Archive for August, 2008

August 31, 2008

so sad

I’ve been nusring a kid for the past couple of days. It died today. I only had it for two days, but it hurts. I live on a farm and a day after the mother goat had it, she abandoned it so we had to bottle feed it. I really wanted it to live; I fed it, used my towel to wrap it against the cold, prayed for it… it still died.

If you ever find yourself getting out of touch with your emotions, go live on a farm. At least for a while.

August 30, 2008

Always Him – Cafe Chat

The catchphrase “It’s not about me” has become quite popular in our current world today. What does that phrase mean to you in your personal life? Explain.

When I read this week’s topic, this verse immediately came to my heart:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

This catchphrase has always served as a major reminder in my life. The first is contained in the verse above. I am a control freak; at least I have been called that several times. So giving over my life – plans, dreams, ambitions, everything over to the Lord has been a constant battle for me. Just when I think I have finally surrendered it all, I find myself struggling with more control issues. My life is like a Chariot with several horses attached to it. There are two riders inside this chariot, Me and Jesus. I am holding on to the reins trying desparately to control the high spirted horses but they are beyond my control, they drag me ruthlessly this way and that. Meanwhile, the expert horseman is there right beside me, silently waiting for me to hand over the reins. When I finally get exhausted, I hand them over to him. Just two for a start, I still keep holding on to the rest, can’t afford to lose control.

That has been my life. I give up one rein and then congratulate myself for surrendering to His will, only to look at my hands and see even more reins held tight in them. So when I see the phrase “it’s not about me”, it helps me to remember that my life is not about what I want or what I think it should be, but is about the One who made me in the first place and His plans for me.

The Second reminder comes from my tendency to be self centered. I value my space and my privacy so much it is almost religious! For instance, when I am lost in a good book and my brother comes to disturb me with one tale or the other, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that it is not about my enjoyment of the book; it is not even about my space or my time… It is not about me! It is about someone who needs a listening ear, a little compassion and maybe some advice. About friends and family and laughing together and just being there. So I push my book aside and give my full attention. There’s no chance of my swinging to the other side and not giving myself any time; trust me, I’m too self centered for that.

So that’s it for this week’s cafe chat. On my side anyway. If you would like to read more or even participate, simply click the icon below. God bless!

August 29, 2008

When God Interrupts…?

So the men of Kiriath-jearim came to get the Ark of the Lord. They took it to the hillside home of Abinadab and ordained Eleazar, his son, to be in charge of it. The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a long time-twenty years in all. (1 Samuel 7:1-2)

This was some of what we read in our family devotion last night. Because everyone rushes off in the mornings, we settled on the evening time for the family devotion.

We read the whole chapter, but these two verses of scripture stuck to me. Maybe because I could identify with what was happening. This is the scenario that came to my mind: This young guy (Eleazar), has his life all figured out. Maybe he wanted to be a physician, or a Rabbi, who knows? So there he was, going about his business when all of a sudden they bring the Ark of the Lord to his house and mandate him to look after it. End of ambition – for a while. Or so he thinks. 20 years later, there he is, still looking after the Ark. The Bible does not say it was still Eleazar, but if he had been replaced, I believe the Bible would have said too.

This disturbs me because I have put my life on hold to give a year to ministry. What if 20 years later I’m still here? What happens to all my dreams and stuff? Wish you could see the horror on my face. Why does the thought of giving up control fill us humans with such fear?

August 28, 2008

Road trips, conferences and Bitterness

I’m finally back home! Hello everybody… I missed all my blogging friends. The journey was something else! Nigeria is a large country! Not as large as the US I’m sure, but it takes several days to cross from the west to the North. The journey was tiring but very interesting. I got to spend some time with both my maternal grandparents and my paternal grandma – the grandpa has been gone a long time.

We got to my maternal grandparents, late in the night – it is in a different state from the one we live in. So we were on this lonely stretch of road with only a few passing head lamps for company when this single, solitary head light started heading towards us. The first thing which caught my attention was how dim the light was, but I attributed that to a broken head lamp. Still, I decided to pay extra attention to the biker – I could see now that it was a motor bike. As he wheezed past, the most amazing extra ordinary sight caught my attention; what I thought was a broken head lamp was nothing more than a flash light placed in the riders’ mouth to illuminate the way for him. He had no head lamps at all! I thought my eyes were deceiving me, so I waited a beat, then simultaneously both my parents burst out laughing. It was incredible! We see all sorts in Nigeria, but this was something else. All in all, it was an interesting trip, even if the congress itself was somewhat uncomfortable.

