Friday, 10 November 2017

I came to show Myself













I came to show myself
I came
I came to show you
How strong
You already are
Your heart is hid in me
I will always show off my treasures
For the whole world to see
That I am the one
Who has held you close forever
Who has never left you
Who shows you love unending
Did I not set the stars in the sky
And the ocean waves to roar
Did I not craft each heart
As delicate as a dew drop
But yet unbreakably strong
It is I who has never left you
Whispering my love
This is just the beginning
Of new times of joy unimaginable
Of a wiping away of tears
Of unfolding of eternity's space
πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™ŒπŸΎ


Lara Cookey
05 Nov 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A story of Hope- breast cancer awareness

I want to thank the team who gave me an awesome makeover and photo shoot to round off the month of breast cancer awareness. The article and lovely photos were published on the exact 6th anniversary date of my mastectomy surgery. I have blogged about the experience already in my 'Joblogs' which can be found on this blog, but this year's commemoration was epic. I think you will agree with me when you see the stunning photos in the link to the article below.
Okay, I will include just one here.
In this photo I am so excited to show off one of my scarf designs 'The Iya Onigele'. The company Noji Art was born out of the joy I received from painting on canvas again, and then started putting my drawings on scarfs. It has been a deeply theraputic engagement, and centre stage in the healing process. 
Omolara Cookey
photographed by @anny_robert
Styling @moashystyling,
Make up @makupbykofo,

I really enjoyed the styling, the make up and photographing process, and I am so honoured to be able to share my story in support of breast cancer awareness. Please check your boobies ladies, regularly and often, and see a doctor if you notice anything untoward. I count myself extremely lucky to have survived, as my fear kept me from doing anything for five long years. This was because I had just recovered from the disability and near death experiences from the previously undiagnosed auto immune condition called Myasthenia Gravis. Thus, I count myself a double survivor, praise be to Jesus.

Finally, my immense and unmeasurable gratitude goes to God for choosing me to showcase His awesome power and for giving me this beautiful life to live. I cannot but also give unending thanks to my husband , my children, in fact all my family and friends who stood by me in wonderful ways.
Any survivors out there? I am sending you my heartfelt love and well wishes.
Please click on the link below for the full article, so well written by Moyosola Jolaolu at Flourish Africa.

http://flourishafrica.com/2017/10/31/meet-omolara-cookey-the-breast-cancer-survivor-who-wears-victory-on-her-neck/


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Manifested Power

















Coming in to land in Tuscany
Stunningly beautiful terrain
In natural hues 
Of olive, earthy brown and dusky grey
Brought me joy that sprang up songs
Because of the evidence 
Of God's creative power
Put on display for me
Then I got to thinking
When I sing the chorus
Come down o Lord
And manifest your power
It seems to me that I am asking for something he has already done 
Should I not sing 
Thank you o Lord for your manifested power?
Our triune God manifests himself 
In more ways than we can imagine
It was all around me to see
In magnificent clumpy clouds
In the topography of the mountains
I came to an acknowledgement 
That even the breath of life 
Passing in and out of my nostrils
Is the manifested power of God
This, the most sophisticated 
Complex, operating system in the world
The human body, is a complete marvel
And for sure a sign 
Of God's manifested power
It is an interconnected, Interdependent plumbing, electrical and sensory circuit
Capable of amazing complexities
How the body works
Is mind blowing at the very least 
So, I am changing my song
I am changing my tune
Thank you o Lord
For your manifested power

Lara Cookey
Landing in Florence
16 August 2017


Sunday, 6 August 2017

All of Creation is waiting for you



I was profoundly affected by a scripture I read yesterday because of a deep realization and understanding of its meaning. I found myself crying as I realized why I did not die from two deadly diseases. Oh my Father God!πŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ™ŒπŸΎ
 Glory and honour to you as I bow. I realized that this is a mandate to go all out with no holds barred to be what ALL of creation is WAITING in eager EXPECTATION to be revealed in me. 
Here is the scripture:-
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 

Romans 8:18c-19 | NIV

I also understand why a song by @nkmaduforo, beautifully rendered by her at church stirred my heart as I listened to the lyrics and watched the awesome  interpretations in modern dance that was going on as Nk sang. 

To anyone reading this. 
The world is waiting eagerly for you to be revealed. I pray that you get a clear revelation of who and what that you is, that is yet to be unveiled. May you have a sense of fulfillment as you do your purpose walk entering into new levels of expression, and enter into a place of joy and contentment. 
Amen πŸ™πŸΎ

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Gratitude



GRATITUDE
Game changer, awesome Father
You have given me 
A beautiful garment of praise 
Today I thank you Lord 
For your faithfulness
You have answered  and given
Exceedingly abundantly more
I cannot begin  to tell how much
I am strengthened within
Because of who you are
Double portion giver
Restorer of locust eaten places
I bow, I worship you 
In gratitude
This day of my birth

Lara Cookey
20 July 2017  

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Cumulative explosion- hidden angst




Continuing on from the post about my outburst at the supermarket, the Holy Spirit spoke these words into my heart this morning. I titled it 
CUMULATIVE EXPLOSION
Sometimes when someone snaps at you, it has very little to do with you or what triggered the snapping. It could just be a culmination of accumulated issues from the day, or deep rooted angst that is unresolved. πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡


 So the question is 'what unresolved angst are you and I harboring, known and unknown?' Can we invite the Holy Spirit to show us? Will we allow 'The Lord of our hearts' room to work these things out?  My thoughts are that this is the road map to getting rid of 'non growth producing ways' God being mine and your helper. Amen πŸ™πŸΎ 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Holy Spirit showed up at the supermarket on Sunday


Straight after church service, hubby and I went to a supermarket to pick up some fruits for dessert after lunch. I was standing in the queue in front of the cashier when a tall man came to stand a few inches away from me with his basket. He was just too close for my comfort and I was irritated, and the narrative in my head was talking about how Nigerians lack discipline and don't respect personal space. Nothing wrong with that but I was surprised at what happened next , because I flipped. 


