The Last Man Running...

His chest was rising and falling, just like violent tides on a hot beach in mid-summer. He could not help it. He was a trained runner. The sweat was pouring, but he could not feel it running down his skin. The only sensation he could feel was that of his leg muscles. They were the most active muscles right now. He ran down the curve of the tracks. The others were ahead of him now...oh, such a disappointment! Why did he have to sprain his ankle almost at the end of the race? He had trained for this one race the entire year...minute after minute, day after day...night after night. He had climbed ropes, swam in rivers, waded in mud...just for this very moment in history.

But he kept running. He was the last runner. But he did not dare stop.

He suddenly felt a chaotic noise. But he kept running. The noise was from the heavy applause of his witnesses, cheering him on like he had no tomorrow. Bidding his lungs to keep breathing. Telling him to reach the finish line. So he kept moving, unmoved by his own emotions. He kept swimming, in a sea of his own breathlessness. He kept climbing the ropes of his own hopelessness. He kept wading, in the mud of his own thoughts. But he kept running...he didn't stop.

He was the last man running...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As 2008 draws to an end, the clock cannot stop ticking. A new dawn surely must come, a new light. 2009 surely must knock on our doors. There's no holding back tomorrow. So also, many of you are still running. You've just got three more days, and that's it! But I want to talk to the last man running. You, who is still training your athletic muscles. You there, who is still waiting for that last wish to come true. You, whose vision has not yet been materialized. Yes, you...the last man running. Yes, you...everyone has gone ahead of you. Some have even begun 2009, but you are this very moment...captured in the last few days of 2008.

Oh, I want to tell you not to stop running. A true runner never stops. It does not matter whether the first man has crossed the ropes, he has to keep going. He still has to reach the finish line. So I want to tell you today that in three days, you will reach the final destination. Please, don't stop now...oh no, please don't. You've got three more days to run. Keep running, don't stop. Keep praying, don't stop. Keep exercising your spiritual muscles in these last few days of 2008. Withstand the enemy in your body, in your mind. It cannot be over yet, until it is over. Don't claim defeat when that was not the original plan. You, yes you...are a winner. By all means, if you don't stop running, then you are a winner. God is filled with crazy surprises.

"But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Matthew 19:30

Photo from the Kanakuk Colorado blog

And She Sang a Christmas Carol...

Check out this christmas carol by yours truly on...GEISHA'S BLOG.
And to you, my readers, I say a heartfelt merry christmas to you...

Do read the previous post and share this love with someone else :)

A Cold Night in Hell:

The date was December 16th. It was a cold night in hell. The sack was getting heavier with each step. The sound of her feet brought her closer to the gates of death, no other destination was in sight. When she looked to her left, she saw a big white wall. When she looked to her right, she saw a river flowing down its own path. So, she decided to glance behind her and unfortunately saw her past mistakes. Finally, she chose to look in front of her. Yet, instead of hope she saw hopelessness. Then, why was it that she was even trying to move forward? Why should she even bother? Didn't some poet say that "all good things must eventually come to an end"? She had no reason to keep moving. She had no family to look up to. She had no one to call upon. She trusted people in the past, but they disappointed her. So she stopped walking...right the middle of the road to nowhere. She didn't even know the name of the street. She stopped moving forward...
She put the sack down. It contained the few possessions she had left. She sat on the road side, bidding death to come to her. There was no reason to keep living in this world. There was no justice. There was no forgiveness. Only punishment and injustice. There was no mercy. She waited for hours, but death didn't come. At the sixteenth hour instead, a car came speeding by...a little red sedan. It was a lonely highway, and she wondered why anyone would be driving down this road at this time of the night.
At first, the car passed her. Then it stopped a few inches from where she was, and then it reversed. A skinny young lady poked her head out of the window, "Hello," she said. "I have been driving down this road for the past two hours, hoping to see someone. I don't know what to tell you, but I know I was meant to meet you. I just moved down here. I won't be with my family this Christmas. I prayed to God to send someone my way, so it won't be lonely. I have a big house at the end of this street and I am inviting you. Will you be interested in a grand supper and a magnificent Christmas tree? My cook is really good..."

Tears were streaming down Tanyinka's eyes. She was trying to listen to what this woman was saying, but all she could think about was, "Mercy found me. God, you found me." December 16th would have been her last day on earth...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This morning I woke up at 9.00am and proceeded to my closet, to praise God for everything He's done for me this year. For the highs and the lows, for the failures and the successes...for being my rock and strong tower.
At the end of my hulla balloo, I kept quiet. Silence fell upon my room and I tried really hard to listen to His still voice. Maybe He had a response for me...
Surely, the response came. Someone is not expecting anything this Christmas. While many are running helter skelter, buying gifts for their siblings, parents, and friends...someone somewhere has no reason to move on. But that's why we're here...the light of the world and the salt of the earth. The primary reason for celebrating Christmas is because God loved us so much that He planned that Jesus would be born for the sole purpose of dying to reconcile us back to our first love. But there's someone somewhere who has never known that real love...

So this Christmas, may we become the evidence of God's love to those who don't understand. Do something you've never done before to show this love...make it a challenge.

Photo by Photobucket

The Perfect Lie:

So, today I'm getting jiggy with this tag. Seye tagged me to tell the perfect lie (on the 2 Truths, 1 Lie Tournament) let's see which of you will get the answer WRONG...:)

1. I have entered an 'okada' three times (okada = motorcycle)
2. Last week, I cooked an exotic meal called "Thai Chicken soup with coconut milk."
3. I once went on a trip in a
luxurious yacht.

...And when the comments get to 50 (lol), I'll reveal my perfect lie. So comment on...

I tag everyone trying to guess...

Photo by Photobucket

PS: Please read the last writing on this blog called "Ahhhh, when you run with it!" And feel the breeze on your skin as you run, even before the end of the year.

God bless you this week *insert smiley face*...

...Ahhhh, When You RUN With it...

Nana held the costume tightly to her body. It was a fitting ornamental costume, made of several feathers. It was shaped like a big bird, and she guessed it was probably an eagle. They say an eagle is the smartest bird: it can see for miles and it soars high and then coasts easily with the wind. They say an eagle's strength is unbeatable! The weak ones die after their mother flies high into the sky and drops them to test their intelligence and strength.

