One Birth, and Now More Than A Billion Births

[Image by Mike Anderson]

A new life
A new beginning
The first chapter
The first verse
The first of all firsts...

A young woman falls in love, she marries her knight-in-shining-armor, and then nine months later a baby comes in a carriage. I've been musing about the power of birth. The womb of a woman is heavily prepared before the seed of a child is planted. The chamber where the child would be incubated for nine months is carefully and intricately supplied with numerous new blood vessels which will serve to carry essential nutrients and oxygen from mother to child. The womb is where the features of a child develop: the oval eyes, the suckling lips, the chubby cheeks, the long arms, adept fingers, artistic flair, calculating brain, flailing legs, and average-sized waist.

And when the child is born, purpose begins...

Think about generations and generations of new births. In one family tree, a woman brings forth a child, and that child grows up and births another child, and that child brings forth yet another child, and the journey continues. But we must understand that the reason the birth of a child is so important is because we're not just born into this world for the sake of randomness, but there's a purpose for which we're born. There's something significant that you and I must achieve or attain before we leave this earth, and that's why there's beauty in every birth, in all the regions of the world today.

Then, surely, it's no wonder why God chose to use a 'birth' to bring us redemption. A birth introduces a new life, and all things new.

Through one birth, more than a billion births have now been redeemed. Through the birth of Jesus, more than a billion lives have been saved. And if births have been redeemed and lives have been saved, then purpose on earth has also been restored. This is the joy of Christmas: that Jesus was born to redeem us and reconcile us back to the One who first loved us. Through His birth, we've been joined to His family tree and are now connected directly to the source of life. And through us, the diffusion of His fragrance on the earth, every generation that comes out of our wombs (natural or adopted) will also be connected to God.

Because He was born, I've been re-born, and my purpose has been established in Him. Praise God who makes all things NEW.

"Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." Luke 1:30-33

So as you reflect on what this Christmas means to you, I pray you understand that because He was born, you can also receive your new birth: in life, love, joy, happiness, truth, good relationships, prayer life, fellowship, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, revelation, power, and every other good thing the birth of Jesus Christ has orchestrated.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, Readers!!! God bless you, and see you on the next post :)

Notice Me or I die

[Image by Kathryn]

Hell hath no fury like a woman on the prowl. This morning I did the same thing again. I stopped at the coffee shop on the way to work like I've done every single day since the first time I saw him three weeks ago. Surely, he must have noticed me by now. Unless he's blind.

Each day, just for him I wear something different, and you know, try another color combination of make-up. Today, it is a unique blend of purple, the universal and distinguished color of royalty. Yet, each day he sits there like a handsome statue, over a cup of wonderful-smelling coffee, crisp white shirt and black tie, typing hundreds of words on his laptop for some mysterious document, and acting as though he hasn't noticed me yet. Maybe he's a journalist on a tight deadline, only stopping here every morning for his regular cup of coffee. As soon as the clock hits 8.00a.m, he starts for the door again. I am assuming his job begins at 9.00a.m, just like mine.

Each day, I grab my own cup of coffee and take the empty seat on the table beside him, hoping that the scent of my expensive perfume rises towards him like a sweet-smelling offering. On some days, I admit I spray too much, but it shouldn't matter. The trick should work soon. So I begin my own routine, bring out my journal and pretend to write romantic poetry. Sometimes, I giggle and read a line or two of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poems aloud, as though I'd written them myself. Yet, the journalist never looks up from his laptop. He keeps typing and typing words that have not been written for me.

Once, he looked up at the ceiling, twitching his eyebrows like I'd said something wrong. I almost thought he'd look me in the eye, or say something, but he didn't. I wonder, when would he ever notice me or speak to me? I will keep at this routine until he says something sweet.


How strangely we think sometimes. We know we want something so badly, but we choose the wrong way to get it.

Remember blind Bartimaeus? He didn't play the fickle game of "Notice me or I die." Instead, when He heard that Jesus was passing by, He screamed His name:

"Son of David, have mercy on me," he shouted. [Read the story in Mark 10:46-52]

And when those discouraging folks told him to keep quiet because Jesus had better things to do, he shouted even louder: "Son of David, have mercy on me." And Jesus stopped, ignoring those who wished He would just keep walking, and then healed Mr. Bartimaeus' eyes so he could see again, telling him "Your faith has healed you." His faith was not in silence, but in action, and that's what came through for him.

If you are not noticed, it is because you have not yet spoken or shouted, and because your faith has not been translated into voice or action.

We say we want to love God more, but we don't call His name early in the morning or at the middle of the night. We don't ask Him what His favorite things are, or what colors He secretly used to paint the rainbow. We don't sit at His feet, massaging them until it tickles Him. We don't whisper our innermost secrets or heart's desires in His ears, but rather we choose to indulge in someone else...another human just like us. We don't fellowship with those who can lead us in the right direction, instead we knowingly allow people to take us down hell's path.

We don't activate our faith.

