Faith: Because of Who He Is

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I turn my Bible to Hebrews 11, just to refresh my memory on the term ‘faith’ so I can practice it more as I seek for a change in my life. It goes like this, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV) I reread the verse again. At this point, my life is taking a tumultuous turn and the pessimist in doesn’t hope too much– you never know with life, okay?

However, the Spirit softly beckons that, ‘All things work out for the good’, and He is backed by what I just read: ‘being sure of what we hope for’. A conflict of perception brews in me, two totally different views waging war.  Although I am convinced that the Word is true- a sure bet in fact, the realities I am facing reduces my hope to a pint. Also, how can I be certain of what I do not see? Isn’t it too much to ask of a mere mortal, especially one who mostly needs to see things first in order to believe? I think.

I proceed reading the verse further down hoping that the standards of faith be loosened just a bit to accommodate my shallow human mind and I am completely thrown off balance. ‘By Faith, Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.’ Hold up, the story of Cain and Abel is about faith? All along I thought it was about jealously? I muse on this revelation offered to me and proceed. ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’. My spiritual eyes are open and I am made to see that the essence of faith is not about envisioning my life to be better, but rather trusting the goodness of God regardless of the circumstances. Dummy!

It is with this same revelation that I am made aware that Cain offered ‘some’ of his sacrifices for his benefit, i.e. to receive blessings from God (hence it was rejected), while Abel on the other hand offered a sacrifice to worship God for who He is (hence He gave the best of His flock). Mmmh, God surely deserves we give him the best of us, i.e. all of ourselves, withholding nothing. The account of Cain and Abel also brings to my attention that the lack of faith paves way to sin which in Cain’s case ‘crouched at his door’ leading him to kill His brother. But with faith, we can ‘master sin’.

The Scripture proceeds to reinforce the God-centric nature of faith when it gives examples of ‘great men of faith’; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Moses, Joseph and Rahab. Concerning Abraham for instance, when He was called out of his land to go a foreign one, the Scripture says, ‘he went out, not knowing whither he went’, and when asked to sacrifice his son, he accepted by faith because he ‘reasoned that God could raise the dead’. His focus was not how he would lose his son but his faith was anchored on the greatness of God, just like Sara who ‘judged him faithful who had promised.’

As I continued meditating on this Word, my mind revisits the numerous times Jesus says, ‘your faith has healed you’ and the Spirit makes me understand that the sick were healed not because they needed healing to make their life pain-free, but for the sole reason that they approached the Messiah convinced and certain that what they do not see, i.e. their wellness would only be made possible by Jesus, because He is the Great Physician. It all pointed back to their perspective about who Jesus was and not their present situation. A certain centurion did not even require Jesus to come into his house to heal his ailing servant, but asked Him to, ‘say the word and my servant will be healed.’ (Luke 7). He knew the authority of Christ and didn’t even make mention of the graveness of his servant’s illness who was about to die. Jesus who healed his servant commends him saying, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel”.

Just like the centurion, the faith of these notable people had nothing to do with them or their wishes, but rather their strong belief in God and who He was regardless of their circumstances. Actually, they were in the deep (as we would say), Abraham in a foreign land, and Sara in her impossible dilemma of bearing a child at a ‘past age’. The great faith of these remarkable people was not because they were longing for their circumstances to change but because they looked heavenward and ‘they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one… whose architect and builder is God.’ Although they had not yet received their ultimate citizenship in heaven, ‘all these people were still living by faith when they died… they saw them (the promises) and welcomed them from a distance.’ Their faith was not determinant on their earthly circumstances but the ultimate will of God in their lives- present and eternally.

I shut the Bible having a different perspective. My worries are quenched and the outlook of my life has made a 360 degree turn. I no longer worry about my situation, hoping for it to get better but certain that whatever happens, God is a good Father. My focus then shifts from my uncomfortable situation to the power of God to turn things around and my faith is cemented regardless of my circumstance because, ‘Faith can trust Him come what may’.


NB: As I write this, God did in fact turn things around- Hallelujah!

The Africa Trade Pact Might Just Work Only If…

A future whereby post-independent Africa is self-reliant could be drawing nigh after 54 African Countries inked the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a notion which lingered in the minds of most Africans but dilatory in its manifestations, and only came into effect on 30 May 2019.  Nigeria being the recent Country that signed the landmark agreement which convenes all African Countries except for Eritrea, spells out an economic utopia for Africa where intra-African trade has been as low 14%.  According to Africa Union (AU), the AfCFTA is projected to create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and boost intra-African trade by 60% by 2022. However, some issues need to be addressed to ensure that the treaty does not remain static calligraphy cursives penned on paper.

