Yeshua…

I got thinking recently and I asked myself,  if I were Jesus (knowing well I never could be), what will I do? ( or rather what could I have done?) Will I have ever agreed to leave the splendor and glory and presence of God and that for 33 years? Hian!… Ok, say I agree to that, next question: Will I have come, not just as a baby but to such humble beginnings? Trust me, Zara would have come swooping down in all my glory from the skies… probably with the whole constellations as my escorts ( That’s the way to make an entrance right? 😁😁😁) Please don’t go looking at me the way you are right now…

But then, think about it: The Son of God! The Sun of righteousness!! Saviour,  Redeemer, coming as He did… living as He did… no wonder I’m pondering like many have before me: “What manner of a man – no, God is this?” and the answer is as simple as this: He did all He did because of love… His love for me… and it’s not just for me… it’s for the whole of humanity… The Almighty God loves us… And that in present continuous tense. He loved us yesterday, He loves us today and He will love us tomorrow… Nothing can separate us from His love!

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He loves you so completely that Jesus chose to come to earth to live… He came in the humblest of forms – as a baby… The One who created the heavens and the earth came as one who needed to be bathed and fed and carried – imagine that. .. He who holds the universe in His hands was being carried by the very hands He fashioned… Oh! I am in awe!!!

The One who is knowledge and understanding and insight and wisdom and excellence sat and learnt under His very creation… what manner of a man… no, God, is this? what manner of a love He loves… Boundless,  unfathomable,  unending, indescribable love!

I am loved! I am His beloved!! This is one fact I can’t get over. It is one fact that keeps amazing me and leaves me constantly in awe… I love Him and all because He loved me first!

Selah.

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A New Song

It always begins with a thought. Always. I can never fully describe the howness of it all, but then, it always begins with a thought… or better yet, a word. Mine was focus… there I was in church. My lips were praying, but my heart was not. All of a sudden, my thoughts formed the word focus, all on their own and that was it… the words just kept coming and now I have a song. A song that is all mine. A heart song for my maker… the One who knows my frame… the one who knows how feeble and frail I am… the One whom I fail now and again… the One who sees me as I am and still choose to give me a heart song…

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It’s interesting to me how we constantly keep asking God for or telling Him how much we need a new song when all around us, new songs are waiting to be sung… Songs that will inspire worship to our Creator… Father… The God of all flesh… Think upon His goodness and faithfulness and there, you’ll have a new song all your own like Nathaniel Bassey with “Imela”.

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Brood upon His word… see His work and wonders in the days of old, consider how He’s doing the same today and like Ada Ehi, you’ll be singing “Only You”. Ponder upon His presence and all that you can be and get from being before him and just like Victoria Orenze, you’ll be singing “Draw”. I can go on and on… I guess that all I’m trying to say is this: you are surrounded by the makings of your new song… open your eyes and behold it darling… It’s probably is just a thought away…

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Meanwhile, where did the time go? Was it not only a few weeks back we were wishing ourselves a happy new year? How did we go from January to June in the blink of an eye? Well, ’tis true… Time does wait for no one. So, whatever it is you’ve got to do, get up, and get to it! You know why? ‘cos tomorrow, we’ll be kissing 2018 goodbye and if one is not careful, all you’ll be left with will be regrets and/or wishful thoughts. So, call up that friend or sibling. Drop that grudge. You’ve held unto it long enough and all it’s given you is pain. Forgive your spouse. Annoying as he/she is, their your only option. Love – with all of your being. Laugh out very loud and really hard – it’s a heart remedy and then, hand over all your worries to God – He cares for you you know and you just go ahead and have a super amazing month of June.

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N.B
It feels good to back… I never stopped musing, I just got a tad lazy 🙂

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For The Love Of Abacha (African Salad)

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It had been years when we last met. Our friendship began back in the University-2003… This was 2017. We had not seen for a long, long time and suddenly, here she was. She came down for a visit… we quickly began catching up on old times. Sharing laughter, remembering incidents that happened back in school and telling ourselves how young and foolish we had been?. Days later, Nana said she had plans to prepare Abacha for dinner. I was like ‘say what?’ She had poked my interest… “Babe, where did that skill come from?” She begins another gist of an aspect of her service year in Imo State where she learnt the fine art of eating and preparing Abacha. Me, I go ‘Issokay, just keep a plate for me to try it out”. She did and I enjoyed every spoon I chewed and swallowed. Need I tell you how I learnt to prepare Abacha before Nana left? Or is it how I have become an advocate for the establishment of the Ministry of Abacha???… You see ehn, this my gist is going an interesting way…

My friend Nana is a Gombe girl from North Eastern Nigeria. Abacha is a very Igbo meal from the Eastern parts of our great country and Nana did ‘discover’ it and liked it enough to learn it. It didn’t stop there. She has spread the goodness of Abacha and I a Middle belter who has never really experienced the Eastern parts of our country has come to appreciate this fine and healthy meal (and trust me, after eating a plate of Abacha, your appreciation for Igbo people will increase???). There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from a plate of Abacha. If you’re presently raising your brows and going ‘hunh’, do come along with me…

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The fine flakes of the cassava which come in different shapes and sizes tell me that though we (Nigerians) may all be of different shapes, sizes or even colors, we are all hewn from one stone- the One who made us all.

