Thursday, 18 April 2019

Reflections On Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. The Friday before Easter Sunday.

Good Friday is the second day of the Paschal Tridium; the last days of lent - Lent is a season of 40days (not counting Sundays) of prayer, fasting and almsgiving embarked by mostly Catholics around the world, it begins on ash Wednesday every year. This year's Ash Wednesday( beginning of lent) was on the 6th of March. The day of the year where you see people move about their daily activities with the sign of the cross on their foreheads. Lent represents Christ's time of temptation (40days and 40nights) in the wilderness and as believers we are encourage to participate actively not has a "ritual" but with understanding.

Justin Holcomb, an episcopal priest was asked,
"Why do we (The Church) call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus?"
And he replied,
"Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins."



As we commemorate this great day, I'll walk us through a few scriptures that we arose the mystic in us to ponder and pray;

Romans 5 v 6-10

6.While we were still helpless [powerless to provide for our salvation], at the right time Christ died [as a substitute] for the ungodly. 

7.Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die. 

8. But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

9.Therefore, since we have now been justified [declared free of the guilt of sin] by His blood, [how much more certain is it that] we will be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].


1 Peter 2 v 24:

24. He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [becoming immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you [who believe] have been healed.


Isaiah 53 v 3-5:

3. He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; And like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him. 

4. But [in fact] He has borne our griefs,
And He has carried our sorrows and pains; Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken, Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him].

5. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.

They're thought provoking passages, we need to ponder and pray on.

Jesus left all The Glory in Heaven to come to earth to save us. He knew no sin, but He was condemned for you and I. He died for the rich, poor, old, young, dark, fair, boy, girl, man, woman. He gave His life as a ransom for us. His Love for us has no bounds, it's endless. His Love is Eternal. 

🎼
All the way to Calvary 
He went for me ( x2) 
He died to set me free

You're free to imagine! Imagine such Love!! We are called to Love Him back (Those who love Him keep His commands). We are called to live for Christ. "To Live is Christ, to die is gain".
On Good Friday, we reflect on three but powerful words made by Jesus, " It is finished". All our pains, weakness were nailed to the cross with Him, this is our reality and we must live it.
Happy Easter beloved💕

Okoko Patricia Amina,
Jos, Plateau State.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Is Love Sex And Sex Love?



“Don’t you love me?” my boyfriend asked accusingly.

“I do, but I want to wait for marriage to have sex. I don’t want to be hurt anymore because I’ve given my body to another person who’s not my husband,” I answered sadly.

“I’m your boyfriend, we love each other, you shouldn’t think like that…”

That conversation continued on through several different occasions, and although my words were spoken differently they held the same conviction, and his resolve to have my body never wavered no matter how much I tried to get him to see the right side of things.Love, Valentine, Heart, In Love

He told me he’d never hurt me, that he loved me, that sex would bring us together, not apart.

He said I was being foolish for thinking he’d abandon me once I gave him what he wanted. That I was overreacting, overthinking, and over-complicating things. But, in the end, after I gave him what he wanted and after I finally was convinced that I shouldn’t hold off on having sex because we did love each other, he left and immediately moved onto the next girl. But with his absence, he took along the shattered remnants of my body and heart with him and I was once again left this broken little girl just yearning for someone to truly love her for her character, not her body.

I can’t tell you how many different ways I’ve heard a guy try to convince me that sex before marriage was ok. He’d say:

“Don’t you love me?”

“I thought you wanted me.”

“This will bring us closer.”

“What’s the harm, it’s natural?”

“Don’t you believe that I’d never hurt you?”

“But, I love you…”

Those sad and familiar statements still echo in my mind like a broken record.

And each time I was deceived.

The strings of my heart were played as if each guy was skilled at wearing down and thinning the chords to get what he wanted, while I was left alone to pick myself back up again and recover the strands of myself they had rummaged through deep inside.


I bought into the belief that love is sex and sex is love.Pair, Autumn, Evening Sun, Nature, Human


No matter how often I was left in pieces, screaming in agony over a broken heart, and crying til’ there were no more tears left to spare, I believed this lie.

