Brokeness - Rock your bandages



I struggle with control.

I love to be in charge of the situations in my life. I like being able to command my course. To be honest, following Jesus was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not because I had to give up sin, but because I couldn’t steer my own ship anymore.

Prior to Christ, I always dictated how my life went.  I was able to plan and see the fruit of those plans, Then I chose salvation, and my life took a turn for the unpredictable. I had to trust an invisible God to direct me towards a path I’d never been down. I had to trust He knew where He was going, even when I couldn’t see Him.

One of the consequences of letting Christ dictate my life was allowing Him to use my brokenness. My brokenness being the areas in life I don’t always get right. The areas in life that are ugly, sad, mean, unqualified, the areas I’d rather allude to, but never share.

Sometimes I look at what God has promised me, and it overwhelms me. The truth is I’ll never qualify for the calling Christ mandated over my life.  And as much as I try, I’ll never be able to fix my brokenness the way He can.

While I love to brag about what God has done for me, I don’t think I realize how self-conscious I still am about what God is doing in me.

The beautiful thing about Jesus is that He uses our present wounds and the scars and scabs from our past regrets. Human nature tells you that you have to be good enough for the calling, but salvation tells us that the cross makes you good enough for the calling.

We hear often that God gets the glory from our testimonies, but how much do we really believe it?


How can I trust God with the areas of my life that I still haven’t addressed? How can I trust God with a testimony that I’m not sure if I’ve even triumphed?

Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted
    and bandages their wounds.


That means that not only does God heal your present hurts, he treats the wounds from your past afflictions.  He knows everything about you, the areas you’re great in and the ones where you really suck. He knows hard you’ve been trying at this Christian thing…and he also knows how close you are to giving up. He knows what no one else knows, and guess what? He not only still loves you, but wants to heal you.

I wondered why Psalms 147:3 chooses to say ’bandages’. Why that word? Why not fix, or mend?

Well, a bandage is actually the best treatment for a wound. Some people argue that exposing a cut to air spends up its healing time, science says that’s a falsehood.

It’s the bandage on a cut that provides the perfect environment of isolation to encourage new cell generation and promotes faster healing without the visible scars.

So God not only wants to fix us, but he wants to fix us in the best possible way. God’s desire isn’t to expose the parts of you that are broken, otherwise, he wouldn’t have bandaged them. His heart towards you is to use those bandages to encourage others to get their healing.

But we still worry that people will say when they see our bandages.

My advice? Rock your messed up nature, don’t just brag about what God did, show what God is doing. Wear your bandages with honor because the greatest physician is on your case. The best doctor in the world is working it out for you. You’re the poster child of what real medicine can do.

Imagine all the people who need the cure you have, but don’t know where to get it because you’re still hiding your wounds.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

all my love,
Obioma

So excited to be the face of one of my friend's amazing line: Virtuous woman. Honestly, Won't He Do it!

The Process and The Destination


Let’s talk about goal setting.

So you have something you want to do. What’s the normal human inclination?
If you have a persistent internal drive to achieve a goal then you are focused. You’re focused on achieving whatever your objective is and being successful. If you are like me then you’re probably a little lazier. You are focused but maybe you’re not putting in as much work. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the destination or the journey to get to the destination.
What if I told you that God’s destination differs from yours? Can I challenge your thinking when it comes to the end goal?
What if I told you that your end goal, whether it be losing weight, starting in ministry, or getting A’s was not God’s end goal?

Work with me here, I have a point.

Your progress is not indicated by the destination, but your application in the process.

We usually set goals that are destinations or arrival points. We’ve trained ourselves to choose measurable targets so that when we accomplish our goals, there’s a clear indication. For example, if you notice that you have lost 5 pounds on a weight scale then there’s a clear indication that you met your goal to lose weight. It makes sense.
But that’s not how God thinks.
God’s end goal for us is to establish a process.

 He wants to develop self-discipline, spiritual maturity and a reverence for His temple. That’s His ultimate goal for you. You can’t measure those things on a scale.

