Christianity

Pray

by Adenike Omosanya on

 

He said, constantly should I pray
Every day as I walk on the way
And on my bed at night even as I lay
So as to thrive and not fall prey
To the world and its perils, as cheerless as grey

These are warnings given by the creator
For thousands of years ago he gave us a vindicator
Yet right in our midst lurks the devil, the heinous predator
This fight is ours, we choose to lose or be a victor.

Though a choice had been given to us to make
But the decision is rightfully ours to take
From the options spread right before us even as a lake
Life and death – either one, we can’t eat and have our cake,
So we must follow the path each day we wake

The only thing we can find in God as a default
Is the undeserving love He gives as the result
Because reigning with him at the end is his utmost desire
And not until he gets us, will He ever retire.

Adenike Omosanya

SINGLES CLASS

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra

I ended my last article (read here) with the banquet. Do you know I forgot to mention one really plain guy who was standing unobstructed in the center of the room? You know him!
So I belong to this group on WhatsApp for singles. It’s really been a blast. It’s refreshing, slightly different from all the relationships discussion groups I’ve been in on. It’s been quiet lately till I woke up this morning to a post by the admin-1 Cor7: 33-34
We were admonished to read it in as many versions as possible— yeah google it!
I’m like as what?
That I shouldn’t think about getting married. Hian! Even bible used that word “single”
But the verse wouldn’t go away, so I meditated on it all day and Eureka! I realized who it was I missed in the banqueting hall. While I was busy checking out the Dangotes and Einstein’s of my world, there he was, all and more than I’ve dreamed or asked for – Jesus.
He wants me.
And my heart stopped beating!

I realized my so called singles lesson have been me lounging in “why marriage” refresher courses. I have been observing my real class from afar. No wonder I missed him. Who could have missed such lovely eyes (I tell you he wears his heart in his eyes).

The single life isn’t a life of pursuing illusions and moping around. It is not a life of letting society tell us where we should be and what we ought to be doing. All your mates are getting married they say and so they would because we aren’t dominating the conversation. We are not acting like people who have been loved and are in love. No wonder, prince charming has been on the run, we look more like homeless destitutes than the pampered princess he seeks! We are hormonal, we are vague and full of it. We hide under personality traits, broken umbrellas and keep missing our classes.

So get up, there are places to go and things to do. Right within us, should be a woman who wouldn’t think ourselves incomplete but totally married to her lord.
A woman who would have eyes for Jesus alone! Who would seek him out in a room and no one else.
A woman who is fulfilled in her singleness, that if marriage was not placed on the table. She wouldn’t seek it.

AM I EVEN READY?

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra

I am one of those people who think they are long overdue for marriage. I dutifully read all godly and some secular articles/books there is on the subject. Don’t get me started on songs and movies- or aren’t they part of the education? I mean Fireproof, Courageous, War Room, and so on. I have listened to a thousand and one sermons, the preachers all end up saying the same thing. In fact I almost screamed this February when my pastor started a series on relationship. Again!

I have observed the do-s and don’t-s of the single life, I think it’s high time I was rewarded with prince charming.

Do you belong to the school who has kept the bed undefiled? Isn’t it high time we got in on those moments? Hold hands like we want to, be able to kiss on the bus without bothering who would see and just laugh into each other’s face. Stop! Rewind, no fast forward! The way married women around me talk, think, and rush just to get home to their chores, the care. The being concerned about worldly things isn’t romance but service.

And to the final bubble buster! Do you know how people write romantic letters to their future spouses? I just read a profound one moments ago. I see those letters as a summary of one’s expectations in thoughts. Well this letter got me asking myself and you, do you think more on the virtues or the look? Do you think more of the nights than the challenges you would face together by day? Are you aware he would have weaknesses, something that you will find irksome?

Let me chip in a final word, if God were to bring me into a banqueting house of baes/boos? Kind of like the one Adam was taken to, just here no baboons and gorillas! Just the people in your life…..the Luke Warms, The Rich young fool, Almost Perfect Samsons, slightly built Paul, Handsome Absalom………just between you and the device, you and me, I think God knows that though I’m saying where is Isaac? I am no Rebekah yet!

Are you ready?

Held

by Adebayo Akande on

Written by Adebayo Akande

 

 

The sky fell,
All was let loose from hell
In the mix of nimbus and hades
We stood, in the face of the clipper’s blades.

The world came crashing.
Thuds, bangs, booms, abounding.
Mares haunted dreams, aches taunted hope
Yet we clung on, like we had some strobe

Many times we questioned our minds
Were we dumb, had we left reason behind?
Who were we to think we’d live through this?
How in the world could we be at peace?

