Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas With A Difference

Take all the glory, all the glory, Almighty God
Take all the glory, all the glory, O Lord
For Your faithfulness, power and Your love
Take all the glory, all the glory, O Lord

By the grace of God, I have had the opportunity to celebrate many Christmases. Each of one of them has been unique, even when we did just about the same things. But this year, Christmas has a unique and special meaning to me. Never have I so much appreciated and be filled with this much joy sharing Christmas with my husband and our two sons.

Jesus loved me so much,
He left His throne in glory
He took the form of man
He walked the surface of the earth
And He felt every pain, distress
and discomfort ever known to man

What amazing love
That brought Jesus to us on earth
What overwhelming joy
Filling our hearts to overflowing
Just to know that Jesus is the reason
I can celebrate this Christmas.

Indeed, the best gift I could ever ask for; is the grace and mercy of God in giving me this Christmas with the three wonderful men He blessed my life with. Honestly, the joy of spending this Christmas rejoicing and reveling in the awesome love God so extravagantly lavished on us as individuals and as a family is indescribable.

It has been an eventful year. There have been times this year when the thought of being here rejoicing at Christmas was simply a hope and a dream. But we got to know the superabundant grace of God in keeping us through the darkest vale. We experienced His peace which garrisoned our hearts against all agitating fears. We saw the Lord fight our battles and He gave us victory in our trials and struggles.

Through it all, our sons matured into strong, supportive and God-fearing young men. Personally, it is joy inexpressible for me to be blessed with these fine young men who gave me many reasons to fight for life, and not to give up. I love them so much and words can not express my gratitude to God for blessing my life with them.

What can I say unto God for the special gift of a strong and God-fearing man, He gave me as a husband, who stood by my side through the thick and the thin. Together we have been to the mountain and to the valley. Together, we walked through the floods and through the fire, the good Lord kept us. You don’t even want to imagine how many times I wondered, "how does he maintain a composure of peace through the challenges and difficult situations, which marked the landscape of our lives this year?" I still can not imagine how he coped talking to someone who could not answer him back, walking away from my bedside knowing only by faith that it is by the grace of God that I will be kept in life or coming back home to an empty bed-room and not being sure when he will be able to share that space again.

If I spend the each day of the rest of my life thanking God for this wonderful and courageous man, it will not be enough to express my gratitude and appreciation to God for my blessing my life with him.

God fulfilled our much desired and longed for dream this month. We went for a vacation together, just the two of us, after over 15 years. That was a blissful time away together. Just to see my husband relaxed and rested was priceless.


Christmas is a special time
to thank the Lord
for the gift of love
that binds our heart
through all the seasons of the year.
- Dayspring Devotions: A Christmas Prayer.

I can say without any iota of doubt that it has been God's gift of unfailing love that kept our hearts through all the seasons of our lives this year in particular and in the last twenty years. That is why I can not but overflow with thanks, praise and gratitude to God this Christmas.

Christmas 2013 is different and unique, I have so much to be thankful for. It is about appreciating the goodness of God in surrounding me with loving and caring family and friends. If I want to begin to write about how God used our families and friends to support and uphold us these past years, I will need another post to do justice to it.

I am truly blessed with a wonderful family - our parents, our brothers and sisters, and their spouses and children. They held us up in prayers and stood in the gap for hours. The phone calls were countless, and their encouragement was profound. Only God can truly bless and reward them.

Our friends showed us what brotherly (and sisterly) love is all about. Friends who expended of themselves and gave themselves no rest until they saw the glory of God on display upon our lives. God Who owes no man will surely be their recompense and great reward.

On Christmas eve, we had friends in the house for a night of Christmas Carols singing. We sang joyfully unto God, shared testimonies and fellowship with one another. More friends came to share fellowship with us on Christmas day. We acknowledged God's faithfulness in our lives and in our countries. The turkey came out fine. We have opened the gaily-wrapped gifts and cleared up the torn wrapping papers - some people don’t have the patience to unwrap their gifts without tearing the wrapping papers.

