Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

It was not about the number
But about the weight
Of the balls in my hands
As I did the balancing act;
Everything went smoothly
Until the weights changed
When one was not in the right proportion
The whole act failed;

I ask for the Spirit of Wisdom,
Understanding and Discernment
That I may know what tasks to balance
And know what proportion they should be;
May I not take on
More than what I can bear
Lest tomorrow I be broken
By things that make no sense;

I open my heart and whole
To Your Sweet Counsel
That has never failed me
But has kept me on the straight path;
Teach me, Oh Lord
The Balancing Act
And The Balancing Art
And the meaning of Moderation.

The Inspiration
Miriam was the head usher in church. Ever since she found God, she was so thrilled that she decided to give all her time to God. She was in church day in day out. She cleaned the church, she trained new intakes to her department, she fasted and prayed. Ever since she found God, she stopped cooking for her husband, she stopped taking care of the children and she stopped working. When her son was involved in a fatal accident, she kept on praying. She never for one day looked at the boy. Fortunately she had an elder daughter who gave up everything to look after her brother (I think in this family they know how to give up things to focus on one thing). And the girl vowed never to know God or go to church for she felt that was the cause of the neglect the family was going through. Before I go into the message for today, let me say something here. As a child of God, you are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven [Matthew 5:14; 16]. You have the primary assignment of going into the world to preach the Good News [Mark 16:15]. People should not reject God because of you. Back to my illustration. Giving all your time to God is different from giving all of yourself to God. On thinking about what had happened to that family, I wondered, “When people say children of some Men of God are bad, could it be that the men of God spend so much time with God that they forget their families?” It is not an easy task juggling the work of God with other things. Maybe that’s why Paul advises that it is good for a man not to marry since an unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs [1 Corinthians 7: 1; 32].

Sammy is someone passionate about whatever he is doing. He is result-oriented. He likes challenges. He is motivated by achievement. The company called him a high-flyer. His wife called him a workaholic. His children knew him as someone who gave their mother money. The Teacher said, “So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from me? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him…” [Ecclesiastics 2:22-25]. I remember one evening when we lost a staff. The next morning he was replaced and work continued. I realized that we are not that indispensable. Things would still go on without us. It is only our purpose on earth that cannot go on without us because it is unique to each and every one of us. Nevertheless, whatever you have to do, please do it diligently.

Maxwell is a lover of life. He is sociable. He is the heart of the party. All his days are vacations. His mother calls him lazy. His father calls him his mother’s son. One day he opened his eyes to realize that time and chance had happened to him but they all passed him by. But then the Teacher had said, “I said to myself, ‘Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless… Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure…” [Ecclesiastics 2:1, 10-11]. And he concluded that it was all meaningless.

Everything seemed to contradict themselves. Should we not give all of our time to God? (Now, if this is your calling, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving all of your time to God. A call from God should be obeyed to the letter). Should we not work to make a living? Should we not seek pleasure, vacations and enjoy ourselves? Why did the Teacher say it was meaningless? I wondered and pondered. God is faithful. HE answers. I was discussing one day about something entirely different from this and I was told, “Do things in moderation”. I had read that word ‘Moderation” somewhere in the Bible, you know sometimes we just read the Bible like novel not knowing we should meditate on it day and night. So I asked, “What do you mean by do things in moderation?” Obviously it means to do things moderately, but I needed to understand that word because God was talking to me through him.

My spirit is excited as I want to share the meaning of “Moderation” with you. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defines “Moderation” as “The quality of being reasonable and not being extreme”. Then I remembered the Word of God, which HE spoke many months ago concerning my wondering and pondering on everything that was said to be meaningless. It says, “Let your moderation be known to all men” [Philippians 4:5]. The Lord was simply telling me, “Be reasonable in all you do, do not do things in extremity.” While I was yet thinking about today’s message, I had already taken days off just to be like Maxwell (because some people say I behave like Sammy). That explains why you have not been seeing posts on the blog in a while.

Beloved Child of God, are you living your life in extremity? Are you chasing after the wind? Has anyone hinted you that you don’t have a life? Or are you doing great with the balancing act? The balancing of God, Family and Work (in that order of priority)? You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you [Philippians 4:13]. Let your moderation be known to all men. You do not need to go to the extreme to prove your point.
Remain blessed and enjoy the rest of your day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Worth of Your Past

I see what’s right with my past

How I dreaded a visit to that place
That place where all my hurt unfolds
That place where my guilt is magnified
That place where my mistakes stare me in the face;
Too often on my onward journey
You have made me go back
After the visit my heart sinks, I hide in my closet
And I say, Oh God, my past has done it again!

