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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Not Alone




You never feel more alone than when facing the passing of a very dear one. Even the closest people cannot come close enough. They can't sit with you deep inside your mind, your heart, to have a feel of that heavy weight of sadness, to breathe the thoughts and experiences that become solid as rock.

More piercing is when you are abandoned at the moment of deepest need by family, friends... I can't begin to imagine what Jesus felt when he faced his own loss, and everyone abandoned him. At that moment on the cross, he even felt God had abandoned him.

Yet, not alone.

How could we be? Did we create we? Can the clay say it is alone, when the thumbprints of the moulder resides everywhere and in it's innermost parts?

No, we are not alone. Jesus was not...even if he felt like that his final words were “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” Luke 23:46.  Those are the words of someone who knew they are not alone. 

Yes, the flesh constantly cries out, "I'm abandoned, woe is me!" but the truth speaks louder, I am with you always Matt 28:20. The Psalmist acknowledges this in Psalm 139. From the moment we took our first breath till we return to the one who gave us privilege to walk this earth as humans.

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" Isaiah 41:10
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deut 31:6

Therefore, the truth of God's words are lovely and comforting because it assures us that no matter what God calls us to do or what God permits to happen in our lives, God will be there with us. God will never leave or forsake us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Martyr Syndrome

My mother. She loves to talk and she will talk to anyone that will listen. Sometimes I like the stories, so I just kickback and listen. It was in one of such moments recently that I realized sharply. I've inherited a Martyr Syndrome not from my father but from my mother!

Now, what do I mean? Ever since I was younger, I was interested in people, I wanted to know what made them tick, why they did the things they did, why I did things. I've always felt strongly the desire to help people and sometimes would get annoyed if they did not need or rubbished my help. Now, unlike my mother, I don't go all out. My more introverted personality against her highly extroverted one, I think, puts me in check. I suspect my mum is ESFP, against my INFJ.

Yes, my more introverted personality which has a tendency to get lost in self, keeps me from thinking I have to break my back for other people or it could be I have fought to cultivate a more balanced worldview. I love to help people but there's a limit as I'm only human. When I do help, as I've grown older, I don't have a repo of 'good deeds I've done for others' I do it and gift it to the universe. The more I get to understand love and grace in Christ, the freer I feel to just give. But yes that syndrome.

I do pray that one day my mother will see the beauty of having such a personality that loves to help others, that she will empty her repo and rest in the splendid power of grace.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Ransom was Paid!



I sat there in my heartache, cold, without much to survive on. Constantly prodded, teased and insulted, I never knew I could escape. In short, I had lost all hope.
But, my heart cried out, it did, even when I had thought I had lost it all. I was answered. Indeed I was.

We don't think about it so much, but we are saved like someone who was kidnapped and has a ransomed paid for them. The kidnapped person cannot save themselves, so us in our sin.

The psalmist cries out

"Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love" Psalm 44:26


not because we deserve it, but because of love that never fails...The psalmist knew that we could not do it ourselves;

"Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God" Psalm 49:7

Elihu, one of Job's friend makes the statement, what if there was someone that could rescue us, what would happen?...

“But if an angel from heaven appears—
    a special messenger to intercede for a person
    and declare that he is upright—

he will be gracious and say,
‘Rescue him from the grave,
    for I have found a ransom for his life.’
Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s,
    firm and youthful again" Job 33

We then learn the good news that Jesus is our ransom!

"God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake" 1 Peter 1:20
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
"For you know that God paid "a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value." 1 Peter 1:18

      Oh what Joy, and Love for ever!!!


"He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me" Psalms 55:18 
"I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me" Psalms 71:23

"He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!" Psalm 111:9
 
"And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" Rev 5:9














.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Only Thing Love Regrets

Is not showing more love...


This has been the clearest thing to me and biggest learning of my year so far. I look into myself and see how much God has changed me, some may put it down to maturity, we might be able to fool others, but we can't fool ourselves. I look at some of the things I used to write just a few years back, I laugh, I shake my head, I thank God I'm not the same person.

