A Lovely Surprise

Three of our kids play for their schools’ sport team (our daughter plays volleyball and two of our sons play soccer for their schools.)

If you are a parent, you know what that means for me, their mother.

Well, if you want to find me after 3pm, all you have to do is to look for me on 450 Annapolis Road which is the main road I use to drive back and forth.

Their games, practice and pick-up times can be at the same time or 10 minutes apart or worse. Sometimes dropping their cleats or jerseys pretty much keeps me on the road. Yes, sometimes they forget their stuff home and I have to take it. (But I don’t do it always because if I keep on doing it, they don’t learn responsibility.)

But these days, three of them are really good at remembering and preparing their stuff before morning. But today, my little one mistakenly switched his jerseys with his big brother’s jerseys. When we got to their school, my older son called to let us know that my little one had his jerseys. So, I dropped two my kids off and drove back home as fast as I could so that my older son could get his jerseys before he left for his school.

Then I grabbed my youngest son’s jerseys and drove back to his school.

So, I got to the school and headed to my son’s class. My youngest son’s classmates know me. Whenever I come to his class, I usually show my face through the glasses so that somebody sees me and calls for my son. This time, all his classmates were looking at me and didn’t call my son. They just stared at me. For a moment I thought I was invisible but the thing is they all were looking at me. So, I opened the door. The moment I opened the door, everybody shouted, “Happy Birthday Mrs. Banko!”

I looked like a 10 years old girl standing in front of an 11 years old boy who said to her, “I like you!” I mean, naturally I am not a shy person but if you catch me off-guard, you will find out that I’m in fact a very shy person.

I said, smiling, “Thank you guys!” And my son came out, closed the door behind him, took the jerseys from my hand and said smiling, “Happy Birthday Mom and I love you!”

Isn’t that lovely and sweet!

And my Berhan, oh how he surprised me! I thought he left for work. I mean I saw him off. I thought he left for the day. Little did I know that he came back with my favorite freshly cut red roses and big "I love you" balloon and stood at the door!

Oh, LORD, please help me to serve this family to the best I know how. I can’t pay them back for all the love and care they are showering on me but at least help me be the person You want me to be to each one of them. ///

P. S. Do you want to know what my teens said to me? "Happy 100 years birthday, Mom." Yeah, that sounds like a teenager wish, doesn’t it?

Happy Ethiopian New Year to all my Ethiopian fans!

And today is my birthday!

Yes, as I was told, I came to this world at 7am at the Ethiopian New Year’s Day! Well, if you connect the dots, you should know why they called me “Meskerem.” I came on the first day of the first month of the brand new year! Fantastic! Isn’t it? Can you just imagine the joy of my family to see a brand new baby on the New Year’s day! I can only imagine!

For those of you who don’t know the meaning of my name, it means September; however in Amharic, if I’m not mistake, the exact meaning of Meskerem is brand new joy, new sunshine, new moon, brand new season, brand new beginning on and on and on. Praise the LORD!

Happy 2007 for all of you who are celebrating Ethiopian New Year’s Day!

Oh, how I missed my home town back in Ethiopia! I still remember the morning breakfast and all the singing the neighborhood kids used to bring to each house. I heard that people don’t do that anymore. How sad it is! That was the highlight of my memory of the Ethiopian New Year’s Day. Oh, well, it is gone now. The new generation will have another memory. ///

Only One Principle

A4P Guest: “If I ask you to give me only one principle to do dating and courting right so that I won’t sin against God, what would be that principle?”

A4P: Excellent question!

Only one principle: When you want to hide an action from others, you should know that you are sinning against God and others.

Let me ask you: If you want to kiss your date, do you do it in the church, in front of your pastor, and other believers or do you want to do it at the back of your car, at night time, a time that nobody can see you?

Do you “pet” your date in the church or in the dark room of your apartment?

If you are honest, you will say that you won’t do those things in public. I mean do I need to say that those things are considered as "foreplay," an important step for a sexual intimacy of married couples? I don’t think so because I recently said that. Foreplay is not for you as a single person. So when you want to do those "biblically illegal" stuff, you want to hide them. Don’t you? The moment you want to do that, remember that you are sinning against God and others. So, stay away from those things.

Well, that being said though, there is a question that begs an answer: Do you have high regard to the church of Christ and to the believers of Jesus Christ?

Similar question: Do you have anyone you honor and respect enough for you to limit yourself from acting out inappropriately, sinfully?

If your answer to any of the above questions is “No” or if you say something like, “I don’t have a church. I don’t care about anyone and I don’t care what anyone says about my life,” then the above “principle” is useless for you!

That means if you don’t have a home church which you are part of and believers who care about you, you are right there in a danger zone. The stage is set for you to fall in sin. And when you are in that zone, you have no choice but live in sin.

Remember, we need each other (as the part of a Body of Christ) so that we stay away from the trap of the devil (our body organs, such as stomach or liver can’t fight alone apart from the body but when they stay in the body, they can fight virus, bacteria and even cancer).

The moment we decide to separate ourselves from the Body of Christ, we will be snatched by the devil. Then we start to hide everything.

Remember, devil steals us first from the family of God; then convince us not to care about others; then kills us (kills every good thing we have and may even kill us) and at last he destroys us to the point of nobody is able to remember neither us nor our descendants. Read John 10:10 ///