The christian is not someone that tells people he is one,the christian is someone people affirm to be one;that’s how it started in the first place(Acts 11:26b…were first CALLED…). It shouldn’t change now;however,the former is A Christian,which everyone claims to be, as its only vocal,the latter is The Christian,involving character,Big Difference…
You know you were once better,
You know you want to be better,
You know you need to be better,
But you know you ain’t getting any better…
You know there is a zeal,
You know you’ve broken the seal,
You know you desire to heal,
But you know you ain’t committed to the deal…
You have suddenly forgotten the communication called ‘prayer’,
You have even lost touch with patience in that area,
You worry but never work to become better,
But when you get ‘to thinking’-
you always remain bitter…
You are neither hot nor cold,
Neither here nor there,
Neither weak nor strong,
You are walking in grace-
when your life, to Him, speaks disgrace…
You could be better, but you’re not,
Even worse- you do not know ‘where you’re not’,
You perceive and assume to be safe,
But your thoughts are far from the truth-
as the south is from the north.
If you were a better christian/believer/person,
Yesterday than today,
And your words are louder than your lifestyle,
Then, you’re in a Spiritual Coma,
In this state, the only city is known as ‘Sleep’–
Don’t you think we need to wake up?
Oluwatosin Olabode (sst)
She let herself into our room quietly and sat on the arm of the couch by the door, with her arms folded across the chest.
It was about 11:00am and I was folding some clothes scattered on the bed whilst listening to soft tunes on my phone. I knew she’d come into the room but I didn’t look up. Then she said,
“So…how much is your school fee?”
My heart skipped a beat, and then began thumping fiercely against my thoracic cage.
I sighed. I hated this question: its sound, its tone, and worse still, the answer I was about to give her…
“Six hundred and seventy-five thousand naira.”
She sighed deeply and I swore I could hear the despair in its shallow depths. Summoning courage, I looked at her. At 62, mum looked so distraught and sad that I began to wonder what her B.P was at that moment…
“Do you have to pay it before you’ll be allowed into the hostel?” She asked.
“Yes” then I added “but one must not pay the whole thing; there’s a minimal amount that can be paid this 1st semester, then the rest will be paid off next semester”, to ease her pain.
“Are you to pay into the bank or directly to the school?”
“Yes, I have a customized teller from the school.”
“So, when are you going back?” she asked, as she rubbed her cheek absent-mindedly.
“This weekend, by God’s grace.” I replied
“This weekend…” she muttered.
“O.k.” then she left the room, slowly.
This was a scene that played each time I had to resume school for a new session or semester. It was my 7th semester in school, yet I hadn’t gotten used to the scene and the emotions it provoked in me. Each episode hurt like a fresh wound.
Sinking down on the bed, I tried so hard to ignore the familiar emotions that erupted, to no avail. My eyes began tearing up, so I went down on my knees (so no one would disturb me) and cried uncontrollably- silent quaking sobs that shook my entire core. Father, why? Why do I have to cry my eyes out before my fees are paid? Why didn’t you provide them with jobs after their retirement so we wouldn’t have to go through this? Why is everything in my life so stagnant? Haven’t we suffered enough? Why…why…why???
As I knelt there weeping, I felt a peaceful assurance that God knew everything going on and that He had a plan for my life and He’ll provide my needs at the right time. So I got up, wiped my face with a towel and continued my chores.
Much later, I went to the dining room to get a drink. As I walked through the sitting room, I saw my mum sitting on the sofa, with her legs crossed at the ankles, staring blankly ahead, lost in thoughts. I walked to her, rubbed her shoulder slowly and said
“Mummy, I hope you’re not thinking too much. Don’t worry, oh? God will provide.”
She smiled at me and I smiled back, and then walked into the dining room. Memories came flooding back, provoking my emotions again and causing my eyes to tear up. I bit back the tears and cautioned myself to remember God’s word and to trust in him ‘cause he’s got it all planned out. Then I sank into the rich depths of my thoughts were I found solace.
