Monday, May 29, 2017

The Written Introduction of Man to God: Who Defies Definition But Himself Defines all things By AdePero Mettabel Okulaja.




The scene is set with a homogeneously universal welcome to the service. In some places with a booming voice scattering the demons of hell before ushering in God’s presence, others with catchy and techy millennially appropriate entrées into the service after the coffee and donut appetizers in the foyer; and others yet with hushed ecclesiastical tones ushering God’s people in terms apropos for such a ‘holy’ convocation. I veer from generalities to focus on my fork at the crossroads the nondenominational arm, which by its very appellation is dissonant with the message of The Cross by its non-committal stance with regards to radical faith, which is the hallmark of Christ’s ministry.
Now please ‘hold your horses’ defenders of the faith and walk this path with me.
After sparing an appropriate 10-15 minutes for worship music which today, minus some phenomenal minstrels of God is more about who God is and what He does for us, rather than magnifying Him so that we can press in beyond his arm, to His face. Then comes the announcements and never to be omitted offering time, the latter which is sacrosanct lest one becomes relegated to the dungeon of poverty for a lifetime sentence. Never mind that the richest people in the world regarding monetary wealth are not Pentecostal, denominational or non-denominational Christians (Figure that one out) and lest you miss out on the transfer of wealth that is soon to happen – hogwash!
Then (drumroll please!) Comes The Sermon, which in many cases regardless of the topic, invariably incorporates painting you as a heretical villain if you do not part with a percentage, or all of your dollars. Then comes the wrap-up: a climactic or anticlimactic as the case may be, benediction and closing.
At this point, please nod your head once (to avoid detection) if the above is a true representative of the state of affairs.
Now, this is my question – Where stands The Bible in all this? Is it in Homogeneity or diversity, Conformation or Reformation, Dogma, or Spirit?
Do we come away from these gatherings full of God or fed with what God can do for us? If it is the former, I have no iron to sharpen. But if the latter, please let iron sharpen iron because my dear friend that profile may need some chiseling!
God cannot be homogenized into formulaic worship sets. He needs to be known before we can FULLY experience Him…

The Bible – is it a promise book/ slot machine/ solution finder/pillow augmenter? Yes, yes, yes and yes! But The Bible is so much more! This fact we know, but in what way?
As I sat here a few minutes ago, the title words floated into my mind, and I immediately knew that The Spirit had something to say and it is this: The Bible is not a way for us to learn about God, it is an introduction, yes! An INTRODUCTION to who God is! The limitations of my ignorance and experience hinder me from full expressivity regarding this topic that has chosen me, but The Spirit of God is speaking so I will write.

God cannot be homogenized into formulaic worship sets. He needs to be known before we can FULLY experience Him, and the only way is to have a personal relationship not with our pastor or church members or even God’s promises, but a communion with the mind of God, and introduction into the holy echelons of The deep things of His Spirit. The same ‘Deep’ that He spoke of in Genesis. The same Deep that remains dark to earthly existence unless He makes the pronouncement “let there be light!” And illumination is that which then illuminates the deep things of God as it hovers over the Waters (Word of God) to create out of the deep and unseen the things we come to perceive in the ‘seen’ realm. This knowing cannot be apprehended except in and through the solitude of communion with God. It is not in the thunder; it is not in the rain, it is in the still small voice whispering mysteries of God and His love for us into our ears.
To know God is to walk alone with Him Like Abraham, Jacob, Paul, and the earthly Jesus did, and as our souls yearn to do because we KNOW, it is the only way.

So today I hear the Spirit saying, “Come away my beloved, away from the noise and the things that clamor for attention in your souls. Come away and spend some time with me.” If you each come away with me and then come together to fellowship with your brethren, imagine how glorious it would be as we each begin to unwrap our treasures and our experiences with Him. What days of rejoicing we would have and as The Bible says there would be no need for any man to say “know thy God” for we would all know Him in our own personal way, from the least to the greatest.

Step aside as Moses did, take off your sandals – that which signifies our walk on physical earth and stand on Holy Ground, unhindered by anything man-made (sandals and all). Spend some time with The Word as revealed by His Spirit so that we may begin to know as we are known.

