Tuesday, December 1, 2009

For All the Right Reasons

As I chewed on the real meaning of Christmas, I made up my mind that I will have a fabulous Christmas. As we “speak”, my Christmas tree (all 19 inches of it) is up and standing as well as other bits and pieces that spell Christmas. My desk is housing a 3-inch Christmas tree plus a jar of chocolates in Christmas colours. My Christmas carol is subtly serenading me from my desk top. The whole idea is that Christmas is a very special gift from God and I will receive it with both hands and with one million megawatts smile.

The real reason for Christmas is; Love, Hope, Joy and Peace.

God looked down at the deep-seated hatred in the hearts of His children and He figured that the only way out is to send true love. He sent it in the person of Jesus Christ.

The hopelessness He saw in our eyes broke His heart because, He feels what we feel and hurts when we hurt so He sent us hope in the person of Jesus.

The broken hearted, the sick, the needy, the bereaved etc are striped of their joy because of all the wrongs in their lives. God chose not to ignore the situations so, He sent Joy in the person of Jesus.

There was chaos and tumult in our hearts, homes, neighbourhood, towns and nations. Positive thought, conferences and summits could not bring the needed peace. God sent us peace in the person of Jesus so that peace in our hearts will crystallize to peace in our homes and cascade down to peace in our neighbourhoods, towns, nations and ultimately peace in our world.

Love, hope, joy and peace are not destinations; they are ways of life and continuous journey till we meet God in eternity.

To the unloved, I say…may the love of Jesus be shed abroad in your hearts.
To the hopeless, I say…for this reason, the Son of God was made manifest; to destroy the works of the enemy.
To the joyless I say…rejoice in the Lord your God, again I say, rejoice.
To those who feel drowned by the storms of life, I say…may the peace of God that passes all understanding dwell in your heart.

To all those who life has given reasons to think that tomorrow is not worth it, may I remind you that Jesus came to ensure that your tomorrow is worth it. He came to give your life a meaning, He came for all the right reasons. He came so you can give your tomorrow a chance.

Rise from your ashes, wipe your tears, believe again, hope again, dream again, laugh again, and rejoice again.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Honestly... I Can't Count My Blessings

Someone is in dire need of a plastic surgery but God blessed me with a wholesome body.
Someone just died because of hunger but God placed good food on my table.
Someone just died because of cold but God put good clothes on my back.
Someone just died because of lack of shelter but God put good roof over my head.
Someone just committed suicide because his hope is totally eroded but in Jesus, I have blessed assurance.
Someone just gave up the ghost because of loneliness but God blessed me with family and friends who love me.
Someone just died because his disease has no cure but God blessed me with sound health.
The pain of divorce just left someone devastated but God preserved me from getting married to someone who He did not ordained for me.
Millions of people are out of job but God blessed me with a job I could call my own.
Someone is lost and doesn’t even realize it but God gave me salvation at His own cost.
There are wars and rumors of wars but God has kept my country in tact.
A thousand has fallen on my left and ten thousand on my right but God continues to protect me.

Like you I have two tiny ugly toes on both feet, I am still waiting for breakthrough in some areas and I will never have everything I want but, God gave me more than a million blessings, which I never asked Him for. I have more than a million blessings, which I inadvertently take for granted yet, they are someone else’s prayer points.

My point is…I tried but, I could not count my blessings and I could not name them one by one because, they are innumerable. Telling God that I am grateful, thankful and appreciative do not cut it. No dance, song or shout is good enough to express my gratitude (I do all those). I can only trust that when God looks into my heart, He sees how grateful I am.

I am not blessed because I am special, different, better, hardworking, intelligent, wise or any other fantastic adjective that comes to mind. I am blessed because God chose to bless me. I have the things I have because He provided them for me. I am who I am because He designed me according to His chosen precision. I am where I am because God placed me there.
I walk around conscious of the fact the all I am & all I’ll ever be, all I have & all I’ll ever have, where I am and where I’ll ever be are all unmerited gifts and I do not take them for granted.