As I wrote this post, I pondered again over the events of the past year and all I can say is that behind every cloud, there has been a silver lining. And the song playing in my heart has been:

"…. For Your faithfulness, power and Your love,
Take all the glory, all the glory, O Lord."

Each moment of this season has been profoundly moving  and reflective. He who is capable of deep and reflective reasoning will be full of gratitude. I hope you too can look back into 2013 and as you reflect on the events of your life this year, I pray that you will identify many reasons to fall upon your knees and sing: For Your faithfulness, power and Your love, take all the glory Almighty God.

Please feel free to share your testimonies in the comment box below and let us give praise to God on your behalf.

May the reality of God's unfailing and undying love for you fill your hearts with overflowing joy this Christmas and in the New Year, may this sure and guaranteed love hold your hearts in perfect peace.

Thank you all for being there for us and for standing with us in 2013. May the good God be your recompense and reward.

Friday, December 20, 2013

And It Came To Pass

On May 5th, 2012, I posted a blog - An Icon For A Dream. Below is an excerpt from the blog:

"I have yet another dream, a vision of an answered prayer and in this vision, I saw myself—handbag over my arm, passport, ticket and boarding pass in one hand and my carry on luggage in the other hand—walking into a Jumbo Jet, in readiness for a long haul flight. I walked into the plane without any encumbrances or paraphernalia, just my personal effects. Indeed, that will be the open manifestation of God’s promise fulfilled in my life which will require no further explanation—a walking testimony."

Earlier that year in February and at the Geneva Writers' Conference, I wrote a poem, "I will fly again" during the Poetry class I participated in. It was the first time that I read a poem in public. I was moved to tears as I read the poem and the class instructor also asked me to read it again. It was quite significant for me because I had never considered myself a Poet though I had written many of what I called "my poetic musing." She affirmed me and asked me to continue to work hard at this skill. She did not know my history or story but there were obvious signs that indicated that the poem had deep personal meaning.

My mother once said that I had itchy feet. It was a parlance in Yoruba to describe someone who loves to travel and does travel a lot. In those days I did a lot of travelling within and outside Nigeria. My job was travel intensive. And I loved it -- going to different places, seeing different cultures and tasting diverse cuisine. As years passed, travelling became a consistent part of our family lives. For a number of years, we had to live apart because my husband and I were working with two international organisations in different duty stations. Travelling by air was a regular and frequent activity. I love flying, gliding above the clouds. But in 2007 I became too ill to travel. It required a lot of planning and special assistance for me to travel by air or even by road. By 2010, I was grounded.

That was difficult. I wrote a number of poems to express my inner turmoil at not being able to travel either for pleasure or work. I felt like a plane grounded in a hangar, and like a caged bird. Both are meant to spread their wings and fly, soar above the mountains. But my wings were clipped by my medical situation.

But I had a dream, a vision and a desire. I knew that it would come to pass and I will fly again.

On Monday, December 16th, after over three years in the hangar, I walked out my house with my bag packed, this time it was not to the hospital. It was to the airport. And it came to pass, I flew again. It was with exhilarating joy.

As we sat in the waiting room, my husband and I recalled the last couple of times I had travelled; we remembered how anxious we were that the batteries powering the oxygen concentrator would last until we were on board.

This time last year, the facts of my life made it look impossible that we could be living our dream, just a year down the road. I had a big swelling in my neck. Celebrating Christmas 2012 was simply an act of faith. We were unsure what was going to happen next as the cyst on my thyroid gland was growing at an alarming rate.

By the turn of the year, on January 2nd, 2013, I was admitted into the hospital, and on the third, I underwent a very distressing and uncomfortable surgery to remove the tumour. On April 13th, I was back in the operating room for a life-threatening surgery. And on May 30th, I was in the operating room again, this time for a life-changing surgery, which redefined our normal.

