Thursday, 27 November 2014

I pray best with great passion when it is not about me

All I want now is to know Jesus; to grow in my knowledge of him. In my evening prayer, as peace entered into my soul after pouring out to him my petitions, all I could say was come to me Lord Jesus, whether through a vision or a dream, or speak to me audibly, or in any way like you did to our fathers of old, reveal yourself to me in that way. I asked him, and instead of being granted that which I asked, more peace flooded my heart which brought me to such a state of satisfaction, that I layed on my bed with great serenity and joy. All in me is calm; the waves of anxiety have ceased. All thoughts of worry are clear out of sight. All of her worries which brought me to prayer that consumed me is gone. I leave all that now to His providence. He shall deal with it and restore that which was lost, or use it as a means which is all for her good. Although I will not leave off prayer regarding the matter. I pray best with great passion when it is not about me or of my ills, but about those to whom my heart is very bessotted. Their cares rises above mine, and I am much driven quickly to prayer for them than I am of myself.

K.Oni

What a wonderful peace My Lord Jesus gives

What a wonderful peace
My Lord Jesus gives
When I surrender to him
And seek him in blessed prayer.
I poured to him my heart
He answered me with delight,
Not for the things I asked
But with his Peace
He satisfied my heart. 


K.Oni

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I was feeling sad, then I read my Bible

I was feeling sad, full of all sorts of anxiety and worry. My mind was everywhere and nowhere. In the darkness of my room I sat, with no energy at all, save to lay on my bed and entertain myself with movies, which brought me no joy at all; but it helped pass the time. I thought about many a thing, such as the hopelessness of my life, the barrenness of all my works, the uselessness of my existence, and despairing of my future. At all this I sigh, wishing no company save two, but one who is the Almighty, I felt far and distant from me. This made my condition decline even worse. But I did today fresh encouragement take, when I opened my bible to the book of Psalms and started meditating on Psalm 119. There I found relieve in the words written, and in reading just a few words, all my energy returned to me, and joy filled my heart. All my worries faded and Christ seem present in my soul again. This, time and time again, has proven to be a constant remedy to my soul, namely the reading of the word of God. I believe entirely, and sincerely in as much as God sees fit to grant, that the reading of scripture can cure all levels of depression and anxiety. But I have found this true in my experience, and dare not make it a rule of faith for all. This is how God heals me and I can encourage you in your misery to do the same, to find relief in the words of God. Perhaps God may use his words as the means of grace to cure you.

K.Oni

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The writings of Sunny Caane: A distant admiration for those who have the will to close their own eyes

I have a distant admiration for those who have the will to close their own eyes, never again to see the light of day. They have a strength I do not possess, a will that I have, but a strength that I lack. For this hour, everything is dark, the sun is black to me and life is happiless. I do not see how to go by each day, how to carry on, how to live. Like Romeo, seeing his beloved on the bed, dead, though she lives, yet he thinks her dead, drank that poison whole, till life was found in him no more. I wish too for a woman in the market to sell me a bottle, full of poison, and in the loneliness of my existence, drink it till no more drops remain. Then in peace I will go into that realm that nothing exists, well at least, into that realm where this life no longer remains; and I shall be free from the constant pangs of my broken aching heart, and the deep despondency of being close friends with loneliness. O the depths of my longing this moment, to be free from this vision of life is bottomless. But I have not the will to do that which I so desire. Like my sins, I cannot overcome, like them, I cannot become, and like her, can never win her heart. It is all stacked against me. The fire burns my work, the snake thinks me not worthy to poison, and death thinks me worthless to visit. I must visit her, and although I know where she lives and many times I have put my hand on the handle to open her door, yet the strength is not in me. I always hold the handle but never turn it. O the sadness I feel too for them that close their own eyes is deep, a tragedy! And mine too shall be a tragedy. O dear Sunny, my nightmare is my solitude, and I fear that I may no longer be able to bear it.

From your dear Sammy. Write soon Sunny.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Home-grown terrorism?

With the rapid rise and advance of ISIL in Northern Iraq and Syria, and the recent resurgence of radical groups in Libya, the Church has been grasping for ways to respond.
 
This week the new director of Britain’s surveillance agency, GCHQ, accused big US technology companies of denial, claiming they are becoming “control networks of choice” for terrorists.
 
It seems to me that British Christians often feel hamstrung in their capacity to offer tangible resistance to radical groups, despite knowing such groups are aggressively recruiting using the social media networks that run through our own country.
 
One London church community faces the reality of terrorism locally. London vicar and Westminster Theological College lecturer, Azariah France-Williams, leads a church that sits on the council estate that harboured the 21 July 2005 bombers and recently saw the arrest of four men on suspicion of plotting terrorism. 
 
The vicar recently met a family with a 7-year-old son, who fear he may be targeted as he gets older. They worry he is vulnerable to being groomed and indoctrinated. They want to move out of the estate.
 
