Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Love story of Billy and Ruth Graham

Hey friends, I've been perusing Solomon's love notes recently just to get myself VERY assured and convinced of God's love and my role as an intimate lover. I've been overly distracted though and I can barely sit with God as He so desires but I'm learning to take one day at a time closer to his heart . Friends the more we know God(by pressing into Him) NOT by getting involved in activities and practising religion but KNOWING HIM intimately,the more we know HIS LOVE. His love will be tested a lot by stormy and thorny situations but we MUST still love him because he so desires we love him right back. God first loved us and gave his life for us, ours is to love in return.

In studying Solomon's today, I stumbled on this sweet Love story of Billy and Ruth Graham- by their daughter Gigi Graham Tchividjian- to buttress my point. Pls read carefully:

"There is no greater love than the love of God. However,here on earth God has given us certain relationships that give us a taste of or a glimpse into His divine love.
The first relationship that was created and ordained by God to help us understand in some small measure the greatness of His love is the MARRIAGE relationship. A well-balanced, loving marriage relationship is the nearest thing to "heaven on earth", as so many of our writers have reminded us. Scriptures includes many comparisons between our relationship with God and the marriage relationship.
I believe that one of the reasons that I came to know and love the Lord at an early age was because I saw His love manifest in the marriage relationship around ‎​​me. From the time I was a very young girl, I knew Mother and Daddy loved each other. They were obviously sweethearts,and after almost sixty years of marriage, they are lovers still... Mother and Daddy's marriage is an exception and not necessarily an example. God picked a very special woman and a very special man to do a very special job. Young Christians today can't look at Ruth and Billy Graham as an example of a "normal" marriage. So in that sense, I don't know whether I was fortunate or unfortunate. But from the moment I could sense things, I knew Mother and Daddy loved each other deeply and dearly. Even today in their older age, whenever I'm with them, Daddy's eyes light up and his demeanour changes when Mother is in the room. And Mother's eyes light up and she becomes happy and excited when he comes into the room. So I know there is a real love match there. It was a great sacrifice for them to be apart so much of the time because they were and are deeply in love.
One of the major magazines came out with an issue od the one hundred greatest love stories of the century. All kinds of celebrities were featured. And tucked in with the rest was a very small picture of Mother and Daddy. I looked at the other "great love stories" and thought, MOST OF THESE SO-CALLED LOVE STORIES HAVE ENDED in divorce,and many are not even ‎​married so what exactly does this culture perceive as love?
Here is a couple who have been ‎​MARRIED almost sixty year,still together and still in love. They have ENDURED ups and downs, hardships, stress, separations, sadness and loneliness as well as happy times. And their love story is tucked in between notorious love stories that have not lasted? Which is the true example of love?"

Need I say more,this story has left ‎​​me with a knowing that God's love endures forever,His love is weigh too deep,His love is a mystery and a replica of the marriage relationship HE(God) ALONE INSTITUTED FOR MAN AND WOMAN(only) which is a picture of CHRIST and the CHURCH.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Excite my heart to LOVE!

This week I've been doing a study on one of the most romantic verses of the Holy book and making notes as I receive inspiration which I'll be sharing in subsequent post.

My study today led ‎​​me to sing the chorus of a popular gospel song;

"Hold ‎​​me close, let your love surround ‎​​me;
Bring ‎​​me near draw ‎​​me to your side.
And as I wait,I'll rise up like the eagle.
I will soar with ‎​you,your spirit leads ‎​​me on
In the power of your love."

As I corroborate the words of this song with some lines in Solomon's book -S.O.S.- it strikes ‎​​me how much intimacy and love Solomon and his lover(woman)shared. S.O.S paints a succinct picture of two lovers so lost in themselves. God created a special place in man's heart to long for a partner, a helper, a companion,a friend and a wife hence woman was formed. The mystery of marriage cannot be explained away by empty philosophies and cannot be toyed with by man. Marriage between a man and woman is a very clear expression of Gods love with His people.

