God Worked Through His Deception

I wrote this post for Lively Stones and can be found here!


I was reading Genesis 27:19-33, which is the story of how Jacob, with the help of his mother Rebekah, deceived his father, Isaac and stole his older brother Esau’s blessings.

I considered the fact that Jacob actually used deception as a means to receiving blessings from his dying father – this was a blessing that was due to the elder twin, Esau. The fact that Isaac had reserved this blessing specifically for Esau also implies that there was another, perhaps a smaller, less passionate blessing reserved for his second son Jacob. But Jacob (and his mum) wanted that first-born, hefty blessing.

Why would God allow their deceptive plan to work? Why would he allow Jacob to be blessed through the deception of a blind old man?

Well, it all stems to a few chapters back in Genesis 25 when Rebekah is pregnant with the twins.

22: The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23: The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

From the beginning there had been a power struggle between Jacob and Esau and from the beginning, God had made it clear that Jacob would be on top of his brother. Rebekah must have kept this in her mind since their birth and have constantly been looked for opportunities for this prophesy to be manifested. Because God had decided this, I believe that no matter whether Isaac wanted to bless Jacob or not, Jacob would have been blessed. It was already ordained.

When God has a plan for your life, a destination, a destiny, I believe there are different paths to reach it. There is the path that God has initially created for you. This path has His divine backing all of the way, but that does not mean that it is smooth all of the way. Let me be real, with God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

With God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

As well as the path God has planned for us to take, there are paths outside of His will that we, as humans, often stumble across because sometimes we think we know it better. We do not. While these paths were not where God wanted us to go, He will still use our circumstances to elevate us to that final destination. That is what happened here!

God was NOT happy with Jacob deceiving his dad and Jacob did have to suffer later on in life as a result of his actions. Jacob even had someone deceive him – his uncle Laban made him work more years than agreed to marry his daughter. God has a sense of humour, so be careful what path you try and follow, especially if you know that God is not a part of it.

It is comforting to know that in all things, God is in control. Even when we deviate from the script. Even when we getfaith confused and think we are making mistakes. God can work through our situations to make us strong, wiser and better, ready for His ordained plan for us. Whether we feel like we are on the wrong course at university or we are confused about our futures – find peace in the knowledge that God’s got our backs.

Practically speaking, pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump. One thing I have learnt this year is that in certain areas, what God wants us to do is not always clear. So just pray and jump. And trust that He will be there to catch you because He will be.

Pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

LIVELY STONES – Content Contributor

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http://www.livelystones.co.uk/

You’re looking (or reading!) at the newest addition to the Lively Stones content team!!

For those of you that do not know what Lively Stones is, allow me to explain. Lively Stones is an online platform that acts as a voice to and for Christian young people in the UK to be heard. They discuss topics and issues that students face and look at them from a biblical and therefore Christian perspective.

They contacted me earlier this month and I was so surprised but excited at the opportunity. A lot of my content on here falls into that subject bracket (of a Christian living and studying in the UK) so I am very grateful to be sharing some of my stuff with another audience (and hopefully learning a lot in the process!).

Check out the site here!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Love… Hate by Ejiro (Guest Poet)

Love… Hate

Someone define these words please
         What I feel I’m not sure
         A mixture of both? Maybe.
         Conflicting emotions
         Pretence of love? Or hate altogether?
         I don’t know what to call it
         Once it was like a bed of white roses
         How beautiful a sight.
         And in the blink of an eye 
         It was there, a thorn in my beautifully primed garden
         Tried to make it come off but it didn’t
         So I ignored it.
         But it kept on hurting me
         Poking me until blood trickled down and stained my roses
         Filled with raging anger I ripped it out
         With a strength I never knew I possessed
         I looked at my rose turned thorn and
         Without a second glance threw it out
         Exiled…because it didn’t deserve to be with the gentle ones
         In the end I guess it was a love-hate relationship.

 

Written by Ejiro Ogunyemi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_ejiro/ // @The_ejiro
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeneeiethompson // @jeneeiethompson

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

It’s personal…

I wrote this a long time ago but I didn’t post it for the very reason that it is personal. I do not worry as much now, which is why I am posting it now. But everything I say still applies. Respect my wishes.

It’s times like this that I strongly dislike having people I know well read my blog. Strangers don’t judge you or treat you differently when they found out you’re a little more broken than you let on.

But I don’t care about that right now. This is my blog, therefore it is my life and my feelings that will be presented here.

Do not under any circumstances try and talk to me or message me about this post. I don’t want to talk to you about it. I do not want to know if you have read this or not. I am not writing it for anyone but myself; do not see it as a weakness.

