Focus on Locals (1)

Today we focus on people who are making a difference in their communities with the service they provide.

Autie Mary Adjeley

O yes! They manufacture awesome fried fish guaranteed to make you ecstatic. We mostly don’t fry fish anymore at home, at my workplace, or even at church for programs. Their fish is clean, crispy, scrumptious, tasty, appetizing, and finger-licking. However, once you start, it’s a struggle to stop reaching for more.

My friends and I call or troop to the factory anytime there is even a suggestion of fried fish. I discovered Antie Adjeley’s Happy Yourself Fish Factory, through a close family friend, and it was an instant hit with me. Since then, everyone I have introduced or met there still buys from them. What keeps us going is their neatness, friendliness, and user-friendly prices.

We have patronized them for years. We have taken pictures sometimes. We’ll keep going there.

Their services include:

  • wholesale provision of fried fish
  • retail provision of fried fish
  • Fried fish for special occasions
  • Cleaning and frying of fish provided by the client
  • Herrings
  • Kpanla fish
  • Cassava fish
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Salmon
  • Octopus
  • And numerous other fish

So where are you getting your fried fish this season? They are located at Amrahia, off the Dodowa Road.

Call them now on the numbers

+233 24 298 0881

+233 26 436 1470

Hospital Experience II: Caveat Emptor

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13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. 14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. 15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit:

1 Samuel 1:

Last week, the doctor jabbed at the test strips and lancets and queried, “What about these?” (Hospital Experience I: Caveat Emptor – Earthly Living in Heavenly Anticipation (elihasthots.net)

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“I have diabetics in my family, so I check regularly,” Nana responded.

“I have been looking for the test strips for his particular machine for months without success. Your colleague doctor who first examined me indicated that she had the test strips that my machine uses. So I bought them from her, and that is why they’re on my bed. I am not diabetic, sir.” Nana was feeling the heat of anger in spite of the sickness.

While the doctors hurried to regain their composure, he rolled on.

“Also, I have not treated typhoid for a very long time. I cannot even remember the last time I did. Kindly correct your records.

After a moment’s total silence, one of them almost whispered, “Ok. We have taken note of this, sir.

“Thank you!” replied Nana.

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At 8 pm, no food had been brought, so Nana slipped out of the ward. Still simmering with anger, he ambled past the gate and headed for the nearest eatery he could find. At that time of night, his options were desperately few. He eventually found one nice lady and her two kids in a decent-looking “check-check”* place closing shop.

She took one look at him with the contraption sticking out of his arm and immediately pulled out a chair. Fried rice and chicken would be ready in about twenty minutes. While waiting, he grabbed a piece of fried chicken and munched on it. She served the food with a smile, but Nana had misplaced his appetite. After two mouthfuls, he could not continue. The lady was hovering around, so she offered to pack it for him. Just then Nana’s wife’s call came through. She could not find him at the hospital! “Where are you?” she inquired.

The night nurses were dissatisfied with his behaviour. The scowl on one’s face made it all clear. They immediately sent him to the male ward. The ward seemed not to have been occupied for some time and needed cleaning. Later, Nana managed to settle into his bed, allowing his poor wife to go catch some sleep at home.

At about 7 a.m. Friday morning, his son came in with victuals and other stuff he had requested. He freshened comfortably and soon had more fluids dripping into his arm.

The doctor who did the nightshift was very respectful and kind. Obviously, he was treading carefully with this patient (Nana). But Nana was still concerned about getting the wrong information about him out of their system. The young doctor assured him that it was not the case. He avoided discussing what happened last night when he was taking over from the other doctor. So Nana decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

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Later, more nurses came to check on him. Two of them came to ask him to evaluate their service. He mentioned the misinformation episode with the doctors the night before. The nurse apologized again and again. He assured him that it was not on their records. This nurse encouraged him to improve his exercise routine. They got to talking about living life as a Christian, a topic he really liked. With several bible verses, the nurse impressively discussed how he saw life as a Christian.