Ever since my dad retired (while I was in JSS2) and everything seemed to go downhill, I had made ‘thinking’ my faithful companion. Wait a sec! It’s not the kinda thinking that shoots up the B.P. No, it’s that kind which lifts your mind’s eye above the dilapidated state you’re in and makes you behold a brighter future, a beam of light at the end of a dark tunnel…
Yeah, that’s the kind I’m talking about!
So, for every situation I go through that tends to weigh me down, my mind forms thoughts that neutralize its destructive effect and restores peace, serenity and stability. It’s like a buffer!
Each time my parents tell me that there’s no money, I think of the time when I’d be a Doctor and send them money regularly so that they’d live in priceless comfort.
Each time I see my mum trekking home from church or taking a bike to the market, I remember what she told me few years ago. She had said “see, I’m not asking for so much. When you start working, I just want you to buy me a small Jeep; small, because I won’t have to carry any of you.” And now I think of the time when I’ll get her a brand new one.
Each time I see a tear in my parents’ clothing, I think of the time when my siblings and I would order for the richest garments from different parts of the world and have it delivered to them.
Each time I hear my siblings talk about their travails, I think of the time when they’d be experts, of world renown, in their chosen careers.
Each time I fail to answer a question in class or realize that I’m ignorant of the answer to a question asked, I think of the time when, as a lecturer in a Medical school, I’d strive to help academically-weak students.
Each time I’m hungry and broke, I think of the time when I’d visit my children (or my nieces and nephews) in school and take them out to eat. I think of how I wouldn’t want them to lack a dime.
Each time I look at my closet and the few clothes in it and I see my friends with their boxes of cloths, I think of the time when I’d design and make my own clothes to the admiration of all.
Each time I look at my spiritual life in its state of despair, I envision a time when I’d be so close to God that I’ll draw my every breath and word from him and hear him call me ‘Son..’ not just ‘my child’.
And each time I think that I may not pass or even write the 2ND MB, I envision myself as a world-renowned poet, writer, research specialist and Oncologist.
Don’t get me wrong; thinking doesn’t solve my problems. It’s something I indulge in to soothe my aching heart- like a Chinese balm. It reminds me of the fact that God sees, knows and has got a plan, and that despite the situation now, there’s a brighter day ahead. I believe everyone has a way of handling life’s situations- a balm that soothes the delicate core of man. It may be singing, dancing, reading God’s word, recounting his past works and his promises…it varies greatly but mine is in the golden depths of my thoughts.
But then, I don’t just think; I pray and work towards it.
Thinking is my ‘Le Chatelier’s principle’…THE ANTIDOTE.
UCHE-ORJI, Onyinyechi O.
The Unchanging Power of the Truth
A Study on Matthew 27:32-61- With a Key Focus on Verse 37
‘… and set up over His head His accusation written, ‘this is Jesus the king of the Jews’…”-Vs 27
From our understanding of the bible, the Jews didn’t believe and still do not believe Jesus to be the King of the Jews (the Messiah). This was even the accusation labeled against Him as scripture explains it, but why wasn’t the inscription “This is Jesus who claims to be the king of the Jews”?
Yes, in so doing they tried to mock Him, but when dealing with the Truth, whether consciously or unconsciously, even your enemies cannot deny it. It is important to note that it would have made more sense if the inscription was the latter expression because; there were people who didn’t know Jesus as King, let alone as someone who claimed to be one.
Therefore, it would only be normal for them to see Jesus and know exactly what he is guilty of- Remember, the inscriptions are placed so that people can know what your offense is; In the case of the robbers, anyone seeing them would know they were guilty of robbery, not that the claimed to have robbed. But in the case of Jesus, as the Bible tells us, the Jews did not crucify Him because ‘He claimed to be the king’ but because ‘He is the king’. With their mouth they said and wrote it, as is recorded in verse 37…
The point is this- As seen from Vs.51-54, the truth will always come out; though delayed- it can never be denied. When people falsely accuse you, or when people try to hold you down from the truth of who you are, learn from Jesus- hold on to God and they themselves, will be the once to affirm to the truth of who you are.