Despite all these facts, the truth of God's word remained unchanging. And that is, faithful is He Who has promised (Heb. 11:11), He is able to accomplish all His purpose concerning us. And it came to pass, according to His Word that there shall be nothing hard of difficult for God to do (Jer. 32:27). It came to pass just as He has spoken, that He keeps my soul in life. He restores my health and heals my wound. He is the God that heals me.

God is able to do all what He says He will do
He will accomplish all the promises He made to you.

Today, my heart simply rejoice in the Lord, Who has made it possible for me to live my dream and granted me the desires of my heart in accordance to His will for me and His promise to me.

Dear Friends, the facts around you today may be contrary to your dreams and visions for your life. And it may look almost impossible for your dreams and heart desire to come to pass, but I want you to know that God always do what He says He would do. At the appointed time, God visited Sarah, and it came to pass just as He had spoken to Sarah. At the appointed time, as God promised Abraham, it came to pass (Gen 21:1-2). Through the challenging and difficult waiting time, God preserved her and her husband, Abraham. He ensured that nothing could thwart the fulfilment of His promise to them (Gen 20).

He is still the same God alive and active on your behalf today, if you would put your trust in Him and hold on with hope and patience on the unchanging truth of His Word. At the appointed time, it will come to pass, all the righteous desires and dreams of your heart based on His promise to you.

"You can expect your vision to be realized. You can expect whatever you are believing God for to “come to pass.” I promise you that. It may not be at the time you want to manifest itself, but it will come to pass. It may not come in the form you want to come in, but it will come to pass!" (Revd. Lauren Webb,

I am a living testimony of the truth that God fulfils His promises. He Who has done great things for me is able to do the same for you too. He is never late in fulfilling His promise. There may be just eleven days left of 2013, but it is more than enough time for God to turn your situation around for good. Don't give up hope. Don't give up on your dream. Hold fast to the promise of God to you and rest assured that in His own time, God will make all things beautiful in your life. It will surely come to pass.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When God Put His Glory On Display

Do you remember the old Sunday School chorus based on the healing of the lame man by Peter and John at the temple's gate called Beautiful in Acts 3?

Silver and Gold have I not
But such that I have give I unto you
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Rise up and walk

He was walking and leaping and praising God x2
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Rise up and walk.

The crippled man rose up, he walked, and leaped and praised God. The people around at the temple saw him walking, leaping and praising God. And they recognized that it was the same man who used to sit at the temple's gate begging for aims.

They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Now, this man was crippled from birth.

The wonderful works of God puts His glory on display in our lives. People and nations, including the heathen, shall see it and declare that our God is good. When God moves on our behalf at the appointed time to show pity on us and to favour us, people around us shall see it and reverently worship the name of the Lord. Kings shall praise Him because of His mighty works in our lives (Ps 102:13-15).

Great was David's distress and affliction in Ps 102, that he sat alone like a bereaved sparrow on a rooftop. He was inwardly depressed by his afflictions and trials that he lost the will to live. But David  was confident that God will answer his prayers because he knew that God will not despise the plea of the destitute. He was confident that God would not forget forsake or abandon him.

For the Lord looks down from His Holy heaven to behold us His people on earth, and to listen to our plea. Because of His faithfulness to us, men will declare His praise and people shall gather together to worship Him.

It gives us such an assurance to know experientially that God looks down from heaven and He behold us. His eyes are intent on us and He is greatly concerned about us. David was assured that as a result of the anticipated deliverance, the name of the Lord will be praised when the people of God gather together in Zion.

This same confidence and assurance was expressed in Ps 126 as he declared: "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream." God did an amazing thing in their lives to the extent that it was like a dream. It was too good to be true. Because of this awesome work of God, they laughed with joy and overflowed with praise. It was so loud and copious that even the heathen (that is, those who don’t believe in God), who heard them, had to affirm that their God had done great things for them.

