Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Wrestling Match

The ring was set in the hot arid desert. It was an unusual setting for a wrestling match but the fight itself was an usual one. The man in the left corner was thick set with a wild look about him. He had an usual glint in his eyes like he knew something nobody else does (wouldn't want to be caught in the same room with him). Which makes me wonder about his opponent. He looked disadvantaged besides the thick set man. He was slightly built beside his giant opponent and looked hungry. How did he get into this situation? Somebody please help him before he gets beaten to a pulp. It looked like an unfair match from the onset. Clang! Clang!! Clang!!! The match has begun. The man in the left threw a killer punch that was smartly deflected by the smaller man. Every punch and maneuver by the bigger man was tactically avoided by his opponent. It seemed I had underestimated the pint size fighter. One would think he was privy to the other's tactic. Guess the thick set man thinks so as well given the frustrated look on his face. with a mighty roar he dived at his opponent, it was a gut wrenching shout meant to scare the little guy into shitting himself. But the little man was having non of that, he'd anticipated this move, it was peculiar to bullies and he'd met a fair share of this type-all air and no clout. He waited till the bigger man was close enough and cleverly stepped aside. The thick man landed on his face, red faced he lifted himself up and slumped to the left corner of the ring. What just happened he wondered? It was meant to be an easy bout-one punch should have knocked out his skinny opponent. The above scenario alludes to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The devil walks into the setting with a know it all attitude. He had a "winning" strategy in his pocket-knock the man Jesus out when He is weakest. The devil knew Jesus was hungry and thought he could knock the lord out without much stress but he got the shock of his life. Although He was hungry, Jesus was still thinking right unlike Esau who sold his birthright in a bout of hunger (Gen 25:29-34). Jesus was meant to be at a disadvantage given the setting and situation, the poor dude had been fasting for 40 days and 40 night!! The enemy had a "good" strategy but this time he was messing with the wrong person. For Jesus, it was not about the circumstances around him but what he carried inside. He was not sustained in those 40 days by regular food but by the fellowship he had with his father."It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4. Just like with Jesus, the devil will come with a sneak attack when you least expect or are prepared. That's not fair you say...It's not fair but you are not without help. "I will not leave you comfortless,I will come to that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you". So be encouraged and prepared ALWAYS. To win, you don't need plenty words just THE RIGHT WORD. Jesus did not waste time bantering with the enemy, He knew what was at stake so a few well chosen word got the enemy scampering away DEFEATED!!! Remember, Its not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog

Monday, 27 January 2014

Go on Laugh Daily (GOLD)

. You think your life is tough? try being a bike seat for a day! I saw this interesting video on YouTube that followed a day in the life of a bike seat being saddled and ridden by different women. The poor seat was sat on,bounced on, probably farted on and totally harassed by all manner of ample female behinds! If bicycle seats could talk, what a tale they would regale. Sometimes we think we've received the rough end of the stick in life and others have got it easier. Well, yes! Some people seemingly have it easier but beneath it all like my baby sister would say "its all in the packaging". Its a matter of presentation and packaging. Everyone has got a story, some are just more visible and read more loudly than others. I read somewhere a while back that "you are either coming out of a storm or going through a storm". So what do you do in the midst of life's many challenges? Simply enjoy the moment by HAVING A GOOD ATTITUDE! A grumpy attitude does not make the situation less palatable but a joyful spirit makes the journey easier. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds" James 1:2. The journey of life is not a walk in the park but an adventure(think Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom). Learn to laugh no matter what comes your way. Laughter is precious, endearing and cost nothing. Infact, its benefits are immense-YOU LIVE LONGER. laughter clubs are even becoming popular...yep! you heard me. I have a friend that probably has the most contagious laughter. She would laugh at the silliest and most mundane things! She found fun in life and that got her through a rough childhood-not to mention also got her into lots of trouble with the teachers . As a lady, I know what it means to flaunt my most valuable assets-that innate DESIRE for people to see those fabulous shoes, clothes, jewelries etc. It also called NOTICE ME. Your laughter can also draw attention and endear you to many. Its an INVALUABLE ASSET, WHY NOT FLAUNT IT-ITS GOLD. Stop hiding it behind a grumpy attitude. So like our dear old bike seat it doesn't matter the size of the rump that's bouncing on your leather(no pun intended) enjoy the ride! it will soon be over! This post is dedicated to my baby sister, YOU MAKE ME LAUGH THE MOST. LOVE YAAA!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The bucket list.

