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Happy Sunday All! Long time no speak! While we await my first post of 2017 I thought why not share a devotional that has blessed my life. I pray it blesses yours too!
Titled: Meeting God Personally!
Isaiah 57:1-13, John 1:35-51
The story of Jesus Christ has been around even before he was born, any one tutored in the scriptures is aware of the one that will crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15), the one destined to come out of the stem of Jesse (Isaiah 12), the one whom the government shall be on his shoulders, and the one whose kingdom and peace shall have no end (Isaiah 9:56&57). There is a difference between hearing about Jesus and meeting with Jesus personally. Many of us hear about Jesus because of his fame but many are yet to meet the famous man personally.
The Jews are the covenanted people of God (Jeremiah 31:33) but many of them never met God. In the midst of the excesses of the unfaithful people of God, the few godly ones die because they are vexed with the prevailing ungodliness, by violent death in persecution, and to avoid the final judgment of the abandonment of Jehovah God. The world takes no cognisance of their death and refuses to learn from it. The dead enter into their peace in contrast to the persecution and violence of this world.
The ungodly ones mock God, they are forever looking for help from their own enemies, they search far and wide for assistance from competitors, they disregard the true servants of the Most High, they burn with lust towards idols, they worship the created rather than the creator, they go to far places without minding the cost and the discomfort in the search for lesser gods, rejecting the saviour. God is very persevering, questioning why we chose to go astray. God is waiting to expose the idolaters, to show them up for what they are, they shall be sent into exile and only the remnant of the faithful shall inherit the promise of God now and also be in His kingdom at the end of time.
It’s your destiny to meet Jesus personally otherwise your entire life becomes a waste. We all know Jesus from different and various routes, some of us came from Christian homes, some were converted by the witness of others etc. but the most important question for you today is “Have you met Jesus personally” Your Christian appellation is useless until you meet him, your personal meeting with him is the ultimate fulfilment of your religiosity. 
The passage above John 1:35-51 is an account of five people meeting Jesus. They all knew about Jesus as we all do but they individually met him. “… we saw that Jesus is proclaimed as the Lamb of God (1:36); the Teacher (1:38, 49); the Messiah (1:41); and, the authoritative Lord who changes people for His sovereign purposes (1:42). He the one of whom the Old Testament speaks (1:45). As a man, Jesus is of Nazareth, the son of Joseph (1:45); He is the omniscient one who knows each person (1:47-48). Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel (1:49); He is the only bridge between heaven and earth; the dwelling place of God with us; and, He is the coming Son of Man (1:51). This bears repeating because seeing the wonderful person of the Lord Jesus Christ draws us to Him. As we see more of who He is, we are changed into His likeness (2 Cor. 3:18).” (Cole, J. 2013)

The people of God (the Jews) did not trust God but the only way we can begin with Jesus is to trust him as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Confess your sins to him, ask him to take away the burden of sins and to allow the holy spirit to sanctify you. Commit yourself to him like John and Andrew who desired to know where Jesus was staying, He will not deny you just as He did not deny John and Andrew when he said “come and you will see” John 1:39
When you meet Jesus, He shall take you from where you are to where he wants you to be. He said unto Peter “‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’, meaning Peter”. When Jacob the usurper) met God, his name was changed to Israel (God shall fight). Jesus not only changes your identity but your total person to make you conformable to Him.

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Race Diary: Entry 1!

Hey guys, I’m back! I have been missing again for a while, sincere sincere apologies for the delays and what not. I’m not even going to bother to start promising to improve my punctuality lol. However, my prayer and faith lies in the belief that this post could not have come at a better time.

So yeah, I’m currently training for the London Half Marathon, which is in approximately 14 days! Hopefully this year I’ll be able to beat MY time and run in peace knowing I’ve been given the grace to run in  MY OWN race (no more insults please).

Guys I have been officially challenged! Most likely stemming from my lack of punctuality (apologies again)… I’m to write short accounts of what God teaches me during the lead up to the big day!

I’m excited to say the least although looking back at it now, lol I’m not sure if it actually was a challenge or more of an insult? but pshh, I can’t resist a challenge!

