Keep Your Focus

During the earthly ministry of Jesus, many people hoped that He would be a political activist, influencing the political power. But the sent Savior understood His calling and recognized His ministry. He knew what the will of God was. So, He simply faced the preaching of the words, going everywhere to do good.

Every ministry has its purpose, understand yours and keep your focus.

Mark 16:15,16: And he(Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Oppression Denounced

No to Oppression, Yes to Love and Kindness

Initially, it was just a picture like any other. Then, it caught my attention and invoked my curiosity.  I began to wonder if there was a deeper meaning behind this beautiful depiction. In my wonderland, I drew closer to the frame for a better look. That was when I saw the implication behind the picture. The message was so simple and clear that someone could write a book about it.

Life is like a stage built for drama. You come, act your part, and leave the stage for another person. Regardless of how encapsulating we think our roles are on that stage, at one point or the other, we must move aside for others so that the play of life can continue. As it is with life on earth, there is no permanent position. Nothing is ever truly permanent on earth, not even this world we live in. As life is everchanging and ever-continuing, somewhere in its near-infinite cycle, we would only be remembered for the small part we played on the stage. People come and go but the footprints we leave, trail after us, so, we must be mindful of the way we treat one another. We should be careful not to make anyone feel like trash or send people to the dungeon of depression due to the ways we treat them

Sometimes, saying “No” and being firm in our decision is a necessity. Even then, God’s words say we should speak the truth in love. There is nothing we have that God has not given, and there is nothing we have acquired in this world that is lasting forever because life ends on earth and continues in eternity.

It is good sometimes to pause and ask ourselves questions: What do I want to be remembered for? Oppression, hypocrisy, partiality, nepotism, envy, arrogance, intelligent but dubious, smiling but dangerous, vision enhancer or vision assassinator…? How do I want to be remembered? Compassionate, loving, kind, caring, life builder, courageous & resilient, man or woman of integrity and loyalty, …?

In the eighteenth century, a preacher and a hymn writer, Horatius Bonar of Edinburgh, wrote a hymn titled: Only Remembered. That is a mind-racking song that we should sing to ourselves often:

1. Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.

Only remembered, only remembered,
Only remembered by what we have done;
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.

2. Shall we be missed, though by others
succeeded,
Reaping the fields we in springtime have sown?
Yes, but the Sowers must pass from their labors,
Ever remembered by what they have done.

3. Only the truth that in life we have spoken,
Only the seed that on earth we have sown;
These shall pass onward when we are forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done.

4. Oh, when the Saviour shall make up His Jewels,
When the bright crowns of rejoicing are won,
Then shall His weary and faithful disciples
All be remembered by what they have done.

Only remembered, only remembered,
Only remembered by what we have done;
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.

Regardless of our past, we can still make our way right with God by asking for forgiveness as we humbly repent from our misbehavior and allow the cleansing power of His blood to purge us from every form of the Adamic nature. 

King David cried out: “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with You, …” Psalm 130:3-4. Thank God for the forgiveness through Christ.

Acts of Apostle 17:30-31 (NKJV) says: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Christ makes a difference in the lives of those who welcome Him into their life. 

WHEN I LOST AN UNCLE, A LESSON OF A LIFETIME

Sometimes we wonder why people of God go through some harsh situations, especially after they have prayed and expressed strong faith in God. While some are sincerely confused, some feel disappointed, while some are just mad at God. Is it the nature of God to allow His children to go through pains while He simply looks away? No! If God permits some situations, He has a reason for it. God looking away from the suffering of His only begotten Son paved the way for our salvation. Our debts were paid in full and access to the throne of grace was granted. Before I learned this lesson, as a young convert in Christ some years back, I struggled with God, especially after losing a dear one.

When I gave my life to Christ as a teenager, my family could not understand what I was looking for in religion and why my lifestyle had to change drastically. Every effort to talk me out of my decision failed and resulted in very harsh treatment. I knew they loved me so much and wanted the best for me, but the path I had found, which brought me much peace and hope, they had found strange. As a result of my decision for Christ, I became a lone ranger with no one to turn to in my family. However, I had an uncle who I admired and who was the only one that seemed to understand my newfound faith in Christ. I looked up to him for quite a number of things and always felt comfortable around him and his family. 