Happy thanks giving in arreas!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Take Authority

In the name of Jesus, at the mention of which every knee shall bow, be shattered oh ye people and be broken to piece. Gird yourselves but be broken in pieces, take counsel together but it will come to nothing. Speak the word but it will not stand for God is with me.

The Lord of Host has purposed in His heart and His purpose in my life shall stand. His hands are turned towards me and no one can turn it back.

May cruel masters and fierce kings rule over every Egyptian in my life. May unfathomable shame and disgrace be the portion of everybody that is incensed against me. Let all those who strive with me perish.

By the Blood, the power of the Holy Spirit and angelic assistance, every signs of the babblers is frustrated and every diviner is driven mad. Their wisdom is turned backwards and their knowledge is turned to foolishness.

Every stronghold is subdued before me and the amour of kings are loosened for my sake. The double doors are open before me and they cannot be shut. Every crooked path ahead of me has been made straight and every bronze gate is broken into pieces. The bars of iron are cut asunder and I receive the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places.

I am free from all captivity and free from every terrible predator. All oppressors in my life will be fed with their own flesh and they will be drunk with their own blood.

I stand on my decree as a watchman, not by my power nor by my might but through Christ in whom all things are possible, in whom I live, move and have my being. No force can stand against me. I’ll leap through walls and run through troops. The hedge of God is round about me so I will not loose anything anymore and no more cutbacks.

This is my season for increase, breakthrough, resurrection, resuscitation and revival. I open my mouth, heart and hands wide and I ask you, Lord to satisfy me with goodness so that as I walk, goodness and mercy will follow me and overtake me. I walk in excellent health, wealth, breakthrough, sound mind, prosperity, promotion, multiplication and remembrance. This is my set and appointed time to do and be all that God has called me to do and be.

I am unstoppable, "unintimidateable" and unshakeable. Nothing and nobody can stop me because God is with me.

Anybody that touches me touches the apple of your eye, Lord so, arise and contend with them, fight them to a standstill. Condemn any tongue that rises against me in judgment. Arise Lord and let my enemies be scattered. Let every flesh be silent before you.

Put your spotlight on me, showcase me and make me a billboard. Give me brand new testimonies. Let every mocker come to the brightness of my rising. Let your glory be seen allover my life. Do that which you alone can do IJN…
There is no copyright to this declaration so you can make it yours, I'm out of your face!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Parade of Cheekiness

Some months back, I woke up with an attitude the size of the universe, and guess who I was throwing it at…God (forgive me all you holy people).

I made up my mind that I was not going to smile on the day in question even if God sends the archangel of humor.

I said my prayers with an attitude, had my bath with an attitude, dressed up & did my make-up with an attitude, walked down the street with an attitude and arrived at work with an attitude.

When I caught my reflection in the elevator, I thought I saw a toad with mumps (sulking looks ugly on everybody). Laugh if it tickles your fancy but I was kind of enjoying my smile strike because there was a part of me that was saying…“you see God, I told you”

Oops! I didn’t mention what the bone of contention was…I’ve had it with God not coming through for me when, where and how I want Him to.

I honestly do not remember how long my parade of cheekiness/foolishness lasted but out of irritation, I was flicking through the TV channels and there was the reality check I needed.
Right in front of me was the most impoverished tribe I’ve ever heard of.

You might be different but honestly, I have qualms drinking plain clean water. I have serious food moods. I hate long hours of commute so proximity to the office is not negotiable. Any clothing item that does not sit well on me is not welcome.
I said all those to say these:

The tribe in question has only one source of water and it is stagnant, coloured, warm-infested and obviously smelly. They wash, drink and bath in the same stream. Their livestock drink directly from the stream. It takes about five hours to go from their settlement to the stream.
Their staple food is raw, goat-milk mixed with goat blood. They were not dressed to make fashion statements but to cover their bodies. The ecology of the area is such that even the most primitive building materials (palm leave, straws, mud etc) were not available so they live in huts made of cow dung.

As is in my character, my mind went into overdrive.
What happens when they are seriously ill?
What hope do they have of ever living differently?
What opportunities are available to them?
In which generation will their current way of life be a thing of the past?

