Thursday, 29 May 2008

Painting A Picture

If I was told to create
a representation of love
I will show you a dream

and make it your reality

If I was given a canvas to

paint the emotions within,
I will show you landscapes

of my visions of love,
the delight and turmoil

that constantly rotates within

Given an opportunity to declare this whilst
standing in the middle of a stormy sea?
Your name will come free falling

from my lips with much ease

Granted an eternity to describe
the meaning, and essence of love?
I would simply run out of time
for I could never envisage or say enough,

but rely solely on the promises gifted to me
by God, the creator of the realities of love
© Remi Banjo, revised May 2008

I John 4:16 reads
"We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them"

If your desire is to visualise the representations of love, then why not reach out to God, after all He is Love.

He is patiently waiting on the wings of your heart, to wrap you in the realities and experience of absolute, personified love.
Have an awesome day basking in God's love and grace, whilst making Him famous along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***pictures by photobucket***

Friday, 23 May 2008

Pink Jelly Shoes

And then today... I revisited my childhood days, I wore pink Jelly shoes.

Okay, all those who grew up in Africa or Nigeria to be specific, show your hands!!lol...

Do you remember Jelly shoes? I'm pretty sure you do. Oh my, I had them in all colours; red, white, green, pink and black.
I had to wear them as they were the only shoes that did not give my mother a "near heart attack".
You see ,when I was a little girl, I was somewhat of a tomboy, which meant, shoes and clothes never lasted much.
But jelly shoes were the king! You could never outwear them! :-)) and my mother caught on to this real quick and bought all the colours available (to keep me interested in wearing them!)

So as I sat down in the train this morning, grinning and starring at my jelly shoes, I reminisced over my colourful childhood. I remembered the simplicity of my childhood.

I remembered:
When all things were pure and simple and very colourful.
When we didn't have much, but made do with the little we had.
If only we embraced this principle in today's society, there will be less debt and greed around that we see.

I remembered:
When I ate 101, 001 or 100 (now that's some of you down memory lane right?)
To the non-Africans / Nigerians, this is an acronym for eating patterns and it means:

101 = eat breakfast, no lunch, eat dinner
001 = No breakfast, no lunch, eat dinner
100 = eat breakfast, no lunch and no dinner

I remember they were hard times, but more importantly, I remember my mother making it fun. She used this means to teach us how to fast and make us appreciate the food when it arrived. Thank you mama.

In today's society, if only we can come to the understanding that food is meant for the body's nourishment and not to replace, needs, wants and desires; there might just be less gluttony and obesity in the world today.

It also reminds me that, whatever situation we find ourselves, we should really make the most of it, because the lessons we learn therein, most times, helps us to fight much bigger battles that await us in the future.

More importantly, it will help us live according to the examples set by Paul in Philippians 4:12 12 which reads "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little."

I also remembered when:
My imagination took me on journeys to far away places, even though I never set foot out of my own city.

I was thankful for the rainy season, even though it caused so much havoc!!!
In its ferrocious simplicity, I understood its importance – we would have no fruits such as mango, agbalumo, banana and the rest, if this same rain did not come in its due season.

This reminds me that today, we should be encouraged to embrace the notion that every thing that happens in the circle of God's plan for us, happens in its due time and season as we are taught in Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 8, which reads " 1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. 2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. 5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. 6 A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. 8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace."

And we know the plans God has for us, everything in its season, works together for good as we are taught in Romans 8:28, which reads "28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose"

Crops comes forth as a result of rain in it's due season; growing stronger and wiser, seeking the face of God, and drawing closer to him, comes forth a result of trials and tribulations we go through in it's right season.

As I journeyed along, I realised that everything in my daily reality should remain pure, simple and very colourful, just as it was in my childhood! And why I hear you ask?

Well, as children of the most high God, the one who takes away all our troubles and strives, if I concentrate on his plan and will for my life, my life indeed will be simple! I won't have to worry about all the burdens of this world, for it's already been taken care off! His yoke is easy and his burden is light! Ha! This we are taught in Matthew 11: 28 – 30 "28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Also, my immediate reality should be colourful as I serve a very colourful God! In Genesis 1:3 "He said let there be light" - Light, compared to dark, is colour!

