JUDGEMENT AND PERCEPTION

It’s very easy to feel like you’re better than the next person. Maybe because comparing lets you know how well you are doing and soothes your
conscience. It’s natural to judge a matter, and formulate assumptions to why that lady is begging on the road…

beside triplet children

Or why that man is living with that lady. Like coming to fast possible conclusions about everything we see, somehow makes us smart,
experienced, conscious people.

But the truth?
There could be many reasons why something is happening the way it is. Our judgements of personalities and actions could be wrong, and very wrong. Many times, they are half-baked because of what we think we know;
like thinking that every young man in his 30’s living with his parents is lazy,
every lady who hasn’t received her healing “doesn’t have enough faith.”

Like thinking that this guy is so deceived, he still believes he should welcome the Holy Spirit.
Like thinking that wearing jeans or ripped jeans is the most irresponsible wear on earth, for only sons of the devil.
Like thinking we could have done better if we were in a fellow’s shoes.

WRONG!

We may not fail in the area we so judge, but we fail, because we are frail.

Sometimes, we judge because we haven’t been in similar situations. Who even gives us this standard to judge? To condemn?
Jesus said, “…if any of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone.

Because we are lost in our own ways, assuming that for one reason or the other, we are in a better position to condemn another, we are more effectively breaking souls than healing them. Those eyes burning with judgement, warning of a terrible future, and hell.

Yet, we profess Christ.

We say we are born of love, and yet we say people are beyond help.
We feel that some persons are not to be seen with us.
Our Lord wasn’t ashamed to be seen with “sinners.”
Our Lord sat and ate with sinners.
Our Lord spoke compassionately with sinners, they dared to ask, “You seem to be a prophet.”
No threats of brimstone from our Lord.
No judgements from our Lord, except towards hypocrites who concentrated on appearances.
No casting away from our Lord who asks that all come as they are.

Our Lord Jesus Christ who laid his life down for not just my neighbour in sin, but for me too,
who was undeserving.

My Lord teaches me to love.
My Lord teaches me to love without reason.
My Lord teaches me to look beyond appearances and laws.
My Lord teaches me to place compassion over judgement.
My Lord teaches me to bear my brother’s burden, and to do so in meekness, because I…

I am not beyond temptation.

I have the nature of God, and I consciously choose love and compassion over judgement, perception, and inaccurate conclusions.

– Buzhoo
(c) 2020

Love


Love is as beautiful as the smile of a new born
Love became evident when I accepted a new God
Love filled the hallow in my heart when I told sin to be gone
Love pointed a gun at my weaknesses and blew them up
From the dunghill, love picked me up
Love saved me
An heir, he made me
Exceeding joy, he gave me
A new life has certainly begun

Princess Pirinye
© 2020

You Are The World


Hey You!
When Jesus said that He came to save the world, He meant You!
Because You against the world is You against a brick wall. It’s a hard hit with a concussion of disorders.
You question His love for You when you measure it against the evil in the world.
When Jesus thinks the world, He thinks You!
Wholeness, life in abundance, health, prosperity, peace and joy, He thinks for You.
You may insist; “I don’t need saving, maybe He should go ahead and save the rest of the world instead”. But how can He save the world if He doesn’t save You?
You are His world!
You are the world!


The world doesn’t exist outside You.
Your sadness it displays
Your ignorance it conveys
Your pain it bears
The world exists because You do
In your wholeness, it is made whole
In your sanity, it is made sane
In your health, it is healed
In your joy, it overflows.
To reject Jesus’ help is to watch your World crash and burn.
You are His world!
You are the world!


Ijeoma Obi
© 2020

Fixed?

There is a reason we respect those who fix us
For we are married to mistakes and misgives
If we had no one to fix what was once broken up
There is no telling the darkness reality would be

There is a reason we respect those who try to fix us
Where others standby helpless and in hopeless anguish
They step on the price of past sacrifice to reach hope
And for a moment longer they give us a reason to believe

There is a reason we respect those who fail to fix us
Their failure comes at a cost of more than bargained for
If they could, they would work harder and not give up
But a one-eyed man can only lead a blind man so far

There is a reason we need a renewal and not a fix
Like Eden, this wound is located beyond man’s search
Jesus on the cross provided us a homing signal to healing
and “It is finished” was for us an eternal discharge

Now our respect may be well placed on these fixers
But they make no promises, only a willingness to try
Jesus offers you his life so you don’t have to fix yours
Now that is a certain promise for your faith and life

Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2020

Clouds

I wear these sunglasses to see
The shadowed paintings of the sun meet
My ever-wandering thoughts;
These wintered trees I fought.

