Wednesday, 27 July 2011

He knows my name!

This came to me after my 'Dear God' post. It's all true you know, so be encouraged!

He knows my name, He knows the thoughts that fill me with shame
He knows I'm weak, He also knows I'm doing my very best
He'll see me to the end, through every trial, every challenge,
He'll see me through it all, right through every single test

He knows my name, and on His hands, it's forever graven
Even when I slip,  for a moment take my eyes off Him, I'm not forsaken
He's right beside me, there to catch me, there to hold me
He'll never leave me, never turn His back, never give up on me.

He knows my name, I'm so special, so unique
He has a plan, a good one, and quite specific
He's leading me, guiding me, edging me on to take hold,
Of what He has for me, a future so bright, so glorious to behold

He knows my name, and He's right there when I call
He knows my concerns, my worries, all that make me fall
He sees me, hears me, feels my every pain
He understands; He went through it all, just for my gain.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Dear God..

Dear God,

I wish I could have a skype conversation with you. I'm so tired of going through the same thing over and over in my head; it's driving me insane. I wish I could hear you speak to me clearly. I know you do speak, but so much is in this head of mine that sometimes it's difficult to tell if it's you speaking or just me. I so want to be led by you, and know that I am at the centre of your plan for my life but sometimes it's difficult to be sure. I know I need to be patient, and stop trying to see into the future, but it's really hard, and I feel like a heads-up won't hurt. I'm working on drawing closer to you, and I'm getting somewhere but it feels like I still have such a long way to go. I know I just need to trust you, and I do, really, but sometimes worry creeps in and I don't even know how! I really need help with this Lord, I've been trying so hard to do it on my own and it's obviously not working...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

In search of the perfect church...HELP!

If you've been reading my blog, you may know that I moved back to London recently from Nigeria, thanks to a new job God so miraculously provided for me. It's been an interesting journey so far, but all in all, I must say it's been great. My main problem right now is that I'm looking for a church. In one sense, it's not that difficult to find a church, because just like it is in Nigeria, there are quite a few churches in London, in fact probably too many to count. But I'm finding that locating the right church where I can settle down and get involved is actually a lot harder than I thought. It's funny because a couple of months ago a friend of mine was in the same situation; she couldn't find a place to worship that was close enough to her, and the ones that she found, she just didn't feel she was getting anything from so she decided to stay home on Sundays and listen to sermons online. I was kinda telling her off for this, you know, after all the Bible talks about 'meeting together', not just listening to sermons, etc etc. I felt that she should just go somewhere, my reasoning being that anywhere is better than nowhere (within reason of course).

Fast-forward a few months and I'm in the same situation. I've tried a few churches out, but I really am not 'feeling' most of them. I know it's not always about how you feel, and from my experience some churches 'grow' on you. But I strongly believe that where you go to worship is so important, and can either help or hinder you on your journey to your destiny. This is why I really want to know that I'm at the right place. It's frustrating because I so want to find 'the one' but I don't know if that exists (you would think I was talking about finding a husband wouldn't you?)

I feel like some recent stuff that's happened with respect to some churches all over the world, but particularly in the UK have caused me to become wary of even places that look, sound and feel great. I really want somewhere that I can get fed properly, from someone/people that I can trust, but also somewhere I can grow and that I can see myself serving in some form. Oh, and I want somewhere with real people. I feel like some churches seem to be made up of 'happy plastic people' and that puts me off big time (I got that phrase from 'Stained glass masquerade' by 'Casting crowns' by the way- you should check it out). You know, places where you go and it seems like everyone looks perfect; their lives just seem to be in order because they look perfect and in order. I dunno, maybe it's just me but I went to this church recently and as much as I thought the preaching, singing, etc etc were all good, I went home thinking I needed a brand new wardrobe (or a personal stylist) and a nice car as well, to fit into that place. That doesn't mean I wouldn't go back though!

Another place I tried seemed more down-to-earth, but I listened to the sermon and I felt that there was a lot of shouting and jumping up and down, but no substance. I felt like I was being fed milk, not meat, not to talk of bone. I don't know if I'm being too choosy, but it's difficult because there are so many things to consider; how  near the church is to where I live (if I want to attend mid-week meetings this is a biggie cos sometimes what I hear on the news makes me think Nigeria can be safer than London sometimes!), how multicultural the church is (some churches are too 'English', which sometimes but not always, translates to boring, whilst some are too African, or should I say Nigerian, which well, if you're Nigerian, I don't need to explain any further).

Some people love trying out different churches, before settling for one, but I've never been one of those people (wow, the more I write, the more I see similarities between looking for a church and looking for a life-partner! Maybe I should blog about that some day). Anyway, so the whole thing is beginning to get to me a bit cos I just want to settle down and get involved, but I can't seem to find a place I'm completely happy with. I know that no church is perfect because the church is made up of human beings, but I still believe that God puts us in certain places for a reason, and we have a purpose to fulfill wherever we worship. So I don't think I should settle for just any church. Well, the search continues, but please pray for me that I find the right place soonish, and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to share!

Friday, 8 July 2011

It's OK to cry...