 

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Regional feuds have been rampant in African Countries that neighbour each other not forgetting the recent xenophobic tendencies that manifested to looting and attacks of fellow Africans. These rows usually to do with territories have placed neighbouring African Countries at loggerheads. For the AfCFTA to be a reality, border disputes between Countries ascertaining their sovereignty should be ironed out with the bigger picture of social, political and economic cohesion in mind. As Kenya’s (a Country currently on a border conflict with Somalia) President Uhuru Kenyatta said, ‘Borders must never be used as an excuse for us to retract back and forget the African spirit of Ubuntu. We remain stronger together.”’

Statements released by the US State Department on July 11 made mention of that the corruption ‘endemic’ is slowing down foreign investments in Kenya. Many African nations engrossed in corruption have earned Africa the title as one of the most corrupt Continents in the world. In fact, six of the ten most corrupt Countries in the World are African Countries according to a Transparency International report of 2018. The recurring corruption phenomena across African Countries could serve a major stumbling block to the realization of Africa’s Free Trade. Not only should African nations be concerned with loosing foreign investments but should augment structures in ensuring that the African trade bloc centres around trust and transparency.

Poor infrastructure reduces Africa’s GDP by about 2 percent every year and inhibits productivity by up to 40% year, as observed by the World Bank. Poor transport links within and between African Countries adds around 30-40 percent to the cost of goods in intra-Africa trade. Efforts by the AU in driving Infrastructural Development agenda with key flagship projects such as the Integrated High-Speed Train Network should be speeded up and governments ought to lift stringent travel requirements as well as develop their transport and ICT structures in plugging the Infrastructure gap and realizing the AfCFTA.

Interference by the west backed by elites in African Countries can deter implementation of the AfCFTA. The West has been notorious for meddling in African affairs and peddling motions. Always present like a shadow, the West impose, directly and indirectly their suppositions in a neo-colonial fashion for their own benefit. The Scramble for Africa is still throbbing and vested interests by other Countries affects how Africa conducts its trade. If the West kept off the trade pact, then the trade pact could just work for Africa.

The AfCFTA could be the last ode to the ‘trade vs aid’ chorus that Africa has sang. The players, i.e. all African Countries, however must be cognizant of the prevailing forces that could engender the agreement not to take full effect. African nations should aggregately address their insider issues to ensure that the economy -which has tipped owing much being taken out and little taken in- soars.  As Au’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga submits, Africa should ‘rise and prevent other forces in determining our destiny.’

Of Waiting and Waiting…

I browse through my phone with no particular aim, other than that of passing time. Half an hour has passed and dust is collecting on my table. One more pull of the straw and my now tepid drink will be over. I reserve my last pull as the final act before surrendering my patience. I set my patience timer to ten minutes. I look around and notice orders being taken and bills being settled. I try to spot the waitress who took my order but is nowhere to be found. The others seem preoccupied to care about my frustrations. When one catches a glimpse of me, I do the hand motion thing, and like a programmed robot, he heads to my direction.

“Yes Madam?” he asks feigning a smile.

He seems pleasant enough that I forget the polemics I rehearsed on how the elections results was read faster than food here is made ready.  I instead inquire about my order and he assures me that he is going to check on it. He then disappears. I wait, again. I wonder what could take a simple meal of deep fried potatoes so long. I only manage to come with two reasons; one, the cook must have acquired cholera and had to be rushed through the back door exit to the nearest hospital, or two, the cooking oil ran out and the waiter was sent to fetch from the nearest transformer. The former seems more realistic, I think to myself.

After two songs have air played, I know my patience timer is almost over. I consider using the free WI-FI to air my frustrations on a review but my patience timer clicks, and I pull on the last straw. When my drink is finally over, so is my patience. Before I could make for the door, the waitress magically appears with a tray of food- as if the she had been waiting around the corner to test my patience. She seems unapologetic, and is beaming. Once she places the food on the table, a form of apology seems to suffice through the aroma and appearance of the food, and I dig in forgetting I ever waited.

