Monthly Archives: June 2014

These men are drunk

Day of Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious men who had come from every country in the world. When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because each one of them heard the believers talking in his native language. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it then that we all hear them talking in our own native languages?” (Acts 2: 1-8).

Amazed and confused they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”

But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These men are drunk.” (Acts 2: 12-13).

Peter’s message

Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles (together with Matthias, who replaced Judas) and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow Jews, and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. These are not drunk, as you can suppose; it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:

‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says.

I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.

Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;

Your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams.

Yes, even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message.

I will perform miracles in the sky above, and wonders on the earth below.

There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke;

The sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn red as blood,

Before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.

And then, whoever calls up to the Lord for help will be saved.’

Listen to these words fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through Him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you.

In accordance with His own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed Him by letting sinful men crucify Him. But God raised Him from death, setting Him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold Him prisoner.”

Significance of Pentecost

Sunday marked the 50th and last day of Easter. The word Pentecost’ is an English translation of the Greek word ‘pentekostos’, which means fifty. In the church it’s the commemoration of the day God poured His Holy Spirit down upon His first followers, and the day about three thousand new members were converted into the group.

Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised His followers that He would send them a helper. On the day of Pentecost He fulfilled that promise. The Holy Spirit, as seen in the book of Acts, came down, and empowered the disciples to go out there and spread the gospel of the Lord.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the power of the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to everyone for their particular service.

The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. The same Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge. One and the same Spirit gives faith to one person, while to another person He gives the power to heal.

The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another the gift of speaking God’s message; and to yet another, the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not.

To one person He gives the ability speak in strange tongues, and to another He gives the ability to explain what is said. But it is one and the same Spirit who does all this; as He wishes, He gives a different gift to each person.

One body in Christ

Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it’s made up of different parts. In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink. (Corinthians 12: 3-13).

Peter’s message on Pentecost to the people who had gathered (and what each one of us should reflect on) was, “Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit.

For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away-all whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” (Acts 2: 38-39).

 

 

 

Children; who will protect them?

sexually abused

The things people are doing nowadays, just to get laid? People have clearly lost their minds. On the news, there was this story about a man who has been defiling his daughter, for months. When arraigned in court, he said he had heard his daughter was sleeping around and wanted to prove she was still a virgin; how? By having sex with her.

I was about to start laughing at such absurdity, when I figured people have actually lost all their morals. Anything goes. What made the story even worse is that the said daughter got pregnant and her mother, afraid that society would judge her husband took the girl to have an abortion, so there wouldn’t proof of his perversion.

When I hear of such stories, I just feel parents are letting their children down. Parents are failing their own children, the same ones they are supposed to protect. That leaves me wondering, if parents are preying on their own flesh and blood, dirtying them in the most repulsive of ways, how then will strangers treat the same children with love?

I don’t know if it’s the in-thing, but there seems to be so many sexual assault cases, with parents as the main culprits. Like this other story I heard last week; a man had been arraigned in court for defiling his son for years. When questioned, he said the devil led him to do it. They do repugnant things, then give the most preposterous answers. Then again, how does anyone come up with a credible answer to such heinousness? There’s none!

How does one get such a precious gift, a child, then vitiate it in such a manner? I’ve mentioned my own mom in numerous posts, and as I’ve said before, she is not a perfect human being; nonetheless, she has done the best she can to ensure my sisters and I turned out right. She has taught us what it means to make sacrifices for loved ones.

With her marriage for instance; she hasn’t stayed with dad because she wanted to, but simply because she didn’t want us to grow in a broken home. Has she made choices I felt were wrong? Severally. Still, she never forgets how to be a mother. She may not be the strongest person I know, physically speaking, but if she were to take on someone bigger than her, just for my sisters and me, she definitely would. She could stand having someone treat her wrongly, but if it’s us on the receiving end, she opposes it with all her might.

Seeing the things mom has gone through to defend us from harmful situations, leaves me wondering why some parents cause their own children harm when they should be their protectors. How can a father rape the same child he sired, or a woman, the child she birthed? How does a parent kill their own child, just because they feel they can’t provide for them anymore?

Other men, on the other hand, defile their children because their wives denied them their conjugal rights. Seriously? I don’t know what kind of a mother I’ll be, but right now I feel that is wrong. There is no excuse in the world that could make any of the debaucheries sound right.

A father is not supposed to be involved in any sexual relationship with his children, whether it’s consensual or forced. It’s wrong. And neither is a mother. It’s just wrong. It doesn’t matter if one was sexually starved, going through a very painful breakup or did it under the influence; it’s wrong.

