You Don't Defend God, He defends Himself

[Image by Cayusa]
If you have a father who you love so much, who has sacrificed his livelihood just to see you not make the same mistakes he made when he was growing up, who raised you up from nothing, who gave you a special pet name shared only between you and Him, who during cold winter nights covered you with a blanket, who later put you in charge of his entire estate, and then watched you closely like a proud lion watches over his cub, then you might want to defend him when he's standing in the midst of throngs of people spitting ridicule on his face.

But what if all He did for you was so that when the crowds began to make mockery of Him, you would not join them? What if you're only supposed to stand still, knowing that He's strong enough to protect Himself? 

Everything God has revealed to us about Himself shows us that He's stronger than us. His sacrifices are priceless and His sufferings divine. Our strength can only go so far, not in a million times compared to His.

So what makes us think we can spit some scriptures in defense of His name? What makes us feel we have a built-in material that can be panel-beat into a shield for His chest? To protect Him from the fiery darts of His own creations?

No, the creations cannot defend their creator, for only Him can defend Himself. The powers He has given unto us cannot supersede His own. He is able to show Himself strong and mighty without us. He is able to secretly touch the hearts of kings and Princes, and when He is ready, He will expose the bonds of wickedness. Our own business is to show love to those whom He has called us to approach. We're only supposed to share the good news of the gospel, that no matter who comes to the Father through Jesus, he or she will be saved. That Jesus paid an everlasting price for you and me. You don't defend God, He defends Himself.

"Uzzah put out His hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error." 2 Samuel 6:6-7

Question for the Day: Have you ever tried to defend God? Have you ever tried to stop Him from falling through the cracks? Maybe this is for someone, you need to let go and let God defend Himself in your life. He is stronger than you can ever imagine, don't try to defend His strength. At His own perfect time, He will make His strength known.  All you need to show, to yourself and others, is His endless LOVE.

The Truth About the Heroism of Our Personal Stories (Part 3)

[Image by StallKerl]
When nobody can explain how your life can change, when predicted destructions become salvations, when doctors predict death but God grants life instead, and when hatred grows into insurmountable love, God is definitely at work. In this third part of learning the truth about the heroism of our personal stories, I want to share the stories of three lives that were changed by the mighty hand of the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.

Greg Outlaw, CEO of AllAboutGod ministries:

Monica's Story:

Former Rock star of KORN, Brian Welch:

Meditation for today: Instead of asking you a question, I want you to think about your own personal story. This weekend, try to spend more time meditating on those things in your life that only God could have done. I'm not talking about things that can be logically explained, but those facts that cannot be logically explained. How when you cried out to God, He answered you. 

PS: Later on today, another lovely blogger/writer will be featuring a post from the Light-A-Lamp Blog on her journal, please feel free to check out Nikole Hahn's Journal and read my guest post there, "Your Life is Already Happening." Have a lovely weekend basking in your testimonies. 

The Truth About the Heroism of Our Personal Stories (Part 2)

[Image by Wonderfulhorriblelife]
See, my life has never been straightforward. I learned that God was evident in my life from an early age, when He would show up when my family had a need. So, for me, it's always been about God showing up.

Career wise, I've never had it together. Whereas some people have heard a voice telling them what path they should follow, God has always spoken to me by shutting doors and opening a single door of opportunity, increasing my confidence that this is the path I must follow. I always thought I'd be a medical doctor, but after two years going down that path, the door was shut down. It was only when I was forced out that my eyes were open and I realized that I was created to be an artist, not a paint-brush one, but merely a creator of new things. He also wanted me to write to inspire. I'm currently working on a bigger writing project, and I have to say the idea is way over my head, even as the work of fiction is slowly unfolding and forming a specific substance.

Accident wise, some might say I'm prone to that. So many technological devices have fallen prey to my clumsiness. I've had water poured on my laptop, phones fall into the toilet, and phones almost being crushed by buses on major highways. But the biggest accident I had was literally flying through a glass sliding door, and causing the glass to shatter into pieces here and there, and I even have a scar on my nose to prove it. I always joke around by telling people I was fighting with Jackie Chan, instead of saying what really happened. I could have lost my life back then, but God kept me. He knew that it was not my time to die, that I had so much to live for and so much to give. The most amazing thing is that I look into the mirror everyday and show some conceitedness by admiring my beauty, despite an almost fatal accident.

I can go on and on about even more intimate things that God has done for me, but I'll save these stories for future testimonies.

