who am i?

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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Lives...

He gave meaning to victory through His resurrection...
Today, He showed us that the devil isn't as wise as He claims to be, the devil got played in his own game... "No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord." 1 Corinthians 2:7-8
It's time to realize that we are wiser and stronger than his cunning ways. What he intends for bad for us, God turns and spins it for our good.

We're victorious... The devil may have thrown his best shot at you, but the mystery of God's plan is for our ultimate good. He may feel he's knocked you down, but the grave of sickness, delay, lack, loss etc can't hold you down, in the risen Christ you have the ultimate victory, and the devil will see the end and regret why he allowed you get afflicted. If he knew the glory coming out of it, he would never have come at you so strong.

Thank God for the resurrection...
He's alive and because He lives, we can face tomorrow. Because He lives we have a place with the father. We are comfortably seated at the right hand of God, in the heavenly places, high above every principalities... Because He lives.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Today...


Today, He took the fall.
Today, His body was broken.
His person was mocked.
He was called names.
He was tortured.
Today was the day my salvation was born.
In the lashes He took.
In the nails that pierced His hands and feet.
In the pain that rushed through His body…
My salvation was carved.
Such a beautiful masterpiece was weaved through the ugliness of the cross, the shed blood, the pain and the shame.
Such a masterpiece was weaved in the words that He sighed, “It is finished”
It is finished indeed.
I wear the garment of salvation with pride.
I do not deserve it, but His love found me, washed me and clothed me in the royal robes.
Today, about 2000 years ago, love was defined, love reached its climax… Love conquered.
With all His excellence and glorious splendor. With all His strength and power. With the armies of the heavens He commands… despite it all, He chose to be weak on this day so He could become the strength of my life.
Through the storms, through it all… I stand. All may fail, hearts may break, tears may fall... but i remain strong because He is the strength of my heart.
Today, He perfected all things concerning me. 
I am thankful.
“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart. He is mine forever” Psalm 73:26


Sunday, March 24, 2013

the3six5NG


Have you heard of the3six5NG project? 
It’s a spin off from the original the3six5 …. 365 perspectives of the world – in 365 words and pictures – from 365 different people... The Nigerian edition. 
If you’re a blogger or you love to write, then you should sign up for it here

I had a go last week… read my entry here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Pinch Of Doubt, A Tablespoon Of Hope...


I am so certain about the sovereignty of God and i know His hand is orchestrating my life. I know for sure that He is with me and He is in control and He loves me. But in the midst of my certainty I begin to doubt sometimes, because as much as I know… I still hear the voices in my head ask me if I’m sure… because His promises seem to take forever to manifest.

Does it happen to you as well? Do you ever get to doubt for just a second, when you’re not pretending to be religious?

You know, like when the excitement you felt when you received the word begins to wane as days turn into months and then years as you struggle through life, even when you know that His plans for you are certainly good and His promises will certainly come to pass.
You wonder why you have to suffer through certain things. Why you have to lose a loved one, one so close, one so loved… Would He let you go through all that pain if He really loves you?  What happened to the joy of salvation? Why do you have to go through certain things while watching those who aren’t in the faith breeze through? Why did you have to lose your job? Why do you have to be ill and go through so much pain? Why is your marriage so bumpy?
Moments like that shake your faith, they make you doubt even in your certainty… It allows a thought or two creep in. It makes you question even when you know His love can’t be contested.

Sometimes you can taste your expectations. It’s so real, so now, so attainable. But there’s just too much hurdles to cross and traffic lights to wait at.
Just like John the Baptist, even when you stare it in the face, you doubt because of how low your spirit has sunk, how slayed you feel.
Remember John the Baptist? The one sent to prepare the way. The one who saw Jesus and publicly identified Him as the Son of God. The one who reluctantly baptized Jesus because he felt unworthy, and witnessed the open heavens in that moment. The one who leaped in His mothers belly when He sensed the presence of Jesus who was barely a seed in Mary’s womb. John who boldly declared, that Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Well John the Baptist had his moment, he got to that place where his faith was shaken.
As He sat locked up in prison, he allowed Himself to doubt even when He knew he was sure. Some things you pass through would wear you out and make you doubt… some things you pass through will claw at your spirit and try to tear it apart… Some things you go through will make you question for a second. John who knew right from the womb, got to that place where he was forced to question even in the face of the truth he knew. He sent his disciples to ask Jesus Are You the One Who was to come, or should we keep on expecting a different one?

