Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Wisdom of the Living One (2)

This post is dedicated to my sister Doja, whose husband, Chris Adun (1964-2009), went to be with the Lord on Saturday morning, August 22.

No one is ever fully prepared for the tragedies of life. And even though Jesus said they will happen, rejoicing in the One who overcame the world is not our usual first reaction. I guess it shows we are still human. After this experience of great loss, Doja has amazingly shown her strong faith in God, with people constantly commenting on how "strong" she's been. But let us not forget that she's still human too.

None of us can imagine the gravity of the situation with Chris - the hospital visits, surgery, time spent at the hospice - with Doja, solidly at his side, still finding time to faithfully minister to others. She continued her weekly 'Song of the Week' post on FB and chose to worship God than complain. That, in my opinion, is one of the secrets of her strength at this time. True worship leads to intimacy, which builds character and fortifies us against the storms of life.

Well done, Doja. Yes you have to be strong, but not in yourself. As "the system" hurries you on and leaves you with little time to mourn, be aware that a fresh wave of reality will hit when Chris's body is laid to rest. Even at this time, I know you will be strong, because "The Living One" is right by your side. Your ability to face the future from then on will rest not on yourself, but on Christ, the Conqueror of death and hades.

Because He lives, you can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because you know he holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Wisdom of the Living One (1)

I love the way Jesus introduces Himself to us in Revelation (one of many): "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!" (1:18). This simple statement captivates my heart. If Christ is the Living One, then everything outside Him is estranged from Life. I will rather be in the Living One than in the 'dead one'!

Jesus is my Life Coach! He is Life itself, the author and finisher of all that truly live.

When I follow His footsteps, I cannot miss my way.
When I hearken to His voice, I gain understanding.
When I remain connected to Him, I experience His everlasting life.

Jesus, the Living One, has all authority in the highest heaven and the deepest hell. What else can anyone ask for?

Lord, fill me with your wisdom each day as I seek to "dig wells" to your glory. Amen.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Wisdom of the dead (3)

In my opinion, one of the most profound statements made by mortal man is, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Paul, with these words, established the superiority of eternity over this present life. Surely, a man who had visited the "third heavens" would know the difference between the earthly and the heavenly.

After weeks of praying for my brother-in-law, Chris Adun, who battled with cancer for a few months, he finally went to be with the Lord yesterday. Chris and my sister, Doja, believed for total recovery till the very last moment. But God always knows best. He is Sovereign and rules over all situations.

But is it really a "loss"? In the physical, yes, because Chris we will no longer see on this side of eternity. From a spiritual standpoint, and according to Paul's perspective, it is a "gain". If we can ask Chris today if he will want to come back to the Earth having tasted a few "hours" at home with Jesus, as much as he loves my sister and his children, he will most likely choose the "gain" of staying in heaven. It's hard for us to comprehend, but it is the truth. No amount of earthly comfort can compare with the joy of abiding in God's presence forever!

We will always remember Chris for good. Although he now sleeps, his voice speaks loud and clear. May the Lord uphold Doja and her children with His mighty hand of love. In due course, may the pain of Chris's departure be swallowed up by the gain of his newfound abode. Amen.


Friday, 21 August 2009

Wisdom of the dead (2)

We all love the spectacular - sensational, attention-grabbing headlines that engage our senses and influence our thinking. Media houses are sold on this mindset, particularly with regards to "bad news". Stories of death, horror, the unexplained... these move faster than common sense "good news". This was the once-rich man's philosophy too.

"Please, father Abraham," he requested desperately, "send Lazarus to my family so he could warn them of the reality of life after death."

"That's a good idea," commended father Abraham, who wasn't surprised at the sudden evangelistic fervour that seemed to overcome the once-rich man. "But they have The Writings of Moses. These should suffice."

"The Writings? Those Dead Sea scrolls of years past? What can they do compared to the instant impact of Lazarus rising from the dead? Surely, the testimony of Lazarus will convince my five brothers to change their lifestyle and turn to God."

Father Abraham shook his head from side to side. "If they do not believe The Writings, they will not bulge even if the dead rises up from the grave."

The once-rich man tried to argue further but only a dry gulp of wind went through his scorched throat. In a flash, he recalled how much of The Writings he knew in his lifetime but sadly did not practice...

I have decided afresh to devote my life to the crafting of words, and to help others do the same. Writings, silent messengers on the printed page, wisdom that lingers long after their creators leave the Earth; these have the power to change a generation of people much more effectively than the spectacular, crowd-pulling events that catches everyone's fancy in the church world today. Events are not bad, but they should only affirm and complement The Writings. So said father Abraham (and Jesus who shared the story).

If you are called to produce writings, please do so from your heart, with Spirit. The once-rich men of years past are praying for you to reach their brethren before they cross the point of no return.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Wisdom of the dead (1)

We don't like thinking about death. Why should we? After all, life will always go on and on without any unwanted interruption. Well, not quite. The parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-20) warns about the shortness of life and the unpredictability of death. It may not be a preferred subject of meditation, but when we do pause and ponder, those who die, especially our loved ones, can impart much wisdom to the living.

Nine years ago, I published a book for a dear friend, a well-loved woman who was passionate about God and people. Not long after From Trash to Treasure was published, we started to work on a second book, Treasures of Success. We never released the planned sequel because Ronke Sanusi went to be with the Lord before she could finish writing.

I remember the Sunday morning when the phone rang and the news was relayed. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I recalled the many times we had shared about purpose and destiny. I was grateful for playing a part in releasing From Trash to Treasure, and rededicated my life afresh to the reason why I am alive. I determined not to be indifferent to purpose, and to make a difference in God's Kingdom before death knocks on the door.

I have gone back to this portion from Ronke's book many times. Today, I am meditating on it once again:

I have since discovered that the greatest tragedy in life is not death but gravestones announcing unfulfilled potential. The other day I drove through a quiet cemetery in Columbus Ohio, and could not restrain myself from shaking my head as I saw children buried at the age of 12 and 15. The inscriptions on their grave was all they had to show for their lives - nothing more. I left the place so sad in my spirit, not because they died but because they did not live; they were buried with all they could have been. Right there and then I decided I will deprive the grave of all I have. I will die totally empty; I will exhaust my potential by maximising it here on earth before I sleep in the grave.
- From Trash to Treasure, page 60, 61

Lord, I will die empty. I will bless my world will all that you have put in me, Amen.


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Rediscovery of Self

My Creator knows me inside out. He knows me so well, more than I know myself. He also knows my purpose, the very thing He created me to do and be. As for me, my knowledge is in part. So also is my commitment - at times. How grateful I am that His commitment is total.

I nearly missed my way. I was heading in the wrong direction. I had lost sight of what He had called me. Until His mighty hand came to rescue me. He stepped in and pulled my reins. He brought His word to my consciousness and helped me to rediscover myself. The Lord called me to write - I guess that makes me a writer!

Oh the joy of self-rediscovery! It sets me free from every attractive alternative and focuses me on the task ahead. I am now ready to pursue the purpose of God for my life with every fibre within me.

Oh Lord, help me to continue panting after you, for as I find you, I discover myself in thee.


Saturday, 15 August 2009

New life!

I recently discovered the benefit of dying daily: New life always emerges out of every death experience. When I refuse to die to self, I hinder the flow of life from within. In contrast, as I lay my all on the altar of sacrifice, precious grace is made available from the Throne of Grace itself. I will forever be grateful for the zoe life of God that is new every morning - after every night on the cross!

Thank you Lord!


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