The Gospel: A love story about a bird and a fish.

If a bird and a fish were to fall in love, where would they live?

The answer is unknown. The law of nature forbids a fish to live out of the water and a bird to live in the water. Novelists and poets have courageously taken the liberty to reveal the possibility of these two species living together. It would mean, the fish would have to lip high out of the water; as for the bird, it will have to fly down closer to the water to see the fish. However, the ending of the story has stolen the attention of many conspiracy theorists.

There are many questions many of us do not dare to ask because logically the answer is impossible. Yes, there are plenty of things the law of nature calls impossible and science has marked as never. Of course, we live by the principle of what the law of science says and our human reasoning. Some things are what they are because that is what we are taught or we don’t bother asking questions. One would point out that the only thing limiting us to think the unthinkable is the law of nature.

This old Native American proverb about a bird and fish falling in love depicts an anthropomorphic metaphor that describes the love story of God for humanity. A love story like no other. The gospels tell this love story.

The gospel at its core is a love story; An astonishing love story. Every love story is relevant whether it is a Hollywood movie or not. Every love story consists of the following phases: one lover striving to win the other’s heart, it seems impossible at some point, and in the end, they both fell in love together. Standard right?. However, the love story the gospel tells us is incomparable to any other love stories; known as the greatest love story.

The gospel tells us a story about a perfect God falling in love with imperfect people. Physiologically just as the law of nature forbids fish and birds to live together, spiritually the law of righteousness prohibits sin and holiness to cohabitate together. The significance of this story rests upon the truth that, these two lovers were together; they did life together but separated due to one’s choices and the other’s law.

The gospels tell us the story of God and men falling in love but nowhere to hang out as lovers. God created human beings so God can have company. The old testament scriptures reveal to us that God created us all in His image and His likeness. Meaning we were meant to dwell together with God because we looked like God and behaved like God.

In the beginning, God and humans dwelt together, and that only lasted up until the fall of humankind. Both Adam and Eve decided to disobey the commandment given to them by God. The Hebrew scriptures tell us that, the first couple got thrown out of the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was the very suitable, appropriate and accommodable place for both God and humans to be compatible with each other.

The garden of Eden was one place God created to dwell with human beings; this is the one place God would come in contact with fleshly human beings and dwell together. However, due to the first human beings’ unconventional choices, made it impossible that God would dwell with us humans. The unconventional choice also knowns ‘sin’, disconnected us from God. As a result of the first humans’ sin which contaminated the rest of us; the law of righteousness built a wall between God and us. We became unworthy to dwell with God. Sin turned us into something unlike the image of God and our manners strange from the likeness of God. It was a separation of no return.

But God never stopped loving us. He visited every sunrise and every sunset. Flapped his beautiful wings over the ocean of sin. Hovered closer to the water to catch a little glimpse of his lover. This bird(God) flashed its magnificent feathers to delight its lover (fish). The bird wished it could fly with the fish and meanwhile the fish dreamt of flying with the bird.

The sad part is both creatures would not live in each other’s spheres. The fish would try its best to lip out of the water to gaze upon its lover in the hair. From the blue sky, the bird would sink low to be in great proximity with the water. Out of any indescribable kaleidoscope of every morning’s sunrise and evening’s sunset; the bird would come to visit its lover on the water; dancing in circles around the ocean airborne — the sun from the skies shining on its wings; casting shadows of wings on the ocean to create a romantic atmosphere for its lover in the water.

This love image of a bird and a fish represents our state of love with God before Christ Jesus came to earth. Despite our sinful nature, God longed to spend life with us. We yearned for his heart and thirst for his love. God with His righteousness and perfectness, he still loved us deeply. On God’s To-Do list, God’s priority was to restore us to a state of being where we could dwell together in His holy presence. God dreamed that we could inherit the kingdom of heaven once more and share the richness of heaven. However, God desired to be hand-in-hand with his lover (humanity). Since the law of righteousness forbade it; therefore Christ Jesus had to come and break the veil.

God so loved humanity since the beginning of time and even after the fall, God still deeply loved humanity. Because humanity had already fallen into an ocean of sin, God sent his one and only son Jesus Christ. Christ came to rescue us out of the ocean of sin. Christ restored us to Eden where we can live with God. Whoever believes in him shall not remain to drown in the ocean of sin but rescued and inherit eternal life with God in the heavens. (John 3:16 – paraphrased)

Remember when Christ said: If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may also be. And you know the way where I am going.
The place Jesus is talking about is the one place both God and humans can dwell together; this place is heaven. Just like the garden of Eden. The only way to get to that place is through Chris, and He says: I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
In and through Christ we have access to God, Christ made it possible so that we could dwell with God. So Ladies and Gentlemen, a fish and a bird can live together only in the heavens.

