LOVE

Matthew  8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Jesus breaks the law in his response in this exerpt; he touches a leprous man. The man is unsure of Jesus’ thoughts about him, but Jesus assures him by saying ‘I want to’. Jesus is not cajouled, he is not forced, he is not ‘oju aye‘ (of eye service) he wants to!

I suspect that if any man starts acting like Jesus now, we 21st century believers may still hurt him!
Here’s what we always miss out on; he touched the leper – someone considered unclean! I don’t understand this Jesus!

Don’t run away from that society reject…don’t run away from that person that the society as termed unclean. Don’t!

How will you ‘touch’ him if you do? How will you make him clean?
#mj

#coffeemugshots

#thisistheswat

Advertisements

GET UP

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Many of you may not notice how that in verse 41 (immediately after he is shocked at their fear) it says that they were even more afraid! (So much to extract from that) but I will just briefly focus on one thing.
Fear breeds more fear. The state you are in, will call more manifestation of itself to you.
They saw the storm, they were afraid. They saw him calm the storm and they were more afraid. Notice that the storm is called boisterous. Check the meaning of that word. It has to do with fear. Almost as though they called the storm by their state of fear.
Jesus is asleep; calm (probably dreaming of he and I at McDonald’s) they wake him, and he sees the storm; he is calm… He calms the storm because he is calm.
What you carry, you will pour out… The storm is not the problem.

The man is!
#mj

#coffeemugshots

#thisistheswat

BLITHE

Luke  12:29 _And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you._
This is one of the most misunderstood discourses of Jesus. Many 21st century believers have tried to explain away the finality of the words of Jesus. Jesus here tells us ‘dont worry about food, or anything he even says ‘dont think of it’. Many believers down play his advice. Jesus says this, cos he knows that there’s a heavy supply of provision that we do not access when we worry. The birds access it, the lilies access it cos they cannot afford the luxury of worries
Raher than think of how to make profit with your business, think of how to solve problems with your business. That’s what it means to seek the kigdom; ad all the profit will be added unto you.
#mj

#coffeemugshots

#thisistheswat

Hanging Out With The Father; Few Thoughts From Our Discourse. 

I’ve been doing a whole lot of ‘hanging out with the father’ of late, and thought to share some of the things we — the father and i — have giggled about.
Some of these things have been the issue of ”What did Jesus really come to do?” If we say Jesus came to save us, what did he come to save us from? What role does he play in our lives today as “Christians,” and so on.
And if u know anything about the Father, you’ll know I am having the time of my life.

I’ll start off just sharing from OUR heart (the Father and I share one lol). 
Listening to a lot of Christian folks, it’s clear that Jesus came to save them. But the question I have asked for almost 12years of my life, has been “What did Jesus come to save us from?” I want you to pause and ask yourself that very question; what did Jesus come to save me from? It is very clear that a lot of us have mixed and funny answers to that question. Let me make some guesses to some of your answers. Some folks said SIN, others said SIN CONSCIOUSNESS, some even said HELL!!!
Now this is getting interesting… But here is a shocking truth; beneath all these answers, GOD is the one we say Jesus saved us from. Yeah!!! because we think God was going to send us to hell, for our Sins. 
So, Jesus came to save us from GOD. Wow!!! Jesus came to save us from GOD??? Some say God was mad at our sin, so Jesus came to appease the Father on our behalf (now, we’ve turned God to Sango, and amadioha — pagan gods that require blood sacrifice)…lol.
Let me say 2 things at this point. First, Jesus is the express image of the Father. Jesus is not the new/fresh groove of the Father. Jesus is simply this; The expression of the Father in flesh. Meaning; for Jesus to have been the way he was, it means GOD was always like that. He didn’t change!!! Second, God forgave us. 
Let me explain; when we say Jesus ‘paid’ for our sins, we indirectly say God didn’t forgive us. We indirectly say God was ‘paid’ so he let us go. God wasn’t ‘settled’, rather, HE forgave us.
See, God is not SCHIZOPHRENIC. He loved us since the beginning of the world and our SINS were never an issue with GOD…let me say it again OUR SINS were never God’s issue, for LOVE keeps no record of SIN (check your Bible, it’s there…I believe u read it more than I do). God didn’t kill his son for us; NO SCRIPTURE says that!!!
Scriptures says that we killed him; yes we humans killed the Lord (off course inspired by the Devil). The father sent Jesus to do just one thing; SHOW us LOVE, No matter what it took!!! Did Jesus lay down his life? YES!!! But did God kill him? NO!!!
There is too much to say about this, and this forum is not enough to pour my heart out on the subject — but rather than condemn me, or think I’ve lost my mind, we could talk about it and every scripture you have on it, would be analysed, and put in context.
So what’s the point of this post? God loves us!!! He LOVES us so much!!! He forgave us and sent Jesus to let us know. Never feel scared of God. Rather, trust his unending love.
#mj

