Saturday, December 18, 2010

When God is silent.

Peter had known about Jesus ever since he was a child; his parents worked diligently with the church ever since he was but a little child.  He heard about Jesus everytime at Sunday school and one day, when he was 8, he gave his life to Christ.  He loved the lord so much and promised to go all the way with Jesus even if he is faced with death.

The time to fulfil that promise to God came; the government forbade the worship of Christ in their city and threatened to kill everyone who even spoke his name.  The church went into hiding, the precious name of Jesus was spoken in secret and his name was whispered only in darkness.  Peter could not understand the hypocrisy and challenged the church.

No one listened to him and everyone called him a fool, they said to him “it is wisdom to obey the law, don’t be stupid child, go home to your parents”   He was only 15, but he knew what they were doing was wrong.  If his Jesus were here, he would never be defeated by the fear of death, his Jesus that faced the Pharisees fearlessly in the bible and challenged them to their face?  He must be ashamed of his people for denying him.

Peter remembered the story of Shedrach, Messiach and Abednego, and how God rescued them when they stood for him even in the face of death, he thought about Ruth and how she said fearlessly “If i perish i perish” in a quest to rescue her people and how God won the battle for them, in his heart, he knew what to do.  He didn’t tell anyone, even his parents, because he knew they would discourage him.

Early one morning, with shaking hands and unsteady legs, Peter went to the market square and with a loud voice he screamed “Jesus Loves You”.  The market fell silent immediately, and all eyes turned on Peter.  Some looked angry, some sad, some pitiful but none showed love or recognition, Peter’s heart broke at the denial written on the faces around him, the same faces that sneaked to church in the dark and professed love for God.

It wasn’t long before the officials heard about the scandal and Peter was snatched from his home and isolated.  His parents pleaded and said he was only a child but when the officials accused them of feeding the child with such words as he could have only repeated what he heard constantly, they denied him out of fear of being killed.  His parents withdrew into the darkness to pray for their child.

Peter was made to face many court gatherings and asked to deny Jesus and apologise for his outburst at the market square, but he refused.  He was threatened with fearful punishments, even death, but he refused to deny Jesus.  In his heart, he knew Jesus would save him and even if he didn’t he would never deny Jesus.

Peter’s parents felt ashamed for what they had done but fear paralyzed them and they kept consoling themselves with the thought that God would save their child just like he saved his people in the bible.  They enlisted the entire hidden church to pray for their son.

One day, it was announced that Peter would be given a final chance to deny Jesus publicly or be killed.  Everyone gathered at the market square to witness the event.  Some came to mock the stupidity of the child, others came with pitiful hearts hoping the child would save himself.  The church members came with hushed silence, hoping that God will work a miracle and save the boy.

When Peter was brought out, everyone fell silent and only a few gasps and sniffs were heard in the crowd.  He wore the same cloth he was wearing when they snatched him a month ago, he looked lean and a bit tattered, but in his eyes was a sparkle that no one could understand. 
“We bring you out today to give you another chance to deny Jesus in the presence of the entire community or be killed.  Peter, do you deny Jesus this day?” the official asked.

Peter looked up and saw his parents in the front row, his mother’s eyes were swollen and his dad held on to her as she shook in his arms.  He looked into the eyes of other people he could recognise and saw them plead with him to deny Jesus.  Then he turned his eyes to the heavens and said “How can i deny the one who loves me so dearly and would never deny me”.

There was uproar and the official tried to quieten the crowd.  “This is our judgement, just as you have disobeyed the laws of the land, you will be beheaded this minute”.  The crowd went wild again, some people shouted “He’s only a child, leave him alone”.  However, the law had spoken and had to be carried out.

As the soldiers prepared to behead Peter, he cried.  He knew if he denied Jesus, he would be free, he would go back into hiding and everyone would be happy, but he knew it would haunt him for the rest of his life.  The hidden church prayed silently in their hearts that God would work a miracle and save Peter, just like he did in the bible.