Further more, in Ephesians 1:17 – 19a we read " “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe……”

Enlighten means to illuminate, and to illuminate means to display lights, to supply or brighten up with lights, as in decorations.

When I read that verse, it reminds me that in giving us the Spirit of wisdom and the revelation, God is enlightening our hearts, our minds and souls so that we can see the very true and real colourful richness of who he is. Now can you simply imagine the colour fountain that will represent!?

As I got off the train, at my stop, to make the short journey to work, I thanked God for my colourful childhood, but more importantly made a vow to fill my reality with the simplicity of concentrating on who he is and filling my daily reality with the beautiful colours of God's love and grace.

And all these, from wearing pink jelly shoes :-)))) Thank you Jesus!

Have a wonderful day basking in the beauty of the colourful nature of God's love, whilst making him famous along the way.

Much love
Remi Banjo

***pictures by photobucket***

Thursday, 22 May 2008


Standing in the middle of the crowded room,
mingling with the people therein
She's outside, looking in

She tries to dress like she should,
talk like most people do, Walk

like her mother taught and told her to

Beneath the calm poised posture
she struggles with anxieties that
threaten to burst through the doors of her sub-consciousness
Anxieties hiding behind the shadows of her every move

Each move she makes masks:
Muddled feelings
Unspoken words
Unrealised dreams
Unrepresented meanings
Locked up doors

Each motion gives a glimpse of:
Un-quenched thirst
Hidden beauty
Silent cries
Unexplored abilities
Unexplored dimensions

Yet, she embraces what she loves
what brings her immense joy

That, which explains to her soul
the meanings and reasons for it all

She wraps herself in the reality of simply
Being all she can be, Striving to realise

the dreams and desires that cries for release,
from depths within
© Remi Banjo, May 2008
***Pictures by Photobucket***

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Behind the smile

Head held up high, she walks down the street
she’s wearing a smile, she confident and at peace it seems.
The smile, a mask, she uses to cover her face.

Coverage from the impact of words,
hiding the damage it's caused
beneath the surface of her radiant skin.

Every word ever delivered to the doors of her heart,
lurks around the pathway to her soul,
threatening to take residence and make it a home

Yet, she goes on with life,
attempting to maintain a facade of normality,
but the words, they are part of her daily reality

Words, statements, sentences such as...
“When are you getting married, time is passing by, you are getting old”
“When will you buy a place, you need to start learning how to build a home”
“You are getting too thin; your future husband will have nothing on you to hold”
“You are never available; you should be more open with your time”
“You will never amount to anything, this job is not for your kind”

The representation of these words,
constantly finding ways to invade the foundations her very soul,
each invasion attempt leaves rugged lines in its wake,
announcing it's presence, leaving fragmented remnants within her very essence

Yet, she carries on, attempting to maintain a facade of normality,
but words, unfortunately, they are part of her daily reality

Still, in defiance she walks on by, head held up ever so high
but, she bleeds, she bleeds freely,
from the bruises that resides within,
perfectly hidden behind the smile,
which is all we ever get to see
©Remi Banjo, April 2008

It’s a sad truth that most of us don’t realise the impact of:
· the words we speak,
· the words that tumbles out of our hearts
· free falling from our lips

The words we speak can bring forth life or death. Have you ever said a word or made a statement and almost instantly wish you could take it back? Wish you could rewind, like you a tape? Wish you could erase it like you would do with an eraser? Or wish you could delete it, like you would with the delete button on your PC?

The power and ramifications of the words we speak travel much further and burrow a lot deeper than ever expect them to. Proverbs 18:21 explains that “the tongue can bring forth death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences”. The words you speak, what does it bring – life or death?

For our words to bring forth life or death, it is dependent on the contents of our hearts, as explained in Proverbs 4:23, it reads “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” So it’s safe to say that whatever we speak reflects the contents and state of our hearts, life or death.

How do we make sure that the words we speak bring forth life; that they bless and not curse, they heal and harm, they encourage and not undermine? Well, proverbs 13:3 explains that “he who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” This means that we should basically be very watchful of the words that come out of our mouths. We should think before we speak.

We can also learn from King David, he hid God's words within the walls of our hearts so that we will not sin against God. Psalm 119:11 reads “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

That said, here is me encouraging us to handle like fragile glass, the words that reside within our subconsciousness, transport them with care as they journey through our tongue, and deliver them with caution as they tumble from your lips.