Sometimes women are aware of their children’s predicament (being molested by their own fathers) but because they feel they could be worsening the situation if they reported the crime, they become accomplices. It’s not easy revealing such sordid acts to people who might possibly judge, but before one becomes an accessory to their partner’s crimes, they should consider the defenceless victims; the children. Who will defend them?

sexually abused 2

When I look at small children I get the impression they feel their parents are superwomen/men. They feel their parents can protect them from any type of danger, big/small. So what happens when the same ‘supermen’ attack them and the ‘superwomen’ don’t do anything to stop the pain? The children are left scarred for life, unable to trust anyone.

If one can’t stop it, they should consult a friend, or a neighbour, church minister/priest…anyone who can help. It’s better to fail knowing you tried than to look back and realize you didn’t lift a finger.

The woman who had her daughter have an abortion had me wondering, how different is she from the husband, who defiled his own daughter? Their neighbours are the ones who called the authorities after the teenage daughter talked to one of them, when she freaked out on realizing she was pregnant.

In my opinion, it’s a parent’s duty to protect their children; to keep them from harm.

 

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Ascension of Jesus

Last Sunday-1st June-was the seventh Sunday of Easter. If anyone hasn’t wished their friends/family a happy Easter, they only have a few hours left to do it because this is the final week of Easter. Forty days since the resurrection of Christ ended last week Thursday, 29th May, which was the actual Ascension Day, but as it was a weekday, the solemnity was celebrated on Sunday.

In the Acts of the Apostles, a continuation of the Gospel according to Luke, where he-Luke- tells about the work of the apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, he starts of by writing to Theophilus:

Dear Theophilus,

In my first book I wrote about all the things that Jesus did and taught from the time He began His work until the day He was taken up to heaven. Before He was taken up, He gave instructions by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men He had chosen as His apostles.

Prove beyond doubt Jesus rose from the dead

For forty days after His death He appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that He was alive. They saw Him, and He talked with them about the Kingdom of God. And when they came together He gave this order, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised. John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The ascension of Jesus

When the apostles met together with Jesus, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time give the kingdom back to Israel?”

Jesus told them, “The occasions and times are set by my Father’s own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, He was taken up to Heaven as they watched Him and a cloud hid Him from their sight.

They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as He went away, when two men, dressed in white suddenly stood beside them and said, “Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw Him go to heaven. (Acts 1: 1-11).

Message of hope

The ascension of Jesus is a story of hope. It fills all those who believe in Him with the hope of being reunited with Him one day. He went up to prepare a place for all those who obediently live by His teachings.

Before He went up, He instructed His disciples to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. We’re called to be evangelists, and that doesn’t mean we should all be ordained priests/church ministers. Anyone can spread the word by showing acts of love and kindness to all, whether they believe in God or not. It’s not our place to choose who deserves to be loved or not.

As we wait for Pentecost, for God’s promised gift-the Holy Spirit-to come down upon us, we should pray, asking Him to fill us with His strength, so that we can see things as He wants us to; and for His empowerment, so we can live by His commandments, loving and serving Him.

Love you beer… The confrontation: Part 3

my father is an alcoholic

“I promise you dad, if you address this drinking issue, I will not text you again,” I shouted angrily, “but if you don’t, feel free to block me because I won’t stop.”

“See how she talks to me?” He looked at mom and my sister, who were already standing between me and him, so he wouldn’t hit me.

“If I were you, I’d check into rehab.”

“You think you’re clever?”

“I am clever,” I told him, “That’s why I’m telling you, you have a drinking problem. How can you drink this much, and you’re not even eating?”

“Are you the one who buys me that beer? Just go find a man and get married. And if you keep up with this, your husband will be beating you seriously.”

“Honestly, if this is what you call marriage, and if men are like you, then I would rather stay single.”

Remember that essay I told you I wrote? ‘Why I think you have a drinking problem?’ It’s because I had foreseen that fight, and I didn’t want to be involved in that verbal altercation with him. If only I had given it to him earlier.

I almost complained that a fight mom had provoked was now directed towards me, but then I figured, dad is an alcoholic and he is in denial, and I pointed that out. He definitely had every reason to hate/hit me; speaking from a drunken point of view.

Most of the time, when I’m not in the mood to fight, I leave dad and go to the bedroom even though he interprets it as cowardice and follows me, threatening to hurt me and stuff. On Sunday however, I wanted him to fully understand that I meant everything I was telling him; I decided not to run. If he wanted to take all his rage out on me, then I was going to stand there and let him do it.

See the thing with my father, is when he starts talking, he gets so vulgar, one forgets they are talking to a parent; still, I tried hard not to lose my temper, because I didn’t want to have issues that would take me to the confession booth when the waters had calmed. There’s so much I wanted to say to him, but I restrained myself.

“You’re going to be a truck driver,” he seethed.

“God forbid!”

“I’m not going to pay your fees for law school.”

