PARANOIA

Walking down memory lane, I remember a novel I read 9 years ago – Paranoia by Joseph Finder. It sounds like a nice name you would want your eldest son to bear but don’t dab. It caresses like a chained cat in a cage.
Right after reading the book gladly, I didn’t understand the concept, but the delectation that followed the reaction of finishing a novel was priceless. Just like the ‘Thank You’ slide at the end of a PowerPoint presentation.
So what is Paranoia? I know it sounds like the worst insult you would want to throw at a foe, or push off the back of a friend, but its incarnate hands touch and hold the mass. In the world of psychiatry, paranoia is a thought process which hangs on the scale of anxiety and fear.
Anxiety is something we all experience naturally. Especially stepping in the big shoes of a mentor or holding the hot cup of a friend in fiery fire. But when it slides into the mud of irrationality that your heart hits faster than the speed of light or you sweat drizzly than a dolphin, you know its abnormal.
Paranoid people – I think I rhymed there… are ubiquitous in our society. They sit at the four corners of every room and keep burying themselves in a hole of hostility. The King (Paranoia) takes its throne on their heads and rules their heart and mind. Unless it’s dethroned and decapitated, it would keep dissolving the world from generation to generation.
Paranoid people have small eyes which reel in the world of perfection…I think I rhymed again. Those with gigantic eyes wear thick glasses encased with a rim of intentional persecution which thrive in an atmosphere of watchful waiting…from parents down to pals.
Paranoia swims in the sea of unforgiveness and bears a shield of defense in response to imagined criticism. It tries to emerge from a mole of mistrust preoccupied with hidden motives. The poet in me tried to rule there… Paranoid thoughts and feelings are connected to events and relationships in a person’s life.
Paranoid people are faithful (in the negative sense) because delusions hallmark their dreams. Delusions are odd beliefs that a person would firmly insist are true despite evidence they are not.
Paranoia slimes like a slithery snake of suspicion and bites any on looking person with bitter bile.
Let me get back to the real deal, Paranoid people are worried a lot and expect others to criticize and reject them. They take a step back when everyone moves forward. They ace summaries with distinctions and come to conclusions so easily with a strong impenetrable head.
There can be specific things that may engage paranoid thoughts; like sleeping less or taking medications but their vile vulnerability vehemently voices their childhood. They were bullied at school and always appeared last in class. Paranoia just like a potted plant kept growing in their palms.
Paranoid thoughts emanate usually from rich homes where there is isolation from the rest of the world. The only connection to the global maze is through smart screens and wavy wires.
Paranoid people worry a lot and are likely to interpret things in a negative norm. However, paranoia could stem from a myriad of physical illnesses such as strokes, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer (I think I would name my puppy this).
There is a strong influence in parenting when it comes to paranoia – It gropes in the genes and transcends the trolley from father to son or mother to daughter.
But paranoia can be treated. It involves building a trusting and collaborative relationship with people; moving in groups when there is the tendency to icily isolate yourself. Treatment is gradual but there are success stories.
Get tested for paranoia and receive treatment because the world has to be a better place!
Enjoy your day!

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim

PhotoCredit : GoogleImages

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THE GOOD SHEPHERD

A Beautiful face, a wonderful heart

Comforting hands that wrap the blessed piece

For the sake of love


A loud cry, shrouding the tears of a mother

The product that willingly offers to its offspring

He fills his heart with all of his mother’s words

His lips are pursed to speak but wide to breathe

 

Widespread arms extend for his frail hands

Welcoming them is a seat of rejection

And an emblem of smiles.

 

Healing hands that redeem their sight

He walked on the sea just to cleanse their fright

Taming the same sea’s entanglement, Faith demonstrates

A precious shield, I yearn to carry

 

Praying and fasting, He outlined his death

Being tempted, He showed His way

The way, which is truth and life!

Demons tremble at the mention of the name Jesus

 

Jesus, The Good Shepherd – I love You!

VICTORY BELONGS TO JESUS

Who can stand against the Lord.

No one can, No one will.

 

Who will stand against the King.

No one can, No one will.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

Who can stand against the Lord.

No one can, No one will.

 

Who can stand against the King.

No one can, No one will.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

 

We turn our trust in you.

We turn our hope in you.

 

You will deliver, you’re a provider

I find my victory in you.

Forever victorious, forever we win.

I find my victory in you.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

Victory Belongs To Jesus

Victory belongs to Him.

 

Victory Belongs to Jesus – Todd Dulaney

This song gets to me anytime I listen to it. It is the song of a worshipper’s heart. What is worship then? It is dedication of our selfless hearts to God by renouncing our sins altogether. To begin by making ourselves a new heart possibly with a new conducting system intricately connected to Him, that He can unleash his spiritual gifts on us at any given time.