I mean he had already confirmed whom Jesus was to the world, but like we all do, when the trials hits us hard, when the strain of prison gets to us, we sit down and dare to ask God even when we know “Are you really there? Do you really love me?”
Jesus reply to John’s disciples was… The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed (by healing) and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have good news (the Gospel) preached to them. And blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth." (Matt 11:4-6)

That must have been reassuring to John. He must have heard all sorts about Jesus while in jail. Things to make him skeptical. Jesus was such a contrast from John. He wore clothes John had given up on, He dined with those John publicly condemned and He feasted on good food unlike the locust and wild honey John lived on etc. Maybe He got John worrying, especially with the strain of prison telling on him. Maybe he wanted the fire and brimstone-preaching mandate like he had operated through. Maybe he expected a more aggressive approach from the expected King and messiah. A warrior, not a gentle soul. Just maybe. And seeing the opposite got him worried a little... Maybe.

Remember Jesus reply when your faith is shaken and your heart dares to question His love for you... He said go and tell what you have heard and seen. What have you heard in the word? What have you seen all around you?
The blind see, broken hearts are mended etc…  God is still God even in the midst of our trials and He loves us. All we need to do is look around and see what He’s done for the next person to remind us that truly He is alive, and He is God. 
He’s comforted your neighbor; He’ll surely comfort you. He’s healed your colleague; He can do it for you. He’s blessed your foes; He’ll certainly remember you. Be reassured that as long as she was barren and she’s carrying a baby now, you need not worry as you wait for your own child. Your church members give testimonies day after day… look how great God is, His power hasn't waned. He truly is God.

When you’re backed into a corner and made to question, when your heart dares you to doubt, remember that He is God alone and He is good. God loves you so much, don’t let anything come between that, not your trials, and your pain.

The truth of God's word has given me every reason to plunge ahead in life in the face of the facts that aren’t too appealing. I know whose and what I am, but sometimes I give room for doubt to creep in especially when I’ve been knocked down real hard and when the destination seems to keep moving further back the closer i get to it. But what I know for sure is… the blind see, that’s got to be God. Seeing another sick person healed, seeing a person mourning share a laugh, seeing a broken heart mended... that’s got to be God and no other. Seeing the hope and seeing Him come through for others is all it takes to cement my believe to keep on keeping in my trust as John must have gotten encouraged even in the face of death when He saw Jesus truly was, from the report he got.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Juju, Charms and Amulets...


Juju is a great and easy way to arrive. That’s why I went to Baba. It gets tiring going round in circles, laboring real hard and seeing no results. I heard baba was good. One of the best around, and he wouldn’t even cost me a fortune… I was a little uneasy about the ritual of him having to bath me, and sprinkle a little chicken blood on me, but it’s all worth it, if I’ll be able to change my car and my address, get those silly wealthy men to spend a little more on me and probably have one marry me. Juliet is having such a good time; she came to baba two years ago. Agnes introduced her… I had no idea; they kept it from me for two years. Ah… friends!!

Everything went better than I expected, Baba wasn’t in some run down mud building like those Nigerian movies portray people of his calling. In fact, I didn’t suffer the indignity of going to some stream to be sprinkled with chicken blood and washed with his concoction. It all happened in the comfort of his bathtub. 
All went well, but just before he handed the amulet I’m to have with me at all times, he gave me a condition… I must never eat chicken again, not ever! Not even a taste, not even food cooked with its stock, or else I would loose it all, and not only would I loose it, I’d be worse off than before I came to him. It seemed easy, like no big deal at that time. I mean, I’m a yahuza chicken suya junky, but that’s a small price to pay for the greatness of Baba’s charm. Or so I thought… 24hours later, I was breaking out in sweat craving some chicken. Tender chicken breast in pepper sauce or even a tiny piece with Masa from yahuza. I should have been warned before the ritual, at least I would have had a chicken feast to bid it farewell.