I believe we didn’t so much hold on, we were held!
By an arm so strong, to a love that melds and welds
And that heart still beats, with us, for us.
Life is worth living, because the greater one lives in us!

Why Easter?

by Adebayo Akande on

Written by Adebayo Akande

IS CHRIST REALLY THE REASON FOR THE SEASON?
I received a text message on my phone wishing me a happy Easter celebration and it ended thus “you’re the reason for the season.”
I dismissed the last statement as a typographical error, but again what could the sender have had in mind and then mis-spelt? I’m used to seeing “Jesus/Christ is the reason for the season”, I also send same to people during Christmas and Easter. That message was deliberate, and it got me disturbed. How can you remove Christ, and replace Him with me, as the reason for the season?
But I have come to learn that it is foolhardy to judge a matter or a person without taking time to critically examine the circumstances. So I set out to do some thinking.
The reason for a thing/event is the main purpose for which it had to happen. Think about some key events and experiences in your life and try to decipher the reason for some, if not all of them.
Now to the meat of the matter…
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, following his death on the cross, yes?
So then what/who would be the reason for Easter? The answer to this would be the reason He had to die and rise again.
Let’s see some scriptures:
Hebrews 2:9; “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Romans 5:8; “But God commended His love towards us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 8:34: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. “

Romans 4:25: “Who was delivered for our offences, and raised for our justification.”

1 Cor 15:17: “If Christ be not raised, then your faith is in vain, and you are still in your sins.”

Most, if not all scriptures that talk about His death and resurrection are clear as to why-for sinners!
He died to take away all our sins. He rose up and declared us not guilty. All He did was for us. He did nothing for himself. Such love, what a savior!
So you and I, the church, are the reason for the season. Jesus Christ, at the centre of it all, remains the essence of the season.
He did it for us. He was born for us, He lived for us, He died for us. He is risen, and now sits at the Father’s right hand making intercession for who? For us!
This is the height of devotion. This is the ultimate love.

He is committed to us, more than we ever could to Him.

So this season, celebrate the risen Lord, who now lives in you, works through you, who loves you like you are the only one alive.

He is the essence; we are the reason for the season! Without Him, we are nothing! Without us, He needn’t have died.

Killing death

by Admin on

gathering to feast on His flesh and blood
for in His death we live?
Nay, in His life we live and move
for He did not stay dead,
but conquered death by dying.
Literally paid death in its own coin!

Because He lives after tasting death,
I live forever, having believed
the potency of death diluted,
Its flavour made bland,
and its sting, numb.

Jesus Lives.
I live.

Guest turned Bride

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

By Alexandra Akinnadeju

Seeking for Love,
Searching for Affection;
Ignoring wisdom’s advances,
To the market place I went.

My eyes was only on the bargain
The Price at which I would bid
Not nurturing the seeds I had
Heart empty, I sought.

While love waited at the altar,
I stood lost in line;
He is love,
And Love is not a thing.

Turning aside to see,
I saw his heart
All in his eyes
And eyes only on me

Did he not see my stains and my twisted frame?
If I fooled Him to believe, maybe I’ll believe it too
I had come like everyone else
But I would be his bride it seems.

Standing before me,
Had always been my Prince
I had been invited to my own wedding
I won His heart without a bid!

Though my heart held no affection,
He still beckoned
Broken, I donned my veil,
And walked down the aisle.

Learning from the Ants 2

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra Akinnadeju

The Unhygienic Competition

This piece is a continuation of my study with the ants, my little cousins and nephew.

My not so little nephew, Ayo; and my little female cousin, Bolu had this thing going throughout the holiday – a very special love-hate relationship. It all started when mom declared Bolu the best behaved kid of the season. What is not to love? Unlike the boys, she is not rambunctious (except when they are all after my phone); she doesn’t track dust or mud through the house after playing football; you need not force her to take her bath, wear a clean dress or wash the dirty one; there was no occasional bladder spillage before hitting the toilet – something the boys tagged puberty from excessive playfulness and disruption of bed time, whatever that means. She is all girl!

So Ayo tried to beat Bolu to it by being the best at his chores. Although there is no separation of chores by gender in my house, there is a pattern with room for overlap. The girls run the kitchen while the boys run errands mostly outside the house. In addition to keeping the sink empty of dirty plates, Bolu also ran errands. Ayo hated this interference because even out here he seems unable to shake off this kitchen champ. When trying to be first at running errands outdoor won’t do, he denied any attempt from Bolu to assist and when the praise singing didn’t turn in his favor, he became mean to her.