The Greatness of God

How great is God- beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out- Job 36:26

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God. The I AM. Of all His other titles, nothing seems to capture His omnipotence more than the I AM title. It is first mentioned when Moses asks God what His name is, to which God replies, ‘I AM WHO I AM… I AM has sent you’ or ‘I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE’. (Exodus 3:14) Unlike other gods, who are known for a certain trait, i.e. god of fertility, war, wealth etc., the I AM, the one true God, connotes that He is Almighty. His existence, experienced by grace through faith is indisputable because ‘Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit’ (Psalms 147:5). God is great. Great in power, great in love, great in mercy. His name alone is great. When we think of greatness, we think of powerful people, amazing revolutions and inventions, and the vast universe. However, since the beginning of time till now, the greatness of God has always been manifest.

God’s greatness is not dependent on our circumstances. It is not shifty. At some point in our lives, when our faith was fickle or when life’s issues have overwhelmed us- we have used this damning phrases or their equivalent, “If God is great, why can’t He? Why did He? Why is there? Why am I?…” When things are good we are quick to ‘thank God’ but when the enemy seem to have the upper hand, we become like the robber who was crucified next to Jesus Christ on the cross asking, ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ (Luke 23:39) Our minds sometimes fail to rationalize that the God of the rain is the God of the drought, and the God of the morning is also God of the night.

The entire Bible, cover to cover talks about the greatness of God in various elements, all in similar degree in greatness. I found most profoundly God’s greatness in these aspects, but not limited to:

God is great that all creation is subject to Him– ‘The Mighty One, God, the Lord speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place it sets’ (Psalms 50:1). We first came to know of the greatness of God when just by His word the Universe and all in it came to being, when He created man in His image. Elihu, the youngest Job’s three friends, said, ‘The breath of God produces ice and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters the lighting through them. At His direction they swirl round over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them’ (Job 37: 10-12) vividly highlighting to us God is great so much that ‘all the earth bows down to Him’ (Psalms 66:4)

God’s greatness is manifest in His saving– The Israelites testified of the greatness of God when by His power took them out of the ‘mighty’ hands of the Egyptians, parted the Red Sea, led them through the desert for 40 years and into the promised land. A big chunk of the Old Testament records of the numerous battles the Israel and Judah were fighting. Even though the Israelites were not proficient in war, all they had was God, for they knew too well that, ‘If God is with us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31) God helped them in emerging victorious from mighty armies, and saved them from their enemies, some who seemed too great for them in their human eyes.  ‘Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull hear’ (Isaiah 59:1) and to date, ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Romans 12: 13).

God’s greatness turns things aroundHe is able to make glory out of gory on a Good Friday. The greatness of God surmounts all our circumstances, background, mistakes, unbelief and sin. Abraham, who came from a pagan-background could very well tell you that the greatness of God was manifest when he took him out of his unbelief into becoming the Father of All nations. Moses, a stammerer could not explain how he could stand before Pharaoh and plead the case for Israelites, except for the greatness of God. Rahab the prostitute could only accredit he greatness of God when He used her as an instrument, even in her circumstance to save the spies. God’s greatness made Gideon, the least in his clan to being the greatest judge. David rising from a shepherd to a King, and Joseph from a prisoner to a King could only credit God’s greatness. Job, an ailing man who lost all his children and wealth experienced healing and double restoration could only reiterate the greatness of God. Esther a slave girl who rose to a Queen could only acclaim the greatness of God. I could go on with giving numerous illustrations of how God turns situations around for our good and for His glory because ‘in ALL things (good or bad), God works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28). And good news is that we have all been called to His purpose.

God is great in His goodness– Despite life’s circumstances, God does not allow us to be destroyed. When we sin, God still considers us His children. When we mourn, He is always ready to comfort us. In an unfair world, He serves us justice. ‘Even though your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be’ (Job 8:7) God is so good that He leaves us a measure of His greatness when His Spirit abides in us such that, ‘the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the World’ (1 John 4:4).  He views us fallen beings from a standpoint of love and mercy for ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy’ (Psalms 103:8) He would have been fully justified to cancel our covenant long ago but His great goodness has permitted us to enjoy every benefit in the present life and that which is to come in the heavenly kingdom.