I was searching for intimacy in a relationship with someone that did not share my convictions about premarital sex.

So, what I want you to get out of this is this.

Check your heart and see where it lies. If you find yourself continuously giving into your boyfriend’s advances or succumbing to sexual temptation because you’ve fallen into the sex = love trap, then I strongly encourage you re-assess yourself and rebuild your convictions on the right foundation. If a guy tells you to ‘prove your love’ by having sex with him understand that he is only using you for the sex, not to get to know you better or possibly marry you. He’s just another self-centered person seeking self-satisfaction.
Literature, Book Bindings, Page, Book
I kept hooking up with guys and getting into relationships I knew were doomed from the beginning just for attention, worth, and affirmation. I was still stuck in my old ways despite my rather weak convictions. I was still so incredibly broken. And the last time I had ever hooked up with a boy I remember running into my room, plopping onto my bed crying and feeling angry at myself because I didn’t hold close to my faith. I kept believing that giving in to sex was something that proved my love, but it wasn’t.

Once the physical act was over and all those feel-good and short-lived hormones faded away, I was left feeling more lost and confused than I was to begin with. Yes, I felt closer to the person I was with, but accompanying that closeness were feelings of confusion, insecurity, guilt, and desperation trying to fervently hold onto a person who was more interested in the physical aspect of our relationship than the emotional.

I kept searching for intimacy, hopping from one guy to the next with a false hope that, “This time will be it. This time I am going to find a relationship that will last with someone that will truly love me for me.”

But what I failed to see was that love is so much more than just sex. And sex doesn’t have to be given to find intimacy.
Men, Women, Apparel, Couple, People
Our society has twisted God’s purpose and design for sex and based it completely on emotions. It tells us intimacy and love is getting naked with someone, and that sex is completely ok and normal with someone who is not your spouse.

But, right off the bat, there are flaws with this viewpoint because there is no guarantee that the deep emotional intimacy that everyone longs for will develop after having sex, and this can be deeply heartbreaking for girls because we are usually the ones who develop attachments and emotional bonds rather than the guy.

So, know this.

Sex is such a gift — but it’s a gift for a certain time… marriage.

Don’t allow your emotions or your boyfriend to convince that having sex will deepen your relationship because it really won’t. The longer it’s outside of God’s will the more you’ll feel a hint of guilt, experience a short-lived emotional closeness, and cut yourself off from finding true fulfillment, true intimacy and true purpose in life.

No amount of promises a guy tells you or how good he makes you feel about yourself is enough reason to have sex, not unless you both have made a solemn public vow, in front of God and a gathering of others, to love, honor.

Ashley, Southern California.
Founder,

Thursday, 4 April 2019

What To Do During Your Quiet Time!

Happy New Month!

As soon as you wake there's a war to keep you from the Word of God, fight! -Jackie Hill Perry.

As a Christian you have to make time for God, this we enable you to grow more effectively. With the distractions in our world today, one needs to be deliberate about building a relationship with God! It can't come by default, you need to walk and work for it. If you ignore a relationship of this kind, your spiritual muscles are likely to get flaccid.

How do we do this?
I believe there are five things that will help us:

1. Remember that spending time with God is not about ritual, but relationship.
When you and I were born again (If you're reading this and you've not consciously accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, pause and pray before we continue) we entered into a relationship with Almighty God. He is not only our God, he is our Heavenly Father. We have freedom before Him, and access to His throne. We don’t have to be afraid of Him. Rituals might be burdensome, but relationships with loved ones rarely are. Spending time with one that you love is exciting and life-changing — and that’s how your daily time with your Father God should be.

2. Establish a specific time every day when you will spend time with the Lord.
Don’t you find that what gets scheduled usually gets done? I do. Find a time that works with your lifestyle and your family demands, then stick to it! Make it a top priority. That’s how habits are developed. Persevere even when you are tired, and don’t feel like it. Remember, we’d never get anything accomplished if we lived by our feelings alone!

