RELIGION

Religion is a vehicle that brings us closer to God as well as fellow humans. The whole commandment is summed up into “Love of God and love of neighbors.” Any religion or religious practice that prevents people from achieving this end can only be called a ‘fake’ practice. One can come closer to His creator only when one is pure in his intentions. An external observance of religious rules without a pure interior disposition is simply hypocrisy and Christ condemned this when He was talking to the Pharisees.
Justice and mercy are essential aspects of being religious. Micah 6 vs. 8-16 talks about what the Lord requires. Not the best calves to burn as offerings to Him, Not thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil or even a first-born child. What the Lord requires of us is this: “to do what us just, to show constant love (mercy), and to live in humble fellowship with our God.
Sometimes we give undue importance to external observances of rules and regulations (which in itself are not bad) while neglecting a friend who is in need of our helping hand, a neighbor who lives in misery, and a sick person who has no money to buy medicine.
Sometimes we religiously receive the sacraments and often follow all the religious observances while refusing to pay just wages to our staffs, hiding our income to avoid paying tax. We often appear good before people while putting up a brave front to cover up our weaknesses, building defensive mechanisms to hide our fears and often paying a bribe to get a favor done. A life that is hidden behind a mask is not a genuine life yet we often hide beyond the mask of religion to perpetrate various atrocities.
External observances, of course are important but more important than this is interior purity. This is even more reason for a need in sincere prayer and worship of God. Without a proper interior disposition, our prayers, worship, and religious practices are mere lip service, abominable to God. The source of all evil in the world is the human heart. Therefore, unless the heart is cleansed and purified, evil will continue to multiply, and yet religiosity will still thrive. However, once we are clean and pure, we will have a religion that is pure and undefiled before God.
Justice and mercy are therefore the true foundations on which all religions must stand, not external observances.

Culled from: “God’s word 2015: Daily Reflections”

 

Say no to insurgency and Yes to a peaceful Nigeria.

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I AM SCARED OF DYING

Last night as I was praying before sleeping, a thought came to my head, “I am scared of dying,” and it would not leave me. I wanted to write about it immediately but I decided to wait till morning and yet this morning it came clearly, again; “I am scared of dying.”
Why am I even scared of dying? Why are people so scared of the word ‘death’? Why do people especially Nigerians fire prayers and quote the various verses of the bible that talk about them not dying but living to testify about God’s goodness. You hear people say, ‘it’s not my portion to die.’ Whose portion is it then? Are there people whose portion or destiny it is to die? Are there people who have been marked out or singled out for death?
What if God says:” My child, it is time for you to come back, it’s time for you to return home.” Can any amount of praying, prophesying and decreeing the ‘word’ upon your life change what would happen. I know you are going to bring up King Hezekiah and I know of him too and I know God added 15 years to his life. I know a God who is both faithful and merciful.
In James2: 13 it says on that day mercy will triumph over justice. I know of His promises in Psalms that we will live a long and fruitful life; that we shall not die but live to testify of His goodness in the land of the living. My dad says that death is a narrow path, which we must all tread; it is an inevitable end. If this is so, why is there no calm acceptance of death? Why are people myself included so scared of dying?
I lost someone I loved dearly and it shook me to the core. I close my eyes and imagine what it would feel like never to open my eyes again; never to see this world again and shivers ran down my spine (I used to think I was a strong girl, in line for Miss. Tough award). I know some day, one day I would die but it is a bitter pill to swallow.
I look at aspects of my life and I think I see where the problem lies (ghen ghen ghen ghen Nollywood movie in action strip). It is the fear of the unknown, the fear of not making heaven; it is the fear of not being right with God when death comes calling on us that makes the thought of death so unpalatable. (we Nigerians fear a lot: fear of witches and wizards, of our enemies that are planning our demise, of the people in our villages that we imagine are pursuing, of our neighbors that do not want our success and so on.)
I wrestle with myself. I think I have not done all that God has sent me to do in this world but who made me judge and arbitrator of claims. Who knows the mind of God, who can give Him advice, how do I know when in His book I have completed the work He has sent me to do, these are the thoughts that run through my mind. Yes St. Paul says I have finished the race, I have completed the work, what remains is the crown of glory (just paraphrasing, not St. Paul’s exact words). He had that assurance or confidence (whichever one you like to call it) but I and may be some people have not gotten to that place yet.
I want to live a long life. I want to get married and enjoy with my hubby, give birth to wonderful children and live to see my children’s children as it says in Psalms 128. I have dreams and aspirations, places where I want to see, heights I want to achieve, grounds that I want to break, things I want to do and where I want to be in the future (say like 5 years from now I want to be still churning out better pieces of work from my God-given talent). I am sure most people feel the same way I do. I want to touch lives not only by the words I write or speak (that reminds me I want to try my hand at ‘spoken words’).
Finally, what is the measurement of a fulfilled life? Is it how long or how well?
I can only pray that when death comes, it finds us all prepared.