While I was at it, I remembered my smile strike and I asked my self one question… “what am I going on about?” Without trivializing the issues you might be facing, I ask you the same question…”what are you going on about?”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “in all things, give thanks”

The reason I think the bible said to give thanks even in bad situation is because, every bad situation has the potential to get worse but for God.

It is difficult but next time before you complain about your height, weight, complexion, job, NEPA, the traffic and all the things that grate on your nerves… inhale, exhale and ask yourself “what am I going on about”

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Asked God to Bless You

Blessed be the name of God, who has been your banner for the past ten months. I thank Him for the blessings He sent you and for the road-blocks He saw you through.

As you have chosen to stand against all odds, may God strengthen your feet so that you can keep walking. As you walk, may you walk pass the pains, hurts, disappointments, reproach and shame of the past 10 months. May you walk pass the could-have-been, should-have-been and the never-will-be. May God spare you, and may He not allow the enemy to rule over you. May people not find reasons to say “where is your God”? May God drive anything/anybody that is a strong hold in your life into a barren and desolate land.

May you walk into a season of harvest and restoration. May you walk into a wealthy place where the lines will fall for you in pleasant places and where your feet will be washed in butter.

I ask God to be zealous for you, show you mercy and answer your call. May He give you brand new reasons to shout halleluiah.

I pray for the latter rain to fall on you in an overflowing measure. May your restoration be complete and may God deal wondrously with you. May God show you exactly where to put your sickle for the harvest. May your harvest be exceedingly, abundantly, far above what you can rap your mind around.

May the Spirit of God fall afresh on your family so that as you call upon His name in this season, you will find salvation and as you come into His presence, you will find deliverance and release from all forms of captivity. May He build a strong hedge around you so that no aliens shall pass through the land He allotted to you.

May the mountain drip with new wine for you and may the hills flow with milk for you. May your brooks be flooded with water. May God’s fountain flow directly from His presence to water your life.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 – “The end of a thing is better than the beginning”
May your blessings in November and December be a true weight of glory.

Friday, May 8, 2009

An Extravagant Mercy

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who will stand? (Psalm 30:3)

I am glad I was born in this dispensation, the dispensation of extravagant mercy, mercy born out of the potency of The Blood.
Blood so red but yet washes as white as snow.
Blood so liquid and yet provides a solid wall of protection.
Blood so old yet fresh enough to cover yet-to-be-committed sins.
Blood shed out of love for the unlovable.
Blood, though without a mouth, speaks better things than any other blood.

By The Blood, a prostitute made God’s hall of fame.
By The Blood, a murderer was accepted in the brethren.
By The Blood, a thief made the finish line to God’s right hand.
By The Blood, an idolater was accepted in the royal priesthood.
By The Blood, the rebellion became an apostle.
By The Blood, the least- likely- to- succeed became a joint hire with Jesus.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

But for The Blood, all of us are unworthy of God’s glory.

If God destroyed a city because of their sexual sin
If God destroyed a couple because their financial integrity was questionable
If God drowned the whole earth because of wickedness

Then, but for the blood, with the raw wickedness going on right here on earth, we would all have been swallowed up.

I don’t know about you but, it is a huge relief to know that God doesn’t look at me through naked eyes but through The Blood-stained glasses. Whenever He sees me through those glasses, His heart melts in mercy. This mercy is so extravagant that no matter the depth, height, width or diameter of your sin, if you are truly repentant, God treats you just as if you have never sinned.

God wants us to come the way we are but He doesn’t expect us to remain that way. It is not by power nor by might but by God’s grace. The Blood is valid only if you are in Christ.

Don’t invalidate or loose your password…The Blood.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mum, This One Goes to You

Once upon a time, I lived in a world where there was a true mother. Even at a time when she wasn’t a born-again Christian, she had genuine fear of God backed with sound values and sound sense of judgment. A mother who was not interested in being my buddy but went the whole nine yards to be my mother. A mother who didn't negotiate foolishness with me and who compelled me to tow the right path.

When her response was “because I’m your mother” or “because I said so” then, so it was. A mother who gave me so much wise counsel some of which I’m just beginning to understand. A mother who sometimes had to go "without" so I can have some extras. A mother who was so protective she lost the tip of her finger on my account.