Have a great day speaking life to everyone you come across and into situations that you might be facing; not forgetting to make God famous along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***pictures by photobucket

Friday, 16 May 2008

And when you fast

Mathew 9: 14 - 15 reads: 14 One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast[a] like we do and the Pharisees do?” 15 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

The dictionary explains 'SOMEDAY as 'some unspecified time in the future'. From the verses above, it is safe to say that the unspecified time would be when the groom (Jesus Christ) will no longer be with the guests (his people).

Mathew 6:16 - 17 reads: 16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.

The dictionary explains 'WHEN' as 'the time or in the event that' So it is safe to say that 'when' in the verse above means that the time WILL come for the need for us to fast.

And finally, 'FAST' is defined as 'the act or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food'

Fasting it seems, is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines in the life of most Christians. The bible does not specifically command us to fast, however, prayer backed up with fasting can bring forth tremendous changes in our lives. Sometimes, fasting and prayer is the simple, yet powerful combination we need to bring forth a breakthrough; to release strongholds, and to bring us that much closer to God, so much so that we can feel his very breath on our faces.

Fasting helps to take our focus off the things of this world and focus on God. When we fast, it brings us closer to living out the realities of 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads : "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land".

Why is that so you ask? Fasting helps us to see who we really are, it brings forth repentance and confession of sin, making us humble before God. When we fast we are stirred up to simply seek God's face. So what are the Bible's guidelines on fasting? Isaiah 58:6 - 9 presents the perfect guidelines. It reads (NLT):

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!

Isn't that awesome, this passage explains the shape and nature of the type of fast we should embrace. It teaches us that when we fast, we should:
  • embrace the spirit of forgiveness - verse 6 which reads "Release yourself and those who have wronged you into forgiveness
  • Share with the hungry - verse 7. When we fast, we should always remember those who are less fortunate than us, for example the day we fast, we should find someone to help in any way,shape or form - we can donate our money, time, food, and much more. We should be helpful

But guess what? It does not stop there, the passage goes on to further explain the benefits and blessings we WILL receive from God, when we fast (it really is for our benefit to fast isn't it?)

  • Vs 8 boldly declares that "our salvation will come like the dawn" Hallelujah - salvation means "to be preserved or delivered from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
  • Verse 8 also says "our godliness will lead us forward" . To be godly means that 'we conform to the laws and wishes of God', which means that we will be lead constantly and daily by God. Isn't that awesome?.
  • Verse 8 further declares that "the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind". As we go about our daily business, the devil is busy throwing arrows at us from all angles, front back and sides, and we do need God's constant protection on all sides. He knows what the devil is up to and so he protects us from all sides.
  • Verse 9 proudly states "then when you call, the Lord will answer" - now tell me, how much do you really need to hear God's voice in that matter that is so close to your heart.

Now won't you agree with me that, the blessings that comes from fasting is nothing compared to depriving ourselves of the world's comforts; food, tv, magazines and much more.

So how do I fast, I hear you ask? Well there are various types of fast one can undertake (for medical reasons, please do consult your doctor before embarking on one).

Some fasting methods are:

Normal Fast: This is a no food fast and only water is allowed. Jesus set an example as we read in Matthew 4:1-4 -"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Absolute Fast: This is a no food, no water fast. (this should only be undertaken if you have a clear directive from the Lord and are in good health and monitored). An example of an absolute fast in the bible can be found in Ezra 10:6 -Then Ezra left the plaza in front of The Temple of God and went to the home of Jehohanan son of Eliashib where he stayed, still fasting from food and drink, continuing his mourning over the betrayal by the exiles.

Partial fast: This fast requires abstinence from certain kinds of foods (e.g. no meat, fish, sweets, e.t.c). An example of a partial fast can be found in the book of Daniel 10:2-3, it reads "During those days, I, Daniel, went into mourning over Jerusalem for three weeks. I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine. I neither bathed nor shaved until the three weeks were up."

Juice fast: This type of fast has emerged in recent times, and usually embraced for weight loss. It involves consuming fruits and vegetables only. It is a form of partial fast.

