Her Faith Just Like Ours


Mar 30, 2011


"24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. 25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.27 when she heard about Jesus; she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 but the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:24-34
Every woman can relate with this woman’s story but to what extent? It’s one thing for her to bleed for the usual five to seven days; it’s another thing entirely to bleed for seven whole years, equivalent of 4384 days. How fast could the red blood cells multiply to replace the lost ones? How much white blood cells would be left in the body to defend it from disease? How strong could her immunity have been after such loss of blood? How physically strong could she have been? How much money could she have left if she had being treated for the same illness over and over again, getting second opinions, perhaps being used as a guinea pig for the latest drug, being poked and prodded in various delicate places by physicians who were puzzled by her ailment yet unwilling to admit it.

The bible says this woman suffered many things in the hands of physicians. They promised her healing falsely yet continued to milk her dry. What could her life have been like?

Lev 15:19-31, paints a good picture of menstruating women and how they were seen and to be treated.

According to the Leviticus law, women were considered unclean during menstruation and were to remain separated from everyone. Everyone had to stay away from such women during this period and she would wait in isolation until the cessation of menstruation after which she would bring two turtles or two young pigeons to the priest who would offer both a sin offering and a burnt offering. Then she would be welcomed back to the camp, back to civilization, so to speak.  

Can you imagine how this erodes the discreetness we modern women so craves at such a time. Each time a woman goes into the separation camp, everyone goes ‘Oh oh, she’s got a bloody issue’, lol.

Well this law was still very much in effect during Jesus’ time and so this woman must have lived in isolation twelve long years. That must have been painful. She was isolated from everyone she loved and knew. She was denied physical touch or even intimacy. She couldn’t interact in anyway, share a joke or two, laugh and eat with people. Her body was riddled with this debilitating disease and basically she was as good as dead. In fact, she smelt like death as she probably never had the strength to wash her ‘separation clothes’, so she probably just laid in it day and night, fresh and crusted blood all mixed together. No luxury of ‘Always’ I’m afraid. J.

Then her finances dwindled fast. One thing is apparent, either she was a woman of means or she had family with some wealth because it seems she’d seen the best physicians over and over again. Her finances either dwindled or the family could no longer support her. They decided to leave her for dead after all she’d not been seen anywhere for twelve years anyway. But she never gave up. She never lost hope of being one day free from her infirmity. Even after twelve years she still had hope.

Now imagine this scenario; she sat at her window to listen to people talking. That was the only way she was informed of current events, in fact it was the only time she felt connected with people. And these people talked about a man called Jesus. They said He healed the sick, raised the dead and performed the most awesome miracle and He was passing by the road by her house that day. The moment the testimony of Jesus’ deeds entered her ears, like the parable of the sower, the testimony lands on very fertile soil, the soil in the heart of a very desperate woman. This Jesus she had to see. In the past she’d never been able to make it beyond the door, being weak and all but strength from nowhere rose in her. She quickly changed into the only clean clothes she had left to hide her condition and blend in with everyone else.

Her heart pounded. She knew she had to make a move but the law forbade women from touching a rabbi/priest, least of all an unclean one. If the men knew she was unclean perhaps she would be stoned to death. But then she was dying anyway. She knew in the depths of her heart that if she could just touch him, just that one touch would make all the difference. Buoyed by her strengthening faith, she leaped with all her strength into the crowd and tried to gain up but Jesus walked too quickly and only his garment flowed behind Him. She strained as hard as she could as she stretched and caught hold of his helm of his garment.

Boom! A powerful force zipped through her and in that moment, the bible says ‘the fountain of her blood was dried up’. She knew in that instant that life had come back and she was made whole.

Interestingly, many people touched Jesus that day; in fact many rubbed shoulders with Him, probably stepped on His toes but only this woman made a real, concrete connection. She was the only one who did not see Jesus’ presence as mundane; she saw beyond a mere man, she saw with the eyes of faith. Her act of faith was so phenomenal she drew heaven’s attention and stopped Jesus in His tracks. This woman was a show-stopper through her courage, tenacity and persistent faith. Jesus was in a hurry to go and heal Jairus’ daughter but the woman with the issue of blood stopped Him for a moment and claimed her deliverance.