God is not just a distant entity to me, in Him, I live, breathe, move, and have my being. He is the air I breathe, my Oxygen, my Source of life. He's never failed me before, and He never will. 

Question(s) for the Day: How personal is God to you? 

PS: There's a video I want to share on this blog, about a man's personal story, but the video hasn't been posted yet. I will post it once I get my hands on it. Hope you enjoyed my personal story today.  

The Truth About The Heroism of Our Personal Stories (Part 1)

[Image by Malik]
A superhero is not just the guy drawn on the cover of a comic book, with a mask and long flowing cape, flying across the horizon with a rescued woman or child in his hands. The meaning of the word 'superhero' will continue to be misconstrued for as long as the media lives. We are the world's true superheroes when we dare to pen our personal stories, reflecting those genuine moments of fear and distraught, and how at the end of the day, we get rescued. If we dare to give the powerful testimonies of our journey, success, and salvation, then we dare to save a life.

I was eleven when I accompanied my mother as she entered a dim-lit market stall located off a major street in Lagos, Nigeria. Somewhere between the bargaining of the prices of onions, peppers, and tomatoes, and the little treasures finding their way into our shopping basket, I would notice a green animal locked up in a cage, sitting on the floor of the market stall. When the owner apprehended the object of my attention, he proceeded to explain to us that the animal was for sale, and that it was called a chameleon, and that it had the ability to change its color if placed in a new environment (with a different color). That was my first encounter of an animal that had the power to change its own skin color.

A moving personal story is the environment which forces human beings to change their own colors. It pushes us to choke back our tears, because even if we cry, we cannot change the bitter truth of that story. A true miracle is more impacting than ten thousand fictional miracles. One real voice crying out for survival is truer than ten thousand fictional prisoners of war. 

However, just like many readers and writers, fiction has always been (and will always be) a place of escape for me-- the fantasy that connects my real world to a distant kingdom. It helps me to relate to people's experiences, and when I write fiction, I only do so to reflect what goes on in real life. After all, J. K. Rowling said during her 2008 Harvard Commencement speech, "Imagination is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we've never shared." Yet, I've realized that only a true story can jolt us into receiving our own salvation.

How else can we explain why one of the strongest books of the bible is the Psalms, where David writes his own memoir-- how there were people who hated his guts, how he ran away from his enemies, how he pleaded with God to kill all of those who sought to kill him, how he sinned and asked for forgiveness, and how God walked with him even in the valley of the shadow of death?

Our reality exceeds our ideologies. We can write about castles all day long, but unless we dare to write of our experiences of living in a real castle, we do not get to be the real superheroes. This, my friends, is the power of writing a memoir, or even writing a personal blog post. Let your true stories change the lives of those who know you, just like the true story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ saves thousands of lives around the world each day.

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger (Psalm 8:2); There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. (Psalm 4:6)

Question(s) of the Day: How much do people's personal stories of salvation and success impact your life? Do they provoke you more than fiction? 

PS: I got inspired to write about the heroism of our personal stories, after spending my entire Saturday afternoon reading Alligator Leg's blog from start to finish. She's in the process of writing/publishing her own memoir. I listened to a powerful personal story on Sunday, and I plan to post a link to the video on Wednesday (Part 2). Cheers readers, see you on Wednesday :)

The Wind Drives Them Away

[Image taken with my camera]
A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step for Tade Johnson, a young man who was five feet five inches tall, an electrical engineer who was out of business, and an acclaimed food junkie. Some of his close confidants openly relegated him to madness, others simply told him that this would be the most foolish decision he would ever make in all of history. They huffed and puffed, and let out some hot steam. They said he had no sponsors, neither did he have any private funds. 

Nevertheless, like glue on paper, he stuck to his decision and wouldn't let go. He concluded that he was capable of competing in the most dangerous sport of the Olympics-- The Luge. He would learn how to wear a skin-tight suit, lie on a small plank with two blades on the bottom, and slide downwards at 90 miles per hour, on a track made of ice and concrete. His mind was made up, and no one could take away this opportunity away from him.

* * * * *
Blessed is the man...whose delight is in the law of God, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of living water. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Psalm 1

A man who makes a firm decision is ten times better than another who's faced with three options and shies away from choosing one. 

A woman who chooses a husband for her strongest cause is ten times better than another who has ten different suitors, admires them for ten different reasons, and makes no outstanding choice

The word of God is the most powerful word in all the earth. It is the word of the maker of heaven and earth, the redeemer from everlasting, the One who was, who is, and who is to come. Anyone who chooses this word above all others will have a sure foundation. 