How foolish was I not to discern
That each time You took me back was for a reason
To show me how You’ve been there through it all
To show me I am a conqueror through Christ Jesus;
Why were my eyes not enlightened
To see that You were teaching me that You had overcome all things
Yet I was listening to the lies of the enemy
And making no progress in life;

Now I am ready to embark on this visit
And be ready to take the lessons you want me to learn
Rather than giving in to self-condemnation
But accepting that I am indeed a new creature;
From now on I choose to see what’s right with my past
And not pray that it goes away
For every thing that happened was for a reason
And I make the best of today because of lessons from yesterday;

I just want you to know that I treasure my past
And I am ready to go visiting with you
For my past is the only memento I have
Of your love and faithfulness
And my reassurance
That you will always be here for me.

The Inspiration
When the doctor asked Ejiro what were the symptoms of his illness, he replied, “I have a sore throat, I feel feverish, I have been having dry cough, my mouth tastes bitter in the morning…” He hesitated for a while then continued, “Doctor, I used to smoke even as a born-again Christian. I suppose this is a terminal disease as a result of that!”

The doctor, who was taking down notes looked up at Ejiro and said, “You simply have symptoms of Malaria and that can be treated. This is rainy season and every day I see patients with the same symptoms. Most people fall sick because they call sickness. There is nothing terminal about what you are experiencing.”

It was clear that Ejiro believed that his past had control over him. He was living in his past. The past should not be your dwelling place but something which you take lessons from as you move forward. This is one thing we should do: forget those things which are behind, and reach forth to those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus [Philippians 3:13-14]. But the Devil is awake devising strategies to steal, kill and destroy. So he brings to your remembrance the things of your past which you so desire to forget. For example, a man who was a homosexual before giving his life to Christ. The devil reminds him of this and goes ahead to tell him it is possible he will never get married because no woman will ever want him on knowing the truth. Strange but true, this thing called “Past” has been an unwelcome august visitor in the lives of many. Sometimes we find ourselves there – it does not have to come to us. Whether it comes or whether we go there, it can be associated with bad news, destruction (friendship, families, self-worth, faith, etc). It even causes inferiority complex. Scientists have realized how annoying this “Past” can be and have developed drugs to help erase the past.

Now before you take the drugs:
The past is not always about bad news. There is also hope for the future. The Word of God says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17]. The moment you confess your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour, you are a new creature. The original translation of the new creature meant the creature never existed before. Such a creature never had a past. God forgives and forgets everything concerning the past of such a person.

The worth of your past is that God was with you all through the experiences you had. You are alive today to tell someone, “don’t drive after drinking,” and this saves his life rather than focusing on the death of your friend that night you drove after drinking (and saying you will never forgive yourself for it). You are alive today to tell that young girl, “don’t tease your uncle” rather than telling yourself that the rape incident will imprison you from a life of joy and happiness. A lady said when she was an unbeliever she had 6 abortions but now she’s a born-again Christian and married, she’s scared that she may not take in. What nonsense has the devil done? If she was still an unbeliever probably she may not have given conception a thought and would have taken in again but all of a sudden the enemy reminds her of her past and she feels taking in a 7th time might be an issue. Dear friend, God did not put six eggs in your womb. HE put millions in there.

Whenever something happens in your life and you are tempted to say “It is because of bla bla bla that I did yesterday…” quickly recognize that it is the spirit of self-condemnation. Use the truth of the Word of God to counter such negative thoughts. Self-condemnation is one of the deceptions of the devil so you could keep your eyes on yourself and not focused on Jesus Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [Romans 8:1].

Try to see what’s right with your past. I agree that we are where we are today because of the places we’ve been, people we’ve met and words we’ve said, but more importantly we are here today because HE gave us another day. So many people that have passed through what you’ve been though did not make it to this day. They don’t have a past to worry about but they don’t have today or a future either.

Today is another chance to experience the love and awesomeness of God. HE has given you another day to bless you (not to curse you). HE is a good God. Today you can reflect HIS glory. Today you can be a testimony. Today you can save a soul. Today somebody can be blessed because of your past.

Letting go of the past is not easy but it is accomplishable, a gradual process with the help of the Holy Spirit. I was blessed by the message in PLUGIN “Let Go, It’s over” and I encourage you to read it. As you daily renew your mind with the Word of God, you will realize that you are blessed, and visiting your past will be like visiting an amusement park. You will laugh not cry. HE has redeemed you and restored you. He has restored the joy of your salvation.

Have a lovely day and look forward to tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Meditating on the Word of God

I Have Meditated

Forgive me Oh Lord
For I have sinned in my heart
I have filled my thoughts with things I should not
Creating no room for you to dwell in;

I have meditated on the words I heard on the news
Now abides in me the spirit of fear, not faith nor peace
I have meditated on the lyrics of that song
Now I lust after those things that erode my soul
I have meditated on those words said against me
Now inferiority, hatred and unforgiveness are growing in me
I have meditated on those material things
That rob me of my riches and your purpose for them;

Soften my heart that I may permit the entrance of your word
Let me love your word for their magical touch
Teach me how to meditate on them
And let my thoughts be acceptable to you.