Say no to insurgency and Yes to a better Nigeria.

HANDY

Handy Eze Romeo

It has been a long while since I did a ‘human being’ post scratch that, I meant a post about ‘someone’. Yes, this post is about this crazy, annoying, stubborn, and argumentative guy who means a whole lot to me.
Hmmmmm I remember when I first met him and maybe I did have a little crush on him but I am past that now, I feel my maternal instincts kick in whenever it has anything to do with him. We are no blood relations but he is my brother from another mother. You won’t believe that we cannot get married (oh I didn’t say, we are from the same town and quarter but village traditions say we cannot marry because one of our village is the younger brother to the other. I do not know which but in my opinion that is trash {do not tell my village elders that I said that} but then I cannot fight tradition, I am no super strong tough lady like I like to think.)
Just in case you did not know, what attracted me to him made me want to know him better was and is still his craziness. You know that bad boy swag, that confidence that looks so effortless, that smile that melts your heart and the charm that sweeps you off your feet. We good girls {I would surely win the award for miss prim and proper} like the bad guys, the unattainable, they usually add the spice that we lack in our sometimes boring life (not that I live a boring life, I am enjoying my life the way it is but it could do with a burst of energy.)
I am digressing a bit, so enough of me back to Handy. Remember when I first heard the name ’HANDY’; I thought what an unusual name. I am like did his parents actually give him the name (He has a wonderful native name but I am certain he would not want me to tell you guys) and when I ask him what’s the meaning of the name and he says it meant ‘useful’. It was at that moment that it occurred to me that I knew that word; it was part of my register. I decided to get a little help from the dictionary and it defines the word ‘Handy’ in three different ways. I am going to compare them a little to my wonderful ‘auta’ (just in case you were wondering what ‘auta’ means, it’s the Hausa word for ‘last born’ and that’s what I call my Handy, so in case I have murdered the spelling, please pardon me.)
So first, it means ‘useful’ and yea right, ‘my auta’ was right. Hmmmmm so comparing them now seems a bit harder than I first imagined but I am going to man up, yes I am equal to the task. So yes, Handy is very useful. He is one of the most hardworking people I have met, not one to shy away from responsibilities and that comes in very useful especially when you happen to be the last in a big household. He does stuffs and doesn’t really expect thanks in return.
Second, the word Handy means; “near and easy to reach.” Another hmmmmm, ‘my auta’ is so down to earth and easy to reach and talk to. He has a magnetic personality; you just want to get to know him. With him, there are no pretensions; he is just as he is. He is simple (did I just say simple, this ‘my auta’ is a complex biochemical algorithm, I do not even know the meaning of that, I just picked it up from a movie). At times, I do not understand him but then I do not understand myself either but in some ways he really is a simple person.
Thirdly, the word Handy means ‘good at using something’. Handy is good with his brain but I wish he could put it to more productive use than sparring (he is so going to have my head for this but darling you know I mean it in a good way). He is also good with his hands that is why he was able to read such a demanding course as industrial physics or just physics (sweet whichever one you like you can call it) and he gives exquisite massages (do not ask me how I know, I won’t reveal my source, just take my word for it.)
Also my Handy, ‘my auta’ is an accomplished dancer second only to the King of Pop himself (okay may be I am exaggerating it just a bit but you get the gist sha , he is in the same class as P-Square. I can say this because I have watched him dance countless times and there is a seamless harmony in the dance, it is as if the dance comes from his core and it has become infused with his own self. You feel the energy and the burst of life and happiness that comes from dancing from within.)
Hmmmmm, ‘my auta’ does not know the meaning of the word “patience”, it really isn’t his strong suit but somehow he needs to learn that if he will be well equipped to face life with all its challenges and trials. My Handy loves sparring with people (I wonder what he enjoys in arguing with others.) He is also an expert in laying a guilt trip on people and knows which buttons and strings to pluck and at the risk of having my head bitten off, my ‘auta’ can be a big baby at times. Baby I think you should ease up on the guilt tripping stuff (just saying).
My handy, my ‘auta’ is imperfect, flawed and he loves to be right and in control but he is learning that it’s all right to be wrong, it saves a lot of trouble to accept that you are wrong and apologize for your mistakes. He is learning to loosen the reins and know when to step back and lets others run the stage. He is learning to give others a chance in his life and to allow God to be at the helm of affairs. He is learning to drop some of his habits (not telling you which but my ‘auta’ knows what I am talking about.)
All in all, my ‘auta’ is one amazing and remarkable person who has been through a lot in his life (I should know because we are both sounding boards to each other) and with that has come compassion for others that is only born out of experience.
I hope and pray that you soar far above the eagles’ height; that you find joy, happiness, and laughter to make up for all the lost years. I hope you achieve all you ever wanted to achieve, leave legacies behind, write your name in the hallmark of fame, leave lasting footprints behind, touch lives, and above all be who God has destined you to be, His own Image.
As usual;
Be good!
Be safe!
Be careful!
I love you from here to the moon and back. I have got your back always and you know you can count on me but above all God loves you in more ways than you can ever imagine and His plans for you are for good.
Kisses!