And when Jesus asked the question: “WHO TOUCHED ME?” He knew virtue had been released from Him. He wasn’t enquiring to punish the woman, He wanted to know and commend the person who took that step of faith. He respected her actions and told her Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” 

And here’s one admirable thing she did. When Jesus wanted to know who touched him, she owned up to her deeds even though she was trembling. She didn’t run away or try to pretend, she come forward and volunteered the information and that honesty sealed the deal. Halleluyah!


Mar 29, 2011

Through Mary's Lenses

(First of all, I would like to thank  Koinonia and  'Faith Dames' for inviting me and accepting me into your fold of Dames with Faith. I am truly honoured and feel so blessed. 'Through Mary's Lenses' is not new. I just 'stole' it from my book 'The Diary of a Desperate Naija Woman in the Year 20-Ten'  because I just could not wait to be  part of this group! I hope you like it. I hope it blesses you. And most of all, I hope it, in any little way possible, makes the fires of your faith flare more ferociously!

Usually, all my thoughts are on Baby Jesus at Christmas. How bout you? Same, abi? There are always, and rightly so, calls from all corners for us to remember the real reason for the season and so we do. We do our best to make sure that as we go through all the eating, drinking and jisting, we do not forget to give thanks for the real gift that keeps on giving. The gift from God to a world in dire need of a way out from eternal destruction - Jesus Christ.

This year has been no different. Thanks to reading 'The Shack', this Christmas, I am very aware of the awesome love God has for me more than ever. I am so grateful to God for Jesus Christ but today is a little different. Thanks to my Pastor, I was called on to think about his mother, Mary. At least, right now, today,  Jesus Christ is really just a tiny baby in a manger so I think it will be OK to spend some time thinking about his Mama, abi?

We really do not think about this woman often enough. Not sure why cos THAT was no mean feat agreeing to be 'conceived of the Holy Spirit' especially in the times she lived in. Especially when there was a very likely chance Joseph would not believe her incredible story. And who would blame him? Never before had a woman, a virgin, come forward to claim that she was pregnant. Wahala number 1. We are talking, fornication here and offense punishable by death. A very painful, slow death by stoning. Then on top of that she goes on to claim that the one 'who dunnit' is not a mere man but a 'spirit'! Wahala number 2! Come on! She has surely gone mad, they would say. Not only had she been messing around, she now had the audacity to be claiming that God was responsible! Just try to imagine the faces of her people as she told them this story! And I remember reading somewhere that Mary was only about 14/15 years at the time!

So for just the time it will take you to read this rest of this, please wear  the 'glasses' Mary must have been looking at her life through in this season of her life after she had that one of a kind meeting with Angel Gabriel. What do you think she was feeling? Fear? What would Joseph say? What would her parents and her soon to be in laws think of her? How would the people look at her now? What if ALL this was the figment of some serious fever she MUST be suffering from? Who had ever heard of a virgin getting pregnant? Oh my gosh, her reputation will  be in shreds now! Her engagement will surely be annulled and on top of that surely, they will stone her! I am going to die! And on and one her mind must have been reeling.........but what did she do with all these thoughts? How would she cope? What did she say? Let's see, follow me to Luke 1: 38 and we shall see what this young woman  said:

Mary responded, 'I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.'

Wow! She was basically saying - Let them reject me if that's part of your plan, let them think I have gone mad, let Joseph turn his back on me if that's what it means, in fact, yes! let them stone me if that is what God wants. What a demonstration of absolute TRUST in her God. And I know that deep in her heart, she somehow knew that God loved her too much and that it would ALL work out for good. She may not have had one single clue HOW but she knew HE would come through. Mary trusted God with her very life.

In 2011, by the special grace of God, I am going to be like Mary, mother of Jesus Christ

I will trust God with my very life.

How about you dear one? How about you?

