As we close twenty fourteen…

Hello.
I want to share with you what I’ve learnt in 2014. It has been an adventure-with both its exhilarating and scary moments…

Please note:
When the words in scripture were written, there were no scriptural references because they were being lived. When we read scripture, God’s intention is that we live the words – so I will not add scripture verses to this post, but know that that these words are firmly embedded on the bedrock of scriptures and the Holy spirit, and the power of a testimonial life.

Here are they:

The importance of a word from God for every phase of your life cannot be over-emphasized. Listen to it and run with it.

When a wound heals, it won’t be painful anymore.

There are Divine interruptions – approach them in faith as a gift from God.

Little is big when God is in it.

God’s word never fails- He always keeps his part of the covenant.

Never back down from your God-given dreams.

When God gives a vision, there will surely be a provision for it. God-work is done by God-strength. Trust Him.

When you remember the last point, know that it is time to keep your part.

Accidents happen, but what will come out of it? Will it be to God’s glory.

image

If the dream God has placed in your heart or an assignment He asks you to do, or a life He calls you to live is achievable by your sheer strength, then it’s not from God.

Risk: every life of purpose has this word in his/her didictionary.
You may not the see the whole map or pathway stretched out before you, but make sure you follow the Guide and watch out the milestones and road signs.

There is something like Destiny links-people God Will bring your way to help you to take a further step into Destiny. Watch out for them!

When God says He makes things beautiful in His own time, He isn’t kidding. He will do it in HIS own time. Not yours.

God knows how to clear our flops when we place them in his hands.

Fear and the devil will always be present at every decision point in your life, especially when big things are at stake. God doesn’t drive away the spectators and witnesses. They just shouldn’t make the decisions for you. Always remember that they are not the stakeholders.

You are not always high up there! There are low points… But just make sure you are not out there.

It’s not only about the big days and the phenomenal events, the in-between days matter too… Those quiet days when nothing big seems to be happening. Always that those days are preparatory periods- don’t joke with them.

Everything may not happen the way you want it, but God promises they will work out for good (His purpose).

God’s got your best interest at heart. You can fall forwards.

Keep hope alive- ours doesn’t disappoint.

#Stilllearning

Cheers,
Toluwanimi

Wish list

Hello,

I planned re-posting the Boxing Day article I wrote years ago, but something happened yesterday I must mention to you.

I had always read about the nice tradition of parents wrapping gifts in stockings and under the Christmas tree so that their kids would open them on Christmas morning and behold what items on their wish list were granted.

I had read it in books – especially in the book I’m reading presently [ Sarah Palin’s Good Tidings and Great Joy]- that she used to make her own family gifting experience extra edgy by hiding the gifts and putting clues for the children starting from the stockings…

But I saw it with my own eyes this Christmas when I visited my cousins.

I woke up 2 am yesterday morning to come drink some water in the kitchen. The lights were off downstairs but the beam from the bedroom cast light across a corner of the living room, where the 5-foot tall Christmas tree stood near the wall mounted TV.

I spotted some colourful gift bags under the Christmas tree – which weren’t there the night before.

Wow! Gifts!

I was excited and happy for my cousins, as I had seen one of their wish lists the day before.

While I quietly took water and tip toed back into bed, I wondered the excitement and anticipation that will well up from my cousins when they pry open the gifts boxes to unveil what’s in there.

They didn’t get to open the gift boxes until after church.

But, one could almost palpate the gratitude in their eyes as they unveiled their gifts. I couldn’t get a camera there to capture the expressions on their faces, I would have posted it.

That’s not the whole story…

My aunt told me my bag as there too… and I experienced my own secret wish list granted – a new phone!

the gift bag

 

Gifting in Christmas is a culture that probably takes cue from the wise men’s gifts to Jesus.  Or let me say from God who gave us Jesus Christ as a gift of Love. John 3:16

Individuals and families share gifts with people of Christmas day and other days following. But in English-speaking countries, the day following Christmas Day is called ‘Boxing Day’. This word comes from the custom which started in the Middle Ages around 800 years ago: churches would open their ‘alms boxe’ (boxes in which people had placed gifts of money) and distribute the contents to poor people in the neighbourhood on the day after Christmas. The tradition continues tody, though receding in popularity.

Do you know that more than the physical wish lists we write, there is a wish list in the heart of every man – that unspoken expectation of healing, that request for freedom for sin, the deep thirst for fulfilment, the yearning and longing for meaning to life and the search for true peace.

When the world pried open the gift of Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, the Bible recorded there was joy, peace and goodwill to men. These can be a personal experience of any man who will invite Christ into his or her life.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

John 3:16 [the message]

Stop to consider: have you received the gift?