She was detailed enough to know when I brought back stuff that she didn’t buy for me and firm enough to make me return them. She cared enough to know who my friends were and never minced words about the ones she didn’t approve of.

In a world where materialism is the norm, she taught me at a very tender age that material things are not worth selling my soul for. She taught me that it is not about how much I have but how responsible I could be with little.

A mother who taught me that charity doesn’t end at home so I learnt early to take in “stray cats”, provide help and encouragement. She taught me that real womanhood is a lot of inner strength and inner beauty mixed with compassion and humility.

Now, how do I fully describe a mother who meant the world to me? The first heartbeats I heard were hers. My first hug was from her. The first smile I knew was hers.

For the past one year, I wake up each morning, promising myself that I’ll be strong but the finality of your exit is unbearable. I was not there to watch your coronation but I know the angels were there to cheer you on.

I normally tell people that there are two people who love me more than I love myself…God and you. Thank you for the mother you were.

Out of billions of children on the face of the earth, I have the rare privilege of being among the four who had the legal right to call you mother. I love you the world and I miss you beyond expression, catch the kiss!

My pen can’t flow any longer but my tears are still flowing…

Monday, April 27, 2009

Your Designer Cross

If you are anything like my friend, Bola, then your favourite pendant is a cross. I can tell you free of charge that the only time a cross looks cute is when you wear it as a pendant. If you have to carry it, it is anything but cute.

Everybody has a made-to-fit cross. They come in different materials and sizes and are delivered at different seasons of life. These crosses could be made of wood, bronze, iron, silver or gold. Some crosses are crudely finished and others are tastefully finished but they all have some common denominators. They represent shame, pain, reproach and humiliation.

Some crosses are less obvious than others. We talk about some crosses openly and some we carry in the innermost recessions of our hearts. There are some crosses we are touchy about and there are some we have gotten so accustomed to that we don’t even remember they exist.

For every kind of cross, Jesus set a precedence. As God-head as He is, He submissively carried His cross. At the point where He couldn’t take one more step with it, God saw from heaven and sent Him help in the person of Simon from Cyrene.

Only God knows the extent we can cope with our various crosses. He can choose to intervene at some point and he can choose otherwise. If He chooses not to relieve you of a particular cross, He will make His grace available to you. Peter is a living witness to this. He recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 that:

“Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me and He said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness”

Concerning your designer cross, God’s response could be Jesus’ style or Peter’s style. Any how, Jesus was the first person who, blamelessly, carried a cross and may I submit to you that He did a fantastic job of it. If that is the case, who else but Him has the sole right to say “I’ve been there, done that and have sole distributorship for the t-shirts”

The t-shirts in question are not plain. Inscribed on each one are these words…”TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME”. (Mark 8:34)

If you noticed, He did not say follow your pastor, parents, clairvoyants or any human being whatsoever. This is because He knows that the amour of flesh will fail you even when that was not the intention.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

P.S...It Comes With Fine Prints

I vividly remember the day I gave my life to Christ. It was an indescribable experience…simply “euphojoyous” (trust me to make up words). Words cannot adequately describe that experience.

I did not get serious with God because of any challenges, it was a decision born out of a deep longing and hunger for God. Looking back now, I’m convinced someone somewhere was praying for my salvation.

Even though I knew very little about the word of God, my heart towards Him was pure and genuine. God pampered me silly. It was a season when everything I touched turned to gold. The people in my fellowship group said that my mouth was very close to God’s ears because He answered all my prayers.

As far as I was concerned, relationship with God was strawberry for breakfast, frilly curtains, permanent twinkle in my eyes and loads of giggles. It was simply pure and undiluted bliss!

I should have known better. I should have known there were some fine and invisible prints.

The fine prints had it that I would have accommodation problem for 6 years during which I would squat in 18 different places including people’s stores with no toilet or bathroom facilities..

Part of the fine prints stated that career-wise, it will take over 15 years to achieve what ideally I should have achieved in 3 years.

Of curse, I didn’t see the part that stipulated that I would nurse my brother through a two- year battle with lung problem.