(c) DesperateNaijaWoman

Mar 22, 2011

I Am The City Prostitute: Rahab

I am the city prostitute.

I am bold and beautiful. I double up as a pimp and a whore who works hard to make a living. No doubt,I sell my body to make raw cash and that makes ‎​​me cool.

My name makes ‎​​me proud because everyone including the ‎​king know my identity.

I am always found in the streets and market place buying and selling. Two days ago,I was booed in the market square,calling me brash,long legged and sly at heart.

One day, two strange men visited the land and actually walked by my house. I readily flung my door open to them thinking they needed my usual service. Yes, they needed my help but this time not a "one night stand" nor my myriad of whores. They wouldn't even look at ‎​​me because they had a mission to accomplish(I wonder how they knew my "occupation" to stop by my crib). As soon as I let them in, I saw one young boy peeping through my window but I hushed him away.

Hours later the ‎​king sent a word to ‎​​me to bring the men I have "in my bed"-everyone assumes that I seductively solicit for every man's attention. In strict keeping with Eastern manners, no man is permitted to enter a woman's house without her permission. I was at high risk but in my usual way,I played a fast one on the ‎​king's men and they left in search of the spies.

I covered  the two spies with piles of flax which I coincidentally stored up on my roof. It was the time of the barley harvest, and flax and barley ripen at the same time in the Jordan valley, so that the bundles of flax stalks were left to dry.

On this particular night, I refused to go on my rounds because I feared my house could be ransacked and I wanted to preserve the lives of these spies. I locked my doors and I ran up the roof to have a word with them. I reeled out my fears to them acknowledging their God as mightily behind them. I told them the stories we've heard of their God and how my people are afraid and unable to conquer them even with all our troops. I suddenly lay flat pleading with them to spare ‎​​me and my family for risking my life for them. I said;

"Now swear to ‎​​me by the Lord that ‎​you will be kind to ‎​​me and my family since I have helped ‎​‎​you."

I could feel hot tears streaming down my well made-up face. The "Kohl" in my eyes smeared making my tears dark but I didn't mind since my life mattered the most at this time.

I added;" Give ‎​​me some guarantee that when our city is conquered, ‎​you will let ‎​​me live, along with  all my family members". Then I wiped my tears with my Pashmina while they pacified ‎​​me with their words; "‎​​We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety. If ‎​you don't betray us, ‎​​we will keep our promise when the Lord gives us the land"

For the first time in my entire life, I slept in tranquillity like a new born baby,also amazed that I could stay through the night with two handsome and well built men without asking for sex. By ‎morning,I gave them water to wash up,while I fixed them a meal of oat and bread. I dug out a scarlet robe I usually use to let down my clients at night when the city gates are locked- since I live on the city wall,it makes it easy to escape to the hills.

 I tied the rope on my window sill letting it down for them. While they prepared to leave, I instructed them on the regular route my clients ply.

"Escape to the hill country" I said and hide there for three days till the men who are searching for ‎​you return. They reiterated  those words they told ‎​​me last night and added very weighty but symbolic words; "‎​​We can guarantee ‎​your safety if ‎​you leave this scarlet(the same rope I used to commit atrocity) hanging from the window." They asked that my entire household remain inside my house until they claim the city. I swore not to betray them but abide by this oath.

Wow! I pondered. That means I'd run out of business and loose my clients, and my entire family would have to stay indoors for an uncertain number of days because if any of us goes out to the streets,we would die like everyone.

However, I gathered my family into my house and firmly locked my doors. ‎​​My family members brought some of their important belongings into my spare room,we bought enough food for the period ‎​​We would stay indoors seizing this opportunity to have our family reunion after such a long time. I shared my experience with the spies convincing them of the God I met through them.

This time I knew my occupation as a city prostitute had come to a grinding halt never to be visited again. I also knew this was a moment to find hope in the only Supreme God who chose to send spies to a prostitute like ‎​​‎​​me. I perceived my salvation was closer than I ever imagined.  My thought also ran wild wondering why a perfect God would think so highly of a rotten girl like ‎​​me who has lured,seduced and cajoled hundreds of men to their death place?