When it was all set, Peter was asked to say his final words.  He looked up to heaven, kept believing that God would save him.  The church had faith; they also believed God would save him.  Peter looked into the eyes of everyone and sang from the depth of his heart.

Jesus i enthrone you
I proclaim you as king
Standing here in the midst of all
I raise you high with my praise
And as i worship build your throne
And as i worship build your throne
And as i worship build your throne
Come Lord Jesus and take your place.

Peter meant the song to be a prayer to God, he knew his stand for God was an act of worship to God and he prayed that God would use it to change his community and take his place in the land.

Tears fell from his face as he raised his hands to the king.  When he was done, the soldiers snatched him and cut off his head.  There was no rolling thunder, or sudden earthquake.  There was no loud voice or an invisible hand to stop them from killing him, there was only the sudden realization that Peter was dead.  Peter’s mother knelt down and held the soil tight with her hands; she let out a heart wrenching cry that poured the pain in her heart.

The crowd dispersed and Peter’s body was handed over to his parents for burial.  The church gathered in the darkness and no one could speak of what had happened.  No one could understand why God did not save the child.  However, their hearts were heavy with a burden and strength built up within them.  They talked about the song Peter sang and acknowledged how he was the only one who had truly worshipped God, and his sacrifice was the highest form of worship to God.  They were ashamed for their denial and how God had gotten their attention only with the death of a child.

That act of worship had kindled a flame in their hearts and they knew they could not keep going into hiding.  Many other hearts were being stirred in the city, Peter’s song was working miracles, he’s death was bringing people back to God.  There was a revival in the land, the church came out of hiding and other people joined them to proclaim Christ in one accord.  There was a battle, the government was overthrown and someone else replaced him. 

All this happened because one little boy truly worshipped God.  Worship goes beyond songs, it is a lifestyle, it’s in the little sacrifice we make for God, the obedience, the faith, the love we show to everyone around us, and it’s in trusting him.

Most of all, what if God had saved Peter, there would have been no revival, everyone would have gone back to hiding, taking the gospel along with them.  Every bad thing that happens to Christians is not for shame or discouragement, God always has a plan.  He sees the big picture, he knows everything.  His plan is always for good and not evil.

Peter died so that there can be a revival in the land, whatever has happened to you is for a purpose, if you can rest in his presence and stop hating him and pushing God away, you will see his purpose in that situation.  We cannot always understand the ways of God; we can only trust that he will never do anything to hurt us, he always seeks for our good.

It will be painful, but God wounds that he might heal.  Just worship the father, let him fill you with his love.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Do you know what I have been through in this life?  Do you even have any idea?  I was abused at the age of 12 by my father. I grew up in an orphanage because my mother never wanted me, I never had straight A’s in my academics, no one wants to be around me, I have been in and out of the hospital all my life… life really isn’t worth living, don’t seat there telling me God loves me or there is a God because you can never understand how I feel, neither can God.

Have you ever been around such people or even uttered such words before?  I know I have.  I have been angry with God, my parents and everyone around me because I just could not understand why life was so cruel to me and why my life was so difficult.  Then I read the story of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11.  Paul had a long list of all he had been through in life and yet, he still moved on and held on to his faith in God.  He never questioned God but always praised God for all he was going through.  Paul was just like you and me, he was a great if not the greatest apostle that lived.