Any second from now, the parade would begin. Any moment from now, the sirens would sound. Any minute from now, her heart would skip a beat...involuntarily of course. She was the leader of the pack, the one with the most astonishingly beautiful colors. She felt all eyes on her and she gave a knowing smile. She had been waiting for this moment since she was 6 years old. Now, she was 16 and she felt the same way about the parade, even after 10 years.

She knew the routine like the back of her hand. She giggled. She knew the role like it was her professional job. She had watched this show every single year as a little child...and time after time she wished she could be the leader of the pack. The one who stole the show. The one with the glamorous beauty. The proud dancer. Well, her time had come...just as she knew it would one day. Nana knew exactly what to do and needed no tutoring. In a few minutes, the members of the parade would bow down to the ground, and she would be the only one standing. Slightly after that, she would spread her colorful wings widely to her two sides...and she would begin to RUN...

In a few minutes she would feel as though she was in a running competition with the wind blowing against her face...and she would love every minute of that experience...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A lot of athletes might find this to be a beautiful piece. Regardless of your sport, you must feel a special type of wind blowing on your face when you do it running, swimming, dancing, soccer, or whatever it is. I watched Michael Phelps last night on CNN (CBS 60 seconds), and noticed the joy that came when the tide of water brushed against his face. It's amazing!
But today I want to talk about "running with the Word of God." There's something about running with a word that you've received by faith. You can't see the word, but somehow it becomes LIFE within your spirit. Somehow it calms your fears and sedates your senses. Somehow, when everyone else is running helter skelter, you on the other hand will be sane...because you have the 'Word' hidden inside your heart. It is like a fire burning within your spirit, but cannot be quenched.
But which word can you run with? There are so many that to list them would make me go ballistic. What about the one that says that

"A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but [bad things] shall not come near you."

What about the one that says,

"See, [God] has engraved you on the palm of His hands."

Or the one that says,

"Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

Oh yes, there's also one that says,

"He will never leave you nor forsake you."

And another one even says,

"He is your shepherd..."

And finally, what about the one that says,

"For God loved [you] that He gave His only begotten son, that if you just believe in Him, you will not perish but have everlasting life?"

Oh, what about those ones?

So, YOU, my reader, are of more value than many sparrows. When next you 'see' the word of God, just RUN with it...feel the breeze on your skin and keep running with it. Don't stop until every part of that word has taken place in your life.

The Execution:

The very sharp edges of the guillotine was nothing compared to the wooden frame of the device. The French revolution seethed with revenge, bidding any careless daring man to come forward to test it's wrath. The people were blood-thirsty, standing and hailing the officers who marched the prisoners to the guillotine. The killings became a source of entertainment, for men, women, and children alike. The prisoners were expressionless, waiting for their fate like rams waiting to be sick hens waiting to be decapitated. They had no hope, no sense of justice. They had no reason to live, no reason to cry, and no reason not to laugh. The period from June 1793 to July 1794 was the most sickening and blood-thirsty period in France, the period of the "Reign of Terror." Yet, it is so ironic that the one person who condemned others to death by the guillotine, Maximilien Robespiere, was later arrested and died in the same fashion like the prisoners who went before him. How sad!

Nevertheless, death by decapitation is indeed a means to an end. The head is the most vital part of the body, without which the body cannot survive. It is no wonder that when a patient's brain dies, but yet his or her heart keeps beating, the medical team confines such a person as being dead.

But today, when I thought about such an execution as the one mentioned above, I was thinking about using this kind of means to destroy the enemy's vices. I really didn't know how to transform it into a blog post, but I knew that decapitating the devil is the best way to take him out. To do this, we must learn how to turn his evil plots against him. Every plot comes from the head, and to destroy these plots we need to decapitate the head. The guillotine method would visit the foundation of the plots.

Whenever we get a vain suggestion, we must cut it off our minds immediately. When seeds of doubt begin to be planted, we must plant our own seeds of faith in their place, with immediate effect. When horses and chariots begin to ask us to trust in their name, we must say "no"immediately, because we trust only in the name of our God. Whenever we get tempted to move in the wrong direction, before the thoughts become actions we must seek the ways of escape God has already created for us. Before we have children, we must place our hands on our wombs and pray for their destinies and foundations. We must also do the same even before we marry our spouses and begin to have large families.

For one of them, there must be two of us. Most importantly, we must understand that the enemy does not sleep. He is seeking to attack the most devious of people, so you must not sleep yourself. You must be ready, in and out of season. The guillotine death was an immediate death. There was no elongation of pain. Don't waste too much time in analyzing what has already been analyzed. Just decapitate any ammunition from the devil, with immediate effect. You must be either in or out, either hot or cold. These times are merciless times...and you must not show mercy to the devil, who will not show you any mercy either.

Photo by Photobucket

Then I said..."I'm Lost."

This story is about me:

Not so many hours ago, I sat down to calculate the episodes of my life. The things I needed to be accountable and responsible for began to flood me like a river overflowing its bank. Things such as...bills, student loans, repayment plans, furthering my education, inspirational ideas, small business entrepreneurial innovations...things that involved the power to make wealth and become a banner that nothing is impossible for such a person such as myself...things that were bigger than my imagination.
I honestly felt lost. Infact, I received a phone call this morning that took me unawares, slicing me to the pit of my stomach with questions I could not answer. This really caused me to feel helpless. And then I lay on my bed, stopped for a second and said..."Lord, I am lost." The most adequate words that I felt I could find. Because I really felt lost. Simple and unrevised.

But this was the response I the silence of the atmosphere in my bedroom, I heard a voice say, "No, you're not lost. You were lost before, but you were found by Me." The voice came immediately. I didn't even get the chance to wallow in self-pity for a second. It came in a still soft voice. I stayed still and the interpretation I got was:

"Look, are not lost. Before the problems came I already created a way of escape. I have already created the pattern by which what you consider as hopelessness will eventually give hope to many. See, how will they understand that I am God if your problems are not bigger than what you can handle? I have to reveal Myself to those who are looking. So your story can be bigger."