Some days after,news came to us that the city gates were tightly shut because my kindred were afraid of God's own people and everyone including the King dwelt in utter fear. For six days,we heard heavy stumping of foot soldiers and the sound of several horns.

On the seventh day, ‎​​we were awakened by the foot soldiers. This time, the rhythm changed, the atmosphere was dark and tense and the clouds grew red. Then,I was assured the time had come. ‎​​We heard them march round our city seven times, then a long,loud sound blazed into the air and everywhere shook like the rumbling of thunder and sparks of lightening. Suddenly, we heard a mighty shout which was like the noise of many waters and a mighty earthquake rushed through our city crushing shops,empires,palaces, monuments and strongholds-everything in our once adorable city collapsed stone upon stone,houses upon houses but our house stood like a firm foundation!

Though the noise rattled ‎​​me and made everyone in my house curl up in a corner,we were safe.

Just then, a knock on our door shook us to our feet. Scared stiff to open the door, I opted to be their "sacrificial lamb". I opened the door and there were these two spies grinning at ‎​​me sheepishly. I flung my hands around them broken to tears. They pacified me and led ‎​​‎​​me to sit down while they greeted my family. I managed to do a shabby introduction amidst tears. Then they announced that they came to rescue us to their land. ‎​​

We followed them to meet the great warrior,Joshua whom I had heard of from my childhood days. He expressed his sincere gratitude for  saving his men with my "fidelity"-wow the first good comment made about ‎​​me all my life? He didn't call ‎​​me a harlot or an infidel, but a beautiful not forsaken, delightful woman furnished with a brand new life? He saw something no one ever did? Oh what love?

 He further rewarded my family and ‎​​me with a pleasant abode among his people.

The Supreme God of Israel blessed ‎​​me with a new life, saving ‎​​me from a sordid past;preserving and rescuing my family from death. I ran into him and found grace and mercy. He set my feet upon a solid rock to stay and built ‎​​me upon His foundation forever. He enlarged ‎​​me and broadened my coast from the strange lands of Jericho to the plush country of Israel.

I belong to a new race by grace.

I am Rahab, a wife to a prince of Judah, Salmon and our son is called Boaz(Ruth 4:21; 1 Chr. 2:11; Matt. 1:5).

(c) Enobong

Mar 16, 2011

The Zarephath widow (1 Kings 17:1-6)

Imagine this...

You're broke, dead broke! Your husband died 5 years ago and left you with nothing to sustain yourself. You've sold all your possession and no longer borrow money because there's no income to pay back with.
There's no food left in the store and family & friends have walked away one after the other.

All you have left are your son, the last cup of garri mama Ngozi gave after begging you to stop sucking her dry and the dirty 10Naira note you picked up while trekking back from her house.

You know this is the end, there's no one and no where else to go. So you decide to buy sugar with that 10Naira so that your last meal with your son will atleast be tasteful.

On your way home from Mallam's kiost, you see a dirty and hungry looking man who says to you "Please bring me some water in a cup, that I may drink". You don't mind because he really looks like he could use a cup of water-heck, a bath too- and you have two jerry cans of water at home, of which you know that after your last meal with your son, you won't be alive long enough to finish them.

So you head out to bring the cup of water for the stranger, but then, he calls out after you "Please bring me a cup of garri also"!

What will YOU do?

                                     *                            *                            *

Elijah is the stranger in the scenario above and the Zarephath widow is you (me, us) from the biblical story in 1Kings 17.

When Elijah as directed by God asked for food from the widow, she said ,"As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die"
And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and aferward make some for yourself and for your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel; 'The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth' "

My pastor in Church always says that when what you have is not enough for you, give it all back to God then sit back and relax because He'll return to you more than you needed in the first place. This widow is my biggest heroine in the Bible. Her name is not even recorded but her act of kindness and faith is so big that after all these years, the world is still reading about her.

