Month: February 2016

FOCUS

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focus-daintymI had one of those weeks when I couldn’t come up with anything to post on the blog. And I began to freak out because I made a commitment to post every Sunday this year-it’s way too early to start derailing. In one of my devotionals, I read about focusing on God and I was pretty psyched to try it out. I stared into the blank wall for a while with my thoughts saying; ‘Dear God, I’m here, focusing on you. Say something.’ My mind interprets everything in terms of images, so even when I’m trying to focus on God, my mind starts conjuring images of what He looks like and how He’s towering down on me and giving me a hard stare.  After staring at the blank wall for what seemed like an hour, I had successfully made plans on what to wear the next week, what to eat over the weekend, calls I needed to make and emails I had to reply… I even made a budget for the next month! When I was done ‘focusing on God’ I went back to other things.

Clearly I hadn’t ‘focused on God’. Rather, I spent thirty minutes mapping out plans. It’s not my fault! I just love making plans and strictly sticking to them (yeah, I know I sound really structured-I get that a lot). But God also loves making plans! He already drafted the plans for my life and yours long before we were born. What interests me is how God works out the plan in a fun way. Yeah we drift (mostly because we don’t even know the plans) but He still finds His way around. If a piece of my plan were to fall out, I’d freak out! My mind would begin summersaulting. But God doesn’t freak out even when we leave the right lane and start living another person’s life! How does He do that?

Well, He doesn’t want us to freak out about our plans. That’s why He said ‘don’t worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will wear…’ (Matt 6:25) Funny how these are the foundation stones for every other thing we worry our little minds about. You tell me not to be anxious and I find myself wondering why you said so-maybe something bad is about to happen-OMG! What is it? :O I get so wrapped up in my mind; I just want to scream ‘GET ME OUTTA MY MIND!!!’

Even though God has said we shouldn’t worry, I find myself doing so and it’s exhausting. So yeah, I’m going to focus on God. Because if He’s said I shouldn’t worry, He definitely has a plan. It’s okay if I don’t know everything, but I’m gonna trust Him to reveal each piece of the puzzle till I see the big picture. Hey! Some of the pieces won’t make any sense, but just trust Him 🙂

So here’s something I found about that verse that talked about not worrying and stuff. He’s like, I know you need to fill your mind with stuff, why not fill it with the kingdom?(Matt 6:33) Oh yeah, that can make you wrinkle your little nose all you want but seeking the kingdom first is the key to every other thing you want in life! I’d probably do a whole new post on that. But for this week and through the new month, I want to challenge you to focus on God and pursue the things that please Him; especially as regards promoting the kingdom.

In case you’re lost for how to do so, here are a few things you could do;

-Pray for others 🙏🙏

-Give to God and give others 😀

-Tell others of God’s love ❤❤

-Help out in your church 🙂

This is a sketchy list but I hope to make a more robust post on this! But I welcome other ideas on how to seek the Kingdom in the comment box 😀

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and do share with friends! God bless you!

Much love! ❤ ❤

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

Young and Free

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aOne minute you think you’re free from the chains that held you bound; the shame that took you captive, the addictions that controlled you; the secrets and lies that had you insecure. You feel free and liberated; confident about your life. Then one day, it slowly creeps in like the darkness, uninvited. You fall so hard, you can’t get up. Whatever happened to your freedom? Was it all smoke and mirrors? Is there really no way out of this pit?

The lies begin to seep in. ‘You will never be free’,’ You can’t tell anyone about this’. No one knows you struggle with this ‘weakness’. Yes, you call it a weakness because you’re scared to call it what it is- SIN.

It eats so deep into your system, wraps its tentacles around you, clogging your intake of God’s light through His word. Slowly you begin to distance yourself from people who love you, especially people who love God. Nah, you don’t need the judgement from church folks. Nobody does.

Soon enough you begin to feed the sin without complaining. Unconsciously, subconsciously you give your body what it demands, being a slave to it’s bidding. ‘I want more food!’ ‘Yes master!’ sounds familiar? Nobody chooses to be a slave. But as soon as you sign the sin contract, you begin to avail yourself to your body’s beck and call.