3. Minimize your interruptions.
When you’re spending time with God, give Him all of your attention. Turn off the social media and the television. Find a nice, quiet, cozy spot where you are comfortable. If you have children, teach them to respect your privacy during this time, and explain to them that this is your time with God. Then they will learn the importance of a daily quiet time, and you’ll reinforce its importance in their eyes, too. Pray that they will follow your example, and encourage them to do so.


4. Choose a Bible version and a Bible-reading plan.
This is so important — especially for new Christians. Ask a pastor or friend to help you select a good translation. I like the New International Version or the The Message Bible. Doing a little research to find the right translation for you will help you in the long run. Then get a reading plan. Don’t just open the Bible and randomly skip around. Again, ask a pastor or a friend to help you select a reading plan if you’re not sure. Balance your reading between the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is rich in history and knowledge — and the New Testament presents the story of Christ and the birth of the church. Both are so valuable — and reading one will help you understand the other.

I advice you download the to YouVersion Bible App 


5. Interact as you read.
The Bible is a living book, written by a living God. For the Holy Spirit to give you understanding, wisdom and revelation as you read. Read the Bible as if it were a love letter, because it is — it is God’s love letter to you! Pray as you go. Take notes, and don’t be afraid to mark scriptures in your Bible itself. Interact with your Bible, and ask God to use it to change your heart and life.

All of these things are important, but the most important thing you can do is to begin — and that you can do today!

Blessings!

PS: I partly cited Lisa Comes.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Guilty Is A Lie!


Guilty Is a lie.
Handcuffs, Shackles, Guilty, Sentence
You feel the urge
You hold back
Your world in a turmoil
You feel the shame
Can I be saved
Does my soul worth it?
But do not be fooled
For guilty is a lie

You feel the urge
You hold back
Your garment so black
You feel the shame
Can the Savior
Upon my defiled self look?
O, do not be fooled
For guilty is a lie

For upon the cross
He died for you
His blood He shed
To wash you clean
So shame hold you not
For guilty is a lie.

-Antonia Ejuojo, Jos - Nigeria.
Guilty, Finger, Suggest, Interpretation

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Why Are You Worrying?


Anchor Scripture: Matthew 6 : 25 -34  (Please read through before you continue!)Girl, Sad, Film, Woman, Young, Portrait





I knew the title before the article. I trust God to help me with this. For me, I'm not worthy to write on this title because I'm one person that worries a whole lot. If I get a call, that a family member or friend is ill, I get worried. If my bank account is showing red, I get worried. If my exam score is below expectation, I get worried and so much more.
I checked a result recently and I cried. My friend called and asked why I cried, if crying could change the score. After the call it occurred to me that I "wasted" my tears. I worried about what my mum was going to say, and after I told her the simple statement she made was " THANK GOD".
I had to asked God for mercy after our phone conversation.
Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Unhappy
 "Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me."
Before now, I've read and heard a lot on "Not Worrying" or " Stop Over-thinking Stuff", many have told me, "Patricia Stop Worrying, just pray more" but then,  the work is squarely on me and I'm taking a leap with the help of the Holy Spirit to write on "WORRY NOT".
No matter how many people stand and preach to you not to worry; if you don't decide not to worry, it changes nothing my friend.

Matthew 6 v 27:
(NKJV)  "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"
(NIV) "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "
(Amplified) "Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan?"
(Good News) "Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?"
 This is a question you and I should meditate on.
 Yes, I agree! We have a whole lot of stuff to get worried over, clothes, food, health, money, exams etc but Christ is telling us today in Matthew 6 v 33: 'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (NKJV)'

God has given us the solution! Seek first His kingdom!!
Someone said, "Nothing is out of control because God's in control"
I've sincerely made the decision to WORRY NOT, to always place everything at the feet of CHRIST. What about you?
My prayer for us today is for the grace to worry not.
Woman Sitting in Front of Macbook
"Your mind is your prison when you focus on your fear."
Share your ' Worry Story' with me in the comment box!

