You Are Like a Brother to Me

I’ve been writing poems since I was 16, but I rarely let anyone look at them. As time went on, I wrote less, and eventually stopped writing. I would think of a poem I should write, put down my thoughts in a notepad, and leave it at that.

Then two weekends ago, I attended Connect Nigeria’s annual Writers’ Conference and listened to Efe Paul Azino speak on writing poetry, and I realised, “You should do this, Joy. You should sit down and write the poems in your head and in your heart.”

And so I have resumed. My poems are based on my past, present and future experiences, observations and dreams.

Please read You Are Like a Brother to Me and let me know what you think. Thanks!

 

You Are Like a Brother to Me…

English can be such a limiting language
You may try, but my feelings you can’t gauge
By the words that I utter when you say “I love you”
By my earnest declaration, “I love you too.”
And I do love you, it’s true, you see,
But you are like a brother to me.

I know that our parents want us to be married
To each other, sweet hope they have long carried,
Since the days when we were in diapers and prams,
Watching each other from our mothers’ arms,
But I can’t see you as you see me;
You are still like a brother to me.

You’re the best friend I have, so why can’t I love you?
There has never been a time when I did not know you,
And I want to love you, to respond to your passion
But my heart and body fail, there’s just no reaction.
Why can’t you feel it? Why can’t you see,
And accept that you are a brother to me?

There are days when I wonder, this man I will marry
When he comes, will he truly be extraordinary?
Will he be more handsome, or more loyal than you?
I’m tired. Why can’t I just fall in love with you?
At least then I won’t have to make you agree,
That you’ll never be more than a brother to me

The deep caring I feel for you cannot compare
To the love that a husband and wife should share;
You say that love is a seed that grows,
I agree, but isn’t it also a spark that shows?
If I agreed to marry you, how fair would it be,
When you’re only a dear brother to me?

I feel bound by these sisterly emotions,
Tempted to marry and go through the motions.
I wish that I could just find a way to love you,
If only I could will myself to love you!
Then at last from these chains I would be free;
But you’re like a brother to me.

 

 

 

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Good Friday and Easter: Have We Accepted a Lie?

By we, I mean all of us as Christians. I do not think in terms of denominations- Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal- but in terms of all of us as the Body of Christ. There is only one Body, so when I say “have we accepted a lie?” I’m referring to all of us who are are believers in Christ. Please look at the following scripture:

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40.

Today, we as Christians do not celebrate a Jesus who was in the heart of the earth 3 days and 3 nights. Friday evening to Sunday morning is not 3 days and 3 nights. We have been sold a “Christian Calendar” that is at odds with the Bible.

How did we all come to be where we are today? The legacy of those called “church fathers”, that’s how. It may seem that some of us hold more dearly to this legacy than others, but it doesn’t change the fact that we, the Body of Christ, have inherited this legacy, even those who claim to be “Protestants”.

Instead of aligning beliefs and practices with God’s Word, they instead tried to make God’s Word align with their beliefs and practices; Church Tradition.

When they wanted to validate the making of graven images what did they do? They altered the 10 Commandments, removing the part where God explicitly said to NOT make any graven images, and splitting the 10th one into 2, so as to complete ten.

Hence you have the actual 10 Commandments given to Moses (Exodus 20:2-17)—

  1. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…
  3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
  4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God…
  5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
  6. “You shall not murder.
  7. “You shall not commit adultery.
  8. “You shall not steal.
  9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

 

The amended version has the commandment to eschew graven images REMOVED—

Here are the Catholic Ten Commandments, set forth by one of the church fathers whose writings have blessed me, and I’m sure many of us, St. Augustine:

  1. I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Some try to dismiss it as a “slightly different numbering” but you can see it for what it is. Bending Bible to suit church tradition, instead of the other way around. We prefer to “unlook” such things, but if it were not important they wouldn’t have gone to such lengths. Wondering what else they left us?

What about Good Friday and Easter?

Easter is derived from the worship of Ishtar, the pagan goddess. Neither the name nor the practice is Biblical. “Easter” did not exist in the Bible church; your Bible should clearly show this, but once again, tampering. When they wanted to validate Easter what did they do? If you use any translation apart from King James Version you won’t find “Easter” in your Bible. In Acts 12:4, King James simply replaced “after Passover” with “after Easter”, a thing which did not even exist in those times (King James also replaced “Ecclesia” with “Church” and in this case the subsequent translations followed suit, but that’s a matter for another day). Verse 3 clearly says “the days of Unleavened Bread”. Other versions stick to the original text which says ” after Passover”, expect that authorised by King James. Sneaking that word in there was meant to make it alright, pagan or not. Fail? Hardly. We’re celebrating Easter, aren’t we?

And once again, in order to validate ‘Good Friday’ and proclaim a Friday crucifixion and Sunday morning resurrection, what must we do? We must condense 3 days and 3 nights into Friday night-Sunday morning, and it must enter by force. Neat, no?

Jesus gave up the ghost, the Bible says, around 3pm on Crucifixion Day, and was buried that evening. He spent 3 days and 3 nights, and by Sunday morning while it was still dark, the women went to the tomb and found he had already risen and was on his journey to Jerusalem! To spend 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the earth as Jesus said, and be ALREADY risen before daybreak on Sunday morning, He couldn’t have died and been buried on Friday, could He?

The angel at the tomb did not say Jesus rose few minutes ago. He simply said He is risen. We know from Genesis 1 that “the evening and the morning were the first day.” So if he wasn’t there on Sunday morning while it was still dark, and yet had spent 3 days and 3 nights…I’m sure you’ve done the math.

But it’s not important, we say. What matters is that He died and rose, that’s what we celebrate! But it DOES matter. Jesus did NOT lie. He spent 3 days AND 3 nights in the heart of the earth as He said He would.  The danger is not so much in the embracing of any one of these seemingly little falsehoods, as it is in rejecting what the Bible actually says in favour of “Church Tradition”.

Exchanging the truth of God’s Word for traditions of men is not a new thing. Even the pharisees did it. We all have continued to celebrate Easter, and use the “church calendar.” Yes, we are used to it. It’s what we were born into. It’s what we have been taught and have always practiced. It is comfortable, it is familiar, but is it TRUE?

Shall we search the scriptures? The Bereans did that and were commended for it. I write in love. If you know better, then you owe it as a duty of love to show us from scriptures too. Beloved pastors, teachers, and Bible students like me, I urge you to speak the truth in love; only when we learn together, and grow together, can we truly stand free in Christ.

Search ye the Scriptures…

 

Update

I want to thank everyone who took the time to examine this with me over the past one year, sending links and spending time on the phone and on BBM chats, and even calling their parents for answers. I am so proud to be your sister! So here’s what we found altogether: The Bible already tells us that evening and morning are one day for the Jews. That’s how God told them to count. Also, a part of one day is considered one day. They didn’t use 24 hours as we do in Western day counting. So we see people in the Bible (Queen Esther, the Israelites under Rehoboam, etc) saying they were going away for 3 days and then coming back on the third day- whereas we would come back on the 4th day, after 72 hours.

We gathered info from different sources to come to a clear understanding, but someone put everything together in one article, in an even clearer way! I’m so pleased about this, God bless him. Click HERE to see it. Shalom!