I watched an amazing programme that featured a woman dying of cancer. she had a few weeks to live but seemed unfazed with the notion of death. Instead, she made a bucket list of the things she'd like to do before death comes knocking.Oddly enough her list did not include travelling the world or going for incredible adventures unlike what we see in movies but simple things like spending quality time with family. Her reason was after all is said and done "FAMILY IS WHAT MATTERS". The irony of the issue was that this sweet lady was never a jet setting lady or high flying socialite in the first place but a simple family woman. she'd spent most her of life with family and when push came to shove, her family was all that counted. The other day I read an interesting quote that said "the only thing that you'll take to heaven that would matter is PEOPLE and not THINGS. If that quote is true then WHY ARE PEOPLE SO ENGROSSED WITH THINGS? we treat things better than people! The other day Josh mistakenly poured juice in my car and my immediate reaction was to scream like a banshee in heat! After I got over my self, I felt ashamed. The mess made in the car can be easily cleaned but childish tantrum over a little accident could leave a terrible scar on a little boy. Later I thought to myself, what memories would I love my lil boy to have of me-the screaming witch or loving mum? Things can be replaced but not people especially when you are blessed with wonderful friends and family. Back to the bucket list! If you were to make a bucket list what would it contain? As for me, I would be less selfish and self centred(yeah, I could be that sometimes), be more brave and less fearful,take a chance in love, spend time with the people that matter because seriously its not everyone that deserves your time and attention. Emotions like anger, bitterness, regrets, etc don't deserve your time either. After all is said and done, the things that would really truly matter at the end of the day are the relationships we forged, the impact we made in people's lives and the memories we leave behind. By the way, you don't need death to come knocking to re-prioritise your life. You owe it to yourself to live a FULL AND ENRICHING LIFE so you can boldly say like the Apostle paul did in 2 Tim 4:7-8 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing". The reality is its not everyone that would have the privilege of making a bucket list AND YOU DON'T NEED DEATH TO COME KNOCKING TO MAKE ONE. THINK ABOUT IT.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Its all in THE WORD

The day Baba quarrelled with the self acclaimed "olowo Adugbo"(neighbourhood richman) would forever be etched on my mind! not because they exchanged fisticuffs but for the wise words baba used to put this local bully in his place. You see, Olowo adugbo had been harassing the neighbourhood. He was a custom officer and privileged to own two houses on one street. His boisterous voice, semi military status and material possessions in an area mostly filled by low income earners made him a somewhat feared person. Olowo adugbo decided to seal his uncontested bully position by putting up a gate at both entrances to the street without consulting anybody and worsened the situation by keeping a tight reign on the keys. He alone determined what time the gates would be opened and what time it closed. Nobody could stand up to him but we all mumbled under our breath silently waiting for the day this neighbourhood terrorist would have his comeuppance. Well Baba as he was fondly called had had enough! Baba was not rich by the world's standard. He was an elderly man who lived in an uncompleted building with his family. Baba wasn't much to look at either but he had a healthy disposition towards life and was friendly with everyone hence the nickname "Baba" which means father. That fateful morning, Baba was waiting for "olowo adugbo" to open the gate and demanded without mincing words that either the gates were opened earlier or removed entirely. In the midst of the verbal exchange, Baba silenced his opponent with these deep truth " with all the money you have, you sleep in one room and I sleep in a room, that makes us equal". you could hear a pin drop in the silence that ensued. Without uttering another word, this once feared man dropped his braggado,handed the keys over and walked away. And so the era of intimidation ended. Like everyone else Baba had had enough but he took a bold step to end a situation that was downright unpleasant to him. This amiable man did not resort to fighting but a few choice words put the bully in his place and on a leash. Life would definitely be easier if we like Baba could put our enemies on a leash instead of mumbling and complaining. At the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) School of discipleship, we were taught three principles of victorious living. 1. Know yourself- baba knew his rights so could confront his opponent. 2. know your enemy-Olowo Adugbo despite his braggado was just a toothless bulldog. 3. Know the weapon of your warfare- the Word of God. you cant have too much of The Word. To put the devil in his place, all you need is the word of God and there you'll find revelation of who you are. After all, according to 1 peter 2: 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." In matthew 4:1-11, Jesus had an encounter with the devil in the wilderness. Our saviour exercised heavenly authority simply by speaking THE WORD and was not confused about His(jesus) identity My friendly neighbour did not have much but he knew himself and spoke the right word- this was enough to topple a local tyrant. If Baba can, SO CAN YOU. Its all in THE WORD

Monday, 20 January 2014

You are what you eat.

