Recession-proof Christian Life

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Posted 8/8/14 at 10:59 AM | Olabode Ososami

You are Loved

The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ and His first message was an assurance of love …not instructions, not power, not a demonstration of miracles … not great and hidden wisdom …but the love of God. Jesus hears God confirm that He is the beloved of God

Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: :17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

“The Holy Spirit as a Divine Helper rekindles hope (Romans 15:13). It is therefore, time for the hopeless to abound again in hope. Because hope makes not ashamed (Romans 5:5), we are trusting God that through this convention, shame will be terminated where found in our lives. The barren shall shall be helped and they shall become fruitful, the sick and the afflicted shall obtain help and shall be healed, help will flow in the direction of the bound and they shall be set free, the forgotten shall be remembered at last, every good thing that might have died in our lives shall come alive again, there shall be uncommon signs and wonders. They shall all be divinely helped.” says Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God.

I was pondering over the lyrics of Josh Groban’s song “ You are loved … which so inspiringly declares ...

Everybody wants to be understood ...Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved ...Don't give up
Because you are loved.

As the ministry of Christ began, He will begin to teach many things that even today thousands of years later, many still do not understand. He would be despised by men, rejected of men …only to be spat upon and crucified. But He will always remember these important words of the Spirit of God …”This is my Beloved Son…” and these words will burn in His soul as He stood before Pilate, as Judas betrayed Him, as Peter denied Him … as the mob rushed to attack Him. He will remember that God hears all His prayers and loves Him. How I pray someone will be blessed and encouraged by the Holy Spirit not to give up on God. You are loved in spite of all you may see or think. Do not fear Ebola ... you are sheltered and loved. FULL POST

Posted 7/18/14 at 1:21 PM | Olabode Ososami

World Cup and the Tears of Brazil

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It was quite moving to watch the Brazilians weep at the loss to Germany in the final rounds of the World Cup competition. The tears and great grief were not faked …rather the flow demonstrated the love they had for their own and the biting pain of watching the Germans score goal after goal. One learns so much from the truth that it is natural to support only one team and the joy of one is often the pain of another.

This can be related to John’s Epistle when he warns that we cannot be happy when the world scores nor can the world be happy when Christ scores. Christians will often ask “ how can we be sure we are children of God ? …” but the answer is simple … “ are you on the Lord's side? …who are you supporting? …the world or Christ?” Every time a soul returns home and the kingdom of God is extended you are rejoicing as a goal is scored again for Christ …and when the world opposes the will of God and nations are bewitched by idolatry, Christians are burdened with a sorrow. FULL POST

Posted 6/9/14 at 8:30 AM | Olabode Ososami

Peace when there is no Peace

The pursuit of peace is laudable but cannot be at the expense of conviction. The narrowness of the path defined for Christianity as revealed in the NewTestament means to live under the constraint of the word of God … accepting its dictates and recognizing the rapids we are warned to avoid. Morality today, on the other hand, in society is defined by changing accepted norms and strange reversals lead us to conclude that at its best can only be likened to shifting sands. We cannot therefore be certain of the boundaries which will define the morality of tomorrow. On the contrary the Bible insists, to the chagrin of many – even saints, on an absolute standard that is eternally settled.

The rise of Hitler came on the peak of a social and political naivete that humanity are a naturally decent race which led to many peace loving moralists to trust that people are essentially good and have decent motivations. John Calvin in the 16th century studied the Bible on the other hand and warned of an intrinsic depravity of which none is immune and unseen wickedness ruling even in the religious, political and academic corridors … admonishing that while we can and should strive to be trustworthy, flesh and blood are never to be ultimately trusted. FULL POST

Posted 5/29/14 at 8:52 AM | Olabode Ososami |

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Perspective on Chibok Kidnappings and Terrorist Insurgency in Nigeria

A lot has already been reported on the kidnappings, bombings and escalating insurgency in the Middle and Northern Nigeria with sundry offers for assistance in combating the malaise. The middle belt also represents the boundary or buffer zone between forces of evangelical Christianity and Islam … both perhaps concerned about spiritual incursions especially in the context of a Christian President and gains in the popularity and influence of Christianity even in the North.

The greatest battles will always involve the war for the souls of men. Western media have not reported the fast rising influence of evangelical Christianity in Nigeria burning through in a revival fire that must be threatening dark corridors … first spiritually and ultimately physically and politically. Conflict is inevitable … there is a raging of the heathen that cannot stop the Church. We already know that most of the kidnapped girls were Christians … and the implied complicity to stall the spread of Christianity has not received much media attention. The largest and fastest growing evangelical Church in the world today is in Nigeria and the most brazen missionary groups have rekindled their efforts in sacrificial obedience to see the great commission fulfilled especially in the North of Nigeria and beyond … accepting that today’s saints are indeed an end-times army. But then we ask as did the Psalmist? FULL POST

Posted 5/4/14 at 8:35 PM | Olabode Ososami

Job, Christ and Robert Redford

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Robert Redford, aged 77, has been recently named amongst Time Magazine’s 2014 most Influential People in the World. He will perhaps be best remembered for his latest performance in “All is lost”, a truly inspiring movie. After surviving the confusion in ”Noah”, many may have pretty much decided to steer clear of Hollywood’s Christian genre and go to the Bible for their inspiration. “All is lost” does not pretend to be a Christian movie but it closely, in many ways, mirrors the battle of faith.