When fasting, one should fast as the Holy spirit directs, the above is just a summary of the types of fasting methods one could follow.

An invitation...
At my place of worship, every year, the month of June is set aside for fasting and praying (I know right in the middle of summer! all those bbq's). We are encouraged to come together in unity and fast and pray as one body for 30 awesome days; to go deeper and Higher into the presence of God. Personally, I can tell you that God works wonders from the very first day of that month and beyond.

So, here is me inviting you to join us on this journey of going 'deeper and higher' into the presence of the most high father. An expectant and receptive spirit is all you need on your part.

Have an awesome time in fasting and praying, whilst presenting a sacrifice of praise; not forgetting to make the most high God famous along the way.

Much Love

Remi Banjo

Thursday, 15 May 2008

4 minutes to reflect...

Today, whilst running on the treadmill in the gym at 6:30am, trying to get a workout in before dashing off to work, (yes, I will write about my gym obsession later), I was watching the TV attached to the treadmill (the wonder of technology nowadays!). The video '4 minutes' featuring Madonna and Justin Timberlake came on. I'm pretty sure some of you must have heard that song? It sang about what a person would do if they had only 4 minutes left to live, to save the world, and to reflect on their life; was it worth while, was it lived accordingly to how it should have been? Did they do want they desperately wanted to do. Were they satisfied with the life they lived.

As I watched and listed to the song, thoughts started to gather within my mind - if I truly had only 4 minutes left on this earth, will I:

  • be confident enough to declare that, whilst here, I embraced, lived and became whom I was meant to be? Using the gifts, ability and skills instilled within me?
  • Say that I became great as God commanded and ordained me to be.
  • look around and say that I have lived the vision that God instilled within my heart, my mind and soul?
  • be leaving behind a worthwhile legacy that will impact generations in years to come?
  • be ecstatic that I am going back home empty, in anticipation of being filled with God's love and his glory
  • honestly say that I became great in every sense of the word, like King David, like Solomon, like Esther even?

I ran harder and faster as these thoughts ran through my mind, I wondered further, why does it seem that only a handful of people, truly embrace, run with and become whom they are meant to be? Why is it that only a few people, run their own God designed race, and not their mother's, father's or even nations race? Why is it that only a few people propel themselves, with all their might, to become that vision, that dream that God has placed in front of them. Why is it that only a few people achieve the reality of becoming GREAT as they are truly meant to be.

But more so, why does it seem to me that born again Christians don't seem to either know of or want to embrace the notion of greatness? Why is it that most are lukewarm, refusing to leave comfort zones; embrace the sayings of 'I leave it all in God's hands', 'I am praying about it' or hide behind the saying 'I God's time is the best'!!!?

I look around (myself included), and I don't see many born again Christians winning literacy prices. I don't see many born again Christians emerging as great musicians (imagine what that will do to the music scene, everyone will be bigging up Jesus!!). I look around and I don't see many born again Christians representing their country as top athletics - tennis, marathons runners, swimmers - the list is endless. I look around and I only see a handful... just a handful. I look around and I don't see many of us striving to become great, to be all that we can and SHOULD be. Don't get me wrong, there are some there, but dare I say, simply not enough.

As I ran, the beginning of a prayer formed on the tip of my lips, escaping from the realms of my heart. I prayed for everyone with a God given vision, dream and plan to recognise it, embrace it, run with it and become the great man and woman God has designed us to be.

We must remember that we are here for a reason, for a purpose, and only for a season.

If we were to die today, and we only had 4 minutes to reflect on our lives; the way we lived it, what we achieved, who we impacted, and compare it to what God's plan says about how we should have lived, what would be our reality? Would the two match, or would we have short- changed ourselves?

I encourage us all to embrace the spirit and notion of greatness and make it our daily reality. To work on what is on the inside of us: our God given visions, dreams hopes and much more. Lives and destinies are on hold simply because we have not accomplished what we are meant to.

Lets not be deterred by age, colour, fear, location or any other limitation that the devil might try to place upon us, for we have a God who is above all limitations.

Have an awesome day, raising up, embracing your God given vision, propelling yourself in motion, to become the best of you; not forgetting to make the almighty one - who has already paved the way to your greatness, famous along the way.

Much love

Remi Banjo

*** pictures by Google and photo bucket