If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. You will be like a man who walks to an intersection without a map and does not know which of the four roads to take. You'd be driven in the direction that the wind drives you, hoping like a mad man to arrive at an unknown destination when morning comes. 

The word of God is what helped me understand who I was created to be, and what I am going to achieve as a sojourner on this earth. It defines the very core of my existence. It settles the disputes of the flesh and silences the fallacies of my emotions. It accurately depicts the elements of my purpose and plunges me forward in a direction that a physical GPS can never dream of taking me. So when I hear other voices in my head standing in opposition to the word of God, I stand up boldly and silence them. The Shepherd's voice is the only true one. It was a choice I had to make.

Making a choice to stand on God's word will prevent you from being driven by the wind. You will be like a tree whose roots have gone so far into the ground that it can no longer be uprooted. Your circumstances will have no power over your purpose. Other human beings will also not be able to take what you have away, because you've made a choice. And not only have you made this choice, you are CONFIDENT of it and you find yourself acting on it. 

So make a choice. Stand by your choice. Make a firm decision. Act upon this decision. If it's the right decision, you will be like a tree firmly planted by living waters, and it will be impossible for you to be driven around by the wind in so many different directions. 

Question(s) for the Day: Have you ever been faced with different options and had to pick only one? When you made your decision did you breathe a sigh of relief? I'd love to read from you today. May God bless your week and cause you to make the one true choice that will plunge you into your God-ordained purpose. 

Inception: A Double-Edged Virtuoso

[Image by Narcossislabs]
This is written for a Prompt organized by Writer's Island. I hope you enjoy it.

An inception involves planting a unique idea that triggers a series of events. When you push the first tile in a lined-up deck of dominoes, the second tile topples over, and then the third, fourth, fifth, and so on, up until the twenty-eighth tile, causing a chain-reaction that will not be stopped unless by an external interruption. This domino effect begins by the inception of the first tile. It's like a ripple effect started by a human finger dipped into a small pool of water. Also like sowing a seed with the intention of harvesting a specific fruit.

The whole earth was triggered by an inception. God looked and saw the utterly chaotic state of voidness, and He visualized the idea of the intrusion of light to rule over the chaos and darkness. His vision triggered the inception. He could see it before He created it, so He spoke it into existence. If you can visualize it, you can plant an inception. It's no wonder why in the movie, Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) required an architect, the young lady Ariadne (Ellen Page) to visualize the architecture of the dream before he could go into the dream to plant an inception.

The only thing we tend to forget about inceptions is that there is the danger of incubating the wrong idea. An inception is a double-edged virtuoso which can either yield good or bad results. When miscalculated, erroneous, counter-factual, and obverse ideas are visualized, they yield negative results. Hardly can a man reverse or remove such inceptions from his mind, so it's better not to incubate these negative ideas in the first place.

Therefore, we need to understand that a powerful inception is a double-edged sword. On one end, it can save a life, but on the other end, it can kill. So be careful about your inceptions-- your visions, dreams, ideas, and seeds-- for they can either make you or break you.

Did I say that I really loved the movie 'Inception'? Great movie.

The Choicest Predisposed Way of Living

[Image by Aloshbennett]

You see a young man walking down the block with his black Skullcandy headphones in his ears. He is rapping loudly and bobbing his head to some lyrics on the radio; he is carefree, not bothered about whether or not anyone is watching him. You see two lover-birds sitting by a water fountain. They are holding hands, and you wonder why they are smiling sheepishly to each other. You see a little girl running around the green lawn chasing the wind; she is wearing a green dress and a flower adorns her short black hair, and you wonder why she is at ease. You see the pigeons clustered at the feet of a young boy, and he is tossing bread crumbs to them, laughing as he lures them in.

All these scenarios are beautiful, but there is a more beautiful one. It is the choicest predisposed style of living where a person's life is continuously joyful and there are no gaps in-between. Where there are no mixes and matches, but there's only a single choice, and that choice is to have LIFE, and life abundantly.

"But how is this possible?" you may ask. Certainly, there's no one who can live their life like this, without any gaps of disappointments and sorrows here and there. Come on, life can't be this perfect.

Yet, the thing about this 'life abundantly' lifestyle is that it does not put into consideration your 'circumstances.' No matter what your circumstances are, you are predisposed to have LIFE, not death. No matter what your circumstances are, God will always remain true to His word, that if you truly seek His face, you will have peace. It is a predisposition, and a predisposition is something that you've made up your mind about, for which nothing can change it.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35.

