Category Archives: Random

Youthful Exuberance, Maturity and Eternity

I love the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s definitely one of my favorite books to read in the Bible. I was thinking about this year, my age(I’m in my late teens at the moment) and just life in general. Apparently some argue that the 12 disciples of Jesus were in their teens when they decided to follow Jesus! I’m not sure how true that is, but what i do definitely believe is that they were below 30.

On Maturity…

In society today, people are either classified as babies, children, teens or adults. However i think the expectation of maturity greatly differs in various parts of the world. Someone else suggested that Mary the mother of Jesus was in her late teens(16-20) when she was pregnant to give birth to Jesus and betrothed to be married to Joseph. This also is a huge shock to me! Coming from Nigeria, in my opinion and from my perspective, there’s a lower expectation for teenagers to be mature in that context(Seems that way to me!). Studying in the UK, my observation from amongst my friendship circles has been varied. Whilst some still doubt they believe in the institution of marriage, some are engaged to be married by 20/21. The latter has also been a huge culture shock to me as well! However, i greatly admire the fact that many start to work on paid jobs from their teenage years in the UK. I believe this helps to increase their self-confidence as well as expose young adults to the value of responsibility.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 would advice,

Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”

I remember we had this verse stuck somewhere on the wall, when i went to my Christian boarding school in Nigeria. Although i never really paid attention to it, these words are plaguing my mind once again today.

On Eternity…

It is a lie to believe that you won’t ever die. It’s not reality. It might be optimistic, but it’s not reality.  I want more than optimism, i want reality.  So why waste your time on what does not satisfy? It’s meaningless. Why waste your time clinging to the spirit of the age? It’s all fleeting, passing away quickly.

On Youthful Exuberance…

The young shall grow.  Youth is wasted on the young, says an online blog i read today. I don’t believe you have to be foolish because you’re young. I believe we need to call more young people to maturity rather than pampering them. Sadly, as a young teenager, i’ve been to so many christian youth groups that feed one another with video games and meaningless conversations. Don’t get me wrong- I believe there is a room for light talk and a bit of banter. However, i find that the older people get to be taught the ‘meaty’ stuff. There’s nothing as beautiful as seeing devoted and dedicated young people who have wisdom at a young age. I love reading about the lifestyle of John the Baptist- this man that was described by Jesus as a burning and a shining lamp, and the greatest man born of woman. This man lived a radical lifestyle of prayer, fasting and meditation on the Word, and was martyred at 30. That may look so foolish on this side of time but then Jesus would answer and defend this man’s life and say, ‘Wisdom will be justified by her children’.  In other ways, “I will vindicate this man’s lifestyle on that day. He will be great for billions and billions of years in the eternal city. You have said he is demonised, but i will openly declare the wisdom in this man’s choices. And though it seems like a short time to live in this present age, this man’s eyes are fixed on something more, something lasting of greater splendor, beauty, magnificence and glory”.

Any thoughts? 🙂

The pursuit of happiness, beauty, relevance…

My heart overflows with a noble theme

My mind wanders to a land far away from me yet so close to me

Only that i see the rest of humanity in this mysterious land

Its a land full of ponderings. A land full of wisdom. A land ancient, and famous for its mystery throughout the ages

There’s a vast world within. Not for the faint. Silence. Solitude.

Life’s a paradox; The only way up is down

The only way to live is to die.

Vanity upon vanity all is vanity. I’m searching for reality. I’m searching for happiness. I’m searching for beauty. I’m searching for relevance.

The voice of humanity echoes through my mind.

I once met a wise Teacher

He claimed to be the answer to the voices in my head.

The yelling of humanity.

He said, “the only way to live is to die. You’ll come alive when you learn to die”

He walked me through this mysterious land. He beckoned me to go with Him. He was taking me to my destiny.

Terrified.

I nearly said no, but then i saw then i saw the Fire in His Eyes.

There was something about those eyes. Desire.

I went with Him, still going with Him.

Oh the beauty of Transcendence! Happy Holiness, Joyful Righteousness.