The Inspiration
“You are the fattest, ugliest person I’ve ever known. If I looked like you, I’d kill myself.”
Imagine someone said such words to you, touching your most sensitive spot (you know how ladies can be when it comes to weight). I heard them spoken to someone. She wrote them down to remember them. She said them over and over again in her heart and to people she narrated the incident to. And do you know what happened to those words? A lot. 1. She started believing them. 2. She started having low esteem of herself 3. She hated the person(s) that said those words to her and all she wanted was to see their doom as well as take revenge on them. She wanted to hurt them terribly. She wanted to speak death upon their lives because she was so hurt. The list is endless. Every time she looked at the mirror, all she saw was the fat, ugly girl who should have long been dead because no one wanted to be like her. She failed to see the gorgeous eyes, the soft palms people always wanted to touch and the delicious meals she was known for. I’m sure the only things that held her back from suicide were the pain involved and the US visa lottery she had been applying for.

Let’s go over what she did with those words.
1. She accepted them.
2. She said them over and over again,
3. She read them (because she had written them down)
4. She gave them some thought when she was not doing anything (and even when she was washing plates or sweeping the compound, she had the ability to go over those words).

The result was that they became “alive” to her and resulted in other (negative) consequences.

What had been done with those words is simple – they were meditated on. The dictionary defines MEDITATION as the practice of thinking deeply in silence; serious thoughts on a particular subject that somebody writes down or speaks. Most places in the Bible where we come across the word meditation, from the Hebrew translation this means MUSING – to think carefully about something for a time, ignoring what is happening around you. God gave man the ability to make choices. For us to make choices we have to think. Therefore, every one of us can think and hence can meditate.

Meditating over words has the power to make words alive to you. The life in those words can affect your spirit, soul and body. Meditation can be short or long. The longer the meditation, the more powerful will be the resulting effect (I think). David said, “Let…the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD…” [Psalm 19:14]. He was aware that whatever we meditate on becomes alive and potent. Think about it – how many sins did you commit without first committing them in your heart? Before you told a lie, did you not think about it? Before you sinned, did you not think it in your heart? Thank God that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [Romans 8:1], I was simply trying to give examples. Similarly, before you decided to look after orphans and widows (which God accepts as pure and faultless [James 1:27]) you thought it in your heart. Before the word “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” made sense to you, you had to think about it (or has this word not yet clicked in you?).

What are you meditating on today? What are you spending time thinking about? Are they acceptable in the sight of God? Are you thinking about the cares of life, the words someone said to you, the property you desire, the person you’ve placed in your heart above God, the things you don’t have or the past that HE has forgotten? Or are you meditating on the sweet word of God, the most powerful words you could ever know, the truest words you could ever hear, the word whose entrance bring light, the only word that became flesh? Meditating on the Word of God yields only positive things.

Take some time out today. Meditate on HIS word. Read it, think about it, and say it. The great news is that no matter what you are going through, no matter what you are thinking, there is a Word for you – a word that makes all the difference in the world.

The reason why we should meditate is clearly stated in Joshua 1:8. We are instructed not to let this book of the law depart from our mouth; we should meditate on it day and night, so that we may be careful to do everything written in it. The benefit of meditation is that then we will be prosperous and successful. What more can we ask for?

Finally, Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things [Philippians 4:8]. For me, one thing that fits into this category is the Word of God. I hope we share the same view here.

Have a peaceful week ahead.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Not About Some Things...

It's All About You (and Who I am in You)

It’s not about the physical
Though many give You glory for it
It has also brought close those that caused grief
‘Cos I didn’t know it’s not about the looks

It’s not about the status
For such things are changeable
How high can I go, how much can I have
There's a limit to things that are not eternal

It’s not about the education
For I’ve strived so hard to show I’m better
Spending my life in competition
To attain things that give no fulfillment

It’s not about the gifts and talents
That make me try so hard to show I’m different
When already I am unique
And you have given me individualism

It’s not about those things I call strengths
That make me feel my achievements are my making
For I am nothing without You
And my strength I draw from You

It’s not about the adornment
Of clothes and jewelry that tell lies
When deep down I feel emptiness and worthlessness
And the adornment is nothing but a façade

It’s not about the eloquence
That makes me place myself on a pedestal
For even he that can’t read speaks much better
As long as he has wisdom from You

As I stand, a reflection of Your glory
I realize all I am is not about me
It’s not about what I thought and presumed
But all about You and who I am in You.

Restoration Today

Thanks for Restoration

I thought the end had come
I felt all hope was lost
My eyes could not see the future
I wanted to continue no more;
Then You came into my life
And showed me the meaning of love
You alone knew all I had been through
You alone knew what to do;
You made me forget the many years lost
You restored my joy at no cost
You gave me hope and a future
You gave me reason to go on;
How I love you, My God and King
In a moment you restored everything
Like You had been waiting for the perfect time
To teach me some things about You;
I just want to thank You Lord
For being My Restorer
For giving me all I thought was gone
For being a God that never fails.