The plot begins with an unexpected boating mishap which causes the unnamed skilled mariner to eventually come to the conclusion, after eight days, in his final note "I'm sorry. I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried. I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right, but I wasn't." He declares, "All is lost."… a final admission of failure, guilt and futility of all self-help methods. After a brilliant and skilled survival effort, he is defeated and alone … hopeless. The movie has only a sole actor who says absolutely nothing but "help" throughout the film …if only our words were fewer. FULL POST

Posted 4/21/14 at 6:58 AM | Olabode Ososami |

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Resurrection and the Age of Biometric Surveillance

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Just reflect on the new possibilities. You want to pay for some groceries and a new technology scans your face instead of your credit card … bringing up information associated with your identity. These technologies will not just serve to criminalize a part of the population, but will defeat any desire for anonymity or freedoms and remotely control access to services based on predetermined profiles.

Should we trust a central electronic policing that can stop an individual’s ability to procure a can of coke at the till … or disallow the entry of an individual into a bus if systems percieve a civil threat? These technologies are quite close in maturing to pilot rollouts and it is still unclear how legislation should regulate an ability to pick you out from anywhere in the globe and the power it confers on those who will manage these capabilities.

The 21st century marked the advent of formal declaration that we can no more pretend to be nations ruled by the authority of the word of God and this theme propelled a new regime of rights to be freed from what was called religious dogmas. It seems, before the mid-century, society will celebrate a new Biometric Surveillance ability to impose a perfection as defined by a government we trust more than the Creator. Will the guardian angels of the 21st century be dispatched through electronic detection machinery capable of a 24 by 7 monitoring, control and restriction of all movements … stopping for example an escaped convict from purchasing a cup of coffee … but with scope for other potential abuses? FULL POST

Posted 4/18/14 at 7:03 AM | Olabode Ososami

Amina's Plate

It will be a while before the wounds from events of the last week, at the capital town of Abuja, Nigeria - are healed and the pain soothed from her memory. The bomb which ripped through the popular Nyanya bus terminal, on the 14th of April, filled with morning commuters, left only scattered body parts and destroyed vehicles. There will be no official list of the affected …only the memory of human parts strewn on the dusty floor being collected for the morgue. Many would not even be reported missing, most unrecognizable…there will be little DNA testing.

Zainab always brought her sister early to the terminal to await the arrival of the many who worked in Abuja but could not afford the rising cost of accommodation. The Easter festivities were around the corner and many will be generous. Amina did not go to school, they could not afford it, her profession was to seek alms from generous travelers and all she had to master were the Christian and Moslem greetings and prayers and guess the appropriate songs. Sometimes it was obvious what to do after some observation. Often she got it wrong … but few could resist dropping a few coins on her twisted aluminum plate. FULL POST

Posted 4/12/14 at 11:11 PM | Olabode Ososami

After the Fast

The Rose is a flower striking in beauty emerging from a seasonal bushy plant. It can look very unimpressive when her time to bloom has not come. But then there is a glorious spring and mid-summer in which the Rose blooms in glorious colors …but the autumn soon comes and the petals begin to fall to the ground and the gardener must prune the bush down …to wait afresh for another season of fresh double blooms. The gardener must therefore learn to wait. Fasting is like a period of waiting.

Spring is the time when new flowers spring forth … that which was previously imagined dead, pruned and fallen springs back. The word spring suggests acceleration. In God, there is an acceleration of goodness, re-blooming, harvesting, promotions and overflowing beauty and joy.

Song of Solomon 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

Fasting is a time of denial and looking to God. As the fasting starts for some in the harsh winter season and now ends in the spring … so will there be a springing forth of joys and testimonies. To live is Christ … Christ is the Rose of Sharon …the beautiful Rose, pruned down and blooming for us … you will enjoy His beauty. As you abide in Him … there will be a fresh bloom of new goodness for you in Jesus name. Amen FULL POST

Posted 4/12/14 at 10:31 PM | Olabode Ososami

Do you know Him?

How can we know someone as awesome, as mighty, as limitless, as infinite as God except that He reveals Himself to us. God is great. We are grass. How much of God will grass ever discover. Yet God reveals Himself to us by His creation, by His living word and by His innumerable hosts of messengers and ministering angels, watching over us. Indeed, much of our wanderings and problems arise from poor knowledge of God. The enemy of our soul, he himself having been one of his most trusted angels before, does know well that those that know their God will be undefeatable in their exploits.

The result of not knowing God is that we fret, we fear, we are too easily discouraged and place too much emphasis on our deeds - good or bad, as if they could do anything to God's infinite purposes. If we knew God, then we will know that God sees our thoughts clearly from afar - even before the thoughts came to us. God is so complex and so simple. He is so big and yet so small. He does not need a microscope to manage the unseen cells and organisms yet to be discovered. He does not need a telescope or a space ship to reach out to galaxies that fit into his hands. How could we describe Him. All our words are too limited, because we can only use our experience and created senses to observe that which created us and is well beyond our experience. All our words fail. FULL POST

Posted 3/31/14 at 8:14 AM | Olabode Ososami |

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Christian Film and the Cost of Correctness

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We seem to be in that season of new films coming out under different genres … with many offerings in an emerging category which could be termed “Christian Interest”. These are films that have some reference to the Bible in a primary form such as in title or in main characters and which hope to attract some fervent Christians and more especially the teeming curious segment barely familiar with scriptural truths.

Many argue that Hollywood and her cousins are less likely to be the media through which deep convicting thoughts will be seeded … claiming that the commercial objective of the average filmmaker will conflict with the potential offense likely to be associated with depth of Bible exposition and resolution of accuracy versus cultural correctness.

Indeed the early Christians were given that name in a derogatory scenario …they were poor people, who around the year 30 AD, formed communities which emerged to be contesters with the prevailing culture and often triggering violent persecution. Things have changed and today persecution is much more subtle. A good Christian film should accomplish all of three broad objectives – apart from being a good film in terms of technical and performance quality. FULL POST

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