God won't come down to bless us Himself, He can, but most of the time He sends people. But then again, those people need to obey before our requests will be granted. The widow needed to obey in order to feed Elijah, if she didn't, all three of them would have probably died of hunger. Elijah's success (of feeding) was dependent on her obedience.

We'll also need to give in order to recieve. Her recieving food was tied to her giving it. If she didn't give Elijah her last meal then she wouldn't have gotten the jar of oil that didn't run dry, flour that didn't get used up and she definately wouldn't have become the faith dame we are discussing today.


1. Obedience: if you have an itch to give something or do something for someone, no matter how big (or small) give it, do it. If not for them, then for you, because you'll never know which of your prayer answers is tied to an act of your obedience. And if you're not sure it's God sending you, give it anyway. There's always a reward for giving, besides, the devil will never send you to bless anyone!

2. Faith: the Bible says with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains! When Elijah said "make a small cake from it first, and bring it to me and after ward make some for yourself and your son", she would have argued and said there was no way the flour she had would feed the three of them, but she had faith and did as he said. Some of the things God asks of us seem unreasonable but if we do them in faith that He would never leave us nor forsake us, then we will never lack.

3. Speak out: if Elijah didn't ask the widow for food, he would've died of hunger. If she had just brought the food without stating her problems, she would have died of hunger too! God knows we have problems but we need to ask, we need to pray. Matt 7:7 "Ask and it shall be given unto you..." But James 4:3 "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures". God doesn't want us to lack, but you can pray from today till forever for your neighbor to die so you can move into his house, and it wont happen. Understand???

4. Give: Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over would be put into your bossom. For the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you- Luke 6:38.

(c) Dosh

This post is a compilation of sermons i've heard over the last 2 years and everyone of them that i put into practice worked for my good. "God is not man that He should lie", hold onto His promises and do the work then sit back and wait for your blessings.

Mar 7, 2011

The Daughers of Zelophead

Qualities of The daughters of Zelophead
1.       Courage: They were bold and courageous
2.       King Moving: They got Moses to intercede on their behalf
3.       Loyalty: They were willing to keep their fathers name from extinction. They could have gotten married and 4gotten their dad
4.       Sacrificial: They were willing to be limited to marrying from their tribe in order to preserve their lineage
5.       Law Making: Because of them, God made a law       

1.  Courage: They were bold and courageous
Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
Numbers 27:1-4
The daughters of Zelophead found themselves in a very difficult position. Moses was sharing the inheritance among the families and tribes of Israel and their family was also entitled to their share. Because it was during the times when women were not allowed to speak out and take a stand, they realized that they stood the risk of being relegated to the background. With no father, brother to speak for them, they decided to be courageous. They stood in front of Moses and other princes and elders to make their case known.
2.  King Moving: They got Moses to intercede on their behalf
And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.
Numbers 27:5
Because of their courage and good reason, they got Moses to intercede on their behalf. Moses was a very busy man and by this time, he had delegated a lot of his responsibilities to other leaders, following his Father-in-Law’s advice. He was the overall leader and an equivalent of a king in those days. The daughters of Zelophehad were able to get the ‘king’ to intercede on their behalf because of their courage.
3.    Loyalty: They were willing to keep their fathers name from extinction. They could have gotten married and 4gotten their dad
They asked ‘Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son?’. They realized that they were the only ones that could preserve their father’s lineage, even if they were not men. They could have decided to get married and forget about their Father’s inheritance. After all, they won’t be bearing their father’s name forever. But they decided to stay back, fight for their dead father before getting married.
4.    Sacrificial: They were willing to be limited to marrying from their tribe in order to preserve their lineage
They were willing to sacrifice the choice of whom they could marry just to preserve their father’s inheritance forever. It did not matter to them if they like someone from other tribes, they were from the tribe of Manasseh and they will marry within that tribe if that is what it took for them to preserve their father’s inheritance.
5.    Law Making: Because of them, God made a law
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.
And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.
And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren.
And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Numbers 27: 6-11
Finally, they were able to move God, the King of kings to establish a new set of laws. Their faith was able to move mountains. They accompanied their faith with works and God moved on their behalf.
There are times when we will find ourselves in difficult positions that the only way we can get put of it is doing something that has never been done before. People will talk and say, ‘that is not how it is done in our culture, no one will take you serious, it has never worked’ etc, but we will still need to find the courage to stand out in those times. If we dare to stand out in such situations, influential people will stand for us when they see reason. Also God will eventually move on our behalf and not allow us to be relegated to the background, even if it means making new rules just for us.
Sometimes, the solution might take enormous sacrifice on our path, but if we believe in what we are standing up for, it will not be a big deal. Let us learn from the daughters of Zelophead and choose to stand up for what we believe in and what is rightfully ours.