The Inspiration
I remember that day of baby dedication. The couple came on stage and after prayers upon their babies, they were told to make a statement. They narrated the numerous miscarriages the woman had yet after many years she had twins. That can only be of God. Our Almighty God is a restorer.

The devil has come to steal, kill and destroy. He has come to steal time, joy, kill dreams, and destroy possessions. But Jesus Christ had come so we will have life and have it more abundantly [John 10:10]. Everything the devil can take and has taken from you, HE will restore.

Our God can do anything and no one can stop HIM [Job 42:1]. Job was a man that lost practically every thing he possessed. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. This shows that being blameless does not exempt you from being visited by the devil. Despite all Job lost, despite all the time that elapsed (and seemed wasted) the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before [Job 42:10]. That is how God restores.

Child of God, the years may have passed you by in some areas of your life. But I want you to know God’s promise for you. HE says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will you be ashamed.” [Joel 2:25-26] HE will make it up to you. HIS restoration is much more than food. HE will do a miracle for you and take away the shame that has come with the lost years. Is it your finances, job, promotion, spouse, children, relationship, possessions, trust in God, dreams, peace, joy and happiness? What ever it is, HE will restore much more than you imagine. HIS way is perfect [2 Samuel 22:31]. HE has made everything beautiful for its own time [Ecclesiastics 3:11]. No matter what you face that seem to contradict God’s plan, these should not be barriers to believing in HIM, but rather opportunities to discover that God gives lasting solutions to life’s problems. When HE restores, HE restores completely.

There is restoration for you today. Wherever you are God can reach you. Whatever your situation is, it is not too difficult for HIM. Open your heart to HIM and trust HIM. HE is never late.

Have a peaceful day ahead.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Some Physical Characteristics of God

I know You for I’ve seen You

You are real, Oh King
In every part of my being
I see You in Your creations
I see You in all that You do
Your eyes watch over me with loving kindness
Your ears hear me, even my thoughts and whispers
Your face shines upon me day and night
From Your mouth proceeds all I need for life;
Your strong, mighty hand keeps me safe
Your heart is set on me for always
From Your breath power emanates
From Your voice great things originate
I know You for I’ve seen You
In all that You do
And I want You to know
I love You so.

The Inspiration
My spirit dances with excitement each time I am reminded that we are made in HIS image [Gen 1:27]. Yet, I have often wished to know how HE looks. In my days of ignorance I asked a friend, “Have you seen God? Does HE truly look like us? I imagine HIM to be one giant sitting on a golden seat with a golden scepter in HIS hand, with Jesus sitting by HIS right hand.” She laughed. She replied, “I see God in everything and everyone around me because they were created out of HIM.” Then she added, “Please do not try to give God something from your imagination – that would be making HIM look like an idol. God is much more than that.”

Then I did not understand her but today I know that God is much more than that imagination of mine (what an imagination!) There are so many facets of God. Describing HIM will make a book. So I choose to summarize it as “God is Love” to make life simple for me.

Today I’d like to share with you some things about God, what I call HIS physical characteristics.

The Eye(s) of God
Child of God, you can live and sleep in peace because the eye of God is upon you [Psalm 34:15]. They run to and fro throughout the whole earth, that HE may show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him [2 Chronicles 16:9]. For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his goings [Proverbs 5:21]. HE sees everything that is going on. HIS eyes preserve knowledge [Proverbs 22:12]

The Ear(s) of God
Did you ever wonder if HE hears you? Call upon HIM any day any time for as long as you live for HE has inclined HIS ears unto you [Psalm 116:2]. HIS ears are not heavy that HE cannot hear [Isaiah 59:1], HIS ears are open unto your prayers [1 Peter 3:12].

The Face of God
Part of your daily prayer should be let the face of the Lord shine upon you. When HE shines HIS face upon you, HIS graciousness goes with it [Numbers 6:25]. No matter what you are going through, seek HIS face and you shall be saved from that circumstance [Psalm 80:3]. There is restoration when we seek HIS face [1 Kings 13:6].

The Mouth of God
Whatever comes from the mouth of God is established. That is why we need to hold on steadfastly to the Word of God. HE has made us know that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from HIS mouth [Deuteronomy 8:3]. You shall sit under your vine and under your fig tree (enjoy the most prosperous tranquility); no one shall make you afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has said it [Micah 4:4].

The Nostrils of God
There is so much power in God – it even exudes from HIS breath. At the blast of the breath of HIS nostrils, the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered, at HIS rebuke [Psalm 18:15]. Those that plow iniquity and sow wickedness, by the breath of HIS nostrils are they consumed [Job 4:8-9].