Your progress is not indicated by the destination, but your application in the process. While you look at the end goal of losing weight as a destination, God looks at the work it took for you to get there. He wants to develop self-discipline, spiritual maturity and a reverence for His temple. That’s His ultimate goal for you. You can’t measure those things on a scale.
Yes, we need to see the tangible results of our actions, but we also need to have conversations on the process because that is how our Heavenly Father evaluates our progress.
Many have heard the story of Joseph, Jacob’s son. He was the one with the multicolor coat.
Joseph is a story about process, not destination.

Read the rest on Orlandochristianvoice.com

New Project Announcment!!

Hi Everyone. I'm so excited to announce a new collaboration with some of my sisters in Christ: Gabby and Chaun'cey.


TrillTrinityTV is live!!


In the show we'll explore relevant and controversial topics from the Christian perspective. It's about time believers joined the conversation.

Watch the first episode below, subscribe and always feel free to join the conversation.



All my love,
Obioma

What to do when you don't know what to do


I cried this morning.
I'm sure you're thinking...strange Obioma, why are you crying.

As I drove to school, I caught up on news about the victims of hurricane Marie, over 3 million people without power. Food is running out, clean water is running out, the temperatures are stifling and tropical and millions languish without A.C.
As a Floridian, it's easy to think about someone else's tropical storm and be desensitized, but this news truly broke me.

All I could think was "Oh, God" as I wept quietly while  driving.

I didn't dare ask 'Why God' because I've learned that asking God why is not a task for the faint of heart. Job tried it, and was essentially told by the creator that he was too human to understand. The Lord beautifully sums it up by inquiring of the mortal Job

"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Job 38:4


There are some things I whole heartedly believe God doesn't owe us an answer for: Death, natural disaster, human failure to name a few.

Sometimes if we've been in church long enough, we have an understanding that sin is the reason, maybe we quote the famous scripture, Matthew 5:45


45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

It's reassuring to know that bad and good things happen to everyone, whether or not they follow God.

Ultimately , even with all the church knowledge we have, its not comforting when you imagine millions of people suffering against their will. It doesn't take away the sting of the natural storms, or the storms of life.

So I didn't ask God why.

I asked Him for help.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the problem, we loose sight that we have The Solution
.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that there's no worst feeling that helplessness. Helplessness is powerlessness in it's ultimate form.
It's the feeling that takes away all hope.
It tells you that you have no hand in the situation, so why try.
Helplessness  leaves you feeling sorry for yourself
It will have you throwing a pity party of one while life's worries silently suffocate you.

Helplessness is far from fun.

But I know from whom my help comes from.

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth psalms 121:2

Sometimes all you can do is ask God for help and wait for him to do what he does best: save. So while in my humanity I can't think of how we can immediately save 3 million people in Puerto Rico, I know that my prayers are moving of the hand of the one who can.
I do my part by lifting my voice to heaven, and donating where I can, then I trust God to do the rest.

If you're loosing hope, or afraid to ask God why, then as Him for Help.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1

All my love,
Obioma

Let it burn


Let it Burn...


No, not the Usher Song, but the fire of God inside you.

As I was having my quiet time with the Lord, the Holy Spirit kept whispering the phrase to me. 'Let it burn Obioma, let it burn.'
What do you think of when you see the word burn? Most of us think of fire, or a flame.
To burn is defined as 'to  flame or glow while consuming' according to Google.

I asked God what do you mean by burn, you want me to flame while consuming... That's rather abstract Lord. How many of you know God speaks in abstract terms sometimes and its up to us to pray for the revelation to understand? So I pulled out my bible concordance and looked up all the scriptural references to burn, clarity began. Then I looked up fire, the lightbulb was officially lit.

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.


How often do we really mediate on that scripture, or that concept. The Lord we serve is described in our human words as a fire, one that engulfs and uses everything around.

God's fire is inside of each of us and he wants to use us.