(c) ilola

Mar 3, 2011

The Adulterous woman Luke 7:37-38

I don't know her name, the bible doesn't say

i may not have lived in her time but when I read about her I imagine a beautiful woman with long flowing hair or not but beautiful all the same, loved by men or scorned as they discover her intelligence and whatnots (She has too many qualities good ones, a woman shouldn’t have; society expects an airhead most times with all the stereotypes,  cook and take care of the kids and your job's done). many times, this kind of woman (a beautiful woman) is hated by other women (They secretly want to be ‘her’ i think) but in spite of all the perceived advantages, she laid it all down and depended on the plan, purpose and the power of the master who was the one divinely orchestrating her life. He ruled in the affairs of men then, he still does today.

(The woman of today has these same bottlenecks. Don’t get me wrong, she  is no feminist, she has too role models to be perceived as a feminist. Esther was certainly no feminist but she was not an airhead either. Deborah was a judge, she had courage, much more than the king could muster. Bathsheba must have been made of sterner stuff for her son to be crowned king at a time when the king’s cousins had all sorts of schemes that could help them steal the throne from Solomon. These women stand out as woman who had faith more than intelligence. They had the hand of God upon them, they were more than a man!)

She was a woman who walked erect with her head held up not because she was perfect but because of her understanding of the worth placed on her by the most high. The one who made the major decisions in spite of the schemes of man. I admire her courage; she withstood male criticism and disapproval but would not bow. 

I might have shook in my shoes before entering a house full of some of the most powerful men in the world. She had spent a year’s wages buying perfume to anoint Jesus and a few smirks here or even outright insults could not stop her from accomplishing purpose. She understood the meaning of purpose, it transcended emotions to what was important, it transcended her abilities, her whims or agendas to what God wanted. You bet she did more than cooking or caring for kids, God trusted her to do more, have more, be more!

Personal: From time to time, I get people who lift their noses up at me, they talk about me in a manner that cannot be described as ‘love’ and they are generally un-Christ like but it does nothing to daunt me or slow me down. I am encouraged that I am not the first and that human nature hasn’t changed much but I thank God because I have the nature of God and that I am able to do right.

Mary Magdalene: She had seven devils cast out of her and yet Jesus counted her worthy to follow Him. She followed Jesus every step of the way as he carried the cross and journeyed to Calvary. She was faithful, loyal and honorable. She would not desert him even when she already knew he was going to die at the cross, Jesus had said it so many times, it was difficult for her not to know that He spoke the truth.

She inspires me because this means I can carry my cross every day and follow Jesus in spite of what anyone is saying and how they are judging. Someone once told me that when you judge other people, all you are doing is challenging the blood of Jesus Christ and doubting if it is really able to cleanse and wash and make clean and the sad thing is that I forgot, I am glad I remember now and I don’t want to ever forget that I was saved by grace and not works.

Mary Magdalene: She was the first to see Jesus rise from the dead and she was the first to inform all the other disciples that Jesus had risen and she was a trusted follower of Jesus. 

Personal: I can follow Jesus today and know that it may not matter to anyone else because after all it is just business as usual but it matters to Jesus. I know we say we know he lives but we act as if he is dead. I know he lives and I pray I act like he lives every day. That is when I am actually conscious of His redemptive life in me.