I wear this fainne as though I’m at peace with my past
A broad smile, loud laugh like a ship’s mast
Then hug myself twice a day
As a promise never to let my mouth say

I shake hands with tomorrow
Afraid of all it could bring; love, joy, hate and sorrow
This bromance that refuses to align to a scheme
Like the clouds of this year in multiple themes

Symolean Mikado Goodest
© 2020

RACIAL RECONCILIATION: OUSTING RACISM WITH LOVE

” God created the human race, humans created racism.” -Jane Elliot

Racism. We all are somewhat scared of and responsible for this word. An upsurge in protests snowballing across many countries in the wake of George Floyd’s murder is shaming racism and racists. Topics that were once sacrosanct are now public discussions. The world is waking up to the damaging effects of institutionalized and systemic racism that has plagued “minority races” for decades. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, activists and protesters are stamping their feet down, pumping their fists in the air demanding equality for all races. These measures are certainly drawing attention to the issue but unless conscious steps are taken by every individual, it “may” be a waste of time. We may not be responsible for racism but we sure do have our work cut out in achieving its deconstruction.

Living in imperfect societies as Christians compels us to do the one thing we’ve been called to do – Love. The famous one-liner, “if you can’t beat them, join them” isn’t a Christian mantra, but rather debunking it is what we are called to do. We can’t stand up to racism by inciting hatred or shrinking into our holes but by loving people of all ethnicity and language like Christ did, unconditionally. Mike Todd in his sermon on racial reconciliation expatiates on a commandment God gave us; “love your neighbour – not your black neighbour, or white neighbour, or affluent neighbour”. The knowledge that in Christ, there are no divisions based on race or ethnicity would be more effective if it were truly practiced rather than stated.

Prejudice, discrimination, structural and institutionalized injustice can be demolished with racial reconciliation which upholds love, tolerance, inclusion and respect as its tenets. Recognizing the problem and actually believing it is a problem is a good place to starting the journey of racial reconciliation. We ought to have a level of self awareness rather than feign ignorance on the issue, only then will we see it as a social problem that needs to be tackled.

Racial reconciliation is not just the sermons but the conscious and consistent love for people, not because of the colour of their skin but because they are human. Love encompasses everything we need to fight racism. There is beauty in diversity, I mean the world will be so bland if everything existed in one shade. Accepting and embracing this draws us closer to the fulfilment of the revelation John had when he saw people of all race, language, nation and tribe worshipping God in harmony.

Reconciling races is possible when we’ve been reconciled to ourselves. No race is inferior to the other, therefore you are not inferior, the spirit in you is not the spirit of fear but of love and that eliminates all fear. We are all worthy of respect and equality and because this decades-long monster has eaten deep into our societies and institutions does not imply we have to settle for and expect less. We are to celebrate our ethnic identity and uniqueness, whether we be African, European, Asian, American, Australian, Biracial, Multiracial, we are God’s ingenious handiwork. We love God and by transforming into His image, we become love and in turn, we love others.

Self-examination reveals who we inherently are. There are social, religious and institutionalized constructs and biases inculcated in us from our childhood which may be discriminatory, this can unconsciously lead us to perpetrate the myths and stereotypes we grew up feeling were normal. Racial reconciliation means evaluating our beliefs and theories about people different from us and ultimately deconstructing the prejudiced, bigoted ones.

The one way racism can be ousted is through love, the God kind – agape. Sure activism raises awareness but treating everyone equally starts from an individual making the choice to love. And how best can we love except we have love in us? There is one who loved us all so much He gave His life for us and if we let Him in, then we too can love effortlessly, regardless of who it is, White, black, brown, red.

In a world where hatred and strife is growing, may we choose to be symbols of love.

IfiokAbasi Okop and Steven Kator Iorfa. ©2020

Are You?

Behold the cloud
the train of our King
the procession of heavens host

hear the blasting sounds
of trumpets
calling for the assembly of saints
dead and living

gathering at the table
feasting at the Lamb’s banquet
joy is the wine
in unending glee to dine

but feel the gnashing of teeth
the regrets of ostrich-like men
who missed the flight

are you transformed to fly
or heated to cry ?
Are you?

Josh’ Oloyede Oluwafemi.
© 2020

Once Again

Once again , here I stand
Covering my face with a face pad
The world shouldn’t see these scars,
It’s petrifying to behold,
It reveals a story untold,
Lost hope, lost happiness and dreams torn apart.

Once again, here I stand
With my saviour hand in hand,
Saved, healed and restored.
Once battered but now full of joy
Forgetting the past story because the son has given a glory that lasts.

Princess Pirinye
© 2020