One day, we got the news that there was an accident, and he did not make it. My heart was ripped apart. Thousands of questions rushed to my head about God. I was almost starting to feel insecure. With my heavily confused mind saddled with unresolved questions, I traveled down to our hometown for his burial. 

There was no doubt that God saw through my crowded mind. He must have seen my inner struggles and confusion as a young convert. He was waiting for me to answer some of those questions. As we sat quietly under the canopy that temporarily housed the remains of my uncle, and the heads of those in attendance stooped in sadness and sorrow, the minister climbed the pulpit to start his preaching. He shared a story that enlightened my heart to date, which I will try to paraphrase. So, he began…

There was a man who was desperate to know the way of God. He went on this quest while fasting and praying, saying, “Lord, I want to know your way of operation”. One night, the man got tapped on his shoulder by someone who said to him “You have been praying to know the way of God and how God works?” The man replied, “Yes”. Then said the stranger, “I am the Angel of God sent to attend to your request.” We would be visiting some places, and I would need you to come with me. 

Without wasting time, they embarked on a journey. Their first stop was at the house of a man known to be very wicked in that community. Both the Angel and the man following him (whom I will call “Mr. Trust”) appeared to have lost their way and needed direction. They sought help from this man, but he would not give them any attention. After much pressure, the man asked his little son to show them the way. As they were crossing a bridge, the Angel pushed the little boy into the river and allowed him to drown. Mr. Trust was taken aback and confronted the Angel vehemently on that atrocity. The Angel simply said to him, you want to know the way of God? Follow me. So, they kept going. 

They arrived in another man’s place, a good man and a child of God. He was so happy to see them and welcomed them warmly. In his excitement, he went into his bed chamber, came out with a golden cup that was gifted to him to show them. He loved and cherished the cup so much that he could not stop talking about it. When his visitors were leaving, the Angel stole the cup. “How could you be an angel of God and be a thief at the same time?” Said Mr. Trust. The Angel answered once again, “You want to know the way of God? Follow me.” 

They arrived at the home of another man who was not only bad but also evil. He did not give them any audience at all. Instead, he treated them wickedly. When they were leaving, the Angel gave the man the golden cup he stole from the good man. Right away, Mr. Trust stopped and said to the Angel, “This is not right. I don’t think you are the Angel of God. My mind must be deceiving me taking you by your introduction.” The Angel said to him again, “You want to know the way of God? Follow me.” So off they went until they arrived at the house of an elderly man. 

The aged man had a good reputation in his community and attracted the love and affection of the people around him. But he was a poor man. What he had left was a dilapidated house with leaking roofs everywhere, excluding a little corner where he usually squeezed himself in. Immediately he saw his visitors, his spirit was lifted, as he joyfully received them. He started discussing his predicament with his visitors and shared with them how he had been praying to God for provision. Although, he did not hesitated to tell them that he was tired of staying in that tiny little corner, he told them that regardless of his situation he still thank God for the safe little corner he had left. They encouraged him to keep praying, believing that God would certainly answer his prayers at the right time. However, while they were leaving, the Angel turned back and burnt down the little corner left for the man.

At this point, Mr. Trust said to the Angel, “I am done. I need no other proof to confirm that you aren’t the Angel of God. You have not done anything right since we embarked on the journey. I am going back.” And he was serious about his decision. When the Angel could not persuade him to keep following, he then asked him for a chance to explain every situation. The man obliged, and the Angel began.

You see, the way of God, no one can fully comprehend. God works in diverse ways, and He remains a just God. Let’s review the reality behind each scene. The first man we met was such a wicked man that he had done a lot of evil to the people in that town. He was so deep in occultism that people could do nothing to him. The people in that community were only waiting for the day the man would die so they could retaliate against his only son. That was the reason the boy was pushed into his death. The man would have to face the repercussion of his wickedness to the full.

On the second man, that good and godly man with the golden cup, if he ever drank from the cup would die because the cup had been poisoned. He deserved to live and see the glory of God. Thus, the reason the cup was taken away from him and given to the wicked man to drink. The unrepentant wicked soul must drink from the wrath of the judgment of God.

Isaiah 51: 22-23: “Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:

23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.”

Wao! exclaimed the man. How about the poor godly old man? Angel replied, underneath the house of that man were minerals and gold. Because the man was a good man with good records in the community, people would come together to raise a small dwelling place for him on his land. While they are doing that, they would hit the minerals and gold that would change the life of the man forever, which is the answer to his prayers.