I do not know what uba is. I have no idea where it comes from or how it was gotten but the flavor and taste it brings to the Abacha mix makes me want to keep going for more. Same with us as a people. We are as unique as uba is.

Palm oil does the job of binding all ingredients in Abacha together. We need some palm oil upon us as a nation. Just so we can be bound together in unity.

Don’t even let me start on the smoked fish and pomo, garden egg and the leaves of course, not forgetting utazi whose bitterness says “not everytime sweet, sometimes bitter too” and then pepper, crayfish and some seasoning… hmmm, all of these are stand alone ingredients which are not so nice on their own but when they are all put together in the Abacha mix… reminds me of the saying “united we stand, divided we fall”… Nigeria has a long way to go but if only we’ll let ourselves come together like Abacha, , we’ll get there faster… For me though, one thing I have learnt from eating Abacha is this: tolerance is key… if we do want to rise above our varied differences as nation and forge ahead, then we have got to learn to tolerate all of our differences… I also do look forward to Nana’s next visit. I might just be learning something new…;)

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How I Met Your Daddy

Dear Son(s),
Knowing well that the day draws near when you’ll be asking me how I met your dad, I decided to put it in writing just so you’d always have the narrative with you and hopefully pass it on to your own children…? so, here goes…

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It was a windy december night in the ancient town of Zaria- December 9th 2005 precisely. Aunty Degirl’s wedding was to take place the following day, so as you can imagine, Mama’s house was full. I was to be a bridesmaid and so I was looking forward to slaying in my new bridal dress(It was actually a skirt with a sleeveless top- grey, if memory serves me right). I and another bridesmaid had been told that we’d be taking the groomsmen to their sleeping quarters whenever they arrived earlier in the day, so we thought they’d show up by seven-ish but they didn’t. Time went by quickly as we were busy doing a gazillion and one things(seriously?), I got exhausted and by the time I checked my time, it was 11pm. What!!! We told ourselves they had probably done another arrangement for themselves so we found ourselves a nice little corner(better called space) in the sitting room and started snoring away (yes oh, the sleep of a tired woman can be like that?).

About a minute later (you know how it is when you just closed your eyes and someone wakes you up 30 mins later, it would seem you’d only shut your eyes for a minute), I hear my Mum saying ‘Eli, ku tashi ku kai su, sun itso'( Elizabeth, wake up and take them- the groomsmen- they’re here). I was grudgingly waking up when I felt the full light of a torch on my face??? with the words “the girl na fine girl oh… Make nobody toast her. Na my own be this!” In my mind I was like “biko, who is this one????” And I was fuming but since my Mum was there, (before Mrs. Yaro will think university has wiped off all my home training), I quietly got up and off we went… The guy didn’t leave me alone. He kept on talking the entire way to the guest house… And my face was a mixture of anger, irritation and disbelief at his confidence and corkiness… To cut a long story short son, that was the beginning of a beautiful story and like your Dad will say, look where all my shakara has brought me- right into his house.
Why I’m sharing this with you today is because I learnt from your Dad never to write off a person from the first meeting. I’ve also learnt never to flash light on someone just waking up from a deep sleep at night???. So son(s), whatever you do, whenever you meet Miss. Right, never ever flash a light in her face! She might just be another Zara???

I love you muchos son(you can always get other details whenever you want to…

Your Mama,
Zara??????

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Love is a Doing Word

My 4 year old comes home with this definition of who a neigbour is and it sets me a-thinking. The statement came from nowhere-it just popped into our conversation (much as every other thing does).
“Mummy, my teacher says a neighbor is someone who shows you love” and I’m like “really?” he says “yes”. I carry on: “How do you show someone love, Echo?” He replies “Mmmm… when my friend asks me for my biscuit, then I should share with him”. Me: “Ok….” He carries on: “I should not beat somebody and I should tell my friend sorry when he is crying” Me: “Ok”.
He left me alone to go and play but that conversation did not leave me. About two days later, I got further insight to my boy’s mind. He was asking his brother to give him some of his cheese balls. Next thing I hear is “Mummy! Salem is refusing to show me love” I said “why?” and he goes “He’s refusing to share his cheese balls with me”.
Ok, point taken from a 4 year old point of view but really, where I’m going with all these is this: Love is a doing word–Love is really all actions and a few words–if necessary. I am drawn to 1 Corinthians 13 from verse 4 where Apostle Paul gives us an apt description of what love is.
Please, read the following words slowly, let them sink in…
Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride;
Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil;
It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true;
Love has the power of undergoing all things, having faith in all things, hoping all things.

I’d like to add my own bit here: Love is Jesus, hanging on a tree for all sinners- present and future, known and unknown… Love is amazing and has such power to transform lives and I dare say that actions are what cause a transformation not words alone.

The next time you want to profess love to someone, 1 Corinthians 7:4-7 is the Love-o-meter by which to test the sincerity of your words for Love is more than just a feeling!
Zara Obaa

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