Others want to put it behind them and embrace the 'keep calm and carry on' mentality, but a number of people who once enjoyed polite conversation with the arrested men say they now have a lens of suspicion on everyone, unsure of who can be trusted.
 
The estate has many disaffected young people. The absence of fathers is a factor blamed by some for the behaviour of these young men. Those on the estate who might be well-placed to be a father-figure tend to be wary or even afraid of the youth most in need their support.
 
It seems terrorist groups know they can lever Western military action to both recruit and harden people's resolve against Western powers. In today's technologically connected world, there is a distinct lack of boundaries.
 
Azariah says he’s seen the same resentment a Muslim Iraqi might feel in Mosul mirrored by a Muslim counterpart on his estate. He warns that young people’s access to inflammatory material and the ability to network with like-minded peers is dangerous when combined with economic factors.
 
The would-be bomber sees his dad disrespected and his mum working round the clock. They switch allegiance, wanting a different path. Their own gang on the estate becomes too small, so an international tribe is necessary to fuel and fund their new nomadic status as they exist within, but not of, the world of the estate.
 
Some Christians believe the Church needs to engage with this issue of home-grown terrorism by resisting Islam, or at least radical Islam. But Azariah doesn’t see the issues in his neighbourhood in those terms.

As a trustee of the local community centre, he was supportive of Muslim Eid prayers being held there because it brings families together. Eid provided a rare opportunity for these young men to spend time with mature elders who can help them construct a healthier personal narrative – one that supports citizenship and creative, positive protest for the issues they face.
 
St Francis Church on the estate is part of Citizens UK, which engages in deep listening to all aspects of the community. This listening is transformed into positive action. The church has a range of community building initiatives that centre around family, creative arts and space for different people to meet.

Isaiah 11:6 gives us the vision of the wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, and calves and lion lying down next to each other. Powerful predators alongside the weaker victims. This may be a place for the Church, refusing to alienate but rather ‘lying down’ next to these young people who have the potential of becoming the predator.
 
Some might call Isaiah 11’s vision of new creation escapist or even utopian. It doesn’t deal practically with problems on the ground. But we have to remember that Isaiah proposed that vision during one of Judah’s darkest hours, when the aggressors of the world were at the door.

Perhaps envisioning and seeing new alternatives is where the Church is — or should be — best equipped. It seems intrinsic to a worldview based on hope, and to a faith that claims to be good news. Maybe envisioning alternatives locally — with neighbourhood children and parents — can be a powerful witness in a world constantly clanging with alarm bells and security warnings. As all radical groups know, an alternative vision of reality can really mobilise.
 
Matt Lynch is dean of studies at Westminster Theological Centre

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

That it must end

That it must end
remains not in my memory.
Such thinking
will only cause my eyes to weep,
So I muse on happy things,
But happiness, no weight of grief can bare.
For even the winds of loss
Will shake my house,

Crumbling it to the ground. 

K.Oni 

Whoever has me loved in their heart

Whoever has me loved in their heart
Should tell me now, for this hour, this season,
When loneliness is with me as a hated friend,
Willing to part with her for another who would have me. 
Her, who is gone
has made me lonely, that any company now will do,
But not satisfy, only she could satisfy,
But to her who has me loved in her heart,
I am willing to offer myself to you
As a consolation, knowing that perhaps
You need me like I need her. 

K.Oni

The writings of sunny Caane - I miss her

I miss her – her whom I have been blessed with for a few years. Now, she is gone, taken away by the stronger wind of another. She yielded to his fragrance. But my fragrance made her cover her nose and run away. It stank, so much so, that any whiff of my smell made her sick. Thus, as all good men do, I stay away respecting her illness of me, and cried alone, deep into the midnight hours when the stars are weeping. Till this day I weep, and live in regret, that she slipped through my hands. 

K.Oni

Miscellanies 92: It is not as if I have it all together

It is not as if I have it all together. As if I have all the pieces of my life in place, as I would have them. Instead, they are scattered, some here and some there, and others, there and here. Do not find it strange if you do not find a constancy within me. If today I am full of sunshine, and tomorrow I am full of darkness, it is because my life is not yet a finished painting. 

K. oni

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Pardon for the Greatest Sinner

