Make It Better

I took a review on some of my processes recently. I found myself thinking about some very casual ones, especially how I’ve been getting to work lately with my sister using a taxi. At first we bargained N600. Later somehow I got a better idea about negotiating the route and we began paying N500. Later again there was another idea of restructuring the negotiation and route. The price came down to N400. Looking over this, I am really impressed with my bargaining prowess. I bet you are too. And suddenly it became very clear that a lot of things, almost everything, could be made better than it is presently.

About that same week, a new Administrator arrived in our office. At the Office meeting, he began questioning a couple of things and then suggesting ways of improving services and a host of other things ranging from professional to casual issues. At the end of the day, even the minutes of the meeting had a good review and consequently, a new look. Needless to say, he won my admiration! Continue reading

Good News

It feels good reading about the resurrection of our Lord this morning. The series of events got me meditating and thinking about different things. One of them stood out today: the faithlessness of the disciples 🙂 . This is not said in any judgement at all, but in a form of childish imagination. Normally if people were told by someone that he has the power to rise again after dead, they would wait eagerly for such a moment. And when the moment comes, at least one should check it up. But surprisingly, it isn’t the case here. Maybe they so loved Jesus that they never wanted to imagine or accept him dead. But for whatever the case was, it wasn’t any serious to them.

Considering the importance of Christ’s dead, this might be considered a grave offense. Ok, no judgements!!! But… Ok, lets get to the good part.

The cute thing here is that it was the woman from whom He casted away 7 demons He appeared to first. In our minds we’d think it should have been John the beloved or Peter who should have been in that position, or if in our present day, then our pastors. Some good news here, it wasn’t. It was Mary Magdalene. In case you still don’t get the point, you are not too messed up yet! He still can change you and make you número uno.

And some more good news. Our Lord then commissioned those same feeble disciples to go into the world to preach the good news. One would think they were far from ready. But with the little they knew, with the little faith, Jesus still thought it was enough, especially after they were to be empowered by His Spirit. So here we learn that we don’t have to wait to know it all or have it all perfect, God’s got a nice plan for you, and me too. There is power and grace to pick up from where we left off.

Great ‘newses’ aahhh!

Limits

Earlier in life we heard a lot of people use the phrase, “The sky is the limit!” The more time passes by and technology grows, the less we get to hear of it. And that is because there is hardly anything such as a limit.

That reality struck so hard as I sit looking at the clouds spread below me like a mass of land through an airplane window on a flight over Asia from Russia. The skies that were once above us are now beneath us. It’s incredible!

Somehow through the ages man has overcome countless number of challenges and obstacles. Somehow he never gave up. Somehow he never stopped dreaming. Somehow he kept pushing. Step at a time he got through it all.

Looking out the window and thinking about this makes it so plain: we have no excuse to ever give up. Things might take time to materialize;  seeds planted require time, nurture to grow, kids require the same to grow. And so do dreams.

One thing I’ve learnt from movies about humanity is that despite what comes our way, we will always struggle and find a means to survive. As a result we have pushed past difficulties, wars, earthquakes and different environmental hazards.

It now seems the only limit is you. You are the only one who can stop yourself or keep yourself moving.

Song: Search My Heart

Search my heart and search my soul
There’s nothing else that I want more
Shine Your light and show Your face
In my life Lord have Your way

Hear my cry and hear my prayer
Draw me close I know You’re near
Give me strength and give me grace
To walk with You Lord all my days

So with all my heart and all my soul
With all I am Lord I will follow You
You took the cross
You took my shame
Restored my life
Now I live to worship You.

Search my heart and search my soul
There’s nothing else that I want more

Without You I am nothing

Hillsong United [Listen]

Personalization

1. Manyo is been commanded to never let his heart be troubled.
2. Manyo believes in God, he also believes in Jesus.
3. In our Father’s house are many mansions. If it was so, Jesus won’t have told Manyo so.
4. Jesus went to prepare a place for Manyo.
5. Jesus will come again and receive Manyo to Himself.
6. Where Jesus is, Manyo will be there also.
7. Manyo knows where Jesus is.
8. Manyo came to the Father through Jesus the way.
9. Manyo knows the Father because he knows Jesus.
10. Henceforth Manyo has seen the Father.
11. Manyo believes that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father in Him.
12. And because Manyo believes, the works that Jesus did shall he also do, and even greater.
13. And whatsoever Manyo shall ask in Jesus’ name that will He do that the Father be glorified.
14. If Manyo asks anything in Jesus’ name, He will do.
-John 14: 1-14

Imagine the change and transformation in the words of those scriptures when not just read as a piece of text, or even as God’s word, but God’s words to ME.

One of the things about this age of the personal computer is ability to tune your computer to your taste. The advent of the Linux systems even broadens that liberty, giving greater options for users to personalize the computers. In a simpler sense is the desktop. One can change the background, text format, icons, windows and toolbar positions, and a lot of other things as one will please.

Not in a sense we can handle the scriptures as we please, but in a sense that the Bible, the words contained therein, is given to us, that it is ours, it is to us, it is to me, it is for me. And one of the ways to get the most out of it is when it is taken personally.

God is the God and father of all. That is very true. But first and foremost, He is your own God and father. His words and promises are first for you and to you personally.

The message is simple, personalize Him.

Loving God

One of the first things that came to mind when asked to share a bit with my other worship team members about worship and its different aspects was an approach to worship through love. After hearing a couple of my team members speak about how worship should be a lifestyle, some about how God seeks worshipper, another about victory that springs forth from our worship as a result of us speaking God’s words to situations and all, I began wondering why such a great experience is so much neglected or taken for granted. And I began wondering that as much as we want to see great worshippers in our churches, we need to teach people to love God.