“This far I’ve come dad, God has brought me. And if it’s His plan that I become a lawyer someday, it won’t be because of you. Besides, I already knew you drank my fees.”

A parent wishes only the best for their children; that’s what people say, right? Well, not my old man. He’s wished very many things upon me, none of them good. I remember this one time he was in my big sister’s bedroom, fighting, and by mistake, as he waved his hands carelessly in the air, he hit a low hanging light bulb and it fell on the floor, shattering into pieces.

That day I hadn’t argued with him, but when he saw me picking the pieces up with a dustpan, he just scoffed, “All you do is clean up. You’re going to be a maid.”

I was hurt, obviously, but slowly I’ve come to understand that’s who he is. So when he said I would be a truck driver, I deduced it was because of the fact I had taken the car without his permission and normally he never lets me drive it unless he really wants me to; when he’s in a good mood, and it has nothing to do with him being protective of his car. I hate to admit it, but he’s just mean.

It’s not the first time I’ve felt this, or said it, but dad is just mean. Now that I’m much older, I understand how he was able to spend long hours in bars, leaving three defenceless kids hungry. It’s not my place to judge him, but everytime I see him binge-drinking, I pity him. Soon, my sisters and I will be moving out, and every little thing he does bespeaks anything but love/care.

One might be tempted to think I’m just a crazy girl, desperate to be loved by her father, but honestly, I couldn’t care less if he hates me. When I decided I was going to confront him for his alcoholism, I knew he would hate me for it; but I did it anyway; because I hate the way he treats mom when he is drunk; I hate the man he is when he is intoxicated, and the things he does would make me wish for a better dad if I were still a baby.

No child or woman deserves the drunken treatment he so enthusiastically dishes out. And even he were a woman, no man would deserve such.

I understand alcohol could overpower someone, especially when one becomes addicted to it, but I also imagine, if one truly loved someone, they would give it all up for them. In the text I sent dad, I told him to consider giving it up for mom. He always says he loves her, and when my sisters and I move out, it will be just the two of them left.

What worries me is the thought that I don’t trust him enough to leave mom in his care when we move out. I’m scared he will hurt her, like he did when we were young. He has done it so many times before, and now he drinks more than he did then and he is more violent than he was then. How I’m I supposed to trust he won’t do something stupid?

Love you beer… The confrontation: Part 2

alcoholism

If something unsettles you, it’s better to address it and just get done with it, because waiting for it to happen is much worse… That’s what I was thinking the entire time I was watching dad. He’s really not the forgiving/forgetting type. Even if he doesn’t confront someone for something they did, he will eventually. I was waiting for the façade to come down; for him to finally confront me, problem is, I didn’t know how long it would take before he got tired of pretending everything was hunky-dory.

Two and a half hours later, he came back, visibly drunk. Mom had already gone to bed. He went straight to the bedroom. He didn’t ask for food, and no one asked if he was hungry. When he is drunk we prefer to let him be because talking to him would be opening sluice-gates to incessant carping. The night was too serene to ruin it with drunken ramblings.

Relieved that he was safely home, my sisters and I sat down to watch the fifth season of the vampire diaries. At eleven forty five, almost an hour later, dad walked into the living room and without a word he left the house.

At around two in the morning, my sisters went to bed and shortly after, mom woke up. She was stressed dad was out that late. Seeming distraught, she asked what time he had left. Seeing her so troubled reminded me what had led me to text dad on Tuesday morning; when he starts drinking, he can’t seem to stop, until he runs out of money.

By the time I went to bed at four, my old man was nowhere in sight. After saying my night prayers, I went to check on mom and found she had already gone to bed. Empathizing with her, I switched the lights off and went to bed.

Sunday morning, my alarm went off at seven forty five, and though I was sleepy, I knew I had to wake up to prep for church; however, sleep overpowered me and I drifted back into slumber, until my small sister came to wake me up at eight thirty. I didn’t have much time to prepare so I got up, prayed and got out of bed.

I didn’t know what time dad had come but my big sister told me he’d come in the morning. I wasn’t surprised; that seems to be something he is doing a lot lately. Mom had already left for the mid-morning mass, my big sister wanted to sleep in after a gruelling week interning and attending classes, and dad didn’t pick up when I tried calling him; he was in a deep sleep.

I took the car keys and asked my big sister to tell him I took the car. I knew he wouldn’t be too pleased but seeing as he couldn’t drive, I knew it was a necessary risk as my small sister and I were already getting late for church.

When we got back home later in the afternoon, dad had just woken up. He didn’t complain I had taken the car; instead he just greeted us, and left, again. He came back at around seven in the evening, took some more money and left again. He showed up two hours later, looking pretty much at ease.

