EXPERIENCE OF A MAN WHO HAS SEEN LOVE

Though the sun escapes beyond the rifts the clouds makes,
The smells of dawn scents,
Woven sounds of streams and breeze,
From young- never cease,
All birthing from genesis
What’s been said,
Saying let there be light,
Let it be bright-,
The day time,
Let there be night,

Yet none stand His words,
Spirit-life words,
Through by we were formed,
Blessing invoked,
When He said,
Let’s make man in our image,
After our likeness,

Having what he loves-
Of his wills-
What he like less,
Oh! A lofty hope of divine liberty,
He in fore-age,
Knew us by names,
Portioned us into diverse ministries,
By the fore known destinies,
Giving grace, blessing us His’,
From a strong heart
Sunk and sickened
With excess of love,

ChyD
© 2019

The Comforter

When we met I gently opened myself and allowed him in, I couldn’t wait for him to explore my body and soul. 

Like an engine in need of oil I needed his lubrication to get me flowing. He didn’t disappoint, it’s not in his nature to. 

He touched me here and there, overwhelming yet satisfying I stayed put uttering words I was not taught to speak 

Devilish!

This must be devilish I thought 
Confused, I jerked up binding and casting, asking for forgiveness, I could imagine him in shock saying “what is my lover doing”?

I really didn’t care, my sanity was primary at the time. 

“Lord can you hear me” I screamed more 

“Do you consent to this”?

Silence was all I got until I looked down and saw the words Be Anxious For Nothing 

Suddenly it dawned 

The Spirit within 
The comforter 
The awaited day 
A new form of communication

by Imani Dokubo (2019)

Doubts, Me and God.

When I first faced doubts about God’s love for me, I was thirteen years old. I would love that you read to the end.

Experience has taught me how natural doubts are. They never mean that you are not a child of God. They only show that you are living in the physical too because, really, we are living in two worlds simultaneously, the spiritual and the physical so while we live in a world that is intangible, we also live in a world that our five senses interact with. Tangible. Point is, I am a child of God and I doubted.

I didn’t lose a loved one to doubt God’s love for me. I did lose but I’d already started doubting before then. I made prayers and didn’t see the answers. I tried to convince myself that God had a better answer because I was told that God usually had three answers, it was either a ‘Yes’, a ‘No’ or ‘Wait/Not now’.

Well, wasn’t God just unpredictable? I remember back then, I’d go to a church meeting and see other people fall under the “anointing” and think to myself, “What about me?” When prophecies came for people, I’d pray and hope that I would at least receive mine. I doubt I still need to say I didn’t. This was all before I lost a cousin to cancer. I’d watched my mum develop high blood pressure while she spent all her money treating my cousin with both ‘white’ and ‘black’ medicine before she passed on and everyone said “Let the will of God be done”. So I doubted.

One day at school, the principal said, “God will punish everyone that steals” annoI just felt, well, they deserve it. Truth is, you might find a lot of people say God punishes people but He loves them. This would have been fine if they said it with the plain reason the writer of the Hebrews had when he said, “The Lord chastens the son He loves” but no, They believe once you lose your job, it would be for something wrong (in the sight of God) you have done or you fall ill and people start asking, “Have you asked God for forgiveness?” “Have you really reflected on what could have led to this?” Oh. No one’s ever asked you that? But I bet one day, it seemed  like you woke on the wrong side of the bed and you started asking, “What have I done wrong?” Done wrong to who? And getting punished by who? 

So deep seated in our consciousness is the idea that God is holy and will therefore do whatever is “just” and “right” as He deems fit, no matter how evil it is. And no. We don’t like to call anything something as ‘killing’ evil if we “know” God to be the doer. We say things like, “Maybe God just took his daughter to test his love for Him. Weren’t those assumptions? Plus when did the value of evil change depending on who does it? There were doubts.

But Apostle James said God does no evil. He said by the Holy Ghost that God is not tempted of evil neither does He tempt any man that way. God said we should not kill or steal and infact, the ten commandments are written in one line. Love. He would not do contrary because He is love and He is unchanging. The fruits of the Spirit do not include killing or anger or even jealousy. Why even did Jesus say “Be like your Father who causes His sun to shine on both the just and the ungodly?” and why did Apostle Paul say in Ephesians 5 that we should be imitators of God by walking in love if all this  doesn’t show that God has just one disposition? Love! I didn’t know and so I doubted.

I can say my doubts were dispelled completely as I learnt from the writer of Hebrews that Jesus is the image of God, the full representation of who God is and I gleaned from the prophecy of Jeremiah (31:34) that we will all know God and the stability of His character when we understand how He forgives. How does He forgive? 

Jesus Christ, when He was asked how many times forgiveness is required, gave a brief reply heavily laddened with meaning. Seventy times seven. He was saying “Behave like God”, ” Forgive uncountably”, “Do not bear the number in mind”, “Forgive ahead of time”.