“For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
—Psalm 25:11
Doctrine: If we truly come to God for mercy, the greatness of our sin will be no impediment to pardon...The following things are needful in order that we truly come to God for mercy:
That we should see our misery and be sensible of our need of mercy. They who are not sensible of their misery cannot truly look to God for mercy, for it is the very notion of divine mercy that it is the goodness and grace of God to the miserable. Without misery in the object, there can be no exercise of mercy. To suppose mercy without supposing misery or pity without calamity is a contradiction. Therefore, men cannot look upon themselves as proper objects of mercy, unless they first know themselves to be miserable. So, unless this be the case, it is impossible that they should come to God for mercy. They must be sensible that they are the children of wrath, that the Law is against them, and that they are exposed to the curse of it: that the wrath of God abideth on them and that He is angry with them every day while they are under the guilt of sin. They must be sensible that it is a very dreadful thing to be the object of the wrath of God, that it is a very awful thing to have Him for their enemy, and that they cannot bear His wrath. They must be sensible that the guilt of sin makes them miserable creatures, whatever temporal enjoyments they have; that they can be no other than miserable, undone creatures, so long as God is angry with them; that they are without strengthand must perish, and that eternally, unless God help them. They must see that their case is utterly desperate, for any thing that any one else can do for them; that they hang over the pit of eternal misery; and that they must necessarily drop into it, if God have not mercy on them...
1. The mercy of God is as sufficient for the pardon of the greatest sins, as for the least, because His mercy is infinite. That which is infinite is as much above what is great as it is above what is small. Thus, God being infinitely great, He is as much above kings as He is above beggars. He is as much above the highest angel, as He is above the meanest worm. One infinite measure doth not come any nearer to the extent of what is infinite than another. So the mercy of God being infinite, it must be as sufficient for the pardon of all sin as of one...
2. That the satisfaction of Christ is as sufficient for the removal of the greatest guilt as the least: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1Jo 1:7). “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Act 13:39). All the sins of those who truly come to God for mercy, let them be what they will, are satisfied for, if God be true Who tells us so. And if they be satisfied for, surely it is not incredible, that God should be ready to pardon them. So that Christ having fully satisfied for all sin, or havingwrought out a satisfaction that is sufficient for all, it is now no way inconsistent with the glory of the divine attributes to pardon the greatest sins of those who in a right manner come unto Him for it. God may now pardon the greatest sinners without any prejudice to the honor of His holiness. The holiness of God will not suffer Him to give the least countenance to sin, but inclines Him to give propertestimonies of His hatred of it. But Christ having satisfied for sin, God can now love the sinner and give no countenance at all to sin, however great a sinner he may have been. It was a sufficient testimony of God’s abhorrence of sin that He poured out His wrath on His own dear Son, when He took the guilt of it upon Himself. Nothing can more show God’s abhorrence of sin than this...
God may, through Christ, pardon the greatest sinner without any prejudice to the honor of His majesty. The honor of the divine majesty indeed requires satisfaction, but the sufferings of Christ fully repair the injury. Let the contempt be ever so great, yet if so honorable a person as Christ undertakes to be a Mediator for the offender and suffers so much for him, it fully repairs the injurydone to the Majesty of heaven and earth. The sufferings of Christ fully satisfy justice. The justice of God, as the supreme Governor and Judge of the world, requires the punishment of sin. The supreme Judge must judge the world according to a rule of justice...The Law is no impediment in the way of the pardon of the greatest sin, if men do but truly come to God for mercy: for Christ hath fulfilled the Law, He hath borne the curse of it, in His sufferings. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal 3:13).
3. Christ will not refuse to save the greatest sinners, who in a right manner come to God for mercy; for this is His work. It is His business to be a Savior of sinners; it is the work upon which He came into the world; and therefore He will not object to it. He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mat 9:13). Sin is the very evil which He came into the world to remedy: therefore, He will not object to any man that he is very sinful. The more sinful he is, the more need of Christ. The sinfulness of man was the reason of Christ’s coming into the world...The physician will not make it an objection against healing a man who applies to him that he stands in great need of his
help...
4. Herein doth the glory of grace by the redemption of Christ much consist, viz., in its sufficiency for the pardon of the greatest sinners. The whole [plan] of the way of salvation is for this end: to glorify the free grace of God. God had it on His heart from all eternity to glorify this attribute; and therefore it is, that the device of saving sinners by Christ was conceived. The greatness of divine grace appears very much in this: that God by Christ saves the greatest offenders. The greater the guilt of any sinner is the more glorious and wonderful is the grace manifested in his pardon: “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom 5:20)...The Redeemer is glorified, in that He proves sufficient to redeem those who are exceeding sinful, in that His blood proves sufficient to wash away the greatest guilt, in that He is able to save men to the uttermost, and in that He redeems even from the greatest misery. It is the honor of Christ to save the greatest sinners when they come to Him, as it is the honor of a physician that he cures the most desperate diseases or wounds. Therefore, no doubt, Christ will be willing to save the greatest sinners, if they come to Him. For He will not be backward to glorify Himself and to commend the value and virtue of His own blood. Seeing He hath so laid out Himself to redeem sinners, He will not be unwilling to show that He is able to redeem to the uttermost...If you see not the sufficiency of Christ to pardon you, without any righteousness of your own to recommend you, you never will come so as to be accepted of Him. The way to be accepted is to come—not on any such encouragement, that now you have made yourselves better, and more worthy, or not so unworthy, but—on the mere encouragement of Christ’s worthiness and God’s mercy.
From “Great Guilt No Obstacle to the Pardon of the Returning Sinner” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust. http://www.monergism.com/pardon-greatest-sinner