Now, I see the folly of many of my ways, I see that there was absolutely no need to behave the way I did many times. Real love does not regret loving someone even if they turn out a fool, real love puts in the best and does not regret it. Many times I hesitate because I sense something negative from the person, so what? We as Christians have been called to partake in real love, love that has power to change things for good. Not only are we called, we have been empowered to walk that way. So what have I been waiting for?
Jesus Christ gave us a fantastic portrayal of what real love is about, laying one's life down for friends, even before they become friends... Love is a present and is present, it's not something that has an end, if it does, it wasn't love. Love is personal but not performance based. Love should be said but must be shown.
There so many things I look back that I would do differently in my relationships, my relationships with family, friends, love interests and even strangers. The only thing that hurts me is I had an opportunity to love and I didn't do it. *I'm literally in tears as I write this* I repent of all the times I have not loved as I should have.
I'm grateful that today is another day, another opportunity to love truly. I know certain things go against my personality, but I'm operating under a new identity.  My feelings take me the opposite way many time, but love transcends feelings because it's focus is the good of the other. I don't know how I'm going to do it but I know God answers prayers.

-------------------------
Essential Reading

Bible.
Kierkegaard's Works of Love.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What does John 15 really tell us





I must have read this passage a hundred times. The imagery is clearly very interesting but it only clicked recently after having a chat about this passage and what it really means. When we read a book one must always read within context, so who exactly was Jesus talking to in John 15 and why, let's delve in.

It really starts from John 13. Jesus was talking to his disciples at the 'Last Supper' These disciples were Jews. We tend to forget that most of Jesus message was aimed at the Jews. The imagery of the vine is one that Jews who read the scriptures would have been familiar with (Isaiah 5, Ezekiel 15). Also, Judas Iscariot left the meeting to carry out his plan. So this message was very important in the light of everything happening..
 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Jesus was telling his disciples that He was the The True Vine, in contrast to the useless vine which Israel became. Jesus states that He is the source of life, and anyone who doesn't stay/dwell in him, won't have life, won't have the Holy Spirit, therefore cannot bear fruit. If the Jews who already know about God, know about the Messiah don't stay in the truth and come to believe in Jesus they certainly have no part in the vine. Judas was a stark example, he looked like a disciple, he talked like a disciple but he wasn't really connected to the vine! and these people will be exposed at the end of the day
Jesus goes further to make it clearer.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other

We need to ask ourselves as Christians, what do we really believe? why are we Christian? If we are Christian for any other reason than, believing in, trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, we need to repent and connect to the true vine. Looking like a Christian, walking like a Christian and talking like a Christian will get us no where.
Only those who are trusting in Jesus for life (John 3:16) are truly connected to the vine and they now have the power through the Holy Spirit to love truly.

Friday, January 22, 2016

You Look Very New Year


I thank God for the old.
Looking forward to what this year will bring as it's the first year I am completely clueless. It could actually be the year where everything is completely changed, I'd turn 30, I'd get married, I'd move into a new home. I already cut my hair on christmas day 2015 so I'm out of 'new things' but the good thing is, I look very new year.

2016.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wow o Wow



I can't believe how long it's been since I've been here and I was on the verge of criticizing other people for not updating their blogs.

Anyhoo, I'm at the state of flux in my life again, but the good things I have are;

1. The Love and grace of God, the more I learn about God, the more amazing it is.
2. Love of a good man, the has to be the most reluctant thing I've ever written, but you know when you find something good, you really know.
3. Optimistic about the futurw, I honestly don't know where I will be next month, but wherever it is, i know it will come together for good.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Like Rain



Exquisite courtesy
That you should see me
Immeasurable grace
For you to believe
That I, the faceless child of darkness
Could enter into hallowed halls of love,
Could touch and find no shame in touching
Could hope, and find hope not in vain
A peace beyond my understanding
Has fallen on my head like gentle rain

- Unknown

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bergamot - The Scent of Childhood


No weekend was complete without getting your hair did. From all-backs to woven thread, you simply could not resume a school week without a head of fresh glistening patterns. My mother knew how to make hair, my aunt knew how to make hair, our house-help knew how to make hair. So there was simply no excuse. This ritual began with setting up the space, the joko, the cutting comb and then the 'cream' the favoured one in my house was the blue cream.