And that’s the daily torture I endure.

I have my car, I have two luxury cars to be exact, and the third is on its way. I have Alhaji on a leash, and chief at my beck and call, with a few more lined up to spend on me. I have a new shop and some more. I have a new house, bought in my name... I throw the best parties, and Agnes is even a little jealous, she thinks Baba gave me a stronger charm. I am a big girl in every sense, if you doubt, pick up one of those society magazines or click on Linda’s blog.
But how in the world am I to survive without chicken? I even had to stop visiting mother… how do I explain my sudden ‘allergy’ to chicken to her, when that’s the only way she knows how to honor her children. The perfect chicken soup with well-pounded yam… ahh, the soup!!! I can’t even taste it because it’s been made with chicken. Is life fair? Who would have thought chicken was so big a price to pay. But i am determined to keep paying daily even as I almost choke with the cost.
               
                                                                ***************
Some go to medicine men for charms for protection, wealth, love et co. They carry those things around in their pockets or handbags and walk around with assurance that all is well. Most often, they are given conditions, give this up for the charm to work or loose everything… Some so simple and easy you almost laugh it off, till you see people break out in sweat because they are never to eat egusi. I watched a Yoruba movie where just after the ritual was done for wealth, the man was told he must never give any money to his mother or he’d go mad and die. This young man loved his mother dearly. That was such a costly price to pay for wealth and protection. And they never tell you what you must give up till you’re in too deep to cancel. The instruction comes like an after thought … “oh, and remember, you must never say ‘chei’ or else you die” and then you scream “cheiiii” in shock and die even before tasting the wealth.

We know the devil mimics God’s ways, thus same way people who dabble in the diabolic have amulets, Christians have been given things to aid in their walk. We have ‘spiritual mantles’ “Spiritual mantles represent spiritual authority and they always have a cost. They also always demand great responsibility. A large mantle is not for the faint hearted or the immature. Do you want one? Go for it!” I’m assuming spiritual mantles could be laying of hands, and items of clothing i.e Elisha got Elijah’s cloak, Peter’s handkerchief healed… anointing oil, communion et co. 

I'll refer to the Spiritual mantles as ‘Christian charms’ (I’m throwing that word lightly to get my point across) Wearing the crucifix on our necks and fingers, hanging larger than life crosses on our walls, sprinkling holy water every minute, and drenching ourselves with anointing oil. Oh, yeah there’s the putting the bible under our pillow to ward off evil spirits. So let’s assume those are our charms, but how in the world do we expect them to work for us, when we don’t meet up with the conditions?
For the rosary to work for you… thou shall not lie, thou shall not commit adultery… We do all these things that we’re asked not to, and at the slightest sign of discomfort, fear or danger, we point the bible like guns to evil and expect protection. The ‘charm’ is neutralized because we defiled it. We neutralized its power to work in our lives by going against the conditions for functioning. We ate chicken when we weren’t supposed to and it lost the power to operate in our lives. If we’re using those things as charms we may as well accept the conditions and adapt to it. The Communion and anointing oil are such precious gifts from God amongst many other mantles… but they are not toys that we only wipe out when the going gets tough after living anyway we want to. We are required to make a sacrifice to walk in the anointing and for It to work for us. There is a cost. 

God isn’t a mean God, the devil takes what’s good for you, takes away something precious to you to give you temporal protection, God only asks of you to subdue your flesh and drop certain things that’ll only end up harming you in the end, to be able to enjoy the power/blessings that the mantles releases to you.
Thank God for His grace though, He doesn’t bless or protect us based on our works and obedience to His laws, thank God for grace that allows the power of God to flow and work in us, despite how we desecrate ourselves… He still humors us and allows the power to work for us, thus we take him for granted.