The adulterous woman: Don’t think I will forget that she was caught in adultery! The Pharisees and teachers of the law caught her alright but it was no coincidence but something carefully crafted by the human mind. Man will never believe that depending on your own mind is a promise to fail because God and man are not the same. The Pharisees thought that would be the day they would take Jesus down. The day they would trap him into opposing a Jewish law and that they would kill two birds with one stone or rather many stones. It was not to be because Jesus had an answer, he knew what was on their minds. She was caught unawares. She could have died that day but instead she met the man Jesus and the course of her destiny was changed forever. Instead of satisfying their craving, he had the perfect answer: ‘If you are without sin, cast the first stone…’

I am glad God did not demand that she repent for the rest of her life, she was allowed to walk free and worship freely and was given 100% inheritance like every other believer, nothing missing. I was sick of hearing about the virtuous women like there were no female heroes in the bible till I stumbled on her, I am glad I did. I have learnt so much from her she was a woman imperfect who still loved God without a bowed head. It encourages me too because too many times in our world today, the schemes of men are clear to see, I mean after all, it appears corruption is a way of life but I know God still orchestrates good while men plan, he can work it out for his glory! Humans will always be humans so you have to know the truth anyways so I always respond based on the truth and not trust the arm of flesh. The flesh is the enemy, or rather the devil is the enemy and he works with the flesh of man.

The letter kills but the spirit gives life

This gives me courage...

(c)Tisha Smith

Mar 2, 2011

Leah- Unloved of man, Chosen of God.

The story about to be shared is about a young lady, Leah. I hope that this story,will bring you comfort through your hardships, courage to forge on, and the knowledge of God’s love and sovereign grace.

Leah was first introduced in Genesis 29. In this chapter Jacob was fleeing the wrath of his brother Esau. Jacob was guilty for having deceitfully received the blessing that his father intended to give his brother. So in the quest for preserving his life, and seeking a new beginning, he arrives at Haran where his mother’s brother lives. His uncle Laban received him with open arms and Jacob was quick to begin serving Laban diligently. As such, after a month of staying with his uncle, we read in Genesis 29:15-19 that;

Laban said to him, ‘You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.’ Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, ‘I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.’ “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.”

Seven years passed, but to Jacob, "His love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few years." His uncle threw a big party to celebrate the union, and at night time, his bride was given him. At this point Jacob it is safe to say that this young man was elated! The woman of his dreams after much working and waiting was now his. So he consummated the marriage to the one he thought was Rachel. In the morning following the union however, Jacob found out that His uncle Laban had deceitfully given him the wrong sister! Many negotiations later, his desired wife is given to him within a week and he is forced to serve for another seven years.

That deceit brings a lot of thoughts my way. Firstly, how would the young lady Leah feel? Her own father, gave her away to a man that cared nothing to marry her. Also, that must have created tension between her and her sister. For seven years, her younger sister had ‘dated’ this man, knowing that he was soon to be hers. Then that very time comes and her older sister is the focus. Leah who had no hand in this deceit received the worst treatment- angry, discontent husband, a sister who probably cannot even look her in the eye and friends who cannot believe she would stoop so low!

Through all this she begins to bare children; and the names of her first 4 sons show the state of of her mind and heart. Reuben- “God has looked on my affliction, now my husband will love me”. Simeon- “God heard that I’m unloved and he has given me this son. Levi- My husband will become attached to me because I’ve borne him 3 sons Judah- Let God be praised. One thing is for sure, Leah is a praying woman. In her miserable state, she continues to petition her Lord for children and relief of her suffering. Also it is evident, she is earnestly desiring love, attention and affection from this man who only seems to be a bed-mate. The lowest point in the entire story of Leah is found in Genesis 30:13-16; when she gave of the mandrakes her son had brought for her to her sister, in exchange for a night with their husband. That act showed not only a desperation, but a lack of shame and self-worth. Indeed this story, with primary focus on Leah, showcases God working through the unhappy, lonely and most negative times in her life to still bring to effect his purpose.

