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Devotionals

Get Over T-GEM

T-GEM is the acronym for Timidity and Green-Eyed Monster. From a non-faith perspective both are distinct and unconnected. One portrays an inherent limitation in a person, and the other is bitterness aimed at another without good reason. While one could be congenital, the other is a condition that flourish only if enabled. The online dictionary.com define timidity as “lacking in self-assurance, courage …characterised by or indicating fear.” On the other hand, green-eyed monster refer to “resentment against a rival…another’s advantage…or mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry…”

 

Considered from a christian narrative they derive one from the other and together thrive as deep-seated spiritual defect. Aptly put, green-eyed monster is a product of timidity and would not blossom unless watered by the latter. The bible is replete with escapades of timidity, its hallmarks being low self esteem and image crises, discontentment, greed, competition and strife, among others.

 

As said in Genesis 4:9 we can also proceed to ask Cain “Where is your brother Abel?” Regarded with intense dislike and killed for no more than his good-natured disposition, respect for godly values, and a reciprocal love by God; a favour that the carnal persona of Cain found impossible to live with.

 

The story of Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36) present a ready example. Loathed and hated for Jacob their father’s unsolicited love for him, Joseph enjoyed a goodwill that aroused the bitterness of his siblings to contemplate his murder and ultimately sold him into slavery.

 

Due to David’s military prowess in 1 Samuel 18:1-30,19 he became the target of Saul’s fearful and bitter trait with deft attempts to put him in harm’s way. Notwithstanding his status as King, Saul earmarked his lowly placed subject for death because he could not stand the accolades showered on David for his bravery and victories on the battlefield.

 

The life story of Jesus epitomises the subject under review. The biblical sequence starting with the insecurities and rage of King Herod at the birth of Jesus (Matthew 2:1-18), the many challenges, denials and accusations that lined his path, to his arrest, sentencing and crucifixion is summed up by the concern of Pontius Pilate in Mark 15:10 “For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.”

 

The vile spirit of T-GEM is timeless and transcends religious, social and economic attributes. Anyone irrespective of status; christian or non-christian, king or commoner, bishop or deacon, have or have-not, can constitute its breeding belt or repository. It is a level playing non-discriminatory vice that entrenches itself and overwhelm those whose heart it calls home.

 

It is tragic for anyone to be a carrier of T-GEM. It has the propensity to imprison and rob one of liberty and real happiness; it is inimical to love and harmonious coexistence especially with those the object of its venom, and is a barrier to sincere relationship with God. The good news though is however engrossed T-GEM may be it is surmountable.

 

Purging this contrary spirit demands practical adjustment to your thought patterns. There is need to take pride in yourself and be grateful for whom God has uniquely made you. No one is created or known to be all things at any given time. Emphasise the good in others as much as you do the good in yourself. Acknowledge and celebrate your wins and gains; and accommodate your failures and losses. As you count and glory in your blessings accept that others deserve the equal and fair chance to their own blessings. Recognise that where you won others may have lost and embrace the possibility that others might win where you do not succeed. 

 

Genuine change begins with an honest resolve. It also would require humility to get off your high horse. More important is to seek the help of God without which all effort at newness is predisposed to fail.

                                      –       In His Grip

                                              Victor Sisan Awani (18/10/2014)

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Refrain from hypocrisy

It is no longer in contention that the world is experiencing a moral free-fall. The fears of both the known and imagined conjoin to pervade the wind of confusion, despair, helplessness, and desperation.

 

Every facet of society has its fair share of blame; whether as direct contributors or by acquiescence. However, for people of faith – the leaders and those they lead, the time to cut down on talking or oration and rather live-out what is written or preached is now.

 

Anyone good with words can recount and paraphrase the scriptures; but the God we profess to follow did more good for all to see than He spoke. Commit today to eschew conceitedness and greed, demonstrate forgiveness and love, show genuine concern for the plight of others, help those in need, overtly identify with justice, speak up against societal ills, exemplify gratitude, give more than you would take – your time, love, empathy, concern, voice, endowments, substance…

 

It didn’t require upfront remittances for the 5,000 bitterly hungry to be fed, or blind Bartimaeus at the roadside to regain his sight. There weren’t any mundane exchanges for the thirsty at Samaria to drink of the well of living water. No contractual arrangement was actioned for Simon of Cyrene to bear the cross of crucifixion, or Joseph of Arimathea to donate his tomb. But for love nothing propelled God’s selfless giving of His son. This widespread and disconcerting hypocrisy must stop!

    

                                                                         In His Grip,

                                                                         Victor Sisan Awani

                                                                         

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Walk the First Steps

 

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 Commit always to walk the first steps;

 a wobbly trail of caution that empower,

 footprints of seasoning set on stone.

 

Never trip the foggy causeway of rashness,

leapfrog not the gun on yourself,

or run against time while it is yet day. 

 

Be careful how closures are drawn, 

embrace meekness in your valuation, 

to every vision a chance at fruition give. 