The Hand and Arm of God (and HIS right Hand)
The Hand of God is mighty [Joshua 4:24]. When it is upon us, we are strengthened and we can do great things [Ezra 7:28; Acts 11:21]. HIS arm is mighty, strong is HIS right hand and high is HIS right hand [Psalm 89:13]. The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: HE turns it wherever HE wills [Proverbs 21:1]. Therefore no barrier is too great for you to overcome because HE can make things happen in your favour. The Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save [Isaiah 59:1]. No matter how deep in sin or in any situation you feel you are, know that HIS hand can reach you and deliver you. From the hand of God, you will eat and drink and enjoy good in your labour [Ecclesiastics 2:24].

The Voice of God
We are instructed to hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord [Exodus 15:26] for many blessings will follow. When God thunders marvelously with HIS voice, HE does great things which we cannot comprehend [Job 37:5]. HIS voice is powerful and full of majesty [Psalm 29:3-9].

The Heart of God
Your body is the temple of the Lord – there the Holy Spirit resides. The Heart of God shall be there perpetually [1 Kings 9:3].

I hope with these words, you’ve learnt something about God.

Have a glorious weekend ahead.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Temple Keeping

My Body – Your Temple
You left the Temples
Of the times past
Of gold and precious stones
Of glory untold
To come dwell in me
To find rest in me
That nothing shall come between
You and me;
How honoured am I
That you chose my body
To be your temple
To display your glory
That many will see
And bless your name
And worship you
And love You more;
And all I need to
Is keep this temple in top form
Ensure all parts function
And every part is at your disposal;
With all that You’ve given
I present my body to You
Your glorious temple
Ever ready for Your use.

The Inspiration
I can recall when I first moved into my apartment. Everything was in good working condition. I hoped it will remain the same. With time, the harmattans made the door stiff and I ignored the cracks. The rains left stains on the net – I was too busy to clean them. The water made most metal rust – including the hook in the WC. One day I realized that the door handle was off, the net was weak and the toilet could not flush. They were no longer in good working condition. It did not happen over night. I had been negligent.

The same thing can happen to our bodies. If we do not take care of every part of our body, one day we’d realize they are not working as well as they should. This does not have to do with old age. Some young people today suffer from sickness and diseases simply because they did not eat right or take good care of their bodies.

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own? [1 Corinthians 6:19]. As a child of God, the Holy Spirit resides in you. God wants to use your body to bring light to the world, to bring glory to HIS Name and to restore the world to HIS original plan. HE needs you and every part of you. Very often a discussion about the body being the temple of the Lord is attributed to accepting your righteousness in Christ Jesus and hence keeping the body holy. This remains true. However, today we will focus on your diet and health habits. God had put in place plans to ensure you are healthy and free from sickness and diseases. He has provided all that pertains to life – importantly food. Are you aware of these? Are you taking care of your health and diet?

Having a healthy and balanced diet is one way of preventing illness. This leaves your body fit for purpose. Is your diet rich in vitamins and mineral salts, balanced with all the nutrients, or is it heavy with cholesterol and junk? Daniel and his friends fed for ten days on vegetables and water, and ended up looking healthier and better nourished than those who ate the royal food [Daniel 1:10-15]. Their senses were alert as well. Do not underestimate what fruits and vegetables can do to your body. We live in a world where junk food is the order of the day. They look and smell good but have little relevant nutritional value. They do more harm than good. Even being slim (like I am) is no excuse for taking excessive fatty and high-cholesterol-content food. Some day you are likely to face the consequences. Eat healthily. There are lots of information on appropriate dietary needs specially for you. Take out time to find out.

Train your digestive system to allow for effective bowel movement. This helps to remove lots of toxic substances from the body. Don’t be a closed system. A lot of germs, bacteria, etc. are flushed out through our excretory system.

How do we get the oxygen that purifies the blood? Through the working of the lungs. So what are you inhaling today? Is it fuel? Smoke? Carbon monoxide? Or do you take out time to stay with nature where you can get fresh air to revitalize you? Help your lungs to help you. Now the blood is being pumped by the heart. Let me take you to an area we like to avoid – exercise. Are you warming up the heart, sending the blood to all parts of the body and excreting the sweat that flushes out waste matter? You can take quick walks and some jogs if you want to avoid strenuous exercises. But really, there should not be anything stopping you from exercising. You might feel you are young, or you come from a family where all live till 100 years. It is the way you take care of your body now that will determine how healthy it will be in the future.

Of course, don’t stress your body. Your body needs rest. God rested [Genesis 2:2]. Allow your body the necessity of rest, relaxation and sleep. Don’t wait for a breakdown before you know it’s time to rest.

If you have any eating disorder, hand it over to God in prayer. HE alone can get to the root of the matter and solve it. If you have problems with being regular with exercises, give it to God. There is power in prayer. If you have addictions that are affecting or have the potential to affect your healthy living, cast it upon HIM for HE really cares about you [1 Peter 5:7]. You do not want to look ten years back sometime in your life and say “Had I known?”