Anytime I study Solomon's song to his lover,I ​​​am lost in God's extravagant love for all of mankind. I realise how much God longs for attention, desperation for him and intimacy from us.
The challenges we encounter in life play a large role in defining our love for God e.g when a woman is going through a barren situation,she gets to feel God is dispassionate, unfair and insensitive to her cry for a child. I've in several occasions judged God's love through lack,cruel human treatment,etc and I've been forced to think God is not concerned about those delicate/emotional areas of my well being.

But whether our flipping emotions like it or not, God's love is millions and millions of times higher, wider and deeper than our human minds can fathom. No matter how our fleshy minds seek to stifle this truth,God's love is as immeasurable as the oceans deep. Someone said to ‎​​me that even if God decides to cover us with just one canopy of love,we still cannot unravel its greatness . The man and woman in S.O.S express such depth of love,mind ‎​you they are not afraid to be vulnerable to each other,they just reel out the longing of their heart to each other -no walls built,no guards up,no erotic,earthly fickle feelings- without fear or shame.

And who knows that the love we speak of transcends times and seasons(its not limited).It's love which produces more love, love which grows in the midst of the worst valley situations,love that strengthens and refreshes like feeding a weary body with the finest of natural fruits. Such love that revives and ignites a heart to love in the midst of thorny discouraging situations. Love that endures hard times,love that sparks up a desperate soul to long for her lover. Love which knows no bounds.
Its such love that calls out to all -without an iota of segregation, class, tribe or tongue- to come into its embrace and be safe in there. Its love that binds us in faith covering a multitude of sins. Now,that's the LOVE I long to have,to hear the voice of my lover calling out to ‎​​me so I can run into his shadow,surrounded by His love.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The rain is a blessing but...

10th July 2011: It just kept pouring like the tears of a wailing child refusing to be comforted. Someone said on her bbm message; "Sixteen hours of uninterrupted rain", so true that's why its called; RAINY SEASON. I always say the rain is a blessing not a curse but this kind of downpour came like a warning to mankind,huh.
Yesterday's rain rendered some homeless while some like a friend of mine lost valuables in his house. Not even the big cars like the jeeps could manoeuvre the flooded roads while small cars and motorcycles were stuck. I stood at the bus stop over forty minutes waiting for a bus,as usual the rain either creates an artificial traffic or scarcity of cars. Not even a Samaritan passed by to pick ‎​​me,lol.

Pictures have been going back and forth on facebook, bbm(blackberry messenger) and I guess blogs on this sort of "Olufunsho" flood which swept across major streets in Lagos. Sad!

Btw,the drainages and other outlets in Lagos and Nigeria are a horrible sight to behold. First of all,which sane contractor builds a street without gutters?Who constructs major roads without adequately providing good drainages? Drive around Lagos and ‎​you find out that for years now drainages have been a major challenge. The gutters we have at the moment are clogged with sand, all kinds of wraps and bottles, dirts(people sweep dirts into the gutter),stagnant water and all kinds of things. This gutters breed mosquitoes and other insects which is not meant to be. Insects that cause diseases live in this gutters then fly into homes. Guess what,some people live just by some of this gutters, inhaling the pungent smell,of course mosquitoes are no longer pest but friends and the smell doesn't affect them anymore. Sad!

My brother-a civil engineer- was describing how a standard drainage system should be built which will reduce a lot of the floods in Lagos and Nigeria. He said sloppy/hilly areas require drainages that will fit that terrain and table land areas need drainage experts/engineers to study the terrain and determine a gradient that will fit a drainage unit for such an area. This gradient can be obtained from the engineers design. Now the challenge for some contractors(many of our local contractors are good at building roads but are not drainage experts) is how to apply that gradient. If the gradient is not correctly transferred from the design to the ground and the units are not constructed according to the design,the gutters won't flow.
Presently, we have built up areas that are already densely populated, and building drainages will be very tasking. Many structures may be demolished because most houses in the high brow and down town areas are sitting on the drainage channels(pipes).

