Monday, 20 September 2010

Transformed disciples


My aim here is to hopefully excite in people especially students to live out a radical lifestyle in which it is clearly shown in them the transforming love of Christ that seeks to build transparent relationship, love for the poor and community living.

I hope to challenge people’s lifestyle and most importantly that of my own that the lifestyle of this world may be rooted out and replaced with that of Kingdom living.

The way I aim in doing this is hopefully to explore a five week course on what it means to be a transformed disciple and each session challenging the recipients to deeply consider this and aim to share our lives as a community

Now this community may manifest itself in different ways and no one is pressured to do that which they are uncomfortable with but rather being transformed internally will then with great delight seek to live externally.

I hope students will open their houses to other students freely inviting them to come in with great hospitality and Love. This extends to others also and on our part seeking to reach the lost, the found and those yet to be lost.

I hope that we all will not hold on to our possessions or finances but as it is feasible for each one to donate to the community purse, giving each other as it is needed and eliminating all manner of greed and treasuring of worldly riches where moths and rust destroy.

I pray that you do not first fall in love with this vision but rather fall in love with the carpenter from Nazareth whose trade was a carpenter and when summoned by the father, he begun his ministry, calling people from all works of life and he himself going against the present kingdoms and establishing his own where you are required to love your enemies, to sell all that you have, to be poor in Spirit, to rejoice exceedingly in the face of persecution and to pray for your enemies. Fall in love with him and this vision is only secondary and fall in love with people.

I am not ignorant of the evil one and indeed living a radical lifestyle will be hard and challenging and it will require every ounce of love in you and the grace of God to love and to stand above the criticisms and the hardship which will come . Do not count it strange.


Week 1

- Look at how Jesus gathered disciples and what Jesus asked of them

Week 2

- Focus on three of the teachings on what it means to follow Jesus

Week 3

- Focus on three of the teachings on what it means to follow Jesus and early church

Week 4

- Disciples from History

Week 5

- What it means for me and you and us

K.Oni

When Technology fails

It was time for me to leave London and more importantly for me to depart from my family of whom I will miss dearly for I have greatly enjoyed their company and sincere hospitality towards me. My eyes were teary and hugs I gave to declare my departure. I was giving a lift to Woolwich where I would then get a bus to the station. I was about to enter the barrier where I was stopped by a man who perceived to know me but I knew him not but I played along. E asked me about my destination and I told him and he carefully instructed me that the jubilee line to Westminster was close and I needed to get of at waterloo and change lines in order to get to Victoria. I thanked God for this useful information and I continued on my journey. Upon arriving at the coach station, I just made it in time and rushed to where the bus to Bristol would depart, I took out my phone praying that it would work because earlier some water had trickled inside it and would not let me open up my ticket. I pleaded with the driver and explained my situation to him but nigh he declined me the entry and I was frustrated. I informed the customer service and they in their manner was not very useful either and I had to purchase another ticket for twenty one pounds and I was yet even more frustrated but I was given money before hand which meant that I could purchase the ticket otherwise I would have been stranded. So when technology failed me I was left feeling frustrated and thought that perhaps next time, I should print my ticket or be even more careful of the use of my phone.

Through this technological failure, there was a positive as I did meet a man, yea an ex lecturer from the university of Nottingham who became my acquaintance in the long queue of which we were both anxious that we were not going to make it in time to purchase our tickets for the next bus but we made it. He told me that he was a political refugee from Chile and told me of his family. It was my joy to have met Him and I wish him all the best though I am certain that we shall never meet again.

K.Oni

Encouragements

Some encouragements I have received in the past from people from UWE Christian union.
To Ken,

Thank you so much for your faithful leadership at CU. Thanks for having a personal passion for sharing the gospel and living for Crist and so encouraging all of us to do the same. Thanks for your welcome and friendship and humility and commitment to God’s word. It is so dear that you are deeply rooted in it and that is so encouraging. Keep going in his strength! Untill the very end to receive the promises (Heb 11v13-16,39-40). God bless x.


We thank you for everything you’ve given and the encouragement you’ve been to us. “For you know how, like father’s with their children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory”, 1 Thes 2v11-12. We are praying for you.

UWECU

Thanks so much! You’ve been a good model of Christ’s people.


K.Oni

Friday, 3 September 2010

He made you beautiful

The splendour he gave you made your beauty perfect
Now you are a queen among the nations
Many have flogged to you and bowed their knees
To gaze upon your beauty
He stood and admired you
Yea he remembered when he bathed you
And washed the blood from you
With ointments he covered you and with costly garments
You laid asleep on his bed and he watched over you
In the morning he sat you by the window and on your neck
He placed the finest of jewelleries
And placed a crown on your head
He fed you honey and fine flour
You became the woman of the house
Your fame spread throughout the land
The splendour he gave you made your beauty perfect

K.Oni

Thursday, 2 September 2010

My Friend

My friend My Friend
Come close to me and hear me
Hear what I have to say and what I have to give you
Its not a surprise and its not a gift
It is not flowers and definitely not the star 
What do you think it is?
What in this world could it be?
don’t answer my question
Just be patient like a seed that has just been planted