It was written in fine prints that I would spend 12 years praying for another brother who was hopelessly prodigal.

A paragraph in the fine prints had it that I was going to pray for healing for my father but instead have him die in my arms.

The finest of the prints was that I would nurse my mother through cancer and then loose her to stroke.

If I had seen the fine prints, read through and understood them, do you think I would have signed on? My answer is NO…spelt NO and pronounced NO!!!.

God knew that if I saw the fine prints, there’s no way on this mother earth I would have given Him any time of the day.

It is not recorded any where in the bible that God is a fair God but it is recorded that He is a just God. It is also recorded that a soldier does not go to war at his own expense. In my case, God was my sponsor. Though there were times I felt like an unloved step child, God was there and He walked me through every painful step. The times when I was too weary to catch up with Him, He carried me.

Because God is the author of my fine prints, He made grace available for me to outlast the challenges.

If you are in right standing with God and your life is senseless at the moment, could it be that you are living out your own fine prints?
If your issues are fine-print-related, surely… even if you sway, even if you are stretched thin and transparent, even if you are bent over, God will never allow you to break. How do I know? I know because, the bible records that God will never put more on you than you can bear and that for every trial, He will make a way of escape.
If you have never experienced a "fine print" season, I have this to say to you...keep living and also, remember to save this blog because, you will need it some day.
Happy Resurection Sunday

Monday, April 6, 2009

Its Ok to say "I Don't Know"

I know a good-looking, godly and very gifted gentle man. He is what I’ll call a 3-G guy. Each time I see him, my heart breaks afresh. Uju, but you just said he is a 3-G guy (good-looking, godly and gifted). What is heartbreaking about him? I guess I forgot to mention that he is blind!

Whenever he’s seated ahead of me in church, I loose focus because my mind goes into an over drive. I ask God tons of questions; I try to reason out why God has not restored this guy’s sight. I try to get into the guys head and think like him. I sit there and wonder…

Would he have preferred to be ugly but have his sight?
Would he have preferred to be an average Joe, with no form of giftedness but have his sight?
Would he have preferred to be very poor but have his sight?

I sit there and my thought goes like…“but God all power belongs to you”, “all it will take is one touch from you”, “but you know that more than any thing, this guy would love to have his sight restored” etc.

In between trying to focus on the sermon, I sit there and agonize over this guy’s situation.
The irony of it all is that this guy’s situation seems to be lost on him.

Why would God bless a man this much and not give him sight? The truth is that I DO NOT KNOW.

Usually, when we come toe to toe with any situation that defies all our theology, we do some or all of the following:

pretend that we know what God is up to

try to make excuses for Him

offer some baseless explanation to justify why God appears to be “slack” concerning His promises.

use some clich├ęs that we don’t even believe.

Let me mess up your theology just a bit.
You don’t know what God is up to. You don’t have to make excuses for Him. You are a mere mortal dealing with an infinite God so, you can never justify most things that He does.

My suggest is… quit trying to understand God but if you dared, be my guest and start with these:

His thoughts are not your thoughts
His ways are not your ways
As far as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than your ways and His thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:8-9)

Let’s face it; God will not always reveal everything to you. Things will not always work out the way you want. Everybody will not live in a mansion. Some people will never have their own children. There are people who will never be healed. Just pause for a moment and look at Mathew 26: 11…"for you will have the poor with you always” (ouch!)

If God is infinite, has His throne in heaven, uses the earth as his footstool and you are a part of the earth, then you are part of His footstool and that logically means you are under his feet (no offense meant, please). Now if you are under the feet of an infinite God, is it possible that you can see beyond his toes?

God is so all-together-glorious that just a glimpse of his feet provides mind-blowing revelation and illumination. No matter how anointed, prolific or spiritually knowledgeable anyone is, all the person can see is just one very minute portion of God. No one can know God in His totality or understand everything He does.

When things don’t make sense it is very Ok to admit that you don’t know what God is up to or if He is up to anything in the first place. It doesn’t make you less spiritual or faithless.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

There's a Remnant Somewhere

Once upon a time, my income was just enough to cover my transportation and toiletries. I could not afford clothes, shoes or luxury of any kind.