IDENTITY: Masks We Wear.

Many of us worship this idea called ‘perfection.’ Perfection is now a goal we are chasing and a standard we aspire to live up to, but were we created to become perfect? Or were we created perfect? If so, what is perfection?

Could it be possible that we are merely chasing a shadow and calling it perfection or could perfection be an illusion? Can you visualize what a perfect you could be like?

Have you ever paused and asked yourself this question: “Who am I?” Are you really who you were created to be? Or you are what you have made yourself to be. It is possible you could be someone you are not meant to be.

Many of us labor endlessly to patch ourselves, color ourselves, bandage ourselves and change ourselves in many ways possible. We spend so much energy to fix ourselves. We compare ourselves with others and sadly conclude that there is something wrong with us; when we begin to believe something is wrong with us, we then start seeking for possible ways to fix ourselves.

Many of us stress, suffer from the pressure and anxiety from the efforts we spent to fix ourselves, turning ourselves in all shapes and sizes to fit in and so people can accept us. We change ourselves so many times to live up to the expectation of other people; spend our energy trying to respond to the standard others have of us. majority of us have lost sight of the original self.

We hate ourselves so much, and in trying to escape ourselves, we create images to hide who we truly are. We carry images we call perfection to hide our flaws and our true self.

Let the truth be told, there is wickedness in each one of us, whether you are rich or poor, black or white or green. There is also righteousness is each one of us, whether you are young or old.

Creationist would testify that God made each one of us perfect. However, why do we need to add on extra? 
Why do you need to change yourself?
Are you changing yourself to fit in? 
Are you changing at the demand of others?

Many of us think we are not good enough, so we add, subtract, cover, change, patch, twist, stitch, hide and do all sorts of things to fix ourselves because we don’t like who we are, or because they don’t accept who we are.

Some of us are afraid to show who we truly are because we fear how the world would react if they discovered who we truly are. We wonder whether people would love us if they discovered the truth about us. We wonder if they would accept us and we stress whether they will stay when the cat is out of the bag.

Ever wonder who you’d be if you were not afraid to show yourself.
Ever wonder what life would be like if you show your true color.

The global society encourages us to use systems of influence and power to help us hide our true self. These systems of influence and power recruit people into doctrines and ideologies, making people believe that through these systems they will become perfect. These systems create images people hide behind. One of those systems is Religion. After years and centuries squandering life, we’ve come to conclude that a Religion at its core, is simply a behavior modification program. Notice, all these systems do is teach us how to hide our true selves.

Who told you, you were not good enough? 
Who said you were not pretty enough? Also, who are they?
Who said you are not smart enough?

The new age has brought us social media, and social media has become a tool we measure and compare ourselves to others. We try to tailor our lives to look like that of those we see on social media. Those who are different compared to us have now become standards we strive to live up to. However, the big question is:

Who are you truly?

Beneath your titles, achievements, success, names, and reputations, you are more than that. The creator created you good enough, and you are just perfect. Take pride in who you truly are, not in images you hide behind. Last time I checked, ‘Round’ is a shape. You are enough, you are beautiful, and you are smart. Out of 7.5 billion people in the world, you are unique, individual and perfect. You have only one life here on earth, don’t waste it living for others. Live! Please don’t waste it chasing perfection. Live!

The Reason Why Salvation Isn’t Significant To Others.

Christianity is one of the leading religions in the world that has found the liberty to spread its teachings and evangelise across the face of the earth with one message only, the message of salvation. Salvation is the basis of Christianity, the central theme of our faith in Christ and the one reason God risked all to win us back in his loving arms. Salvation is more than the manifestation of God in the human flesh. Salvation is not a theory Christians conceptualise to compensate for fear of going to hell. No, salvation is far greater than that.

Salvation is ‘rescue from the power of sin,’ the greatest rescue mission; all of that because of sin. Sin is like cancer, gradual impact, and has a generally unpleasant outcome. Imagine a child born HIV negative, unfair right? Sadly that’s how sin infected us all. Sin is not something wrong we committed but instead, the nature we were born in and with. Sin is inside each one of us. Sin is like a genetic disease that is passed down generationally and involuntarily, already taken roots in human beings since the fall of Adam and Eve. Our wicked actions are just fruits of what is already rooted in us.

Then the love of God came and brought us the cure for this incurable disease called sin, and this cure did more than flowing through our spiritual blood vessels to cure the virus of sin. Apostle Paul, the genius of the New Testament, reveals in many of his epistles that the blood of Jesus and his death cured us from the power of sin, it saved us from the impact of this incurable disease called sin. Paul’s intelligible effort to describe the importance of Jesus to people through his letters is what sets him apart from every other genius history has seen; Paul was rich in creativity when it mattered to utilise ranges of images to illustrate the significance of salvation.