Slave to sin, slave to the flesh. Heck! I don’t want to be a slave no more! I want to be able to put my body under subjection and say; ‘hey, body! You’ve gotta fast for 3 days!’ And it obeys without complain. Once you begin to plead with your body, beg your body- you’re bound! You can’t play with sin and remain unharmed. You can’t feed sin and think it wouldn’t grow and multiply. FYI sin is a living thing. It co-habits with the flesh and takes over your entirety; your thoughts and your mind. It blurs your vision from what was once distinctively black and white. You begin to see various shades of grey instead. The poor little conscience you once had gets so stifled by your constant refusal to listen.

You live in an illusion of freedom when in reality you are bound by shackles to your own body and the substance (sin) you’re feeding it. I would know, because I’m talking about me.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. –Rom 7:24-25

There is definitely a way out and you haven’t run out on your ‘Grace Express Card’ yet. Withdraw from it in true repentance. Turn to the one who has the key to the cuffs that hold you bound. He’s the only one who can save you. I know you may feel, ‘hey, I can still control this’. But you really can’t. Soon enough, the sin grows and multiples and keeps having babies on your inside. All pulling you to do the things you ‘don’t’ want to do. Oh yes! A little part of you doesn’t. But sin doesn’t care. It does a hostile takeover!

So take in a deep breath (evidence that you’re still living). Good. Please say this prayer from the depth of your heart.

Dear Lord. I believe in you. I believe you died and rose for me. I have been struggling with this sin (mention it) for some time now. And I want to be free from it. I know you can set me free and I believe that I am free. Please forgive me for my sins and take me back. I can’t do this on my own. Thank you for hearing and answering me. In Jesus name, Amen!

So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.-John 8:36

It’s my desire that you live victorious lives! Go ahead and live young and free!

Lots of love,

© Mfon Etuk, 2016

He Loves me; He Loves me not

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rose petals
Photo Credit; desktopwallpapers4.me

It was a day to Valentines and I wondered what the day would bring. Appointments or disappointments, make ups or break ups. Would he send me a gift? Would he not?

My eyes trailed the lonely path to see a beautiful flower with delicate petals. I picked it up and watched as the flower felt secured in my palms.  I lightly tugged at a petal and said ‘he loves me’ as the mild February breeze seized the little petal. I pulled out another and said ‘he loves me not’.  As I began to pick other petals still repeating the same words, my heart shuddered at what the end of the game would yield.

I’ve always believed in love and I’ve probably watched too many Rom-coms that I can’t help but dream of the fairy-tale. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen tons of them where the girl was unsure of her man’s love and trusted the petals of a flower to tell her if he loved her or not.

Who doesn’t want to know if they are loved? Or the extents to which that love would go? That’s why there are love calculators and apps like M.A.S.H valentine or even a simple striking out game of ‘F.L.A.M.E.S’ which help you ‘know’ the extent of love or degree of compatibility.

So I lingered with the flower. Most people would say it was a lame game but it kinda meant a lot to me because I was unsure of his love for me. I never really doubted his love when I was on my best behaviour; when I was the good lover that spent hours and hours with him; who made him smile by adoring him. Yeah, he sure loved me then!

But what about the times when I was too busy for him? Times when I defiantly did the opposite of what he asked of me? What of the times I cheated on him…? My heart sank. I unconsciously squeezed the light flower in my palm and when I opened it, it looked really pale. Just like my love. 😦

‘He loves me…’

‘He loves me not.’

Three petals remained in my palm. You could already tell the result of my game. A smile that had been hiding behind the creases of my face turned up like the sun rising in the east.

I smiled at the last petal and whispered ‘he loves me.’

The thought sent electric waves down my spine. Like every lover, there were days when I was insecure about his love for me; days when I felt undeserving; days when I didn’t just feel like it- like today. But the result of the game said otherwise and I was willing to believe it.

Look! Listen! There’s my lover!

    Do you see him coming?

Vaulting the mountains,

    leaping the hills.

My lover is like a gazelle, graceful;

    like a young stag, virile.

Look at him there, on tiptoe at the gate,

    all ears, all eyes—ready!

My lover has arrived

    and he’s speaking to me!