God was gracious enough to bless me with a line manager, who was the same size as me. She became my benefactor as far as wardrobe was concerned. What she gave me were her remnants but they were light years better than my best clothes.

When I look back over the struggles that I have been through, I can testify that no matter how horrid any situation was, God always left me some remnants...something to anchor my hope on while the storm raged.

God is so deeply touched by the touch of our pains that even when He appears out of site, out of reach and out of vibes, He is ever very present. What but the presence of God could have made Moses describe a messed up place as “a holy ground”? Jacob was in the middle of God-knows-where, using a stone for pillow; he couldn’t help but acknowledge that “God is here and I knew it not” It takes the presence of God to make a stone feel like a pillow.

When challenges come knocking, especially when they come with numerous company, we get so bombed out that we neither recognize nor acknowledge our remnants even when they come dressed in red hats.

The truth is that there is always a remnant and God is in the remnant. If you take a tour of the bible, God always left His children some remnants.

When God destroyed the earth, Noah and co were the remnants.
When Abraham’s barrenness went on for too long, his remnant was a covenant from God.
When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot was the remnant.
When the Israelites were at the risk of being annihilated by King Ahasuerus, Esther was their remnant.
My girl, Ruth had Boaz give a command that remnants be left for her on purpose.
When Laban was cheating the living day light out of Jacob, his speckled stick was his remnant.
When Moses forgot what confidence meant, and couldn’t stick two words of Egypt together, a staff was his remnant.
How about the widow of Shunammite and her little jar of oil?
And the list goes on…

I don’t know the size or number of lemons life is throwing at you right now but, I know the God of remnants. Take a closer look and you will see what your remnant is.

It could be hope.
It could be a very minor miracle that is a pointer that something is about to happen.
It could be a word of encouragement from someone.
It could be a revelation from the word of God or from a least likely source.
It could be a still small voice from the Spirit of God.
It could be just one idea or an encounter that might not look like much.
It could be the ability to hold onto God even when your knuckles have all gone white.
It could be the ability to pray even when your words sound very empty.
God knows our limitations so, no matter how gruesome your trying moments are, if you look closely, you will find some remnant to hold on to. If you hold on and hold out, surely there will be the breaking of a new dawn. God will so mess you up with blessings that you can’t find the right word, song or body language to express your gratitude. Isaiah has a living word that summarizes all I am trying to articulate:

“Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have become like Gomorrah.”(Isaiah I: 9)

Look upwards with a heart of gratitude and God will show you what your remnant is.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Learning to Let Go When God Lets Go

I usually wear suits to church on Sundays. Some two months back, the weather became very hot. I went out of my way to look for dresses, specifically for Sundays. Being the princess of cheap, I got myself some very lovely cheap and cheerful dresses. A little vanity now and again doesn’t hurt anybody so, may I say that I know that I look gorgeous in those dresses and as such I like wearing them.

Last Sunday, I was planning on wearing one of my pretty dresses but at the end of the day, I had to wear a suit because, once again, the weather has changed…it was very cold.

Life is in seasons. Every season has a start time and an end time. Every season comes with its own peculiarities and demands (some good and some bad). Every season requires some level of adjustment on our part. No matter how much you like or dislike a particular season, you must recognize when the season is over.

There are times when we like something so much that we want to hold on for ever.
There are times when we like a place so much that we want stay there for ever.
Other times, we love someone so deeply that we don’t want to move on even after it is over.

As humans, we have the tendency to cling to things we love even when it is to our own detriment. A lot of us (including yours sincerely) run around with dead things in our hands or in our hearts. Others place the dead things in a tomb but never cover the tomb. Some place it in a tomb, cover it, but never walk away from the site.

Until you put it in a tomb, cover the tomb and walk away, consider it unburied. All dead things have a common denominator…they grow septic within days and then begin to smell.

You have heard of dead weight, I guess. Things are heavier and more difficult to carry around when they are dead.