#thisistheswat

On Matt 5:28

I have read Matthew 5:28 so many times, because I have read the chapter, its succeeding chapter and the one after that many more times than almost any other chapter. Reason is because, those were Jesus’ longest recorded sermon. I am a very big fan of that man. Many of you know. 
However, when I read His words I am also careful of the fact that he too was just a man. Influenced by the prevalent thoughts in his days, having to renew his mind like any of us. 
Let me digress a little 
if you observe anybody, you will see all their influences summed up into their lives. You can tell a Scripture Union sister or brother from their dressing, body or clothes fragrance or from even what they say. We are beings of influence. Paul says we are epistles…Some sort of open book showing all the things we have been influenced by.
It is better you listen to this now
We are all under the influence of something. All of us!!! All we can do is CHOOSE WHAT INFLUENCES US!
Okay back to the matter.
Jesus makes that statement and I decided to find out what influenced that thought.

Going back to the law (principle) of Moses, I discovered what he meant. One day, I will talk about the law of Moses and set it free from the condemnation it has been sentenced to by this generation but until then.
What Jesus was referring to, was the strange power that dwell inside us. The power that puts us in touch with experiences that are beyond our physical experiencing. Jesus was not referring to sin, as he was referring to an ability that we possess. According to Jesus, if I experience something very vividly in imagination, I have experienced it.
Let me end it with another statement Jesus makes in John 14:1-4. If you do not understand his influence, you will completely miss it and think he is referring to some “heaven” (that’s talk for another day). Whereas, he is referring to the same thing he is talking about in the first scripture I quoted (if you didn’t check it before, check it now for I will not quote it for you)
Let me summarize. If you want something,experience it in the depth of your being (your mansions) soon, you will bring everyone to join you.
I understand that this post may sound weird: but it’s for a reason.
Those with ears have heard
#mj

#thisistheswat

The Jesus Problem 4

When you hear the word “Jesus” what comes to mind?

Pause, think

I mean do some actual thinking.

If you can get out a pen and book to jot down what comes to mind, it would do you a world of good.

Think again of the word “Jesus.” What comes to mind?

Imagine you gave birth and someone said you should name your child “Jesus” what would you say?

Would you laugh?

What if someone said “oya let’s call him or her — depending on the Child’s sex — Jehovah,” what would you say?

Again, pause think.

We often times say one thing, and actually believe another. And questions like this only point out our flawed thinking. If we say we and our Father are one, what’s the problem in calling one of our offsprings Yahweh?

Just think with me

As I think of Frank, I remember how he saw his brother. How his brother’s achievements made him feel. But the problem was not the brother at all….The problem was Frank! 

My friend felt small!

No wonder everything else around him felt big!

I think the biggest problem with Christianity is Jesus!

Yes, Jesus!

But not just Jesus per se —  it is a false understanding that we have of ourselves.

History painted one man as God and that’s where we erred. Jesus was all we are, all we were. A false identity of ourselves is he reason we see him as what he is not: separate from us, bigger and better than us.

Frank’s brother was simply doing all Frank could do. But my friend didn’t know it. My friend was so blinded by the very thing that ought to give him sight; the light of his brother’s achievements. He ought to have used his brother as template for his own wonderful success. Instead, he used it as template for his failure.

He had gotten so carried away by the splendour of another being that he forgot it was his splendour too!

When we say we believe in Jesus, what do we mean?

Think again.

What did Jesus say when he came? What was his message?

I will sum it up into a few words; “We are sons of God”

And if in your mind’s eye, Jesus is anything other than you, then you have the Jesus Problem.

He is the author and finisher (the very essence) of our mindset.

All we are, He is!