Though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil.

The questions of the great philosophers answered!

Now i must embrace my pilgrimage to the eternal city.

I’m an ambassador, inviting all to the wedding.

For in that day, the first shall be the last, the last shall be the first. Kings and paupers. Queens and maids. The rich and the powerful and the forgotten of the earth.

The great Equaliser.

Therefore you kings, be wise. Be warned you rulers of the earth,

The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up His zeal, with a shout He will raise up the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies.

(P.S  I have no idea exactly what that was haha but i was having a good time writing that :). I have also referenced 2 Bible verses in the end- Psalm 2:8 and Isaiah 42:13)

What happened between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

Out of curiosity i have had to look into what Jesus did just after he died  on the cross. What happened between the time interval from when he died and when he was resurrected? Many christians would say ‘He took the keys of the gates of Hades from the Devil then he ressurected’. Do people really know the source of this common doctrine? Is it really written anywhere in the Bible that Jesus took the keys to the gates of Hades from the Devil? Well, it was because of all these questions i looked at the clues the Bible givs about Jesus going to Hades after he died.

Firstly, what is Hades(In the greek) or Sheol(in Hebrew). Hades or Sheol has been described in the Bible as the place of the dead or the pit.

Ezekiel 31:16 says: 16I will make the nations quake at the sound of its fall when I cast it down to Sheol with those who descend into the pit, and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all [the trees] that drink water, will be comforted in the netherworld [at Assyria’s downfall].

Ezekiel 26:20 also says: 20Then I will thrust you down with those who descend into the pit (the place of the dead) to the people of olden times, and I will make you [Tyre] to dwell in the lower world like the places that were desolate of old, with those who go down to the pit, that you be not inhabited or shed forth your glory and renown in the land of the living.

So not only do we know from the first verse that Hades or Sheol is the place of the dead or the pit, we also know from Ezekiel 26:20 that this place of the dead is in the ‘lower world’.

Let’s remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man that Jesus himself told in the Bible. Both men died and after they died Lazarus was carried by the angels to ‘Abraham’s bosom’. Luke 16:23 says: 23And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.

We already know that Hades, is the realm/place of the dead, and is in the ‘lower world’. This verse finally adds to our knowledge of Hades. Hades includes two parts. The good part is referred to as ‘Abraham’s bosom’ by Jesus and the bad part is where the flame is according to Luke 16:24. The two parts also appear to be very far away from each other in Hades. But still, someone in Abraham’s bosom would still be able to see someone in the ‘bad part’ with the flame and speak to them(Luke 16:24).

Again, Jesus himself gave a clue to where he was before he resurrected. In Matthew 12:40 he says: 40For even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

So Jesus said he was going to be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Remember the Bible refers to Hades as being in the ‘lower world’.

Jesus also said to the thief on the cross just before he died in Luke 23:43: 43And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

For Jesus to have said to the thief he was going to be in Paradise with him, it had to be that paradise was in the heart of the earth, because he had already said he would be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights. Jesus didn’t go to heaven after he died. He went to Paradise which was in the heart of the earth. He ascended to Heaven after he resurrected. Could Paradise be the same as ‘Abraham’s bosom’ which is in Hades(in the lower world)?

Another clue is from 1 Peter 3:18-20:

For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit,

     19In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

     20[The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water.

These verses say after Christ died, he went and preached to the spirits in prison and the souls of those who long before in the days of Noah were disobedient. Now, i don’t believe ‘preach’ in this verse means he was trying to persuade them to accept Him because the people from Noah’s flood time had already been condemned to destruction. They were in prison and this ‘prison’ had to be the Flame in Hades where the rich man in Luke 23:43 went to after he died. I believe when the Bible says ‘preached’ it meant Christ’s declaration of his victory to the spirits in Hades.

Ephesians 4:8-10(AMP) also says: Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men.

     9[But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth?

     10He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest).