God reigns over the nations; and is seated on his holy throne.  Worship empowers the heavenly King seated on his throne to rise up to our aid anytime we face engulfing challenges.

Worship is not the slow song that the choir sings. Worship is not the amount you place in the offering basket. Worship is not volunteering in children’s church. Yes, these may be acts or expressions of worship, but they do not define what true worship really is.

True worship is to honor God with extravagant love and extreme submission, to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is always faithful [to His word which states that He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].

The nature of the worship God demands is the prostration of our souls before Him in humble and contrite submission. Contrite according to the Merriam Webster is the feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming. “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Before you can worship, it involves the realization that we, fallible humans need a infallible God. The high and exalted One who lives forever and whose name is holy who dwells in a high and holy place, also lives with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

The doctors might have diagnosed you of that incurable malignancy but Victory belongs to Jesus.

You might be feeling so negative after a working diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia that gets you high and low that you need shots of Haloperidol just to control your symptoms but then remember that Victory belongs to Jesus.

The only car that gets you places gets caught in that fatal car wreck and you are rushed in with a subarachnoid hemorrhage which is a rare life threatening condition that could claim your life but then Victory belongs to Jesus.

There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose. not merely that we know God, but that He knows us. –  J. I. Packer.

Photo Credit : Google Images

Have a great day!

INSPIRATION

Finding inspiration

In the midst of objection

Channels affection to the meaningless

And attention to the profitless

 

The feelings that envelope

The optimism that elopes

Succumb to the fear of annihilation

And the distress of renunciation

 

The silence of withdrawal

Reaches out to the voice of laxity

The utterance of affinity

Fetches an audience of insensitivity

 

The leaf that floats on the river of desolation

Hitches on the rock of expectation

Exalting its feet of abjection

Magnifying its air of inclination.

 

Well, this is my first ever poem I’m writing after I had inspiration from Jess, Obed and Josephine. I never thought of writing a poem in the first place.I think it’s an effort, I tried! I’m hoping my next poems would be better than this one.

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim

Photocredit: GoogleImages

ANGELS

“This boy looks so quiet that you can hear the sound of air around him” People say as he passes by every time. A complete nerd! From his scrubby hair to thick glasses down to his big shoes supporting his pulled up shorts. However no one knows the emotional anguish lurking in him.. The tears he sheds every night because he saw a big world from a small box.
Close friends kept pushing him back because he was unpretentious. Family was in shackles bound by misery. Everything was in a mess! An admitted mother at the hospital. A distraught daddy. Growing little brothers who couldn’t get a grasp of what was happening. Who should he turn to? He keeps fighting mentally because he believes in hope.
He sets for school in a hurry the next day, however anticipates the caning he would receive – at least 10 lashes to his back, because Daddy doesn’t have a car and there’s no mummy to prepare breakfast for the family. Walking to school from home would take at least 45 minutes along a weedy path.
He sets for his journey with his big backpack as usual, walking with the speed of light. In the middle of his journey. He encounters an old lady heavily laden with tied clothes on her head and a quavering walking stick in her right hand.
As a gesture of politeness, it is expected of him to help this old lady. He looks at his watch and at the old woman. Good will over knowledge?
He helps this old woman carry out half of her journey. This old lady tells him “my son, you are going through a lot! Your life is tough! You don’t understand a lot of things happening in your life, and you won’t understand anytime soon. But you do believe in God right? At the back of his mind, he knows the gray haired woman is telling the absolute truth. A soothsayer? A magician? Or an angel? He quietly continues the journey with the old woman as they get to her house.
She blesses him and tells him not to worry, God has got every situation under control. He holds back the tear at the corner of his eye and hurries off to school.
Surprisingly, the headmaster was not around. Neither were his teachers. They are in a staff meeting which would last 3 hours. His coming is saluted by a very boisterous class. Everyone in the class wonders why he’s so late however he all he thinks of is his indisposed mother.
He doesn’t pay attention in class and scores 3 out of 10 in a test conducted. Surprised, the teacher beats him and encourages him to sit up oblivious of what is happening in his life. But this young boy has learned to live in silence.
He hurries back home after school because he has to fetch his siblings from school. However receives the ashtonishment of his life when he sees his grandmother at home. “What has happened?” ‘This cannot be good news” As he gets close. His grandmother hugs him and whispers in his ears. “Mum is back!” He throws away his backpack and rushes to see his smiling mother in the hallway. He hugs his mother and wonders what miracle would have brought her back home in a jiffy.
His siblings are already home and his Dad has prepared lunch. He’s so happy he has totally forgotten about the old lady. He’s so cheerful as he encircles the house..His prayers have been answered.
As he takes lunch, he jogs his memory and makes out the old lady smiling at him. He also smiles in complete silence and continues with his meal continually trust in God and believing in angels.

