who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012...

You’d probably give me a look when i tell you the fact of what this year has been like for my family and I... A look like this

But me? I would scream and pour out tears till the world swims in it just like 'Alice in wonderland', because God has been so good to my family and I. In the face of the facts, He fed us with some juicy truth, that gives us no choice but to praise Him. So save the look :)

I wouldn't be wrong to call 2012 'The year of the storm.'
Oh my gosh, I saw howling winds and rogue waves. But as the storm raged on the outside, it wasn't allowed to get inside. It may have been hell thrown at us, but it was all heaven on the inside. We walked on water through it all... I saw Jesus in the midst of the struggles, I saw His grace and His love see my family and I through.

I look back and all I see is beauty, grace, love and more grace.
Everything we’ve gone through as a family, every pain killer we’ve willingly taken for the other person has only strengthened our faith. We have fought battles and we have come out of them victorious. 

In other news?
I didn't die at the realization that somehow, without knowing, I had moved out of Lagos. All my clothes, shoes, books, jewelry and toiletries still as I left them, waiting for me to walk in and pick up from where I left, when I left for just a week or two which has turned out to be a year plus now. If I didn't leave the way i did, i don't think i would have ever been mentally prepared to move.
I grew up in Makurdi, thus I've got to love the town, it's home. But there's always a 'but' when it comes to this town...  I was in the right frame of mind when I agreed to stay back for mum and the factory. I didn't even fight it, because I know that I know that I know that God has a plan, and I'm right in the middle of it, even though I'm a little lost about that. I love my small town and best testimony about it is...

  • I didn’t die when I craved apple crumble and couldn’t lay my hands on it. 
  • I didn’t go crazy when I was bored and wanted to see a play or something. 
  • I didn’t crawl into a corner sucking my thumb when I heard of all the fun gatherings with friends and events I missed out on cos I wasn’t there. 
  • I survived nights of daydreaming and actually seeing myself in yellow chilli eating jellof rice fiesta and obe din... Oh gosh!
  • I didn't get the shakes when I heard about the new ice cream parlor 'coldstone' right there in phase 1. I can have all the ice-cream I want whenever I go back.
  • My spirit hasn't been starved like I feared. I miss my church, I miss everything about City of David. But I was placed in a church that is home to me, one that has fed my spirit so good, I'm almost obese, and a Pastor that has shown love. I know I’m in the right place at the right time. I couldn't be happier.

A couple of friends got married. Bliss!!!
I watched those I joked with transform into daddies and mummies… Crazy!!!
I made new friends. Blessed!
My birthday wish list got ticked off, and my mental Christmas list has been ticked as well... Great God!
I got baptized by immersion. Glory!!! (Been missing out on all the opportunities to do this till this year, long story.)

And this year, all my lobbying for godmother duty paid off. I got two offers but could only accept being a 'mother' to one. I haven’t been as good as I imagined I would be to my goddaughter, I haven’t sent people to sleep with the fishes and I haven’t showered her with all the attention I imagined my godchild would get… sigh!!! The movie godfather made it look so easy.

source:
Oh, and I found my own prince charming and fell hopelessly in love with him. It’s been eight months and I’m crazy over my baby… yeah, baby literally, not baby ‘baby’ as in terms of endearment baby. My baby cousin, the first male in the family in over ten years is such a bloke and some, and I’m crazy about him.
                                       
I went through a real life class on faith, and wow!!! Walking on water is real yo!!!
All in all, I have seen favor, the Lords goodness and compassion over my family and I, He has preserved us and proved Himself. All I can say is THANK YOU!
I can’t complain about the year, the storms were blessings as they taught lessons and triggered growth.

I am the poster girl of grace, favor, mercy and love.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas....

It’s the day before Christmas already. I didn’t notice it creep up on me.
I love Christmas!!! Who doesn’t? What’s not to love about it? 
It's so easy to love your way through Christmas without acknowledging the reason for the season. 

Decided to do a repost of something I wrote...

I look round at the hundreds of guests in the room. 
It is my special day and everyone in town is excited about celebrating it in a big way with me. Well, except a few haters who stayed away.
My birthday is the talk of town, the It event of the year.
It feels wonderful seeing them go all out to celebrate me. People go all out for my big day. I notice new and expensive dresses, sparkly shoes, glamorous hair dos and even brand new cars on display.