Our text above talks about how the priest, Eli (man of God who should know) assumed that a woman kneeling before God’s altar and silently mumbling was already drunk that morning.

The doctor (whose professional ethics precludes jumping to hasty conclusions) just assumed that Nana was diabetic simply because he had the test strips on his bed. I am glad that we serve a God who accurately assesses your and my situation. His understanding is limitless (Psalm 147:5). I certainly cannot hide anything from Him. And yet He loves me dearly. I learned a lot from this experience. Let me share with you:

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  1. Discuss what you know. Do not assume if you can fact-check first. Check (Be Harsh, Be Gentle – Earthly Living in Heavenly Anticipation (elihasthots.net).
  2. When you are in a position of power, keep in mind that you are still responsible for your organization and your client. Most hospitals even have a charter outlining how they should treat their patients, including patient information. Check Genesis 39 for an example.
  3. As a patient, inmate, or student, remember that you are subject to some rules of conduct and behavior. You should adhere to those rules to avoid unfortunate situations. Look at Hebrews 13:17.
  4. If a colleague acts inappropriately and negatively impacts your church, school, or organizational brand, ensure that you are part of the remedial measures that will at least reduce the impact of the wrong move while retaining your client or member.

Drop your own lessons and comments below and I will gladly respond. Blessings

*Check-check is the name given to Ghana’s version of a bistro or diner which serves fried rice and/or noodles at night.

Hospital Experience I: Caveat Emptor

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15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

James 3:15-18
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Today is October 14, 2022. Nana has been admitted to a hospital near his home. Together with his wife, he got there after 4 p.m. yesterday, and saw the doctor on duty about an hour and a half later. She ran a few tests and admitted him. She decided on a diagnosis, so she commenced treatment immediately.

He) was anxious that they would not find a vein on his big, unexercised arm, but the nurse lost no time at all. He surveyed his left and deftly stuck a needle somewhere below his elbow. He soon had a plastic needle sticking in his arm and fluid after fluid dripping down as he lay in the emergency room.

He had not eaten since the morning. They said some medicines could not be administered until he had eaten. His wife, who had just had surgery herself, left to go put some victuals together for him. The staff were very nice people. He even had one take his picture on the bed.

Suddenly, around 7:30, two doctors walked in and nimbled towards his bed. Near his head were the blood glucose test strips and lancets he had purchased earlier. The departing doctor said to the other as they approached his bed.

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“This man is being treated for malaria and typhoid. He’s been on some drugs so far. He is a known diabetic who takes medicine regularly. He has also recently treated typhoid, but he was not able to treat it completely, and he went on and on.

Goodness and mercy, and sweetness, and light! Was his audio working well? Did he really hear what the man said? Did the doctor think he was asleep or deaf? As they made to move to the next bed, he cleared his throat.

“I would like to say a few things to you.”

They paused and gawked.

“I am not diabetic. I am not a known diabetic doctor.

Confidently, he grabbed up the lancets and asked, “What about these?” His bigotry and swagger irked him the more. What do you think about this doctor?

There’s Peace in Christ

Abba Sings Again

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philipians 4

Abba Magnifies the LORD JESUS CHRIST

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Romans 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message Bible)

This song is categorized as a Christmas Hymn. For me, it should be a daily passion. I still can’t retrieve an author’s name. However, a thought about the circumstances of Jesus’ birth leaves us with much to think about. When the visitors saw the Prince of Peace in swaddling clothes, they were overcome with surging emotions and a dense desire to share their treasures… This resulted in the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which we are all knowledgeable about. Think about this, my friend.

While thinking about it, remember how everyone who encounters God wants to put their first, last and best at his disposal. Our text in Romans 12: 1-2 insists that we turn the daily round of duties, the mundane things like nibbling on our favourite nut, checking on our social media, wiping our face in the sweltering heat, or even taking a bath, turning every single one of them into an offering to God’s glory. Consider that.