God is great in forgiveness– ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). The greatness of God of all time when He left his throne and came to the world in flesh to save us from our sins, and its consequences death by dying on the cross and resurrecting. Whether you believe this fact or not, the greatness of God was manifested most at that moment till now- not only to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea or Joseph in prison or Elijah in the Wilderness, but to all of humanity. That is the grandest activity showcasing of God’s greatness, that ‘When you were dead in sins… God made you alive in Christ. He forgave us all our sis, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took away, nailing it to the cross.’ (Colossians 2: 13-14)

Having known of His greatness, what then shall we do? When we appreciate His greatness through Christ, we shall be immovable in our faith, unwavering in our trust in Him regardless the circumstances, and extend and exercise similar mercy, love and forbearance towards others and especially those who have in any measure wounded or injured us or our interest. Because indeed the greatness of God is contagious so that all men may experience it in one way or the other!

LIEBSTER AWARD

The only reason I am writing this is because I recently realised that my blog was nominated by Miss Waigi for the Liebster award, like a month ago!  Thanks Ella! But better late than never- ehy? If you want to make your day, check out her amazing write ups 

 

Liebstar Award

10 Facts about me

1. I love sunrises

2. I know sign language

3. I prefer classical movies

4.  I once came second in a 5km race, after not running for years

5. I always feel like I need to achieve more

6. I need to be alone for at least 2 hrs everyday

7. I still want to visit another planet

8. My spiritual life is more important than my physical life

9. I always think of all possibilities.. then God always surprises me

10. I can watch the channel, CI and the series, Big Bang Theory all day everyday

 

Questions given to me

1.  What was the last thing you fixed?

A broken necklace…I wish I could say the world

2.What book would you like turned into a movie and or viceversa

I am a sucker for books so I would say the curious case of Benjamin Button be turned into a book

3. Who cooks better? You or your mother?

My mother of course. I doubt anyone can cook like my dear mother

4. What’s worse? Smelly armpits or feet?

Do I have to choose?

5. Would you play Russian roulette?

Erm.. I’d rather not die by the gun or attempt to

6. What is the one word that describes you?

Really? (yes, that’s the word)

7. What is the first world problem are you currently going through?

I need to go to the cinema

8. Gold wraps of leather wraps for a watch?

Leather. The smell who can deny?

9. Never have I ever…

obeyed my alarm *who’s sipping*

10. In another life…

I would be a normal human being

 

I hereby nominate:

Sharron Makiti

lovemagnified.wordpress.com

schrodingersdaisy

S.Malu

lyfe & style

liliankolek

Questions for the people I have nominated:

  • What makes you tick?
  • Coffee or tea?
  • Which is your favorite day of the week?
  • What is the most risky thing you have ever done?
  • Who do you look up to?
  • What is your secret talent?
  • What would you say is your purpose?
  •  What is the one thing that you would like to change in the world?
  • Did you ever believe in the tooth fairy?
  • How many languages can you speak?

 

The Liebster Award is:

An award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers, whose work they find interesting, to motivate them and promote them as well. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2017:

Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.

Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.

Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

List these rules in your post. Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Don’t forget to create 10 questions for them to answer. Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they’ll know what to do. Once you’re done, come back here and comment with the link to your post so others (and me) can check out your answers!

 

Unhappy Business

What have you achieved in the last 2 years? Or 20? We can be too quick to utter and reminisce our achievements, but what do we have to show for them? We do our best but come a few years, what remains of our efforts is paper we call a certificate or a metal/wood we call an accolade. What has remained of our blood, sweat and tears is summarised in an object, an object that merely bears witness our efforts! We celebrate our achievements when they come along, but when we look back it’s like they never happened. The only thing we can do, is do more and more, to get more and more and then want more. As the wisest man on earth put it, “…it is an unhappy business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with” Eccl 1:13.

We stay busy to remain relevant, to leave a legacy, and do what is expected of us. Indeed, our toil is rewarded, only momentarily. We get our wages, we get acknowledged, we get trophies, medals, promotions, recommendations, and our works published. Whatever the form the reward comes in, we celebrate it and life somehow becomes a bit meaningful (just a bit). However, later, when we turn back it is as if it all never happened. The urge of the ‘now’ and demands of life eclipse glory days. In almost a pathetic way, there is nothing of them. The only consoling thing we can do is pull out dusty trophies and make straight the dog-eared pictures that remind us of our heydays. But truth is, it doesn’t count now. It seems like it’s all an illusion. A chasing after the wind.