Here is ‘my auta’ and I.

BEING A CHRISTIAN

The word Christian means Christ-like that is imbibing all the attributes and characters of Christ and letting such show in our daily lives and interactions with one another.
In the contemporary world in which we live the challenges we face as Christians become larger than ever and the question is what does being a Christian entail, what are the marks of a Christian? Being a Christian entails “LOVE.” The whole commandments are summed up into two: “Love of God and Love of neighbor” and you cannot love God if you do not love your neighbors for how can you cherish what do you not see when you do not cherish that which you see.


Love should emanate from within. Love should show in our words and most especially in our actions. It is not enough to say; I love this person or that other person, it is necessary that by our actions and words we prove that love. (I think the easiest words to say are I LOVE YOU but most often, we do not know the meaning of the word LOVE) For until we can truly love one another the void that each of us feels in our heart will never be filled.
The little things we often term as inconsequential are in reality the things that really matter. Those words we say and just count as nothing are the words that could really hurt a person (we need to understand that we are unique beings and our thought patterns are different). The bible says there is power in the tongue and words can either make or mar a person. What are your words doing today; are they lifting up or are they rendering someone worthless? (Yet you would proudly call yourself a Christian, me included). The words we speak should reflect Love. Even when correcting another person love should still be reflected.
Love is the most lasting of all gifts. Love is the very essence of our being. Love is the reason why Christ left His throne and bore the sins of the world on his shoulders. Love is the hallmark of Christianity and that love should extend to everyone regardless of family background, tribe, nationality, color, race, religion, or political ideologies (that is why you hear things like xenophobia, fanaticism, and racism and caste system). Love should radiate among those who call themselves Christians. Being a Christian is a tough call and one that needs the grace of God each day of our lives. Being a Christian entails that LOVE becomes the order of the day and takes centre stage in our lives and dealings with others.
Being a Christian means spreading the LOVE of God that abounds in our hearts around.
Speak Life today!
Show love today!
Spread love today!

 

Say no to insurgency and yes to a peaceful Nigeria.

I WISH…

Its been a long while since I blogged for reasons I won’t go into now. Suffice to say: “I am back and this time its for good”. Yea that reminds me, I am really sorry for going MIA for a long time. So I am starting with a wish. So sit back, grab a glass of wine as usual and enjoy the ride.

I wish I could convey in words how loving our God is and why He loves us so much.

I wish I could explain in details the depth of His mercies.

I wish I could tell you of all his numerous deeds.

I wish I could sing songs to express my thanks for all His blessings.

I wish I could go back to the days of old and pour my love on Him as Mary did.

I wish I could tell you exactly how I feel about our God.

I wish I could explain better what His love has meant for me.

I wish I could express how truly great our God is.

I wish I could speak in different tongues so I could better lavish my praises on Him.

I wish I could expertly define His selfless giving of His Only Son.

I wish I could fathom His unfathomable grace.

I wish I could better explain his awesome Glory.

I wish I could prove in some ways that my love for Him will not change.

I wish I could give Him more for all He has done.

I wish I could see Him face to face and describe how grateful I am and the joy I feel.

I wish I could tell you how proud I am to be His child and His Numero Uno fan.

I wish I could describe how loyal our God is and the kind of happiness He gives His people.

I wish I could praise Him like never before and find 10000 reasons to bless our God.

I wish I could ask Him to put His words in my tongue because I have so much to say but words cannot really explain the affection and love I have for our God.

I wish you discover and experience the father’s love, which is mine.

 

Say no to insurgency and yes to a better Nigeria. God loves you better than I do.