So here's the thing: when you are faced with pain, by faith proclaim strength for the walk. When there are hardships, remember that you are predisposed to have joy. Where there is death, remember that you have eternal life. Where there is stress, breeze through the situation with the full confidence that you will make it to the top, because you will. Where there is hatred, remember your lifestyle of love.

Surprise your obstacles. Be like a bird that can't be caught. When they think they've trapped you, show up like a magician in another box. Surprise your enemies with love. Be opposite to everything that those bad circumstances want you to be. Your only option, as a child of the Most High God, is to have LIFE, and life abundantly. No one can take this life away from you, no matter how much they try.

Question for the Day: Have you ever chosen to have joy when all your circumstances try to make you sad? Then, keep it up, my friends, you've chosen a predisposed lifestyle :)

The Painting Or The Artist, Which Came First?

[Image by Greencolander]

You Can Listen To This Post's Podcast Here: 


You're an artist, untested, unproven, and unexposed to the world. Highly enthusiastic about the painting conjured in your head, although it is not yet splattered on a white canvas or a plain sheet of paper. A mixture of primary colors, a jumble of city streets, traffic lights, and sky-scrapers. A blue-white heaven, cotton balls, and a yellow sun. Layers of clouds, a white streak cutting across the clouds due to the translation of an aeroplane straight across the horizon. These images have been imagined long before you pick up a pencil or a paint-brush.

Birds flying high, beaks wide open, wings caressing the wind. Soft rain drops falling along slanting lines just in one segment of the city, women carrying pink polka-dot umbrellas, and men blue. Young girls holding the hands of their mothers, and young boys their fathers. New-born babies pushed around in their half-covered black strollers, dogs running around held tightly in their leashes. Soles of shoes and high heels making clinking sounds as they walk across the pavement, splashing water everywhere.

You insert a construction site. Road blocked off, orange cones, traffic re-directed. Men in yellow overalls, hard hats, safety glasses, boots, and gloves. Tall ladders, conveyor belts, assembly lines, elevated wooden platforms, cranes, and tractors. Men speaking to each other, outlining the master plan, architects, engineers, and builders.

* * * 

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5: 14-16

You, my friend, are an artist long before you pick up a pencil or a paint-brush. You have the copyright to these images, you have the pictures in your head, long before you place them on a canvas. You are indeed successful, long before you exhibit your designs. The images are in you, and you're ready to paint.

Many times God reveals something about ourselves that we haven't seen yet, and we shy away from it. But He is the God who speaks non-existent things into existence. BIG POINT: If you look carefully at that verse above in Matthew 5, you will notice that Jesus called us the light of the world even BEFORE we got a chance to shine before men. Did you catch that? So if the chicken comes before the egg, then the artist comes before the painting (or whichever way you want to see it).

Question for the day: How do you define yourself, before or after the act? (the word 'act' meaning a show of capacity). 

One More Chance for the Worst of All People

[Image by Frerieke]

My father's business is about confiscating murderers and locking them up behind bars for life. Mine is about setting them free for eternity. You see, he is an attorney, straight-up top level, scarred with the brutality of his own drunken father, and marred by the neglect of his natural mother. Growing up in the slums of New York taught him to be confident in pure daylight, but watch like a dog for the safety of his life once the sun goes down. But on the day they took his father's life away, he'd had the last straw. He slaved for two years ad then paid his way through Harvard law school.

How I do the opposite to my father's business still surprises me. I attend every court session. I look into the eyes of each murderer, as though trying desperately to grasp the depths of their emotions. After the verdict, I search for traces of remorse and find none. Sometimes they cry, albeit fake tears. Other times, they keep a straight face.

I write their names down on a small piece of notebook paper, and then I sign up to visit them on the next available date. During my session with each person, I tell them one thing, "If you believe in Jesus, you will have one more chance at life." To my father, this is complete foolishness, but to me it is the power of God.

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

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

One more chance for the worst of all people, a message of foolishness to those who are perishing. If you think you're the worst person on earth, you might ask, "how exactly can God love a person like me?" But guess what? It is not your prerogative, but God's choice to love the most unlikely of all people.

On second thought, who are the worst of all people? So because we're not murderers, we think we deserve His love? Far be it from the truth. We classify sins into categories, we push definitions into levels, but all God sees are splatters of red stains on garments that were once white. There is none righteous before God, no, not one. Every one needs the message of the cross. Every one will get this one choice. And each one will have to answer one question: is this foolishness or is this the power of God?

Question for the Day: Have you ever felt that you were the worst of all people, doing things that can never be forgiven? Well, you're in the right place because you've got one more chance right now.

