"Inspired" |by Tolulope Ilesanmi

Jesus made several puzzling statements, including, 

"Whosoever says to this mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things which he says will come to pass shall have whatever he says." Mark 11:23

It is puzzling because most of us
know our words do not come to pass. Why would this be? Is it because
we are not "whosoevers?" He also said elsewhere "everyone who asks
receives." Our experiences are quite different from that, to put it
mildly. Why is this? 
The Word of God is Spirit:

Jesus is a Spirit speaking to our spirits not to our bodies or our
minds. The Word of God is Spirit. Jesus said, "The words I speak, they
are spirit and they are life." His words are designed to be responded
to by spirits not by bodies or brains. He said, "God is a Spirit and
they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth." We can say
"they that act, pray, ask, speak to God or in response to God must do
so in spirit and in truth." It is impossible for God to respond to us
when we are not speaking and acting from our spirits, from our core,
our hearts, our essence. God does not fellowship with mere bodies or
brains but with spirits. Our minds or mouths by themselves cannot
connect with God who is pure Spirit.


Mountains do not respond to intellectual or emotional words but to
words emanating from a spirit in the image of God. The whole universe
obeys a command from such spirits as it would obey Jesus or God. Why?
It does not know the difference between the image of God and God. If a
Fox sees a true image of God, do you think it will be able to tell it
is not God? Jesus made it clear: "They that believe in me, the works
that I do shall they do and greater works than these shall they do." 

As far as creation is concerned a true image of God speaking from
his spirit through the Spirit is no different from God speaking.
You are not God and you, God and the devil know that but the mountain
does not know the difference. I believe the sun and the moon responded
to Joshua as they would to God. Imagine! A human being commanded the
heavenly bodies and they promptly obeyed! It is not far-fetched when
you consider that humans are God's images, whose potential is Christ. 

When God makes a copy of anything, you will need supernatural help to
tell the difference between the copy and the original. It's our reborn
spirits that are copies of God, not our bodies which are mere earthen
vessels. We severely limit ourselves and tether ourselves to the
terrestrial when we allow our bodies and senses to lead us. At best,
we would be considered "highly evolved animals." The good thing is
when I live from my spirit, my body and soul are in alignment and
supernaturally invigorated - they transcend limitations. All things
become possible. You walk on water.

Be in spirit 24/7:

Our primary calling is being in spirit 24/7. You cannot speak a word
from your spirit and God not hear you anymore than your child will
call your name and you not hear and respond. One reason for lack of
results, lack of answered prayers, stationary mountains of all kinds
is that we are not speaking and acting from our spirits, which is not
only the image of God but is also the dwelling place of God.
Get out of your head. It is limited, it is untrustworthy and will lead you in the way that seems right but only ends in destruction. Get out of your emotions and senses, rise above your feelings and be in spirit. Let your spirit be the one reading this - go beyond the words and letters. The letters deaden, even if they are in the Bible, but the spirit invigorates, resurrects, brings life. Let your heart and not your head or feelings be the one relating with your family, your neighbors and co-workers and see what will happen to you and your environment. You will create exactly what Jesus would create or greater if He were in your shoes. Be in spirit. You will be intensely hated or intensely loved, never in between. 
How Can You Tell Whether You are in Spirit?
When you or I are in spirit, we are in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. If any of them is missing we are not in spirit but in the flesh and no matter what I am going through, God cannot "hear" me in the flesh and the universe cannot respond to me except by toil and sweat. Check out Christ's sweatlessness - that is what we are capable of and what we ought to aspire to. 
Imagine being able to multiply material substance, heal disease, transform individuals and communities, create products like Christ did without all the deadly contraptions we use today to achieve nothing but more death. When you are in spirit, God hears and responds to you, demons acknowledge you, people recognize you even if they cannot tell what it is about you that is healing, life-giving, peaceful, joyful, full of light because you are what we all aspire to - Christlikeness. The universe responds to you as it would its Creator, when you are in spirit.

Another word for "in spirit" is, inspired.

Patanjali said this, millennia ago: 

 "When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary
project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends
limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you
find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces,
faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a
greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."