I’ve been in Ayo’s shoes, despising someone in school for being a know-it-all, envying someone at home or downright spiteful of someone in church ‘cause they appear to be everyone’s favourite. Sometimes we even pick on people for things they have no control over, like being taller than us, being prettier or having a better handwriting. Petty, isn’t it?

God gave us all diverse abilities as he saw fit Ephesians 4:7. That someone is getting the attention doesn’t mean we are less important. I did choose Ayo over Bolu for any errand, because he doesn’t mind getting dirty (and yes those were needed sometimes) plus he would sprint back and forth in record time. The chores result mostly in the meals then the dirty plates. My little nephew didn’t realize that; getting dirty, not being really interested in sink duties all day, sleeping late because of silly cartoons all add to the charm of who he is – our own little man!

So God loves us as much, equally, whether we are on Forbes list or just trying to be a regular at prayer meetings! If your day of praise-singing hasn’t arrived yet, don’t hate on those being celebrated; just wait your turn and be good in whatever you’re good at. Make sure you’re really good at something.

Learning from the ants 1

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra Akinnadeju

Last Christmas was one the best I have had in years. I had the great privilege of spending it with my little cousins and nephew. Nothing beats being the favorite aunt in the world except a little me-time with my phone. Those amazing little creatures know how to turn on the magic – a little hug, cute innocent brown eyes staring up at you earnestly, the most sincere please-s in musical voices and prompt responses to my every whims and needs. Did I mention that all these adoration was because they wanted my phone?

They have a beautiful way of playing the digital games on it that has me observing them. My own special spiritual experiment – outsmarting Solomon – having the ants come to me, lol!
They would be like “aunty, what is this game about”? And while I launch into the thrills and turns of the car racing or whatever game has caught their fancy (yes I love games too) I would discover I’m busy speaking to myself. They are already at it, playing the game turn by turn! Woeful performance is not a deterrent! These chaps are relentless till they master the game. Once they’re on this mastering track, I would have to hide my phone to save some power on it! Don’t get me started on missed calls.

Fast forward to the spiritual inference and conclusion of my experiment. Newsflash! I am excited about who I get to be in this analogy – I get to be GOD. And the children, my cousins and nephew, represent all of us. Like me, God is excited, in love and interested in us (not experimentally, but with Fatherly interest), He answers our questions. But so unlike the children, we don’t receive the word or answers to our questions excitedly and with a readiness to explore unfamiliar territories. We see every avenue to exercise our faith as a puzzle. Like Martha (sister to Lazarus and Mary in the Bible), we get so hung up on the details.

We spend so much of our time pondering on every fact from ABC; the direction of the wind, the sea level; instead of sowing our seeds. My little buddies don’t sit around letting me discourage them with the list of pitfalls in the game. They just get on with it. Is it car racing, they race. Ninja fruit game, they slice.

Instead of believing God is on our side, seated on a mercy (grace) seat and looking lovingly at us as we do our thing; we believe he is busy peeping intently at us via heaven’s CCTV waiting to see us fail, and then punish us. No my little buddies don’t care that they ran down my batteries yesterday, they are back again the next day to beg for my phone.

Those little dudes are masters at disappointment and are not afraid to play again and again, even in the midst of uncertainty, amongst a crowd (of themselves). Meager scores is a thing to defend and laugh over, just before the next round! These chaps know that with practice, they would excel. So is faith, Hebrews 5:14 told us to keep practicing it. Peter told us its gold, it would be tested. We are not supposed to quit because we said it would rain but there is only a handful of cloud out there. We must go from ‘if this be your will’ prayers, to ‘effectual fervent prayers that avail much’; and from there we must reach a level where we exclaim “Father, I thank you for always hearing me”!

Oh yes, perfection is possible! And remember always that God isn’t like LASTMA lurking somewhere invisibly at the highway as you drive, waiting to catch you when you run a red light or take a wrong turn. Just drive, if you get it wrong there will be road signs to guide you safely home; you might arrive your destination later than planned but you’ll arrive! Don’t stop driving.

Proof of Faith

by Admin on

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

From scripture to scripture, the bulk of following Jesus as Savior rests on believing. It is founded on things contrary to logic, human reasoning or tangible transferable evidence.
For we walk by faith, not by sight 2 Corinthians 5:7.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved Romans 10:9

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that must cometh to God must believe that He is (exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him Hebrews 11:6.