TRANSITION

Kwaku is rushed to the hospital wheeled in by a stretcher at 7:25pm GMT, repeatedly vomiting and profoundly confused. Everything he says makes no sense as blood oozes from the temporal side of his head.Chasing his stretcher, is his best friend who trips and falls as he attempts to phone Kwaku’s parents. He places the first call and redials when the call does not go through. His heart keeps pounding as the doctor on duty charges towards Kwaku and sends him in. He paces across the reception room and waits for the arrival of his best friend’s parents.

It all happened 10mins ago as a bus driven by a drunk driver lost control when a burst tire threw the bus into an aberrant motion, knocked Kwaku to the ground and passed over him, speeding off into night life.

The emergency doctor tries to stabilize the airway- preventing the tongue from falling back by doing a chin lift..head tilt however suspects Kwaku could have injured his cervical spine. He then shoots off and returns with a cervical collar to stabilize the spine, bearing the complications of a cervical spine injury in mind – The most feared; complete paralysis of the whole body. He is just 24 years. It would take a great miracle to restore him back to his full potential.
He cogitates about this as he puts on the cervical collar and realizes the boy is convulsing. Deep rhythmic jerky movements involving his whole body. The injury to the cervical spine is worsening. His breathing is failing!

Judging from the convulsions, he had a stupendous blow to his head, but there’s not enough time. “What should I do?” Where are enough doctors when you need them? He looks to the left and notices another doctor suturing a dehiscent wound on a driver’s arm.. He looks to the right and returns his gaze as the sweating doctor reduces (pushes back) a prolapsed rectum. He stands on a thread between life and death of this young man.

The convulsions cease and the flux of air suddenly changes. He gets the cue and palpates the neck of this boy – no pulse! He checks the pupils and as expected, they are both unresponsive to light. He’s run out of options so he says a silent prayer for this boy’s soul as he pulls a white cloth over the boy’s head. Another soul gone today. Today of all days, when his son was graduating class 1. Such luck! He bows his head as he writes the time of death. 8:00pm.
Walking down the hallway, he thinks of how to release the bombshell to Kwaku’s friend. Beloved friends have heard the news and trooped in to support him. Distant friends are praying for him. Everyone is on knees! We can’t loose this wonderful soul! You aren’t going today! Not of all days!

As the doctor returns, the boy’s mother notices the look on the doctor’s face and breaks into uncontrollable tears. The father has to stay strong but He’s crashing inwardly. Everything feels like a dream. “Someone should pour water on me to wake me up!”, “What is happening?” “Why me?” He then bows his head. They both have to stay strong!

image

The doctor has to support the family but He’s out of words so He walks slowly back to the ward. ‘The harbinger of death!’

Friends cannot believe their ears. He’s gone? For real? Why him? But then death is no respecter of age, sex and race. Is there any way to bring him back? The portal would begin to close as his soul leaves for heaven. Invisible, he smiles as he watches his bereaved family and friends, from above, transiting into the heavenlies.

Death is a destination we all share, we are born alone and we will die alone. Even the man who lived longest on the surface on the earth died. The question is when we are going to die? In the next 5 years or next 50 years? What would we have achieved in the sight of God and the sight of men? Would we have impacted positively in the lives of others?
No one can confidently say He will still be living tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. What assurance then do we have?

Psalms 118:17 says you would not die; instead, you will live and proclaim what the Lord has done! This is the assurance you have! God is a loving Father who never goes back on his Word! Live love, speak love and think love because you have no idea as to the seconds more you have to live. A lifetime isn’t forever, so take the first chance, don’t wait for the second one! Because sometimes, there aren’t second chances! And if it turns out to be a mistake? So what! This is life! The time to accept Christ is now!

“It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we are alive – to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are” – Elisabeth Kubler- Ross.

Enjoy your week!

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim

A PUPPY’S LOVE

Owning and enjoying the loyalty of a dog is one of the greatest joys in life. It’s hard to feel alone when you have a dog around. Just watch it bark at plantain trees, go around the house in circles and finish off your food. The natural affection of dogs and their willingness to bond is just unimaginable.

Why would a creature be so loyal? Is it because they depend on us for food and shelter? Well, I believe they were created that way; to feel and to love. Mistreat a dog a hundred times, it would return a hundred and two times with a olive branch in its jaws.