There's dazzling smiles and cheerfulness. It's hard for anyone to stay gloomy at this party.

The music? The best musicians from around the world have composed special songs and performed them just for me.
The food? How do they say it in Italian? Delizioso? So delicious, that people have come ready to throw away those funny diets to indulge. It is a day where calories have received air kisses and big hugs.
There is dancing, from the goofy to the wonderful moves.
Love is in the air.


It makes me glad that I was born. I was born for a purpose, I was born out of love, and my birth brings people of all class together.
But then, in the midst of it all, the merry making and the laughter, my heart breaks.
As much as everyone is joyful and celebrating my day, very few people even acknowledge me, the celebrant.
Everyone is out for my special day, but no one really cares about me, the celebrant.
Just a few have taken time out of all the fun to say "Happy birthday Jesus, thank you for becoming flesh for our sake. Your gift of love to us"


Merry Christmas people! Have a great one, and be sure to take a moment to say Thank You Jesus. He's the reason for the season. His birth opened the door to our salvation.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eldorado Loves... adaKOLE WILLIAM

We all have treasures, and it is up to us to dig within to find it. 
It takes grace to nurture and polish the treasure we find till it shines, and it takes an even greater grace to offer it back to the King of Kings for His use. Giving back to Him the best part of you, to show the world the best of Him.

I was at the launch of the debut album of Benue Born Adakole William, titled ‘Highly Lifted’. This young man has vigorously polished his treasure and it shines like the gemstone that it is, and he’s offered it back to the King.
The 13-track album takes you on a journey of worship and praise, and leaves you in awe of God. It’s got upbeat and catchy tunes, but It's hard to loose the message even in the midst of the groove. One minute you're moving, and the next you're throwing your hands up in worship.


I’m excited about this album. In a world where you’ve got to mouth words like ‘1st of all, go down low' or 'shake that thing' to be seen as good and to have a fair chance to strut on the red carpet of fame. It’s great to see people choose to stick to what matters most, which is a love for God that isn’t fazed by the desire for acceptance and popularity.
I uploaded one of my favorite tracks from the album titled 'I am here'… I love it!!! A call from God to come to Him and just drop it all at His feet. Deep! 




Watch out for Highly LIFTED... available in stores soon...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: .....

There's a chain mail... Speaking of chain mails, don't we all hate them? And why wouldn't you ever get wise about forwarding those mails?....
Or maybe you're scared about this?.....
                                      
Don't worry, that's not the reason you're still single. Please don't try to make up for not obeying in the past by forwarding every single mail you get. Especially those that warn of doom and destruction if you don't. It makes you look... you know, kind of, sort of stupid.

Ok, so as i was saying, there's a chain mail credited to Ben Stein in circulation. While the original transcript of his commentary which was aired on 'CBS Sunday morning program' in 2005 has been tampered with, I really don't care about the original transcript. Truth is, I like the doctored and more popular version better :D 
Whatever rocks my boat right?
True or false, doctored or original, it doesn't change the fact that there is a message that shouldn't be ignored in this chain. Even though it speaks about the American society, I think every country and society can relate to it. So I'll be posting it here because whoever edited this letter did a good job at painting a picture we all need to see and because I wasn't threatened to forward it or loose a weeks supply of fried yam.

Subject: Remarks from CBS Sunday Morning (everyone should read!)
I only hope we find God again before it is too late!!
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
My confession:
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .. If people want a church, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’
In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.  (I did you a favor by striking this bit out :D)
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein
Food for thought!
 (Anne Graham Lotz quote was in reference to 9/11 and not hurricane Katrina. I'm not even mad at the author for mixing that up. :D)

PS
Someone just sent a mail to a group i belong to about an ad campaign sponsored by the American humanist society(www.kidswithoutgod.com). His mail came right after a friend expressed shock that 'GOD' had been censored out of the movie he was watching on DSTV. Apparently, the name of GOD, our GOD, is offensive, as offensive as cussing. It's really worrisome... Here's the picture of the ad...
 Houston, we have a problem and it's got nothing to do with the moon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tummy Rants...