I believe being inspired by a great purpose does that to you. But
imagine being inspired by The Holy Spirit, allowing the Spirit to find
expression through you and I, from our spirits, not in a mere
religious sense (having a form of godliness but denying the power
thereof) but in reality. 

Then, the prayer will be fulfilled, "Thy will be done on earth as it
is in heaven".


An Invitation to Walk on Water

As the fourth watch of the night approached, the tide rose and the waves rocked the boat violently from side to side, causing loud swooshing sounds to be heard on either side. Some of the men on the boat had woken up from sleep because of the intensity of the waves. Among those awake was Peter.

Any time from now the sun was bound to show a little bit of itself and Peter desired to catch a glimpse of the first glow of sunrise. It would be a great start to the morning. Nevertheless, it was still as black as it could be. He was sitting at one edge of the boat reflecting on the miracle of the day before. What a shocker! 5,000 people fed from almost nothing. And there just happened to be 12 baskets of leftovers. How in the world did that happen? It wasn't something he heard about. He was there when it happened. He even helped to feed the people. What a mighty God they worshiped.

The men had gone ahead of the master on this boat. They'd had no intention of leaving him behind, but it had seemed like he wanted to be alone in the aftermath of the miracle. Peter was sometimes astounded by Jesus. He was so full of surprises and no one ever knew what He was going to do or say next. Sometimes he felt so inadequate. What had he done for Jesus to select him as part of his team?

Just as he thought of Jesus, he spotted something in the distance. Wait a minute, it wasn't something. It was someone. And that someone seemed to be glowing. But that wasn't what bothered Peter, it was the fact that this strange person was floating, no walking, on the raging waves.

With shaky fingers, Peter pointed to the light and shouted, "Phantasma! Phantasma!" (Spirit! Spirit!). Immediately the men gathered themselves at the center of the boat and began to cry out for help, even as the strange person kept walking towards their boat.

It was Peter who recognized him first. "Master!" he screamed. No, it wasn't a spirit. It was Jesus. "It's me. Don't be afraid." He shouted, raising both hands to wave to them. A surge of emotions overcame Peter. All the reflections of the day before came back to him. The power of God. The mighty miracles. The surprises. The goodness of God. A smile broke out on his face as he forgot about the reality of the waves. "Then let me come to you, Yeshua," he shouted.

"Come," Jesus answered.

Immediately, Peter accepted that invitation and jumped out of the boat. He looked upon the face of his friend and there was a smile there. He kept walking. He spread his arms out to feel the rush of the wind. Although it was a short moment, it felt like forever. He kept walking to Jesus until something happened. Just for a second, he took his eyes off Jesus to look at the waves. All of a sudden, he remembered the reality he was faced with. The violent winds. The waves tossing to and fro. The high tide. The darkness of the night. His wobbly feet. The lightness of the water compared to his weight.

"Save me. Save me!" he cried out, as he began to sink. Immediately, there was a hand holding his. "Why did you doubt, Peter?" Jesus asked him. "Why did you doubt?"


The story above is based on the true historical account of Matthew 14 in the Bible where Jesus extended an invitation to Peter to walk on water. Something amazing happened. Peter actually accepted that invitation, and when he did his eyes were completely focused on Jesus. And oh yes, he experienced an extraordinary moment for a few minutes. He experienced the power of walking with God. He felt a moment of lifted burdens. Nothing else seemed to matter for a while, not even the violent waves.

Don't Take Your Eyes Off Jesus

It was only when Peter took his eyes off Jesus that once again he was pressed down by the reality of the situation. He forgot that if God was with him, there was nothing to worry about. He forgot that the One who made the seas was right there with him. The reality of the situation clouded his judgment. He miscalculated. The truth was that what seemed to be big (the waves) was indeed so much smaller than the power of God.

Will You Accept this Invitation?

I don't know what you are going through today, but whatever it is, God is extending that same invitation to all of us to walk on water. It's an invitation for us to stop allowing impending circumstances to cloud our vision of what a mighty God He is. I'm accepting this invitation. I currently have a lot of tasks I have to do both for the month of November and December, but my focus is on Jesus and I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That will be my motto for the rest of the year.