Now, unto the sensitive subject of financial security or should I say insecurity. Growing up, I have always known the value of the pound, mainly because we were always counting them. I don’t know when exactly this began but I vaguely remember, one day we had money for every little thing I asked for, then the next day, mummy and daddy were saying no because they needed to pay the rent.

Listen, I would never ever complain about how much I have and I would never ever blame my parents or anyone. Because my family have made some crazy sacrifices for me. My parents are two of the most hard working individuals on the face of the planet. They have so many roles I literally have to take a breath before I begin to describe them. That’s one thing I got from them.

The perks of being financially insecure is that you learn how to do without. I could do without the latest stuff and I was fine. I still had friends. I still fitted in. How many kids nowadays can say that?! Another perk is that I knew how to stretch every pound and every penny’s worth. If you give me a fiver, I could come back with a multitude of treasures (I’m basically the glam version of a bargain hunter).

Since the age of twevle, I have been obsessed with the idea of getting a job. Looking back now, I realise that as much as I enjoyed hard work, it was also because I craved stability. Debt scares me, like crazy.

There are so many things about me and my background that people would never even realise because of the way I carry myself. I am not my problems or struggles. I am Paula; a strong woman who works so hard for everything she has and therefore deserves them.

This post isn’t going to change my life or change who I am. But this post is helping me to accept who I am and to remind me why it is I work so hard.

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Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Things that happened this year that I am thankful for – 2015 + video

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2015 has been a whirlwind of highs and lows (mainly highs). This post is going to highlight some of the highs in a bid to be thankful to God for everything that has happened this year.  So, in no particular order;

  • 2015 is the year I successfully completed my A Levels. This is a big deal to me because no one but the Lord truly understands how hard I worked and how stressed I was at that time.
  • Following on from the previous point, 2015 is the year I began university. I can honestly say, uni is THE best thing to have ever happen to me. I love all the new people from all over the UK I have met. I love the independence. I love how much I have surprised myself. I love that everyday is different and some how even the most mundane, routine of tasks seems fun to me.
  • 2015 is the year I was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Television Production and Broadcast Journalism Bursary. I think sometimes I forget how amazing this actually is. I am one of a handful of undergraduates who it was awarded to. Also, the RTS are such a respected organisation, I know I am learning from the best of the best.
  • 2015 is the year I worked on NCS. National Citizen Service is a youth program that I was actually a part of a few years ago, so to come back and work on it, as a mentor, was amazing. I have never worked this hard before but at the same time, it was so fulfilling knowing I was making a difference in the lives of the young people I worked with over the summer.
  • 2015 is the year I went on a weekend away retreat with my uni’s Christian Union. This may not be a big deal to some people but it was to me. Despite growing up in a Christian home, I did not have the conventional ‘Christian Kid’ childhood of going to Christian summer camps and Sunday schools and all that good stuff. This weekend was quite pivotal in my Christian walk because I learned to stop judging other Christians. Plainly put, I was seeing God through the lenses of other Christians around me. I was not seeing that they were broken, messed up people just like me.
  • Nicely following on, 2015 is the year that my relationship with God has grown. I think this has a lot to do with university. At uni, God became my God and no longer the God of my parents. I had to go and find out what I believed and why I believed it. No one could believe on my behalf any more. I am still not yet where I need to be, but I am definitely getting there.
  • 2015 is the year my confidence grew in terms of singing in front of people. I have grown up singing in front of a congregation at church but I used to be terrified to sing any other time. I still get terrified, but I heard nerves can be good. This year I sang in my Senior Prom in front of my whole year group. This year, I also sang at an open mic night at uni. Both these performances were huge steps for me.
  • 2015 is the year I fulfilled my childhood dream of going to a WWE live event. I grew up watching WWE with my family and we always spoke of the day we would go and watch it live. It is the best feeling when you finally do something that the younger you has always wanted but believed would never happen – so fulfilling.
  • Last  but not least, 2015 is the year I continued to be dedicated to this blog and to my YouTube channel (click here to Subscribe ). My budget, time and sometimes motivation has been limited this year yet I am proud of the content I have put out to the world. 2016 everything will be bigger and better.

I have grown a tremendous amount this year. God has been so good. Please join me and be grateful for this year because it puts you in a good, prepared mindset for 2016.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

The Addition and Subtraction of Christmas

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Christmas time is definitely everyone’s favourite time of year, but I worry that people forget what the reason for this season is. This is because over the past few decades, we as a society have added things to Christmas and subtracted vital things from it.

Happy Holidays!

I first noticed ‘Happy Holidays’ replacing Merry Christmas a few years ago when there were suddenly more ‘Happy Holidays’ cards in card shops and people would greet you it, instead of Merry Christmas. From what I understand, it is a bid to include and incorporate other religious holidays that also happen to fall around the Christmas season (November till January).