Selah.


© AdePero Mettabel 05.29.17.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

That’s just the way it is; Things may not always be the way they seem.






He was the most beautiful thing my twenty-one-year-old eyes had ever laid eyes on...


Sam. What can I say? He was the most beautiful thing my twenty-one-year-old eyes had ever laid eyes on: tallish, mocha skin, and a killer smile. I was an intern at the University Teaching Hospital. The first time I saw him, he was flirting with the nursing students, and it seemed that every time I saw him, he was always walking aimlessly around the medical ward, chatting up girls and generally clowning around. I really didn’t know why he was always around, but he just always was. A few months passed by, and I occasionally would see Sam and would always make some pithy statement about him. I just didn’t like him, for no apparently clear reason. He seemed so cocky and so full of himself.

On the first day of my internal medicine rotation, we were assigned patients, and life went on as usual. Then, one day, a new patient appeared on my list. His name was Sam Thomas. (Note: I had seen Sam around but did not yet know his name.) When I finally discovered this patient was the same man, I was at first surprised because I had never seen him in a hospital gown. To prepare myself for rounds and familiarize myself with the case, I picked up his chart and got a huge shock. This golden boy, this Adonis, was dying! He was in the final stages of acute leukemia, and his bone marrow, the part of the bone that produces blood, had burnt out. His only hope of staying alive were the transfusions that he had to have every three to four weeks, while hoping against hope for a miracle.
I was devastated. And I felt horrible for misjudging this man. He was only trying to make the best of a very bad situation. You see, he was an only child, and his dad was not in the picture, so his mom was the only constant support he had. However, he didn’t let that get him down. Instead, he was always trying to make other people laugh and always had a smile on his face.


I cried that day, but I had to dry my tears because I had a job to do. I was on my internal medicine rotation for three months. Some of the time, Sam was my patient, and at others, I just took care of him while I was on call. Needless to say, we became quite close and developed a deep friendship. I was privileged enough to be a part of the process that led to him accepting Jesus into his heart. I would sometimes go just to visit, and we would spend hours just talking-- about our faith, about life.
Sadly, Sam didn’t get better, despite all the treatments and prayers. After a while, he just stayed admitted because his need for transfusions was growing. One day I got called to the floor because a patient was not doing well. It was Sam. He had developed complications and was not expected to live much longer. There was not much I could do, but we talked until he could no longer speak. I just held his hand, and I don’t know whether it was a few hours or a lot of hours, but Sam died that night. He didn’t look too pretty, but his face was so beautiful because he died with a smile on his face.

I know I will see Sam again someday. But as I remember him today, I remember a courageous, generous, and beautiful child of God, and I remind myself that not all that seems to be is. The real miracle was the beauty of Sam’s life and all the people he touched with his laughter and with love.
So, Sam Thomas, I remember you with love today, and I celebrate all twenty-two years of your life. You touched my life for all time. Salute, my friend. I will see you again.


** This is a true story, but the names have been changed to preserve privacy.

 © The Voice of One Woman by Mettabel Okulaja, MD, Xulon Press 2013

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Eve is talking


Eve is talking, but I’m not listening.
She is saying: Far too long we have waited,
It’s time to take our place.
We once had it, but now it’s lost.
Can anyone hear me?
Feminism, Sexism, Woman-ism, schisms.
Has God really said?
There again that voice it comes
To tempt, to woo, Adulterated allure…
That’s the point!
To make us see what we had not before?
To bring us to, where our steps never trod?
Too late we open our eyes only to find,
The contract thought signed, to from him emancipate,
Our own will enslaved, the dotted line revealed.
Yes, she is spouting, yes, she's talking,
But HER words I WILL NOT HEAR.

© AdePero Mettabel, 04.29.17.