Worship makes more sense when done out of love. It flows so freely with the understanding of not just who God is, but what He means to us. Sometimes just knowing how big or awesome God is doesn’t change much about people’s heart for God neither does knowing what He can do produce a worshipper’s heart. More often than not, it is experiencing what He has done, and in a broader sense, experiencing his love that leaves a mark in the heart, a mark that turns our hearts to love Him back in return.

Back in the days of the Old Testament the people were to obey the laws and then were charged to teach these laws to their children so that they walk in them. Repeatedly they were reminded to pass the tradition to children and generations. Jesus came and sums the whole law into two commandments, love God, and love your neighbor. And it seems we have done a very bad job of teaching and passing just these two commandments to the younger ones. And maybe it is solely because we don’t know how to teach people how to love God. Instead we teach laws without basis Continue reading

Who Is Doing The Listening?

For the first time a month went by without a word. I have never stopped writing though, or thinking, or meditating, whatever the process is. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult gathering and expressing one’s thoughts, especially when the matter seems so important that one feels he owes himself and everyone a debt of getting it out as good and clear as possible. Such is the fate of this article, who is doing the listening. I have postponed enough, time to get out what is in the notes. Ok, story time…

I couldn’t help but marvel at the dialog going on between a man and his wife on the phone as he drove me to the train station where I was to catch my train ride to Moscow for the National Instrument 2010 Research Conference. It was the dynamics of their language itself that first caught my attention in the midst of my fast processing mind at this time due to late schedules and an unfinished presentation I was to present in Moscow. Though not meaning to eavesdrop on their conversation, locked up in a taxi with a man talking on a cell phone as if he is addressing an audience makes it impossible to behave polite. Since they neither spoke in English, nor in Russian, I was only able to come to a conclusion that the man was trying to convince his wife that the only reason he is running late is because he had to take me to the train station and that he will be home immediately he is done. But the exchange of information here was totally exhilarating. Both seemed to be talking at the same time. The only time the man isn’t talking was when he had to change the gear and so keep the phone from his mouth.

It was quite a troubling scene to behold.

As a person who is learning much the practice of mastering the act of observation and listening, I see a crisis in our society today. A crisis where about everyone wants to be heard, a crisis where very few listen. Continue reading

Fall and Rise

Before shutting my eyes off to sleep I made it to say my night prayers. This time around I was going over my day before the Lord. With a smile I told Him, “I fell you know. I fell so hard.” I really did fall so hard. In a bid to make fun of my childhood days my mom keeps reminding me how much I kept falling then. I do remember a lot of it. Coming to Russia hasn’t helped keep the past behind me much. Falling is a bit a part of the winter. But this particular one was something else.

Almost every winter guarantees me a nice clean fall over the ice. This year wasn’t an exception. I have been waiting for it very carefully. It just beat my expectations beyond all measure. It isn’t much of a sight seeing people fall around here, especially when the snow is melting. But people have development the politeness of not giggling or laughing, at least out loud when they see someone fall. Sometimes though it happens so beautifully that no one can help but at least give a wild smile. Such was the case with me today. I imagined being someone else walking by and seeing how I fell. I really would have bursted out. As a matter of fact the replay of events in memory is really cracking me up right now.

And so I told Him I fell and how it went. And at the end of it all, I told Him I got up.

And I really felt a pinch in my heart right there. He was glad, as much as I was that I got up. I didn’t lie there with a broken hand or leg. I didn’t lie there waiting for someone to come help me up. I found strength to get up.

This year promises a lot of good things and pleasant surprises. Though we look forward to the best it has to offer, we do not deny the challenges it might bring along. And it is my greatest of desires that no matter how many times we find ourselves down there, that we find the courage and strength to rise again.

Happy New Year folks!!!

Seek – Find

Though my memory most times is very poor when it comes to recollecting dates, names and some past events, it still is able to bring back one of those times in primary school when we learnt words and their opposites. On our board today we will add another example to the list. Seek, or search – find.

I have been greatly encouraged speaking with a friend lately. A lot of times I hear her say she has one desire or another in regards to spiritual things. From a desire to study the Bible for at least an hour a day to that of praying in tongues for two hours to that of reaching out to a soul at least once a week, she keeps her heart yearning for one thing or the other all the time.

And consequently, she receives.

It is becoming clearer by the day the lack of a desire for God and spiritual things. And though not at all a shock, considering the warning Jesus issued out before facing the cross, the thought of it causes my heart to tremble at its reality. But thankfully, He said the love of many, not the love of all.

For many a one the advancement of age, career, responsibilities, relationships bring about the decline in the search for God and His kingdom. Though afraid to say, but it is a natural tendency. and though this fact holds true, its validity as an excuse holds no water. Reading the first part of Luke 19, we see that in Zacchaeus’ case it was the crowd. But it didn’t stop him. The rich little man went up a tree. Before the Bible tells us about the crowd blocking him, it tells us that the little man wanted to see Jesus. A version of the Bible brings it to light that “he wanted desperately to see Jesus”. And like the fairy tales we’ve seen or heard at one time or the other, there was a happy ending here. He did meet Jesus. Continue reading

Song: And That My Soul Knows Very Well

You make Your face to shine on me
And that my soul knows very well
You lift me up, I’m cleansed and free
And that my soul knows very well

When mountains fall, I’ll stand
By the power of Your hand
And in Your heart of heart I’ll dwell
And that my soul knows very well

Joy and strength each day I find
And that my soul knows very well
Forgiveness, hope, I know is mine
And that my soul knows very well

Darlene Zschech [Watch]