A Tribute to Efosa

On this day sixteen years ago, my younger brother passed away. It was a devastating blow that I never really recovered from.

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I Honestly Wish Kate Spade Had Read This

Hours ago, it became news that New York fashion icon, Kate Spade had died. She was 55. In the whiff of that moment or probably out of sheer curiosity, I asked a group of friends what kind of meaninglessness could motivate a person to commit suicide. My premise was that rich people in Africa never commit suicide or maybe a small number have but it must be pretty negligible as we hardly read of such stories in our news.

One of my friends responded that there were just too many people living with depression, internal conflicts and mental health issues in the West.

This response rang a bell in my heart why we should all be Christian. And I don’t mean the religion with it’s effigies touted around the world. I mean, the people that God intended all humankind to be. And here is why:

To be Christian is to be God’s home. When a man or woman accepts the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection, God makes that person His home and in every sense makes them immune to sickness and poverty by virtue of Him living in them.

To be Christian is to be capable of infinite love. When a man or woman becomes Christian and God takes up residence in them, He broadcasts His boundless love in their hearts so that they are capable of forgiving and loving without limit. Love is one of the ways that we as a race are distinguished from the rest of the world.

To be a Christian is to be a vital part of a community. Certain people muffled Christianity into an institution but it is actually a community. Christians share a brotherhood that recognize no denominations or sectarianism. We are one. And when you become a Christian, God the Father puts something in you for the rest of us. He gifts you with spiritual manifestations that other Christians can be blessed by.

To be Christian is to be an answer to the cries of the world. Becoming a Christian puts you in a class of solution providers for the problems of the world. And this is just in the area of performing miracles, your mind is upgraded such that you are able to use your work, products and personality to bring tangible change to many. We are charged to let our light shine so that men glorify our Father God.

To be Christian is to have exclusive access to God. All you need to be able to have conversations with God is to become a member of the family. I know it may sound a little cliche but God who allows us to have meaningful conversations with each other is particular about having same with you, possibly on a daily basis. He may not come down in bodily form to banter and laugh with you at the dinner table after a hard day’s work but He will make impressions in your heart that you can relate to; that He listens to you and you can speak to Him.

Their can definitely be no defeat or disadvantage to becoming Christian. It is the answer to depression, loneliness and suicidal spells.

I honestly wish that Kate Spade had read this blog post yesterday to learn how deeply the love of God was willing to go to drag her out of any difficulty she might have faced internally. This love is present with you now, right here and I know you can sense it because I prayed for you with the love of God in my heart.

Don’t turn away from it. Simply look up a Bible verse in Acts 4:12 and trust that it was God that reached out with His infinite love to you.

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter at @NehiIgbinijesu

I love you.

The Enemy Came And Sowed Tares

Much of what I have learnt these past few weeks has been mind numbing…to the point that I have had to re-examine the things I once held true about my faith. And maybe you should to. This piece is for my Christian audience but you might find some of the thoughts intriguing, particularly if you are someone who isn’t too accepting of the status quo.

This piece will attempt to explore why Christians go to ‘church’, why we have denominations and why we worship the way we do.

I remember Jesus speaking a parable about a good man who sowed a seed in a field (in Matthew 13:25). It goes on to say that while men slept, the enemy came and sowed tares, a worthless weed plant to try to obfuscate the harvest that the good man had had in mind before planting the seed.

The good man responded by letting the wheat and the weeds grow together knowing that if he tried to separate the tares from the wheat before the time of harvesting, he could lose his entire crop.

In like manner, God planted Christ on earth in the body of His Son, Jesus Christ. The world around us called us, ‘Christians’ first at Antioch, recognizing our difference from the rest of the world. They didn’t see our money or our real estate which today runs into trillions of dollars. What they saw was Jesus. We met publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20) breaking bread and sharing the word of God almost every day.

Then, a Roman emperor by the name, Constantine, whose fruits you do well to learn , began to sow tares. He morphed God’s people systematically into a religion as he fashioned out a dichotomy of clergy and laity from a once harmonious structure of brethren meeting together as equals in Christ and ministering to each other as the Holy Ghost saw fit to manifest Himself. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says each one of us was given a gift of the Spirit for the common good.

Constantine replaced the warmth of church meeting in the home of a brother or sister (1 Corinthians 14:26) with theater-like basilicas; and then set Sunday as the day for worship among many other things.

It wasn’t that he did anything in open affront to the Body of Christ, no. But by the simple things he did, this Roman Emperor altered how we fellowship with God, even today. He monetized Christianity to the point where we created merchandise in forms of crucifixes, rosaries, pulpits, CDs and vestments for the clergy which from the beginning was not so.

He is the reason we refer to buildings, not ourselves as the Church in opposition to the Word of God. Constantine practically turned what we know today as Christianity from the race that God originally intended into a system of belief; a religion denominated in different organizations; Roman Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal and so on.

For centuries , many of us have attended ‘church’ on Sunday based on Constantine’s bright ideas. Across the denominations, the ‘set’ we have called ‘church’ have been arrangements comprising a platform from where the clergy like actors play their roles while the docile laity watch and listen from the pews.

Many of us have starred in timeless remakes of this movie called, ‘church’ only to return to the normalcy of Monday through Saturday like a people bewitched.

Who has bewitched you to follow this legalism ?

‘That which every joint supplies’ is removed from the equation of our faith in direct dissonance with God’s original idea of Church. The Church as set up by God are a special race of people (1 Peter 2:9), God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16), living stones built into a spiritual house of God (1 Peter 2:4–5).

We don’t go to the ‘house of God’ as Constantine has had us, we are the house of God. And if so, how then can God’s house be sick, poor or afflicted?

As harvesting time approaches, there are indications that the Lord would have these truths unraveled and the tares exposed.

Research the Bible and Christian history if in doubt of the things I have shared. And let us engage.

Peace be with your spirit.

You Are a Person

Sometimes, all some people want is for you to be a role: husband, wife, father, boss, son or friend. And that’s all. They aren’t interested you, your likes or dislikes,and so on.

As far as you play your role like an actor following his or her lines, they are fine. They’ll reward you. After all, that’s why we have the Oscars.

But the problem is, because they don’t see you for who you really are, they lose a lot. And this is sad, both ways . It deprives you of the opportunity to be a blessing to them while depriving them of a similar opportunity to be blessed by you.

In many mentor-mentee relationships this is very common. Blinded by shortcomings, or the personal need to understand their own selves, some people leave when they should stay; run away when they should stick around; judge when they should pray. And all of that.

If you’ve been blighted by such a gaff in any of your relationships, it’s the tale of most of human existence; that all of us, somehow, want to be loved for who we are, and not for the roles we play; for being a person, not a colleague or a driver or a mother or a step son; that we get noticed for the haircut or the new dress or the freckles that are strewn on our faces; to know that we can connect with you in a visceral way when you ask, ‘How are you?’ It appears that when we know this, that you truly care, then we whip out the person that we are—good or bad.

And yet, when striking up a conversation with any person for the first time, we often clutch at platitudes for follow up questions like ‘What do you do?’ or ‘Where do you work?’and answers like, ‘Oh I am an accountant’ or ‘I am a house wife’ not mattering who asks… or who answers.

We quickly look past the person to what they do or rather, what they can do…for us; never really bothering what we can do for, with and through them.

It’s a shortsightedness that almost all of us have been socialized by; to look past a person to their the commercial, social or emotional benefit without thinking; to look past ourselves to what we do, more than who we are.

You are not what you do for me or her or anybody. You are a person–with an essence. And if you ever find someone who focuses on who you are–your worth– you should never let them go.

May your week be blessed with victories.