How about you? Will you accept God's invitation to walk on water too? Happy Monday, dear readers. I hope this serves as a great reminder and good start to your week. Walk on water, guys. Walk on water! When we intentionally choose to walk on water, we are saying "yes" to God's reality and "no" to what the circumstance "feels" like. With God, nothing is impossible. We can do the impossible. We can walk on water. Nothing is too difficult for God.

As always I'd love to read from you in the comments. What do you say? Is it time for a faith booster? I hope this excites you and increases your faith in what you're believing God for. 


Owning Your Journey | by Tolu Odulesi

Introducing Mr. Tolu Odulesi. Today, I have the priceless opportunity to feature a powerful post by Tolu, an avid reader of the Light a Lamp Blog, a prolific writer, and a child of God. This Blog is blessed to have him on board as a collaborative guest writer, there will certainly be more from him in the future. I believe this post carries a very important message for anyone ready to go on a journey of fulfilling God's purpose in his or her life.


"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" - Isa 41:10

God's grace is not meant to make us passive; the grace of God will never let you take on a passive role in your journey of being transformed into Christ likeness. There is an "active" dimension to our relationship with God, whereby we must ACT! There is an intentionality that we must own if we are to become Christ-like.

In the scripture above you are meant to carry out the command "do not fear" or "do not be dismayed." You actively eliminate fear by feasting on God and believing in his goodness and greatness towards you. You do what you have to, to eliminate fear and press on towards the high call of God on your life.

This same dimension was present when God repeatedly told Joshua to be Strong and Courageous. Joshua had to figure out how to be strong and courageous. His fears were not going to just disappear. He had to feast on the word (Josh 1:7-8) and then BELIEVE it.

After believing, when Joshua's fears manifested, he knew they were lies and so he intentionally and actively shut down the voice of the inner critic, the voice of the enemy and all other voices that stood against the words God gave him.

Your choices matter | Be Intentional:

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor forsake you - Deut 31:8

We are people of dominion! We must allow the word of God to penetrate deep into our hearts – Prov 4:20-27. We can allow it or block it from penetrating our hearts. We do this by intentionally choosing to read the scriptures, sit in silence and meditate, read books and commentaries, listen to sermons, discuss scriptures with others, etc. These activities must go beyond something on our “to-do-list.” They become our lives, how we live.

In Col 3:15 &16, you see again that God has ordained things to work in a way where we are actively involved in how our lives shape up. How do you “let” the word of God dwell richly in you? By engaging spiritual disciplines and choosing activities that make you present to the Holy Spirit. You craft your days and nights in such a way that you are attentive to God.

How do we “let” the peace of Christ (peace that comes from Christ) rule (act as an umpire) in our hearts? 

We do this by trusting in God and holding on to Him – Ps 26:3-4.

We intentionally choose to trust even when the facts are telling a different story. And we don’t do this once or twice; we continually do this to build our faith.

He has already given us His peace (John 14:27) and in the second part of that verse, we again see the necessity of being active, of taking what God has given to you. Not waiting and expecting peace to find you, but you lay hold on peace because peace is not stillness, peace is found in a person – Christ! You lay hold of peace by believing in His goodness and greatness towards you.

Being Proactive is a Necessity

With a lot of scriptures, I see that being proactive is a necessity. It is required of us – Arise and Shine, Rise up and take possession of the land, etc. Why does God insist that we have to first take a step in faith before possessing what He has promised us? It is so that we mature and become competent humans who are not thrown around by every wind that comes up.

So when the enemy brings about discouragement, stand strong, the One who called you is faithful. I know it can be trying but He will help you and uphold you.

Nothing good, especially transformation into Christlikeness, can happen by chance or by you living unintentionally. We, humans, are created with the greatest capacity to choose and be intentional, yet we are the ones who live life unintentionally the most.

An ant will NEVER wake up and decide it is a lion and decide to sleep all day and hunt in the evening. An antelope will not just wake up and decide he is now a cheetah. Yet this is how we live as humans, as Christians.

Even Jesus had to be intentional about his life. He learnt obedience through the things he suffered. There was an intentionality to his life and we must begin to own our process, our journey, if we will ever become all that He intends us to be.

Own your journey. Be intentional. Trust God.

We would love to read your comments...