Of course past achievements largely contribute to where we are, as everything in life adds up like a link, big or small- though we may not see it now. However, when we try to make reference to our glory days, they just don’t seem to fit well in the current script. It is like every time we are given a new canvas, life, in which we need to continually scribble on it and make our imprints on it. It is what makes life meaningful, and at the same time pitiful.

Signs & Superstitions

Among the few of my possessions is a 49 B.C. Julius Caesar famous coin issue, the elephant denarius. The 2,000 year old coin is one of my valuable collections (the rest are books), and so my love for antiques makes me prefer it over my other neck pieces. Just recently, as I was going for an interview, of course wearing the Caesar pendant, I mistakenly grabbed it off as I was removing my earphones after receiving a call. The necklace broke and the pendant fell. My heart stopped when I realized that the pendant was missing, I don’t even remember breathing. I held on to the necklace and started looking for the pendant, still breathless. When I found it inside my shirt, I put it back in my bag and carried on the day.

This would not be the first time I have had these panicky episodes. There are numerous times when I have had these anxieties that neared that of panic when I thought that I had misplaced it. My jewellery, besides being an adornment, is something I fiddle with when I am thinking or facing a situation that needs my focus. Since most of the time I am wearing Caesar’s elephant denarius, I am always fiddling with it. When I managed to pull through, I attributed it to a superstitious belief that the necklace was the coin that Jesus took out of the fish’s mouth to pay his taxes. Of course it is highly unlikely that the coin Jesus retrieved is the Caesar Denarius (many speculate that is was likely the Tyrian shekel). Regardless, for some reason I am attached to the necklace because of its symbolism.

The coin is one of the most famous and iconic coinage. It was one of the first coins of Julius Caesar which he minted to pay his military troops when they were against his opponents. Caesar made the famous ‘crossing of the Rubicon’ into Italy defying orders of the Senate and confirmed a civil war against his rival, Pompey the Great. But due to money problems, he needed sums of silver to pay his troops and thus he barged into the treasury of the Temple of Saturn in Rome and used its silver reserves to mint about  22 million pieces of the coin.

The coin has no portrait of Caesar whatsoever, but has his name inscribed on it. This is partly due to the fact that it was unacceptable in ancient Rome to depict a living person on coinage, and it was only after his death that coins depicting Caesar were widely used. Although the elephant denarius coin has no image of Caesar, it portrays Caesar’s influence. One side of the coin shows a right-facing elephant treading on a snake to symbolize Rome’s victory of good over evil forces. The other side of the coin are the pontifical emblems (a ritual ladle, a water sprinkler and a sacrificial axe with a wolf’s head, and an apex) of the Roman high priest, who at that time was Caesar.

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Front side of Caesar’s elephant denarius

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Back side of Caesar’s elephant denarius

It is notable that in Caesar’s time, Romans were religious tolerant and had adopted many gods and vague spirits of different kind and origin before the advent of Christianity. In fact, the adoption of a foreign cult was seen as means of overcoming an enemy people. Their tolerance was mainly due to their belief that all perceptions of deities were actually one universal god, thus structures such as the temple of Isis and Saturn (where silver was taken to mint the elephant denarii) were erected in honor of these gods and Caesar would offer sacrifices in them, as the Pontifex Maximus.

With the conversion of Emperor Constantine, Christianity became the state religion of Rome, and with the religion’s fundamental that salvation is in no other except Christ, Rome had to break out of their pagan past. Thus, many temples were converted to churches and magic, witchcraft and offering of sacrifices were forbidden[1]. Although Christians in Rome had suffered martyrdom greatly when Christianity was at its infant stages, the Romans who were to acknowledge only the Emperor himself as ‘Lord’ had now embraced Christianity.

Flash forward some 2,000+ years later, and one of the coins of the legendary Caesar landed in an unknown girl’s hands whose belief underwent the same metamorphosis like that of Rome. Although Christianity had been my way of life for 15 years now, God had (and still has) something new to reveal to me every day, and this has kept me on my feet, and grounded in my faith. I have never been much of a signs and wonders person, but what I do know though is that when Caesar’s elephant denarius pendant fell and I had to walk into an interview without it, that was God’s sign of reassuring me of four things; one– I didn’t need the pendant for victory, because Jesus Christ already did that; two– fidgeting on something in an interview would send a bad sign, a really bad sign; three, it was time I changed the pendant (which I have), and lastly, nothing on earth is ever to held so dearly, yes, even antiques.