 

Eschew haughtiness as time frames are set, 

an open mind place on life and it’s bring-on, 

unhooked from stereotypes and mindsets. 

 

Feel through your actions, words, even thoughts,

imbued with humility and tolerance as a virtue, 

for who can know the depth and length of time. 

 

Be grateful for things little, even imperceptible; 

Acknowledge wavy false-steps and shortfalls,

the olive branch extend to moral debugging. 

 

Living isn’t the prerogative of the strong or adept;

at a loss is what today holds let alone the future, 

the first steps learn to walk every day.

 

                             In His Grip –

                             Victor Sisan Awani 

 

    

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The gift of His call

Going about their economic chores harnessing moulded skills and resources,

Immersed in rooted craving; fixated on outcomes beneficial and uncertain,

Wobbling, the boat rocked in tired motion as they scanned the riverbed for a haul.

 

His sonorous voice beckoned the fish huntsmen; the clarions call to newness, a glorious leap from a gory world,

“…Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Words that reverberated in the saddled hearts of the hearers’,

Time to rationalize forlorn and lost in the moment “and they straightaway left the nets and followed Him” – Matthew 4:19.

 

A zesty and spontaneous resolve ditched the past brazened out with nets and baits,

Disregardful of the terrain ahead, separated from careers and the mousetrap of windfalls,

Underwhelmed with self and gloated in chargeless service, they followed out faith and obedience.

 

Unyielding to the swing of iniquity and hurt; the infeasible became possible to a doubting world,

Not regressing they taught, persevered, lived and died on steely passion for the Word,

Stretching the message of the Master afar from curling waves and the tax booth of Matthew.

 

They shared, spread, and gave time, substance, unction, reprieve, healing, liberty, peace…,

And by no means obtained, wrenched, grabbed; exploiting the vulnerable like ravening wolves,

Never lionized themselves as “Christ did not glorify Himself to become high priest” – Hebrews 5:5

 

Exerted their gift with no holds barred; giving to others without pay for freely they received – Matthew 10:8,

With humility embraced the axiom: the power of God on flesh is not by skill, it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8,

Indulging not in self-serving theatrics for for no man can serve two masters – God and mammon.

 

They centred on the Caller’s challenge saying seek first after God and all other needs shall be given as well,

The Master roundly propagated as the sole access to his Father with whom He is one; a unit that represent the whole for He is the way, the truth and the life – John 10:30, 14:6,

And people sanctified by the truth without muddling the process; kept it simple, gave them the Word, salvation, the essence, everything.

                                                                               In His grip, 

                                                                                Victor Sisan Awani

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The mind of a child

 

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Uju, Sisan and Yemi out-dancing (freestyle) King David

A mind with tonnage so little yet as massive as the world

Formless and devoid of stereotypes it reaches across walls

Exempt from race, colour, gender, religion, tribe or tongue

A pinhole from which as common unit humanity is seen

 

A mind of reality so real it thaws the hardest of heart

Replicating heaven, a true semblance of the creator

Saddled with a yearning to love with no holds barred

Diffusing artless warmth to everyone threading its path

 

A mind charitable it weeps without bitterness or hate

Parading love standing in the gap like Jesus at the cross

The cry of innocence quick to absolve and reconcile

Spirit of goodwill that disarm the upholders of Hades

  

A mind that snort from depths reaching the undermost  

First-hand and hearty, a soothing wind caressing the soul

Firmness of loyalty even as treachery scuttle to flight

And the mist of bosom fraternity drench the atmosphere

  

A mind dancing it glides through storm like water downhill

Unpractised steps of grace that dwarf biblical King David (2 Samuel 6:14)

Faithful to the honour of a God who relish honest praise

The vast release of joy for life so benevolently bestowed

 

A mind chargeless as air, unrestrained and expressive to a fault

Swinging through superficial moods yet liberated from evil deed

Graceful without season; night and day, homework and play time

A faithful companion at period of plenty or scorching drought

  

A mind constant its timeless truth is nourished for all ages

Wisdom of a child put in words by the only begotten son

Bind not a child for to such belong the heavenly abode (Luke 18:16)

Paradise earmarked for any who like a child incline (Matthew 18:3)

                                        

                                          –        In His Grip

                                                   Victor Sisan Awani  

 

 

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Unfettered Fellowship

The word of God does not alter or falter

Neither swayed by human statutes nor intrigue

Never subject to reviews and oversight functions   

Isaiah 40:8 drums the beat:

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our

God endures forever.”

With a note of finality Matthew 24:35 affirms …

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not

pass away.”

 

Personal attainments though as mountain tower

Bloated claim to virtue thundering across the land

Multifarious the years of leading the flock

Yet the key is that which lay bare before Him 

known to Yahweh and only Him as true

2 Peter 3:10 arrows in this gospel:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…

and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

 

Contrition and obedience to His precepts 

The bible’s way of honest fellowship

Green lighted path to heaven’s abode 

Away from theatrical avowal of salvation

Afar from religious prefix or title, even label

Distinct from window displays for earthly acclaim.