While flickering through the TV channels during one of my lazy moments, I came across an E entertainment programme that grabbed my attention. Despite my bored state of mind, the show immediately captured my roving mind. It was Celebrity Slim down:Losing the Weight. The show followed the success story of a couple of celebrities and how they lost their bulging bellies. Some were post baby bellies while others were the consequences of over indulgence in food. One striking feature they all had in common aside from their huge waistline was their determination to shed the excess weight. E presenter and comedian Ross Mathew's weight loss journey particularly struck me. He told the interviewer without mincing words that he became fat as a result of the poor food choices he made. He did not blame his condition on the trying circumstance around him at the time but took stock of his role in the situation. He acknowledged his role in his increased waistline. HE WAS FAT BECAUSE HE HAD POOR EATING HABITS. Do you know it is so easy to blame other people for our problems rather than admit that maybe we'd somehow contributed to the situation or even if its solely our fault? People tend to play the blame game and push the bulk of the offense on others. People, the first step to redemption is the admittance of sin!!! Adam is a typical example of how to play the game blame. In Genesis 3, he'd disobeyed God's command alongside his wife and instead of admitting his role and better still repenting, he downright blamed everyone else-he claimed to be an innocent bystander! There is a local proverb in Nigeria that says "the day a mad person admits to being insane then healing has truly begun". Admittedly, somethings happen in life that we definitely had no control over or contributed to but we have a choice on how we a react to these situations. My initial reaction in the wake of rejection was to indulge in my favourite past time-FOOD. I did this until I became clinically obese and diabetic. Now, I know better and would make healthier and better choices if faced with the same situation and I try to adopt this mindset in my daily routine. Whether you agree or not, you are who and where you are today because of the choices you made. The other day, I was almost overwhelmed by some challenges. My initial response was to throw a giant tantrum but instead took a deep breathe and reigned in my feelings and PRAYED THE BLUES AWAY.The challenges did not disappear immediately but my attitude in the midst of it all was positive and clearer. Truth is my transformation did not come over night but OVER TIME and a result of deliberate positive decisions and I'm a better person for it. Its time to get it right and NOW is the best time to start.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The shattered plate.

.I mistakenly broke a plate while doing the dishes this morning. The plate had somehow fallen off the plate rack where I'd placed it precariously. Somehow I knew its position was accident prone but given my "plate racking expertise" I felt I could quickly get through the rest of the dirty dishes before putting all the dishes in their proper positions. As I tried balancing another plate on my "leaning tower of dishes" everything came toppling down with a cloud clatter of ear tingling and cringe worthy noise. Of course, my frenzied attempt to save this particular plate as you can deduce failed. Its been ages since I broke anything, I'm usually very careful about such things except for burning Without much ado, I picked up the scattered pieces of my broken plates and continued with my chores. Simple as it may sound I had two choices. 1. make a huge fuss about the broken plate. 2. pick up the pieces of shattered plate, dump it in the bin and continue with my chores-AFTERALL ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN. Thank God, I chose the latter. Over time, I've learnt this principle applies in most negative situations that happen in life. You either make a huge fuss and remain plugged into that unwholesome situation or you count your losses and MOVE ON. For example your boyfriend of many years breaks up with you, painful as it is but a hurtful yet quick break is much better than a life time of regrets. I had a friend who was in a very unhealthy relationship for years but felt obligated to remain with her partner. In the long run, they got married and it ended in a very messy divorce after just a few years spent together in abuse. My former boss once told me how a friend's wife called him up in the middle of the night to help talk the husband off suicidal notions. The man had lost a lot of money in poor investments and was neck deep in debts. My boss drove to the man's house found him crying and to the poor man's dismay laughed in his face. You see, my boss laughed because he'd been in that position plenty times but had learnt to count his losses and move on to the next venture. Now he owns a thriving business empire. Imagine, what would have happened if he'd given up in the first few attempts. There was a time I would have won an Oscar for best actress in the movie "theatrics of a Shattered plate". I would have bemoaned how difficult life is given my disability( I lost 3 fingers on my right hand in a motor accident), or how life would have been easy if I had a husband to help me do the dishes etc....but I DIDN'T. Moaning, complaining and wishing will never put the broken dish together again!Most times, it is not so much in the value of what is broken but the fact that if it cannot be mended MOVE ON."The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." (1 SAM 16:1) . The lord acknowledge Samuel's mourning of Saul but also pushed the prophet into the next action plan. No use crying over spilt milk ask the milk maid. What has been shattered in your life or specifically what have you shattered? . I have learnt that accidents do happen in life but you have a choice. you either let the situation define you and become bitter or you flip your hair and MOVE ON....hope you chose the latter, In the long run you'll discover it was not worth the fuss in the first place