[1] David Burnett, Dawning of the Pagan moon (Monarch publication: Sussex 1991), p 50-52

 

UNINSPIRED

‘When most of the things you do are not inspired, then you must be dead

 ~Mulyale Mutisya

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Lately, I have not been inspired to write. It has precisely been a month since I have written anything outside of a paragraph, and post-worthy for my blog. I would be abolished from the writers’ association when they come to learn that all I have been writing are one line long text messages. Many proficient writers would say that the art (or is it craft?) of writing is best articulated and ameliorated when you jot down something everyday. Anything. Woe to me then!

I do not consider myself a writer not because of my failure to adhere to the afore mentioned. I write, yes. But do I consider myself a writer? No. I have made money (Ok, let’s say pocket-money) out of it- and I still am, but I see it not because I am a writer, rather out of the sense that I have to do what ought to be done, in the business sense. On the other hand, I blog not because I earn a shilling (actually this is the most unprofitable thing I do pocket-wise, but the most profitable otherwise), or that I am a writer but it’s simply because I write.

It’s easy to write to earn money, because bills become your inspiration. My blogging which offers no monetary reward (and I don’t expect it to) is my brain materializing on digital paper. Every single article written is birthed out of an inspiration of some sort. But recently, I have not been inspired to write. At all. And this post is not in anyway a product of inspiration but a presentation of a fact. Pressures have been placed on bloggers to ‘be consistent‘, ‘don’t keep your readers waiting long‘, and ‘things happen everyday, where is your power of observation?‘ In this regard, I don’t even qualify to be a blogger. This is not a renouncement of my site but my stray thoughts penned down, not out of inspiration so to add.

Does my lack of inspiration bother me? To the core. I miss sharing an experience or a thought with my circle of readers. At the same time, my lack of inspiration sits well with me to some degree. I would rather not write than dupe my readers, and myself about things that do not inspire me in any way. My creative writing teacher back in undergrad would probably pick up a case of writer’s block, which I would disagree as I have a series of interesting topics but none inspired enough to write about- only to think of. A psychologist would diagnose that something within me is missing hence my lack of inspiration. Ironically, when something lacks in or out of me, I tend to write all the more. The writing fraternity would recommend that I ‘get out there‘ and experience something new and thereafter my inspiration would return like a power surge. I have been out of town and experienced the novelty, and still nothing has inspired me to write. At this point, I doubt climbing The Himalayas would offer any inspiration or even coming out of the Mariana Trench alive.

With all these solutions seeming unresponsive, grabbing a book should have done it. I have read great books in the past month, but nothing. One of them, Who will Cry When You Die had me for some reason saying the title in reverse, ‘Who Will Die When You Cry‘ and thought the author would have used it instead. Another book I came across, America’s Mistress: The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt but didn’t get around to finish it partly because I was transfixed by the epilogue which described Eartha, the character on whom the book is based on, as having an odd, angular face, and I kept jumping to the pictorial segment of the book just to see what an angular face looks like. So far, I have only had inspirations to come up with sloppy headlines and revise my geometry, nothing to write.

I even have attended meetings and brainstorm sessions with writers, some accomplished and award winning whereby ‘ideagasms’ should have popped up and my creative juices extracted, but not even a drop of inspiration was found in me. I guess a lot can happen around you and not within you. Again, this is not in any way an inspiration but an observation. Sometimes, we get uninspired and who are we to force inspiration when there is none? I have come to effortlessly relax in my state of inertia. Sometimes it is okay not to do anything, for a while. Just sit and muse. And as I muse, I have a strong feeling that my tooth wants to tell a tale. Is that an inspiration for a post or is it a faux to acquaint myself with odontology? We shall see.

Our Love

 

God is love

I didn’t know what it meant,

Until we met

 

Through our love, I see God

I experience Him more,

Than I ever did before

 

I love you for your being

And who I am when I am with you,

Because God reveals Himself to me

 

You must be highly favoured from above

For He makes me touch heaven on earth,

And I discover what I couldn’t unearth

 

Without God, there is no us

It is just Me. You. Separately.

But two is better than one

 

Without us, there is still God

Because our God is love,

And love is not our God

 

 

WHO IS JESUS?