We read Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


We've created Christian clich├ęs around this verse. We encourage each other to be a light and to shine bright, but do we really understand the depth of what God is asking of us? Roman's 12:11 tells us there is a fire inside of us. That fire is the holy and living God and He is not simply satisfied with you exposing your flame for mere warmth.

God is a consuming fire...he wants to totally engulf, and use you and everyone who gets in contact with you for his glory. Fear confines your fire to a flame, one that burns when exposed. But faith, faith makes your flame a consuming fire.


Are you letting God use you?  Or are you simply satisfied with being a candle flame, good for warmth but not destructive, not engulfing, not consuming.

A relationship with Christ should radicalize your life. Every area of you should be consumed and engulfed by Him and Him alone. No longer should we compartmentalize our relationship with Christ to what is convenient. The truth is, if you claim to have the fire of God on the inside of you, He should be using you in everyway for his glory and for his glory alone.

No, not everyone is called to formal ministry and often times we think that is the only way to be totally used by God. That's a lie. God created each of us with unique talents, gifting and desires because he wants to be glorified everywhere, not just confined to the four walls of the church.

Ultimately the Lord wants you to: Let it Burn.
no excuses.

all my love,
Obioma

Cota Missions 2017. Attempting to be used by God



Love & settling..


 
I've always been passionate about love and expecting the best from God. My latest youtube video is all about why you can't afford to settle for less than God's best.

Watch. Subscribe.

Everyone needs to go on a missions trip

My first missions trip was at the age of 15. I went to Hollywood, California. I went with my church at the time. The trip was less than $1000 dollars and it was a brand new experience for my teenage brain. As an immigrant, I knew that it was necessary to have a global gospel because my relationship with Christ is a direct result of a missionary.
I also knew I wasn't called to be a full time missionary, but I wanted to spread the gospel even at that young age. So I ventured out with my church group, we were a bunch of teenagers with Jesus on the brain, and a desire to make an impact in the world. 
That's all God required.
Just arrived in Haiti, May 2015


Often times people think that they have to be at a perfect place in their lives before choosing to spread the gospel.
Or they think that a missions trip has to be to to an international destination.
Both of those assumptions are myths.

James 1:27 says "27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

This verse in its simplest sense means that as long as our heart is to visit those in need, and we are actively pursuing purity, We're doing it right. We're doing the whole missions trip thing right.


When I went to Hollywood, California I had just gotten in trouble with my mom for having my first boyfriend (I know, the horror!). But I was also repentant for my actions and I believe the Lord honored that. 
The coolest part of the whole experience was being in a live drama called 'Everything'. The drama essentially plays out the story of a woman who faces the demons of life: alcohol, lust, materialism and even suicide only to be rescued by Jesus in the end.
It was so moving to perform for people  and to watch them wholeheartedly see the love God  and ultimately for them to give their hearts to Christ.

I've been to Guatemala city, Guatemala Cape Haitian Haiti and Trinidad to date.
Exploring ancient ruins in cape Haitian

Each missions trip has been a different experience, in some God used me to talk to people and in others he used people to talk to me.
I was out of my element for a week at a time, and I had to be radical about my faith. It was freeing to not be worried about what anyone thought of me, because I had a singular mission: to spread the gospel.
I know that my missions trips have helped me become as passionate about God as I am today. I've had practice being unashamed about Christ. 
Performing the 'Everything' Drama with my mission mates at a Trinidadian church


This year I'm excited to go to Cota, Colombia to preach the gospel and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I'm excited to have a new appreciation for Christ and to meet people who will stir my faith.

If you're debating taking a missions trip or questioning why you should/need to, consider this:

'Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.' 


Your decision to spread the word of God is the direct seed to someone's faith.
ultimately, it's not about YOU.
Remember that.

Some practical  ways to get involved in missions:
  1. Check out your local church. Often churchs plan missions trips for different member groups (this usually depends on how large your church is)  
  2. Search around for organizations that host missions trips that have a gospel centered message. I hesitate to recommend any because I've never used one. But I've heard great things about organizations like 'Go to Nations'
  3. Plan your own trip (this is probably the most daunting option, but worth the effort if done right.) If you're doing this, I'd love to help! 
  4. Donate to a missionary, help someone else go if you can't. The beautiful thing about money is that it can go everywhere we can't!