Super Human

You hear a call for distress and you instinctively know what you have to do. The bodysuit is right there in your closet, complete with the red and yellow superman crest on the chest and the soon-to-be free-flowing cape. Grabbing it with one hand, you press a button with the other. The button opens the rooftop access and away you go. To the rescue.

Although sparsely distributed and occurring only on certain days in a year, there are those pivotal moments when we feel like we are super human. On such days, we seem to be surprisingly endowed with extra bursts of energy to do every single thing we wish to do in only so much as a day's work. We pray, do our devotionals, make breakfast platters fit for champions, bathe babies, feed them, eat fruits and veggies, exercise, pack lunch, go to work, attend conferences, hold meetings, lead teams, train employees, pick the kids from school, wash dishes, get dinner started, do laundry, wipe noses, read bed time stories, write blog posts, say our prayers once more, and finally go to bed (I purposely made that a really long sentence to emphasize the super-humanness of all that). Yes, real life super human stuff. Amazing, right?

But what about those days when we feel weak? Do those exist? For me, they do. And when they come, that still small voice rises up to remind me: 

"Dear daughter, my grace is sufficient for you, for in your very weakness, My strength is perfected." 2 Corinthians 12:9. 

And when I get reminded of this I just let go and let God.

Isn't it amazing to know that I don't have to struggle all by myself? No, when I'm weak He is strong. When I'm sick, by His stripes I am healed. When I make mistakes, because of Jesus I am redeemed. When I feel inadequate, He becomes my sufficiency. In lack, I still have everything. When I have a need, He is able to supply all my needs according to His unending riches.

God is my amazing necessity because in Him I am complete. Hallelujah. Let me tell you something. If you are reading this and you feel like the opposite of "super human," I want you to know that you're in the right place. Here on this Blog, I am celebrating my SUPER GOD. No, not my "super human." No human is as super as my super God. If you're tired of being strong all by yourself, you have the right to be. He is our daily sustenance. Without Him, we are lost. We need His grace just to be. 

I don't have to be super human when I have a super God. 

So please, let go of your ego, super humans. Yes, Jesus said we will do greater things than He did here on earth, but these things won't happen because somehow we have super abilities, they will happen because of the power of God in us. Everything we do, we do only by the grace of God. If we should glory in anything, let it be that we have a super God. It's never by our power or might, but by the Spirit of God. May God continue to use you to exert His glory in your field of influence, in Jesus' Name. Amen. Have a blessed week, Readers. I'd love to read from you in the comments as always. Have there been times in your life where you've questioned your strength and/or weakness? Rest in His grace today.

Your Story is Still Unfolding

Your story is not over until it is over. It's like a seed a farmer plants in good soil. With the advent of spring, it begins to bud. Once summer comes, it spreads its wings and blossoms. As fall approaches, leaves begin to fall, shedding unwanted fragments from past seasons. Shedding off the unnecessary. The irrelevant. And when winter comes, it dies or remains dormant...only to be resurrected again the next spring. And the cycle goes on and on. Like words in a book, smothered with commas and colored with cliff-hangers, so are the words that carefully detail your life's story. They keep speaking. They don't stop in the middle of a sentence. 

Six days before the Passover, 
Jesus came to Bethany, 
where Lazarus was who had been dead, 
whom He had raised from the dead. John 12:1 NKJV

Six days before Passover,
Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus,
so recently raised from the dead,
was living. John 12:1 The Message

One look at that verse and an epiphany comes forth. I stop reading once I realize that in the previous chapter Lazarus was dead.

Dead. Buried. No longer breathing.

One day he was living life to the fullest, having fun days with his sisters, Mary and Martha, and his friend, Jesus. And another day he was dead. But in this chapter, praise God, he IS alive again. In this chapter, he's referred to as the "Lazarus who had been dead, but who Jesus had raised from the dead."

Your Story is Alive. It might have paused, maybe even died, but it's alive again:

The details of Lazarus' life's story were only just unfolding at this time. His death was only a comma. A pause. A glitch in time. An ellipsis. A stint. And then his resurrection happened after that to show the glory and power of God.

You might be in a situation where you think it's the end of the world, but if only you could see through the eyes of God, you would give it one more push. You will be resurrected.

