Crossing The Atlantic Ocean and God Was There

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Castoro 10, an Oil Pipelaying Vessel was towed from Curacao to Congo on the 6th of August 2014. It was a month-long journey cruising the Atlantic Ocean and a great experience crossing the  Equator too. I was on board together with sixty-eight others.

There were mixed feelings , perhaps, when the trip started. We were travelling on a vast space of nothingness but still I have seen the beauty of life! A pair of doves was with us!

One morning before sunrise, the brown bird joined me in the helideck where I have started the day praying the rosary! Amidst the blue skies, floating white clouds, and the bright orange sunrise on the horizon of the dark blue ocean I realized it was a perfect day acknowledging the Author of the beauty of Creation.

It was so refreshing to feel the seabreeze and the splashing of the waves on the side of the ship made me felt really close to heaven. I could only thank God for the new day, another experience of His great love. He is indeed real and for the moment I knew with faith that I was sitting on His great Hands. I had so much joy!DSC00548

Never Give Up

During the Barcelona Olympics in 1992,  British 400 m runner Derek Anthony Redmond  had to stop in the middle of the race because his right foot was injured but he never gave up…..He continued til the end and his father later joined him. Please watch the moving video uploaded by  necessity4failure on 16 Sep 2010.

 

2 Timothy 4:7

“I  have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Source of photo: joyfullcircle.blogspot.com

When God Lifts up a Humble

Please watch a very moving video of an orphan( Sung-bong Choi) who grew up working as a “manual worker”. Be sensitive enough to see God in action. Our Loving Creator is always at work. Let us open our eyes. At all times….

Source: You Tube uploaded by gmidnjsroEl on jun 4, 2011

Photo: markkay.wordpress.com

Finish The Race ( Story of Courage)

1968 Olympic marathon

John Stephen Akhwari ( born 1938 in Mbulu, Tanganyika) is a Tanzanian former marathon runner. He represented Tanzania in the marathon at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico city.

While competing in the marathon in Mexico City, Akhwari cramped up due to the high altitude of the city. He had not trained at such an altitude back in his country. At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 km race, there was jockeying for position between some runners and he was hit. He fell badly wounding his knee and dislocated that joint plus his shoulder hit hard against the pavement. He however continued running, finishing last among the 57 competitors who completed the race (75 had started). The winner of the marathon, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, finished in 2:20:26. Akhwari finished in 3:25:27, when there were only a few thousand people left in the stadium, and the sun had set. A television crew was sent out from the medal ceremony when word was received that there was one more runner about to finish.

As he finally crossed the finish line a cheer came from the small crowd. When interviewed later and asked why he continued running, he said, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles just to start the race; they sent me to finish the race.”

Source: Wikipedia & You Tube ( uploaded by abundanceteachers)

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How to be Happy

God wants you to be happy. There is something good inside of you that tells  it is just right to be so. Look around ! Your family, relatives and friends, they all want to see you glad. At home, in the neighborhood, in school, in working place, in the church, everywhere, it is fulfilling to watch a life full of joy.

Here is a video uploaded by VideoJug on 15 Feb 2008 showing how to find happiness in seven simple steps.

The Bible says in Ecclesiasticus 30 22-27:

[22] Give not up thy soul to sadness, and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel. [23] The joyfulness of the heart, is the life of a man, and a never failing treasure of holiness: and the joy of a man is length of life. [24] Have pity on thy own soul, pleasing God, and contain thyself: gather up thy heart in his holiness: and drive away sadness far from thee. [25] For sadness hath killed many, and there is no profit in it.

[26] Envy and anger shorten a man’s days, and pensiveness will bring old age before the time. [27] A Cheerful and good heart is always feasting: for his banquets are prepared with diligence.

Source of photo: happyquotesworld.com

Tithe, Trouble, Triumph

Tithing photoMy wife and I decided to pay our tithes (to donate 10% of earnings to support the Church)not just because we thought the Lord wanted us to do so but also to thank Him, the Source of all good, for the blessings we had been receiving . It may have looked strange but the Company I had worked with ( Saipem) had recalled my services after 3 years of being out of work.

As a blessing in disguise, just a few moments after we decided to offer our tithes an unfortunate thing happened in 1997 in the  office on board “Israfil Guseinov” , a Pipelaying Vessel in Azerbaijan. I had an argument with one of the Inspectors regarding his complaint about his lost luggage at the airlines when he arrived on site. I would confess that I did raise my voice during the exchange in opinions  and that made the other person lost his temper and  patience and hit me straight to my face. I was surprised!

At that time, I was on a very high morale, perhaps due to the fact that we had finally committed ourselves, my wife and I, to the Lord by way of tithes. And so the punch was not able to jar the spirit! I did not fight back. Revenge did not play a part. I prayed silently inside of me. I started to talk to God. How could this happen after one has finally returned to accept Him? And before I could even hear an answer the second punch hit my face again and finally a third strike. So much of a test of faith! At that instant the Purser next to me , a colleague of mine, stopped the man for further proceeding  with his brutal act. Some blood gushed out of my bleeding nose. Dr Milorad Prso attended to me in the medical clinic.

An hour later when things pacified the man approached me to ask for forgiveness. He explained that he had just received some  bad news that  his wife abandoned  his family and so he lost control of himself. He was so sorry. He wrote his apology in a piece of paper and at the end of the line he promised on his own accord to pay me $3000 for the mistake that he had done. The trial was over! I passed the test! Forgiveness triumphed and I knew God smiled. I thought I heard Him said, “ Well done my faithful servant!”  Humanity has inched forward a bit.

It was not until another 3 years later when I discovered that giving tithes is the most rewarding thing one could ever do in this life. John Huntsman of America was interviewed in the CNN while I was in Nigeria and I could remember him saying that in the Bible, in Malachi Chapter 3,  we are obliged to give part of our income in order for the Church to be able to perform its responsibilities.

But why 10%, one may ask. For me it is comparable to someone purchasing a piece of property. Isn’t it that a down payment is necessary to show the commitment? Well, likewise with tithing, setting apart the 10% of our income proves our real trust in the Lord. It’s the best litmus paper  test  to see what is inside  the heart and soul. Moreover, doing it consistently shapes one’s  character making him detached in material concerns keeping the closest relationship with the Almighty.

I believe this is the key to human happiness! We need to connect to Him! We need to commit! We need to show our trust! We need to live with Him. Feel Him as He touches your heart while reading this story. Hold on to Him. This is true. The experience is being shared for you! He has been waiting…..

Since then, my family and I have been seeing the mighty works of God, Opus Dei. Life has become more beautiful and so meaningful! Eureka!

Malachi 3:10

“10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”