According to medicine, oxytocin, a hormone, peaks in both people and their dogs when there is a positive interaction; which ranges from teaching them to fetch toys to teaching them vocabulary. This hormone counteracts the effect of stress hormone: cortisol, and lightens the burden of visiting the hospital frequently.

The brain of a human is dominated by the visual cortex which buttresses the point – you are what you see, however the brain of a dog is controlled mainly by what it smells. There are many published studies that prove dogs can detect cancer through breath samples and hypoglycemic episodes just by sniffing their owners. Such wonderful creatures!

Dogs spend hours everyday playing with no regard for time. The other hours they relax or wag their tails because they are often ecstatic for no apparent reason. Life does not have to be a hard and fast rule that you feel so serious about everything. You can steal just a bit of their humor.

It is known dogs process emotional sounds as humans do. They tend to listen without judging! Just keep ranting and your dog would tilt its head and watch you in a priceless way, genuinely caring about your feelings.

Get a puppy today and watch its amazing transformation into your best friend.

 

FAITH OVER KNOWLEGDE

I strolled from one female ward to another, looking for a patient who was kind enough to give me her medical history – a comprehensive picture of what she suffered from to generate a diagnosis. I almost gave up when six patients I almost attended to pulled their cover cloths over their heads in an attempt to avoid me. I entered the last ward and saw a cachectic elderly woman about five beds from the entrance of the ward, smiling nicely at her breakfast. I took advantage of the smile and smiled back at her with a pen in my right hand and a paper in the other hand. She put her bowl of porridge on her cabinet and told me she was done when I urged her to continue with her breakfast reassuring her I had all the time.
For someone who looked so sick and wasted, her smile was so touching you could see through to her soul. I sat beside her bed and gave it a quick scan. “The surroundings of the patient can tell you what was wrong with the patient” – a lecturer of mine would say. A well-kept bed with the cover cloth folded neatly at the foot of the bed and a King James Bible just beside her pillow.
She had noticed there was a bulging mass in her right flank seven months ago which progressively increased her abdomen in girth. Also, she had lost significant weight over the past five months with other symptoms of spontaneous bleeding from her genital tract and pain in her spine. I knew at the back of my mind’s eye, these constellation of symptoms were likely to be caused by a malignancy.
I proceeded to ask her why she had not been to the hospital earlier and she responded she had been in and out of prayer camps thinking she was being attacked spiritually by a family member, however she sought medical help when she realized her symptoms got worse. With the way she was so forthcoming with her history, the expected interview between the woman and I emerged into a dialogue where we talked about God.
I asked her if she knew what was wrong with her and she dished out the diagnosis of a late stage ovarian cancer. “The doctors say I’m going to die” with a smile. Stunned, I probed further to ask why she looked so joyous when she knew she was going to leave this world. She replied “I won’t die yet my grandson, God would heal me and this would be my testimony” I revised my lecture notes and recalled 83 women in 100 were likely to die in the next five years, but this woman’s faith was as enduring as a rock. Stunned, I thanked her and walked to my room.
Faith, a five lettered word comes from a Latin word fidere which means to trust or believe. Faith in the bible is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see. This definition is imprinted in the minds of many people but do we really understand what this means?
Love may be the greatest thing in the world, but faith must of necessity be the first. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is living, it moves, operates and progresses. If we are to put an end to our mental and intellectual twist and turns and allow God to have his way in us, we won’t languish the way we do. Faith is that mystical quality only God can produce and give, for we walk by faith and not by sight.
We have become so headstrong with knowledge that we try to explain how the world came into being with science, trying to take the place of our Maker with our small feeble minds. God is far greater than anything we can understand or imagine and His ways are far above our ways.
It takes faith to believe you would wake up unscathed the next day when your neighbour was attacked and killed by a gang of robbers the previous night.
It takes faith to believe you would rise and soar above that malaria that kept you in bed for just a day.
It takes faith to believe the car you are seated in would not skid off the lane and ram into an incoming vehicle just because the driver dozed for five seconds.
It takes faith to believe that the fever you developed some minutes ago was because of the heavy clothing you wore and not leukaemia.
It takes faith to know you have excelled in an examination you sat for some months ago with a pencil when everyone else used a pen.
It takes faith to know you would survive a month on the 100 cedis you earn when the school fees of your eldest son is 500 cedis ‘only’
It takes faith to know your newly wedded wife would give birth to a bouncing baby boy the next 40 weeks when others have been married for 30 years without a child.
The challenge I face everyday is how to build real faith, if there’s any at all? And not to dodder when an ant passes over my feet in the dark. I know there’s more faith needed to endure this life. It is my prayer He showers me with His gift of faith because He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. I have to feed on His word – meditate on it day and night and put it into practice.
Have you learnt the lesson of drawing on Jesus for the needs for your life? Have you realized that your life everyone considers a failure can be boosted by just a grain of faith, that they hide from your radiance? Trust in God today and He would never let you down. That’s a promise! None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have faith!
“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” – Max Lucado
Enjoy your day!