I beseech you therefore, Brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service [Romans 12:1]. And, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God [1 Corinthians 10:31]. Your body is HIS temple – keep the temple in good working condition.

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Choice for Today

My choice for Today

The dark clouds hang
In preparation for the torrential rains
My heart becomes heavy, my mood changes:
It was time to be sad for no just cause;
But everyday is not about sunshine and brightness
There are mountains and valleys
There are nadirs and zeniths
And the world was made by God:
Not every day is about good news and things going our way
But what makes the difference is the mood chosen for the day
If the birds chose to be sad, we’d lack overlooked music
If the plants chose to be sad, we’d be in need of air to breathe
My choice for today
Is to put a smile on my face
To see the glass half full
To decide not to be blue
But thank God that the rains
Means the sun will come again
Leaving me with some happiness
For others and myself
Having realized that
Choosing to be happy
Will make a difference today
A day I’d never see again.

The Inspiration
I was present during this conversation.
Mr. A: I am supposed to be facilitating a course in the Hilton. But I am lodged in Sheraton. There is no way I can make it on time for the course.
Mr. B: There is a bus provided by the hotel
Mr. A: I need to be there 1 hour before the bus leaves
Mr. B: That would be a wonderful time taking a walk in Abuja.
Mr. A: I have been to Abuja several times
Mr. B: There is always something new to see or something new to learn. You don’t know where you will see your second wife after all you have the option of marrying four.
With that, everyone laughed and the case was closed.

I have heard of optimism. I have heard of people that are naturally happy. I have heard of books that talk about optimism and happiness. Until you have seen it you won’t understand why I am so excited to share with you the inspiration behind the poem.

I spent 2 and half days with Mr. B. Never in one moment did he say anything negative. He is not slow to speech. He talks very fast. Yet none of the words from his lips were negative or showed unhappiness. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. [Luke 6:45]. He was a very happy man. There was always a smirk on his face. He was not necessarily an extrovert or someone that cracked unnecessary jokes to pass the time. Yet everyone around him was happy. It was the most contagious thing I had seen in a while. I asked him what made him so happy. He said because God has made him so. In Genesis 1:31, Behold everything God had made was very good. Afterwards HE rested. Mr. B said it was then God made him happy. Not today. All he does each day is to accept that God had done a very good thing when HE was created, and being happy is part of it. That is his philosophy. It works for him.

Ever since the fall of man, there has been cause for sadness. But if you really think about what God has done for you, there is reason to be happy. That you are reading this today is a reason to be thankful, to bless our Almighty God. There are many people who would desire to have sight to see, to have the fingers you are using right now, and to have the ability to hope for a brighter day. You are blessed. You should greatly rejoice in the LORD, be joyful in HIM; for he has clothed you with the garments of salvation, he has covered you with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels [Isaiah 61:10]. I pray the eyes your understanding be enlightened to see the power in these words. If you think of HIS beauty, HIS power, HIS love, HIS faithfulness, and HIS personality, you will just be happy.

Paul knew that we are prone to adorning ourselves with sadness, even when there is no reason for it. So he teaches us thus: “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” [Philippians 4:8]. As you replace pessimism with optimism, as you replace negativity with positive thinking, you will be amazed at how happy you can become. Is it easy to replace all negative thoughts with positive thoughts? Not easy on your own. You need to draw strength from God. It is something you can ask of HIM in prayer. David asked God “Let the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight” [Psalm 19:14]. The moment you find yourself thinking good things, you will radiate good things. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is [Proverbs 23:7].

Happiness is a choice, as quoted from Pam Golden’s book “Choosing the happiness habit”. If I’m to share with you my sincere wish, it is that you choose to be happy today because you will never have the chance for today again.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Judges were Old Testament

In that short space of time

In that short space of time
He glanced my way
I planned a getaway
For he was all I wanted to forget;

In that short space of time
Wait, You say
He wants to know Me
It’s you I have called;

In that short space of time
No, I reply
I cannot be alive
In the same place with him;

In that short space of time
Why, You ask
He’s a sinner, I reply
What has light with the dark?

In that short space of time
You touch my inner most being
With truth and revelation
Of why I’m a being:

Judge Not, Adora, you say
That you be not judged
For all have sinned
And fallen short of my glory;
You will be no different
From the heathens
If you love
Only those like you;
Use my eyes as your goggles
And see him the way I do
Allow me use your body, my temple
To show him My love:
Let my light shine through you;

In that short space of time
I opened my eyes to see him before me
So I welcomed him
And he said, “God lives”.

The Inspiration
The poem above describes one of the longest and hardest arguements I’ve had with God recently. Yet it happened in so short a space of time. 5 seconds. That was how long I had to make a decision that would save a soul. I knew his story so well. I had meditated on it because what he did had been done to me. So I had taken all my pain and frustrations out on him. Seeing him brought the pains afresh. I had told myself that I though I am a Christian, when it comes to him, let us keep Christianity aside. Just before I turned away, the Holy Spirit put me in check and taught me something I never really knew (even despite my writing on walking in the freedom of forgiveness).

