I am sure a lot of us have devoured meals in their numbers!
Christmas is such an amazing season. The JOY that comes with celebrating the Birth of Christ is second to none and highly contagious – beautiful Christmas songs, new clothes, gifts, love, laughter, FOOD!!! etc.
Something happened in Church yesterday. I spent the Christmas eve at Owerri West LGA, Okolochi – my Aunty’s village. Continue reading “MERRY CHRISTMAS 2017”→
Christmas has changed over here. No one bothers about christmas clothes anymore, no one bothers about christmas hair. No one travels to the village anymore – You know, the typical Nigerian Igbo Family Christmas. Maybe it is because we are all grown up and have “better” things to worry about.
I for one, have one “better thing” to worry about. I have been trying to read and study so hard. The only I think about now is my BAR FINALS – which is in AUGUST!
But all these do not change the MEANING of CHRISTMAS. Christmas is all about Jesus Christ and a reminder that he came into this world for YOU. For me.
While studying this morning – I usually read with music – cool, calm, soothing music, especially in the wee hours of the morning – I listened to a new single from the HILLSONG – PEACE PROJECT CHRISTMAS ALBUM.
My favourite from the album is SEASONS. Powerful lyrics that spoke to me. And once again, I am reminded that God has not forgotten us. We all have our seasons and when it comes???
I will put down the lyrics and I hope you get INSPIRED and meditate on the words – for days when the things you prayed for are taking forever to become realities.
Words and Music by Chris Davenport, Benjamin Hastings & Ben Tan
Have you ever seen a Giant Sequoia?
I was a 12 year old boy in this awkward phase of discovering fashion, so naturally I was wearing this delightful salmon shirt that was as about as far from fashion as we were from Ireland.
Ireland is where I’m from by the way, but on this particular year the Hastings family had decided to vacation along the west Coast of California, and after a long winded winding drive, we found ourselves pulling into the glorious Eden of Yosemite National Park.
Have you ever been? You should. It’s your favourite Microsoft screensaver, but in real life.
We parked, threw our bags in this quaint, quirky inn and rushed out the door to explore a paradise of colour. The deepest greens you have ever seen, water falling in the bluest of blues and dirt trails of adventure and sepia tones that we ran until we ran out of breath. As my brother and I stopped to catch some air, giving our parents a chance to catch us, I remember slowly lifting my head and for the first time stretching my eyes across the grandeur of a Giant Sequoia. It was the biggest thing I had ever seen. Effortlessly scraping the sky, but as wide as the highway that had brought us here, and with my eyes in even wider wonder I stood; my neck stretched back as far as it would go, engulfed in shadow and ancient magnificence.
I wonder if you’ve ever had a similar moment. Perhaps gazing up at a monument of nature or the biggest man-made landmark in your hometown.
For me, when I look at something of such enormity, I can’t help but feel like it’s been there forever.
In Sydney we have The Harbour Bridge. A masterpiece of design and engineering which I have the joy of sitting upon, in traffic everyday (I guess if you’re gonna sit in traffic there are worse views). But I can’t get my mind around the idea that there was a time when it didn’t exist. It’s hard to imagine the Sydney Harbour without it and yet my wife’s Great Grandma Phyllis (105 and as cheeky as ever!) was already a teenager when it was first opened.
Ithink in the same way, I’ve sometimes viewed God’s promises like that. Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever looked at the fulfilment of His faithfulness in someone else’s life and wondered…
“Where’s my Harbour Bridge?”
“Where’s that wife I heard you whisper?”
“Where’s the materialisation of that thing I know you put in my heart?”
If there is anything I know to be true of God it’s that He’s true to His word. But He’s also very okay with the process. Was the Harbour Bridge airlifted into place? Well no… of course not… Even the three thousand year old Sequoia, was once a seed.
I think Jesus is the perfect example of this. In the Song ‘Seasons’ from ‘The Peace Project‘ there is a line that sings…
“You could have saved us in a second, instead you sent a Child”.
We serve a God of the “Long Game”. Does He have the capacity to airlift the Harbour Bridge of our promise into place? Of course He does! And sometimes, He does. But if we can attribute trends to God (which we probably can’t) I’ve noticed that God often chooses something else: “The Jesus Model”.
From Bethlehem’s soil
Grew Calvary’s Sequoia
He takes His Word and He plants it like a seed in our lives. Watching and watering until it grows and ever so slowly but inevitably blooms into glorious fulfilment. And I think if we look for it, this divine methodology is written into everything from the narrative of the Bible to the beauty of creation.
Oh how nature acquaints us
With the nature of Patience.
Visit the link below to enjoy the beauty that is this music:
Ndi kem? My people? Kedu? You know that time between Christmas and New Year where you don’t know what day it is, who you are or what you are meant to be doing??? I keep asking my siblings is today 25th or 26th? 29th or 30th? Sigh.
Here’s an interesting info-pic about different traditions celebrated by varying cultures around the world at Christmas… culled from : TheWannabeSaint.com.