So, the Angel told the man, that the way of God is past finding out (Roman 11:33). Remember God’s words in the book of Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. 

There are many things we would never comprehend about God because that is why He is God. We must live by faith according to what is revealed unto us through His words. Walking with God requires absolute faith in Him. If we walk with him with human reasoning, we will never walk far. Many situations in life may appear to have crushed us or cause us to doubt the goodness of God. But those that know their God will be strong in their faith. We must know that without faith, it is impossible to please God. If we have come to Him, we must believe in his faithfulness. Job said, “Though He slays me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15).

In any situation, our God is still good. Whenever he allows us to pass through fire like the three Hebrew children, we must know that He will never leave us alone in it. When we find ourselves at any crossroads of life, we must trust God to make a way where there seems to be no way. Whenever we are at a standstill in front of a red sea or river Jordan like the children of Israel, we must believe in God to part Sea. Whenever the gates of Jericho seem to be strictly shot against us and its walls are standing firmly tall between us and the fulfillment of our God’s given promises, we must remember that at the shout of hallelujah, the walls of Jericho were brought down flat without a single weapon. When we are dying of thirst, and the only available water is the bitter water of Marah, we must remember the God that made bitterness turns sweet. He is still God. We can always trust the everlasting Light amid our darkness, for no darkness ever comprehended Him. 

God has our interest in mind and desires our peace, victory, and salvation. We can always trust His wisdom and plans for every stage of our life, even if we do not understand Him in that situation.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. Psalm 145:17 (NKJV)

The Snow White City

Waking up this morning to see the entire community and city turn white as gentle fluffy snow rests upon every branch of the trees, I was quickly reminded of the goodness of God, His mercy, love, compassion that fails not. Anything could fail but never the faithfulness of our dear everlasting Lord!

Sometimes, pain and weeping may tarry through the darkness of the night but surely joy comes in the morning. While the weeping tarries through the night, we must tarry in the presence of God to get our strength and victory back. God is ever faithful, loving and caring. He said in His words in Isaiah 46:4:

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Rest in the Lord and trust in His possibilities, greatness and wisdom. He will bring you out of any situations and fill your life with His goodness.

Yes, the presence of our God covers the land, as the air fills the space, sending forth the message of hope and love. God rules in the affairs of the world and has the final say still. God’s creation power has not lost its value and will never lose its power.

As we continue to live “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Roman 15:13

My Passion

When Facebook notified me of my approaching birthday and suggested the idea of fundraising for any charity organization, I was reluctant. I checked the ideas with my husband, and since he was ok with it, I decided to create fundraising post for the Ambassadors of Faith Foundation (AFF). Facebook made the application easy. However, I started to feel nervous about it. I have always steer clear of this sort of thing especially that many innocent people had been exploited and taken advantage of in the past. In addition, the past couple of years have drained many wallets. So, I decided to hide the Fundraising post from my profile, although I had shared the requests with some Facebook friends. Today I regained my confidence to share my feelings here about why I yielded to the Fundraising idea and why I chose AFF.

My Experience:
Many years ago on an early morning, not too far away from the building elevator, a young man fastened his eyes on me with such intensity that I began to wonder why. I could perceive he was passing a message across to me but couldn’t immediately decode the speechless message. My spirit was troubled, and I could not take my mind off that look. What was he trying to pass across? Why was he looking at me like that though surrounded by people? Ok, I would have to look for time to reach out to him, I said to myself.

Before this time, I had been in contact with this man (let’s call him Andrew for anonymity). He became free around me and started to share some of his challenges with me. Due to some policy and ethical restrictions, I could not do much to help him immediately. At a point, I started thinking on inviting him for a dinner with my family. I believed my husband would be of a greater help to him than me. Somehow, he got fenced up by some people who also wanted to help him in their way. It became a bit challenging to reach out to him. But that day, he ignored the company and took his time to stare at me until the elevator door opened.

I must find a way to see Andrew, I made up my mind. I felt very strongly that he was saying something. I knew he was struggling with depression for a while and getting help but that type of look must not be ignored. But that hope of seeing him was dashed since Andrew killed himself days after. I was battered and tormented for a long time, especially when I remembered my last encounter with him. How could I have helped him better? What could I have done differently?… many questions flooded my heart. His burial was too torturing for me.