I thank God I heeded the voice of the Holy Spirit that afternoon. It was an opportunity for me to see beyond someone and realize how fearfully and wonderfully he was made. I had a wonderful time of teasing and laughter with this guy. I got to learn his struggles as a child of God. I got to share the Good News through experiences of others. I never knew as Christians we fall into the temptation of seeing others with our natural eyes. That is deadly. That is judging. This incident made me know I must have been doing it out of ignorance. The natural man in a moment could see the sins committed by a person, the stories surrounding the person, draw conclusions and define the person by our own standards. That is judging. We should give everyone the benefit of doubt (with wisdom oh!). God created all of us in HIS image. There is something wonderful and unique in each and every one of us. Who are we to judge another? [James 4:12]. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God [Romans 3:23].

How many opportunities have we missed because of taking the job of judge? How much light have we denied the world because we judge? How many friends and spouses have passed by because of judging? How much hate and unforgiveness has been brought to this world because of judging? Have we judged ourselves with the Word of God?

Rather than letting our default state be seeing people from the negative, let’s allow the Holy Spirit renew our minds to see them as God sees them. Let’s be expectant that everyone that comes our way is for a purpose and the least we could do is reflect the light of God on them. Believe me, the most it might take is a smile and an open heart to save a soul and hear him say, “Omo! God still lives,” as my dear friend said in his humorous manner that day.

God bless you, N.

Child of God, as you leave the role of men as judges to those in the Old Testament, may you continue to find favour with all you come across and fulfillment in your walk with HIM.

Have a wonderful day.

Taking You for Granted

Taking you for Granted

I am sure of your grace
New everyday
I am sure of your mercies
Never changing
I am sure of your faithfulness
More than knowing myself
But because I am human
I’m prone to taking you for granted;
May my meditations
Remind me of your goodness
May my thoughts not stray
So far as to downplay you;
As my heart aligns with yours
May my memory be fresh of the love you are
May my heartbeat be your love song
May I never take you for granted
Or forget to tell you how much I love you.

The Inspiration
My sister had spotted him yards away. “He’s coming,” she informed me. “Not again,” I muttered under my breath. I left their company to hide in the kitchen. Some ten minutes later, he found me in the kitchen. “I brought you something today,” he announced after we exchanged some greetings. “Get yourself busy, cut the plantains,” I replied curtly, “It should be the same things like before – paintings of me, cards with love notes, can’t you be ingenious for once and surprise me?” He ignored me and showed me his work of art. This time, he had the painting of a princess on the foreground of riches and wealth. “This is who you are to me. A priceless princess who owns the world. I have some good news for you. My dad will soon be a governor. Once he is sworn in, I’d buy you everything you ever dreamed of. I’d make you the happiest girl on earth. I hope then you’d tell me you love me.” “I hope so too,” I replied, “I’d say so when I really feel it and mean it.” That evening I told myself that when next I see him, I’d treat him nicer and maybe tell him I liked him (not love yet, I didn’t know what it meant then).

That was the dialogue of two young innocent children. 2 weeks later, I learnt my friend was dead. May his soul rest in peace. I never got the chance to tell him I appreciated him.

How many times have we been appreciative, loved someone or received a touch of love from someone yet we had our tongues tied? Because of pride? Because of greater expectations? Because of fear? Treat each person for who he is. Funny enough, it is the people who love us the most, who are dearest to our hearts, that we treat the least. It used to hurt me so much when my cousin and I will do something naughty but my mother will spank only me. Until I saw it happen in many other homes. Though that is an act of correction (and I do not hold anything against it) but it goes to show that subconsciously we are inclined to treating those closer to us differently from those far off. My siblings can attest to this (sorry folks!) The word that summarized it is “Taking people for granted”.

I know someone that we take for granted a lot. How many times has HE said HE loves us? How many times has HE shown us that HE loves us? It is very reassuring to hear a confirmation of love. “I have loved you,” SAYS the Lord [Malachi 1:2]. He says it not thinks or writes or planning to say. These four words mean a lot. They mean that HE loved you before you were, for who you are, who you will be and HE is still loving you. Nothing and no one can separate you from this everlasting continuous love HE has for you [Romans 8:35, 39]. Deep down in our spirit we know this. So we say, “Today I won’t talk to YOU, am busy with important things!” or “Even if I sin, YOU will still forgive me and have mercy on me!” If only you knew how often and how much you break HIS heart. What about when you say, “I don’t need YOU! I can make it on my own now! YOU’d always be there when I want you!” This is real.

