On chaos, grace and the wisdom that grace imparts on us

© May 25, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

My previous post was about Jesus and his attraction to chaos. Jesus uses chaos to his advantage for your good. He is a master at turning chaos into beauty. I also wrote that chaos is the connecting dot or link to God’s superabounding grace. Without chaos, grace has no purpose. Without grace, chaos destroys. Chaos and grace work hand in hand. They need each other. 

I would like to point out something else that grace does after it deals with the chaos. Grace imparts wisdom. There is a story that illustrates this truth so succinctly. (2 Kings 4:1-7 NKJV)

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C​haos and grace

© May 23, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

I hate chaos. I’m sure it’s an elder kid dynamic, but I hate chaos. I can smell chaos from a mile. I avoid chaotic people and situations like the plague. I am constantly trying to set things in order. I will notice dirty dishes lying in the sink and wash them. I will live in an ordered house. I like it when people queue. I prefer riding in a clean car. When Jenny and I go on holiday, I normally clean the house before we leave. In my mind, I don’t want to come back to a disorderly house. I want to come back, unpack, and relax. 

Jenny has suffered the brunt of my hate for chaos. I make crude remarks when I notice that she is chaotic. One of those crude remarks I have unleashed on her is, “chaos is your middle name.” Can you imagine? Bad. I know. But when she gets the opportunity to unleash the same line on me, she does it masterfully. And when she does, I have no choice but to zip my mouth.

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Look and live

unsplash-logoWilliam Stitt
© May 21, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

Imagine a poisonous snake has bitten you. Its venom is quickly spreading through your body. You are in shock, your blood pressure lowers, your eyelids are drooping and you are getting weaker and weaker. You are thirsty, vomiting and nauseating, sweating, and you have difficulty breathing. You are about to die.

Suddenly, a man appears and tells you that he has a cure for the dangerous venom that is about to kill you. Desperate and in pain you ask for the cure – assuming you are not the type that’s too proud to ask for help. You have no choice here. If you don’t get the cure, you will die. Then, this man tells you, “Ok, here’s the cure. Look up and keep on looking at that brass snake on the pole. That’s your cure.”

What? This is preposterous, you would say. C’mon, are you kidding me? Are you joking? Is this a sick joke? This is absurd and borderline obnoxious.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – the gospel hiding in plain sight

unsplash-logoTiko Giorgadze
© May 19, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

The world waits with bated breath for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry, a member of the British royal family and Meghan Markle, an American actress and humanitarian. The wedding ceremony is taking place this Saturday 19 May. 

Prince Harry is the youngest son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana, his late mother was a global icon who tragically died 21 years ago in a road accident. The British royal family is the longest reigning monarchy in the world. The widely beloved Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom since February 1952. 

Prince Harry is royal blood. He is sixth in line to be king of the United Kingdom. His upcoming nuptials will be to a Commoner. Meghan Markle is a Commoner. A Commoner is an ordinary person who does not belong to the aristocracy or to royalty. Meghan is a mixed-race woman – half black and half white because her father is Caucasian and her mother is African-American. Her parents are divorced. Meghan has a stepbrother and sister. Meghan herself is a divorcee. She and her ex-husband married in 2011 and divorced two years later in 2013.

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The work​​ of another

unsplash-logojesse orrico
© May 15, 2018, | Schulter Etyang

We Christians believe in this bonkers, absurd and irrational idea that when non-Christians hear of it, look at us with puzzled faces and some even mock us. It simply does not make sense. The idea is this – Christianity is resting, trusting, and relying on the work of Jesus on our behalf. 

Sounds strange, right? It does for Christians, too. More than half of the time, we don’t really get this idea. It is something that we grapple with for the entirety of our lives. However, this is the cornerstone of what our faith is built on. No other faith lays claim to this truth except for the Christian faith.
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Happy Mother’s Day

© May 13, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

On, this Mother’s Day, I would like to pay special homage to mothers who have played a significant role in my life. At different stages of my life, I have been nourished, disciplined, blessed and supported by mothers. After the death of my father, my mother, Catherine Njeri Etyang’a and my sister, Evelyn Etyang Obanda, picked up the baton and raised 4 boys. It was tough. Sacrifices had to be made. But they did it with grace. They prayed, guided, counselled, fed, educated, clothed, financed and fought with us and for us. Thank you for all you do, mummy and sis.  Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day”

How to be rich in every way

© May 8, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

This is what financial gurus tell us we must do if we want to be financially rich; pay our bills – save – invest and repeat the cycle.

From Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, George Bezos, Dave Ramsey, Vusi Thembekwayo to your local financial advisor, all say the same thing about financial enrichment – that if you want money to work for you, you must follow these instructions:-

  1. Pay your bills – suppliers, creditors, staff, taxman etc
  2. Save – retirement annuities, pension funds etc
  3. Invest or reinvest your profits – stock market, property, bonds, shares, start a business, go to school etc
  4. Then repeat this cycle over and over again

That’s all. There is really nothing special or mystical about financial enrichment. It is really that simple. Financial gurus might use terminologies that may sound bombastic and out of touch with the common man, but what they really mean is so simple. These gurus repeat this cycle consistently until it becomes second nature to them. Repetition, they say, is key to financial success.

Let me be clear. What these financial gurus tell us is absolutely right. What they tell us works. Seldom do people tune in to listen to people who are not successful. 

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When doing good doesn’t​ pay off

© May 4, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

This is the default mode of every human heart when bad things happen;

I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty… I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too. (1 Kings 19:10, 14 NLT) 

These are the words of Elijah as he fled from the murderous threats of Jezebel.  Why was Elijah on the run? Let’s check the context. Elijah had just finished doing some spectacular event for God. He had nudged Ahab king of Israel to some contest of sorts. “Ahab, prove that your god is the real deal.” Ahab took the bait and gathered 400 of his most prominent religious leaders to Mt. Carmel. Elijah was all alone. Each camp was to slaughter a bull, lay it on a Braai stand (South African term for a barbecue grill) and without fire, pray to their god that the meat would burn up. That was the deal. If the meat burns without a fire, then their god was real. So, the contest began in earnest.

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Too little?

© May 2, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

The Bible is all about Jesus. Genesis to Revelation tells the story of Jesus. Every character, event, plot line, genealogy and scandal is about Jesus. He is the thread in every narrative. A story? It had to be a story. Why a story? Science tells us that our brains are wired for stories. Evolutionists believe that with the invention of fire came the art or form of storytelling. But the Bible has known this all along. The Bible has been telling a story even before man was created. The story of one man – Jesus.

Hidden within the different characters, events, plot lines, genealogies and scandals in the Bible is this one man – Jesus. He is in the shadows. A trained mind or eye is able to see him – able to shine a light on him and expose him.

So let’s find Jesus in the story of Elijah and the widow. Shall we? 1 Kings 17:8-15 NKJV

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