John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 15:3
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

Luke 10:19
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Second Sight: I See Men As Trees, Walking. (Scripture As You Have Not Seen It Before)Post title



I just love the Scriptures, and I thank Holy Spirit for every bit of Revelation that He chooses to impart for the edification of the body of Christ. My story starts on a day like any other. I was sitting at home not doing much of anything. Two words suddenly popped into my mind, I believe, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Those two words were ‘Second sight.' The Holy Spirit spoke those two words to my mind; again I heard the words ‘Second sight’. He then went on to give me a quote as follows: “you will need to have second sight to avoid being blinded by what you see”. These words so intrigued me that I immediately went to 'trusty Google' and typed ‘Second sight’ into the search box. As you can well imagine, a number of options popped up. I was blessed to discover the many advances made in the field of medicine with regards to restoration of sight. I got to know about John Bramblitt, an artist, who though blind paints amazing pictures from memory and also through touch, creating images to which any sighted Artist would be proud to sign their name. Please take the time to look him up. You will be amazed by what you see. (Pardon the pun :-)). Through this study, I discovered many wonderful facts but also realized that these were meant to segue me into a powerful truth that He was about to reveal to me.
“We need second sight to see what first sight has blinded us from seeing.”
I began to search The scriptures for verses on second sight, and this led me to Scriptures quoted below:
◄ Mark 8:22-30 ►
22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
The above is the account of the restoration of sight to the blind man from the city of Bethsaida. The Pharisees brought a blind man to Jesus for the restoration of sight. Jesus then took him by the hand led him out of the town and then spat on his eyes and after putting his hands on him asked him if he could see. The man and said that he could see 'men as Trees walking.' Jesus again puts his hands on his eyes and made him look up after which he saw men as the Bible says, clearly.
There have been many teachings by some, with regards to this miracle suggesting that the process of healing was not completed the first time Jesus spat on the man’s eyes because he did not see things clearly. They allude that Jesus had to lay hands on him again for him to have his sight fully restored. Others claim that healing is a multi-step process, using this narration as a way of encouraging those who do not immediately experience the instantaneous manifestation of healing. I accepted these teachings without question for many years, but on this particular day, The Holy Spirit gently showed me a fundamental error in these schools of thought. “This is Jesus! Holy Spirit said. "He does everything well. He knows everything. He can do anything. He does not need a ‘do-over’ in anything!"
He showed me that the restoration of sight to this man involved Jesus performing two miracles: One the more profoundly influential than the other. He proceeded to show me by elegantly linking these miracles to the first words that He spoke to my heart that evening which were ‘Second sight.'
Let us go back to the story and break down what exactly happened:
Jesus spits on this man’s eyes, and then laid hands on him and asked him what he saw. To which he answered, “I see men as trees, walking.” I had previously read this as “I see men walking as trees” (don’t ask me why), which gives an entirely different meaning to what was said. As I wrote these words, the Holy Spirit showed me the symbolism behind the use of the spit. Spit is made up of water, which in scripture is symbolic of the Word of God, and digestive enzymes, that initiate the breakdown of carbohydrates, which are the principal source of energy for the body. So symbolically it could be said that Jesus applied a mixture of The Word and that which was able to help break down that word i.e. revelation, to the blind man’s eyes. Now the question is if this was the case that the word mixed with revelation was applied to the man’s eyes, why did he not see 'perfectly' the first time?
Hmmm, Food for thought… This line of thinking then led to the Holy Spirit asking me this question: “this man saw men, as trees walking. Why as trees? Why not as sticks walking?” He then brought to my remembrance scriptures that made reference to trees.
◄ Psalm 1:1-3 ►
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
◄ Psalms 52:8 ►
But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
◄ Romans 11:24 ►
For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
◄ Matthew 7:17-19 ►
"So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
◄ Revelation 22:2 ►
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
◄ Isaiah 55:12 ►
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
After reading the Scriptures above, it was like a lightbulb came on in my head. "Men as trees, walking. Men as Trees. Men as Trees" Wow!
I discovered through my study of Jewish tradition that trees occupy a special place in Jewish thought. They relate to man’s relationship with the natural environment, our life-support system as it pertains to the quality of his supply to that environment!
When God created the first man, He took him and showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden. This singling out of the trees of the Garden of Eden, rather than the showcasing of the Garden of Eden itself, may have been meant by God to show man the principal entities, which transformed the Earth from a barren and lifeless mass into an environment capable of supporting other forms of life such as animals and humans.
Let us note that after God had created the world, His first action was to plant trees, which He did on the third day. Let us also remember Jesus’ words:
◄ John 15:5 ►
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The blind man saw men as trees. Putting my thoughts and scripture together, I realized that the blind man seeing 'men as trees' was symbolic of the blind man seeing men AS PLANTINGS OF THE LORD through the opening of the eyes of his understanding!
He saw men going about their daily activities in light of the potential that the Lord had planted in them! He saw them first by revelation because God enlightened the eyes of his understanding! This Holy Spirit inspired insight was so exciting to me because I realized that Jesus, in the first step, performed the greatest miracle, which went beyond just the opening of physical eyes - He opened the blind man's spiritual eyes!
He opened the eyes of his understanding to see people according to what was 'growing' inside of them, much like Jesus did when over and over again He was able to discern the thoughts of The Pharisees.
Through this miracle, Jesus illustrated that the mere restoration of physical sight would have left the man as spiritually blind as when he first met Jesus. But, our amazing Lord addressed his spiritual need first, before He addressed his sensory needs. The principal of which was to open the eyes of his understanding.
We see this fervent desire of the Lord expressed in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians chapter 1:
◄ Ephesians 1:15-19 ►
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.
Earlier in Mark chapter 8, we see Jesus speaking to his disciples about the need to be aware of the Pharisee's leaven. He admonished them saying, that in seeing they saw not, and in hearing, heard not.
And so I realized that contrary to the thought that Jesus went through a trial and error process to effect the blind man’s healing, He in keeping with His character addressed the needful thing first. He gave the man ‘Second sight’ i.e. opened the eyes of understanding and revelation, which would enable him, interpret what he saw with his physical eyes through the filter of Spiritual revelation.
I believe that in actuality, THIS was the healing that was cardinal to his destiny!
Jesus knew that if he had only restored his physical sight, this man would have been no better off. This truth we see played out in the verses following, as Peter identified Jesus as The Christ. This same revelation is what Jesus said that he would build his church upon that the gates of hell would not prevail against it!
So why the brouhaha about ‘Second sight’?
We need second sight to see clearly. We need second sight to interpret correctly. We need second sight so that we do not remain ignorant of satan’s devices. We need second sight to appreciate our status in the Kingdom of God.
What Holy Spirit taught me through these verses has completely transformed my thinking and my life, and I share it with you hoping that it’ll do the same for you.
I am learning to ask The Lord for second sight in every situation that I find myself. That I may correctly interpret situations and circumstances so that I also may be able to see 'MEN AS TREES, WALKING.'
God is so good!
© AdePero Mettabel 08.03.15.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Will You Be My Donkey?