These verses can be very hard to understand hence the various interpretations from many christians. The way i understand it, considering all the other verses i’ve seen above is, Christ descended into the lower parts of the earth(Hades) and led captivity captive when He went there. Leading captivity captive to me means He defeated things that held man in captivity like sin, the devil and death. Yes, by the way, Satan once had the power of sin and death.

Hebrews 2:14-15 says: 14Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death–that is, the devil

     15And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.

So the devil once has the power of death. But through His death, Christ brought to nought and made to no effect the devil. Now, we don’t have to live in fear of death throughout our lives. For Satan to have had the power of death he most likely had the keys of Hades and Death. Jesus declares in Revelation 1:17b-18- I Am the First and the Last 18And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).

Jesus had to die, to possess the keys of death and Hades. And maybe that is why he says in that verse ‘I died, but see i am alive forevermore and i possess the keys of death and Hades’.

The last issue i would like to discuss is what happened to the old testament prophets. They went to Paradise/Abraham’s Bosom after they died. Jesus confirms this when he says in John 3:13- And yet no one has ever gone up to heaven, but there is One Who has come down from heaven–the Son of Man [Himself], Who is (dwells, has His home) in heaven.

So no man had ever gone to heaven. You might be thinking ‘Oh elijah went to heaven didn’t he?’, but anyway that’s another discussion for another post. Elijah didn’t go up to heaven but was only transported by the chariots of fire to somewhere else on earth. Elijah died like the others. So did Enoch. No man was Holy enough to enter into the very presence of God but Jesus changed that when he bore all the sins of the world on the cross. Jesus was the firstborn of the dead(Revelation 1:5). So what happened with the old testament prophets?

Hebrews 2:16 says: 16For, as we all know, He [Christ] did not take hold of angels [the fallen angels, to give them a helping and delivering hand], but He did take hold of [the fallen] descendants of Abraham [to reach out to them a helping and delivering hand].

I think the verse above is a clue to what happened. I also believe that when the Bible talks about descendants of Abraham it means the bloodline running  from Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses etc up till Jesus. Ishmael wasn’t a part of the promise. All believers come under the ‘descendants of Abraham’ because we are in Christ, and Christ comes through the bloodline of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

That was a really long post but this is almost the shortest i can make it. Christ didn’t just ‘sleep’ when he died. He was doing something for you and I. He died, that you and I may live 😀 Tomorrow is not about tears, but about victory! Victory from sin, death and the devil! God Bless you all! 😀

My Recent Weird Change in Music Taste

I was just thinking now and it just occurred to me how my taste for music has changed and changed over time. By the way, i’ve always loved music. I think i almost got too obssessed in secondary school. I would learn every new song and get all the lyrics. It always puzzled me how fast i remembered these lyrics but then when it came to exams how hard it is to get things in your end. And i’m sure its common experience for other students that they’d remember music lyrics more than they’d remember what they study lol.

But anyway, firstly, my first taste of music that i can remember now is learning songs from church and songs from either tv commercials or programmes. I sang all the praise and worship songs as a child, and sang songs from tv shows in Nigeria like ‘Papa Ajasco’ or ‘This Life’. My first exposure to christian music would definitely have been at church.Then i got influenced by listening(not on purpose but just in the background of what i was doing) to music played on tv. Music from popular old popular music artistes like ‘Daddy showkey’. The music i heard as a child in Nigeria still ring in my ears up till now. Then i got to start listening to the more modern nigerian ‘afrobeats’ music artistes like ‘2face’ and ‘Plantashion Boyz’ which was more of music with good beats and instrumentals. To be honest, presently, i don’t enjoy nigerian music as much as before because they never have any sensible lyrics in them. However, they do have very good beats and instrumentals you could dance to all day and i still listen to them when i’m in the mood to dance.

