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.

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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...

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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.

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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...

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