Same way Apostle Paul revealed in Corinthians that In Christ, God reconciled men to Himself and everyone who believed (in Christ) was a new creature whose sins were not being put against him. The Holy Ghost was teaching through the apostle that we receive forgiveness as a gift and that you were forgiven before you even faltered. What were those things that made me doubt again? What are those things that make you wonder, ‘Oh where is God? Why does He seem to be like this?

Well, Jesus, the image of God healed and if He healed, it means God doesn’t put illnesses in people or “permit” them. We live in a world whose system is dead. If Jesus cast out devils, He was opening our eye to say, ‘See! You did nothing to deserve this. God is not in it!” How about when He calmed the storm? He was saying, “God’s hand isn’t in these natural disasters” Don’t you love God? It was personally a relief to me to know that the enemy, subtle thief as he is was the complete evil. It unburdened me to know God is always for His creation.

Even as I read the popular John 3:16, I learnt that God’s love is seen in the fact that He gave Christ(His son) to die and take our place in judgement so that we are declared innocent. Apostle Paul supported the truth by again declaring in Romans that Christ showed His love for us by dying not for a good or righteous-in-themselves humanity but for a world of sinners and in Ephesians, he buttressed his point saying that God’s show of love supersedes all that we can imagine or hope for because He blessed us with all good things in God (spiritual blessings), made us partakers of the divine nature and given us authority by seating us with Him. Ah!

I tell you! I doubted no more!

I’ve been through the valley of doubt but have learnt that, in that valley is where the enemy wants to have us all. In the pit of fear. I’ve learned by gazing on the love of Christ that I can put faith in the God who is good and true. I can put faith in the God who loves because it is His nature, not based on my doings and appearances. I have learnt much more that God’s love for me is primarily seen in the eternal life in His son(1Jn 5:11-13) and the gift of no condemnation(Rom.8:1) all my possession because I received His spirit on believing(Eph 1:13), not necessarily in good grades or income flow or working inter-personal relationships because they are controlled by men. 

All the while, it hadn’t been God. It was me. My mind being tilled by the enemy. I now not only receive edification, prophecies or healings but I also give by the Spirit at work in every believer because I have learnt that faith in His name and acting on what the word says is all the victory I need ‘coz there is no limit to what God can do through the willing. 

I renewed my mind in the word and began to know God. Light came and dispelled darkness. Love came and chased fear. Faith came and doubts were gone. I have learnt to take my stand with God’s word. You should.

by Buzhoo (2019)

BOOK REVIEW: NORTH by BUSAYO KEHINDE

Reviewer: Ubamara Ezenobi.

Life happens to everyone. It’s inevitable. The things that you never imagine would ever happen to you could take place in the blink of an eye. You could become a person you never imagined you would be in the space of a few days. In these times we are thrown off balance, left to decide who or what to hold onto as anchor. In this book, North, Busayo Kehinde tells us in the best way possible, the best direction to follow.

North is the story of a young woman, Laura, who goes through much distress in life despite her love for God. First, she loses her younger brother to leukaemia. Next is her dad who walks out on them. And then, as though she has not lost enough, she loses her fiancé who loved God so much, to a lifestyle of drugs and women. Eventually, he dies. These tragedies turn her south, and she decides she doesn’t believe in God anymore.

Busola helps us realize that it’s not really about the many challenges you face, but about what you choose at the end of the day: life, or not. By placing special characters like little Ire who battles with sickle cell anaemia yet has unwavering faith in God, and other people who constantly remind her of God’s love, especially for her, the author shows us that God knows us inside out, and knows how best to proceed with healing us, and blessing us beyond our wildest dreams.

For Busola Kehinde, North is the direction that leads us above, and to choose north, is to choose life. In the epilogue, she shares from her personal experience how she has had to choose north at different points in her life, just like her key character. She enjoins us to choose life, to keep choosing life no matter what, and to never lose trust in God.

North is a book to read now. No matter where you are, it’s going to meet you right there and bless you tremendously.

Click HERE to Get the book

© Ubamara Ezenobi, 2019

I HAVE SEEN LOVE

Though the sun
Escapes beyond the rifts the cloud makes
The scent of dawn
Woven in sounds of streams and breeze

All birthing from genesis
From young- never cease
What’s been said,
Saying let there be light

None can stand His words
Through spirit-life words, we were formed
Blessing invoked when He said,
Let’s make man in our image

After our likeness
Having what he loves-
A lofty hope of divine liberty
Our will free, we were his

He in fore-age,
Knew us by names
Portioned us into diverse ministries
By the fore known destinies

Giving grace, blessing us His’
From a strong heart
Sunk and sickened
With excess of love

TM Sungs (2019)

Film Review: Miracles from heaven

Production companies: Affirm Films, Roth Films and Franklin Entertainment

Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Release Date: February 21, 2016 (Dallas) and March 16, 2016 (United States)

Running time: 109 minutes

Reviewer: Chidimma Nnagbo

 

There are a lot of questions that defy answers. One of such questions is why we don’t receive everything we ask of God at the time we ask for it. Is it the result of our inadequacies or God’s mysterious ways? Most Christians consider these kinds of questions abominable and faithless, either because they have never been in situations that stretch their faith past its elastic limit or they have attained a certain level of faith no amount of earthly difficulty and emotional stress can waver.