My trip to Cota , Colombia will be with the Church of God denomination. The trip is a week long. While there we'll be helping with local orphanages, doing manual and agricultural work and of course evangelizing. 


If you would like to contribute to the cause, feel free to donate to my trip Here

 Remember, ultimately, it's not about you, nor me. 

It's about someone  who needs to hear the good news we have to share!


All my love,
Obioma 


Six lessons I've learned during my two year teaching stint

The best part about teaching is the field trips. I got to pet a gator!


1.    Patience, it’s more than a virtue; it’s a way of life. The beautiful thing about children is that they will teach you about how much patience you don’t have. They will stretch you, just when you think you’ve mastered the ability to hold your own through everything…a child will throw up on his desk while another one is punching his friend. You, well you’re just patient through it all.

2.    Children are smart, incredibly smart. Children are so smart that when you ask them the meaning of life, they tell you “to make other people happy and to do kind things”

3.    Children learn more than you teach, they learn your behavior. In the adult world we often say things like “do as I say, not as I do .” Well reality is that children do as you do. They watch everything, then they internalize it, then they mirror you. It definitely gives insight on how you actually act. I am constantly convicted to be the best example I can be and to live up to my christian ideals especially at work.

4.    Teaching is more selfish than selfless. I said this hesitantly, but it’s true. Often we picture a teacher as this individual who works tirelessly and selflessly to better the lives of his/her students. In some ways absolutely, but there’s a deep abiding need to feel fulfilled that can only be satisfied when you impart into others.

5.    Children are rude, mean, annoying and incredibly sweet…all at the same time. They can, and will tear down your self-esteem by telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth…then they’ll call you a beautiful queen and fix it with a loving smile.

6.    You will grow to love people that have no relation to you, and can do nothing for you and you will love it. It’s parasitic the way children worm themselves into your heart. You’ll find yourself thinking about them in your off hours, buying them presents and gifts and praying for them. It’s a strange feeling to say the least and it reminds you how capable of love you actually are. It also reminds me of how God constantly showers his love on us, even when we do nothing to deserve it. From my most troublesome child to my perfect angels, my love is equal among all and that's just how Jesus views us.








What Faith actually looks like



There’s this myth that once you trust God, everything just happens.

 I always thought once you prayed the prayer of faith and actively committed your will to the Lord’s, that’s all supposed it would take. I believed like many Christians that God would continue to grant me the desires of my prayers as long as I earnestly believed. There’s even a beautiful scripture to support this thought: Psalms 37:4-5

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this”


Completely false.
Not the scripture, but our thinking surrounding the verse.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, yet unseen Hebrews 11:1. With that understanding, we know that our God while no respecter of persons, rewards faith. Each man is granted a measure of faith Romans 12:3. Before Jesus and the process of believing in the Messiah, God judged Abraham’s faith and because Abraham believed, he was saved. Genesis 15:6.

 

What many of us fail to realize is that the path of faith is not a straight line of believing and receiving. Faith is a long road of constantly not seeing. Then in an instant, God, after seeing your sustained belief through the tests and trials grants those desires which he has placed in your heart in the process.

Does God always work this way? No. Sometimes prayers are answered instantly, but for most of us, it’s the things we’ve prayed the longest about that truly allow us to testify to the faithfulness of God.

So what does the faith walk actually look like? 


It looks like tears, and questions.
It feels like fruitlessness and fear.
It hurts to believe while you seem to never receive.
It pulls you, and it stretches you.


Ultimately it asks you: do you believe God is truly who he says he is and that God will do everything he says he will do.

That’s why you doubt, and fight and question and cry and complain.
Because ultimately when God does finally come through for you, and in spite of you, you can only give Him glory for it all. 