Somehow, I just know that I am supposed to tell the story...the story of my survival in an economical down-trodden society...

And in that story, the credits sure will NOT be mine...

I believe in God:

Today, December 1st, bloggers all over the blogosphere will speak out. Today, we will say why we believe in God. Feel free to join the fun and do this on your blog. You see, this life is a journey. A journey filled with lessons. A journey filled with pain. A journey filled with joy. A journey filled with tears, and then sometimes laughter. But somewhere, along my journey...I started believing in God.

I believe in God because He saved me from myself. He caused the simple things in life to confound my wisdom. He took the intellectual in me and turned me into a believer. I used to be a believer in my own strength, emotions, and intelligence. But I tried to win in all those areas by myself, and I failed...woefully. But when I started running with God, He became my strength when I saw my weaknesses. I was not so perfect after all...rather, I was the fragile clay in the hands of the Master Potter.

I believe in God because when we were little, my mother had a thirst to want to know God more. My father didn't know God. We never really prayed as a family. We didn't even know the first thing about God. We went to church, but never really 'heard' the Word. Then one day, my mother called her children into a room and told us we were going to start praying as a family. We prayed for my father specifically, we prayed each morning. And just a few months after, my father began to lead the prayers...we switched churches from a dead one to a place where God's presence was. I began to see changes in my family. One night I even had a dream, and the dream came to past some months after. We began to really "hear" the Word was a beautiful beginning...for everything. The growth began!
I believe in God because as the first child of my parents, I have always been an 'experiment.' Yet, when they sent me to a boarding house far away from home, and I fell sick from a fever and almost died, God saved me. When I came to America as the first person amongst my siblings to travel overseas, I came with little or no money, but here I am today...He provided for me...and I am still standing. He is still providing for me Jehovah Jireh. He has never let me down. There's been some times I have cried, for provision. But He came and He rescued me...from poverty. He gave me ideas to make wealth...He gave me shelter when I thought I had run out of options.

I believe in God because when those armed robbers came to my house that night in Lagos and pointed a cold gun at my skull, I became the victim of the cold feel of metal, but not death.

I believe in God because He speaks to me in crazy ways. I could be wondering what to do about a certain dire situation, and He would send a word to me from the most unexpected sources...from a phone call, from a friendly chat, from a random note or blog, from a message in church, from TERC, or from a stranger on the bus or train, sometimes even from some of your comments.

I believe in God because I make mistakes every day. He is the perfection of my imperfections. He forgives me and causes my heart to rejoice and be glad again.

Lastly, I believe in God because when I look at the trees, the oceans, the skies, the clouds, the mountains, the people, the roads, the architecture, the landscape, the intelligence all around me...I have no reasons NOT to justify the presence of a MASTER MIND, the ultimate designer and architect...the One who no one created, but who created everything we see...the One who causes the miracle of the development of a fetus into a baby, and the preparation of the womb for child birth.

Oh, how I wish you could understand the things of which I speak about...and I mean, the intricate details...I have had crazy testimonies of this God...but just like I cannot count the stars in the sky, so also I cannot really count my testimonies one by one...this blog will not be enough...

Photo by Photobucket

Not Perfect dot com: Her fingers were rigid on the mouse. She was focusing as hard as she could on her research on the internet, yet her thoughts were flying to a distant place, a place where no soul or living thing existed. A place where it seemed was the only place she could actually pause and breathe. A breath of fresh air.

Yes, her thoughts were flying. To a place that was not reality. Here, back on her computer, everything she clicked on reminded her of who she was not. More like, of who she tried to be each day. PERFECT! The entire web was built with perfection, and also depicted perfect scenarios with perfect people. On the other hand, in her flying thoughts, she was in a place where she could just "be." Eventually, she stood up and placed her arms akimbo, and she said to herself, "I am a work in progress. I am not perfect." Then she opened the double wooden doors and walked out into the sun-lit veranda. She would not pretend to be who she wasn't. She would strive for it, yes...but she would not pretend to be perfect anymore. She was saved by His grace and ransomed by His blood.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Have you ever been in a place where you are forced to pretend to be perfect? A place where reality TV becomes unreal and where CNN depicts lies instead of truth? I have been in that place before, and have found it not very amusing.
Whenever I want to do it all by myself, I get trapped in the errors of an imperfect body. Those times I try to do it myself are the times when I do those things I do not want to do. But when I become a "work-in-progress," releasing myself into the arms of the Master Potter, I find out that I begin to survive on the bread of His "grace." Like the stories of the actors on the NBC show, Heroes, they cannot control their abilities by themselves, but there's something invisible that is controlling their the next episode I will find out whether their fate lies in the outcome of the eclipse of the sun.
Pretty much, I am asking you to let yourself survive on grace. You can try to be a good person by your own abilities, but they will fail you. Let God take you by your right hand and show you the way. Our own righteousness is only as good as a filthy rag before God's eyes, that's why He chose to wrap the righteousness of Christ around us. Now, when He looks at us, He smiles. Why? He smiles because He has chosen not see our filthy rags any longer. Instead, He has chosen to see the blood of His own son, covering us and shielding us from our own imperfections.
Today, let go of your pretentious sense of perfection. But choose to wrap God's righteousness around your own unrighteousness. If you fall, get back up again and hold His hand. You are not perfect, but He is!
Photo by photobucket

The Nobody!!!

In the silence of the night, a shrieking sound arose. It was Ella's cell phone, an annoying ring tone. "Yes, it's Ella," she answered softly. "Hello Ella, I'm so sorry. Did I wake you up?" the woman on the phone asked.

"No," Ella responded, although slightly annoyed.

"It is Jadesola. The day after tomorrow is the ball. I just wanted to be sure you got my measurements right. Thanks for sending me the pictures of what you have done so far. I appreciate it."

"Yes, I did get your measurements right madam Jadesola," Ella retorted. "of course with a little room for a finger to slide through your waist. 29" for your waist, 35" for your bust, and 38" for your hips."

"Thank you Ella. Please have a blessed night."

