Saturday, 21 December 2013

THE WORLD DOESN'T KNOW

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Birthdays are a tradition in my family. This inherent fact was proven when at 12:11am, my phone buzzed angrily and I could almost hear it saying “I’m sorry. I know it’s late but I can’t help it”, (since we had a fight the day before about its annoying crieswhich kept me from Snooze Ville). 

Well, the apology wasn’t all that necessary since I was awake – as wide-eyed as an owl. I checked the message and what do you know? It’s Mum! All armed with more prayers than I ever thought possible to be contained in an SMS – short message service – read; SHORT being the predominant word. I was just doing the digestion process when my phone gave another shrill cry. Phone call. Who do we have here?  Guess? Mum! I smiled as I picked the call, bracing up for the next prayer barrage. 

And trust Mum now, she didn’t disappoint at all as we proceeded to begin our prayer vigil, complete with music (the standard “Happy birthday to you” and “jolly good fellow”). I was really overwhelmed. This was just the beginning, I knew. Everyone in my family understood this tradition, everyone had the date etched in their memory, so I knew there would be more.



 Christmas is a tradition in the whole world. A time to love, share and remember, that time when God became a baby boy in swaddling clothes to remind us we are not alone. A time when all over the world one man becomes the reason why trees get all dressed-up, the reason why we remember gifts are for giving, the reason family members get together. A time when most people even celebrate the birthday without knowing the celebrant. That time when Christmas is Christmas.

My birthdays are important in my family, so is Christmas. Christmas is important to the whole world…what about my birthday? Everyone knows 25th of December. Do they know the 21st?

A baby was conceived of a scandal, he was born in horses and cows’ bowl of food, there were no standard birthing procedures or professionals; just his mum, dad and the animals…he was a carpenter’s son. Yet, over twenty centuries later, the whole world sets aside their busy schedules to celebrate this baby boy’s birthday.
What does my birthday have in common with Christmas?
Does my birth have a purpose?

Was I born to save the world?

Was my birth predestined by God?

Did angels herald my arrival? 

Will the world celebrate me long after I’m dead?

Yes, I was born with a purpose. Yes, I was born to save people (if not the whole world). Yes, my birth was predestined by God. Yes, angels heralded my arrival (believe it or not). But, will the world celebrate me long after I’m dead?

Okay, so it’s my birthday. I’m now officially an adult *shiver*...scaarryy! Another year gone, another year closer to my grave.

This is a sobering thought and I want you to take a few minutes to reflect on it. What do I have in common with Jesus? What will the world remember me for? Why am I still alive? Why was I born? After all, a birthday is not a celebration of when you were born so much as why you were born.



Side note: I'm really grateful to God for the precious gift of life...and all that comes with it. I was going to write something more poetic and riveting, but apparently my brain still doesn't get it...I'm older now "hello?" Maybe when I'm 21 then. Oh well, thank y'all for your wishes...I'm grateful. the world may not know yet but the ones who know mean the world. 


Friday, 20 December 2013

WHY CHRISTMAS?

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This beautiful piece was written by a friend of mine; Ubazue Onyeka (Royalty Shyne). When I read through it, it gave me a lot to think about and I thought it would be really self-centered of me to keep it all to myself. Here goes;


 So here I am pondering (not like Pinky and the Brain) but I’m pondering, what’s the true essence of the festivities during Christmas, because I have looked around and I see animals lose their lives just for this course (not like I care about the animals). And it’s not just the animals; people lose themselves to satisfy the curiosity of celebration.


 Now to the crux of the day, what in the world do we celebrate at Christmas or what is Christmas that we celebrate it so much and so big? Here is an excerpt from Whats App; 
“ this is what Christmas means: no more beating on closed doors, but an open heaven, angels ascending and descending freely, our prayers reaching the throne of God unhindered, the holy spirit constantly pouring upon us like sunshine from a cloudless sky God with us- ‘IMMANUEL’. And God is IN us.”


 From here we see that Christmas isn’t about the food but about us, not about the party but about the package. When we remember Christmas it should be with joy in our hearts (well, that’s the party) as we remember the darling of heaven that was made manifest for our sakes; “the everlasting father” (Isaiah 9:6) who was born in a manger (Luke 2:7). God came amongst men to save them and reconcile them unto himself. Christmas is the time to merry and glory in God for his love which so much encompass us that he gave us his very best (John 3: 16). It is not by the work of our hands lest we boast but by grace alone through Christ by faith.