If you are brooding over heartbreak, over someone that takes/took you for granted, missing someone you love so much, spare a moment to acknowledge HIM. HE loved you while you broke HIS heart. HE loved you while you took HIM for granted. HE missed you when you walked away. And HE’s just waiting to hear you say, “I Love YOU!” from the depths of your heart.

"It is imperative
That Love is shown
To those worthy of it
More if your own
Do not say
That one day you will
For it will be too late
When you lose him".

Wishing you God’s Love.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Enemy is Too Close for Comfort

The Wrong Battle Field
I was prepared for the war
Against those stealing my purpose
My plans and strategies were in place
I knew with God the enemy would be shamed;
Early I arose
To give the enemy his dose
Alas, to my dismay
The battle ground have shifted base;
In truth the battle stage
Had always been the same
But I had developed strategies
Based on perceptions and mirages;
Then I came to see
That the hindrances to all I could be
Was residing within me
For I had given the enemy rights
Over many possessions of mine
Especially the right to be who I am in Christ;
Thank God it was not too late
To know the enemy had long been put to shame
And it was high time I put a stop
To his abode in my whole.

The Inspiration
I have a friend who once said that the reason for his slow progress and lack of job was the people at home. He said they were very fetish and did a lot of juju. His father’s new wife did not want to see the progress of any child who was not hers, so he narrated. He felt all he had to do was get rid of the woman and all his problems will be solved. While this is a case where the concept of choosing your inheritance comes in (message posted on the blog on Monday, 30th July), I will like to discuss what the Holy Spirit inspired me to discuss with regards this situation.

On getting to know my friend better, it was evident that the enemy of his progress was not as far as in the village. The enemy of his progress was too close for comfort. The hindrance to his desired progress was himself. It came as his words, faith, and actions.

Many a times we are hindered from achieving our dreams, fulfilling our God-given purpose or getting our heart’s desires because of ourselves. Let’s start with the stage of conception (because before anything comes into existence, it must be conceived). God gives you a dream or a desire. You use doubt, self-condemnation, past experiences (of yourself and others) and present circumstances to destroy it. This is contrary to what God expected when HE gave you the dream. HE expected you to meditate on it, make it come alive in you, and start planning on how you could see the dream realized.

Let’s move on to the stage where we start working towards achieving the dream (if it was not aborted after conception). The easiest way to realize or kill the dream is by words [Proverbs 18:20-21]. I have a friend who used words to get herself a job. She came for a job interview and told the recruiter that she was going to take his job from him. And it came to pass. Talking about the power of words is a lifetime message to be taught but I can refer you to the message “The Spiritual Force of God’s Word” by Dr. Creflo Dollar. A dream can be killed by simply saying, “I don’t think I can do it.” That is not being modest or truthful. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength [Philippians 4:13]. Other killers of your dreams are diversions (focusing on others’ dreams, sin, other activities that take up your time, etc), and discouragement (especially when it is shared with the wrong people).

Let me bring in Faith. Now Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see [Hebrews 11:1]. You cannot realize your dream if you cannot see it realized. Have you believed so much in what you want that you see it? A friend of mine talked about her car until everyone around her could see the car. In secret we called her vain, materialistic and insane. Little did we know that she knew what it takes to realize a dream. When finally I was told of her car (6 years later), I said it was not money that got her the car, it was her faith. Jesus also tells us, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours”[Mark 11:22-24].

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for I see someone’s dream coming to pass. It does not end with faith. It is our actions that bring our dreams into physical manifestation. You cannot build a house with mouth. Action has to take place. We are told that Faith without works is dead [James 2:26]. It is high time you start taking bold steps towards achieving your dream. I have a friend who always talked about being a teen church teacher. She talked about if for a year. I asked her what was holding her back. She said, “laziness.” She wanted to hang out with the girls after church rather than sitting down every Sunday for 7 weeks to get her believers classes done (which was a prerequisite to being a member of the church and hence joining a department). I believe her mouth had started paining her because of talking about her dream too much. She took action and is currently attending her believers’ class. She had to let go of distractions. She had to stop delaying, for delaying has a way of making you lose focus and abate the greatness of your dream. She had to stop expecting motivation and encouragement from men especially in the likes of “I’d support you”. We need to base all our expectations from God only [Psalm 62:5] even when we are expecting motivation.

Just as a tiny seed makes a tree, you never know how great a little dream can turn out to be.
In the course of writing this, the Holy Spirit taught me something. HE says that there is always a time lapse between conception of a dream and its realization. God is perfect in HIS timing. When HE has given you a dream, it is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed [Habakkuk 2:3].

Child of God, you can be anything you desire. You can achieve anything you dream of. Are you still blaming the defeated devil for many things in your life? Before you embark on a futile battle, check within if you haven’t used words, thoughts, doubt, distractions and actions to prevent the realization of what you dream. And remember, it is never too late for God.

Let me close by sharing with you an inspiring quote by Marianne Williamson from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Have a blessed day and welcome to a new month.