We die daily, but we also resurrect daily in Christ. We constantly die to things that are of no use to us. Every week, a truck comes to my neighborhood to pick up all the week-long thrash, disposed items deposited daily into the dark emptiness of a trashcan. So also are the things we die daily to. The things of the world that we lose: our old character, our fleshly desires, our old goals, our no-longer-used physical items (an old couch, old clothes, old lip gloss, old toothbrush).

I was a teenager once. Filled with young, ignorant desires. Sometimes excellently justified desires. Those were great times. The best of times and the worst of times. I remember spending long vacations with my siblings. Going swimming. Eating suya. Chicken and chips. VBS. Buying that bright pink Adidas tennis shoes that became my most priced possession because I bought them from a real Adidas store in Lagos (major thanks to my dad). I loved and was loved. I laughed and cried. I was full of life, and I still am.

However, now I'm in my late twenties (really!). But hey, I'm loving where I am. I have a wonderful husband. An adorable baby. A career that's gradually pushing me forward past boundaries I could never have imagined I'd be pushing (no, I didn't plan to be in this field). Right now, I have no limits to the things I can do. I know God wants me here, but I also realize now that my life is only just unfolding. Like Lazarus, some things in my life might have died, but I stand here to praise His name because I have been fully resurrected in Christ and I'm swimming in newly found grace for this beautiful dream of a life God has placed in front of me. I am somewhere still at the beginning of the book God wrote about me. So much is still ahead of me. I'm still pressing forward. Of course, I still have loads of things I want to accomplish and challenges to overcome. We all have those. But the key is dying daily to things of the world that are irrelevant to my purpose, and resurrecting daily in Christ. Learning daily. Gleaning wisdom. Feeling empowered.

What about you? Do you feel like this knowledge of being in a continuous unfolding story in the eyes of God has empowered you to live fully in the present? You should feel empowered too. You should feel encouraged and strengthened to press forward. Yes, grab God's hand. He's always been there waiting for you to realize that there's so much ahead of you. He has already seen the end, and it looks really good for you, if you believe. Don't you have God's Word? His Word is powerful and such an eye-opener and purpose giver. Here are some of the words He is speaking to you today:

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19 NKJV

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV

When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad." Psalms 126:1-3 (verse supplied by an amazing Lamp Reader @twitolufunke on Twitter)

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the  Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Revelation 22:13 NKJV

Dear Readers, if there's something in your life that seemed  really precious to you and it's dead today, don't stop living. Your life is still unfolding. Ask the Holy Spirit for the next step to take. If there's one thing you get out of this, I want it to be these words: "My life is still unfolding. God is making everything beautiful in my life right now. There's so much to be grateful for right in this moment. I will anticipate my future because God is not done with me yet. I will die daily to the things that are irrelevant to my purpose, and I will also resurrect daily to face newness in Christ."

Question: What is that one thing in your life that God is directing you to let go of, but you're still holding on to? I'd love to read your comment.

An Unconscious Compromise

That fine day witnessed a sudden unexpected turn of events. Although they were totally unaware of what they had become, He saw it before they could. 

The day I write about depicts Jesus going into the temple, and with all the passion inside Him, turning tables upside down, leaving those who saw what had happened in a pitiful predicament. When had the people taken such a wrong turn? How had they missed the mark?

Let's think carefully about this. I dare say that it was never an over-night thing for the temple to become a market place. Rather, think of it as an excruciatingly slow (gradual) process. The first person to sell something within the temple grounds must have secretly spoken to someone else, inviting him or her to buy a precious item. After fire and brimstone did not come down from heaven to devour the seller, this person would have continued to sell in secret, luring anyone who cared to listen...taking them away from the messages of the pulpit and enticing them with the distractions of material possessions. Slowly, it probably became a clique, a "we-sell-good-things" group. A "come-and-buy-from-us-and-God-will-bless-you" kind of group. An "I-don't-think-this-is-a-sin" clique.

An unconscious compromise. 

This might be a hard message, but it is a good one! It's a small message, but it resounds a priceless life-changing principle. This message is deeply embedded in the critical need for the constant presence of the Holy Spirit in our "daily" lives.