 

Boxing Day reminds us of the importance of giving. It tells us to box good things and give.

Let me box you a gift: that’s what it means.

Romans 8:32 – He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

The first giver was God. He still is. He gave Christ and all other things we need every day – freely and abundantly. He gives us our breath, the beautiful sun, flowers; the intelligence man boasts of, beauty we go crazy about, the opportunity to know Him personally and the Spirit that empowers us to do exploit.  He gives us talents too!

While the devil gives us small costly things, Jesus freely gives big things.

This should remind us to share the greatest gift, Christ Jesus, with others as we have received, through our words, deeds and life.

Matthew 10:8- Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

But you know, God freely gives us so we can freely give too. His grace is not to be hoarded but to be distributed to profit everybody – to draw people to the Kingdom and to strengthen those in it already. Doing less is falling short of His expectations.

Mat 5:14-16 – Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Everywhere we go, we should remember that we can give too. The world is dark. Evil prevails and permeates everywhere. But Christ came to give light. He has released it to those who believe and he expects us to give light to others. We are lights of the world – we should give our lights to illuminate dark places.

1 Corinthians 2:12 – Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

So now, many people do not know they have been given all they need to live a godly and abundant life. They suffer in the midst of plenty. Once you connect to Christ by believing on Him and accepting Him, eternal life and a lifetime of blessing was credited to your account. It is your duty to get to the depth of knowledge and mine the riches.

Then give freely!

If you have received Christ, why not share with someone today? A word, a prayer, a meal, a smile or deed borne with the spirit of Christ can touch someone’s heart forever.

God’s blessings as you give,

Toluwanimi

 

P.S.: As I unwrapped the phone from its package, I remembered telling a friend I needed a phone few months ago. She asked me to be specific before God. There, I asked for a phone. And I got it.

I challenge you, what is in your wish list?

God’s word says “Ask and it shall be given you…”

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 1 John 5:14

Believe it!

 

Christmas Day

Yesterday, I wrote about the journey to Bethlehem – how it would have been on that first eve.

But, that was not all. Today, I tell you about the first “Christmas.”

Enjoy.  This is a long post, but it’s worth the read.

Arrival in Bethlehem brought worry and upset: there was no room for them to stay at the hotel. There was only space in the stable – the animal house for travellers’ donkeys and horses.

 Away in the manger, no crib for a bed.

The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head…

Something amazing happened that night.

Jesus was born that night, and unlike many of us, there was no bed for him. They used an animal feeding box filled with the dry grass the animals ate.

Christmas cards and pictures today make it all seem very nice. In truth, it must have been dirty and frightening for a young couple, far from their home and families. Possibly the birth was premature after the stress of the journey.

This was a very poor place for Jesus to start his life on earth.

In a little town of Bethlehem, the saviour of the earth was born. He didn’t descend from the skies in purple robes, a crown on His head and a host of angels.

He did not drop off the cloud armed with swords and spears with a wicked grin on his face.

He was born. In a stable.

The Israelites thought he would deliver them from the physical oppression of the Romans. Jesus gives more. LIFE – He came to give the whole world peace with their God.

Sadly, many didn’t understand.

Christians believe that it was exactly God’s plan that things happened this way. They say that it shows that Jesus came as a humble, poor person and not as a strong, rich king.

Five hundred years before, the prophet Micah had said,

“But you Bethlehem, though you are small, out of you will come for me, one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

The prophet Isaiah had written,

“A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counsellor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.” His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace…

He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time.”

 

These are only two of many prophetic words that told of the birth and life of Jesus, written hundreds of years before His birth.

At that time, sheep farmers were seen by other people as low and of no value. Yet it was to these shepherds that the birth of Jesus was first announced in an amazing dramatic way: “That night there were some men looking after sheep in the fields nearby. Suddenly they saw a great light. It was an angel, who said,

‘Don’t be afraid. I have good news for you, and for all people. Someone great has been born today. He is Christ, the great King you have been waiting for. He will save you from all that is wrong and evil. You will find him dressed in baby clothes, lying on a bed of dry grass.'”

After Jesus was born, wise men came to look for Him, from an area which is now in either Iran or Saudi Arabia. Although they are often called the “Three Kings”, the Bible does not say how many there were, or that they were kings. Three is only a guess because they brought with them three gifts.

They were certainly men of learning – probably today we would call them philosophers or scientists. They had seen an unusual new star in the sky, and knew that it told of the birth of a special king. (The star they saw was probably a exploding “supernova” and is known from astronomical records.) They followed the direction of the star and eventually found the place where Mary, Joseph and Jesus were staying.