Will You Be My Donkey?
 
Donkeys! Donkeys!! Donkeys!!! This is the issue on my mind today.
 
Donkeys are animals that feature very prominently in the Bible. In the Old Testament, we read about the fact that Abraham and his son rode on the donkey on their way to the mountain of God when he was going to sacrifice Isaac. And of Samson who killed thousands of Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone, we also read of the famous talking donkey on which Balaam road and who saved him from certain death. Also, King Saul had gone to look for his father’s donkeys, when he met Samuel who anointed him as king, and our Lord Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey - one which had been saddled up waiting for him.
 
In Bible Times, donkeys were a popular mode of transportation. Various kinds of people from ordinary men to kings rode on donkeys. Donkeys were also used as a way of estimating or depicting a person’s wealth.
 
For many months I thought about the symbolism of donkeys in the Bible but try as I might, I was unable to come to a consensus that would tie the significance of donkeys together under one principle.
Well rightly so some would say that they are only animals, why go looking for principles? Yes, they are only animals, but as with everything in the Word of God, there is always some sort of significance inferred when certain objects or subjects are used or referenced repeatedly.
 
However, in the most unlikely of places - having lunch with friends, (no we were not eating donkey meat) it suddenly hit me! Donkeys were beasts of burden, modes of transportation in Bible times and even at times weapons of war as in the case of Samson. From what I could understand, donkeys represented carriers, Weapons, or tools that were used that had no clean to importance apart from helping to bring glory, honor, and salvation to whoever used them. And one of the major things that characterized the presence of donkeys and the Bible is the fact that even though they were major players in the situations in which they featured, they were never the objects of, participants of, or recipients of any of the glory and accolades accorded to the people who had used them, even though they were used for their good.
 