And while you are about that, consider 1 Corinthians 1: 26 and on. These texts also suggest that God intentionally chose people who are not necessarily high flyers. He did so to show those who pretend they are that they, the high flyers, are nowhere near His ideal? If you have anything to bring to the table of God, offer it to Him, submit it to Him, and bring it to Him. The song tells us how to do just that. Enjoy the lyrics below.

1 The wise may bring their learning,
the rich may bring their wealth,
and some may bring their greatness,
and some their strength and health;
we too would bring our treasures
to offer to the king:
how shall we greet our saviour,
what presents shall we bring?

2 We’ll bring the many duties
we have to do each day,
we’ll try our best to please him,
at home, at work, at play;
and better are these treasures
to offer to the king,
than richest gifts without them –
yet these we all may bring.

3 We’ll bring him hearts that love him,
we’ll bring him thankful praise,
and lives for ever striving
to follow in his ways;
and these shall be the treasures
we offer to the king,
the gifts that now and ever
our grateful hearts may bring!

Author Unknown

What Really Happened III

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10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me

Psalms 27:10

Chuki was not finished with her story, so she continued the next time they met. During her first year in the polytechnic, an American came to conduct religious services at her church. He took a liking to her. He promised to support her education once he got back to the States. Unfortunately, Pastor Phalett responded only after she had written four letters to him. 

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And in his terse reply, he indicated that he was inclined to send his money to Rwanda, where genocide was raging! 

It made sense to do so, but she was devastated. So Chuki turned to God, the only source of help she knew, and with gusto. One day, while meditating on the outskirts of her town, God told her, I do not need people’s promises to take care of you. I will take care of you.

This was the turning point for her. She shared it excitedly with her close Christian friend, who advised that she take steps in faith. Almost immediately, she began investing in cardboard and other art materials. Soon she was making money from designing and decorating greeting cards, signboards, posters, and T-shirts. Whatever contract came, she did it or asked other artists for help. And God made sure she graduated in two years with an HND in Business Management.

She struggled around looking for work with an employer who would not request sexual favours before even considering her qualification. She didn’t find any. Then it was time for national service, which she did with the Schools Libraries Project. This group of service personnel did posters for first-cycle schools. 

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After service, she got a job as a library assistant at a college. She forged on until she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Her GPA got her a teaching assistant position immediately after graduation. That is when Chuki began to relax just a bit. After a year, she noticed that the worrylines on her forehead had somewhat smoothened. 

Then a godly young dreamer found her after she finished her Master and they married. 

At the time of the interview, Chuki had been able to churn out a few books and scores of artilcles. She was in the process of acquiring her PhD. She was also dean of the School of Business. Takyi was impressed. He intoned it over and over again while Chuki laughed out loud. Chuki hurried to offer Gratitude to God, the Almighty, who had made all this possible.

In a few weeks, both were on first-name terms with each other’s spouses. 

Then it was Takyi’s turn to share his story. He talked about spending years teaching at a secondary school before his mother convinced him to do his Masters in Human Resources Management. He then worked in the Ministry of Information. While there, he chanced on a PhD sponsorship to Norway. He quickly applied and was approved. He went with his family. Upon his return, he discovered that he could not find a place in the ministry again, that nobody seemed to know or even want to help him. After spending a year waiting for an appointment from the ministry and living off his wife’s business, he decided to apply to several universities, including where Chuki was. In the end, he accepted their offer.

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So how did a girl whose grades were dipping and who was struggling even to write secondary school examinations manage to make it this far? 

Chuki answers this question like this… 

“My family could not support me; even men of God shunned me in my darkest hour. But God, Himself was already there. He filled me with the grit to keep going, proving that He put Psalms 27:10 there in the Bible. Then He kept opening doors for me. Early on, my parents had convinced me that I would become someone important. I kept echoing those statements. What God has done for me has really blown me away.”

What Really Happened II

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A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

Psalms 68:5-6

How did a girl who apparently failed both mathematics and statistics become a lecturer? Takyi called her after work the following day, and she decided to share her own story with him. 

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It all started when her mother got sick out of the blue. It began with chest pain, weakness, and a slight cough. But Maame got worse and ended up in the hospital for 3 months. 