Let me talk about Christmas in my Country. Christmas in Nigeria is a family event, a time when lots of family members come together to celebrate and have fun. Most families, that live in cities, travel to the villages where their grandparents and older relatives live, especially those from the EAST, like me – the Igbos. it is always like an EXODUS. LOL!
Many different languages are spoken in Nigeria. In Hausa Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘barka dà Kirsìmatì’; in Yoruba it’s ‘E ku odun, e ku iye’dun’; in Fulani it’s ‘Jabbama be salla Kirismati’; in Igbo (Ibo) ‘E keresimesi Oma’ and it’s Edo it’s ‘Iselogbe’. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.
Many families will throw Christmas parties that will last all night long on Christmas Eve! Then, on Christmas Morning, they go to church to give thanks to God. Homes and streets are often decorated. Most homes will have an artificial Christmas tree.
Children love to play with firecrackers at Christmas. The church choir may visit the church congregation in their homes to sing Christmas carols to them. Christmas cards are sent to friends and family members. Presents are exchanged amongst family members and some families may take their children dressed in new outfits to see Santa Claus or FATHER CHRISTMAS.
In addition to serving turkey, a traditional Christmas meal in Nigeria may include beef, goat, sheep, ram or chicken. Other dishes might included pounded yam, jollof rice, fried rice, vegetable salad and some type of stew, LOTS OF RICE!
Traditions can be wonderful but they can also bring the heaviness of the past and a longing to live there.
I recently finished my Christmas day calls & texts to family and friends. Some are doing well and others have had a rough 2013. Family members and friends separated by varying circumstances, including death, traditions once highly valued now gone, have a way of making this day dreadful instead of joyful. I spoke to someone this morning who began to cry while saying she would “be alright in a little bit.” I told her not to make this day anything other than what it was, a hard one, and if the mourning of what has been is needed to get to what is and what will be, then embrace this season of change.
Traditions are wonderful and should be cherished but when they change or cease, as all things do, maybe the gifts of acceptance and letting go is what we need to unwrap this year.
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS BUDDIES. JESUS IS ALWAYS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON…
Waiting for inspiration…
Oh yes! I’ve gotten it… listen…
Please, what is it with our Medical Doctors of today? I mean where is that passion you see in their eyes as kids when they tell you “I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR WHEN I GROW UP”. Unfortunately, I have seen enough negligence from them to last me a year. Why am I saying this?
I was talking to a friend the other day and we were talking about this same negligence and she told me a story about an uncle of hers whose mum was so ill. The woman was rushed to the hospital and got better, all of a sudden she became so sick again and they went to ask for the doctor because they were still at the hospital. The doctor came in and didn’t even say a word to them, he just took his stuffs and left. He did that twice and so my friend’s Uncle freaked out – his mum was dying for crying out loud! He ran after the doctor and asked him why he didn’t attend to his mum, guess what the Doctor said? “Do you think your mum is going to survive this? She is going to die!” Her Uncle almost went mad after hearing the Doctor, his mum died and he has been sick of HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE since then. So what do you call this? I’m sure you are probably angry right now, cursing the doctor where ever he maybe. As for me, I hope his license has been removed. This is just like a tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on.
I was reading a John Grisham novel the other day, thanks to my 6months forced holiday, I’ve been doing a lot of John Grisham lately. So the name of this novel was THE APPEAL, and I just want to point out a negligence story from the book. “A little boy was playing baseball with so much joy and enthusiasm when his friend mistakenly hit a bat on his forehead and he collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital and after all the necessary tests and scanning the Doctor who attended to him said it was a minor problem and that his parents should ensure he has a good rest. His parents were so grateful; at least it wasn’t what they were thinking. But letter that night their sweet son of just 10 became so dysfunctional, throwing up, shaking and all that stuff. His parents had to call the family doctor and he was rushed to another hospital. Fresh tests and scans were carried out, only for the Family Doctor to realize that the initial test and scan report given to them by the 1stDoctor was that of someone else and that was why he gave rest as the immediate solution. Whereas, the correct thing was to do surgeries to remove the blot clot in the brain of this poor child. Unfortunately, the damage had been done and this little baseball star was far from the hyperactive life of a 10 year old”
Yeah, I know it is just a novel, but this sort of thing happens every day, everywhere. Negligence and pride is what I call it.
This is another real life story; a man died two days after Christmas. Why? Negligence! After the Lab had conducted tests on him, it was sent to the hospital by 6:30a.m. Christmas day, but at 7:30 a.m. on the 26th, they were not in his file.
I would like to see reforms in the medical profession, starting with medical school. Later when doctors go into practice, information about their malpractice cases should be posted on their office wall, right up there with their medical school certificates.
I REST MY CASE, just thought i should say something on this.
May God help us and our Doctors. AMEN.
The brand new pastor and his wife, were newly assigned to their first ministry. They were supposed to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn. They arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.
The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do, postponed the Christmas Eve service and headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the centre. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus… She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the centre aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. Then the woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or their home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do.. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day, doing a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighbourhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in prison.. He never saw his wife or his home again in all these 35 years.
The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.