I of all people am a huge advocate of equality and social cohesion for all types of people, religions and so on. However, I also believe in the monopolisation of religion. By this I mean, every religion is different and therefore each religious celebration should be given the space and monopoly to be celebrated how and when it wants to, respectively.

Personally, I think the merger of multiple (different) religious holidays to the replacement of one of the most important Christian celebrations is disrespectful. Why can’t we say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Eid Mubarak separately? Why can’t we get cards that print these separately. Why must we combine all our celebrations and holidays, all for the sake of being politically correct and economically efficient.

It’s not about the money, money, money!

Christmas has become so over-commercialised that young families have come to secretly dread this time of year. Children are taught that Christmas equals expensive presents from mummy and daddy, while mummy and daddy are struggling to pay the bills and ensure that those same children have food in their bellies. It is actually so sad.

Whether you are a Christian or not, Christmas is a period we should all think about love. Jesus’ birth was the beginning of a demonstration of the craziest display of love man and womankind can even begin to think about. It is a time to show those around you love. To that lonely, elderly neighbour. To that widowed man who sits next to you on the bus every day.Spread Christmas spirit by showing random acts of kindness and love.

I hope that my children (in the distant future;) grow up in a society less concerned about commercial matters like what £150 trainers are in style or what new flashy toy is on trend and are more concerned with being good people.

Christmas hymns and carols being replaced with Christmas songs

I am generally a fan of modern things. Being born in the 90s, on the eve of the new millennium, I am part of what they call the digital generation. Also, I am a huge love of Christmas music all year around (yass a little bit of Bublé or Mariah is always good). But what I am not a fan of is carols and hymns being replaced with songs that are only Christmas related because they mention Santa or Mistletoe. I love the classics like ‘Oh Holy Night’, ‘Away in the Manger’ and ‘Silent Night’.

I am not saying those other songs do not have a place, because of course they do. It’s just their place is not at carol services – I do not want to be hearing ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ in a carol service please and thank you.

The disappearance of the nativity scene

There are some obvious inaccuracies in nativity scenes but over all, they are such an important part of Christmas, especially for children. We rarely hear of school nativity plays in schools any more, and when we do, we only hear about them because they have been drastically added to or subtracted from.

The subtraction of the main guy Himself

It can be argued (and it definitely is) that Christmas is a pagan holiday and is not the right time of year. People need to understand that those things hardly matter. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who was God born in human form to die for the sins and salvation of the whole world. Whether or not you believe this does not influence or change what Christmas is.

Of course people who do not believe that still enjoy Christmas time, and rightly so. But we as a society need to stop editing Jesus out of Christmas, with the intentions of not hurting people’s feelings.

Growing up in London, we were taught to be tolerant and respectful of other religions and cultures. We were taught what things were offensive to people’s beliefs and therefore we respected that. We would never dream of amending other religious holidays, so then why is it so easy to take the Christ out of Christmas?

It’s not Xmas, it’s CHRISTmas. 

If there are parts of Christmas you do not agree with, then simply do not participate in them. I would prefer that. Than taking out the key message of the whole thing – Jesus. He’s the reason for the season.

I think the moral of this post is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We need to stop making Christmas all things to all people. Christmas is what it is. Have fun with it and adapt it for yourself, your family and community. But do not claim that that universally Christmas, that’s your Christmas traditions. Do not let Christmas lose its value and just become another thing we do in the year.
Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

PRAY FOR PARIS, PRAY FOR HUMANITY

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My heart is really heavy, right now. There are so many things going on in the world that make me feel small, and useless and out of control. Yes, I know this is not about me but I want to be able to feel like I have done something to reduce the hurt that our world is feeling.

An earthquake in Japan. An attack in Lebanon. Bombings in Baghdad. Hurricane in Mexico. Terrorist attacks in Paris. I do not know what is happening and why it is happening, and neither do I claim to. If you have been affected by any of these disasters, I pray that you and your families are comforted. All I can offer are my prayers and my condolences.

I feel like we are getting closer and closer to the end of the world and while this is a really scary thought, I am strangely comforted by the idea of meeting my Maker soon. I know you may not what to here this as it may sound like a total cliché, but honestly, God is in control. I do not understand what is happening and I do not fully understand God and His ways, but I think that we will be alright.

Keep praying and keep fighting, because we only lose when we turn on each other based on religion and race and political views. We need to understand that before any of that, we share one thing in common – we are all human. We are all part of the human race. There are human beings out there today mourning the loss of children, wives, and husbands. Why not focus your energy on praying for them and showing them love in anyway you can, instead of spreading hatred towards people and religious groups. We are all mourning, as a human race we are all mourning.

My heart is so heavy. #PrayForHumanity

Paula Melissa xx