It's been an interesting week. Being a female (or should I say human?) can be challenging at times. The emotional roller-coaster is not something I enjoy and I must say I can't wait to get to Heaven. For real. There was a time I never used to cry. I guess I thought it was childish; I'd always been the one people looked up to, and when you have four younger siblings, it is easy to think that you need to be strong and mature all the time. Over the past few years, I've come to learn that there's nothing wrong with crying. It's not a weakness. I mean, Jesus Himself cried at one point so why can't I, right? Anyway, I'm glad that I've finally come to the point where I'm comfortable with being emotional (when appropriate, of course). The thing though, is that most of the time I still like to be in control but sometimes even though I don't want to get emotional, I can't help myself. It can be annoying, but it can also be liberating. One annoying time was when I got really upset that my baby sister was leaving for university. We'd spent the whole summer together and when she left, I was beside myself. I felt kinda silly because it wasn't like something tragic had happened, and I could go visit her whenever I wanted to. I still found myself getting upset even though I didn't want to.

A couple of other examples come to mind. I was in church the other day, and the speaker asked those that had been trying for a baby to stand up, and as I turned around and saw all these couples standing, for some weird reason, I was moved. I don't know why, because I've seen people suffer before and it's had little effect on me. Seriously, I could be consoling someone and not feel a thing. But this day was different; my heart went out to all these couples, and even though I couldn't say I knew exactly how they were feeling, I was moved to tears as I prayed for them. I was surprised. I guess God's doing something special with this heart of mine.

The other occasion happened recently. In my previous post I mentioned that I'm waiting on God for some stuff, and even though I'm OK with waiting, sometimes I find that it's really hard doing so. The other day, I really needed to talk to someone, so I called one of my mentors. She's an older lady with so much wisdom and down-to-earth-ness about her that I knew she'd be of help somehow. Once she heard my voice, she knew. As I started sharing stuff with her, the tears started coming. I'd been feeling a little bit overwhelmed, and I'm learning that talking things through with a patient listener can do wonders for the soul. So I cried, but I didn't feel embarrassed. Instead, I felt good. It was a great release. She gave me some fab advice as well, which I'm already putting into action. You know somewhere in the Bible it talks about a broken and contrite spirit being the sacrifice God accepts. I think that means a lot of things but for me I'm learning that it's also about being vulnerable and open, especially before God. You were not made to be super-human. It's OK to cry sometimes.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

God's waiting room...
So, as I was saying, this book 'Incomparable' by Andrew Wilson is an amazing book. It was given to me by one of my friends for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I put it away somewhere because it didn't look that exciting to me. It was a clear case of judging a book by its cover. Well, recently, I was in one of those 'I need to hear from God' moods and I'd read most of my books so I thought, 'hmmm, maybe I should take a look at this Incomparable book.' It turned out to be a great decision.

So the puzzle I mentioned in my last post turned out to be impossible. For me at least. And the author, and most of the people he knows. After I decided that I couldn't get my head around it, I came to the conclusion that it must be something to do with the way the question was phrased. I think the question makes you think a certain way, which makes you ignore the obvious. Well, that's what I think anyway. So, that particular chapter in the book was talking about God's faithfulness, and how no matter what people say, or how you feel, it doesn't change the fact that God is faithful. In terms of the puzzle, it's a bit like this; Mr Wilson's wife decided that there must be something wrong with the laws of mathematics somewhere, which made it impossible for her to get an answer to the puzzle. It was like saying for example, that maybe, one plus one doesn't equal two after all. She basically believed in her mathematical abilities more than she did in the laws of mathematics. Mr Wilson did point out though, that he thought she was joking. But the point he was trying to make was this; even if there is something going on in your life that you can't get your head round, even if it seems to you that God is not faithful, or keeping to His word, even if everything seems to point to the fact that God is unfaithful, it can't be, because God IS faithful. Just like the laws of maths will always hold no matter how much the situation seems to point to the contrary. 

God has always come through for me, and I have to constantly remind myself that He is faithful, no matter how I feel. At the moment, I'm waiting on Him for some stuff. Some very important stuff. Like the most important stuff in my life right now. Who would've thought eh, barely a month after He sorted me out with some other important stuff. So, I was thinking how it seems to me like God always gives me just enough trials to keep me coming back to Him. I guess He loves hearing my voice. I also think one of the things God is teaching me (which I thought I'd learnt but turns out I haven't) is what waiting on Him really means. I'm so impatient, I absolutely hate waiting for stuff, especially when I don't see the need to wait. But anyway, with this one, there's absolutely nothing I can do and I just have to sit and wait. It sucks. But I'm learning. To prove that I am, I wrote a poem and I've decided to share it with you. Enjoy!

                                  Waiting well

It's been three months, and I'm still waiting for an answer
Three long months, still waiting at the feet of the master
'When, when, when!' is all my heart keeps crying
I know you said to wait, but I can't seem to stop prying

Another month rolls by, and I think now is the time
But nothing happens and I begin to wonder, 'Is the fault mine?'
How much longer Lord, will I have to wait
Surely four months is a great test for my faith!

But then I decide to take a look at Your scriptures
For in it, I find a glimpse of my own future
Turns out waiting is actually for my benefit
For when it is over, I'll be complete and spiritually fit

So I ask for grace to wait, and not impatiently
To take the lessons and learn them most thoroughly
For if I can wait with joy, not expecting you to tell
I'd have mastered the art of waiting, not just waiting, but waiting well