From further study, I discovered his secret in Philippians 3: 13-14.  Then it dawned on me that all I had been through had to be for a reason, God is not one known to make mistakes.  The enemies knew the influence Paul had over the people, they knew that people believed him and soon he would turn the people against them so the enemies had a conference over Paul and decided to make life hell for him.  Their ultimate plan was to make him forget who he is in Christ and depart from the path God had destined for him to walk.  If they had succeeded and Paul forsook the pursuit of Jesus because of all he suffered, we would never have all the great epistles he wrote or God would have found someone else to take up the work.
Bishop T.D. Jakes said “If you are going through hell in your life, it’s not the time to give up; rather it is a time to persevere.  It only means that there is something really great God has planned for you and someone (definitely the devil) doesn’t want you to get there.  I can assure you that the heavens are having constant meetings over your life to help you pull through”

We must realize that the devil does not want us to become who God wants us to be because if we do, we will become a threat to his kingdom.  Being the coward that he is, he begins to attack us with different issues, especially when we are growing up.  You get abused (physically, emotionally, sexually, verbally) and lose your self esteem, you never pass examinations and you are tagged a failure, your mother dumps you in an orphanage and you label yourself a reject and all other things that mess up our minds.  If we give in to these labels and give up, we make the devil rejoice because he would have taken care of another threat to his kingdom and their activities.

I encourage you today to press on, forget all that you have been through and hold on to God.  Do not be another trophy the devil can boast about; rather strive to be a vessel God can rejoice over.  You may be at the brick of breakthrough just when you decide to give up.  Joseph persevered even when he was accused falsely by his own brothers and Potiphar’s wife and thrown in prison and he helped his father and brothers when there was famine and paved way for the children of Israel to prosper in the land of Egypt.  Paul persevered in prison, through strokes of cane, starvation and a lot of things he listed, but he never gave up and today he is one of the greatest apostles that ever lived.  He’s teachings are a major guideline that Christians follow.

I dare you to persevere; your breakthrough is just by the corner, do not let the devil cheat you… Press on and be who God wants you to be.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Little Things

There are so many little things in life that go unnoticed but make very huge impacts.  Many people choose to ignore these things and move on with life, focusing only on the more visible and big things that happen around us.

I love simple little things that when you think back on, you can smile and giggle and maybe shed a little tear(if you are like me).  Let me see if I can remember some little things that have brought a smile and occasional tears to my eyes...

Once, i used to visit an orphanage and play with the kids there, sometimes, I'd dress them after a bath and return them to their cradles.  I remember a particular child, i had just dressed him and was carrying him to his cradle when he wrapped his two tiny hands around my neck and held on so tight to me, it was the most gentle and genuine hug i had received in a long time, in that hug i could hear that child say me "Love me, don't leave me".  At that point, my heart skipped and i thought I'd never drop him, but i had another child to dress, so with regret, i dropped him and he started wailing, i tried calming him, but he kept crying, my heart broke at that point but i still had to dress the other children.  I can tell you that sometimes, i still feel his arms around me.  Children  show the most genuine and purest form of love... seriously, think about it and you'll see how true it is, no wonder God says we should approach him like children and he said except we have hearts like these little ones, will not enter the kingdom of God.

Again, i remember Lizzy, a tiny little baby in the same orphanage, she had AIDS, she was so skinny and fragile, i thought she would break.  I held her tenderly as i dressed her.  She kept looking at me, her eyes spoke volumes, like she was saying goodbye to me or trying to capture my face so she won't forget it, am not sure what she was doing.  But after that day, i travelled and returned after a week only to learn that she died that very day, the only consolation i had was that i prayed for her that day before I left.... but i can't forget her eyes, i see her in the eyes of little children and that little experience has taught me to always appreciate life and other people around me cos you never know when you will never see them again.

Enough about kids even though i have so many stories about them, did i mention that one of those lovely children in the orphanage walked up to me one day and called me 'Mama'.  Oh how my heart soared that day. These little memories keep me going many days when i am depressed, I can look back at them and remember that there are people who long to have the kind of life I have; a complete family, food on my table, health and lots of other things.  I can appreciate life in many ways and see people in a different light.  Most importantly are the lessons i have learnt from them.

There are so many other little things, the list is endless... could be a smile that made your day, a hug you received at a point you thought you could not go on, an encouraging word, help at the nick of time, a near death experience, help you rendered that saved a life, forgiveness, acceptance, even the blessings of having friends who love you unconditionally(by the way, when was the last time you really appreciated your friends?).... like i said the list is endless....