I encourage you to maintain your secret prayers, especially through the tests, continue to trust God and always go back to 2 Timothy 2:13.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”


All my love,
Obioma
Post Resurrection Sunday pictures with one of my sisters in Christ

Shop for a cause


I'm a firm believer in the necessity of making a lasting contribution in the world. I believe that the Lord mandates us to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the nations, because of this world-wide missions is huge part of my heart. This year I have the opportunity to go to Cota, Colombia in July 2017 with a team of 49 other people.
Our goal is simple: to spread the love of God, while investing spiritually and tangibly in the individuals we encounter.
I'll be traveling with the youth division of the Church of God. In Colombia, we will complete building projects, operate children's vacation bible school, minister to the youth at the boys/girls shelters and embark on street evangelism.

The Approximate cost of the Trip is $1,000
Consider donating at: https://www.yweaflorida.com/make-payments-1/

In the meantime, get ready to shop for a cause at The Spring Sale.  All contributions will benefit world wide missions.


More details to follow.


All my love,
Obioma

The cost to be the boss


Boss: a person in charge of a worker or organization
That the definition of the word boss according to google.com

I think we all dream of being the one in charge of things at some point in our lives. Few people wake up saying "man, I can't wait to be a follower today." In our society, we value leaders, we admire those who have a following, we love 'role models' and we champion those in authority.
Ultimately we value the individuals that are in charge more than those that are underneath their authority.

We look at the CEO with awe, and the common worker with apathy.

In the same breath, we turn around and admonish the same people we admire. It's often said the fall from the top is the hardest of all. When our role models let us down, we are more disappointed than if the average person makes the same mistake.
why is that?
Because there is a price that you pay to lead.

I think of the bible when I truly dwell on the price of position. Like many of you, I want to be a woman of authority, I desire to be an influencer, not an influencee. But when the trials come, I'm the first one to question God "why?"

What people don't tell you about good leadership is that it will cost you the most.
Matthew 20:26 phrases it best: "Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,"
God's call to leadership involves being the least of all in demeanor and in action. True leadership means you do what others won't and you do so with the best attitude. A leader that does not serve is a dictator without respect. 


This generation is enamored with the glory, but often fails to see the grace. The grace of God is necessary for any man or woman called into a place of authority, whether it be in the church or in the world.Many like the idea of being the boss, but few are willing to pay the price. Everyone is not called to predefined position of leadership. In saying this, I still believe that as Christians, we are supposed to be influncers of our generations, and we are called to serve and lead the world.


So count the cost of the greatness, are you willing to be the one that does what others will not? Are you willing to humble your pride, and bite your tongue in certain situations? Are you okay with taking the blame even when it wasn't actually your fault? Most importantly are you willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus and seek the needs of others above yourself.


I'm always humbled when I look at the life of the apostle Paul who is heralded as one of the greatest leaders of the the christian church. Paul endured jail, slander, torture all for the sake of the cross. How much must we endure in order to bear the burden of leadership?

All my love,
Obioma 

Hair today, gone tomorrow


They say a woman who cuts her hair is ready to change her life.
Do I agree? Absolutely.

So I did the big chop again, accidentally.
And by accidentally I mean...
I didn't wake up on the last day of 2016 thinking, 'today I'll cut my hair.'

Every woman has an emotional relationship with her hair, whether it's hers or she bought it. 

I'm convinced there are only two types of women, those who wear weave and those who don't. Excitement in my life has always come by virtue of whatever hairstyle is on my head.

I remember being in 10th grade, 16, and totally unsure of myself while trying to grasp an understanding of the young woman I was becoming. So I cut off all the relaxed hair on my head, leaving about 4 inches of coily kinks. The emotions ranged from excitement to discomfort. I searched the internet to see other black girls like myself with natural hair. At that time, there were about two forums. There were no popular black youtubers talking about hair in 2009.
There were no established hair care products except for carol's daughter.
 So I awkwardly wore my fro, then my braids consistently.