Is it possible that you are moving around with some dead weights in your hands/heart? Is it possible you are praying for or mourning over what God is over and done with? I know exactly how difficult walking away could be but you must receive strength from God and move on.

Whatever your “dead thing” is… loved one, job, relationship, marriage etc, bury it and give yourself the chance for a fresh start.

Why hold on when God already let go? Let me show you something in the book of
Isaiah, precisely Isaiah 43:18-19. It reads:

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth: Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”

I don’t know about you but I sure can do with some new things. If your hands/heart are occupied by dead wieghts, where is the room for for God to put the new thing? Think about it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Request Turns to Gratitude

I believe the first fruit principles so I know that my first salary for the year does not belong to me but to the house of God. I took my first fruit to church yesterday. Normally while praying over our offering, we are encouraged to tie it to a need.

When I was about to lift up my first fruit and pray, I had a litany of needs to tie it to. When I looked at the cheque, I forgot my needs. Something melted in my heart. I received a miracle. That miracle was illumination.

As I looked at the cheque, I was overwhelmed by gratitude. The amount on the cheque was not much but, compared to how far God has brought me, it is indeed much. I cast my mind ten years back and it dawned on me that my current one month salary was practically the same amount as my annual income 10 years ago. Things sure might be slow but I am definitely not walking backwards.

Before you get washed away by sorrow over where God has not taken you to, take a moment and contemplate on where He brought you from. Before you whine about what He has not done for you, remember all He has done for you.

If like me, you sometimes get carried away by the fleeting challenges of life, to the point of forgetting how far God has brought you, remember that the things you take for granted are actually someone else’s prayer points.

Slow down, take a deep breath, brace yourself, take stock and drink in God’s goodness.

Why do you think you survived the storms, earthquakes and fire you’ve been through? It is because God was in the fire, earthquake and storm.

He did not mean for the storm to sweep you away.
The earthquake did not come to displace you.
The fire did not come to destroy you.
They were meant to refine you.

Isaiah 43:2: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee

What a promise!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When God Loves Me Enough to Say "No"

Some years back, I was in a relationship with a guy I considered cute.
It was not exactly a smooth relationship but we were in love. We were going to get married, ride into sunset and live happily ever after.

That did not happen because; we broke up shortly after he asked me to marry him. I actually called off the relationship because of some trust issues. Even though I was the one who called off the relationship, I was hurting so much I thought I would die.

I lost appetite, joy, sleep and of course a lot of weight (not that I weigh much). I prayed to God to heal my broken heart. I prayed for the heart to forgive him. I prayed for the strength to move on. I prayed to God to bless me with someone who is right for me.

It took time but God healed me and I had the strength to move on.

A while ago, I ran into the guy (ex-boyfriend), I almost did not recognize him because he has changed a lot physically but not for better. There were tell-tale signs that all was not well on the home-front.

I began to ask myself why on God’s green earth I felt bad about the break-up. I could not believe that my prayer point once upon a time was for God to heal our relationship.

When we had issues, I prayed fervently to God to heal and mend our relationship. Instead of the situation getting better, it got worse. I wept because I thought God did not answer my prayers but the truth is that He did. His answer was “NO”!

God always answers all prayers, the answer could be:

Not yet or

The only time we tend to acknowledge God’s answer is when He says “Yes”. It is a difficult pill to swallow but there are lots of times when His answer to your prayers will be “No”, “Not yet” or “Never”! In those times, will you still believe and trust that God loves you and He loves you enough to say “No”?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank God for the Bad times

You must be joking, Uju! Thank God for the bad times indeed.

If you like conspiracy theory, you will believe that there is a high-power conspiracy in all the wicked places to oppress me to the point of loosing hope and loosing sight of God. The battles raging all around me do not make an iota of sense. Believe me when I tell you that they have been on for too long.

I must have slept for just about an hour last night. My soul was in so much turmoil that sleep eluded me completely. I tried willing my self to sleep, I counted the sheep, I prayed for sleep but it just wouldn’t come.

Before you start calling me faithless, note that I’ve been praying all day. Staying in prayers when God’s radar appears to have lost contact with your ship is nothing but pure faith.

