Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fasting God’s Way

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; Cert. PELD–NALI-K; LLB Student–Mak.]
bsaint3@gmail.com; www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com

On Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, devout Christians all over the world began their fasting period known as Lent. The Lent period is a moment of fasting and penitence, lasting for 40 days. It is a holy season that commemorates the 40 days, which our Lord Jesus Christ spent in the desert without food and drink, while undergoing trial by the Devil. As Christians, Lent is a period of renewal of our faith in our Lord God. During this moment, our commitment to the one true God is tested. But, what the Lord considers most during Lent are our deeds especially for others. In other words, it is a question of substance prevailing over form – and all the lawyers say, ‘Amen’.

The substance must be pleasant to God and this begs the question, how do I fast God’s way? For most Christians, they think that Lent is all about foregoing or abstaining from the eating and drinking of certain foodstuffs and beverages, more so, those that we cherish most. Unfortunately, this is not true. The good news though, is that the Bible tells us how to fast God’s way.

It is written in the book of Isaiah 58:6-7, where the Lord God says that, “The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.” Oh my! How amazing! Let us take time to dissect and brainstorm on it briefly.

Removing the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice means that we should be fair to one another during Lent. Now, it is true that we have all fallen short of the glory of God and sinned against him, in the ways we mistreat others, as we pursue material and personal pleasure in this mundane world. Lent period is an opportunity to repent of all this by discarding all unfair and injurious practices like corruption, which has silently signed the death sentence for many of our brothers and sisters, thereby effectively sending them to their graves even before their due time!

Sharing food with the hungry and opening our homes to the homeless is a command that we ought to abjure greed and selfishness during Lent. Elsewhere in the Bible, Jesus says that we should live as one just in the same way as him and the Father live as one. We are expected to show tangible love to the less fortunate among us by accommodating them. As Tarcisio Agostoni mccj, said at page 28 of his book entitled May the State Kill?, “Love is the fullness of the law.”

Giving clothes to those who have nothing to wear is indeed as plain and simple as it is. What is important to note, is that we do not have to give the old, torn and unwanted clothes in our wardrobes. For that is not giving but dumping which is sinful in itself. But, of course, it is okay if that is what you can afford especially remembering that all that the old poor widow could give was a button from her old cloth. The bottom line is obeying Jesus’ command: love your neighbour as you love yourself.

None refusal to help our relatives should be broadly understood. The word relatives does not mean our biological or blood relations. Your relative is anybody who is affected or is likely to be affected by your conduct. Therefore, it is possible to have relatives who are miles away, whom we may even never meet in our lifetime. For example, I may never meet most of my ever growing number of Facebook friends, standing at 2300+ so far and the thousands of readers and visitors of my blog, yet they are nevertheless my relatives and I am obliged to help them especially, during Lent. The word relatives here, is meant to enlarge the scope of duty to cover virtually everyone.

So much for how to fast the Lord’s way and I hope you now understand the purpose of Lent. Perhaps, you may be wondering why it is important to fast and go through Lent. To begin with, fasting is scientifically good for your body because it allows it to undergo metabolic cleansing. Spiritually, fasting helps us to amend relations with God as stated earlier, by easing communication.

But the Bible has a more elaborate purpose of fasting in Isaiah 58:8-12. It says, “Then my favour will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond. If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never runs dry. Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.” Incredible! Glory be to our God, the Most High.

The gospel of the Lord speaks for itself and this time round, I need not elaborate anything about it. In short, in the fasting season, we are all winners – the recipients of the grace of fasting, courtesy of the duties imposed upon those fasting and those who are fasting themselves, in terms of the Lord’s promises after observing Lent. Therefore, I hope to see a changed people in a changed world; all for the better, during and after this Lent period. I hope to see you exhibiting your relevancy by impacting positively on the lives of needy people from now onwards; the Lord God being our helper. Happy Lent to you all, my friends. God bless you abundantly. May he make you and I more prosperous and wiser, now and forever more. Amen.