In our generation today, our ears are slowly becoming desensitized to the voice of the Holy Spirit. While preaching on Sunday, my pastor asked a question that made me laugh, "How ridiculous do you think the disciples felt when Jesus said, "it is to your advantage that I go away because if I don't the Helper will not come"? (paraphrased). They must have felt so let down. How could they have left everything they had to follow Jesus only to hear that "it was to their advantage" that He was leaving them? Say what? How does that even make any sense? How was that supposed to be an "advantage"?

If Jesus never left, the Holy Spirit would have never come. It was to our advantage that He left, so that the Holy Spirit can come and dwell inside our hearts. 

A desensitization to the voice of the Holy Spirit is never a one-day turn-around. It is a painful gradual process where we constantly choose the world over the Spirit of God. We tell ourselves, "it's okay to do this," and "it's okay to do that." Until one day, we don't know the truth anymore because our ears no longer listen.

This week, I am inspired to remind myself and anyone who will read this to reflect on any unconscious compromises made both in the past and now which, albeit unknowingly, has pushed us further away from being "intimate" with God.

Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of your wings."
Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

To dwell in that secret place requires us to "hear" from God. It requires a desire to always be led in the direction of the Holy Spirit. If that daily desire is not there, it will become a case of an unconscious compromise where one day we will wake up in the morning and ask ourselves, "Where am I? What have I done? I don't feel His presence in my life anymore."

The sweet warm embrace of the Father is where we belong. It's the best place to be. It's a place where we can easily hear the voice of the Holy Spirit teaching us right from wrong, and encouraging us to take the right steps. The Psalmist was very conscious of this when he cried out, "Hide me under the shadow of your wings." That's where I want to be...always and forever. Dear Holy Spirit, we invite You into every aspect of our lives today. Hide us under the shadow of your wings and cause our ears to be highly sensitized to hear Your voice daily, in Jesus' Name. Amen. I'd love to hear from you. Have you made a daily decision to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit? How do you do this? I pray that you will be inspired to do so and more, and that you will see the blessings that come from Him because of this. 

Why Foundations Matter

First, let me say "it's good to be back." I have had an amazing journey through the first half of the year, and in lots of ways it has prepared me for the second half. My son is 7 months and some weeks now. He's sort of stabilizing his own schedule and beginning to be an independent little feisty one. I've learned and am still learning lots of new stuff on time management and how to be highly effective every day. It had to be this year. I've been blessed with testimonies regarding that.

With all that said, today's chronicles and short reflection is really about why Foundations matter. As we go through life, there's no denying that as long as each day becomes new, challenges arise with it's arrival. How do we handle these challenges? Take a look at this verse:

Isaiah 40:30-31 NKJV
"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."

The truth is that your foundation matters. It makes a difference whether you choose to build your life on a solid rock or on sinking sand. When challenges rise, your foundation speaks loudly. If the Lord is your foundation, your strength will always be renewed. Why? Don't you know that He is the most renowned Author? The Beginning and the End? The Yes & the Amen?

The Beginning & the End: He formed you in a secret place (Psalms 139). He knows you inside and out. He sees you when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. In fact, He wrote about your story before you were even born. Let's face it, we have a choice of what foundation we want to lean on. I can tell you right now that If I were given the choice to choose the One who wrote my story, I would choose Him a thousand times over.

Children are born desolate every day. Marriages fail. People lose vision. They don't die physically, but they die inside. Ties are broken. Bridges get burned down. People lose focus. All because they build their souls on foundations which are seemingly solid on the outside, but crumbling on the inside.

I know a foundation that will never crumble. His name is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Won't you choose Him today and forever? Come, let's build our house on a solid foundation. Let's choose the rock of ages today...and always. If you're in-between a rock and a hard place about choosing a strong foundation, I want to say a short prayer for you: "May your heart be open and sensitive enough to know that you are at the center of God's heart today, and before you were born, He already chose you." Amen. Till next time...

The Forgotten DNA (One Thousand Gifts of Thankfulness)

Forgetful. That's what we are sometimes. 

We forget how intricate and extremely complex we are. How uniquely exquisite. How different our neural networks are from the person next to us. Why our patterns of thinking just seem to be so peculiar to only ourselves and nobody else, and why we sometimes make different choices based on how we think.

