© August 14, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
Hey, whose kids do you love? Yours or your neighbours? Yours or your sister’s kids? Yours or your best friend’s kids? The answer is obvious. You love your own kids more than even your own relative’s kids. Parents who say that they love other kids as much as their own, usually, are trying to overemphasize a point. The truth is that we love our own more than others.
And yes, your kids are naughty most times. They disobey and disregard your instructions, but, you have never thought of disowning or discarding them.
© August 13, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
I had a dream last night. I was invited to speak to a group of people about grace. I spoke at length, although I cannot remember the exact words. But I was speaking about grace and human effort and how Jesus has done it all for us. All we need to do is to receive what he has done for us. It was something along those lines.
After I was done speaking, a great debate, almost chaotic scenes ensued. People began questioning, whether what I had spoken about grace, was license to sin. They asked, don’t we have anything to do? What is our part? You mean Christianity is about “doing nothing?” We need to do something, they contended. In the dream, there was a huge uproar against what I had taught.
© August 8, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
In my view, these are the scariest and most devastating verses in the Old Testament.
Jeremiah 15:1-2 (NKJV)
Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them,
‘Thus says the Lord:
“Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”
If I were a Jew, these words would have devastated me. I would have broken out in a cold sweat. A chilling shiver would run down my spine.
© August 1, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
Jeremiah 11:3-5 (NLT)
This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is anyone who does not obey the terms of my covenant! For I said to your ancestors when I brought them out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt, “If you obey me and do whatever I command you, then you will be my people, and I will be your God.” I said this so I could keep my promise to your ancestors to give you a land flowing with milk and honey—the land you live in today.’” Then I replied, “Amen, Lord! May it be so.”
Which covenant is this? It is the Old Covenant, the law of Moses given to the nation of Israel in Exodus 20 NLT.
© July 30, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
A few months ago, I met a Christian leader who wanted me to help him set up his blogging site. In our discussions, he specifically insisted that his bio must reference his work as a life coach. He did not want any outright reference to his work as a minister. His take was that most people don’t want spiritual talk or solutions to their issues. In his view, most people he encountered wanted principles that would make their lives better. Therefore, he needed to shed off his ministerial references if he could reach a wider audience other than just the church.
Many years ago, I wanted my bio to read the same. I wanted to become a leadership guru. My theological and ministry training was geared towards acquiring top-notch leadership knowledge and skills to train leaders and run a world-class organization. I also did not want any reference to my religious credentials.
© July 25, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
Hezekiah became sick; Isaiah the prophet visited him and announced to him his last rites. He turned his face toward heaven and prayed.
2 Kings 20:3 (NLT)
Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you
single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.
© July 24, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
The prophet’s words in Isaiah 42:1-9 reveal an unnamed servant.
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
Who is this servant? Of course, the prophet’s prediction was about Jesus.
The prophet tells us that Jesus, the second person of the Godhead would show up, and be without a name, and be seen and not heard.
He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street
This is ridiculous. We know what a servant does, right? The Hebrew word used is ebed from abad, which means to work, to serve, to enslave, to keep in bondage, to make to serve.
© July 17, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
Nelson Mandela, what a man! What a life. His persona, endearing. His heroic deeds, unmatched. A man who lived way before his time. A man who peered into the future, anchored himself in the present, reconciled the past and led not only South Africa but also the rest of the world into the future he envisioned. His future? Black and White living together in a non-racial South Africa – all of humanity living together in harmony. This was his vision.
A few events have been planned around Johannesburg to commemorate the centenary of Nelson Mandela. This year, he would have been 100 years old. In particular, Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, in Johannesburg on 17 July 2018.
© July 4, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
You have had this desire for the longest time to meet someone that you really admire. This person is very powerful and wealthy. They have influence. They have credibility. Their gifts and talents are without comparison. They have topped the list on TIME’s 100 most influential people. Not once, not twice, but since TIME magazine started compiling this list.
So, you put out a tweet or Facebook post requesting to meet them. Alas, they reply back and say, let’s do this. They give you the time, date and location. They are on the other side of the world, but they promise to fly out to meet you.
© June 29, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
I still maintain that the Bible is not about us but about Jesus and his work for us. Failing to do so makes reading the Bible a dangerous endeavour. Whenever we superimpose ourselves on the Bible, two things happen; pride or apathy. When we read the Bible and discover that we have attained to its ideals, it produces in us pride. Ask the Pharisees, Sadducees and religious leaders of Jesus’ day. When we read the Bible, on the other hand, and discover that we have failed to attain to its ideals, it produces in us apathy or indifference.
Which leads me to this parable in Matthew 25:14-28 about the man who left his workers with some money. This particular parable has been used to enforce an ROI (Return on Investment) thought that has been of great disservice to the storyteller and its hearers. We have made this parable about us and not about Jesus.