Jesus at any point could have wanted to ‘show off’ and freed Himself from them “but for the joy set before Him, He endured till the very end”. One Key truth Christ left us with from this message is that when we find ourselves in such trying times ( of whatsoever nature), whatever decision we decide to take should always remain in the will of God and in so doing, in the very presence of our accusers, we will be liberated.
I therefore decree and declare for you today, with the name that is above all names; that in the name of Jesus, anyone that wants to deny the glory God has placed upon your life, will be the same person to promote it in Jesus name!!!
For a clearer understanding of this prayer, here’s the story of Joseph and Esther-as seen in Genesis 37-41 and Esther 2-7, respectively
Joseph had a dream, in this dream, he was to become great- he told his brothers, and immediately, they sort on how to bring him down (The thing is this, when God is on your side, anything else anyone does will turn out to be working for your good), but ended up leading him to his promise land. What they thought for evil, God turned it around for good!
In the story of Esther, Haman wanted to rubbish Modeciah and all the people that came to town with Esther. After a proper plan on how he was to destroy them (The thing is this, when the enemy is planning to destroy you, God is at the same time planning to bless you), Haman, himself was the one who ended up promoting Modeciah.
When the enemy is done planning; God’s blessings always come. If the enemy doesn’t repent, he will fall into that trip he set for you.
Here’s the good news and the message of the cross, the enemy can repent; that is why Christ died on the cross- To Bring Forgiveness and Hope in Salvation.
God bless you as you walk in His footsteps…
Oluwatosin Olabode (Sst)
This is a Beautiful Guest post from my every own Friend and Family- Elizabeth Gbemi, Enjoy!!!
One day, a preacher was preaching. He was so passionate about his message that in the bid to back his message up with concrete evidence, he decided to talk about certain people in the society. He was talking about raising children and he got to the corrupt and seemingly impossible children and I heard him say; ‘the rich man’s children’, they are always this and that and those. When you talk of armed robbers, pen fraudsters as well as internet fraudsters’ blah, blah… then the lady beside me, so caught up with the preacher’s message concurred and said ‘awon ni o’*. This is to say that the rich man’s children are the corrupt ones. Then this came to my mind; don’t you intend becoming rich someday too? If you do and actually become rich some day, won’t the same be said of you? Be limitless in your thoughts.
The Holy Bible says ‘as far as you can see’. Our God created us to be limitless, that is why He expects us to abound in all good things. He is not narrow-minded otherwise; he wouldn’t have created the whole world in five days only for one man to reside in it. He had a master plan in mind even right from the beginning. He knew He was creating that man to subdue the earth. Were it not so, He probably would have created a small garden in few seconds.
Take the issue of the ark for another example. God told Noah to make an ark. He told him the precise thing He had in mind, although he never revealed the main plan He had in mind to Noah. Even though God had intended the larger part of the ark for those He created in His own image, He also knew they were very headstrong and rebellious. So He had another set of creatures He intended to occupy the ark in mind. He knew that with those on board, He would still get much more than those that were on ground because of his first command which is for them to multiply and subdue the earth.