Right, straight to the point- as some of you may be aware, I live in the somewhat posh part of town (TOWIE is shoot 2 miles down the way), but yeah in my area there happens to be your more than average London greenery and so while running today I came across a swan doing its business in a river and there it was; My lightbulb moment!

Without getting into the science of it, you see one distinctive trait of the swan is its ability to maintain its whiteness or purity you may say (posh areas have filthy rivers too lol). As dirty as the river was it didn’t ultimately determine the colour of the Swan.

Luke 17:21 “Nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

You see as Christians I believe our calling is relative; the gospel speaks of us living in the world but not being of the world. It’s clear that the world and society is degrading and simply going down the toilet, for lack of a better term- it doesn’t take an Einstein to recognise it. Although despite that, I have lately found it easy to accept ‘status quo’ conditions around me however as kingdom ambassador’s conformation was never in the job description but rather transformation.

Matthew 5:15 “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

The story of Joseph in the Genesis sheds light on this forgotten seed. We all know Josephs story, the guy went through a lot because of what was placed on his heart. Nevertheless despite whatever environments he was in, the pharaohs, the prisons, the 6ft pits, ultimately the different environments around him had to conform to what was placed inside of him.

So I guess I’ve been challenged, as both a Christian and a prospective head of the household; to continue to maintain my ‘whiteness’ despite the contaminated river of a world I may l live in, to be swan-like, or if you want to be more spiritual, dove-like.

Today I extend that challenge to all; as a chosen light, can we be a people who not only recognise what is within us but permit it to affect our environment?

Matthew 24:13 “…but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Remember where thorns are, one will find a rose. Isaiah 61:3

Peace and love

Forgotten seeds

Guys please feel free to help us raise our £200 target for the British Heart Foundation before the big day, it’s a simple process! https://www.justgiving.com/deji-oloyede1

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Faith Montana-mover: Stay Schemin’?

Volume 2

All rights belongs to: 1 Samuel 18

Late last year I was able to complete the London half marathon, I know it’s a little late but thanks to all for the moral and financial contributions, I was able to complete the race at a time of (actually I’ll say later) and raise over £200… but with His grace, bigger obstacles will be completed this year, watch this space!

But yeah, reflecting on an incident on race day has got me writing today, now if you’ve ever been to a running event, you will know how dope the day is, the people (well most), the atmosphere, everything’s just buzzing from the get go, but this day ended a little differently.

So after completing the race (soaked & un-lynxed) to roll through to the stalls where my medal and goodies were waiting for me, a middle aged chap, came up to me. In all fairness it was with a pretty nice approach initially, the conversation began with the same old, then suddenly it went in a totally different direction (like two whole lanes different). He questioned me a little like ‘How did you do time wise?’, you see at this point I was completely gassed, I mean your boy had only just completed over 10 miles of NON-STOP running! …So I responded with my full teeth set showing saying ‘2 hrs’, now at the LEAST I was expecting the lad to say congrats BUT his response was ‘Is that all mate? We’re you walking throughout or something? I did it in… ’… YES! I know blasphemous.

Now in all honesty, I was not happy, I could easily have done something very inapt BUT I didn’t, I simply smiled and took it on the chin. (Well ok, a part of me was also praying that fire would come from above and have my man doing the ‘Nuh linga’ but it wasn’t His will.)

But then the funny thing is in his insult I was able to learn a valuable life lesson that has been carried with me to date. In that moment I was able to realise how wrong the lad’s mind-set was, not particularly a fault of his own, but rather just a way the world has fed us…

The ultimate thing is we were not in the same race. If I didn’t grasp that I could easily have reacted differently and given him a rock bottom. With the world constantly promoting the need to be better than your neighbour it’s difficult to think differently, but scripture taught me differently.

1st Samuel 18: 6 “After David had killed Goliath, the men of Israel returned home. The women came out of all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul. They danced and sang joyful songs. They played harps and tambourines. 7 As they danced, they sang,

“Saul has killed thousands of men.

 David has killed tens of thousands.””

1st Samuel 18: “8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on.”