A wise man once said that life isn't made up of big events but the little uncounted, unnoticed things that happen around us. If you think back on these things, you will see that you learnt one of the biggest lessons in life or that singular simple and little events was the catalyst to a great success story that you have.

Try not to ignore the little things that come along your way in life, hold them and learn all you can from it, for life really isn't made up big things, but the little seemingly insignificant, unnoticed, tiny, simple things that happen to us.  This little note is just like one of those little things.... :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Like a Child

Some memories just never go away, and events of the present times trigger them every now and then.  Some sweet, some bitter and some just bring lessons you never would have learnt until now or when God knew you would understand.

One of such is the thought of how I used to run to meet my daddy when he comes home.  Starting from the sound of the familiar horn and the scream of “Daddy” to the scampering of my little legs out the door and outside jumping until his car is parked and I can open the door for him.  I was always the first one out, no one could compete with me.  These thoughts make me giggle as I write them.  I’d always be the first to receive anything he brought home… toys, suya, a hug and anything.  Those were good ol’days.

Gradually, i started growing up, I was sent off to boarding school and then University and those days were over.  I still go out to receive my dad when he comes home, but not with the usual child like excitement and am not always the first one out anymore.  Besides, am like double the size I was back then, I bet my dad can’t even lift me off the floor anymore… we’ll both be on the floor in seconds….  Nonetheless, I love and cherish those memories.

One morning, as I pondered on my life and my relationship with God, he brought back this memory and the lesson he wanted me to see and learn.  It had to do with how we approach the presence of God.  Now think back to all the Sunday mornings or quiet times you have had with God…. How do you come into his presence?  Grudgingly, tired, excited (like a child), or just indifferent?  On Sunday morning, I know sometimes I find it hard to stand up from bed….  But God wants us to be overly excited about spending time with him.  He wants to see the eager glee of a child when we come into his presence.  The bible says we should delight (be satisfied, enjoy, to please) ourselves in the lord.  He wants us to be excited to be the first in his presence and we can take the first gifts he has to offer.  No wonder David sought the Lord Early in the Morning.

I know I fall short in this area and I intend to do something about it.  God also showed me that we would always be children in his arms.  No matter how much we grow up, we should never be afraid to be children in his presence.  His arms will never grow too weak to carry us or too small to hug us, and his feet will never be too tired to carry us.

Sometimes, I am afraid to run out to meet my dad when I have done something wrong, but God says we can come into his presence whenever we want, regardless of what we have done.  He knows every wrong thing we will do before we do it and he has already offered forgiveness in advance and does not love us any less than he does now.  God is such an amazing father; he is the perfect picture of PAPA.

My point?  Let’s change how we come before our maker, let us approach him like children; excited, full of life and eager to hear what he has to say and what he has to offer us. 

Oh, how I love the lord and  all that is within me delights in him.  Like a child, I will run to him and seat at his feet.  I will wait eagerly to hear what he has to say to me and like an obedient child, I will do as I am told.  I will believe his every word like a child so simply believes and I will trust him with the heart of a child.  And while I mature in the knowledge of his words and ways, my heart will remain like that of a child…. always eager to run into and enjoy his presence.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I felt the pull but didn’t resist, like a cow pulled for slaughter, I followed willingly. I felt your nudge in my heart, willing me to run, to look the other way, but the seductions of sin had enveloped my entire being. My hands were wrapped around it, suddenly, the world disappeared. The pleasure of sin filled my being and I let it have all of me, at that point, nothing mattered, not even your gentle nudge.