Miracles from Heaven is a 2016 American Christian movie directed by Patricia Riggen, written by Randy Brown and produced by DeVon Franklin, T. D. Jakes and Joe Roth. It is based on a book by Christy Beam which tells the true  story of a heart-wrenching situation when God seem far away and non-existent. The film was released on March 16, 2016. T

The movie starts with a picture of a happy Christian middle class family. Jennifer Graner who seems to have no troubles switching from core action movies to love movies to now Christian movies played the role of Christy Beam, the mother to 10 year old Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) who had a rare, incurable disorder that leaves her unable to digest food.

Christy Beam on recommendation tracked down a doctor who specialized in rare conditions like Anna’s but couldn’t get an appointment to see him since there was a waiting list of patients. Dejected and sympathetic of her daughter who was in severe pain, they left the hospital to a restaurant where they met the delightful, energetic and kind-hearted Angela (Queen Latifah). Angela brings a little humour and comic relief to the story as she does in most of her other movies. She befriends Anna and her mother and offers to take them on a tour round Boston and to see the Aquarium which she had missed visiting back home because of her sickness. In one funny scene, Angela had to Jack her dilapidated car door open using one leg and two hands in a frantic fight.

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Angela with Christy and Anna Beam

Finally, Anna got an appointment to see Dr. Nurko (Martin Henderson) and after series of trials nothing could be done to help Anna. Anna had a roommate in the hospital, Hailey, who had cancer. She told Hailey about Jesus and spoke about the fact that he’s always present with her. Hailey believed; but Hailey’s father warned Christy to stop her daughter from giving his daughter false hope.

Things were quite bad at this point. The pain was so excruciating Anna wanted to die. Her mother had lost faith in God. They didn’t even have the finances to continue with the treatments. Dr. Nurko advised her to take her daughter home.

Back home, some people in church told Christy Beam her daughter’s condition may be as a result of her or her husband’s sinfulness or even Anna’s. This infuriated her and she stopped going to church. A dark shadow was cast over the family of 5. She had prayed, cried and begged God, yet nothing changed and her poor innocent daughter was still suffering with an enlarged abdomen and severe pains.

The turning point of the story was when Anna fell into a tree while playing with her sisters. A rescue unit  got her out after several hours. Miraculously, she was cured of her sickness after the fall. Her abdomen returned to its normal size, and she could eat without tubes. Later on, she told her parents that while she was in the tree, she left her body and that she saw Jesus and that Jesus had told her that she would be okay.

The part I consider most interesting in the movie was Christy coming back to church. The media came to cover the service as Anna’s story had gone viral. Christy stood at the pulpit and made a very honest speech. She said when Anna got sick she couldn’t understand why such a devoted God-loving little Anna was going through what she went through. She felt alone and angry that their prayers weren’t being answered. She quoted Albert Einstein ‘“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” There was a flashback of how extraordinarily they got an appointment to see Dr. Nurko, they met Angela,  who brought a little laughter to their faces in the midst of their hopelessness, her husband got a free flight ticket to Boston for himself and Anna’s sister when they had no money. She said she was blind to those little miracles.

She asked one crucial question: “why was Anna healed when today around the world, there are so many children suffering?” She admitted she didn’t have an answer. But as far as she was concerned, those who suffer are not alone in their hurting state. God remains with them through their travails.

The movie stands out because of this: while God’s power was clearly and gloriously shown, questions in the mind of Christians were not sidelined and covered with empty speeches and acts. The acknowledgement that everything isn’t always perfect was captured, yet the presence of an omnipotent God was also evidently displayed.

©Chidimma Nnagbo, 2019

Where am I

This world is unfamiliar to me
The walls I once felt like breaking now whisper words that heal my cracking

My cracked tone is now pitching
My words no longer echo
Where is this place?

The smell is unfamiliar
The feeling is different
Not the smoky puffs I’m used to

Do dreams feel this real?
Is my mind messing with me?
I really can’t make sense of how I got here

I listened when he spoke
I heard him clearly when he said the words
“You’re free”

I remember
But it only brings me to my next question

Can my life be flipped in just one second?
Can my past be gone with the wind?
I lack answers

But If the branch is who I am now then all I can hope for are leaves to help me birth fruits

This world is unfamiliar to me but I rather stay than leave

 

  • Imani Dokubo (2019)