Obviously from the pressures of being in secondary school, i had to sort out my music knowledge out. I had to listen to beyonce, rihanna, jay-z, lil wayne and the rest of the more modern hip-hop, rap and r&b artistes. Somewhere along the line, i started to gain interest in singing. Although, i got many criticisms from my mates in secondary school about my voice as many people had the opinion i couldn’t sing lol. When i started singing, i started listening to more songs with more ‘vocal’ content. That meant i had to listen to people like mariah carey, whitney houston, usher, kelly clarkson, r.kelly and all the rest of them. And of course i had to have an idea of what happened in the rap scene so i don’t look stupid in school :P. So i still had an idea of what was going on in the hip-hop/rap scene. I remember my mum buying a ‘women of faith’ worship cd that i listened to continuously when i was about 12. I loved the songs on there, although i never paid attention to the lyrics. It was more about me improving my vocal skills. Then my aunt came living with my family and she introduced me into gospel music. She seemed to know all the american gospel music artistes like, Kirk franklin, yolanda adams, juanita adams, fred hammond, marvin sapp, cece winans and the rest of them. That stage of my life of me listening to gospel music artistes have really added to my personal singing style and music taste at the moment. They(the gospel artistes) could do all the runs and riffs and hit all the high notes. I also learnt songs from my aunt and usually suggested it when i went back to school to be sang in the school choir. I still love the american gospel artists till now because i think they sing with so much passion, and the message is passed across very clearly. I must however add that i have come to the stage of my life that i listen to the lyrics of some of the gospel songs carefully, and sometimes i find out they don’t really give a message i agree with personally. I also fell in love with a nigerian musician called ‘Asa’ because of the uniqueness in her voice and the message in her music about Nigeria as a nation. That’s basically the summary of my music taste in secondary school.

As soon as i travelled to the UK for my a-levels, i noticed many differences in the music taste. I got exposed to music genres like ‘Heavy Metal’ which i think its a bit more like noise than music lol. British music was all over the radio stations and i was always listening to the music radio stations like ‘Capital FM’. I heard the well famous Adele for the first time with her song ‘Make you feel my love’. I must say she reminded me of Asa because her voice wasn’t like all the others u heard everyday. It was very distinct and unique. Then i started listening to more british music artistes like Olly Murs, N-dubz, Ed sheeran and Take That. I must confess i found it a bit boring at first, but later on i started taking interest in it because although they may not have had all the runs and riffs, they had an element of meaning to them. They were written with care and didn’t contain lyrics that didn’t make sense. And finally, now, i’m stuck with contemporary christian music(usually worship songs).

The first time i had a real experience of what contemporary christian music (like that of chris tomlin or matt redman) was like was when i went to Hillsong Church in Tottenham Court Road in central London. Israel Houghton came from Houston, Texas to worship with them and it was such a blessing. After i left the service, the songs kept ringing in my head and immediately i got home i went on spotify to listen to them. The second time i had the experience of singing worship songs from contemporary christian artists was when i went to stay for the weekend with a friend in Kent. I had never seen worship like that in my life and i could literally feel the presence of God right in front of me in the service. They sang ‘Overcome’ by Jeremy Camp and repeated one of the lines that went- ‘We will overcome, by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony’. I was actually thinking through those words for one of the first times in my life. In secondary school i had sang many hymns without even any knowledge of what i was talking about. But now i was thinking through those words. And it was just the most amazing experience, as you could see the zeal to worship God from the hearts of everyone around you. When i went home i played the song on spotify again. And since then, i’ve listened more to contemporary christian artistes like Kari Jobe, Jesus Culture, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong United, Christy Nockels and the rest of them.

I still love most of the music i have listened to in my life, but i just thought it would be interesting to share how i changed my music styles and tastes lol. As far as you’re not singing something like ‘I’m going to marry to night’ or something like that then you’re fine lol. That actually occurred to me once. I had listened to a song, and when i was walking home i found myself singing ‘i’m going to marry the night’ and then i could hear God say ‘You’re going to marry what?’ and i said ‘The nigh-‘ lol. The point is we just have to be careful what we sing sometimes. I hope you enjoyed the summary of the long list of how the content of my ipod has changed over the years. I could write a book on this; this is just a short summary of how it has changed :P. God Bless 😀