  At Christmas we give thanks, we love just as the Father does, we celebrate as well as we remind people of the essence of the season - US. For our sakes the Father of glory chose to come in the form of man to save us who were far from him so that in him we would have redemption even the forgiveness of sins. 

So as we chew our rice and kill those birds please be reminded that the grace of God has appeared to all men and now we have an advocate with the father who always intercedes for us; in addition we have the best gift of all - the Holy Spirit which is God’s spirit that lives in us. Why? Because God chose to be born in a manger.

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!
                                                                                         

Side note: Beautiful inn'it? Yeah, I thought so too. I know I’ve said this before (and probably would again) but you can sue me for indigestion. So….

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

And here’s a Christmas-sy hug from us to you…  Come now, don't be shy...


Thursday, 19 December 2013

BARN BABY

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Yippee! It’s that time of the year again! That time when the weather is enough reminder and our blankets and sweaters get bear-hugs, a time when we remember that a distant relative is still alive, the time when we know who really loves us by the text messages, calls and gifts we get, a time when kids get to meet “Uncle-in-a-red-costume” and can freely pollute the air with the noise of knock-outs, a time when our houses finally get a make-over, that time of the year when Nigerian business men and women decide that everyone is richer, so commodities should get a hike (right?), that time when the years’ days are numbered, the time when we all take a break from the years’ roller-coaster ride, when laxatives are never short in our bags and pockets, a time when we can comfortably lavish our naira bills because we really don’t care and actually have excuses to do so, that very time when churches can record impressive attendants and our piggy banks receive the right to be broken. Ah, yes it is that time again. CHRISTMAS!!

 Yeah, it’s that time. But, hold up a sec. Before we get carried away by the whole Christmas excitement. Can we pause for a minute to ponder on; why Christmas? 


The wise men, according to the gospel account of Matthew, were people in a desperate search. They had spotted the star of the Messiah and so had decided to embark on the journey from the East to locate the “King of the Jews”. Well, luckily for them, they were able to trace the star to Jerusalem where the King Herod gave them go-ahead to search for the baby. The star finally brought them to a stop directly in front of a barn, where the baby “King” had landed squarely in a pile of hay in the manger (a long open box that horses and cows eat from! – according to the Oxford dictionary), amidst brays and moos because there was no room for him in the inn.  They could take a breather for their search was finally up. Phew!

In a field nearby, while shepherds watched their flock by night, the angel of God delivered a good news to them, Christ had been born! And guess what? That’s the same good tidings I bring to you… The Messiah has been born! The wise men knew this and they sought him with all they had.

Unfortunately, only the animals were able to open the doors of their house to Jesus. I wonder if the manager of the inn knew it was the “long-awaited” messiah king that was about to be born, if he’d have made room for him. But you know now. Will you open up? Have you found this messiah King? Are you still seeking Him? Is there any room for Him in your heart? Or is it too filled for you to make room for him? The Bible says:

 “Here I am! I stand at the door of your heart and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Jesus, in Revelation 3:20).

And this is the essence of Christmas, to celebrate the purpose of the birth of the Messiah king. Not a time to go bankrupt, or a time to do all the wild things you couldn’t do all year, neither is it a time to just eat and drink with no purpose. But a time of reflection on why Jesus was born. That is, to save the world by bringing salvation to all who believe in Him. God did the unthinkable and gave us the greatest gift we could ever imagine; Himself! What are we going to give him in return? What’s your gift to God this Christmas? Your life. Not just in salvation, but in total consecration and surrender to Him. Seek Him in all you do and tell the good tidings out loud to all who care – or don’t care - to listen!

Have yourself a happy Christmas and a merry New Year in advance!

Side note: This doesn’t mean y’all who owe me chicken and gifts are home free o! Don’t dare use this as an excuse not to give me what’s due to me*winks*. But really, you guys should do everything in moderation; be safe, drive safely, don’t drink and drive (no, not even water). You’re more than the world. God will watch over you and your family this season.

We love you!
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