Isn't it wonderful when the display of God's mightiness and faithfulness in our lives would cause even those who do not acknowledge God to declare and confirm that our God is good and worthy to be praised? When God gives us a testimony that does not need explanation, everyone who sees us would acknowledge the faithfulness of God on our behalf and give praise to His Holy name.

That was the case for me last Sunday. It was the Annual Thanksgiving and International Day in church, a day we set apart to bring offering of thanks and praise to God in a truly multicultural and international way. We are from different nations and cultures, and we add this diversity to our celebration of God's goodness in our lives. It is usually an extended service followed by a food fellowship during which we share food from our different countries to wrap-up the celebration.

It was an exceptional day of exhilarating joy for me for a number of reasons. Remember, God has done great things for us, whereof we are glad. First, it was the first time we did not have to worry about having someone to go back home to refill the oxygen tank because we would not have sufficient oxygen for the whole period we had to be in church. Last year, my husband who is in the choir had to leave mid-service to dash back home and refill the oxygen bottle.

Secondly, there were people at this special service who had not seen me for over year. The joy they expressed when they saw me without the supplemental oxygen paraphernalia is indescribable. They were so glad for me that they kept praising God and thanking Him for my healing. I was truly overwhelmed at their reaction. They had never seen me before without the paraphernalia. It was a unique sight for them.

One of them was the Guest Preacher. He surely gave praise to God for what He has done in my life and he declared that this is a testimony that needed no explanation.

But there can be no testimony without a test. And it does not matter how long the tests and trials last for. It is the victory that God gives us over the difficult and challenging situations that brings the praise and put the glory of God on display in our lives. Like the man who was blind from birth and was healed by Jesus in John 9, it was for the glory of God to be made manifest that he had to go through that difficult situation. Our calamities and afflictions are for the glory of God and to make manifest His works.

In Matthew 9:8 and 15:31, the people were amazed, astonished, awestruck and they marveled when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed become whole, the lame walking and the blind seeing. These are testimonies of the power of Jesus to heal at work in the lives of these individuals which could not be hidden. Then the people praised and glorified God. That power to heal and to deliver is still at work today in the lives of those who put their trust and hope in Him and believe in His name.

What we need to do in our day of trouble, distress and affliction, is to call upon the name of the Lord. As He promised in Ps 50 verses 15 and 23, He will answer us and He will deliver us. And what should our response be to this? We praise and glorify His name. But that is not all, many people around us will see it and also give praise to God because of what He has done for us.

David anticipated God's deliverance. He was very confident that God will not leave him that his difficult situation, therefore he was able to declare in advance that God will be glorified and praised because of what He will do on behalf of His people. We can begin to give praise to God while we are still in that difficult situation when we are confident that God is able to deliver us as He has promised.

We can praise our way through our days of trouble and distress just like Paul and Silas praised their way out of the prison. See the number of lives touched because these men confidently praised and worshiped God even while in bondage and shackles. God was so moved that He had to step into their situation and that cause the earth to quake bringing about their deliverance and release.

Dear Friends, the year 2013 is rapidly coming to an end, whatever the situation you may be facing right now, no matter how long it has lasted; you may even feel as if God has abandon you or He seems so far off and you have not seen your desires fulfilled yet. Let me this assurance give you, this situation is for the glory of God to be revealed and be put on display in your life. One thing I can assure you of is that, God loves you passionately with an amazing and unending love, and He is daily putting that love on display in your life.

Look back, look around you and then look up. There is so much for which you can thank and praise God. And soon, at the fullest of time, God will put His glory on display in your life such that men will see it, they will marvel, and they will rejoice and glorify God because of you.

This assurance alone is a reason and an opportunity to rejoice in the Lord and be glad. For those who sow in tears will come again with rejoicing and exhilarating joy as they bring the sheaves in.

May God's glory be on display in your life and home this Christmas Season and beyond.