He wants you to know this.

Turn away from idol worship. See what he sees — you, in the splendour of our Father!

#mj

The Jesus Problem 3

Today was loooooong! It was my rest day from my usual workouts. I planned to stay Indoors but that has never ever worked out for me. I’m glad i went out because a friend became ill and needed my help. I was glad I could be there.
But throughout today, I kept thinking about my friend Frank and my “Jesus Problem” story.
 It was a little bit  disappointing to come online and find out that no one had missed it. And it made me think again about life, how fleeting attention can be. Die now, and if you didn’t do a good work, people will forget about you. Only your work can speak for you.

As I was pondering these things, a wild flash ran through my mind.

Rain had fallen that day and the floor was messed up. We had been playing ball since 9am in the morning. Why? We were done with exams. Secondary school after exam life was the bomb! However, I wasn’t playing that day. I was in the stands in the company of about 4 babes. We were seeing the games and talking. I enjoyed that part of football a lot! Frank had done his magic on the pitch and was really tired. So he came up to me, and asked for my bottle of water. I gladly gave him; I couldn’t appear mean before the ladies. When we were done, he and I started home. We had a huge convoy of students follow us, and one after the other they trickled out into their respective streets. Eventually the great company of friends was decimated to just two of us — Frank and I. I can’t remember exactly what we talked about, but I remember how I felt. Pity!

Here was a kid with a seemingly perfect life, but he was haunted by the perfection in that life.

Thinking of it now, it seems to me that he was subconsciously revolting. Not against anybody, but against a lie. That revolt was completely misappropriated.

Let me go deeper.

He told me of how he would freeze in the exam hall thinking of the fact that his brother would have done better. How he tried to measure up to his brother.

How he hoped he could be loved like his brother.

How he felt life was unfair to him etc.

Somewhere inside him, he knew those statements were not necessary.

But somewhere else, every external occurrence had taught him to hate his own skin. To believe his brother was better.

He believed a lie so well, that it showed up in his performances.

Frank believed he was so poor at anything, because his brother was better at it.

Looking back now, I do not see why he went through such emotional drama. But he did.

Thinking of it, I began to ask myself simple questions and establish basic premises for judgement in my mind.

I am honestly convinced, fully persuaded, unequivocally vehement in my stand that our definitions of things especially outer things are a product of how we see ourselves.

A young chap like that.

With such brightness of mind.

Yet he defined his world as better than him. Not because that was the actual truth.

But because he saw himself as small….cheap…an after thought. He couldn’t see himself past his blinds.

He couldn’t see that he had the same DNA mix with his brother. Or that he could be better!

3 days ago I got news. Not strange news now that I think of it.
My friend Frank is dead.
Suicide. Yes, Suicide.
It seems he never got out of that shadow.
And as I write this… I see it.
It’s the Jesus Problem.
(To be concluded)
#mj

The Jesus Problem 2

*The Jesus Problem*
One of the strangest things about life is paradigm. If you check Webster’s you will find this definition of the word ‘Paradigm’: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind” 
Well all that is big big grammar. Every time I think of the word paradigm, I always have the picture of blinds in my mind or windscreen or window panes. If you stand behind a window and try to look through it at the surrounding areas, you will see the surroundings through it. If the blinds are dark, the environment will look darker than they usually are. Paradigms for me are like that: mental frameworks that help us interpret our world. The problem most times is that we  forget that we are looking through blinds and that the world might not be exactly the way we see it.

Paradigms are great — they help us see our world, giving us a framework for reference.

But that’s the problem… That is the reason they can become prisons!

Yes, where was I…

Frank and I walked towards his house, which was one turn away from mine. It was amazing to see the order on his street. It was so funny as I was just screaming over the cute cars I saw parked outside people’s garage and then the fine girls! Gosh!

Let me digress a little…

In secondary school, my code name was “Mojo” or “Mojojojo.” Remember Powerpuff Girls? Now imagine that instead of creating evil stuff, Mojojojo created cute lingerie and always talked about cute girls… That gives you a background story. Between both of us, Frank was the calmer one, the one the girls liked but always perceived  he was naive. I was the one the girls used to talk to about him and eventually the girls would get carried away by my outgoing personality. So we had a sort of symbiotic relationship he could attract the girls, I could keep them. That’s how we became friends.