It wasn't till I got grown, got into essential oils that I found out that the scent which made my weekends complete was Bergamot. I still like it and the memories are good.

Bergamot is an oil gotten from Bergamot Orange which is cultivated in parts of Italy and Turkey (heard Columbus took it from the Canary Islands to Italy). It is used in perfumes, tea, sweets and, you guessed it, hair products. Why? it soothes the scalp, aids hair growth and makes hair extra shiny.



Bergamot also helps to relieve anxiety and depressed moods. So, why not pick up a bit of this. Though it's hard to find this blue hair cream anymore, the scent of my childhood will always live with me and in the form of my little bottle of bergamot oil.



Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Challenge

I had already planned and written it down to put this post up today. so, I was quite happy that this landed into my 'lap' this morning to make reference to. The question is, at what point is it ok to be racist just as long as you are fighting for women rights

Equality and Gender.

These are questions I'm beginning to ask myself whenever the subject arises. What do people mean by equality. Quite frankly I do not know. There's only one sense of 'Equality' I do recognize, it's that every human life has an intrinsic priceless value because they are all created by The Creator. Coming from that angle has so many implications, but I won't go into that now. 

However, how can we expect to have equal numbers of men and women everywhere? On the other hand, some argue that gender is not important. If it weren't what are we fighting for? Why are people involved in complex operations to switch their bodies? Why will it matter if there are 6 people who look like men and 2 who look like women on a conference panel?, if this was of no consequence.

Sexism

Under this is usually the fight against Patriarchy. I am not a fan of those who put blames on systems of things. What are systems made of?, they are made of people, and until those people are changed, you will not have a changed system. So I don't think patriarchy is the issue, I am certain that people are the issue.


Feminism 

I have found no need whatsoever to identify myself in this way, because 1. some things being fought for are things that a decent human being should fight for, 2. There is such a thing as responsibility. Let us take rape for example, many talk about victim-shaming etc, I understand the issues. However it is necessary to take precautions wherever you can, e.g not getting drunk and out of mind, it's only too easy for anyone to take advantage. This is why we lock our doors at night.

Now with all of these concepts, they are all fundamental flawed. As a Christian, you know, that's the way I see the world, there's a dire problem of sin. This will corrupt every single venture we go into, that's why we can have racist feminists. Why? because sin is not a thing you do, it's your make up being born into this world. So it doesn't matter what way you were born, you need to be born again. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

III - The Prayer and The Promise

Grant, gracious Savior, we pray, perspectives as seen from your throne.

Our world and our deep, wicked way, we cherished and not left alone.

Between the glad grief of the cross, and cosmic renewal to come.

To servce you afresh at all cost, to sing now, eternity's song.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have troubles but take heart! I have overcome the world"


II - The Savior

The vision we need to transcend this cyclical pattern of wrong looks back in the history of men, forward to time's setting sun.

To gaze at Golgotha provides unshakable vantage of view.

Creator of time in it's tides, the judge standing under review.

The incarnate lover, alone, bright glory enshrouded in grey.

Perfection that wills to atone and grace by rejection repaid.

Yet forward our gaze is drawn.

Spectacular vistas are spread, the living One whom we once slew now speaks, and his voice wakes the dead. And him we thought false, we perceive to be lifted, the Faithful and True.

The crucified now stands as judge, his justice no man can gainsay, and only his death can expuge the multiplied sins of our way.

The earth and it's heav'n cannot stand before his pure unshaded light, but these are remade by his hand, evoking unbounded delight.

The dark shades are no longer seen, and untainted purity reigns, and gracing the whole is a stream of unbroken, unrestrained praise.

- Author Unknown



I - Mankind

The hurts of a grim wary world, the greed of an all-selfish race.

The barbs filled with malice and hurled by men void of vision and grace.

The children who die without food, still others, ripped out from the womb.

Cheap culture defended as good near ghettoes of filth, rat and gloom.

Armed missiles with power to melt the shiny new toys that we buy, the alien fear that is felt by people too guilty to die.

