All posts filed under: Grace

Hey kid, you already know this, your parents are sinners too

© November 7, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Hey kid, Yesterday, I wrote a post advising your parents to view you through the lens of grace because you are a sinner. I’m hoping that by doing so, they’ll go easy on you, a tad easy. It’s not your fault you are a sinner. It’s Adam’s fault – Adam, the progenitor of humanity. We are in this mess because of him and his wife, Eve.  You are a sinner and you sin. You do you. Your parents, however, don’t get it. I alluded in yesterday’s post that they are dumbfounded, paralyzed, angry, and harsh towards you because they underestimate the strength of sin, and most forget they are sinners.  This post though is for you. And by you, I mean all of us. We all are kids. Most of us still have our parents around. Some, though, their parents have died yet have hangovers from their upbringing.

Christian parents (especially mothers), your kid is a sinner

© November 6, 2018 | Schulter Etyang I’ve been fortunate enough to associate well with older and younger people alike. Throughout the years, I’ve been privileged to lend an ear to parents and to their children within the same family. I get to hear both sides of the story. This happens often in spite of the fact that I have no children of my own. The same is true with Jenny. A father or mother would inform me what they think is wrong with their child, and when I listen to the child, the child gives me a different view of the same situation. Sometimes, those views are as varied as chalk and cheese.  Many children who come from families where the parents are Christians find it very difficult to relate to their parents. Christian parents are the most challenging to relate to because they are so blinded by their own spiritual experiences and jargon. These words are so familiar, “We didn’t raise this child like this, we taught them the right way, do they realize the sacrifices we‘ve made …

How grace helps us deal with competition in our marriage

© October 18, 2018 | Schulter Etyang When Jenny and I celebrated our seventh-year anniversary, I wrote a blog on some lessons that we had learned through the years. You can read the blog post here. One of the lessons we shared was this – we are on the same team. In this lesson, I indicated how early on in our marriage, we were highly competitive – competitive that we demeaned the other, subtly or at other times openly. A simple game of squash would end up with angry outbursts and simmering tension that would brew for days. When a friend of ours read the post, she remarked that I was being a bit touchy about the competitiveness and that she liked to compete. In the conversation, she spoke of how she played simple games with her daughter and loved the competition. What I didn’t tell her is that for us, a simple game of squash would bring out the competitive nature in us, and the ensuing tension would simmer for days. 

From death to life – the incredulity of grace

© October 12, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Jesus, in the book of John, introduced us to this symbiotic relationship that he had with his Father. (John 5:17-47 NKJV) The Greek word pater, is the equivalent to the Hebrew word Abba, for father. Jesus was, of course, speaking in Aramaic, and he would have used Abba in reference to his Father. The Jews heard this phrase and instinctively knew he was making himself equal with God and that made them mad. Mad is an understatement. They made plans to kill him.  Jesus, then, described this symbiotic relationship he had with his father. And in his long discourse, he made this shocking and improbable claim. John 5:25 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

How to leverage grace for the good of others

© September 3, 2018 | Schulter Etyang The king had a bad dream. He was so troubled he couldn’t sleep. He then ordered all his wise men, magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and soothsayers to tell him about the dream. The only catch was this – he refused to tell them the details of the dream. That was bad. Even worse, if they couldn’t tell the dream and its interpretation, he threatened to destroy them and their families, however, he would reward them with gifts, rewards and great honour, if they got it right. These guys then tried to negotiate with the king about the impossibility of such a task, and ended up infuriating him further such that he ordered that they are destroyed. So the command went out and some were killed. Daniel and his friends were also to be killed. But Daniel was shrewd. He spoke to Arioch, the king’s captain, and Arioch told him why the king’s command was urgent. Daniel then went to the king, and asked for more time, to be able …

My dream last night

© 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.

The scariest​ verses in the Old Testament

© 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. 

Happy Father’s Day

© June 17, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  On Father’s Day, many of us will wake up with a feeling of angst. It is supposed to be a day when we are celebrated but to most of us, it’s a day burdened with regrets because everything will be geared towards reminding us of our failures.  Worse, the day is on a Sunday. We will feel “obligated” to accompany our spouses and kids to a religious service. At the religious service, the speaker will talk about how true manhood looks like, how our religious founder exhibited those qualities, and that we now have to live up to his standard.

Day of good news

© June 5, 2018 | Schulter Etyang A few years ago, deep into my gospel journey, I was invited to speak at a Church just outside our city. It was around Easter. As I pondered on what to share, I came across a story in 2 Kings 7 that became my favourite gospel story. Cue, I had been a Christian for many years. I had been a Church mouse all my life. I had been on a constant diet of performance, DIY and spiritual gymnastics. The result was, I wanted to become a leadership guru of some sort. My dream was to join the ranks of the leadership gurus of our day. My mother, in support of my dream, bought me books and DVD’s on leadership by a renowned leadership guru. This was her investment into my dream. Until the gospel smacked me right on my face. The gospel threw me off. It unravelled my world. It punched a hole in my world. And this is one of those stories that God used to whip …