Only few had the luxury of tangible evidence, those who closely walked in and out with him while he walked the shores of earth. There were those who were alive in his time who still were not privy to most of what we now read and hear. But those that were with him had this to say; specifically John, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;…That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,…” 1 John 1:1-3

The rest of us who were not privy to such intimate existence of our savior have word of mouth of others and the records (from the Bible) and our supernatural experiences to cling to. To seek logical reasoning as a basis of faith will always lead into more confusion. Our whole followership of Christ makes no sense; it is not supposed to make sense naturally. So why try to logically establish what you identified with apart from logic?

I recently read a story of how anthropologists found the remains of what without much thought must be that of a giant going by the size. Whoever posted it was quick to say that was another evidence that God is Supreme and that the Bible is true, because that must have been Goliath’s remains. I didn’t quite agree with that. It may be proof that Giants existed, it may even be proven to be Goliath, but that isn’t why the Bible is true. Science and research can allude to the elements of our faith when certain discoveries are made, but the absence of evidence or substantial proof should never wary or disturb whoever has truly believed on Christ as they should. As if I knew how shallow the Goliath’s claim was already, I proceeded to the comments section of the post and without surprise found a lot of people asking legitimate questions. Their query was ‘didn’t David cut off goliath’s head with his spear, how come the remains found wasn’t headless?’ In what may have been an innocent attempt at convincing others of the existence of God and the reality of the biblical accounts, the poster succeeded in creating more debate. This is what happens when we try to prove God’s existence on His behalf.

While I was in Junior secondary school, in the first year of my exposure to the Internet, I came across a very touching story; it was that of a woman who was buried alive along with her newborn and they were exhumed about 2 weeks later, still alive. According to the story, someone heard their cry or suspected what had happened and rescued them. They were found hale and hearty and well fed and it was reported that an angel or was it Jesus had been feeding them in the ground. Going by the reputation of Jesus, the Christ in whom I believe without any iota of doubt, this is well within the range of what he can do. What isn’t? But I do not quite believe the story. In the decade that followed that first encounter with the story, I came across same story on different platforms and from different people with varying details. One time the event was said to have happened in Egypt, another time it was Kenya, in fact, same story was floated in favor of another religion with the identity of the savior changed of course. These stories hold no water as far as the reality of our faith is concerned.

Artefacts don’t prove God’s existence nor does our inability to find them prove His inexistence. Those things are because He is!

Another quite intriguing series is that of those who have toured either heaven or hell. I do not know if their accounts are true or false, and I really do not care to find out every time I see such. My reasons are not far-fetched. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus which Jesus relayed to the Pharisees Luke 16: 20-31; the rich man was said to have made a request that someone from the dead be sent to warn his brothers, his request was denied because the living already had enough witnesses and instructions as to what to expect or prepare for in the world beyond. In fact, if someone was to be sent to them, some would still not believe. Abraham responded to the rich man that his brothers had the law and the prophets, they didn’t even have the gospel and epistles and revelation yet! How about now that we have the full component? I wonder if God has changed His mind and has decided to start sending us messages from those in the great beyond. Believe me, I have never been there nor do I suggest that the accounts of those who have gone and come back are false, but I can only tell of what I know and I’m sure of. Haven’t you heard or read how in the scriptures we are told that the heavens and the earth shall vanish and be no more? Isaiah 51:6; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Hebrews 1:11-12; 2 Peter 3:10-13. And furthermore we are told of the emergence of a new heaven and earth, Revelation 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea”

Going all out on that as a matter of fact, if their accounts are true, it still doesn’t change the reality of our faith, and that whatever anyone has seen now will be dissolved and done away with. Only the sure word of God and God himself will last forever. We have the word and all we need for godliness already. I need no other argument, no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died and that he died for me, and you. If you respond to such tales from the great beyond, it would mostly be out of fear, not true belief. And it will mostly last long enough as your memory retains the information.

What we all really need is an experience, a supernatural one that no one, not even ourselves can take away from us. I particularly love the account in John 9. It is that of the man born blind, who now an adult met with Jesus and regained his sight. The Pharisees were furious and tried all they could to tag Jesus as a sinner. They went as far as asking the parents if indeed the man was the same son they had who was born blind. The parents out of fear replied that he is of age and can speak for himself. The previously blind man couldn’t deny what had happened nor could it be taken away from him. He wasn’t knowledgeable about the person of Jesus, but his response was clear; all he knew was that he was blind and he regained his sight when he met with this Jesus.

As simple as it is and sounds, simply believing Jesus as savior and consequently receiving pardon and full absolution of sins has been one of the most difficult things to do for many till date. It doesn’t sound logical and it never will, but if you have found another way to be in right standing with God without any charge against you despite all you have done, then feel free to ignore this simple call to freedom.

I want to wish you, reader, and everyone else, such an experience that supercedes any knowledge or understanding.

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