When all was said and done and I had had my fill of the pleasures… within a few seconds… the reality of what I had done dawned on me, the world became real and I was stripped of my dignity. I was naked with shame and guilt, I could see the devil himself laughing at me and the pleasure I had enjoyed mocking me. All I wanted to do was run, open the ground and will it to swallow me. I remembered how I had promised never to fall for the seductions of the devil anymore, I had made that promise to God a thousand times and every time, I found myself falling again and again. I felt so ashamed of myself… where was the voice that urged me on to sin, the voice that told me it wasn’t wrong, the voice that seduced me… it had turned and mocked me. I wonder why I kept falling for it every time…

Just then, I felt the gentle touch of the Sweet Spirit of God nudging me to run into the arms of God, willing me to accept the forgiveness he offers…. But I refused. I screamed at God to leave me alone, to stop loving me. I asked him why he would keep loving me when I kept disappointing him, I kept making him cry and my constant return to sin made a mockery of the sacrifice he made on the cross. I told him to stop loving me because his love was too pure to be wasted on a hell bent soul like mine. But the Lord kept willing me into his arms, but I held back and screamed at him to leave me alone, that I didn’t want his forgiveness because I knew that the next time I hear that seductive voice, I’ll give in and keep giving in, I was too weak to fight it.

With my heart shut against the love and forgiveness of my father, I drifted into sleep, half expecting him to speak to me in my dream. When the morning dawned and the birds sang their morning praises to the father, I woke up without a message from him in my sleep so I assumed he had heard me and finally left me alone. But as I stepped out of my house to begin my day, a beautiful rainbow across the sky greeted me. I couldn’t ignore it, the message was clear “I am still offering you love my child” I could hear God say to me. Even though the message was clear, I resisted and looked away…. God can’t keep loving me after all I kept doing, I was even too weak to resist a simple temptation. Surely, God is only interested in people that are strong and hot for him, those that can look temptation in the face and dispel its seductions with their voice. I was too weak. Even when he provided a way of escape from the temptation… I was too weak to see it.

I got to work and put all thoughts of God’s love and the rainbow behind me, ready to tackle the work for the day. A friend buzzed me on Yahoo Mesenger… she was in trouble. She had returned to a habit she had promised to stop, she was scared to tell me because she thought I’d be upset. Sure, I was upset, but she was still my friend right! I had to be there for her and help her through it all. Just then she asked me a question…

“Do you still love me”

Without thinking, I replied “ Of course I do, why will you think like that?”

Then she said “Why?”

“Cos ur my friend and no matter what you do, we’ll always be friends… I may get upset, but I’ll always be your friend”

Just then, it struck me… God was still trying to get my attention. I thought about it, I really still loved my friend, no matter what she did…. I may be upset, but I’d never stop loving her. Just then God said to me “If you being human can love your friend so unconditionally, how much more me… I made you, I created you… You are mine. No matter what you do, you will always be mine and I can NEVER STOP LOVING YOU. I may get upset, you may make me sad, but I can never stop loving you… I am LOVE, its my nature and I CANNOT deny my nature. I love you my Child, you will break my heart if you run from me, I want you in my arms. When you fall, my arms will always be open to receive you… no matter how far you go from me, I will always be ready to take you back. And if ever you get lost and can’t find your way back, seat and wait for me, I’ll come and find you… cos YOU ARE MY CHILD AND NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE THAT” Your weakness dosen't bother me... it's your running that bothers me. Come to me my child, let me love you unto perfection.

I had tears in my eyes, my friend didn’t know how much God had used her to reach me… I took a moment to run into my father’s arms and further extended his love to my friend. God’s Love makes it very difficult to sin… but when we do, he’s always ready to take us back. What love can be greater than this… even the love I had for my friend could not compare to this LOVE even though I had learnt to love that way from God himself.

Thank you dear Lord for loving me so much… i know your grace will always be there to keep me from falling, but when I do, I know your arms will always be open to receive me again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The eyes of a child

I saw him on CNN
The little innocent eyes
Like a pull, he caught my eyes
And in those big black eyes
I saw no darkness
But a longing...
To be pulled into my arms