Winning the War — Easter

Did losing the battle mean winning the war? Or was it just a loss on the way to the victory that ended all battles.

One example of the former:
The fight was real but it was at the same time contrived to ensure the victory that sealed the fate of all, according to their choices. God in His wisdom provided a quasi Trojan horse solution to the desire of man for the otherwise unattainable true nirvana.

Today is indeed a good (Fri)day: we commemorate the battle that won the war; the battle where the Protagonist died. “It is finished,” He said. And it was so. And He came back alive!

Happy holidays.

Ogbeide

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How to Become Christian

It was Palm Sunday last week and a Christian got to meet with some other Christians who wanted to verify that the said Christian was indeed Christian… I’ll spare you the details.

So I told my friends, “you would be surprised whom you will meet in heaven.” And the thought followed: “While you might think that you’ve got it right more than others, ‘there are 7000 other prophets who did not bow to Baal’.” Meaning that your ‘revelation’ is more common than you think.

What I’ve come to understand from the little I’ve read in the Bible about becoming Christian follows. Read and make your own choice.

There’s the slightly abstract but still clear John 3:13-18:
13-15 “No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son
merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. (MSG)

With the practical realisation in Romans 10:9-10 (I quote verses 4-10 mixing translations):

(MSG 4) The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah, who then puts everything right for those who trust him to do it. (PHILLIPS 4,5) For Christ means the end of the struggle for righteousness-by-the-Law for everyone who believes in him. Moses writes [in Leviticus 18:5] of righteousness-by-the-Law [with all its intricate demands] when he says that ‘the man who does those things shall live by them’—which is theoretically right but impossible in practice. (AMP 6-10) But the righteousness based on faith [which produces a right relationship with Him] says the following: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into Heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down; or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead [as if we had to be saved by our own efforts, doing the impossible].” But what does it say? “The word
is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach—because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his]
salvation.

(MSG 8-10) It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he
did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

To get some perspective on how this works, Romans 1:19 says that righteousness of God is revealed in the Good News (Gospel), and it is effected on the principle of faith, as it is written that the just shall live by faith. You’ve got to believe it for it to become your reality.

In Ephesians 2:8,9, we are reminded that we “are saved by grace, through faith; and this not of (y)ourselves; it is God’s gift: not on the principle of works [deeds], that no one might boast. Essentially, we get there on the back of believing.

Then 1 Peter 1:23 tells us that the Word (the forgoing) is sure to take effect and make one born again: “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the living and abiding word of God.”

So that’s all there is to it really, I’d like to think. I hope that settles it for you.

This is the significance of the Easter holidays, when we commemorate Christ Jesus’ death and resurrection; it marks the opening of the door to the true and literal son-ship of God that we have come to share with Christ Jesus, being Christian. The Book of John talks
a lot about this. And the book of Romans explains how/why it works, and how that it should result in corresponding action.

Have a beautiful and meaningful holidays.

Bible Key:
All quotes are from the J.N. Darby translation except otherwise signified.

The Message (MSG); J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS); Amplified Bible (AMP): accessed through www.biblegateway.com

Thank You—April 2015

Thank you that I am rich
Thank you that I am strong
Thank you that I lived long

Fit and virile, hale and hearty
  In wealth and health
With a continuum of joys and victories

The answer had been provided before I was born
For the question I’d ask with my life
I’ve got it
    I live it
I am grateful

Thank you that you’re perfect
If you weren’t, this would be delusion
C’est finit on the cross
Happy Easter