Laughter easily fills a room, flowing past brightly lit candles and sifting through like the aroma of the good food on the table because we dare to stick to our own stories.

Not even mothers can dictate the paths of their children's destinies.

What about our bodies? Each of us have something drastically different on our skins. Physical or less obvious and sometimes downright laughable birth marks. Even identical twins have distinguishing identifiable genetic markers (DNA). The wavy lines on their fingers protrude into separate paths of uncontrollable wildness and adventure. If you peek a little bit closer you will see.

Forgetful. That's what we are sometimes.

We don't always remember how skillful and absolutely creative our God must be. It's days like this when I read Psalms 139 that I am reminded yet again of how awesome He is and how forgetful I can be of my own DNA. Today, I ask you to joyfully embrace that very thing that sets you apart from everyone else as you read this. You were made to be your own self on purpose, to bring glory to His name.

Read this:
PSA 139:13-18 NKJV
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet  there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand...

2. Today, I am thankful for my DNA. Aren't you? :)

Two Little Feet: One Thousand Gifts of Thankfulness #1

The sound of a baby crying a few inches from where I lie jostles and fully awakens me. At first, I frown. What could be so wrong to cause that shrill scream? Surely, whatever it is can't be that bad.

Before bedtime everything was done right. Little hands and feet shampooed and toweled dry. Jet black, curly, unruly hair oiled, caressed and brushed. Little mouth wiped dry from random spills. "Aaaah Gaaaah," he mumbled in baby language while I wiped him dry. Double layers of clothing on his chest to keep away the cold, cold night. He smelled of that fine baby powder just before he was rocked to sleep. So what could have possibly gone wrong at midnight?

It was nothing terrible, I assure you. He sucked his lips once and I knew the drill. It was hunger. It's a game we play, he sucks and I feed. Only, he likes to play the game at midnight too.

The truth is I am happy he knows how to tell me. Sometimes in life we need to snap out of the 'cries' to see the real message.

Out of the busy-ness of tight schedules, the ridiculousness of winter, and the sound of a dying car engine, I find a heart of gratitude. Father, today I am thankful for the sound of a crying baby who wants nothing but his usual milliliters of liquid food.

Do you realize how blessed you are? Even in the midst of the imperfection around you, and in the middle of the uncertainty of the future, there's one thing you can be confident about if (and only if) you constantly listen to the voice of God. This is it. Deuteronomy 28:3, "Blessed shall you be in the city & blessed shall you be in the field."

In the midst of whatever it is you find yourself in, look around you to find that one thing that makes everything else small. It's your blessing. Many times it's usually more than one thing.

PS: This year I'll be joining a host of other bloggers in counting 1000 Gifts of Thankfulness. What are you thankful for? Today, I'm thankful for two little feet. :)

We Were Made To Thirst For God

It's windy and hot. I look down at my feet...dry, dusty, and flaky. My sandals are worn out, I've been walking down this endless path for hours searching for water. Cool, cool water to quench my raging thirst. I see something in the distance. It looks like water so I start running toward that direction. As soon as I get there I realize it was only a mirage, an optical illusion. There's no water in this place. I wrap my scarf again around my head, this time making it tighter. The winds are blowing more fiercely than before. Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock. Time is running out. The sand particles are forcing their way inside my clothes. I've got to get water. I've got to find it. I'm in a dry and thirsty land. How did I get here? How? I wake up shivering to realize I was never in that place. It was only a dream.

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?"(Psalms 42:1, 2 NKJV)

We were made to thirst for Him. To seek His face before anything else. To reach the end of the pursuit of happiness and to find it in His warm embrace. Why is there this amazing desire for the Creator in our hearts? Why do we feel empty when we dare to leave His side, even for a short while? It's because without Him we are nothing. He put the desire inside us. He is the Potter and we are the clay, and the clay cannot say to the Potter, "I have no need for you."

It's like saying, "I made the sun, the moon and the stars," when I clearly didn't.

Or like saying, "I can sustain myself with my intelligence," when clearly, I've failed many times trying to do life on my own.