Pastor Enoch Adejare Adebayo, a renowned man of God based in Nigeria is known as a man of great faith and power of God. He is an earthly and present example of a visionary He bought the now popular Redemption camp several years ago. At that time, many people thought he was foolish or even mad. ‘Why would someone acquire so much land when he has not finished building the ones in town?’ Many would have even thought the project impossible until today that everyone now sees in clear terms what originally was obscure and even seemed mad or foolish. This great man of God was not limited in his thoughts and so many lives are dependent on that thought that today has become a reality. DREAM BIG
The Wright brothers at the time they abandoned their primary occupation for a ‘greater venture’ would have been thought foolish by all and sundry. They decided that they could create something that would defy the law of gravity and not only that but that such vehicle would be able to convey humans and goods flying high up in the sky. Well, they got their dream sooner than later and are today remembered not as mere men but as great achievers. These men kept dreaming. They never stopped expanding their horizon in their minds neither did they limit their thoughts to some laws propounded by a few people. They also did not keep dreaming without working towards what they thought very important but were driven by those thoughts to achieve greatness that we all are beneficiaries of today.
A name that will forever stay in our hearts also is Tayo Aderionkoun, a foremost business man who brought the idea of zero naira minimum balance into banking. This idea has greatly helped the banking sectors of today in the sense that the idea attracted more customers. More interesting is the opening of accounts with zero naira and zero charge. Students will forever be grateful for these innovations. This man thought, together with members of his tem of a way of improving banking and thereby getting customers and they came up with some of these risky ones I have mentioned but weren’t deterred because they saw the huge success in their minds. Again tell you DREAM BIG
When I was a lot younger, I could pick up anything I found that looked like a microphone and would sing time and again until my voice was hoarse or I began to feel a nagging headache or I’m forced to do so. At that time it was only immediate family that appreciated my voice because I had a deep masculine baritone voice. One of the older girls who had the opportunity of singing aloud and appreciated in the choir once said that I sang like a frog. I was hurt and went crying to my father who told me to tell her ‘thank you’ the next time she made any such derogatory statements. Today, not out of arrogance, I stand before kings to sing. If I had dwelt on that negative statement and such that were like it, and decided to stop thinking I wasn’t a great singer, my voice probably who would have become what she thought it was. But no! I wouldn’t dwell on that. I dusted my battered ego and continued to dream, think in my heart that I would get there and make it. Here I am today and believe me when I tell you that I’m still going places.
What are your dreams?
What are you doing and putting in place to achieve them?
Are your dreams as small as your stature, resources, education…?
I put it to you today that until your dreams, thoughts are bigger than what and who you really are at the moment, you may never get there. So again I say: DREAM BIG! THINK BIG like Ben Carson would say.
*Yoruba for ‘they are the ones’
These are moral lessons life teaches us daily as we are becoming who we would become, Life meets each and every one of us in different ways, so if these lessons don’t directly apply to you, feel free to drop some lessons below that might apply to us…
- Life is a reflection of you.
- Life is beautiful when your heart is beautiful; life is ugly when your heart is ugly.
- Life entails your “being” not your “doing”.
- ‘Life is only a mistake, when after its occurrence you learnt nothing’.
- Love is hurtful to the other person when one chooses selfish self-protection against giving the other a chance to earn trust
- ‘To love the most; one must come to terms with “love bears all thing”.
- “When the teacher is teaching and your mind is somewhere else, when an exam is set, the answer will be somewhere else”.
- ‘When you want to show off, make sure you are alone’.
- When you want to complain, come-plain.
- When it’s time to get out, GET OUT!!!
- Never use your good moments alone to judge who people are, always take note of them when things are at the worst for you.
- There is healing in silence, but it is not the cure to any problem.
Food for thought-
The year is in its second month, are you in the second (or better put, a more productive) phase of your plans for the year or those resolutions have since become forgotten issues?
from your very own SST
Strictly Simple from Tosin
Today’s Guest Post is by an amazing friend and colleague- Coauthor of ‘The Big One’
So I said yes to ‘Him’…again.
The silvery rays of the moon entwined with the night breeze to birth an atmosphere of serenity, its fingers creeping into the room, filling it with much coolness. I pulled my cardigan around me and looked out of the window. I could feel his gaze on my face so much that I shuddered, but still didn’t look at him.
I couldn’t. Something in my past kept haunting me.