THE MISSING INGREDIENT

Humans! Science would say we belong to a Family characterized by a complex brain, an erect posture, the ability to move with our two legs and the ability to use our hands effectively. Our complex brains enable us exhibit extreme forms of reasoning, problem solving, language and different cultures through learning and interacting with the society.

I ask myself who is a human being? Religion says we were created in the image and likeness of God – meaning we were made to resemble Him in every aspect. Who has moved to the highest of heights to visualize the nature of God seated on His throne?

The image of God sets man apart from the animal and fits us for the dominion He wants us to have over the earth. Our life on earth is a journey of the soul. The soul or spirit is the passenger being conveyed by the body – the vehicle and mind which steers the body at the helm of affairs. All three are intimately connected and cannot work in the absence of one.

What is our purpose on earth? A multi-million question that may take an entire lifetime and even some few seconds of the after life to answer. Well, the answer could be very simple – to glorify God! Someone would ask what it looks like to glorify God?  In lip service? Or in doing good to your fellow man? Or Do I live my life day and night, sturdily obeying the Ten Commandments? It’s something I am still trying to figure out.

Life begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg. A mechanism that starts the maze of life. We take anchor in the comfortable environment of our mother’s tummy – a land flowing with milk and honey where we simply have to roll and kick as we are fed with what we need for nourishment and growth.

After 9 months of intrauterine life, it’s expected of us to exit this congenial atmosphere and face the harsh conditions of life which we initially respond to by crying but the placenta would have given up on us already saying everything that has a beginning has an end.

Our nature moves according to the law of opposites. After day comes night, heat after cold, female after male and death after birth. Some have it the easy way right after birth; just live. They are born into affluent homes where silver spoons are glued to their mouths till they die. Others have to battle the acerbity of life till they give up. Which starts with the watery diarrheas and whooping coughs they get because they dwell in unhygienic places to the stings of scorpions and bites of snakes when they sleep on in the farms they work in. If all the money in the world cannot buy a meaningful life, what can deprivation teach us?

Again, I ask what is our purpose on earth? All other forms of creation have limitations except humans. A dog is born a dog and dies a dog either being stray or faithful to a master. Flowers would blossom, die out and new flowers blossom again. Grass will rise and fall and birds keep making the same nest for millions of years.

Meanwhile we humans have progressed from the primitive days of hunting with clubs, living in caves and eating raw meat to this new age of screens and life in the air. Although we have moved ahead at a full pace towards modernization, more and more people keep falling sick each day. Hospitals are choked with people suffering from benign conditions to engulfing malignant maladies. Could they be complications of modernization? Just a food for thought.

So what is wrong with our lives? Why are we out of sync with what the good Lord has for us. Is the purpose of life to pursue happiness through enjoying fine foods, rich clothes, music and entertainment or to while away time as we sleep when things are  still being discovered?

God does not want us to live in a ‘personal bubble’. He has great things planned for us. Because He knows our end from the beginning. The Bible is the story of everything. It is about how we personally have a specific purpose in this life.

We were created for a reason and free will was given to us as drivers of our destiny. Farmer, Lawyer or Doctor? One would ask concerning his growing child but have you ever taken the time to know what God has for this child?

God gave King Solomon great wealth and great wisdom. He found satisfaction in the things He tried but still wondered if there was more to life in his quiet and undisturbed moments of reflection. Are these physical and temporary things really why I was born?

The only way we can rise above this maze is to return to God and discover our original purpose because the good book says God tends for us to be like him. We have no idea as to what the future holds for us but we know we will be like God.

I know God is offering me a fulfilling future. He wants me to commune with Him on a daily basis, pray to Him about everything unceasingly and abide in His word as He remains the true vine and me, a branch. It is about being God’s child now while looking forward to the promised future.

I am going to stop seeking God with my own purpose and lie quietly in the boat as He moves me on the roaring seas. I would stop restricting myself to that ‘personal bubble’ and look for God with my whole heart for I know He stands at the back of the door of my heart knocking..waiting to enter however my corrupt nature and some personal decisions of mine keep pushing Him away. I would give up everything that keeps me away from the love of Christ and discover God’s purpose for me.

In the words of Amit Ray, “It does not matter how long you are spending on earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.

 

Have a blessed week!

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