“The worst mistake you can ever make is to mistake the identity of Jesus Christ.” For more than 2000 years, Jesus has been a controversial figure. Even when he walked on earth in flesh, He was still a subject of intrigue. Who is this Jesus? Many asked that question then, and to date, we still ask. And some answers that are given in this century are:

  • He was a prophet
  • The only human who died on a cross and rose from the dead
  • He was just another man who walked on earth (what’s the big deal?)
  • The blue-eyed man whom Christians worship and hang on their walls
  • The name we end our prayers in
  • He was a wise chap who liked telling stories
  • The man who performed miracles, the first being turning water into wine
  • The guy who makes us have a long holiday on December

With these answers having with them some degree of truth in it, it is a shame that we are all quick to give suggestions of who we think Jesus is and not for a moment stop and listen to who He said he was. Nothing irks me like New Age religion (story for another day) and the picture of a pale, blue-eyed man with his hair touching his shoulders, which many believe was the spitting image of Jesus (this to me is the biggest lie in history, well besides the claim that Neil Armstrong visited the moon). And although I am a strong believer in critiquing everything, God allows questions, and He provide answers.

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Image source: kingsmenmedia.com

Is Jesus white?

No. Is he black then? Who cares anyway? To the Whites, he is white, to the Blacks He is black, to the Jews, He is a Jew and to the Rastas, He has dreadlocks. In short, whatever you define yourself as, Jesus fits perfectly in that shallow box you lock yourself into, but at the same time Jesus cannot be constricted in a box of colour, race, tribe or physical appearance. In a deeper sense, Jesus is hope to the hopeless, to the weak, He is their strength, to the fearful, He is their confidence, to the addicts, He is their next score… get the drill? So now you can place whatever adjective you are short of and let Christ fill in for you.

So then who is Jesus?

Actually Jesus is not his ‘official’ name so to speak. In fact His real name is Yeshua, but thanks to English translation, Jesus came about.  Whatever the case, He still remains the same. According to Him, He is;

  • The Christ/Messiah– The chosen one sent to deliver mankind, as you call out His name by which when you call out, you will be saved
  • Rock of Ages– It’s not a geology lesson, but Jesus is eternal. Forever.
  • God man– “Instead, He gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form…”(Philippians 2:7)

So is Jesus God?

The Holy Bible numerously refers Jesus as the Son of God, the Christ, and the Messiah while He was on earth. But there are some scriptures that note that Jesus is in fact God. The truth is that God manifests himself in three forms, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. So yes, Jesus is God.  The “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and at the same time, “the Word was with God” (John 1), a classic case of being omnipresent- a core characteristic of God. But how then can God become human and walk on earth? Well, hello, He is God, He is Sovereign and not limited. In the Old Testament, God changed His form into fire (Moses and the burning bush), a cloud when the Israelites were crossing the Desert, so why then do you find it impossible for Him to walk on earth as human?

Using logic, you may be an individual who is a parent, a spouse, and an employee. And in all these three different roles, you behave differently. But does that mean it is not you anymore? No, you still retain your identity. I think those with a split personality understand this too well. H2O is also water, ice and steam in different forms. Anyway, just like you still remain you even after putting on different roles and deeds, God remains the same, whether as Jesus, or as the Holy Spirit.

If Jesus is God, why was He born?

Ideally, people would prefer if Jesus dropped down from heaven and fly like Superman ‘instead of being born in a manger. But because God tries as much as possible to relate to us in reality, He uses things that we are familiar with to show us His power. So, in order for us to relate to Him as Jesus, He had to humanize Himself, as before Abraham, He already existed (John 8:58). But He had to be flesh and blood like us. He had to talk, eat, sleep, shower, attend events, be tempted by the devil, feel, pray and die- just like we do. (Well isn’t God a good director?). Although He was not conceived like we were, committed no sin, overcame Satan’s temptations, and resurrected (and not reincarnate) from the dead- this was proof that He has power over everything, even death.

So who should we pray to?

With all these three different forms, their role is unique but complement each other. And because God is a God of order, 1 Cor 14:33 (no wonder He didn’t make the Universe in one day), there is a certain order He goes about His stuff, and He too expects us to be follow suit, even in how we approach Him. Here is how I like to think of the three forms as:

Jesus- Lawyer

Before mankind fell in the garden of Eden, humans had direct access to God and we could talk to him directly. However, when our predecessors sinned, man fell, and death came about. We could not face God anymore, because He is Holy.  Thus, because of sin, “our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rugs before God” Isaiah 64:4, but when we go through Jesus only who died for our sins, we are made us Children of God once again and can approach God. Although we shall still experience the physical death, Jesus rescued us from Spiritual death and those that receive Him will never perish- their spirit is eternal. In fact, we will be above the Angels in the spiritual realm status once Christ returns.