The endless, vain idols of men, the worship of fleeting applause.

The dollar, the deutsche mark, the yen as bases of wisdom and laws.

Religion that pampers to self, and cares not a whit for the damned.

The elderly put on the shelf, and the truth manufactured and canned.


O Christ! These are ugly, deep stains and festering sores. 

This decay conspires to call forth refrains of defeat, gross self-pity, delay.

Responses by men seem so frail, freighted with motives quite mixed.

Situations of promise soon fail, the cries of Cassandra now fixed.

In memories that once thought she lied prompt fear and despair in the few.

But new generations, untried, can scoff at her warnings anew.

We'll build a new world, they proclaim and new despots come to the throne.

The wearisome cycle again. the new god is yesterday's clone.

- Author unknown

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Power of Forgiveness.



There's a certain magic about stories. Some just never leave you for your lifetime. As a Christian no story comes close to the story of God's love as communicated through the bible however there are a number of human stories that leave you completely floored. There is one of such stories I don't think I'll ever forget. It is one of hurt, betrayal and forgiveness.

A friend told me this story. We had been having a discussion of married life and to be honest, it still frightens me but I thought I had my mind made up on certain things. 'If he cheats?' I was asked. ''There's no way I could...'' I replied.

They had been married for 13yrs. They loved each other and seemed to have a very happy life, until he started to see another woman. What started out as random chats evolved into a full blown affair. The children began to get a whiff of what was happening upstairs and one day, she decided to call for a separation. He didn't want this due to an image crisis but she was adamant. 
After being separated for a year. He broke off all the outside relationships he had and went to beg her. After 3 excruciating years they got back together. They've been married 35yrs now, and the pain of his cheating though dulled is a reminder of the grace and forgiveness they have experienced. Not long after they got back together those years ago, my friend was born. 

It blew me away, this person standing before me, telling me this story would not have even been existing if someone decided forgiveness was out of the question. It convicted me, when Jesus says we should love, this is what it's about. God help us!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

JOY!

image from http://www.thelovelymosaic.com


Today is Easter Sunday and what can I say but JOY to the World because Jesus Christ lives! He rose up that day, many many years ago and continues to be our truest expression of mercy, grace and love.

These past few months have been an exercise  in learning what it means to be joyful. I have had a taste of it and can only get better. It all started with cultivating an attitude for gratitude inspired by Paul and the Philippians. Paul was in 'chains', yet he said in Phil 4 

" I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him, Jesus Christ, who gives me strength."

I think this is just amazing. Our joy which comes through contentment isn't about being satisfied with the situation we are in, rather it is about being satisfied in God, in Jesus who gives us the strength and reason to be joyful! Nehemiah 8:10 becomes more real "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength" 

The book of Philippians is such a book of light. Paul employs us many times to rejoice (joy, re-joy), to be grateful, to be thankful because of who/what we have in Christ! This attitude has really helped me and people have even noticed a change in me. Every time I want to complain, which solves nothing, my mind switches to something to be thankful for. I don't always get it right, but I'm so glad and grateful I'm on the right path.

Make a choice to rejoice today :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

True Story: The Soap Opera (II)




I was going to write a long story continuing from part one of this saga True Story: The Soap Opera (I) but so much has changed in me, which I can only thank God for. (if you have specific questions, ask away)

A Summary 

 S and M got married in November last year and just before the wedding, I sent an email to M we hadn't been in touch since April of the year. I wanted to just let it all go from my head. I hoped that M was marrying S for better reasons than being 'available' and even if so, hope that it grows into something better than that. 
 

2014
I thought I was leaving it all behind in 2013, but this year M starts to endorse me on Linkedin, trying to call me, which I ignored. S eventually sent me an email last month, which I decided not to read, I forwarded the email to a friend who I thought would have an objective view on things, and she told me I made a good decision not to read the email. I don't need to rehash any events, what is done is done. I have forgiven and I hope they forgive, because starting a marriage with guilt and insecurity is certainly a terrible burden to bear.


Lessons Learnt and Moving on.