Sometime this morning (not during my prayer session), I started thanking God for the bad times. Don’t ask me why because, I don’t know why.

I thanked God for:
the challenges at work
the challenges in my love life
the challenges in my family etc.

He is not God only in good times but God in bad times as well. I might be disturbed to the point where I can’t pay attention but God is not. I am clueless about what He is up to but He is not. As senseless as everything appears at the moment, God knows what He is doing, He knows the purpose of what He is doing and He has the power to turn things around and He will turn things around.

Even if the issues of life push you to the point of loosing your joy and hope, never loose your hold on God. If you can’t reach His hand, grab the hem of His garment. It is sturdy enough for the stability you need to rise again.

And Romans 8:35 says:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword?

Monday, January 19, 2009

God, How About Digging Around Me?

A certain Man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruits on it and found none.

Then He said to the keeper of His vine yard, “look, for three years, I have come seeking fruits on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?

But He answered and said to him, “sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it (Luke 13:6-8)

Growing up, I had tons of dreams and aspirations. Going by the graph I plotted for my life, by now, I should be a Senior Manager in a blue chip company, I should be married with two kids, my husband and I should be living in a home that belongs to us, and I should have a master’s degree from a good university in the U.K.

As we “speak” I am not married, I do not have kids, I live in a rented mini-flat and I don’t have a master’s degree YET. Mark the word YET because, it means I am work-in-progress. It means that I am not an abandoned project because God is the project manager. Things might appear to have gone out of control but God has not lost control of the affairs of my life.

I know that there is someone out there, who might be in the same boat as me. Your challenges might be in different areas but, they are still challenges. Your life might feel like a one-way ticket to no destination. The tunnel might have been so dark and endless with no flicker of light in view. You might have kicked and scratched so much that you’ve dislocated your joints and lost your nails. You have sown, watered and nurtured but have not seen any fruits YET.

I have this to say to you “hold on and wait it out”. There is nothing you are going through that is not common to man. As humongous as your challenges are, God still calls it a “light affliction” so, how about you step back, stay in prayers, continue praying and trust God one more time. He is the vine dresser. Let Him dig around you, water you and fertilize you.

You can’t quit now
Step up to the plate
Hope again
Believe again
Dream again
And you will see the Phoenix of a new dawn rise from the ashes of your delays, disappointments and pain.

Remember, the end of the matter is better than the beginning. Things might be messed up in the middle right about now but, because God is the Omega (The End), He will give your story a happy ending.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Strength Just for Today

I woke up this morning without any desire to get out of bed. It felt like I had nothing to wake up to. The sense of emptiness I felt was suffocating. I had more questions than answers. I questioned life and I questioned the Giver of life.

Who am I? What is my life about? Is this all there is to me and to life? When and how is light going to appear at the end of this tunnel? How do I get out of this thread-mill i.e. running and spending energy but still on the same spot? How come the things I make happen for others don't seem to happen for me.

True confession...I am an irrigation dam in other words; I have Jeremiah’s anointing i.e. I cry very easily. As I was asking God questions, I soaked myself in tears (don’t raise your eyebrows at me, if Jesus wept, who am I to play super woman?). I cried long and hard but not like someone without hope. Even though I could not stop the tears, I know a God who wipes away tears.

The last time I checked, I still had a pulse and a heart-beat so; it means God is not done with me yet. I reminded Him of His promises (not that He forgot...He is God, after all). I put on David's cap and I spoke audibly to my heart. These were some of the things I said to it:

Though it tarries, I shall wait for it.
God can never lie.
My just reward is in His hands.
In the fullness of time, He will make all things beautiful.
He will do exceedingly, abundantly far above all I could ask, think or imagine.
He will cause the lines to fall for me in pleasant places.
Surely, His goodness and mercy shall follow me.

Like me, if you are facing any road-blocks, especially the type that don’t make sense, be assured that GOD IS ABLE. He has not given up on you so why give up on Him?

Remember, He promised to show you the way of escape from your trials and to provide you illumination to guide your steps.

Permit me to remind you that you are blessed beyond measures and you are on God's mind. Whatever the forces are, they are not strong enough to separate you from the love of God.