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Water of Life

Kirstin hates fish! For some reason the mere sight of any fish in whatever manner seems to irk her. I have noticed at several events how she walked past any delicacy that contained fish no matter how it was garnished or presented. This particular day, a meeting was held at my house and my dearest catering crew decided to make a platter of fish the main dish. So guess who turned up her nose at my lovely array of food but I wasn't going to let her get away with it this time-no one turns up their nose at the food I spent good money on even if she's wearing drool worthy shoes! "Are you not eating anything", I asked "innocently. She shrugged her shoulders but I wasn't letting go easy. After much prodding she told me she HATED fish because of the painful memories associated with it in her life.(seriously, I initially found it difficult to believe because food plus+me= very happy memories and I've got my plus size waistline as Kirstin parents were poor and could barely feed their 5 children. A good meal most times consisted of unmentionables with the obligatory Mackerel fish heads that her mum could glean off the market fish monger. So fish in whatever form reminded my dear friend of poverty and shame despite the fact that the memories were over 35 years old. Kirstin now has the privilege of avoiding fish as she could afford to eat whatever she likes but our dearest woman at the well did not have that option. Remember the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:1-40? In her discussion with Jesus she requested for the living water "so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” She wanted that life giving water so she wouldn't be drawing from that "well again". "The well" was a constant reminder of her position in society-a fallen woman, outcast, recluse, fornicator etc. She was tired of quenching her thirst with water drawn in despair, lonliness and shame. It was bad enough that she had to make that endless journey but drawing water from that well was labourious "the well is deep" (John 4:11). Imagine making that painful journey day in, day out, year in, year out; same drugedry yet no new outcome. She always went back thirsty! Imagine her surprise, when she found there is a way out of her present life of shame and that way was just by the well. Like this nameless woman, I had a well I was drawing from for years. It was a well whose water was coloured with pain, regrets, depression,failure until I found another kind of well whose water was refreshing and life giving. All I had to do was exchange one for the other. People in developing countries appreciate pipe borne waters because they've experienced the challenges of drawing water from murky wells and river-its more convenient, healthier and readily available. No more long treks to fetch mostly dirty water. what well have you been drawing from? It may be the aftermath of misadventure, failure, rejection, abortion, divorce, fear you can stop today. You must know by now that drawing from the well of negative actions is never easy. It is painful and dark. When you think of people that hurt you in the past or opportunities lost, you suddenly become infused with anger and pain and the day just roles into despair and depression. Lets chose to drink from the well spring of living waters its REFRESHING, LIFE GIVING AND FREE.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Part of the plan

The book of John 4:1-40 recounts Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman. This was not a chance encounter but incidentally part of his earthly mission. Jesus did not just appear at the well because verse 4 of that chapter tells us "He had to go through Samaria". Jesus was going to Jerusalem but he had to make this "stop" to reconfigure the journey of a woman who was lost. The Samaritan woman was lost emotionally, maritally socially and religiously. Maritally, she'd been with five husband and the sixth man was not even married to her. She was a social recluse as the bible tells us she was at the well during the hottest time of the day-ALONE. Most maidens and women always go to fetch water in groups and mostly in the evenings (Gen 24:11). emotionally, she was an outcast; given the strict religious laws at the time, who would want to be associated with an immoral woman?, better to brave the intense sunlight than endure the condemning stares and gossip of the other village women. Religiously, she still had a warped mindset of true worship,(John 4:19-24) Jesus could not continue to Jerusalem until he met with this woman. He felt the pull of her mess and needed to turn it into a compelling message. That journey into Samaria was not a detour but PART OF THE PLAN. Jesus came to earth with a plan and that lost lady with a whole lot of gabbage was part of that divine plan. What is that plan you may wonder? TO SAVE THE LOST. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost",Luke 19:10. Salvation met the samaritan woman at the well. She was lost in sin and burdened by religious dogma but Jesus met her right there and then and SHE WAS SET FREE. Her CV did not matter to Jesus and yours does not either. It does not matter how far lost you are, Jesus died for you.Your story like that of the woman at the well can be His Story, if only you'll let him. That nameless woman stands for each and everyone of us who has at one point or the other made very poor choices but its all good because Jesus loves you the way you are. Moreover, there's no hiding from him,He is ALL SEEING. Remember, you are not an after thought no matter what you are going through, YOU ARE PART OF THE PLAN.