Of course, to understand the significance of sin, we first need to learn about the impact and the consequence of sin. Therefore, if the impact of sin cut us out of the family, salvation brought adoption, and now we are adopted back into the family. For those who have sinned and guilty of their sinful actions and now carrying labels of shame, through salvation they have been justified, just as if they never sinned before and found not guilty. Finally, salvation also brought redemption to buy back those of us who were slaves under the captivity of the power of sin; a release from the jail of sin only Christ could get us out of.

Now if any of the above have no significance, then we have ourselves a clear explanation for a reason why salvation is not significant to certain people. We can’t give a cure to someone who does not know they need it, medication is prescribed for someone who is sick and in need of healing. Christ replied to his critics, and I quote: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” Christ came to save us dying from sin. Sin is a disease and its power torments, gradually killing humanity, sucking the life out of humanity like cancer sucks blood and its outcome is eternal torture for all those it has taken captive. Those of us who have accepted salvation, have done so because we are cognisant of how sick we are with sin. Salvation will not make sense or be of any significance to those who believe there is nothing wrong with them. It’s like giving medication to a healthy person.

How many times have we Christians made a fool of ourselves persuading non-believers to believe in the gospel, We labour endlessly to spread this good news. Our preachers preach day and night, more sermons, more conferences, more missionaries and missions, more articles, more books, more blogs to spread the gospel and yet sometimes it feels as if the world isn’t getting any better. Pastors portrayed as circus clowns and evangelists as salespeople, the question is, how do we get the gospel in the hearts of people authentically?

The Christian community as a whole should stop forcing the gospel on people but instead give people a reason why they need salvation. Tell them why they need this cure. Christians should start openly telling humanity how it is. Christians should stop compromising, reframing and twisting the gospel. We need to tell people the truth; only the truth about our illness and its cure will set us free. Logically, when people know how ill they are, they will seek for a cure. Humanity will ever seek after salvation only until she realises how sick she is. So fellow Christians we need to go all in, tell it like it is, black and white like no other shades exist. Remember there is a dying world with an everlasting epidemy only curable by the blood of Jesus Christ.

What is the Christian standard?

The Christian standard exists.
Now, who set the standard? Well, let’s begin with Christ Jesus.

Christ Jesus is the center of Christian worship, 33 lump years of history that holds the key to the nature of God and human destiny. Far beyond human imagination: the Eternal entered time, divinity dwelt in human flesh; God took on a human face. Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God; human enough to empathize with us also God enough to forgive our wickedness and save us from the torture of sin. The holy scriptures reveal that Christ was there before the beginning of time and before the foundation of the world. One gospel writer courageously states out that Christ is the word of God in the flesh. Although salvation was Christ’s ultimate goal for his solo trip to earth and adventure in human flesh, he also set some boundaries for those who will follow him while on earth.

Christ walked on the earth and set the record straight concerning salvation and righteousness. What he taught and how he lived, all of that recorded in scriptures, and filed in a sizeable holy library we call the Bible. There are many differences between Christianity, and many other religions around the world, one of the elements that set Christianity apart from other religions is ‘Bible’, The Bible is the road map every Christian utilizes to navigate through life here on earth but there is a lot more to the Bible than what we know. All your views and understandings of the Bible are valid but also bear in mind that the Bible at its core, it has one purpose, to point us to Jesus and reveal God through Christ Jesus.

Christ did not only reveal God to us, but he also revealed to us the heavenly lifestyle, he revealed to us the secret behind the curtain, also known as heaven. Christ desired to prepare us for heaven and later on in the scriptures the apostles would reveal to us that ‘we are citizens of heaven’ not of the earth, we are only here on earth temporarily. Therefore as citizens of heaven let’s carry out the lifestyle of heaven or live by the standard of heaven. This heavenly standard has become known as the Christian standard. Mandatory for everyone who believes in Christ as their lord and savior.

The heavenly lifestyle also known as the Christian standard is LOVE, love is the Christian standard. Modeled by Christ himself with only two commandments. Christ said,

  1. and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
  2. The second is this, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Ladies and gentlemen that is the Christian standard. LOVE is the standard, there is no other greater standard than this standard; for those who have set their lives to follow Christ ought to live by this standard. 1. Love God and 2. Love your neighbor. You can’t be a follower of Christ and fell short of this standard.

Let’s not fool ourselves already, this Christian standard does not bring salvation, but it is the outcome of salvation. This standard is for those devoted to following Christ. Those who are saved are filled with the love of God; this is the same love that brought forgiveness over us. God loves us; therefore, we love others too. Whom much is given, much is required. So we give to others the same love God gives us. Our love for others is an overflow of the love of God for us. For that reason, we don’t live by the Christian standard to earn God’s love, but instead, we live by the Christian standard as a result of God’s love for us.