Ella was not asleep when she got that phone call. She was more than awake. She had balls of cloth strewn all around her sewing table, cloths of different colors, shapes, and though she was making many clown costumes. She smiled. It was what she loved to do best, creativity and innovation. So she kept on. She worked all through the night, she must have yawned about a hundred times. But she kept on...

The night of the ball came by too fast. Ella sat at a table close to the windows of the ballroom, she came so that she could look at the work of her hands, not necessarily to participate in the dancing. She even had no handsome date. So she looked. And she looked. She sewed the dresses of 90% of the women in that room. The event was an annual traditional event, and rather than buy their dresses, the women of this small city preferred to sew theirs instead. They danced and they danced, all night long. Laughing and bickering, on the arms of their knights in shining armor. Till they had their fill and it was time to go.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ever had a moment where you felt like a nobody? Well, I have good news for you. In God's dictionary, there's no such thing as a "nobody." You were created to be somebody in this world, and that's exactly who you are.

God looked at you when you were forming as a fetus in your mother's womb, and He concluded that you looked good. He knew you then, and He knows you now (Psalm 139). Guess what? Before you were formed He already made great plans for you...even before the foundations of the earth were formed (Ephesians 1:4).
Therefore, in a web of complex details, every intricate thread matters. You, as an individual, are that intricate thread. Your function is extremely important to the significance of the entire web. Infact, that's the reason why you are so different from everyone else, if you have ever asked yourself that question. It's the reason why when others think they should go through paths A and B, you think path C will be the best option for you.

If you are the one behind the sewing wheel, and nobody seems to take note of you, God has already taken note of you before the foundations of the world were formed. Without your existence, the night of ballroom dancing will not dare take place. And one day, the manifestation of your works will praise you. In everything you do, do it excellently well. Because you are not a nobody, you are somebody!

And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Genesis 1:31). There is nothing that our Architect designed that is not good. You, and every one of your flaws. You, and every one of your thoughts. You were designed to be somebody "good." You are not a nobody.

Photo by Steff + Justin's Blog

Wrong Practice: We do not fight against flesh & Blood

Saw this video for the first time today on Bella Naija. I am ravished by angry thoughts that there is this grave misrepresentation of Christianity. In the minds of some, witches and wizards have caused everything that damages their livelihoods. And so, they have decided to beat up, poison, pour kerosine on, and even kill children who innocently have no protection against themselves.

You can support this cause here:


In her dream, there was a picturesque village
And a big house with a garage
There was a wedding dress in the closet
And five exquisite pairs of shoes
There were also two little boys
Running helter skelter like they owned the place...

In her dream, there was the shadow of a woman
Cast on the bedroom wall
It seemed as though this woman's shape was hers
But she could not see her face clearly
Just as she could not remember who she was 10 years ago...
She was once somebody great
But she could not remember who she was
She was lost in a different body
Trapped in a different soul
Confined in a different jail

She heard footsteps behind her
She looked back suddenly
But there was no one chasing her
Maybe it was the ghost of her past
Or maybe just a figment of her imagination
Yet, she knew she was once someone great
Only, she could not remember exactly who she was

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Most times, we don't remember. Most times, the glory comes into our lives, but then it fades away again. Because we fail to remember how it felt. Sometimes, I even fear to leave the physical gathering of believers because I don't want to forget what I heard in that place. I don't want to forget the message, or the powerful vibes that passed through me like fierce electric currents. I don't want to forget the anointing that flowed like a river overstepping its boundaries. But sometimes I forget...

They say people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. They should already know that they live in glass houses, so they must try as much as they can not to carry stones in their jeans pockets. In the same fashion, if you have ever seen God do any great and phenomenal thing in your life, family's or friend's, then don't carry in your pocket stones that will serve as counterfeits to these testimonies...or stones that will make you forget what God has done, or who He really is...

You must always remember the child of whom you are, and must flee from the schemes of a demented mind. Keep remembering who you are, even until your very last breath. Let nothing steal your precious memory from you, not even famine, pestilence, or sword. Yes, YOU are the child of a longer a slave. You have been freed from the chains of dementia, and now you have the liberty to remember His glory.

Photo by Photobucket

The Good Side of Darkness...

It was pitch black. Nothing could be seen on the horizon, except the horrors of blackness. Every living thing was still, either sleeping or dead. But the warrior was alive. It was the perfect time to move through the forest, in the still of the dark night. Only the bold and the strong dared to move at this time. He proceeded forward, pushing away invaders such as the shrubs and annoying prickly thistles that kept brushing his strong face and arms. He would not be moved by emotions, weakness, thirst, or exhaustion. He was only a man, he knew! But tonight, he would be a unconquerable one.

He was the leader of the warriors. His team was only some feet behind him, but they did not come too close. His mission was to surround their enemies' camp, while they were yet sleeping. His nostrils picked up the fumes from a burning camp fire. They were close enough. His rapid breathing increased, as though he had run ten thousand miles. He stopped and turned back to the others, demarcating with hands that some should go through the left path and the others the right. Soon enough, they had surrounded the enemies' camp. Their arrows were strategically in place. As soon as the first streams of daylight began to show, they would begin to shoot...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Darkness has indeed been underestimated. Yes, we all don't want to be in a dark place, but listen up...there is a good side to darkness. How do I know? I know because I read it! Lol. I read it in Psalm 18:11-29.

He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies
He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
lightnings in abundance,
and He vanquished them...
You will light my lamp;
the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness...

After reading this Psalm I began to understand some secrets about being in a dark place. A dark place is where your enemy thinks you are asleep. It's like the dark room of a photographer, it looks dead but it's not! In a dark room, processing of photographs actually do get done.

It is actually from a dark place that God can shoot all the arrows towards the enemy's camp. He has made darkness His secret place. If He operated in broad daylight, the enemy would see Him approaching and take cover. So next time you get that irky disgusting and crazy foreboding that you're in a dark place in your life (again), don't get sad, get glad! Something is happening in the atmosphere that you probably don't understand. In your dark place, the carpenter is at work within you and you become a work in progress...a colorful photograph that is being processed.