To bring honour to the child, they brought rich gifts: gold, frankincense (a resin which burns with a beautiful smell), and myrrh (plant oil with a very strong sweet smell). These gifts tell us in pictures three key things about Jesus:

Gold: a gift fit for a King

Frankincense: burnt in worship of God

Myrrh: a sign of mortal human-ness – it was used to bury the dead

 

 

After Jesus was born, a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.” When word of their inquiry got to Herod, king of that territory, he was terrified–and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well.

He lost no time, but gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and found out where the Messiah was supposed to be born?”

They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly.

Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”

Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child.

They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!  They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.

In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.

After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt.”

Herod, when he realized that the scholars had tricked him, flew into a rage. He commanded the murder of every little boy two years old and under who lived in Bethlehem and its surrounding hills. (He determined that age from information he’d gotten from the scholars.)

“But how did it end?”

Christmas is about Christ, nothing else.

Jesus came to earth, and then we can’t stop talking about him. Whether you love him, hate him or are indifferent, you can’t stop thinking about Him. No other person has had such an influence on human lives as Jesus.

He was born. To die.

We celebrate Jesus Christ who laid aside His majesty in heaven, gave up everything for us, suffered in the hands of those He created. He took all our guilt and shame, when he died and rose again. Now today He reigns and is over heaven and earth exalted. Because He did all what God asked him to do, we celebrate Him.

A sad story took place to produce the joyful glory we celebrate at Christmas. So dark was the time when He bore the sins of all man – mine and yours – to produce the brightness of God in us.

Because the work of Christ on the cross is perfected in my life, I can celebrate Christmas. I’m saved, so I can appreciate what He has done for me. I can use this season to deepen my walk with him.

But if you have not come to acknowledge Christ’s sacrifice, Christmas will not make much sense to you. You will just eat, be filled and tag along with those who are celebrating. Take a moment to think: Why should I celebrate Christmas? If Christ’s work is not perfected in my life, it’s no use celebrating.

You can as well buy a cat or something.

But I tell you, it’ll be the greatest decision of your life to allow the work of Christ be perfected in you. The world is lost in sin and is fast spiraling into doom and all in it. Religion does not save. Only Christ does. He rescues us from the evil one and secures our place in eternity with God. He stretches out his hands to you this Christmas.

The Bible says He came back to life again, and millions say they know Him today as a saviour, friend and helper in their lives.

Rather than toss out this material, you can find out more about Him. Is He who He claimed to be? Can He help us in our lives today?

You have nothing to lose by just finding out!

Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, this is time to, at least, stop and think about these important questions.

christmas

From me, it’s Merry Christmas,

Toluwanimi

Kick-Start with God

new yr

Hi,

This is a draft of a thought that crossed my mind as I was walking round the hospital grounds where I’m having my medical training. I’ve not so much of fleshed it, but I know it will be applicable to us this January, since we’re still at the year’s beginning.

Do you know that in the aviation industry, the most critical periods of air travel is the take-off of the plane and the landing? This is the period where the control terminal is most active, making sure that the plane taxis properly, lifts off the ground in good style and lands in its destination.

Same with surgery, it is in the intubation and extubation periods in anaesthesia that most complications do occur. The surgery is usually successful in itself. So proper pre-and post-operative management was the first topic we were taught in my first Surgery rotation.

This principle applies to your life. Your beginning and our end matters a lot. Many folks have disordered lives because their beginning was faulty. Many ventures close down because there was no workable continuity plan at the beginning.

So in short: Beginning is for planning and End is for evaluation.

God is interested in your beginning as well as your end. The devil knows your beginning is important, that is why he makes sure you have a very rough start so much that you spend the rest of life figuring out the pieces of your shattered past. Then he stays at the end of the year, to prevent you from making an evaluation for progress.

This year, He is there to make sure that you do not get a good start. Be wary!

Do a quick, an evaluation of your life. Are you in congruence with the plan you made with God at the beginning of this year? Are you living as Christ wants you to?

Okay, even if it is like you’re making a mess of things right now, though you’ve had a rough start, you can find a new beginning in God, and live a life that will end well.

Thanks to God who has given you a new beginning in Christ. When you fall, rise again!

But you know, you don’t necessarily have to fall if you keep yielding moment by moment to God. 1 Peter 2:21

How the aircraft people and surgeons do this is to know what will make a successful ride or surgery, take precautions, be aware of the pitfalls, learn how to overcome them.

Apply these same principles to your life – Discover what God’s will for you is and make plans to achieve it (Ephesians 5:15-17). Grow in knowledge of what God wants you to do, and what it takes to achieve success in life, then go for it.

Identify and avoid the pitfalls, Take heed lest you fall. Pray and commune with the Holy Spirit at all times. You will experience GRACE all through this year.

Above all, be calm for the master is with you. Matthew 14:27.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi