Forgive, and Forget

The human mind is a powerful tool, can’t imagine that we would have been able to accomplish so much in terms of technological advancement without our minds. I’m a little fascinated with one aspect of our minds and intellect, and that’s memory. I’ve always found it quite interesting that we forget certain things so easily. For example birthdays, anniversaries, names of colleagues and acquaintances, and so on. On the other hand, we hold on so tenaciously to some other things as though our lives depended on them, for example,our ATM pins(I’ve forgotten this before, by the way), our house addresses and some other very unforgettable details.


It would be abnormal if we forgot these important details, so much so that a loving relative would think a trip to the doctor would be appropriate in that situation. Life is good, but we get knocks here and there. Knocks that are designed to knock us out of the race, but God! So what do we do when we’re hurt by our loved ones.


It’s easy to sing the ‘forgive and forget’ song if we’ve never been hurt. But we have all been there at some point. I still remember that time in primary school when my best friend at the time made fun of the gift I got her for her birthday, let’s just say things were never quite the same between us after that. Over and over in scripture, God tells us He hasn’t only forgiven us, He has also forgotten. I guess it’s a little challenging for us to truly believe that, how the Creator of the universe can forget our worst sins and cast it as far as the East is from the West.


God’s love is intangible, we can’t run it between our fingers or dive to the depths of it. It is as high as the heaven is above the earth! We’re so hard on ourselves sometimes, that we still remember our failings when God has said He doesn’t. We refer to it often in conversations, we write about it and stick it on the walls to ensure that we never forget. Am I then suggesting, that we should all enter a brain reset program and selectively erase bad memories, no.


God’s ways are far above ours, His thoughts are nothing like our thoughts. When He looks at us, He doesn’t see us in the light of our past failings and mistakes but in the light of His word. To forget means we no longer give the past any power over us, we take our lessons and move on. Only referring to these mistake as a testimony to the goodness and the mercy of God. I dare say it is impossible to truly forgive someone without a revelation of the love of God, and without total dependence on His amazing grace.


Paul, was an accomplice to the death of Stephen, one of the early apostles. After His encounter with Jesus Christ, he became a new man, one who received the grace and the mercy of God. Paul never referred to that incident in his writings to the church, nor did Jesus refer to it again when he appeared to him throughout His ministry.


As the men stripped Jesus, and beat him without mercy, His legitimate prayer request should have been for God to pay them back, but He said, “forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing”.


Can we take a step today to let someone go, even without repentance on the side of the offender? Can we take a step to forgive ourselves because God through Christ has forgiven us and can we extend this grace to our neighbours too? (May we not be tempted beyond what we can bear).

Share a comment below if you like, tell me about a time when you had to forgive, and forget.

Little Foxes

Even though reading these days has been hampered by a tight work/study schedule, I still consider myself to be a lover of books and literature. I grew up around books and read just about anything. I especially loved reading folklore. Some of them were so believable that I was quite disappointed to find that tortoises didn’t talk in real life. The tortoise was known for its slow pace, the lion for its ferociousness, and the fox for its cunningness.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we? Adam was the first man that God made, and established a relationship with, and Eve the first woman. They all lived happily ever after, until they didn’t. Although, through Jesus Christ we have been adopted as sons of God, called to an eternal hope and given the gift of the Holy Spirit as a seal of our redemption, there’s still an intense battle for our hearts, one that we must learn to fight the right way.


“Did God really say….?”, this question was all it took for Eve to be captivated by the lies of the enemy. Eve wanted to be like God, but she already was but didn’t know it. This was her soft spot, and she hadn’t dealt with it the right way. Did God really say, you would get that job? Did God really say your child would come back home? Did God really say…?


These questions quickly stir up a flurry of anxious thoughts in any heart. Without knowing it, we question the authenticity of God’s promises, and kick open the door to fear, worry and anxiety. They are little sister foxes that often go to places together. They claw their way in through inadvertently opened doors and make themselves at home like they own the house. Early in my walk with the Lord, I was taught to verbally speak against fearful thoughts, because thoughts matter more than we care to admit.


The Psalmist wrote, “let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight”. I’m learning everyday to guard my heart from little foxes by letting the Holy Spirit control my life, and by holding on to the word of God as the anchor for my soul.


Share a comment below! What have you learned so far about the power of your thoughts? What do you do when a barrage of fearful or anxious thoughts hits you?

©Olamide Oti

 

So you think you have a voice.

Recently, I have been pondering on how opinionated our generation has become. Social media has given us a gift, the ability to connect with millions of people whom we have never met through various applications. However, it comes with an array of disadvantages just like everything else. The disadvantages are subtle, but very harmful if we’re oblivious to them. Gradually, in a room full of family, no one is speaking or truly connecting, and our attention span is taking a dive daily. Honour seems archaic and foolishness is celebrated.

Because social media gives us access to people we don’t really know, there is a tendency to take this as a license to be unruly in our behaviour. Sometimes, the first comment we want to add to a post isn’t a friendly one and we may have even posted it if we hadn’t heard the ‘still, small voice of the Holy Spirit’ warning us not to. I remember a tweet I posted a couple of years ago about a certain leader. What I had tweeted wasn’t exactly incorrect but it was dishonoring the person who was the President of Nigeria at the time and I had to take it down.

These are real people. People who have families who love them, people who have feelings and emotions just like us. We must be slow to speak, even on social media. We must learn to honour people even if they don’t deserve it.
Through His life and teachings, Jesus modeled this. I remember the story of the adulterous woman whose punishment was to be death by stoning. Imagine for a moment that this woman was on Facebook and her story broke the news this morning, I know that many people like the men that surrounded her would have sent her some vile comments, wishing death upon her.

We have to fight for a heart connection in our generation, the ability to be able to sincerely connect with people on some level. Or we would struggle hard to connect with the next generation. Our parents didn’t have the distraction of social media when they were raising us, yet connecting with us was nothing short of a miracle.

So you think you have a voice? What are you going to use it for? Would you make a conscious decision to honour the next person as if they were your own brother? When the time comes, would you speak for justice and fairness even if its unpopular?

We are learning to love like Jesus everyday, and this means swimming hard against the tide of what has now become acceptable in our culture today.

Share a comment below, I would love to learn from you too. How are you taking steps to ensure that you preserve a heart connection with the next person? How are you making sure that social media remains a tool in your hands and not the other way around?

©Olamide Oti
01-03-19

What if God’s Heart Really Beats for You?

Have you ever felt the love of a father?
Strong, yet tender
As deep as it is wide
Have you ever experienced the touch of a lover?
The kind that leaves you reeling with joy
And tingling with excitement from head to toe
Yet it’s nothing compared to the love of the eternal God

His love is perfect
Unyielding and unchanging
He never leaves
He never throws in the towel
He is a perfect lover
Better than anyone you have ever known.

He is – healer and restorer
Nothing is broken beyond His ability to heal
No one has gone further than His ability to reach them in their brokenness

I hope you know this love that knows no bounds,
I hope you come to know this God that gave up His privileges
So that you could call Him -Father
I hope you know this crazy, unrelenting, wild and passionate love of God the Father
The King who loves to woo you
The Friend who wants to know you
The lover whose heart beats intensely for you

Would you let Him in, friend?
All He needs is your “yes”

 

©Olamide Oti
11-02-19

Come, Sit and Have a Cuppa

Hi friends,

A happy new year to you. I know I’m a tad late, but better late than never eh? January was a great start to a new year. I took a leap and took the blog to the next level whilst preparing myself for new expressions of creativity. As much as we desire new things, it can be a little challenging to actually get into the rhythm that comes with a new journey. I have found this to be true, but I’m glad my pen is flowing with ink again. A miracle if you ask me.

My goals for the year can be summarised in one sentence; to simply follow Jesus. He is the reason for my hope, a wellsping of life-giving words, a faithful friend and lover. I’m leaning in again and laying aside crowns from years past. My heart is learning to trust Him more deeply, even in difficult seasons.

I hope you’ll stick around as I take you on a journey of faith; through memoirs, stories and lots of poetry for the road.

Love,

Olamide

19-02-19

Book Review of ‘The Chance’ by Karen Kingsbury

I have not read a novel this year. My book list has mostly consisted of books on spiritually, relationship and growth. I have read books by Karen Kingsbury in the past and I am familiar with her style of writing, but nothing prepared me for how this book was going to hit me in all the right places.
The story is centred around two main characters, Nolan and Ellie, a boy and a girl who were best friends. They lived in the same neighborhood, and attended the same school, however their experiences were vastly different and this shaped the course of their lives.
Ellie was from a troubled home, her parents didn’t get along so well and eventually separated after her mother’s affair. She was estranged from her mother and best friend for several years because of her mother’s mistake. Her father was a man set in his ways. He believed in God but had not encountered his love and this affected his relationship with his family. He was bitter towards his wife and constantly wounded his daughter with his words.
It look 11 years to prepare all these individuals for reconciliation. Some of them had found hope and comfort in Christ while others had not. It was amazing to see how the love of God changes everything, even the things that we had given up on. The book also highlighted the power of prayer and how God works out His sovereign will throughout our lives.
Our desires, our hopes and our dreams are not without God’s permission. He put them there so that we would seek him for the keys to our destination. They are to draw us closer to Him and not away from him. The truth is, God never lies and even if He told you when you were eleven who your partner would be, or what you would become, it may not have been the earth shattering audible voice and maybe then you didn’t even know Him like you know Him now, He has not changed His mind.
Time is God’s tool to bring us to the place where we’re ready to walk in the shoes He made for us long ago. Faith knows that they will be a perfect fit.
“These three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love.”(1Corinthians 13:13)
©Olamide Oti, 2018

Hope

In the waiting,
She’s changing
She’s enlarging from the inside out
And though it looks like nothing is happening
She knows His hand is at work
Weaving a story never before read
Painting a picture never before seen

And though it looks like everything is the same
He is bringing new wine out of nothing
Rebuilding what was broken beyond repair
His mouth is calling forth the future
Soon it will all burst out in living colour
She will stand in awe and be amazed
As darkness gives way to light
©Olamide Oti
29-05-2018

Of Burnt Bridges and the Road Less Traveled

there lies behind us
a string of burnt bridges
and the road less traveled
if we could sing an ode to regret
or paint a picture of pain
it would be a masterpiece
a sight for sore eyes
a remedy for broken hearts

but there lies before us
a promise to great to ignore
by the One whose lips never lie
of hope and new wine
of grace and new beginnings
so let us step into the promise,
as new wine bursts through old wineskin
paving the way to more…

©Olamide Oti, 2018

Come Home! 

IMG_20180426_203240_958You have been despised and rejected,
tossed to and fro by lies so perfect they sound like the truth.
You have been told that no one has ever made it out alive,
That this maze of lies will soon be your grave,
and hell would be your eternal home.
You cannot imagine a better place for you,
Filthy, sinful you.

It would be another lie,
If you say you have never felt your heart stir
And you have never heard his soft knock on the door of your heart
He is here everyday
Like a broken record,
Knocking on the door of your heart,
Asking for an invitation

Your fate is not sealed yet,
Your time has not run out
Be brave,
Open the door to Truth
Choose the life you were made to live.
Come over to the other side,
To Love and Light
Come home,
To Grace and Peace
Come home.
©Olamide Oti
26-04-18

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