Your darkness is what will blind the eyes of those waiting to see your downfall. So like the mighty warrior passing through a dark forest, be bold and yet proceed...

Photo by J McNaughtan (Photobucket)

Like a Woman in Birth Pangs...(Obama's birth)

She felt it all over her body, the abrupt turns of the child in her womb. Yet, she would wait.

She would wait for one more hour, until the time of the delivery. She would labor, but not in vain. The pain she felt would not be in vain. She had carried this child in her womb for nine months, and now was not the time to contemplate other options. At every turn, she gave a loud shout. The doctor came in and told her to walk back and forth in the hallway. In her mind, he was a crazy schizophrenic man...why else would he tell her to perform an impossible feat? Yet, as impossible as it seemed, she decided to rise up to the occasion. She leaned on the left handle of the bed as she stood up, writhing in merciless pain. Then she took one step forward. If she could take one step, she could definitely take another. And another. And yet another. Soon the steps began to multiply. The audacity of hope! As she walked back, she knew it was time. And she screamed that she was ready to push...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sometimes in life, all we need is hope. Hope that the seed growing in our wombs would grow to full term. Hope, that when it is time to deliver we will receive the strength to push. Hope, that there is no impossible task, that impossibilities are only on the threshold of those who don't have the strength to believe.
A new thing has taken place in the world. In a dark place, a new light has come. Barack Obama is being born. Born into a Nation that was his expectant mother. America has pushed, and they have delivered. History has been made. President Obama, congratulations on your successful delivery.

Now, whatever your proposals are to change this Nation, I commit you into the hands of the Almighty. It is God who appoints kings, and you are no different from a king. May your throne be prosperous and sensitive to the Voice of your Creator.

I am not hoping in Barack Obama, I am hoping in God...

Be in pain, and labor to bring forth,
O daughter of Zion,
Like a woman in birth pangs.
For now you shall go forth from the city,
You shall dwell in the field,
And to Babylon you shall go.
There you shall be delivered...
(Micah 4:10)

Photos by Photobucket

The Triumphant Entry:

Tomorrow, the next president of the United States of America will be ascertained. My heart has unconsciously done uncountable skips since last night, as my head justifiably went over all the debates...over and over again, like the second hand of a wall clock. On Tuesday, God will give a man the power to rule a Nation, because He is the one who appoints kings on their thrones. On Tuesday, someone will make a triumphant entry. I wonder who it will be: the skinny black kid whose dream it has always been to find his place in a displaced and unbalanced scale and to give hope to the hopeless, or the bold and courageous veteran who risked his life on a platter of gold many times, for a country he claims to love so dearly? Only God knows...

Thousands of years ago, there was someone who made a triumphant entry. His name was Jesus, although His kingdom is the one that knows no end. It was time for the passover feast in the city of Jerusalem and at that time many hearts were focused on God, expecting Him to show up. And then He actually showed up! A prophecy was fulfilled that day which said, "Tell the daughter of Zion, behold your king is coming to you, lowly and sitting on a donkey..." (Zechariah 9:9). Some of the people knew instantly who it was, laying even their cloaks on the bare earth for the donkey to trod was the One who had come to save them. Yet, some of the people asked in confusion "who is this?" To those who believed, their lives were restored.

On Tuesday night, one of the candidates would make his own triumphant entry and emerge as a king, by the people and for the people. And those who believe and hope in a better America may be restored.

God bless the United States of America...
Photos by photobucket

The Night Visitor:

Her chest rose and fell again with a slightly unsteady rhythm. She snuggled more underneath the king-sized duvet. She was dreaming of an Equestrian competition. The main horse rider in her dream was dressed in red, and his white horse was ready to move. They were waiting for the sound of the gun shot that signaled the start of the race. At the sound of the gun, the gates were barred open and the horses stamped their feet in unison and raced towards the tracks, each horse sticking to its line. The red horse rider plunged his horse forward, albeit in full dominion of the race. He was a bold and confident rider. The sound of the gallops from his own horse were louder than the beats of traditional talking least until the horse began to wobble from side to side. There was something wrong with its hind legs. Some spectators were standing up now...any moment from now, the horse and its rider would come crashing down...

She sat up confused, sitting in a pool of her own sweat. She never was able to reach the end of this dream. She had never found out what happened to the hind legs of the red rider's horse. All she knew was the sinister feeling in the pit of her stomach whenever she woke up. This time, someone was knocking at her door. She looked at her watch, it was 2.00am. It must be her daddy. The airport shuttle must have just dropped him off. Her eyes did a quick scan of the entire one-room apartment, there was nothing to hide. She was ready for a visit from her father. She quickly removed the duvet and ran to the door to welcome her late night visitor...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have you ever had night visitors at weird hours? Maybe even in the middle of a dream? This morning, I read somewhere in the book of Psalms that God is a night time visitor. He comes to visit when no one else is there. He comes when you're least expecting Him to show up. He comes when you're thinking or dreaming of things other than Him. He comes to test our hearts.

Can God visit you and find nothing against you? Can He come and find purity of your thoughts and sentiments? Can He come and find that you're now a changed person, no longer controlled by the evil thoughts or desires you once had before? If He comes into your heart today, will it be swept clean and ready for a visit? Or will there be cobwebs and signs of lack of maintenance in your house?

In the few seconds of a knock on your door, there may not be enough time to clean up. There may not be sufficient time to wash the dishes or take the thrash out. There just may not be enough time. Today, bare your hearts out to God. Remove any hidden secret thing that will not look good when it is brought to the light. Remove any cobwebs or spiderwebs lurking at your door post, or any spoilt food from your fridge, lest your night visitor may get turned off by the repulsive odor or stench.

"You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress..." Psalm 17: 3

Photo by Photobucket

An Outburst of Release:

The atmosphere was tense...really very tense. Maybe it was the after effects of a heavy rain, or the rough winds that blew after the rain. Temi did not know which one caused the tension in the atmosphere, or maybe he did after all. He was walking past the houses in the alley, and beside him his best friend, Ada, was matching his footsteps with hers. They were eating ice-cream from cones. Ada had just cracked a joke, and it was funny. They both giggled a little bit, and then it was all quiet again. It felt as though they were pleading with the houses beside them to speak, and urging the inanimate objects lying on the uneven tarred road to say something, since neither of them spoke again.