Anyway, back to my point- Jesus is the to-go guy whenever we want to place our requests and petitions before God. We are saved through Him and whatever needs and complaints we have, we present them to God through Him, and that’s why we pray in Jesus’s name. We don’t need to pray out loud, facing a certain direction or touching and wearing an object for our prayers to be heard, all we need is to go through Jesus, ‘the  way and truth and the life’ (John 14:6). Although in the next life we shall approach God directly, let’s for now, us mere humans follow the order.

Holy Spirit- Counselor

Sometimes our lives, just like our minds get out of control and we choose to visit a therapist or seek some advice. In the same manner, when we don’t know how to pray, what to pray for, where our destiny lies, what we should be doing and we just need some direction, the Holy Spirit is there to guide us. It gives us peace, whispers to us solutions and prays for us when we lack the words in the most effective language that addresses our needs. It digs deep into our being, excavating our buried thoughts, desires, taking it before God or sometimes warning us, by holding up a mirror before us, opening ourselves to ourselves. Most people acknowledge their conscience or intuition, but never the Holy Spirit. There is a thin line between the two. And because we are made in the image of God, God’s Spirit lives in us, the Holy Spirit- but can flee if you chase it away, and come back if you summon it, by giving your life to Jesus by believing in your heart, and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, Romans 10:9, and asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Nothing complicated.

Truth be told, sometimes the Bible can be confusing for us limited humans to grasp the knowledge of God. But because God gave His word to us, the Holy Spirit aids us in interpreting the word of God. Everyone can read the Bible, but for some, this act leads them astray from God. Why? They interpret it using their limited minds. They take their beliefs and twist the scripture to align theirs instead of using the scripture as a foundation to formulate their beliefs.

Take for instance the case of the racist bigots who used the scriptures to enslave black people, wrongly interpreting and quoting that ‘a slave should obey the master.’ Yet in fact the only Master is God. Or the mostly visited Scripture, ‘Jesus turned water in to wine’ to justify alcohol consumption while in fact the Greek word for wine is ‘oinos’ and didn’t necessarily mean a fermented drink, as ‘oinos’ was used interchangeably to mean juice, especially grape juice, vinegar and actual wine. Even minor factors such as dressing where some people point out especially to women how they should dress as if the Bible is a fashion handbook. Film makers now are very notorious of taking bits of Scripture, twisting the doctrine and making fictional characters seem like God, while most in their themes dismiss or ridicule God, without knowing that ‘God cannot be mocked’, Galatians 6:7. People have even gone the lengths of rewriting the Bible to suit their lifestyle, as I understand there is a Gay Bible, when the truth of the matter is that the Bible is for everyone, as we are all made in His image and should desire to be Christ-like, regardless of what we are struggling with.

In fact, without interpretations aided by the Holy Spirit, we can find the Bible boring, a book of fiction, make us angry towards God, doubt God and despise all teachings or twist it for our own lives. Although we shall never understand everything because His ‘thoughts are higher than our thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:9), knowing the basics is a good starting point in the quest for the Truth. And the Bible being the only life-giving book, a source of enlightenment, discoveries, prophecies and provides answers to all life’s phenomena is a good reference point.

God- Judge

God, His other names, YHWH, Elohim (God the Son), El Shaddai ( God Almighty), Adonai (The Lord), JAH (Psalms 68:4, KJV), takes the petitions we have made and does us good and manifests His good will and promises in our lives. Nowadays, the term God is ambiguous and can refer to just about anything and everything, like trees, the universe, a human being, the sun, love, an animal and even ourselves, with some thinking we are our own God. While in fact God is one, manifesting himself in creation and in us (Romans 1: 20), there only remains one God, ‘I AM WHO I AM’ whom ‘all things were created by Him, and For Him’ (Colossians 1:16).

So, in short, we pray to God, approaching Him in His different roles, but acknowledging that He is still one. Mind blowing, right? Whatever the case, when Jesus tells you who He is, believe Him. “I and the Father are one” John 10:30.

Have a great Easter! And remember that Jesus died for YOU (yes you) and I so we can have forgiveness of sins & New Life. May He raise in your heart just like He rose from the dead.

AND ON THE THIRD DAY, HE ROSE AGAIN