My friend My friend
You are closer to me than my brother
Through the thick and wires the dust and rain
I still see you and your shadow
Standing at my right side
What is it that makes you so persistent
You could have left me
But you chose to stay like the sun in the sky
Every night it disappears but comes back in the early morning
Is your mind still set on what I have to give you?
Are your thoughts still racing like a cheetah from an hurricane wind


My friend My friend
The days are getting shorter our time seems to be longer
My friend I will call you 
Because somewhere along the way your blood got mixed with mine
What I have to give you I can never take back
I ca never regret because it will be held to the end of time
I give you I give you
Be patient my fellow friend
Eyes like mine sharper than the edge of a genius words
I give you I give you something that you will forever cherish
I give you my love and my words never to see you die before my eyes


K.Oni

Despite the Hardship

Should I be discouraged or should I go back? This journey is too much for me and the hill ahead is far to steep; I have no more water and my strength is failing, my feet are getting weary and my breath is getting heavier. Is the price worth my life is the goal ahead worth my dying? How much can I take how long will I endure, there is no mercy in the skies above as by day the sun scorches me and by night the cold torments me. I am alone, alone in a dry desert of crippled thorns  and I have snakes for companions. There is no sweet melody to itch my ears but the calculated voice of savaging vultures. Often I run and hide for my life and all for this goal I desire to have;  I often ponder, is it all worth it? Surely it will be better for me and my soul to go back,  yea to go back to the family I left, the friends whom I loved and marry the girl who I love in every way. Why should I endure such hardship and sing bitter tunes all the way. But this is the pilgrim road, the only marked way that guarantees life at the end of it all. So I must walk and look to him who is my strength and my shepherd, guide me in thy path and let me not depart despise the hardship.

K.Oni

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Goal of God's Love May Not Be What You Think It Is

By John Piper


Do people go to the Grand Canyon to increase their self-esteem? Probably not. This is, at least, a hint that the deepest joys in life come not from savoring the self, but from seeing splendor. And in the end even the Grand Canyon will not do. We were made to enjoy God.

We are all bent to believe that we are central in the universe. How shall we be cured of this joy-destroying disease? Perhaps by hearing afresh how radically God-centered reality is according to the Bible.
Both the Old and New Testament tell us that God's loving us is a means to our glorifying him. "Christ became a servant ... in order that the nations might glorify God for his mercy" (Romans 15:8-9). God has been merciful to us so that we would magnify him. We see it again in the words, "In love [God] destined us to adoption ... to the praise of the glory of His grace" (Ephesians 1:4-6). In other words, the goal of God's loving us is that we might praise him. One more illustration from Psalm 86:12-13: "I will glorify your name forever. For your lovingkindness toward me is great." God's love is the ground. His glory is the goal.

This is shocking. The love of God is not God's making much of us, but God's saving us from self-centeredness so that we can enjoy making much of him forever. And our love to others is not our making much of them, but helping them to find satisfaction in making much of God. True love aims at satisfying people in the glory of God. Any love that terminates on man is eventually destructive. It does not lead people to the only lasting joy, namely, God. Love must be God-centered, or it is not true love; it leaves people without their final hope of joy.
Take the cross of Christ, for example. The death of Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of divine love: "God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Yet the Bible also says that the aim of the death of Christ was "to demonstrate [God's] righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed" (Romans 3:25). Passing over sins creates a huge problem for the righteousness of God. It makes him look like a judge who lets criminals go free without punishment. In other words, the mercy of God puts the justice of God in jeopardy.

So to vindicate his justice he does the unthinkable – he puts his Son to death as the substitute penalty for our sins. The cross makes it plain to everyone that God does not sweep evil under the rug of the universe. He punishes it in Jesus for those who believe.

But notice that this ultimately loving act has at the center of it the vindication of the righteousness of God. Good Friday love is God-glorifying love. God exalts God at the cross. If he didn't, he could not be just and rescue us from sin. But it is a mistake to say, "Well, if the aim was to rescue us, then we were the ultimate goal of the cross." No, we were rescued from sin in order that we might see and savor the glory of God. This is the ultimately loving aim of Christ's death. He did not die to make much of us, but to free us to enjoy making much of God forever.

It is profoundly wrong to turn the cross into a proof that self-esteem is the root of mental health. If I stand before the love of God and do not feel a healthy, satisfying, freeing joy unless I turn that love into an echo of my self-esteem, then I am like a man who stands before the Grand Canyon and feels no satisfying wonder until he translates the canyon into a case for his own significance. That is not the presence of mental health, but bondage to self.

The cure for this bondage is to see that God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act. In exalting himself – Grand Canyon-like – he gets the glory and we get the joy. The greatest news in all the world is that there is no final conflict between my passion for joy and God's passion for his glory. The knot that ties these together is the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Jesus Christ died and rose again to forgive the treason of our souls, which have turned from savoring God to savoring self. In the cross of Christ, God rescues us from the house of mirrors and leads us out to the mountains and canyons of his majesty. Nothing satisfies us – or magnifies him – more.

Originally published in Dallas Morning News.