The Missions Congress was organized by a group my dad started in the 1970s – which he was later schemed out of, but that’s another story for another day. I am glad I attended this congress; I did not realise I was harbouring any bitterness until I saw these faces who for the first 7 years of my life, were the only family I knew. Betrayal hurts, but rejection even worse and especially when both come from the people closest to you. The heart feels like it can never be whole again, like the soul would never recover; but it does. It might be an arduous journey, but it is possible to get over hurts. Oh well, enough about that already, the good thing is that after two decades of trying to rewrite history – erasing my dad’s name from their history as the founder, he was finally publicly acknowledged as the founder of the group. It should not matter, I know; after all, it was God’s work and it really isn’t important who started what, but I felt proud for my dad. As though all those years of hurts and heartache were for a reason somehow… I don’t know. We were really treated badly; someday I’ll write about that.

Right! On to positive stuff… Guys, my country is beeutiful! There are probably more beautiful places in the world, but Nigeria is the most beautiful to me. Here are some pictures I took on the long road journey. If you ever decide to visit, well I run a small retreat centre and you can be sure of a place to sleep – at least. So think seriously about your next vacation hmm.

  the ancient city of Ibadan

August 23, 2008

My Knight in rusty armour

Day Twenty-seven of the Encouragement Challenge:

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”

Psalm. 31:24

You have almost completed the “30-Day Encouragement Challenge.” Perhaps it has taken you a tremendous amount of courage to speak words of encouragement consistently to your husband. Courage comes as we place our trust in God. Have faith that God will continue to work long after your encouraging words have been shared.

There are lots of “tough guys” in the world, but true courage comes from the Lord. Does your husband exhibit the courage to take an unpopular stand, perhaps even to stand alone against evil? Is he courageous in his faith? Does he work hard to change injustice? Is he a stickler for the truth? Does he protect you or your family from the attacks of the Enemy? (highlighting mine)

Psalm 27:14 says this kind of courage comes from “waiting” on the Lord for His strength. If your budget allows, “award” your husband with a medal, trophy, framed picture of a brave knight, or some other token that represents his courage as a man of God. Praise evidences of your husband’s courage in protecting you, your marriage, your family, or your home.

Revive Our Hearts

This challenge is a very deep one and has made me think since I first read it this morning. There are so many articles on the ideal husband and different ‘experts’ with crippled marriages have lists of what to look for in a man, but I guess when all is said and done, the highlighted words are what count. Character; that is what to look out for in a man.

Recently, I posted an article by Nora Blackman-Richards and these are some of the questions she asked:

Is he willing to give up his last dime to make you happy? Is he willing to work hard for the survival of your relationship? Is he willing to cut ties with a friend who has hurt you? Is he willing to stand up and defend your love? Will he be a good father? Is he open to spiritual growth? Is he spiritually compatible? Does he respect your mind? Will he be there for you emotionally as well as financially? It is only a man’s character that gives us the answers to the questions that really matter.

For a girl like me considering marriage, these are pertinent questions. I honestly searched my heart to see if my man fitted the bill. The answer was (still is) yes. Yes, he is willing to go the extra mile to make our relationship work; yes he will stand up and defend what we have; yes he will be a good father; he is open to spiritual growth… Yes everything!

To honour that, and to let you know B, that I really appreciate you, I am giving you an award. It’s called the Knight in Rusty Armour Award – in recognition of the fact that even though you are not perfect, you are still my knight.

Knight in Rusty Armour Award

Knight in Rusty Armour Award

August 23, 2008

I’m still not back home

Would you believe it, I managed to find a faltering and very epileptic wireless signal so I thought I’d quickly drop this post. I’m still not home yet and I’m missing every one of my blogging friends. We still have a few more days to go.

Thus far, the trip has been educational and very interesting…I would have posted a few pictures here but my laptop got this huge virus so I’m scanning it now. However, once it’s free I’ll upload the pictures. (took me almost an hour to upload the picture below, so I think I will wait till I get home).

The Congress has been something else…but I’ll write a full report on it once I get home. Or maybe before, who knows. In the meantime, I’ve been feeling kinda strange and I need help understanding what I’m going through? I feel a disconnect. I really don’t get it. Lately I’ve been feeling sort of removed from God. I still pray, read my Bible, I even know he’s there and that he hears me but I just can’t seem to feel him. This has created a deep and intense feeling of aloneness inside me. I have searched my heart inside out to see if there’s sin lurking anywhere and have confessed and asked for forgiveness – even for the ones I am not aware of because I know that sin causes separation. So why then am I feeling so unhinged? Am I just going through the motions? I know that God is much more than what I feel and that keeps me going.

On another note, I just finished the novel, Family by Karen Kingsbury. It was alright; not like Divine, but riveting still. Showed me that if you are on the right side (God’s that is), love WILL conquer all. I’m signing out for now, if I manage to get online again before I get home, then you will hear from me.
Thank you – all of you who have dropped comments. It warmed my heart to read from you all. God bless you!