Mom and I left to go sign in at the gate. It’s a security measure taken to keep tabs on all residents/non-residents, who come into the estate. When I drove in earlier, I hadn’t signed in because I had thought dad would, but then he didn’t. After signing in, we walked back to the house, and found loud music playing.

Other than the fact that it’s against estate policy, it was just too loud. I gestured to my dad, to turn the volume down.

“It’s too loud?” He shouted.

I nodded, and he acquiescently turned it down. A while later, he rose and left for the bedroom. Minutes later, he walked back to the living room, headed for the main door. Mom couldn’t take it anymore. She walked to him and asked him, evidently shocked, “You’re leaving again, at this time?”

“I’m not talking to you, unless you want us to fight,” he barked.

“Just tell us if there’s someone you can’t stand in this house. You’ve been drinking since you came. You spent the whole night out, and now you want to leave again.”

“I was listening to music and you said it was too loud, so now I’m leaving.” He threatened to hit her, but then mom told him if he dared she would call the cops on him. It wouldn’t be his first time to spend the night behind bars; eight year ago, he was at it, disrupting peace in the house when mom called the police and they took him away.

When the police came in that night I was at the verge of hitting him on the head with a soda bottle, in defence. I shudder at the thought of what could have happened had the police not showed up in time. It’s a dreadful night I try to forget.

Just like that, everything turned chaotic, everyone talking at the top of their voices, and finally dad managed to get whatever had been troubling him off his chest.

“You started this,” he yelled at me. “You are your mother’s accomplice. Don’t send me those silly texts again.”

“You need to get help dad,” I shouted. “You have a drinking problem.”

“I’ve had it with you,” he snarled.

Love you beer… The confrontation: Part 1

alcoholism 2

After texting dad, asking him to reconsider his love for beer, we didn’t get to talk and he never texted back. In preparation for his arrival, I wrote down a short essay, ‘Why I think you might have a drinking problem’, listing all the things he does that have led me to the conclusion he is an alcoholic, and furthermore attaching some receipt he’d drunkenly left lying around to support my findings.

It might sound extreme that I went to such an extent but I figured if he started accusing me of ‘calling him an alcoholic’, even though I hadn’t said it like that, he wouldn’t give me a chance to explain. On the other hand I also figured, if he didn’t rip the papers in anger, curiosity would get him to read them.

He had already asked mom to tell me to stop sending him silly texts, so I sought of had an inkling what mood he was in. I hoped to convince him my complaints weren’t just based on hearsay or things I had just concocted.

He was supposed to come home Friday evening but instead, he texted mom around eight at night, telling her he was in bed; he wasn’t coming. I know he gets lonely out there because he goes for a whole week without seeing us but somehow, as much as I empathized with him, I felt relieved he wasn’t coming.

It’s been a while since he failed to come home on weekend. The only time he doesn’t come is when he has so much work he needs to finish up in the office, especially after being on leave. So when mom told me he wasn’t coming, I imagined it had something to do with the text.

Based on previous incidents, I assumed it had gone two ways: either he had felt so ashamed that I had candidly pointed out he had a drinking problem and would try to make up for his shortcomings, or he had gotten so furious and would spend each minute of his time home threatening to snap my neck.

Well, I’m not sure he is capable of actually causing me such physical harm but nowadays there’s no telling what he can/can’t do when he’s under the influence. When the beer goes to his head he does crazy things. I hadn’t seen him since I texted him that Tuesday morning, but I knew things wouldn’t be all rainbows and unicorns when he came.

alcoholism 3

Saturday afternoon, my small sister told my big sister and me dad had called mom; he was on his way, coming home. I had imagined he would be coming the following weekend. Somehow I felt disappointed. The uncertainty made me tense up for a while, but then I reminded myself why I had sent him that text in the first place; he’s drinking a lot, and someone had to tell him.

While we were waiting for him, my big sister got a call from a friend; a lecturer she had grown to like had been MIA for a while. Reason being that he had been involved in an accident and no one knew of his whereabouts. Distressed, she called him up but his phone was off. That only had her more worried.

It was while I was comforting her, telling her not to worry and all, that dad came. When I opened the door, I didn’t know whether to smile or remain poker faced, but when I extended my hand, he pulled me and hugged me.

That, I had seen coming.

Surprised, I hugged him back. He had beer on his breath, so I assumed he had been drinking before he got home. But I didn’t care; he already knew what I felt about him binge-drinking, and that’s all that really mattered. My big sister was still feeling down and he tried finding out what was wrong with her, though she remained mum. He went straight to the bedroom and came out a few minutes later, before leaving again.

He came back almost two hours later with mom and left again right after. I couldn’t quite figure if he was happy or mad, though he seemed unperturbed; however, I knew there was a storm brewing underneath his cool exterior. It wouldn’t be long before he eventually flipped his lid…