SOS 2:8-10 (MSG)

 He loves me! I screamed as the realization began to give me more meaning. He loves me no matter what I do. He loves how weird I get. He loves how I smile one minute and cry the next. He loves how I get weak sometimes and reach out to him for help. He loves all of me. My beautiful imperfections are truly loved by a perfect God!  Nothing could ever separate me from that love! 😀 ❤ ❤

Do you ever feel unloved or undeserving? Here is a quick note to self;

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.

We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. -Rom 8:35-39 MSG)

***song for the day- His Kind of Love by Group 1 Crew***

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

 

Lion King; Identity Crisis

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I had a post for the week but something else came up that I had to write about. So I was watching Lion King yesterday (after a long time). I think it’s my all-time favourite cartoon! Lots of lessons to learn from it! Well, yesterday I caught a part I had never really paid attention to.

Remember the part where young Simba had to stay with Timon and Pumbaa after his dad died? Well there was this part where he started eating slimy insects along with them. Then it hit me, Simba had completely lost his sense of identity. He didn’t remember He was a king. Clothed in lion skin, he had more or less the mind of a Meerkat and a Warthog.

pumbaa and simba
Photo Credit: Strangekidsclub.com

Pause. For those of you who haven’t seen the classic Disney cartoon, it’s a beautiful story about a kingdom where the Lion is the king (obviously) and His son (Simba) was to take over when he died. And yeah he (the father, Mufasa) was killed by his brother Scar who wanted to take over the kingdom. Simba blamed himself for the death of his father and ran into hiding and that’s where he made friends with the Meerkat and the Warthog (Timon and Pumbaa). Whew! I hope I described it well.

Okay, so here is a Lion growing up with a meerkat and a warthog and everything seems to be just fine. And he forgets who he is. Well, who wouldn’t want to let go of the memory of being the reason their father died. Until he is finally reminded of his identity by an old friend.

Now this reminds me of another story; the prodigal son in the Bible. This dude thinks he’s ‘all grown up’ and can fend for himself without his father’s help. He collects his inheritance (even when his dad hasn’t died). Apparently the phrase; ‘you’re dead to me’ was real to him. So he sets off to spend all his money in Las Vegas. And then he gets real broke. All his friends leave him and go on to the next big thing. Of all the jobs a guy can get, he settles for feeding pigs (not as if he had many choices- he probably dropped out of school so he couldn’t apply for real jobs) I digress. Yeah, when I say pigs, please don’t think of ‘Babe’ or any cute pig that lives in an exquisite home. This dude is feeding pigs! Gross animals that enjoy playing in the mud. As if that wasn’t enough, he begins to eat their food! Yuck! What’s it with eating unlikely foods? 

Pause.

Let’s do a quick checkup!

Have you lost your identity? Have you been rolling with a set of people who derail you from your destiny and purpose? Have you started eating meals which are not right for you? (By meals I mean values, habits, attitudes which you may be feeding on from the crew you’re now hanging out with).

Well, reality check!

  1. You are a child of light and you have no business rolling with the dark. (Ephesians 5:11)
  2. You are the child of God and that’s royalty! Stop living like a beggar on the street and go recover your identity in Christ! (1 Peter 2:9)
  3. You are destined to reign! *in Joseph Prince’s voice* 😉 (Romans 5:17)

Please cut off from every association that is not building you up. It takes a long time to build a mansion, but it takes a couple of hours and a little petrol to bring it down. Be mindful of your association. You can easily lose your identity by hanging out with the wrong crowd. Stick with people who remind you of your true identity. Remember, any one you call your friend is a reflection of your person. If you don’t wanna be a pig stop dining with one! Prov 27:17

Let’s conclude the prodigal son’s story; so he has the reality check (above) and decides to go back home. At least, he could be a servant in a tux and a bow tie, he thinks to himself.

Guess what? His dad welcomed him with open arms and threw a party for him! How cool is that? 😀

Tell you what, that’s the same thing our Heavenly Father would do for you when you return back to Him (which should be now, as tomorrow aint guaranteed- Prov 27:1)

Oh yeah, Simba gets reminded of his identity by a cute chic, Nala (women have awesome convincing powers though!) So he finally returns to take back the throne. Yay! Everyone is happy!

It is extremely important to keep friends that remind you of who you really are and encourage you to fulfill your destiny 🙂

So what are you waiting for? Go get back your identity in Christ!

Have a wonderful week!

Much love ❤ ❤

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

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