I remember discovering that my hair determined who approached me and how they approached me.
That discovery will forever play on the highlight reel of my life.
If I wanted corporate attention, I knew that straight mid length would be my goto.
If my desire was for strangers to refer to me as exotic, then I needed some dreadlocks aesthetic.

Fast forward to 2016, and as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and held three faux locs in my hand, the voice inside screamed "Do it!"
I couldn't shake the feelings that it was now or never.

The singular question I've received since trimming my tresses is: "Why?"

The why is always silently followed by "why did cut off all your hair?" and audibly followed by "But I like it, it looks good."

So while I typically try to encourage you to live your best life through biblical insight, I think sharing part of my life is necessary at times.

So Why, did I, Obioma cut my hair.


Because someone suggested it, and for whatever reason, I couldn't shake the thought.

Because I truly wanted to take a leap of faith. I wanted to trust that something so permanent could be such a good thing.

Because I wanted freedom, freedom from weave, freedom from the cultural standards of hair.

Because I wanted to affirm my confidence. Was I really comfortable with everyone having access to my full face? Was I truly comfortable with people witnessing my every blemish and flaw? Was I actually confident in myself?

Because I wanted change. Ultimately, I knew there was no turning back. 

Cutting my hair is my victory cry for 2017.


Truly I'm excited. I know this year is going to be a year that is unforgettable by every account. I hold God at every promise, and wait longingly for the fulfillment of each and every one.

All my love,
Obioma

God and the Millennial


The millennial, the 20 something to early 30 something who grew up in the world of the first cellphone, the first portable computers and the Kardashians. If you looked up random facts about Generation Y, you would discover that we have the highest number of facebook friends, and we take the greatest amount of selfies. You would also discover based on whatever source you chose, that 50 % of us are uninterested in politics and 30% of us are religiously unaffiliated.

I distinctly remember the panic in the church as it became more and more evident that more of my generation no longer had an interest in church. Sermon after sermon analyzed why generation Y was forsaking the God of their fathers. I took the sermons in stride, obviously I was in church every Sunday, so clearly these issues did not apply to me.

If you've read my other blog posts, the picture should be clear by now: church girl, goes to college, rebels, remembers God, returns.
I became part of the same statistics that I had mockingly ignored.
My question  then became "why God?"
Other than the obvious answer ' the devil', why was my generation so thirsty for everything besides God. Why was my generation rebelling with such determination? Why did we constantly run away from the only thing that actually makes sense in this world?

The millennial is a unique group of people caught between the constant need for affirmation and the desire to stand out. We want so terribly to be accepted and at the same time we need to feel different,  unique and special. The infrastructure of our upbringing sets a foundation compromised partially of parents who are unsure of themselves in different ways, a world that glamorizes certain uniqueness and a global community where we now have a basis to judge our worth based on others.

Rebellion provides the perfect avenue to meet our need for unique attention. The millennial runs to the world to be accepted and runs from God for attention.  

Truth be told, we are a bunch of insecure people constantly trying to figure it out.
If you don't know the living God, you try to figure 'it' out by the world's standards. You seek wealth, physical aesthetics, material goods to affirm that you are somebody and that you have made it.
IF have a relationship with the living God, you struggle occasionally with feeling confident in yourself through Christ, but you always realize that Christ is your only standard.

The Lord wants the millennial to know that he is in constant pursuit of you.
 There's no mountain too high, or valley too deep where you can escape the love of God. (Romans 8:39) The faithfulness of God means that his love is ever abiding, and he desperately yearns for a tangible relationship with each and every one of you. There's a reason you run from one vice to another and there's a reason your insecurities never quite flee.

The truth is, we are the generation that God desperately yearns for. There are prophets, apostles, teachers, pastors, evangelists that are so busy chasing the approval of the world, that their anointing is left unattended.

With the accomplishments of my generation, the globalization, the modern technology, the awareness.... I always wonder what if we were all completely sold out for Christ.

As 2017 dawns, I challenge you to be resolute about Jesus. Stop running.

All my love,
Obioma