Temi's over-working mind began to play games on him. "Should I tell her about the pain that shot through me when she made those accusations against me?" He asked himself. It was even painful to remember that episode. Two days ago an argument had turned sour, and Ada had accused him of being something that he was not. How could she? Ada of all people, his closest confidant. It was truly painful. Though he tried to forget the words she said, it kept coming back to haunt him.

A drop of icecream spilled unto her dress. That very drop triggered more of his anger. He resisted the urge to bring out his paper knapkin to wipe it off. She did it herself. "Gosh, am I a child?" she muttered, more to herself than to anyone else.

"I have to talk to you about that day!" It was more of a forced outburst than a sentence. But as it came out of his lips, he felt a burden drop off his shoulders.

"I've been thinking of that day too. I'm really sorry about what I said Temi. I didn't really mean to." Ada replied.

Immediately she apologized, the whole world made a 360 degrees revolution in his head and all the earthquakes, firestorms and hailstorms troubling him were subdued. Like that day never happened. They proceeded to the front steps of her house, sat down, and talked about the incident for three more hours...

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Close friends are like peas in a pod; their shared love usually slowly blends their characteristics into a liquefied mesh, making the people in context look like a blended mix of a homogeneous mixture. The closer you get to someone, the more difficult it would be to distinguish one from the other. So also is it with couples. Too many people have signified that many couples begin to look alike after a few months into their relationships and/or marriages. It's amazing. But sometimes things happen in friendships...and an outburst of release is needed...
Never feel that you cannot talk to your friend about the things that they do that hurt you. I have realized that for the friendships that do matter to us, an open line of communication is the key. We are imperfect people and every individual sees things in a different way. The things that may be bugging you may not even be on your friend's mind, but if you don't have that outburst of release and say what's on your mind, you will continue to have an emotional turmoil. Outbursts of release, in my opinion, keep a relationship close and honest. I know, because I had one of those outbursts on Saturday night, and it was really liberating *sigh*!!! Too much ado about nothing!

"Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend..." Psalm 15: 1 & 3

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The Daunting Question:

Yesterday, someone at the bus stop asked me if I still believed in miracles. I said "yes."

Lost in a Sea of Faces:

Latifah stood with her arms akimbo. The wind was blowing right into her face, and she was scrunching up her nose, as if the act would chase the wind away. She was standing by the window sill, looking at the people walking past the house. One by one, they came and went.

She peered into their faces and saw so many things. She looked at a man in a frenzied rain coat. He seemed determined to reach his stop on time. He kept glancing at his watch. He was a master of his own time. He was driven! She looked at the woman two steps behind the man. In the midst of the crowd of people, she stopped for a second to scan the items in her purse, then she closed it and patted it. She was careful, and critically so. It was necessary. She was a watchman over her possessions! She glanced at the young boy on roller skates. He was zooming in and out of the traffic of people. To the left, and then to the right, and then straight ahead. He was practicing his balance and stride. He was obtaining perfection even with the outcry of his imperfections. He had zeal. Finally, she placed her two hands to her cheeks and touched her face. It felt cold. What was her own plight in life? To each man his own. Yet, she felt that as she looked at the people walking by her house, she slowly became lost in the sea of many faces.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What is your own plight? Do you feel lost in a sea of faces? People are accomplishing different things each day. With each day comes the revealing of destinies. With each day comes several revelations. There are graduations each year...weddings, promotions, world-breaking deals, world-class records, Nobel prizes, literary awards, nominations, and awards. Where does your own plight lie?

Your own plight lies in the realization that you will get there if you can just believe. But when you are lost, you can only truly be found when you find God. I told someone yesterday, "there can be no counselor with a PhD other than God." He's the almighty counselor, the One who can guide you in the right path. The One who unsticks you when you're stuck in the miry clay. The One who can remove you from the grasp of the fowler's net. The One who can save you from the disaster of the battle of your own emotions. He is God, and He can find you when you are lost. Remove your face from the sea of faces and reflect on your own life for a quick second. You were made in His image. You too, even you, WILL be someone one day. Don't get lost, get found and get glad!

"...'for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found'. And they began to be merry..." Luke 15:24

Photo by Photobucket

A Speck of Dust, a Speck of Happiness:

As I clean the living room, sweeping with optimistic energetic vigor with my American-style broom, my eyes cannot help but oscillate from left to right, almost with every passing second. I am really missing the effect of a solid Naija broom. Nevertheless, I take full pride in my pretty huge puppy dog eyes that never ever seem to miss even a speck of dust while cleaning. These eyes of mine seem to have the unmistakable power to ravage the entire confines of any room I choose to clean, seeking what it may devour, never missing a thing. As I sweep, I smile, knowing my satisfaction will come when I am done. And when I am done, I am saturated with the knowledge that I did not dare miss a speck of dust. I evolve as a perfectionist standing at the center of a once not-so-perfect room. It usually makes me happy and complete...they say cleanliness is next to Godliness, although I am confident that this phrase was never in the bible, neither was it written in any long forgotten dusty scroll. But the feeling of refreshing comes with the feeling of cleanliness...
So is it with a speck of happiness. Life is a wonderland filled with mysteries, like the hidden confines and contours of a room. You just never know where some dust will fill a little crack on the ground. So also, you just never know where you will find a speck of happiness. But look, we must. Yes, me must. We must sweep the entire earth with our eyes and heart, and we must look for the various specks of happiness lying in figments all around.

No matter how crazy the circumstance, there's always happiness lying somewhere to be grasped. I've shared many times about how giving of oneself is more joyful than receiving sometimes. A man may have nothing and still give himself to the world. How? In a comforting smile, in a reassuring glance, in a a post. It's no wonder why sometimes we can look at the intricate details of a country torn in war, and amidst the war cries we still find tears of joy and shouts of victory. In Nigeria for instance, the people are still climbing an economical ladder and fighting a battle for change in corruption of their leadership. Yet, amidst the poverty of bread and gala hawkers, you still find them gisting in the middle of traffic, cracking their dry jokes and laughing loudly, like happiness was indeed their God-given right. Are they right or what? Meanwhile some rich people cannot sleep in the same country because of constant worry of the night raiders watching them closely. And so these ones choose sadness over happiness...