So maybe you’re too ‘posh’ and ‘religious’ to go to baba. So maybe your home and cars are covered with all the anointed stickers and crucifix, and there’s a bible in every nook and cranny of your home. But have you made that sacrifice to keep them working? We know God is a merciful God so we take His laws for granted, but when it comes to the babalawos, we know a No is a no. Thus you should see how dedicated this people are in making sure the charms work, even if cutting off from their mothers is the answer… They don’t take chances. They are willing to pay the price. As Christians, what friend have you cut yourself off from? What things have you cut off from your life because you know they only help in pulling you down in your walk with God? Some things are not worth debating on when it comes to clotting the flow of the anointing in your life. Cut them off and move on. Don’t take the grace for granted, or one day like Samson, you’ll wake up and try to fight off attacks and there’ll be no strength because your ‘charm’ has been neutralized, cut off by the woman/object you refuse to let go of.

“How can you want God/Jesus’s help in your time of need but you don’t ever want to live by His rules and commandments” Pastor E.A Adeboye.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You Had Me Before Hello...


You had me before hello…
Yes, before you were formed, before you could call my name or understand who I am. Before you took a step towards me, before you let yourself trust me to no end. When your mind couldn’t understand my feelings for you.
When you stared me in the eyes and pushed me aside… You had me before you ever stopped to think and say hello.
source:
I watched you form. I watched you grow, I watched you hurt… I watched you grab your first cup of coffee everyday as you rushed off to work. I watched you ignore me as you lived your life. It didn’t stop me from loving you; from making sure the drug you overdosed on didn’t kill you. From making you want to live again after yet another relationship failed. From carrying you home safely when I found you lying drunk in dark alleys…
I watched you look for love and acceptance in the wrong places, I tried to reach out to you, to let you know I’m all you need and more… but you treated me like I didn’t exist, maybe an occasional half smile as you walked passed me.

I watched you mar your beauty as you searched for wholeness in the wrong things.
You had me before hello. And I have loved you since then with an everlasting love. No matter how hard I try, even if I want to, I know I can never stop loving you.
I can only keep watching, and hoping that one-day you’ll notice me, just hanging around, watching and loving you. Wanting to hug you and lift you and shield you from pain, and dry your tears. Wanting to talk to you as we ride in the car to work, wanting to laugh with you and make you smile. Wanting to let you know how beautiful and whole you are in me, to know that the satisfaction you search for is in nothing but me…
I can only hope you say hello some day, take my hands and let me lead you to the perfection only I can give.

I am a gentleman… my nature stops me from forcing myself on you. And so I stand aside and watch in pain…
You had me before hello… I need you to know that, just incase you’re wondering if I’ll still accept you if you decide to stretch out your hands to me in your brokenness.
I love you child... I love you with an everlasting love.
Please come to me, Please say hello... please melt into my love. It is pure, and it is true.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!" Psalm 139:15-17

Monday, March 4, 2013

Not Again...

Not sure how to react to death anymore. I hate the idea of having to come on here to talk about it, especially when it's someone so young.
But then there's a joy in knowing that there's a difference between 'eternal death' and 'eternal rest'.
I like to believe that this young man has been taken away in a chariot of glamour and glitz into eternal rest.
A place where he'll know no pain... A place where if he had the chance, he'll tell those who mourn him that he's never felt better and death just happens to be the best thing to have happened to him.

I hate to see those I care about hurt. I especially hate it when I'm not close enough to charm the pain out with my smile, and my hugs.(Yeah, humour keeps me from crying right now)
One thing I've come to understand is that God is still God, and nothing can stop Him from being perfectly good and kind and lovely... Not even our pain and questions. "If we live, we live to honour the Lord. If we die, we die to honour the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Rom 14:8

Whether you live or die, in sickness and in health... In joy and in pain. Through the thunderstorms and the sunshine... Live to honour the Lord with every breath...
To my friends who walk through this storm of losing a brother, I can only say God never fails, He's never bad, and as much as this hurts, we have no choice to see it as His goodness at play.


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.
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