entirely based on our life choices. So, sometimes you have to allow us to make our own mistakes and learn from them. We just need to know that we are answerable to our own choices. You need to allow us room to be men; to own up our choices and accept responsibility for the outcome…whether good or bad.

So, as difficult as it is, can we try this new year not to be quick to judge people? When you fear for someone’s personal choices, just pray for them that their choices, no matter how uncomfortable you are with them, turns out good for them.

It’s true we have to learn from other people’s mistakes and take caution every now and then. But it’s also true that what killed my mother is not necessarily what will kill your mother.

Simply, let’s make room to accommodate other people’s life choices. There’s a reason why God made us all different in the same human skin.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2020

Quit the blame game

There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.

The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you and you can’t afford to keep blaming people forever!!

The day you realize that you are in charge of how you approach problems in your life, and that things will turn out better or worse because of YOU and nobody else, only from then on that you would be a happier and healthier person and truly build a life that matters.

I beseech you…PLEASE QUIT THE BLAME GAME NOW AND MAKE THE BEST OUT OF YOUR TODAY!

Temptation

If you have been tempted in some areas and you have not fallen, it doesn’t make you a superman. Maybe you have not been really tempted yet in the area of your weakness or possibly the area of your greatest need which is not being met.

One of my favorite quotes has always been “wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls“.

That quote always keeps me silent many times when people are talking rubbish and going all spiritually hyper – being overconfident, self-righteous, judgmental and feeling immune to temptation.

You think you’re Jesus? 😜

Don’t burn your bridges

I was your bridge when you needed one

Your life saving help

To cross that mighty ocean

That threatened to swallow you alive

No matter how small my bridge

It helped you cross over

I bet the feeling was great

Like that of being alive

A new year to behold

Like I was to you, many have been to me

Life does get so hard sometimes

That every once in a while

We all need bridges to ride over our fears

It’s human to require another’s help in times of need

But if the bridges we burn after crossing

If our promises we fail to honour

If our part of the bargain we fail to uphold

We demonstrate a limited insight into life’s uncertainties

But life has a way of bringing us back

To the same bridges we travelled in times past

For good or for bad, our fate then we will learn.

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Saints to temptation

Temptations prove our humanness. It is common to man. That’s why we say during the Lord’s Prayer “…and lead us not into temptation“.

But when your mess is out, know that everybody else around you will behave like a saint. Even many “men of God” behave like saints until they fall in one temptation or the other, then the story changes. Only then they realize they are humans after all.

Dr. Kim Kimberling puts it rightly: “Temptation is not a sin. Don’t forget that Jesus was tempted. Every person is vulnerable. Anytime you think you are not, you take the first step toward a fall”.