So, if you're told that your house,I mean your PERSONAL home is sitting on one of this channels,what will ‎​you do? Are ‎​you ready for the consequences that will go with constructing standard drainage systems to avert floods in the future? Think about this!
For the Lagos State government to construct standard drainage pipes, many homes,shops,church buildings,offices etc will be affected(I'm not being insensitive here).
If you're moving into a newly developed area like us,this should serve as a warning sign as well to advocate for STANDARD drainages. Once our roads are properly built with standard drainages, the rains won't affect us.

What I'm I saying here? The rain is a blessing from the God who said "as long as the earth continues,planting and harvest,cold and hot,summer and winter,rain and dry seasons,day and night WILL NOT STOP". The last and only time God sent a flood was in the days of Noah,where he punished man's disobedience and He used the flood to wipe out man's wickedness from the earth. But he promised never to destroy mankind as he did with a flood. After the rains came a rainbow as a reminder of God's promises. So most of the floods we encounter in this part of the world are signs of "negligence"on the part of man. In my candid opinion,yesterday's was a man-made flood not a punishment from God as some believe. If we have basic amenities and standard drainages, the gutters won't overflow to the roads and there will be no floods.

For now,we all are victims of this mighty flood,and I sincerely empathise with all affected and hope that the government and all stakeholders will "make hay while the sun shines."

Friday, July 1, 2011

In all things, GIVE THANKS

On the 22nd of June, God kept nudging ‎​​me to thank Him. I clearly heard him say to ‎​​me; "In all things, give thanks"... The situation I found myself at that time was that of deprivation, depression,loss in my growing business,some lack of money etc. I could neither cry nor was I allowed to remain sad.

I came back ‎​​home from my regular supply, abit drained and so exhausted. I didn't have a sound sleep the previous night because I thought of the supplies(anxiety you'd call it ,mschew). I woke up by 4am to prepare the fruits, and on my way to Victoria Island with my sister, rain started pouring "lions and bears". My dear sister had driven to a point so we could hop on the BRT(Bus Road Transit) because she foresaw a traffic. We stayed in traffic over an hour thirty minutes, went into flooded Victoria Island and I practically swam to get to my destination. I boarded an "okada"(motorcycle) with a cooler, an Umbrella and my handbag to my first pot of call to drop their order. Then I set out for another place, folded up my trousers so I could "swim" through the almost knee length river. I suddenly felt deflated,humbled and ALONE. But in all, I kept giving God thanks.

I got ‎​​home later that evening and fell on my bed struggling to keep a grateful heart before the Lord. I stretched out and gave THANKS. I just didn't let the devourer and Father of lies to keep ‎​​me in despair. Frankly, that day was a bad day but I kept chanting; "In all things, give thanks..."
I can't say I wasn't disappointed and at a loss but what could I do than give thanks for EVERYTHING he's being doing for ‎​​me? That day, I told the Lord to bless my effort and bless my days of little beginning, make my job excellent and anoint ‎​​me to do exploit in the market place.

Today being the 1st of July, I ​​​am giving thanks again singing;

"He's been good Oh he's been good,
He's been good so good to His people.
Praise the Lord Oh praise the Lord;
Let everything that has BREATH praise the Lord"

This 1st day in July, I'm ​eternally grateful that neither death nor life,loss, persecution nor troubles in this present world can stop ‎​​me from praising my God. I ​​​am so glad that my eyes have seen today and my family and friends have crossed over into the second half of the ‎​γεαr, Praise the Lord.

Though the losses of previous weeks have been added to my experiences in life,they've helped ‎​​me grow and have opened my eyes to greater opportunities. I still praise the Lord.

In the words of a certain musician I sing again;

"If I had ten thousand tongues, I'll sing your praises with everyone. I surrender my heart,in your complete control. You have my commitment to love ‎​you ever more."

I ​​​am indeed overwhelmed by His mercy,I'm so blessed today knowing He's in charge and always concerned about all-he's a very detailed Father- the affairs of my life. So I praise Him for the six months ahead of ‎​​me.

‎​So people, join ‎​​me to PRAISE THE LORD!