Then we bonded on Arithmetics

And football

(Stay with the discourse MJ stop digressing)

When we got to his gate, he hesitated to get in… I had to take a step back because I was agitated by his hesitancy. Did they have a big dog? It had to be big enough to scare it’s owner.  But Frank loves dogs — that’s another thing we bonded on.

Well, he continued in and faked a smile. I remember that smile — It was too fake. I know my friend. I know when he was excited. I had seen him score many goals. This, was nothing like it. This was the kind of smile he had on him when I told him May liked me. He liked May. But she liked spending time with me. I promised him I would keep my distance since it made him uncomfortable. I kept my word… But I still remember that smile.
Well, we were in the compound…. It’s all this English styled compounds that didn’t have our classical Nigerian prison gates. We walked in and I noticed the fake smile weaning.
See, as I write this I am almost standing in that place in time….A small boy with his friend that was slowly dying and I didn’t know what to do.
Well, we got in to the main house.

His mother was warm towards me. She had heard about Usen the boy genius, member of the “Fantastic Four.” Well, I still feel it was all over rated though.

But she was cold towards him.

I noticed.

It’s alright.

He slipped into his room and slipped the socks into my bag…. I wanted to go into the room with him, but his mother would not let me out of her gaze with talks about all my accolades and how her son had a great friend and how he didn’t wash plates etc.,  as though she lived in my house and knew that I washed plates.

It intensified when he came out of the room… She simply ridiculed him. I don’t know what her plan was. I was Frank’s closest friend. What she was doing couldn’t change my view of my friend.
So as I said “let me be going ma”, she slipped 200 NGN in my palms and said In a thick Igbo accent “bye dia, greet ya mammy”

 That was the longest walk I have ever been in to a person’s gate. We were both quiet.

So we got to the gate, and before we could open it, it was swung open by a huge formally dressed hunk of a man. I can’t remember his name, but I remember he was Frank’s elder brother. He barely paid any attention to our pleasantries as he walked into the house like a god. As Frank’s mother saw him, she ran out to him and screamed “my son!” She hugged him took his small bag from him and walked him in.

If I had known, I would have kept my mouth shut. As we left the gate into the streets, I asked Frank “where did he travel to?” He just kept looking at me like he was seeing a puzzle with no answer in sight. “Did he come back from a trip” I asked and I saw that former look blur. As it came back into focus, Frank was in tears. He understood why I asked that question. 

The problem wasn’t that Frank wasn’t a good boy. Actually the problem was that his brother was a great Son.

Another problem was that everyone had forgotten a simple fact; great was first good. Great couldn’t be great if it wasn’t good.

I left him crying. I couldn’t keep him from crying. I practically ran away because I didn’t know what to do.

If that was all, it wouldn’t be a major issue. But more events followed and I remember every bit of them.

(To be continued)

#mj

The Jesus Problem

I remember Frank

I woke up thinking about him.

See, I never grew up knowing an older sibling because I was (and am) the first child in the house. So I could never logically understand what it felt like to have someone else that wasn’t mummy or daddy care for me, bully me, give me the stare — Nigerian kids instinctively know what I mean by the stare — or boss me around. I was the older one. No fears nothing.
So I could never fully understand Frank. 
He was the brightest kid on our football team; Frank was a god at football, short, but fast. His mentor was Jay Jay as he devoted his life in the service and observation of the man. If you made a derogatory statement about Jay Jay, Frank could abstain from talking to you like you were some plague and he would begin a silent revolution against you.
In class, he was also active a real bright chap. I enjoyed mathematics and I enjoyed solving Maths with Frank. I also enjoyed being on the pitch with him.
So I could not understand why he constantly failed in class.
His results were below average, or just hanging on to the average class. But I knew him. He was my friend. I knew his mind was of the same range with Sumbo’s, Chima’s, Tobi’s and mine — four of us were not just the Schools fantastic four, we were at one time, Nigeria’s fantastic four, but that’s talk for another day.
So one day, after playing football I decided to stop at his place with him and get a change of socks — I used to play with my socks and it would get dirty. It also meant I would die by the time mummy saw the socks. On getting to his house, I saw something I didn’t understand then. Something I understand now, something i call

“The Jesus Problem”
(to be continued)
#mj