Many people need help and do not know where and who to turn to. Many times, we are too quick to pass the blame to others. If only we could spend a couple of minutes in their shoes. I have heard someone under influence of drug and alcohol say to me: “do what ever you want to do with me, after all nobody cares if I am alive or dead, I don’t have friends or relative, my life has always been this and that… and on and on and on.” What he did not know was that his words were like arrows piercing my heart. I wanted to scream; you are loved, you are appreciated, “…there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease.” His words still echo in my heart till date.

Ambassadors of Faith Foundation, which is my passion outside my regular job is reaching out to women and youths who seem invisible, inferior, worthless, and hopeless. Most of the time, what they need is a sincere smile, a gentle push, assurance of God’s love, trust, prayers, listening ears, etc. For this month of January, the attention of AFF is on the youths. Some plans have been set in motion and we hope for changes in the lives of many youths. This is the reason I chose to raise Fund for Ambassadors of Faith Foundation, for my birthday. You may which to visit the website: theaffglobal.org, and explore for motivation to support this noble cause.

Thanks and God bless

Treasure and Reflections

As the dramatic scene of the year 2021 continue to fold up and its door gradually closes, some mind racking questions were thrust upon us in the early hours of this week that ends the year, that is worth meditating over:

What do we value so much in life? Where is our treasure? Jesus said: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Does our lives line up with what we value and treasure?

Is our choice of treasure worth our time and devotions? Will it stand the test of time and eternity?

How do we react when our prayers seem to have gone unanswered?

How has culture and the expectation of the world around us influenced the realization of those treasures?

How has the culture and the tradition of men influenced the teaching of the words of God?

As we prepare for a fresh chapter of this upcoming year, it is essential that we review the purpose of the Church. In the recent time, the church universal has suffered all kind of ailments, from persecution and confusion to deception and distraction. Yet the world needs the true God of the true Church. Sometimes, when we get used to a system, we begin to lose value for it.

The Church is a place where we bring our burdens and brokenness before God. In return, we receive strength, comfort, and hope as we reference God in the spirit of brokenness. It is not about us being in the Church, but about God working in us to do His will and yield to His way. When we approach God with a sense of I have it all, we will always come back empty-handed. The repetition of that cycle can be very detrimental to our faith. Someone once said “I dont need God for anything. I have never being to church nor asked Him for anything and I have everything I needed”. Only if she could hear the counsel of Christ that: “…a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” Luke 12:15b. There are more to life.

Obviously, not all churches are God’s churches. So, it’s ok to change church if the church has lost the purpose a church serves. However, it should not be the case that we are looking for a church that accommodates our sins and make us comfortable in the path of destruction.

The Church is not a club for entertainment. It is a place where both sinners and saints come to seek God in the spirit of humility. When we silence the church of God with our influence and traditions, we may be doing ourselves a lot of harm.

In the new year, we can’t afford to put the cart before the horse. We must allow God to take His rightful place in our life and in our various place of worship. We must endeavor to sincerely “seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually” 1Chronicles 16:11.

Things will always happen every year. But those that put their trust in God will not be put to shame. Here is the word of the Lord to His people which we should take with us into the new year:And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. ~ Psalm 18:30

Happy New Year in Advance!

The Past

Everyone got a past, pleasant and/or unpleasant. Yes, if we could go back to the past, we would do some things differently. But the reality is, the past is dead. We could only learn from it, rectify what could be rectified, and allow the past to rest in peace.

You don’t go to the burial ground to disturb the corpses, so you must let the past lay low in their graves. Visiting burial grounds does not end with rejoicing but sadness and depression. Dwelling in some past could be likewise depressing!

Let it go!

The past should make a better person out of us rather than being an instrument of obstruction to our today and tomorrow. No matter how hard or painful, let any afflicting past go. Embrace the better today for a brighter tomorrow.

The journey of life is unique to every individual. We meet with different bends on our journey. As we maneuver our bends and navigate our crossroads, we learn and grow. In fact, God spoke to this in the book of Isaiah 43:18 & 19, that we should

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert

Isaiah 43: 18,19

Let the afflicting past rest in peace! Reach out to the better version of you daily.

Stick to the “…I am the Lord that healeth thee“, Exodus 15:26 (KJV). He can fix anything.