 

Choose today to put your conscience to task 

Jump start the reality eclipsed from daylight

Stashed away in the foggy recess of the heart

Be contrite and let go of mass of litters

Take the sour hold and bite off a neighbour

Let-up and release you from yourself

God is active renewing and lifting the broken. 

 

Iniquity bin and consign to heaven’s trash

Seeds of deeds and thoughts that profanely thrive

Reconcile unreservedly with Godly truth

The vile whose name spikes a hair on your skin acquit

Ravelling in the novel liberty of restoration

2 Corinthians 5:17 illuminates the alleyway:

“Therefore, if anyone is (TRULY) in Christ, he is a new creature; 

old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

 

                                                   –     In His Grip

                                                         Victor Sisan Awani 

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The Judgment Seat of God

Psalms 83-18 

 This is neither the United Nations Security Council,

 Nor is it the immune club of its privileged overlords,

 Polar apart with Hague’s International Criminal Court,

 Matchless variance with European Court of Justice,

 Distinct from the apex court of any known nation,

 Heavenly Authority it is to which all of man is subject.

 

The jurisdiction in its entirety belong to God,

The arena where truth found its origin and bide,

Beyond the deception of emotion and perversion,

Free from the vagaries of human limitation and bigotry,

A place of nakedness as revealed to Him alone,

Where the hidden is laid bare like sunlight.

 

The silent shout of no plea is entered,

Time guzzling theatrics of a courtroom unseen,

Mortal advocacy and submission has no place,

His determination predate any appearance

As man queue naked before his maker,

Foreknown is everything buried in his earthly dark.

 

Feel the pulse before the gavel is dropped,

Take a step back in time to search the soul,

Unravelling filthy blanks waiting to be filled,

Atone and erase the scorching guilt of disobedience,

The invisible joy of salvation a carrier become,

Hebrews 9:27 is undisguised:

“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

 

                                   –      In His grip

                                         Victor Sisan Awani

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Release your gift

There’s none bereft of gifting and value;

the blessings embedded at creation,

when a formless mass metamorphosed,

into suckling heartbeats of innocence.

 

Virtuous attributes like dew abound;

in His image every one with a measure,

ignorant all lay dormant pending activation,

to grease with good the wheels of life.

 

Humanity bleeds of drought and relapse;

consumed by the tempest of vices,

plagues crafted with creepy hands of the heart,

a crippling drift from the provision of God. 

 

Depravity amidst plenty active and bold;

heavenly virtues congealed and fusty,

nothing to douse the hellhole of evil unleashed,

as man and host grapple to define the union.

 

Confined in the dark of ignorance we lament;

electing to live the lows that we conceive,

downbeats the mind embraces with ease,

deliberate or oblivious the best in chains and mute.

 

Be not weaned off the grace from above;

creative goodness streaming in the vein,

plonk iniquity and flaccidness to the skip car,

lounging is a soul fulfilling heavenly destiny.

 

                             In His Grip,

                             Victor Sisan Awani

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Live your best

Find it gain and be driven to live the best of God in you

In your walk with Jesus the Christ to be alive like He lived

In your family to illuminate the path of peace and cooperation  

In your community to be a model for shared coexistence

In your relationships to be the person you seek in others

In your career to attain the optimal mindful another has a right to it

In speaking to be subtle and courteous even as you listen

In your finances to be prudent and charitable just as you are given

In buying or selling to negotiate bargains with consideration for others

At work to give your all so as to receive the all of another in due season

In seeking forgiveness to let off those who crave your drowning

Beyond the Church to live the precept by doing the word

In living daily to live at all times and in all places your best

                                                    

                                                     In His grip

                                                     Jolomi Olayemi Awani

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Live the Word

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   The word that is God

   A flawless truth that save

   Streaming from Him who is knowledge

   The custodian of timeless wisdom

   Embodiment of rounded exactness

 

   A complete recipe for living

   Foretells the hurdles that line the path

   Sheds light on the disguised trenches

   A marker depicting safe directions

   Guiding jerky steps all the way

 

A healing balm without season

Washes clean the dirt of iniquity

Soothes the pain of guilt

Forgives the repentant heart

And reassures life to a willing soul

 

The ceaseless fire that consumes

Admonish recalcitrant defaulters

Flattens monstrous armies of evil

Crushes the arrow of wickedness

Consigns satan to the endless pit

 

It acquaints all with the gift

The messianic token that gives life

Perseverate in saving seekers

An example in charge-less love

The roadmap for selfless giving

 

The epitome of love and sacrifice

Compassion without condition

Defender of the downtrodden

Place of restoration for the lost

A sinless death that enthroned life

 

Live out the hallowed word of God

Eternal loads of good are its teaching

Tutelage that facilitate true change

A lifestyle of enduring newness

Bringing liberty now and hereafter

 

                                     In His grip

                                    Jolomi Olayemi Awani

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