The story of David and Saul in the 1st Samuel sheds light on what the world has placed in darkness. Here we had two Kings, anointed, blessed and chosen. What tops it is Saul and David were mighty warriors; nothing touched them. The numbers they were hitting were unheard of (even COD had nothing on them) However the problem came when people (women, notice that lads!) started singing ‘David is killing more than Saul’. This made Saul a very angry king, so angry that it became his lifelong motive to wipe out David. It took away his Joy. But there was something Saul didn’t realise, he too wasn’t in the same race as David. Yes, David was hitting new records but it didn’t take the value out of his achievements, his perspective did. The songs and voices around him completely distorted his perspective. He was unable to see his achievements compared to the rest of the population, the right perspective, verses focusing on one individual.

Now, I could have easily fallen into the trap, but for scripture. Like Saul part of me felt to prove him wrong or maybe just straight swipe him out, though I knew this wasn’t the will of the Lord. That pull could have easily led me to sign up for the next 10 charity events to show myself approved. However like Saul I would have been wasting my time trying to get the approval of someone’s who sincerely wasn’t relevant. Not only would I have spent wasted time, but I may have never gained his approval.

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

You see in life I believe many of us are prone to falling into this trap. Sadly we set plans outside what has been ordained in our life to prove ourselves to others, even to our parents at times, however we’re so much better than that. As people the recognition of uniqueness will bring so much peace. You see, like Saul, the lad’s perspective was off the mark. Saul failed to realise him and David were on the same team (not race) killing the same enemies, just as the lad didn’t realise that we were actually on the same team, as it was all principally being done to raise money charity. It all comes down to motives, he may have been committed but for the wrong reasons. It’s funny how he didn’t ask about how much money I was able to raise too (but that’s a topic for another day).

I guess my plea is that we too don’t fall into the same trap that, unlike Saul, our joy may remain. Now that can be anywhere, university, work, even church. I recall the time (a while back lol) when I tried to do a TD Jakes impression teaching in church but quickly I was able to realise that wasn’t me and I had no business trying to jump lanes (that and the WTH looks on people’s faces). The realisation we all have different callings and finding growth in those areas is what brought so much peace.

This is not a call for stagnancy but rather to stay scheming with the right perspective. The achievements of others can influence us to do better, but in what we’re set out to do and not in cloning the achievements of others.

1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Remember the diversity of the garden is what brings its beauty. Genesis 1:12

Peace and love

ForgottenSeeds

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Faith Montana- mover: Ain’t worried about nothing!Ⓡ

All rights belongs to: Matthew 6:25-34

 

“Guess who’s back, back again. Deji’s back, tell a friend.” Sorry for my absence, it’s definitely been way too long! However the main thing is that I’m back and kicking, and man does it feel good to be back.

So recently finishing my exams has got me absolutely buzzing, but you know what, looking back I can truly say it was one heck of a season (the stress even had your boy’s hairline at a risk!). I mean everything happened from sleepless nights to jacket potato dinners (never again).

In the midst of all the exam palaver there was one standpoint that God really laid on my heart and that was worry. It wasn’t till probably my gazillionth one that I actually realised the influence it has. Now before you pull me up, I’m aware that as people we all worry, about literally anything; from the next jacket to buy, to the next hairstyle to turn faces. The thing is though worry should end in the same place it began; it’s when the seed of worry starts to grow that problems arise, which I was to learn.

Actually I happened to start revision in a good place. Not that I knew all – however prayer and His word had me still trusting in my God given ability to do what had to be done. With this God given confidence, the initial segment of the revision period was quite a joyful one. I mean even discovering regulations behind pharmaceutical companies had your boy buzzing, however as time went on, it no longer became as hunky dory as expected.

Studying in the library meant it was inevitable that I would bump into peers. The issue with the bump is that peers talk, a lot. Rumours about literally everything to anything about the exam constantly came up in these conversations. Despite this, I initially managed to brush them off my shoulders and continue doing me. As time went on, with the constant circulation I slowly started paying attention to these rumours by the day… more attention than my able father. This caused the once seed of worry to germinate into a weed, only just where my faith laid. The loss of focus resulted in less time in prayer and more time worrying. I even came up with excuses against praying like ‘not having enough time’, whereas at hindsight that ‘valuable’ time was used worrying.