And in all of this, the question that came to me was: "do I want to be a donkey?" And my first answer was a resounding no! I do not want to be a donkey. I do not want to be the one who will bring about good, salvation, and riches without being a participant. And even though my answer sounded good to me, it felt wrong and did not really sit well with me. Then as I thought about it more, the question came to me in another way. This time I heard The Lord say to my heart “do you want to be a donkey for me? Do you want to be one whom I will use for my name, for my fame, and for my glory? Would you be the one who will carry me wherever I want you to like the donkey I rode into Jerusalem? Will you be a weapon of warfare in my hand, like the donkey’s jawbone in Sampson's hand? Will you be the one who will see what no one else sees and who will declare my counsel to save men’s lives, like the donkey did for Balaam? Will you be the one whom I will use as my herd in man’s search for the anointed king as I did when Samuel anointed Saul as king? Will you be my donkey? For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till Life do us unite?”
 
Will You Be My Donkey?
 
My answer was a resounding "yes! Yes!! Yes!!! I will be your donkey!"
Yes, I will be your donkey. I will be any donkey that you want me to be in any form that you want me to be from this day forward, I pledge my troth to you… I will be your donkey! And we live victoriously, joyously, sacrificially, lovingly and committed now and forever more. Amen.
© AdePero Mettabel, 02.24.17.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love? What Is It?



Love? What is It? We know it’s not merely a feeling, but WHAT is it? Is it just Goosebumps and excitement? That perfect mate, moonlight and kisses, primal explosive, passionate consumption? We all know what is not, but WHAT exactly is it? Some say it defies complete definition; others have the profundity to convey that which they touch, taste, smell, hear and feel. BUT is it merely sensual? Even if what is can only be expressed in gasps of incoherency… This is what I say: you may differ in opinion, or very well have more to add for love the definition of love paradoxically has no beginning and never dies. It resurrects when crucified, rebounds if stretched to its limits. The eternal Word says it all: “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” If a (wo)man would give all the wealth of his house for love, it would utterly be as vile to him as dung.
Love – It is the greatest and yet the most terrible force of existential expression. Love can make one do anything and everything, and it can also make another do absolutely nothing at all. Yet, for all its’ complexity in internal workings and definitions, it can be incredibly simple in expression – A kiss, a hug, a look, a simple apology, a refraining from, amazing togetherness, or just simply a ‘being’… There is a reason why it is said to be the greatest of all… Unquenchable, Indomitable, Formidable, Cataclysmic, yet gentle, tender and enduring… Many waters cannot quench true love, and once It knows, It knows, and when It is known as It knows, Reversion, Retreat or Rescission is IMPOSSIBLE… These three things abide – Faith, hope, and love and the greatest? L-O-V-E.

PS If I say I love you, realize this: I do not know what the heck I’m talking about. But, as long as It lives in me It will tell me all I need to know, all I need to do, and all I need to be to you, through you, for you and forever with you.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The 'Me' I'm Meant To Be.






Who would I have been if I had not been me?
How would I have grown? What choices would I have made?
Would I be looking at myself now wishing I were me,
Or would I be thankful I never was this...
 
Where would I be if I were not where I am? Here, there and everywhere? Or quite simply nowhere at all. Would I have climbed many mountains? Met people great and small, Or would others have come to me, at home right where I was?

When would I have met you I hadn’t met you yet? As mundane as when grocery shopping on a Saturday morn, Or as glamorous a Belle meeting her prince, at an evening ball? Would I have loved you a bit at a time? Or totally, fully, completely, as I now do.

How would I have known to choose which way to move or go? Open wide the door or turn away, rejecting truth or dare? I think that I will never know, what will or was to be, And you know what? Standing right where I am, That’s really quite alright by me.

I am me, incontestably me, THAT will never ever change, And whether I am this me, or that, The Truth remains I'm the 'me' I'm meant to be,
I am and will always choose to be,
The 'me' I chose to be.



©AdePero Mettabel - The 'Me' I'm meant to be. 02.11.17.