Finally, Maame came home. However, she was still very ill and could not do much for her family. Auntie Ongif, her father’s sister, would often come from her house to take care of them. When Maame died after 4 years of illness, Chuki’s father could hardly hold himself together. 

After a while, Auntie Ongif, her father’s sister and confidante, brought her best friend to live with them and care for the four children. Chuki and the lady, Auntie Bunlyma, got on so well. She was a teacher herself, so Bunlyma insisted that the first thing after school was to read over the day’s studies. Auntie Bunlyma also told them Bible stories while they all had dinner daily. Then after a long time, her father married Bunlyma. 

Then Chuki became ill. She hardly had the strength to make it through school each day for a few years. But her father insisted on attendance and won’t allow her to stay at home. 

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Her teacher was becoming more and more impatient with the progress of her healing. The strange disease left her strengthless and breathless. Then her stepmother started to tire of her constant weakness. She would yell and sometimes slap her on the back to make her hurry up. Though she prayed for God to heal her, she kept getting weaker. Her family had almost become vegetarian because of her. One dawn, when she was in grade 8, she dreamed that Jesus carried her to a hospital where He and the nurses replaced almost every part of her body. She woke up feeling much better and told everyone at devotion. Father petitioned the Lord to make her healing permanent. 

Then she discovered that she could not focus in class. So much had been taught while she was struggling with her strange illness. The nurse said she had gotten temporary dyslexia from all the pain tablets she had been taking. Her parents completely took her off hospital medicine, but her results kept sinking.

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It was during this period that she had to retake the Mathematics paper. And when she still could not make it, she tried the Statistics exam. It was at this exam that they first met many years ago. His name was Takyi, and he had just finished a PhD in Human Resource Management when they again completed the interview held at Chuki’s university. He called her after a few days. He listened to her telling her story about how she only got a pass mark that enabled her to go to the polytechnic. Later, her hard work paid off and gained her an entrance into the university. “God has been very kind to me,” she said. Takyi also promised to share his own life story next time they talked. 

What Really Happened I

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33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

Proverbs 16:33

Chuki knew that passing the “O” Level (Ordinary Level) Statistics paper was crucial to her dreams and future. The WAEC (West Africa Examinations Council) timetable said the exam would commence by 9:00 hours, and candidates should be seated by 8:00 hours to go through the formalities. She was on time.

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Not that she had many options for cheating. She could abbreviate some formulae on the inner part of her hand and cover it with her black, long-sleeved blouse… Or on her thigh and wear a loose skirt… Or this, or that. She already knew she was a scaredy-cat. She had been brought up thinking that if you had not worked for something you were given, you might not really deserve it. Maame drummed it home, “Make sure you work hard, so you’ll be proud of your achievements. Otherwise, it would be difficult for you to face the person in the mirror”.

She had failed ‘O’ Level Mathematics twice. Then someone suggested that Statistics was better. That is why she paid Mr Amadi to teach her. And she took the lessons seriously. It’s just that for her, Mathematics was, officially, a troublesome subject no matter how she tackled it. In any case, for the past 5 months, she had been preparing for this exam, so she should be able to face it squarely.

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 During the paper, the boy sitting to her right managed to get her attention. He then shifted his writing, tilting it just in case she wanted to copy from him. The invigilators were chatting at the front. Yet she could not bring herself to copy from the paper so freely given.

After that paper, the boy found her by herself. She was delicately perched on a bench behind the hall. He tried to be gentle. “Hello, how was the paper?” Chuki spinelessly mumbled something like, “Uh, hello. It was ok.” Then he got serious. “It seems you were not calculating that much. How so?” “I did what I could,” she parried lamely. Confidently, he said, “That is why I signalled to you and even tilted my paper for you.” “Frankly, I can’t do it. No matter how difficult a paper is, I can’t copy in an exam.” Chuki shuddered at the thought.