It reminds me a little of the time in the bible (Matthew 14:22-33) where Peter saw Jesus walking on water and decided to come out and meet him. Now initially Peter water walked UNTIL he moved his eyes away from Jesus… and started sinking. With Peter screaming for help from the top of his lungs, Jesus gave a helping hand. The funny (or not so funny for Peter) thing was that Jesus was always there; it was his actions that brought the need for help. It wasn’t until I stepped back and realised that my actions were bringing the need for help that worry began to lose its effect. Reflection made me recall all the times when the process wasn’t perfect yet there was a harvest.

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Reminiscing brought me back to completing the London Half Marathon late last year. Don’t be deceived by the picture, it was some journey.  In all fairness, I started training quite early and with the experience of the previous races it helped significantly. So with two weeks to go till race day and feeling more ready than ever…obstacles came as they do (you already knew!).  With work and placements to complete, I underestimated how demanding it would be to combine the training with life. All in all, keeping my faith in check brought me through the process day by day, completing the race under two hours.

More importantly, God reminded me of his works in the life of my brother Chris, receiving admission to study pharmacy, however this story dated as far back as A-levels. Studying pharmacy was my brother’s ambition from A-level days, however exam results brought a delay to this. I remember asking Chris in concern “What you going to do now bro?”- looking at it now, what I loved the most was his response; there was no worry in his voice, even with friends like myself doubting his chances (I was young y’all). Chris realised that it was in God’s hands and accepted His timing, not just in words but in action; studying a related course to build him towards his ambition. See I know many will say he had no choice, but how wrong that is! The easiest option, an option many of us take, would be giving up with phrases such as “it is what it is”, the truth is that Chris knew was “it is what God makes it”. Chris knew the delay was not a denial. Without the faith that he was rooted in, this couldn’t be clear, All in all, worry was missing.

James 2:14 “what does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”

Looking back at Chris’s story and the book of Matthew 6:25-34 was enough to give me enough confidence during the latter stages of revision. Like Chris I combined my faith with works; library sessions saw greater consistency. Like Chris’s story blocking the ‘other voices’ was inevitable, even if it meant being alone. There was to be no more Blue Peter sinking, like Chris it was clear I was in a different race, so side talk was irrelevant. Faith acted as the antidote to worry, giving me a peace beyond comprehension.

Philipians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

…And you won’t guess what? Exam day happen to go better than expected. With results coming out soon, my faith has brought me to a similar position as Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego (Daniel 3:4)- knowing whatever happens, happens. For it’s in God’s hands.

1st Corinthians 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”

Remember, with faith it doesn’t matter how deep the water is…if you can swim!

Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

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Walking to Running Seeds

 

 

 

A perfect example of an undiscovered seed; the strength to overtake old women  on race day ✌️

A perfect example of undiscovered seeds; the strength to overtake old women on race day

So, it has been a month since I completed Bupa’s London 10K Run. It was dope!  The atmosphere, the organisers, the people;everything was just second to none. A really big thank you to everyone who supported me and helped in reaching the fundraising target. This was a very big thing for me, never before did I have the confidence to pursue a goal like this, but a step of faith and a new found confidence in the man above changed everything and now I’m buzzing for the next challenge!

So what changed? Sports is a passion I have always had from as far back as I can remember,  but never before had I genuinely considered entering an event like this, UNTIL, reading God’s word  brought me to the book of Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NIV)

 

“Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

The words of Solomon in the whole book really touched me however verse 4 specifically brought me to realise that there are many times I have dwelt on waiting for the time to be right, the right people, the right fitness level, even the right weather at times. Until I made the decision to step out in faith with ideas and plans that have been inspired within me, this is the basis from which I started this blog. It is funny because these ideas were always within me, but only in seed form, but with a small dose of faith, growth to make it reality occurs.

I am of full confidence that God has put seeds into our lives that will bring forth greatness for his glory, seeds that over the years have been forgotten for one reason or the other, be it through fear, criticism or lack of faith. With all seeds comes the requirement to cultivate and maintain, not only when it reaches its peak but to also maintain that stand, the same requirements apply to the gifted seeds we have been blessed with.  It is vital  we remember these seeds don’t die, with his strength it’s never too late to cultivate.