Yes to midnight snacking!!!
But then, how disappointing it is, to use up your energy to raid the fridge, and come out with no spoils from that little war, nothing to make you feel like a true warrior.
That's when your craving, like a nagging wife starts to dance the 'azonto' on your nerves. It takes you round the world, wining and dining on different cuisines with your minds mouth, while in reality, your stomach rumbles and your mouth waters...
All you wanted was just something to munch on and now you’re thinking how like superman your dear-future-husband should be, because if he promises to love you, then it's only fair that he should be able to fly to different continents at odd hours and in record time, to get you the different cuisines you crave or a plain old quarter-pounder meal.
And since you know that’s impossible, you become unhappy that the blue body suite, red cape wearing, one hand in front like a silly fist pump flying man isn’t real and then you’re mad at Hollywood for that illusion of superman and....  *Sigh* I guess it’s No to midnight snacking after-all. Either that or stock up your fridge with everything you can think of, so you don’t get depressed.
Oh no, I'm not impressed. if you were real, you'd hear my soul cry out for food right now and you'd save me from the war in my tummy. I'm not impressed with you or your Hollywood creators right now. Arrant nonsense.

Yet another night of nothing to snack on. bleeh!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On Pains, Pools and Hope....


I’ve had this sensation since I was child, probably since I was three. It’s gotten worse over the years. And now? My goodness, you don’t want to go through what I deal with everyday. I live in pain, but in the midst of the pain, I have found grace to live and hope and trust, knowing that my healing will come. Sometimes, it gets too much talking about it, like you’re looking for self pity, especially as no one really understands, and the more people feel sorry for you, the more painful it gets. So I choose to stay away from self-pity, I choose to reject the sympathy; I choose to look on to God for my healing.

Sometimes I want to pause in the middle of whatever I’m doing; sleeping, tv, anything that gives me enough space to feel the pain. And I want to cry in frustration, but I don’t.
So what happens, when almost every time I go to church, there’s a great testimony from the same service I worshiped at? The same service I felt the spirit of God move so strongly, the same service that the power of the anointing threw me to my knees?
Testimonies of healing from diabetes, cancer, growths and all sorts… the lame walking, the deaf hearing, and the blind seeing. I have seen it all, and through it all, I have never stopped hoping that I have arrived at that point where my healing will be perfected. Where there’s no pain in my leg or my arms and my neck, where my joints are not hurting so much that I smile to shut the pain up.

I leave church still hurting, and sometimes with a taunting from the devil… an increase in the discomfort, like he's saying “does that feel like healing to you lady? Smell the coffee”.
Does it mean I’m bitter at God for not healing me? No, I know He will, and I know His name will be glorified through this. Does it discourage me from going to church or expecting healing from another service? Does it discourage me from taking the communion that is a reminder that through Christ broken body I have been made whole? Does the lack of immediate results make me doubt? No!!! I know He loves me fiercely.

It reminds me of the man at the pool of Bethesda. Lets liken that pool to the church, after all Bethesda means ‘pool of mercy’. He went to the 'house of Mercy' church for thirty-eight years. He hoped for a miracle, although he was clueless as to how to get it. It was quite dramatic, that an angel would stir the water and the first person in would be healed, meaning people got healed all those years he waited, and it never was him.
There was a one in a hundred chance that he would be that person, but he still waited, probably went there everyday, or lived there. Hope was his lifestyle, maybe because he had no other choice, it doesn’t matter what drove him to hope, what’s important is that he did, and he remained by the pool with hundreds of others, hoping.

It was very easy to miss the blessing Jesus brought to him. I mean, healing was about the dramatic of the bubbling of the water after the angel's stir. But Jesus came to Him, and gave a simple instruction, “pick up your mat and go.” One less complicated than jumping into the pool. Less complicated than people falling in church, the pastor laying his hands, or the fasting and praying. It's easy to miss that gentle touch because we're looking at the bubbling water.
The lame man got his healing ONE-DAY. If he decided to never be at the pool after all those years because he never had a chance to get into the water, he would have missed Jesus. Just like that. It took him thirty-eight years, but when he's day came, it was special. How? While the angel brought the healing for the pool, God came and healed Him personally, there was a transformation beyond mere healing in his life, Jesus even gave him a golden instruction. (John 5)

I don’t care how long it takes; I’ll praise him in my pain. I will continue to go to his house and worship him… His hand isn’t too short to heal. What is HMS to the mighty power of God’s healing touch? I will wait on him and hope in him…
Though he slay me?... I will get my praise on!!!! My healing isn’t dependent on my service and neither is my service dependent on my healing. I'm all in.