Christians today are warned out with the pressure to live by man-made rules and standards; These Men made rules and standards are heavily polluted with manipulation, selfishness, and pride. Let’s rid of ourselves the pressure put on us to live by men made Christian standards. Let’s live by the standard set by Christ. The Christian standard is love, love, love, love, spread love like popcorn.

No need to add nor subtract, Christ himself even said “there are no other commandments more significant than these’’. Love is the standard, Therefore, let’s remove the pressure the church has put on us to be people we are not. If you want to be a good Christian, then Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. That is it, period.

Friendzone: Why you’re stuck in it.

There comes a time in life the elephant in the room has to be addressed, and that big elephant is ‘Friendzone.’ The popular culture defines Friendzone as a ‘Situation,’ emotionally a very undesirable situation. It takes courage to analyse the psychology behind Friendzone. For some, it is too painful to even think about it, and the majority of us have learned to simply roll with the motion and believe that those who have friendzoned us are bad people. Of course being friendzoned is painful, in fact, popular culture describes it as ‘Rejection,’ but that is not always true. The good news is, Friendzone is a third most populated land in the world which means no one is ever lonely in the friendzone (get it?). The bad news is, it is always winter in the friendzone but no summer; so let us hold a minute of an empathetic silence for those diligent and brave souls stuck in the Winterland aka Friendzone.

The popular culture explains Friendzone as a situation in which one member of a friendship wishes to enter into a romantic or intimate relationship, while the other does not want the same. That’s true, a lot of the time when somebody else friendzones you, it means they generally don’t feel the same way as you do. They might have felt that way before, but now they aren’t feeling that way anymore. That’s absolutely okay, it might not be okay with you, but you will need to come to a logical understanding that it is not generally about how they feel about you, it is all about why they feel that way about you. The ‘Why’ behind the ‘What.’ duh.

The problem is, a lot of the time we have let our emotions hinder our articulation to explain to people why we can’t associate life with them. Sometimes we fail to explain to people why we are friendzoning them at first, so we simply cover them up with a “just friend” quilt like a Fire Blanket Extinguisher (#FBE) to silence their feelings for us, and we assume they understand how we feel. Majority of people aren’t hurt because of friendzone but mainly because they were not given enough explanation to why they got friendzoned. There are 2 reasons why people struggle to tell you why they’d friendzone you:

1. Accepting the truth ( “I don’t want to hurt them” or “can they handle the truth?”)

2. Too emotional ( Sometimes when we are emotional we fail even to explain our own feelings).

Many of us are victims of friendzone, some hate to talk about it, and for others, it has become a laughable matter. Some of us have let frustration caused by friendzoned bring forth bitterness, and this bitterness has led to anger and hatred. As an undesirable situation as it is, the big question is, why do people get friendzoned? Here is an ultimate response to this question……..

handsome young man thinking and confused, concept

Friendzone is a category we dump people in for they have fallen short of our standards. When people don’t meet our standards, we settle them in Friendzone land. Failing to meet someone’s standard does not signify that you are ‘Ugly’ or ‘Bad person’ or ‘Not good enough,’ it just means, in the light of their own perspective you have fallen short of their standard. You might consider yourself as a high standard type of person but just bear in mind that not everyone sees or think of you like you see and thinks of yourself. Someone else will always have a diverse opinion about you; therefore, in the light of their perspective you have not met their qualities, or you have not climbed down to their standard.

‘Falling short of someone’s standard’ epigram sometimes has a negative connotation to it but when we think about it logically, falling short of someone’s standard simply means, not being able to tick boxes of what they are looking for in terms of companionship or relationship. It’s not your fault for not ticking someone else’s boxes, it just means you are different from what they are looking for in a person. Everyone has standards, and these standards are defined by the things we desire for ourselves, and that’s not selfishness, we are all created with desires, needs and freedom to choose what is right for ourselves.

The most common category of boxes that causes people to friendzone others is called ‘Non-Negotiable’ boxes. Non-Negotiables are your values that form the core of who you are as a person. These are the very things you would never compromise for ice cream aka relationship. Someone wise once said, “compromising a Non-Negotiable for something else, is simply giving away authenticity.” This is why some people would make you their ‘Just Friend’ instead of giving away authenticity. Someone would friendzone you because you did not tick their Non-Negotiable boxes.

Friendzone is not a bad situation, after all, it is obviously for the good of the friendzoner but sad for the one who is friendzoned. But it’s not the end of the world; it’s not your fault for not ticking their boxes, you might eventually tick all their boxes completely or tick someone’s else boxes sufficiently. It’s not necessary to try to climb up or climb down to meet someone’s standard, just be yourself. Friendzone is not a rejection but simply a redirection.