PS:  Wow, I am so grateful for the birthday messages that flooded in on August 4th. I was so overwhelmed with your love that I didn't know how to respond to each message. For each prayer, for each well-wish, and for each birthday message, God will do even more for you, in Jesus name. Have a lovely weekend and be filled with God's forgiveness and indefinite chances at renewal of your lives. Would love to read your answers to the question for the day. 

Walking a Mile in My Own Shoes + A Birthday

[Image: I and my darling sister]
I have always felt an overbearing sense of responsibility, being the first child and all. See, I bet there's a reason that I saw the world first before my siblings, although as I place my fingers on this keyboard I cannot really put a twist to the sentence that would explain the answer. So I am simply going erase the thought and accept that it is merely a gift from God.

The Flame:

I will never forget the account of my first birthday. I've always had a seed a naughtiness. As the story goes, I was surrounded by other one-year olds, my parents, cousins, aunties, and uncles, everyone delighted to see me approach my first year on earth. But my eyes were glued to something else -- the candle on the cake with the little yellowish-orange flame. I walked up to it and raised my right hand to touch it, obviously trying to invite the flame to be my friend. Before I could make my request, I felt another hand (my mother's) grabbing my hand and removing it from doing any such thing. Anyway, when no one was looking, I walked up to the candle to finish my request. This time, I succeeded (people call this determination). The only problem was that I wasn't yet old enough to understand that when you put your hand in fire, it burns. I cried at the first sting of pain, and didn't stop crying until some minutes later. #RecordedOnVideo

The Narrow Path:

I attended my first class when I was three. After the candle incident earlier, I guess I wasn't scared of fire. If it had burned me once, I wouldn't be too hurt if I got burned again. As the story goes, neither was I scared of big wide busy roads with cars driving and tooting their horns at passersby. At my kindergarten class, my parents scheduled me to be dropped off with the school bus every afternoon. The thing is the school bus never drove to the house, so an adult was required to stand at the beginning of the street to meet me each time (this being my father). How be it that on one sunny day, there was nobody waiting for me (it was either the bus was too early or he was running late). However, the school bus of Our Ladies Nursery School in Sapele, still decided to drop me off regardless. So I took it upon myself and started walking home. Mind you, I had to walk straight first, and then make a right, and then walk all the way down to our house (it was not a straight path). A few minutes later, I reached the house and my dad was just coming to get me. You can imagine the shock on his face (now giggling). Three-year olds can find their own way home.

The Experiment:

I've always been the experiment. If there was any new thing to try out on children, my parents would try it out on me first, before obligating the rest to the same thing. At eleven (or so), my father said I must attend his alma mater (iLaugh), a secondary school in Warri. I was excited though, I was going to travel from Lagos to Delta State and become an independent young woman teenager. I felt so responsible and so good about it. But the thing about experiments is that something might go wrong. In my second year there, I fell horribly sick (like I couldn't even walk) and my parents came to collect me and transferred me to a school closer to home. Oh well, I enjoyed my one year and some months in Warri.

The Writer:

I think it started with an interest in literature. Like most people, books transport me to a different realm where everything is vivid, evocative, and phenomenal. I became a sleuth while reading the 'Nancy Drew Files,' a British child while following the adventures of 'The Famous Five,' and a fictional character climbing up the tree with those kids in 'The Wishing Chair.' I advanced to even more intriguing books later, and each one became a part of my destiny. It wasn't until recently that God spoke to me about how to take this further in fulfilling my purpose, and I thank Him for giving me the passion for writing on the Lamp and for the future writing projects I'm working on.

The Celebrant:

As I turn twenty-six (phew!) today, I just want to take time to appreciate the love of God in my life, my husband, and my family members (which includes YOU, my writing family at this point). God has been good to me, and I think that is definitely an understatement. I prophesy into my life that this is only the beginning of the best things to come, and I sit at His feet waiting delightfully. Father, thank You, just because of who You are: My Shepherd (even while I graze for grass in a world that's not so evergreen, You are still with me); My Redeemer (many don't understand that You're the One who pulls me back up when I've fallen to the ground, I could never have done this without You by my side); My rock (what do people who don't have You fall on, when there's no one else to hold? You are firm and unchanging in Your word, a solid rock on which I stand); My 1st Love (so that the love I have for my husband, family, and friends stem from the source of your never-ending love). I thank You for so many other things that will be too long for this post, but You, O Lord, already know. I LOVE YOU!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! *Insert Smiley Face*