I wrote this a couple of days ago, and soon after, I got the devotion for the day from this daily devotion group i belong to called  'convo on devo' where we share devotions and discuss… I knew it was a message for me, there is no coincidence with God. The writer of the devo talked about having fibromyalgia, the symptoms of which mirrors HMS and has been linked to it as well..

Whatever you’re waiting on God for, healing, a breakthrough or whatever… keep waiting. I’ve waited 20+ years and I’m not about to give up on Him, the man at the pool waited thirty- eight years, God wasn't late, He showed up at the right time. Enjoy the devotional and be blessed.

I’m sorry if it’s been a lenghty read for you, but I feel someone needs to read this.

What It Takes to Struggle with Something Hard

By Rachel Olsen

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37 (NIV)

Beginning in my twenties, I wrestled each day with chronic pain and fatigue. The first few years of it, doctors had no idea why.
Then came the diagnosis: fibromyalgia.
I was told this condition was poorly understood, not very treatable, and also not reversible. In fact, they called it "degenerative," meaning it would worsen as I aged. In short, doctors said I had no chance to conquer this pain.

The pain worsened for a couple years and I couldn't image what my life would be like five, ten or fifty years down the road. I prayed for deliverance.

Looking back I'm astonished that despite my pain, I continued to work a full time job and take courses for a master's degree. I really don't know how I did that-except through Christ-because it was such a struggle daily. To concentrate on my work or schoolwork took an inordinate amount of effort because I had to focus over top of the ever-present pain in the foreground. Not to mention, a lack of quality sleep.

Fibromyalgia was the thorn in my side, quite literally. And I leaned into God for strength. Often through tears.

A long-distance friend wrote me this week to tell me she was experiencing a near debilitating condition: fibromyalgia. She gave me permission to share a portion of what she wrote:

"Life has thrown me some pretty horrible punches and I have always gotten right back up. Except now. And to be honest with you, Rach, this is NOT a LIFE! And I can't BELIEVE that GOD would do this to me ... why isn't He healing me? All He has to do is say the word! I BEG Him to do that daily. While He keeps His mouth shut [on the healing] He did give me Psalm 88 the other night, and I cried a river. I was jumping for joy in my heart, but at the same time. Do you know what I mean?"

I did know what she meant. So I told her my story. I told her that I walked this painful path too. I gave her my best tips for physically managing this condition. I told her how I tried to do all the right things according to my doctors. How I prayed, and prayed, and prayed for healing-sometimes out of faith and sometimes out of desperation.

I told her how, seven years after my pain began, I was walking by a lake one day praying yet again for deliverance from this. And while I had often sensed God heard my prayers, this time I sensed He also answered. I sensed deliverance.

Year-eight saw me pain free from fibromyalgia-the incurable, degenerative condition doctors don't totally understand. My condition stopped degenerating that evening by the lake and instead began improving.

So in honesty and with compassion I told my friend:

"Will God heal you soon? I don't know."
"His ways are higher than our ideas of how things should go. But I can tell you this: It is possible. He hears your prayers and He is not indifferent to your plight. God loves you. Above all, don't equate your suffering with how God feels about you."

Because despite all this stuff we're struggling with, victory is ours through Christ who loves us.

I don't know what your story is today-what you are struggling with or against. But I know this: God knows your situation and He is not indifferent toward it or you. He loves you mightily! And His right arm is not too short to save you.

So lean into Him because you need His strength until His deliverance comes.
Lean in, pray and persevere despite the pain you are in. And keep hope alive in your heart. For this is how we struggle with something hard while holding the title "More than Conquerors in Christ." In Him overwhelming victory is ours.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for rescuing me from all my troubles-either here and now, or in eternity. Strengthen me until your deliverance is seen. I believe victory is overwhelmingly mine through You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:
Study and take heart today in the truth from Romans 8:18: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (NIV)

Power Verses:
Romans 8:22-25, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (NIV)
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