PRAYER:
O' Lord! Help me to always cast my cares on you, so that I'll  focus on seeking your Kingdom and Righteousness. Amen!

Blessings,

Okoko Patricia.
Jos, Nigeria.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

About Johnstone

Hello you!

I'm so happy you wandered onto my blog. Let me introduce myself.

Image may contain: Johnstone Kpilaakaa, smiling, closeup
Johnstone Kpilaakaa
I'm Johnstone, a 19 year-old Nigerian and Christian living in Jos- Nigeria. Right now I'm in the University reading Biological Sciences and Education. I also host a Christian radio talk show (Atmosphere of Praise With Johnstone) on Ice 96.1 FM Jos every Sunday by noon. I can't wait to have you here frequently as I share my journey and experiences as a Christian.

As a budding Christian writer and blogger, I share reflections drawn from God's touch in the ordinaries of everyday life with the aim that it will inspire the mystic in you to encounter Christ.

With the noise accompanied by the hustle and bustle in our our world today, I pray and hope that as you surf on the streets of my blog you'll find tranquillity and reasons to pursue for intimacy with Christ.

I'm also passionate about about personal and community development.

Now that you are here, bookmark and subscribe to my blog, don't forget to always engage me in the comment box. Feel free to share the post with your friends and family.

As a 'Christocentric Blogger' and I believe that the salvation of souls is the supreme law; looking forward to engaging you with the gospel that will keep you a Christian forever.

PS: Oh! and on my blog I share reflections across Faith, Lifestyle: Prayer and Devotion, Discipleship as well as Relationship amongst others.
New posts are made every Fridays and my friend Antonia shares poems every last Friday of the month.

Connect With Me on all my Social Media Platforms:


FACEBOOK: Johnstone Kpilaakaa
TWITTER:@Iam_Johnstone
INSTAGRAM: @Iam_Johnstone
LINKEDIN:Johnstone Kpilaakaa



Welcome to Johnstone's Blog.

Blessings,
Johnstone.




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Thursday, 14 March 2019

Embrace Peace Not Violence - Lawrencia Okoko

Every one is saying something, but not everything said makes a positive impact. Unlike those, Lawrencia Jenebu Okoko; a Christian, a 20 year old student of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Jos and an Award - Winning Essayist believes that since God framed the World with Words, the loopholes in God's creation can also be filled by Words.

Lawrencia was the second runner up at the just concluded #PlateauFirst Essay Competition in Jos - Nigeria with her short but impactful essay. According to her, since youths on the Plateau and the World at large are used as tools for violence, she decided to add her voice to the situation.


When asked about her encouragement to the youths, she said, " Youths should embrace peace and they should not be instrument of violence in the hands of evil people".
________________________

Below is the essay that made it up to the third place of #PlateauFirst Essay Competition 2019.



The Plateau We Want :The Youth Perspective.
Plateau: Home of Peace and Tourism. 
We want to live the name! We want the evidence of Peace on our soil. 
In a bid to make Plateau a better place for the youths and everyone in general, insecurity has to be tackled. Insecurity has driven so many youths out of the state, for fear of losing their lives. For an average youth living and schooling on the Plateau, the random killings has caused panic and pain. 
Years ago tourism generated money for the government. But due to non-sustainability, insecurity, corruption etc the reverse is the case. 
The Plateau we want is one free from corrupt practices. The Plateau where those that merit a certain position are given. Where admission in the university is given based on merit, where jobs are given to the right people.
 Plateau youths need to be taken back to their roots and understand where they are coming from, their heritage.
 Irrespective of being a Berom, Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba man. We're Nigerians we share a common heritage. We can co-habit on the Plateau.
Only when there is peace can tourism thrive.


 _______________________

Lawrencia's favourite writer is Dr Myles Munroe and Myles' "Understanding the Purpose and Power of Women" is her favourite book.
Connect With her on:
Facebook: Lawren Okoko
Twitter: @Lawren Okoko