A woman working in the Balleyara area of Niger, albeit the poorest country in the world (check out yesterday's poverty post) had this to say after she extended her two-year contract of sponsoring garden projects for the women and children of Niger: "Nigeriens are happy, and when I am there I am happy too. I don't understand all of the reasons why, but people in Niger really enjoy their lives, enjoy each other's company, and spend most of their time feeling good, even though they live in a harsh climate and staggering poverty. I like it. I like the happiness that rubs off on me."

Yesterday, as I read my copy of Half of a Yellow Sun, I read the following excerpt, written in the context of a pitiful Biafran war. "Olanna was not sure if he began to laugh first or if she did, but suddenly they were laughing, raucously, almost falling off the bench. Other things became hilarious. Odenigbo said that the sky was completely cloudless and Olanna told him that it was a perfect weather for bomber planes, and they laughed. A little boy walking past wearing a pair of shorts with large holes that showed his dry-skinned buttocks greeted them and they had hardly responded good afternoon before they burst into more laughter."
It amazed me that they could even laugh in a time when they feared for their lives. But in life we may have fear sometimes, but it should not rule our lives. Fear is not of God, and love does not yield fear. So we must rise up to the occasion and find happiness and laughter in the mishaps of failure and craziness. Little things should make you smile. If you lock your key in your car, smile because you had the money to buy a car. If there's no real food in the fridge, smile because there's a pot of indomie noodles on the stove. If your parents don't understand, smile because God said He will never leave you nor forsake you. If something made you mad yesterday, smile because something will make you laugh today. If you truly desire something right now, smile because you have other things and you know it's only a matter of time.

For me, I find specks of happiness here and there because of my relationship with God. Because I know He's always there...just like I know specks of dust are always lurking around somewhere in the room wherein I sweep...

"Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him? That our barns may be full, supplying all kinds of produce; that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; that our oxen may be well laden; that there be no breaking in or going out; that there be no outcry in our streets. Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" Psalm 144: 3, 13-15

Photo credits: Emeka Okereke and photobucket.

The Loud Cry:

Despite the romantic images that can be seen in the land, such as the sand dunes that seem to extend forever, mythical cities, camel trains and elephants, the Life expectancy of one who dwells in Niger is 46 years. Oh, what a sad story. Niger, with 12.5 million people is ranked as the poorest Country of the world. The words "drought" and "food crisis" are now common place. The farmers sit on the sand in sheer remorse while the locusts freely ravish all the works of their hard toiling. They can only cry out because they cannot do anything about it. They are the world's poorest Nation today.

The dust-laden wind of the Harmattan blows from the Sahara desert into Freetown, Sierra Leone. Yes, other Countries have the Harmattan, but here the Harmattan cuts into the skins of the 5 million people living in poverty, out of the Nation's 6 million. Oh, what a number! They call Sierra Leone the "Lion Mountain," but a Lion with all it's pride would never even climb such a mountain. Ravished by the impact of their long civil war which started in 1991, the people of Sierra Leone were compelled to sell blood diamonds in exchange for brutal weapons. Little did they know that come 1999 they would have a death toll of 50,000 and an estimate of 2.5 million displaced people. We call them BLOOD DIAMONDS, but they have lost more than blood. They have lost their people and pride, and now they swim in the luxury of poverty. Where is the Lion mountain?

Burkina Faso surely must have treasured its main agricultural production, cotton. The men must have taken pride in their work. They must have sat down in groups as the sun went down, laughing and talking about the success of the land. But no more. This is a Country that will not move forward unless it has debt relief. Over the years, the Country has built up a great external debt burden. Now, they need to pay it back and the innocent ones are suffering the consequences. The children who were not yet born, but now exist...born into an indescribable state of abject poverty. A 58% poverty index! To add to this, between 1994 and 1998 there was a severe drought. As if that was not enough, there was a devaluation of the CFA franc, leading to a much lower purchasing power for the already poor people. The children of Burkina Faso are still crying out...

Those are just the three poorest Countries in the world. On the top ten list we still have Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Mozambique.

Last year, I and my other half decided to sponsor a child, a very young Indian girl...and that's what we've done so far. Just saying this to encourage you that any little thing you can do is still good. I am not in the greatest financial state to really help right now. But I know I can ask God for these Nations (Psalm 2:8). I know I can make a war cry. I know I can cry out. I know I can shout out so loud until change begins to take place. And it has already started. The question is not whether it will end, but whether you will be part of the relief. Today, I choose to cry out against poverty. In addition to that, for you my readers, if you have the means, there are many ways to help the poverty situations of the world. You can do any of these 10 things:

1) Start a Kiva Lending team, and lend to entrepreneurs in these Countries: Here
2) Donate to the Global Fund to fight against Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Here
3) Donate 5 cents to the global fund for every comment on your facebook wall (I'm doing this one) OR donate your blog or website’s October 15th earnings to a poverty-fighting charity.
4) Shop to fight against poverty (sounds cool, right?): Here
5) Buy a Poverty Button or T-shirt: Here OR Here
6) Visit Skelliewag and comment on the Poverty Post. For every visit 5 cents will be donated to Here
7) Do your own post on poverty or tell the great story of someone who overcame poverty and how they did it.
8) Sell unneeded items on eBay or Craigslist and donate the proceeds to battle poverty
9) Organize a "Stand Up Against Poverty Event" with friends: Here
10) What can one person do? Find out: Here

Someone Like me and you:
Muhammad Yunus, managing director of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 is credited with inventing the practice of microcredit lending more than thirty years ago. Grameen’s strategy is to offer miniscule loans to very poor people on terms suitable to them, and teaching them a few sound financial principles, giving them the means to generate income and work their way out of poverty. Source: Marelisa

The Nemesis:

It was slowly catching up with her. It was coming so close that she could smell the stench. It was the smell of condemnation. The smell of guilt. The smell of regret, and alas...death.