I had to examine myself to understand what really went wrong. Above all, I know that I can trust God that whatever happened,( happens) is for our own good and I see that clearly.

1. I've been saved from having a relationship with someone who wanted to eat as many cakes as possible while having it.

2. I've had to repent from attitudes like A. People regretting if they let me go B. Feeling resentful when people get married C. People from different spheres of my life knowing each other etc

3. I've had to learn to speak up where there are wrongs, or I feel wrongs happening. I shouldn't wait for people to change, they most likely wouldn't. Don't cover up wrongs or make an excuse for them.

4. I've learned to love 'enemies' my hard feelings are fading away faster than I can imagine. Will I become friends with them? I don't think so, S and M have terrible track records, and I'm very picky with friendships. You can still love without being friends. 

5. There's so much to look forward to, no need to keep looking back

6. I learned to trust God much more, and the joy of knowing what the most important relationship in my life is. I thank God so much for the knowledge of Christ.

Cheers to living on the edge with Christ keeping us through and through!!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

You have Everything

The first advice I've gotten this year from my Uncle, the most unconventional pastor, no he doesn't have a ministry' is.

"Stop looking for 'things', Peace, Joy, Happiness etc..God doesn't give 'things'. God gave Christ and what is greater than Christ?"

If you have Christ, you have everything you need because there is nothing greater, logical. I was watching Cool Runnings yesterday and the coach said something connected to this because 'things' no matter how wonderful will never be enough for us.

Irv: [telling Derice why he cheated] It's a fair question. It's quite simple, really. I had to win. You see, Derice, I had made winning my whole life, and when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. Understand?
Derice Bannock: No, I don't understand. You won two gold medals. You had it all.
Irv: Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2014.

May love guide and keep us.
May grace strength our hearts
May they comfort us through the highs and the lows.

Best wishes.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Dating Business


I never understood the thing, and I am just starting to realize why. Sure, I have been on dates, many. With Black guys, White guys, Asian guys. Picnics, formal dinners. I enjoy it sometimes, dates that involve food are the trickiest, because I'm not very good at controlling a fork and a knife, at the same time. I enjoy being with guys, chatting and just generally going about. So why haven't I ever had a boyfriend? (apart from hating the term so much)

I remember when I was about 16 and a friend of mine sent an email to me about 'liking, loving' I was furious, he even ended up in my uni which was just weird, we never clicked again. I was always fascinated by people who turn up one day, and everyone is like they are dating. I wondered, who asked whom, how does the guy ask? when does he ask?, what does he say? will you be my girlfriend?. I got a dose of that soon enough and what a weird thing it was. I asked a friend who came again with 'liking, loving' I was in my 20s now. I asked, 'What will change?' He had said to me, 'of course I want to date you' and I just left with thinking, what would that mean? apart from hanging out as per usual, do I now have to kiss the guy and have sex? is that what dating is about? 

When I became close to a particular guy, I would watch him asleep in my bed and would think, it is appealing to 'own' someone, it is such a high that this one person in the whole wide world wants to be with just you...and also that you've got this one person you can be anything to but isn't that what a marriage is? How do you go back from 'owning' a person to seeing someone else over them, that hurts! Dating is neither here or there, but the stakes are still high! Crazy! it's Limbo.

I told someone recently who had asked about the alternative to dating. I replied 'none' Friendship is enough. If you have friends, I'm talking about real friends in the true sense of the word, and the guy decides to apply for a visa out of the friend zone and deep down you really like him as well, what is dating going to add? If you can't sit with your friend and discuss important decisions of life, who else?

Friend zone is the best zone in life. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

With Friends like This...

Me & Ham (2008)

You have hammered.

Sometimes it takes a bit of retrospection (casting of the eyes backward contemplatively ) to truly appreciate what you've had or the journey you have been on. I don't have many words to describe how grateful and thankful I am for this girl. I never knew that, at the moment we took the picture above in school that we would still be friends now, 5years after but time doth fly.

Ham wrote an amazing post about our journey HERE one I really can't compose. Read and appreciate, don't just see it as a story of both of us, but see it as an example of what loyalty and friendship means.

Love always to Ham.