Years before, when we met, it was love at first sight. Though I was just in sS2 and he was way older, it didn’t matter because he made feel like a woman in every way, not the clumsy girl everyone else saw. He shared my joys, held me through pains and loved me like no other. Though he had a job and was pretty busy, he always made out time to be with me. He knew my friends and they loved him. Our love blossomed by the day and it felt like i couldn’t survive a day without him. I couldn’t imagine being without him….
Then I got into the university and everything changed.
The rigors of lectures, assignments, tests, projects and all was so overwhelming that I barely had time for myself, much less ‘US’.
Once, when I’d managed to squeeze out time to see him, he’d taken my hands in his, stared somberly at them for a while, “I love you…but I can feel you drifting away from me.” And I could hear the sadness in the depths of his
He was right because in the weeks and months that followed, we grew apart, saw each other less and talked less until we lost contact- more like I lost contact because he tried in every way to bridge the gap but I pushed him away on the premise that I was busy with my studies and didn’t want to be distracted in any way.
I walked away from him and I felt something die in me.
I got my freedom but I soon discovered it came with a price tag. I dabbled into the wrong relationships, made the wrong choices, lost my innocence, and the academics I’d been so occupied with crashed. Before long, I’d evolved into the woman I never dreamt I’d be, one so different from the one he’d made me feel like.
That was when I remembered him.
I searched for him with so much anguish, not even knowing where to go because we’d lost contact for over 4years. I searched for him where I could, asked around to no avail. I’d sit on my bed, weeping, reliving moments we shared…moments that had become mere memories buried in the sands of time.
Then one day, I heard these words from a sermon, “remember where you lost it, go back and do the works you did at first…” and it quickly struck me: There was one place I hadn’t looked! A place he’d promised to be every day, at a certain time, waiting for me. A place we’d found and held so dear because it brought us together. Our meeting place!
I ran all the way to the place, whilst hoping and praying he’d be there after all these years.
And he was there! Propped against the wall with his hands folded across his chest and his feet crossed, he looked more handsome than he was the last time I saw him, such perfect picture of tranquility that my heart melted and my feet wobbled beneath me. When he saw me, he ran to me, lifted me in his arms and spun me around with so much laughter, whilst professing his undying love for me. Then he looked into my eyes, wiped the tears and with forgiveness in his voice, he said those words I’d longed to hear all these years…” I love you.*
Now we sat across each other and I couldn’t bring myself to look at him; my past haunts me so much that I feel like a slut, yet he sat there with so much desire and love reflecting in his eyes. How could he have come here every day all these years, hoping I’d return one day? How could he have waited for me all these years…? How could he even look at me with so much love? Will things ever be the same?
“Now you’re here and that’s all that matters to me.” He said quietly, as though reading my thoughts. I finally turned to look at him. Who’s this guy??
“But the past….”
“Has been forgotten. My love is much stronger,” he said, stretching out his hands towards me.
I flew with total abandon into his waiting arms and immersed myself in the wealth of his love. I said yes to him…again.
Him? Yes, Jesus.
Wait a sec! Don’t think I’m being ‘sister Mary-ish’; it’s far from it. In life we make choices for various reasons and I’ve made mine.
I said yes to him because he’s loved me like no other and has taught my heart to love and my hands to work.
I said yes to him because he knows my weaknesses and strengthens me…and my knees to pray.
I said yes to him because he shows my feet the right path, bringing me closer to the Father.
I said yes to him because he teaches me wisdom and prudence, fills my hear with joy and lights my face with smiles, making me more beautiful.
So in the end, he’s molding me into his choice lady, a refined rib that will fit into my Adam’s ribcage, to be his helpmeet and companion, not a burden.
“I love you and I want all of you” He said.
Putting my arms around him I said, *You can have all of me…every part of me”, and I this time, I knew nothing could separate him from me.
I may not know what the future holds but I’m held by the one who knows the future!!!