We say we want to love God more, but we don't read our love poems to Him, instead we settle for giggling and reading them to ourselves. We don't tell God that we've loved Him since the first day we met Him and we're ready to love Him till the day we die. And we don't do things to back up our statements.

We play the little game of trying to get God to notice us at coffee shops, asking Him (in our minds), "Can't you see how big my problems are?" or "Can't you see that I need you?" instead of searching His word to find what He has already spoken to us.

There are two kinds of people in this world: Active & Passive. I tell you, the active ones will get a better grasp of who God is, because they actively search for Him and find Him. Whenever you get a tug on your heart, shout, if you need to. Don't just sit and wait for help to come.

Question(s) for today: What are your views regarding active & passive activation of faith? If you've been passive, do you seek to be different today? May this post transform your faith into action. Have a God-filled rest of the week guys :)

Love When It Hurts: The Kind That Does Not Push People Away

[Image by Eatmorechips on flickr]

Torrents of rain poured outside, and as a result, wind circuits drifted freely through the open window of the living room. The reward for standing by the open window was the mighty rush of wind against her chin, sauntering down her neck and unto her firm shoulders. She could hear thunder strike three times outside, followed by lightning, during which the room lit up and she was able to see his face clearly again. Mark's face. Her husband's face.

He came close, but she touched his chest and pushed him away.

"Why are you pushing me away?" he asked. She could see the hurt in his face, but she strengthened her resolve.

He took another step towards her, just one step, as though he was unsure of his decision. Then three more. Yet, she pushed him away for the second time.

"How can you look at me after what I've confessed?" she asked, tears flowing down her cheeks. Thunder struck again. Just the right tempo for the mood. Tonight, she'd finally confessed to Mark that she'd had intimate relations with his best friend of twenty years. One thing had led to another...and...and...she was so sorry.

He was hugging her now, pulling her closer. But she was trying to push him away again, trying to refuse his forgiveness. He would not let her.

"You're my wife, Yemi. It can't be over between us. We should talk about this."

His chest was moving back and forth against hers, and she knew he couldn't control his tears anymore. Why couldn't he just act like any man would and look at her with disgust? She loved him, yes. But adultery? How could she? Was she even forgivable after this sin?

"It can't be over between us," he said again, between stifled breaths. "I love you."

With one more push of the hand, and for the last time, she pushed him away with all her might. She decided that she didn't need his forgiveness. That night, she built a brick wall in-between them. He stood there in the shadows, hands to his lips, shaking his head...trembling.

* * *

The fictional story above is about a man who tried to break the brick walls by forgiving his wife, tried to talk to her...but she wouldn't budge.

These past few days, I got stuck while reading the 6th chapter of Galatians (the second verse), which says:

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

For a moment there, I scrunched the muscles of my forehead and stared at the ceiling. I certainly know a few folks who would rather sit on their high horses than share their innermost heart's burdens with other people (and to be honest, I'm included in this category myself sometimes).

So I began to ask myself why? Why can't we just love each other sincerely so that it becomes extremely easy to share our burdens with one another? I mean, it's not a bad thing to be highly selective in friendships (this is the second side of the coin where we have to be wise about what we say, how we say it, and who we say it to), but sometimes we often go to the extreme with our selectiveness and push people farther away from us.

See, we're not the first ones to undergo harsh treatments from the world. When Jesus was on earth, he was despised. The same people who kissed him were the ones who killed him. Yet, He never chose to love selectively. And because of that He openly spoke of blessings, He publicly healed, and everywhere He went, He bore the peoples' burdens (as long as He shared the same space in their presence).

As I reflected more on this, the Holy Spirit began to teach me that it is "only when my flesh dies completely that I can be totally yielded to that kind of love." The kind of love that bears another's burdens no matter how I feel.

The kind of love that does not push people away. 
1. It remains the same even after someone hurts us.
2. It does not choose to be a superhero, but allows weaknesses to showcase God's strength.
3. It does not pretend, it's just being yourself.
4. It does not do things for others as a way of reciprocating, but does things without the need for receiving back. 
5. It gives, gives, and gives without getting tired. 

Galatians Chapter 6 Verse 9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

If we think about this carefully, it is because we get tired of loving people that we push them away and can't share our burdens (or help people relieve their own deep burdens). As @Toyeen4Love said on twitter yesterday, "I pray He WILL continue to enlarge our capacities to love others." In addition, I pray He will continue to enlarge our capacities to forgive others, so that we can be closer to them and share each other's burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ. 

Personal Update: Blogsville family, I've missed you. Thank you for being so generous with your prayers and comments on the last post. The journey of writing this month was definitely worth it. Although I didn't reach the 50,000 Word Count for NaNoWriMo, I'm grateful that I was able to add 7,570 words to my former manuscript word count of about 30,000. I'll extend the discipline I've built in the month of November to December, and see what will come of it. Feels good to be back. 

Question For the Day: Do you know of anyone in your life to whom you can extend the kind of love described in this post today- the love that does not push people farther away from you, no matter what they've done in the past?