Many of us feel like David felt when He wrote Psalm 42. When a deer pants for water, I imagine that you will hear every dry breath coming from within that deer and it will never be satisfied until it has quenched its thirst. So also, when a man thirsts for God you will see it written all over his face and in his actions. He literally will run to God, the source of his strength. He will not be satisfied until he drinks deep. He will find sustenance only in the Word of God. He will be humble always, knowing that he did not design himself. He will be kind to people, forgiving them whenever He can. He will be merciful. A missionary (bringer of good news). A shining light whenever He can. A replica of the Father.

When a man thirsts for God, he will be like a thirsty deer...

It will be evident in His entire life. David said he felt like a deer panting for water, searching for sustenance in God. It was not a mirage. No, not an optical illusion. It was real. And He found it, He put His kingship in second place and put God first, and he became a man after God's heart when he set his priorities straight. When we become like this, God can easily show us the right path. He can easily reveal secret things to us which we would never understand without Him. He can easily hear our prayers and direct us to the answers. Because as water is to a deer, so is God to us. He is our sustenance. He knows everything and without Him we are nothing.

Today, my encouragement to you is to renew your thirst for God. Rekindle that old flame. Find those streams you once were led to. Let the Holy Spirit begin to saturate your soul with living water. Because as Jesus told that woman at the well, "If you knew who I was, you will ask me for living water and never thirst again." (paraphrased). Lord, may we thirst for You all the days of our lives and may we find satisfaction in Your living water. Amen.

Question For Your Comments: Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel like you're not as close as you want to be to God? I've felt that way before. But when it happened, I got back into the Word. Life can make you too busy for the most important things. In situations like this, we need to get back on track and thirst for Him daily again. Because He is our ultimate priority. And one day without Him can make a huge difference. The great news is He is always near us...He will never leave us, we just need to draw near to Him again. Stay thirsty, my friends. :)

A Brand New Slate (The One About 2013)

New year after new year, thousands of people have a confessional. They identify who they've been in the past year and mutter these words, "I want to be a new person." Some make a big deal out of this, making themselves accountable to several eye witnesses, but for others this very important confessional takes place inside their own hearts with only an audience of one. Themselves.

No matter where or when we choose to make this confessional, it is what we do with every rising sun & every impending new year. No, I am not specifically writing about new year resolutions. Just about the idea that there's something in all of us that strongly desires a clean slate when a new season comes. A chance to make things right again. A reinvention of self. A remodeling of the inside. An erasing of past mistakes, errors, or foolishness. A chance to prove that we can be who we claim we are, the vision of the best we can be.

It's 2013, and I'm here to pour oil on your feet again, to encourage you about your new year. The truth is you can get a brand new slate, but not by your own strength. You have to let go 100% and just allow God into your life this year. You must accept His forgiveness for every stink in your past. Why am I so happy to tell you this? Because you have a forgiving Father. You might not even know how much He wants to love you, to give you a fresh start. But He does. He actually is really looking forward to it.

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to which The Lord does not impute iniquity." Psalm 32:1-2.

David wrote this psalm in the period after he had done a sad thing and taken the wife of another man. It is who God has forgiven much that loves much. Some of you might feel like you're thoroughly 'clean' already, but some not so. It's the latter who will immediately run with this message and throw their arms in reckless abandon at a Father who truly loves and dares to forgive them. These are the ones who will truly be happy at this message, because they will be given the chance to start all over again. Please don't be angry if we choose to accept it. Allow us to reintroduce ourselves in 2013. We are indeed, "The Ones With the Brand New Slates." We can dance like David danced now. We can be free to be who God created us to be, forgetting the things of the past and stretching forward to receive the things of the future. Allow us to reintroduce ourselves. "The Ones With the Brand New Slates."

PS: Happy new year dear readers of the Lamp. I'm excited to start this new year with a clean slate in Christ. I'm excited to rest in Him and see the lovely things He has planned for 2013. I hope you are too. I also ask you to rejoice with me as I and the hubby have been given a great gift, a bundle of joy, the newest addition to our family, a handsome one-in-a-million priceless baby boy! He came in December. We are extremely thrilled and excited, and that is actually an understatement. lol. Well, happy 2013 to you again. Much love from me :)