A question of death to life

Cheers, applause, honour, and praise to Time magazine’s man of all time. And the great book also says He is God the Son. While it is reasonable to try to measure the history of Christ Jesus’ impact on the world by the history of His followers’ impact, acting, by their admission, in His name, we will only get the fuller picture when we consider human nature, and also consider (and perhaps discover the beauty of) the philosophy and logic of His birth, life, deeds, death, and resurrection. Thinking mathematically helps, particularly with questions about his birth and rebirth (resurrection), and makes for an interesting and beneficial exercise. ‘Questions of life,’ a book by Nicky Gumbel, is a great place to start if you need a guide. Although, in all, we can’t pretend to know or understand all, or even much, we find reason to believe because we’ve seen it or simply choose to agree and follow through. Regardless, we can always savour the wonderful stories and songs and poems and true history recorded in the great book, the Bible, coming perhaps to fully understand the reason for the season if we don’t already.
Romans asks many questions and gives many answers, intellectual, down to earth, philosophical and more. If you’ve chosen to believe or agree with it, then there’s one logical conclusion, and it’s also written in Romans—the book.
Do have a very pleasant day.
Happy holidays.

You continued till it was done

The time came near
With the shudder of pain
Was there another way

Feeling as abandoned
through shame and crux
You continued till it was done

Within our humanity
There was something we should be
More than we knew

Stranger at home
Counting it joy
You were glad to be with us

Like I am
You saw what I see
Knowing how I feel

Holy Son Christ
You came for life
But then first to die

Hades you visited
Because you returned
My life has come

2 things to being religious. (Episode 2)

1 is doing good, 2 is living good.

True religion is to be there for, and take care of orphans and widows and prisoners and friends and … in their suffering or need, and to guard/recover oneself from the twisting in/of the world. Everyone acts religious (or half-religious) when they choose to do good and live true.

Everyday, in mind, between Michael (the Angel) and Mephistopheles (the Demon) …. Remember those cartoons with the actor torn betwixt. Ideas going to and fro looking for a home. Any thought can fly around, but this bird, I will let land. Her name is Grace. You see the mind where it appears, so does the entity formally known as Lucifer.

Mouth agape! Really not that bad, it was novel and nice. Sure? Sure. Come on, you know you would rather not, but then, you want. Haha, you want. No I don’t! Something else for me please. Period! Try. All gain, what’s the pain. The drain. What the heck! Join this chariot—or not. Shame; high-low. Low-high; grace. Fame and infamy. Stop it, I like it. What am I thinking? Choose quickly. Haste makes waste. Yeah? Maybe, maybe not. Whatever, talk to the hand. Schizophrenia. Duh! I can.

No one is hooked for life, unless by a blood covenant. (Not that ancient thing again!) It leaves the one way out, death, and rebirth—in Christ. Hooked or not, perfect love calls; the one way in, it hooks for life. All’s logical with the right premises. And the premises are true. The Passion of the Christ was about love—something to celebrate. It made for a beautiful story that shall be shared forever.

What stories have I created by doing good and living good? The story of my life is this: I make it what it is. Surely I can continue, moment by moment, everyday; doing, learning, improving, ‘poco a poco?’, steadily. I don’t always feel it, but it’s there, done.

Commitment, commitment; commitment in the pursuit of happiness. “No happiness without commitment.” Commitment to whom, to what, and why? “If the purpose is right, and the heart is whole, and the object is just, then there can be be true love, and full joy.”

Happy Easter holidays; ‘can’t wait.
Happy Pesach. Happy stories.

See episode 1 here.

Minding Easter

Mind on Easter
Not for the break
But for the reason
The next love season
After Saint Valentine’s

There’s a few weeks left
Ponder now
Why wait till we get there

I wonder at what you did
As it is true
That you came to die
Suffering as in a movie
The Passion of Christ
Then to come back alive
Saying that I’d be kainos
As fresh as new
If truely I entered you.

Near maniacal
It must be love
What’s the difference
We’ve done the insane
In the name of the game
All giving and no taking
We gladly only accept to receive
If any harm
It was to self
And all without regret
In joy-full experience

How can you tell
It was one-sided
We love because He first loved
It had to start from somewhere
And it has come full circle

Thats pure and true
You would say so
How else could it go
If there’s no greater love
Than to lay down your life
For a friend
Literally
Not quite so and yet so
You’re not making sense
But still you understand