What purpose could that be? you ask... Well, this woman is in the lineage of Jesus! She is the mother of Judah(Jacob’s 4th son). Jacob’s 12 sons became the tribes of Israel and Judah is the tribe that King David came from, and also it’s the tribe that the Messiah- the Lion of that tribe himself descended from! So this unloved, neglected, plain-looking woman was loved, pampered and beautiful in God’s sight! Not only that, regardless of how she’s perceived in her world, in His eyes she is priceless.

This is not to say that Leah was perfect! Not at all, she could have being more steadfast in prayer and faith, perhaps been more positive, less jealous, and the list goes on. But through it all, she persevered; something a lot of us lack today. And in the end, we see in Genesis 49:31; she was buried alongside the greats- Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and her shared earth husband Israel. Yes, the imperfect and unloved Leah was chosen of the King to mother the tribe of the Messiah. Just like that, we irrelevant, perhaps overlooked and unappreciated daughters of the king will be empowered by His Spirit to accomplish our purpose on earth. Amen.


Mar 1, 2011

Naomi: Call me 'Mara'

Naomi: Pleasant, beautiful 
Mara: Bitter (definitely not pleasant)

The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. Then Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later,  both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.

Ruth 1:2-5 (NLT)

Three short verses. Three big changes. I'm always bemused by the story tellers, how they cram our lives into short sentences, short paragraphs, squeezing a life time into a few pages. I doubt if all the journals in the world would be enough for me to pen the pain that came with losing my husband and having to raise two sons on my own. Not only on my own but in a strange land without family support. Who was to teach the sons to be men? To be husbands? To be fathers? But it was ok, life dealt me a terrible hand but I had my boys. Or so I thought. The day we buried Chilion, I didn't cry. All my tears had been spent at Mahlon's funeral. Could it be true that my world had drastically changed in such a short period of time? Were my sons really gone to the land of no return?

“Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara,for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”

Ruth 1:20-21

Please don't judge me. I had to call it as I saw it. For my life had neither been beautiful or pleasant and at that point in my life all I could see was bitterness. We left for Moab full of dreams, dreams of prosperity, dreams of provision, dreams of seeing our grandchildren and bringing them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And I returned with nothing. But no, not nothing for although at the time I couldn't see it. I came back with Ruth, my daughter and my friend. In her I saw the sermons I had taught about Yahweh, about His provision and His love. I saw her live the messages I had preached about His ability to take you through the changing scenes and seasons of life because He himself was unchanging. 

To you dear woman reading this excerpt, you may have chosen to allow yourself be defined by the curveballs that life has thrown your way. Maybe you haven't verbalised it, maybe you've never told anyone that deep down you call yourself 'Shame' or 'Failure'. And yes, you may have cause to call yourself 'Mara' and turn your back on Him, the One who loves you most. But from someone who has been there and done that I want to encourage. I can because I know. I know what it is to be disillusioned, to be depressed, to ask God why he let you see a new day, to see the house of cards all come tumbling down. 

Listen to me. Hard times are not a sign that God has forgotten about you. He never forgets about you. It takes time to heal from any type of hurt. You're not just going to jump out of bed and be all better. However I need you to focus on the goodness of God to you. Make Him your best friend. Tell Him where and how it hurts. Don't allow life make you bitter. Take it from a widow, He reaches deep down where no husband could. Open your eyes, there's a 'Ruth' somewhere who reminds you of who you used to be. Life isn't about not facing storms. Its about going through them and coming out on the other side. You may never understand why what happened did but don't lose your faith. You also need to do something, you can't stay where you are. I'll repeat that, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING..lol! I had to go back home..to Bethlehem, where the real bread was. Only you knows where your Bethlehem is.

I'm glad no one ever called me Mara, its good to surround yourself with good people. All over the world, people are still talking about me. Calling me a model 'mother-in-law' and all. Thing is I never set out to be this great woman of faith and I'm happy my lowest points were recorded for all to see. Its was never about me, always about Him. If He can use me, He can use you too. 

We'll always have 'Mara' situations and circumstances but always remember you are 'Naomi' despite it all.

Keep winning with God.

Your's truly


(C) ZoeBeliever