Hebrew 11:6 (NIV) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

To think every time we are inspired to do something and put it to the side displeases God, should as a believer become our motivation to chase any ambition or dream we have, so what makes it so difficult? I believe the problems come when I dwell on my own strength and any avenue where I may be lacking, but that is where faith’s journey ends, it can go no further through doubt and any self assessment that undermines. we should not feel saddened by it because the apostles done so countless times, even in the midst of Jesus Christ, nevertheless we should seek to overcome it.

Challenges did come along the journey and they always will, two months before the event I was hospitalised for a minor surgical procedure, on the night before I suffered from cramps but despite all this I kept my trust in the Lord, something that was extremely difficult, but never the less possible and thankfully he saw me out, with an impressive time too!The training was one part of the bargain but without my health on the day it wouldn’t have been possible, so any personal strength I may have gained through training would have counted for nothing.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

But all of the events leading up to the special day did not compare to a special person I met on race day. After completing the run, aches and pains led me to inclusive massage treatment being offered by the Bupa team (nothing to do with the ladies promoting outside, or the Garnia-model lookalike physiotherapists). Whilst queuing up, I was greeted by a lad in front of me, Neil Johnstone, Neil’s an easy going person so the conversation started flowing, we started exchanging and comparing completion times, money raised, all the same old. With the Ice broken, the conversation went deeper (it was a long queue!), Neil told me of how he has battled with cancer, and recently with stroke. Yes cancer and a stroke! Neil had to learn how to speak and walk again after the stroke and only recently felt comfortable enough to run again.But this did not stop him, Neil would never have known that he could have been able to complete a 10,000 metre run, but unlike many, he came to realise the seed he had and found strength to complete the run, despite his history.

What seed could we have dislodged from within us?

What gift has been placed in us that fear has got the better of?

Find it and let’s get cultivating!

(Neil made a time of 1:15:36! I am truly honoured to have met the fella)

Neil, will be raising money for his chosen charity till the end of October, feel free to help the movement: http://www.justgiving.com/NeilJohnstone

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King Durant?

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News just in: KD’s this year’s MVP!

For those of you who don’t follow basketball, the title above will be complete gibberish to you, but if you’re a passionate NBA follower you would have come across the news that Kevin Durant has been crowned NBA’s Most valuable player, so here was his response:

 

Many people have come out to say this may just be the greatest speech heard from any MVP award ceremony and I think they may just be right.

Kevin happens to be a believer and someone who has not shied away from his love for Christ  and I believe God is working greatly in the life of the man.

But before watching the video, I asked myself, what sets him apart as a Christian? or what makes him, if anything, distinctive from any other MVP? because  for one, most of them mention ‘God’  out of formality in their speech anyway,  but the answer was clear once the speech ended.

Galatians 5:22-23 came to mind  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I believe the impact of the Holy Spirit is evident in the life of Kevin… he shows Faithfulness by acknowledging his God despite the self glory the press and rest of the world are offering, we frequently underestimate how easy it is to fall into the trap of hyping yourself  up! He also shows Love & Humility, by recognising he wouldn’t be where he is without those who God has put in his life.( Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

Now I’m aware some will come out saying ” it’s his first MVP award, just wait till he wins 2 or 3 then will see how his tone changes!” and they just might be right HOWEVER I have the full belief this is not the case. Kevin by the standard of the world, has no reason to acknowledge a Christ in his life but he does;  his one of the most highly rated ‘Ballers’ of our day and his probably got a killer contract that comes with that… But the big clause is he stayed faithful, KD has been in the game for a while, seen plenty MVP’s come and go, but it didn’t stop him. (Hebrews 10:35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.)

So I just had  to ask myself,  what would I do in his position?

  • Would my speech start and end with gloating of how hard I worked and the fact that no one was there when I was ‘shooting in the gym’?
  • Or would I even forget to recognise the influence of those who helped me to reach where I am?
  • Or would I somehow pretend it’s just because God loves me more and that it has nothing to do with the Grace of God that I’m gifted in this area in the first place?

These are questions that we can all ask ourselves but I feel KD has given us a good foundation for finding these answers.

Now I’m not saying that KD is perfect or a better person than King James (who I think is dope too) but I respect the man, I respect that he recognises the grace of God in his life, I respect that he stayed loyal to his team and I hugely respect that he recognises that this is only  a medium to glorify God, the real king.

 

(Colossians 3:23-24 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.)

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