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Fast forward sixteen years. Chuki is on a university interview panel as it interviews a candidate for their faculty. Their candidate that morning is a man in his late thirties. He looks vaguely familiar, but she cannot place him. It’s the man who remembers eventually. After the interview, he contacts her, hoping she can help him. And they remembered the Statistics paper some 16 years ago. Then they exchange contacts promising to catch up with each other later. Look at Proverbs 16:33. It says, We may toss the coin and roll the dice, but God’s will is more magnificent than luck(The Passion Translation). In fact, the Message Bible is even more clear… God has the final say. Our hard work is still dependent upon God’s increase and favour. Many struggles over this concept, but it’s true.

Now to our story. You would want to know how a girl who failed Maths (twice) and maybe Statistics too becomes a university lecturer? And the brilliant boy is looking for a job? Stay tuned.

Oblivious Yet Obvious

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12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (emphasis mine)

Philippians 2:12-13

Naema stepped out of the lecture hall with confidence. As she approached 6 classmates, she noticed they were discussing the exam. “Guys, how did the paper go?

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Diem eyed Naema while friendliness lifted the corners of her mouth into a smile. 

“We know you’ve raised the bar already. So why are you asking? Diem quizzed. Naema smiled back and pointed at David. 

“There’s your bar raiser. Look at him smiling! David saw her gesture, turned and made a face. They delved straight into question 3b“All fish are mammals. Discuss”

As they discussed that question, it became increasingly clear that the lecturer meant more than just that question. In class, it was confirmed that anyone who dealt with it at face value lost half the mark even if they did that excellently. That means they could not afford to be oblivious to the obvious intent of the question.

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Whenever the Pharisees related with Jesus, they lost sight of the forest for the trees. So while He focused on eternal issues, they were fixated on browbeating Him for the moment. Whenever they pried into Him, trying hard to twist Him into knots and get Him to make punishable mistakes, He would instead look earnestly for disciples from among them. He was on to eternal things but they were on to mundane intricacies. They were obviously oblivious to what should be obvious.

He was giving them unlimited opportunities, but they saw nothing like that. Instead, they only looked for rebuttal arguments. One such painful event is in Mark 3:5 when at church, He wanted to heal a man with a withered arm, hoping they would see that God is more interested in saving His children than in just obeying human laws. So Jesus posed a question simply asking what they considered was a better activity on Sabbath for them. Was it making someone smile or being the reason for them to cry? To avoid admitting the obvious, they just kept mute. On another occasion, in Matthew 21:23-27, they came to Jesus with a quiz. To answer them, Jesus asked them a simple question requiring honest feedback. Was John’s baptism from God or man? John had worked among them, preaching and baptizing. Many lives, including non-Jewish soldiers, had been changed for the better. Was it from God? The Pharisees said they didn’t know. Simple question, simple answer. An honest statement, honest feedback. But they were fixated on looking good, unruffled and confident. They answered that they did not know if the Holy Spirit led John so as not to commit themselves. 

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God was reaching out, but man was only interested in staying politically, socially, legally, academically, personally, and even religiously correct. Jesus gently pried into their lives, uncovering possibilities. He was already aware of all their hidden unfortunacies, but they only saw an enemy to their entrenched, self-destructive habits. Heaven had thrown its gates wide open, but men and women only busied themselves looking calm, intelligent, and unmoved. They hesitated and tried to gauge what they would lose by becoming Jesus’ disciples. These rather were their priorities!

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Today, Jesus uses His word, people, circumstances, dreams, inspired counsel, opportunities, unfortunacies, and even our mistakes to let us know He expects us to work our salvation with fear and anxiety lest we lose out. In the brief moments, we get it. Then we remember something and halt the process of change for the better.

Eternity signals at us, and her face is twisted into a puzzled frown. She still asks herself, “¿¡Can’t they realize what I’m offering them?! 

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No Eternity, they are blinded by their own parochial interests, including looking out for what they stand to gain. They are obviously oblivious to what is obvious. Eternity is beckoning. Can’t you see? Do you understand her gestures, kindness, words, and offers? Eternal life is smiling at you and extending her hand to you. Please take her hand and assess the peace of knowing that your future is sorted. I beg you.