She was at the middle of the market place. It was loud and boisterous, because market sellers were shouting in their stalls, adamantly refusing the bargain suggestions from their customers. She was holding her shopping basket and walking through the stalls, some of which were towards her left and others to her right. A man on her right was practically screaming that this was his one-hundredth time here, and therefore he was an established customer with associated rights and privileges. "Haba madam! I be your loyal customer!"

She finally reached the end of the path. She was just about to make a left turn when all of a sudden, out of no where a motorcycle ran into her. "Jesus!!! My leg, my leg," she screamed. People had already began to gather. Some men seized the okada(1) man and demanded an explanation. Her basket was flung out of her hand in the process, and there were tomatoes, ata rodos(2), onions, and tatashes(3) sprawled all over the ground.

As the people shouted and caused a scene, all she could think of was, "Ne...nem....nemesis has caught up with me." And she began to cry...
She had done something terribly bad last night...

(1) Okada: motorcycle
(2) Ata rodos: Habanero chile peppers
(3) Tatashes: Bell peppers

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Nemesis shall catch up with you"? Or have you even ever thought that a bad happening is a result of the punishment of past sins? Well, the idea is not too far fetched for "God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7). But yet, there is restitution...
It is true that there are consequences for every action, yet if a man goes to God in truthful repentance, God will forgive him.

Now, there are some consequences that happen right on the spot. For instance, unprotected premarital sex can lead to pregnancy a few minutes after. And even if God has forgiven, the woman involved would still wind up being pregnant. Therefore, some rules are like the rule of gravity that is constant no matter what changes occur on the surface of earth.
Why am I even writing about nemesis? I am writing because I know there may be someone reading who needs to go to God and ask for forgiveness. No matter how hard it may seem to change, it is possible to change your ways. I met a man at the bus stop the other day who said I was beautiful. He then proceeded to sing me a song in Spanish about how meeting someone like me was once in a lifetime. No, he did not know who I was and had never met me before. Maybe he was just a little drunk and felt like singing. Anyways, I asked him if he was a Christian. And he said that he drinks excessively and he wants to change before he goes to church. I told him that sometimes you cannot change before you go to church, but you can change after you go to church and meet God.
So my point is that "Nemesis does not always catch up with you." When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, his life was changed. The nemesis of all his murders did not catch up with him. So if there's anything in your life that you're doing, contrary to what the Word of God says, it is time for a change.

This is not supposed to be a popular writing, it is supposed to save that one person who thinks nemesis is catching up with them. And that person might just be you.

Photo by Variablesoul750 (Photobucket)

The Smell of Rain:

I had been traveling for two years now. My exploration of a juvenile lifestyle has had its bittersweet moments. There were days when I could find no insects to eat, and other days when the thick lush forests were filled with the lullabies of fat insects. There were days where sandy deserts lay miles ahead of me, and others where I was protected and shielded from the sun by the green bushes.

But I can smell it now. I can smell the abundance of rain. I can feel the onset of moistness and tenderness. I am a red-spotted newt. Notophthalmus viridescens. I have spent many years as a juvenile living on land, but all things must come to an end, and it is time for adulthood...I have to find water. Life as a newt could be fun, but I have grown to understand the wisdom of change. My larval stage was aquatic, my juvenile stage was terrestrial, and now my adulthood has to be experienced as an aquatic animal once again. That is why I smell rain ahead...fresh water. I can almost taste the freshness.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I learned of the red-spotted newt in the moments my imagination flew concerning the smell of rain. Yes, creatures like this still exist. They spend their baby (larval) stages in water, migrate to land for some years, and then migrate back to water as an adult. It is a part of their life. They learn to walk in the direction of water. They learn to fight obstacles on their way, using their tails for protection and their eyes for sight. Until they find their treasure...a water body for the rest of their lives.
As human beings, we were also created to smell the abundance of rain. Do you know that you can tell that it will rain by putting your head outside the window and smelling the aroma of torrents blowing? The smell of the abundance of rain can be found in the freshness of the breeze. In the solitary confines of green leaves coasting with the wind on an empty street, or even as you watch tall trees sway from side to side. You can tell when the rain is coming.
In the same way, your spiritual senses must be able to smell the abundance of rain. But especially without seeing the rain first. That's faith! In the past one year, I have learned to smell the rain without first seeing it. I have learned to lean on the invisible everlasting arm of God, and to trust that He will send me my rain. And He has sent rain. He sent rain and gave my lips several testimonies. But there was dry land awaiting me ahead of the rain again. That's how life is. An intermingling of series of dry land and aquatic territories. The dry land is for training, and the aquatic for blessings. But all you need to do is stick your head out of your window and smell the rain IS coming. Don't doubt it!

"Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”
(I Kings 18:41)

Photos by Photobucket & Wing Watchers

Nigeria, on the verge of Independence:

It starts with clouds of imagination, then short dreams, then big dreams...then an actualization. Nigeria, don't be afraid to dream big. Spread your wings and fly like an eagle. Your dream is not beyond your reach.

Happy Independence day today, happy 48th birthday.

Visit the GREEN BLOG today.

The Eccentric Praise:

There's no one else like You
I get thrills when I call Your Name
At the sound of Your Name
I fluctuate between hot and cold.

I can't limit your definition
Neither can I know your boundaries
I know You're the Beginning and End
But I don't know where You begin and end.

You hold my heart in your hands
No matter the state of my heart
Whether it be crushed into a small frame
Or expanded into a voluminous size
You've never let go of my heart
Not even once.

You hold my adrenaline pump
Sometimes I wonder why my heart beats faster
Or why it slows down to the rhythm of night blues
But You're like the DJ who knows the right flow.

You've told me there is time for everything
And that You make all things beautiful in its own time
Your wisdom is beyond my understanding
Your design of the times and seasons is beyond beauty
I thank you for your allotment of the times.

This praise is eccentric because it is inarticulate
It is praise from the belly of a speechless person
I stand in awe of You
I am amazed by the works of Your hands
Even more so by the things that You're STILL going to do...

This is my early morning praise,
May it come unto You as a sweet smelling aroma...