Sunday, 25 December 2011

Get down on your knees!

'The Christmas story goes like this: 'There were...shepherds...keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them...The angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger' (Luke 2:8-12 NKJV). 
Have you ever wondered why the angel first talked to shepherds, a job considered lowest on the social totem pole? Think about it: if he'd talked to church leaders they'd have had to consult their doctrinal text books and denominational boards. If he'd appeared to celebrities they'd have had to check and see who was watching. If he'd appeared to chief executives they'd have had to consult their diaries and spread sheets. So he gave the greatest news story in history to those with no axe to grind, no reputation to protect and no ladder to climb; people with simple child-like faith. Getting the idea? 
Outside Bethlehem there is a church marking Jesus' birthplace. Behind the altar is a cave with a symbolic star embedded in the floor. You can enter the cave but with one requirement- you must kneel. The door is too low to get in standing up! God still operates that way. You will find Him among the commonplace. But to experience Him, you must get down on your knees.'

This was taken from today's 'UCB The Word for today'. Hope you were blessed reading it. Enjoy the video below- I just discovered it. It's 'Jesus be the centre' by Israel Houghton. Hope you have an amazing Christmas celebration and wonderful new year!!!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Something for all the single ladies (and the men too...)

You're single. You want to be married. Or at least be in a loving relationship that's going somewhere. You believe God has someone for you. You've been waiting a while but he hasn't come yet. What do you do in the meantime? Sample the market? Go for it with the next best thing? 

A good friend sent me this video earlier on today and I completely forgot about it till this evening when I was looking for something to watch online. I must confess I only tend to watch videos online when I've got nothing else to do. It drives my friends and family crazy because I never watch the videos they send me! 

Anyhoo, I know most of us have seen it all, listened to sermons and read all the books (Bimbo Odukoya, Michelle McKinney Hammond* etc etc) ever written for singletons, but please, I beg you, watch this video. After watching it, watch it again. I watched it and I was encouraged, uplifted, challenged, inspired, you name it! The truths coming out of this woman's mouth are so deep and powerful I don't even think she realises it. Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think!

*If I told you how many of this woman's books I have, you wouldn't believe me!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

My tramp experience

So you've probably seen the video of the lady* being racist on a tram in London. If you haven't, here it is for your viewing pleasure. Or not. I was going to post something with the above title on my facebook page but just as the thought came to me, another thought hit me. What makes me different from that lady? OK, of course I'm not racist, I don't go about hurling abuse at people because they look different from me. I don't go about swearing and telling people to go and sort out their countries and leave mine alone. No, I don't do all those things. So the tram lady is a bad woman. She is an evil, horrible person. Or is she?

I read something the day before I saw that video for the first time. It was written by the guy at 'Single dad laughing'. I love that blog. He's a very successful blogger/writer and when you read his stuff you can see why. Anyway, the post was titled 'I'm Christian, unless you're gay'. It's a very challenging piece of writing. The whole gist of it is about love, i.e. we can't claim to be Christians if we don't show love to the people around us. And I'm not talking about that 'church love' where we smile with our teeth and say 'I love you with the love of the Lord'. I mean loving people that are different from us. Loving people that don't look like us, talk like us, dress like us or act like us. It's not easy, but that's what being a Christian is all about, and I was challenged. So, I encourage you to read that post; it might change your life, as it has already done for many.

So, back to the tram lady. Are we really that different from her? Now, I'm not saying we are all bad, horrible people; we all know some are worse than others. But seriously though, if your mind was open for all to see and read, would they be encouraged or outraged by what they see? Would they think 'wow, I'm blessed' or would they think 'you hypocrite!'? I don't know about you but I don't think I'd be comfortable with people knowing my thoughts 24/7. Maybe it's just me. The thing is we may not openly insult someone but how many times have we done it in our minds? We may say we're not racist but how many times have we said words like 'you know how these white people can be' or something similar? Or for my fellow Nigerians how many times have we judged someone just because they're from a different tribe? (If you don't have close friends that are from a different tribe/race from you, be honest and ask yourself why). How many times have we looked at someone weirdly maybe because they're too fat ('all she does is stuff her face'), or too skinny ('she must be bulimic/anorexic'), or ugly ('hasn't she heard of make-up'?) or loud ('she obviously didn't have a good upbringing')?

Now I'm not condoning what the woman did (heck, I'm one of the immigrants she was insulting!) but what I'm trying to say is that none of us are perfect. Let me bring it back to the Bible. You know Jesus actually said if you look at a someone lustfully you've already committed adultery in your heart with them. Hating someone in your heart is equivalent to murder. I didn't say it, He did. I must say I joined in with the conversations about how terrible this woman is, how her poor child would grow up to be a monster because he has to hear this everyday, how she obviously is uneducated and ignorant, etc, etc. But then I hear about people sending her death threats and I'm like, who is worse- the racist lady or the person that wants to kill her? Let him that is without sin cast the first stone, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to get us thinking. There are racist people in this world, and there always will be. Some may need a bit of alcohol to get them going, but most are very good at hiding it. We don't have to be OK with it, but we can accept that fact and get on with our lives. Go to work on yourself first and you'll be amazed at what a better place this world can be. #justsaying.

*I use this term very loosely.