Your Word is light – a reflection

In the wake of all that’s happening in our world today, it’s very easy to forget that there is #hope.

God loves and longs for all people — white, black, male, female, young, old, and the diverse in-betweens.

In his heart is love.
In his way is life.
And in his word is light.

For those who believe, do not forget that there is #truth and #justice and #mercy and #healing in God’s word.

Maybe if we immerse ourselves in the person of Jesus Christ through His word, our hearts will be flooded with light and we will gain wisdom to be the hands and feet and voices of healing and justice our world desperately needs today.

“YOUR WORD IS LIGHT” is a self-reminder of the power in God’s word.

USEFUL LINKS

StoryVox Podcast
The Curious Case of Doctor Maundy

A Miracle in the Valley

IT WAS FIRST SILENCE. Deadly silence.

He could almost hear a pin drop.
From the cliff where he stood, he saw that the valley stretched before him was a white carpet. With brown patches. As he descended the hill on the wings of the Spirit, he saw the carpet take a three-dimensional form. With contours.

White carpet? Hardly.

White carpet – bones, thousands of them. Brown patches – sand.

He didn’t believe his eyes! Shapes like skulls, breast bones, fists and — what the…

He stepped down into the valley and was at eye level with the bones. Frowning skulls, clenched fists, flexed thigh bones across broken hip sockets. They all seemed poised to action, but without a flesh. They were disjointed.

Dry. And. Very dead.

He went round them and thought he was seeing faces. Depressed, downcast ones. Wishing they had won the battle that brought them down in this valley. He was probably unborn when the war was fought and ten years old when the bald vultures got tired of meat.

His face squeezed in a grimace as desperation rushed through his veins. The gory sight made him queasy.

Dry bones in the valley of death.

But before he got overwhelmed with sadness, the master GOD tapped his shoulder and said, “Son of Man, can these bones live?”

Live? Dry bones. How long does it take a human being to decompose to dry bones – ten years, twenty? He could have looked it up on Google.

If souls do travel by foot after death, theirs would have reached their destination long ago. Now to call them back?

I don’t know, he thought. But he knew better than to voice his doubts. So he said, “Master GOD, only you know that.”

Yes. This was the Master GOD, not mere man. This was the One who made a walled highway on the Red sea by the wand of a cane walking stick. This was One who made dresses that grew through the years so His people did not need to swap dresses. It was Him who rained manna from heaven for food. Same God who scolded His people and drew them back to Himself.

Only You know that. Only You can know that.

What is death?

Hopes lost. Dreams dashed. Heightened expectations crushed.
Being dead is like being in sin, being alienated from God and condemned to the harsh consequences of iniquity.

Death is what happens to a substance addict who isn’t himself when there is no fix. His sanity and sobriety are dead. His joy is late. He ravages mummy’s drawers, steals her trinkets or dad’s suit pocket for cash so he can fix himself up. Or else –

A dead guy is like a victim of a bad habit like a furious temper. No one knows when he will let rip so everyone plays safe around him. Don’t annoy him or he becomes a big red machine -energetic on the outside but he feels dead within. Self-control, love is dead.

When you set out to execute the bright ideas that pop up in your consciousness, you always meet a dead-end. No matter how hard you try to study for a test, you still flunk it. When you manage to keep your head above the water in school, but you know you won’t stay afloat for long, that’s dead-ness.

Or those bright ideas are limited by a debilitating physical illness. You can’t help but feel dead and wimpy.

Do you see yourself like the colt tied to the stakes? It has never been used. It has potentials, but still tied. Maybe his owners felt he’s still too small, or has a weakness they do not want to risk exposing.

Like dad and mum does to you – you’re still too small. You stammer or can’t speak your bright ideas in front of a crowd. Potentiated but restricted –more or less dead.

Or you have a fear of failure that makes you fail the test in your mind before even writing it. You’re already dead before you start living.

Dead. Dead. Dead.

If it takes years for human bones to decay, it means you’ve had this problem for long.

So Master GOD spoke again: Speak my words to these bones.

Ezekiel did speak and there was a rustling sound. The bones began to shake and come together. At first it was bone to bone, then muscles, subcutaneous tissue, ligaments, tendons, skin and hair began to form on the bones. Before He knew it, complete humans were fashioned.

Then He prophesied to the wind – which promptly responded and gave them the breath of life. They lived and became an exceeding great army. The dry bones became an exceeding great army. Once again. And for the rest of the day, he walked around dazed because he had seen a miracle.

Yes, what you need is His Word, the very one that created the beautiful universe. The very One that came down, lived among us and saved us – you need Jesus Christ. The very one that is ready to make you alive again.

Ezekiel saw a miracle. Do you want to see one?

Then come to the source of the God kind of life. Jesus awaits you at the well. His words are spirit-words; it gives Life to dead things.

He says:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Will you come to the valley?

God raised Jesus from the dead, and if God’s Spirit is living in you, he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from the dead, and he will give life through his Spirit that lives in you.
Romans 8:11 NCV

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A Miracle in the Valley is a tiny part of the first draft of an upcoming anthology set to release in 2021. Watch out for more details soon.

This article was written in 2012. References: Ezekiel 37, Matthew 11:28-30, John 6:63. Article initially inspired by “Spirit Wind,” a song by Casting Crowns

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USEFUL LINKS

StoryVox Podcast
The Curious Case of Doctor Maundy

My Lollipop

“Count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done…”

That is the song that awoke my heart this morning.

It’s Thanksgiving and as each year unfolds the complexities of life, I have found many reasons to be thankful. I have learned to savor God’s goodness in all of life as a child savors the sweetness of lollipop as he licks the juice off of it. That’s why I call this illustration “my lollipop.”

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God‘s goodness to me is like candy to my soul. Though it doesn’t determine my commitment to Him, it sure sweetens the deal.😁

I’m thankful for a life of purpose.
I’m thankful for the gift of Creativity and the transformation it brings.
I’m thankful for my wife, and the gift of love.
I’m thankful for the gift of family.
I’m thankful for friends who have become family and we’ve sharpened each other.
I’m thankful for life’s challenges because I see and know him who is able to guide me in this uncharted terrain.
I’m thankful for the joy and strength that comes from God’s presence.
I’m thankful for the health God gives to his earthen vessels!
I’m thankful for Hope that comes from faith.
I’m thankful for direction and discretion.
I’m thankful for Grace that teaches me to give my best yes!
I’m thankful for a whole lot more!

Savor your lollipop and be thankful!

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As you Count your blessings, name them one by one, may you have a joy-filled Thanksgiving and a super end of the year as well!

Happy Thanksgiving from @studio1352

Toluwanimi

Word Wielders

I remember a song we used to sing in Sunday school when I was younger:

Read your Bible, Pray everyday

Pray everyday. Pray everyday

Read your Bible, Pray everyday

If you want to grow.

I’m sure you also have learnt this short and beautiful song, except you didn’t grow up in church. But whatever your case is, this little song wields in its lyrics, a timeless proven truth that has often been forgotten by ‘growing’ Christians.

Jesus never grew out of the scriptures. Instead, his father’s words were a constant guide to his life’s purpose, the basis of His principles, the fuel to his authority, the source of power over temptations, and the strength to do God’s will completely. Little wonder he kept saying “It is written” or “that the scriptures might be fulfilled…”

The word is Power and it is perfect. Psalm 18: 30 (ESV) says “This God–his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” God’s word – in the Bible – has been proven time and again in people’s lives, and will never be out of relevance.

This Book seems to the 21st century Christian, an old fashioned book. I hear Christians say to their friends “Leave Bible, and let’s face reality.” What can be more real that this God-breathed word?

It is the only book that carries a lifelong transforming power behind every letter. It is through this mirror that we see the reflection of our character. It crosses the boundaries of time, age, race and civilization to touch the heart of anyone that dares to open it. Its truth dictates the course of humanity and the universe at large and its examples will ever be applicable till world-end.

In which other book do you get the privilege, as you read to converse with the author, to enter his mind and grasp d meaning of the words both in itself and in context to your situation? Which author writes and gives readers ability to do what he writes? Which single volume permeates every sphere of human life, contains speaking instructions on how to live life to the fullest best? None other than the Bible!

But we let this gather dust on our shelves, or night stands, or at best, behind our pillow. We are quick to forget that it’s not wielding the leather-bound, paperback or hard cover book that sends evil fleeing, but the “entrance (opening) of the Word” that gives light (wisdom and understanding) in our situations. Ps 119:97-104,130.

We buy our beautiful Bibles and then refuse to open it except in Church on Sundays – which is largely insufficient. Our principles are supposed to be founded on the word, and not what the TV and newspapers say or what is politically correct.

But the sad truth is that Christians apply principles without looking up the Bible for validation. Just because it’s taught in Church doesn’t mean it is true.

Act 17:11: Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (NIV).

I love the 1st century AD Berean Christians, who, even though when someone as respected as Paul taught, they still checked up what he said with the words of their Lord, and God, Jesus Christ. Do you do that?

We do more of prayer, without even knowing that understanding God’s word provides us the right words to pray. It also tells us what not to pray – you know it’s not everything that God wants us to pray about; there are some issues that get settled just by following some particular instructions in the Bible.

2Ti 3:15 – And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

I think we largely miss out on God’s workings and ways because of our ignorance of the word. So just remember, “Read your Bible, pray every day, if you want to grow!”

God looks for Word wielders, those who will rightly divide the word of truth and live out the Word in their daily lives to the glory of His name. Will you be one?