I yelled at him and asked him to step back and wait his turn. The person behind him echoed this too and I felt justified in my outburst until the Holy Spirit showed up and convicted me. As I was paying for my items I heard so clearly that I must not leave the supermarket with this issue open ended. I must apologize .


So I swallowed humble pie . Then I  turned to the man and said something like  ' I am sorry for shouting at you just now, I just wanted you to know that you were standing too close, and just for you to know that some people don't like this' The man looked at me with such calm and understanding and said ' I appreciate what you have told me'


I walked away profoundly affected because I am not in the habit of snapping like that and yelling at people. But the 'Lord of my heart' became my vision and sent the Holy Spirit to prompt me to apologize. This seems like a small thing but I came away smiling because the Holy Spirit visited the supermarket and thus we know that God is interested in the minute details of our lives.

That we may stumble but He will send the Holy Spirit to guide us.


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Be thou my vision


'Be thou my vision o Lord of my heart' are words from one of my favorite hymns. It stirs me deeply because it is a heart felt prayer. It is an answer to what I have been thinking about over the last few days. These words tell me that my heart must be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus and thereby given 'vision' that is Godly because, aligning with God's vision makes me align with 'growth producing ways'


When I looked up this hymn, I discovered it is an 8th century Irish hymn which was first translated into English in 1912 by Eleanor Hull and published in 1919, after which it was set to the tune called 'Slane'


The words convey eternal truths that were true in the 8th century and these words are as true today, in resonance with this our God: the same yesterday, today and forever. 


May the Lord be the ruler of our hearts and thus direct us to see ourselves first as he sees us, so that we will be clear in our purpose and walk in it. 

Amen 


Friday, 30 June 2017

Asking Questions

I was reflecting on the half year gone past and crossing over into the other half of the year tomorrow . I have never received prophetic messages in old English before this. I am not a KJV or even New KJV person except for occasional cross referencing. My job is to obey, so I went ahead and drew this image that was imprinted on my mind, it came with the words 'wither thou goest?' I believe this means something to someone today. The ancient of days is asking you and me, to pay attention to decisions we make at this crossroads season. May the Lord help us . 

Parting ways with non growth producing decisions and behavior



So, I kept my mind on asking The Ancient of Days about me and what decision I should make in response to His 'old English ' question 'whither thou goest?'  The question was in the back of my mind all day as I went about my normal activities. I am hearing words like 'be still' and 'abandon all non growth producing thoughts, attitudes and behavior' It all came gushing out in this piece. How wonderful it is to come to realizations and recognitions. I pray the power of 'recognizing and realizing' for someone today. Is that someone you? Receive Liberty as I have . Amen πŸ™πŸΎ 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Be still

Be still and know that I am God


Being still is something I find difficult sometimes. My mind wanders all over the place. I think that the same impetus that gives me great insights in life on the one hand and inspiration for my artwork  on the other, makes me vulnerable to not being still. But yet this is a crucial requirement in hearing from God.

I learnt many things in the season of my life when life threatening sickness and disability was my experience. 

One of the most important things I learnt which I must add that I see now only in retrospect, is to be still. 

Even doing 'good things' like being constantly occupied with kingdom work may also be detrimental to the important discipline of 'being still'

Being still means being quiet on the inside, consciously, and intentionally shutting out all else to create an environment for 'listening' . Listen I must, if I am to be truly led along the right path of purpose and service. Busyness is detrimental to being still, and yet there is so much to do in God's vineyard, there seems to be a shortage of time and people to accomplish it. 

I have written about the 'God DNA' deposited in us in earlier blogs. It is vital that we realize that being still is key to connecting with ourselves, the part of ourselves which is God himself deposited in us. This needs careful nurturing and an enabling environment to grow. This is because it is the part of us that connects us to eternity and values that will never perish. The most important part of us which requires our stillness is 'the image of God in which we were created' It is when we connect with this part of ourselves that we have the experience of looking in the mirror of our spirit man and seeing the true reflection of who we are in Christ Jesus. Here we have confidence, we have true identity and in the stillness of these moments we see and hear God. So today I thought I should take a look at detrimental actions to being still.

They include the following: 

1. Being on my phone far too much

2. I am sometimes like Martha preparing and organizing the home

3. My thought life 

4. My attitudes and motives

5. Entertaining my fears and anxieties

6. Laziness

7. Many activities (even church ones)

So, what is the way forward?

How can I be still as described in Psalm 46:10 ?

.... "Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth."

 

Psalms 46:10 | NIV

 

My thoughts

1. It takes PRACTICE

2. It requires being INTENTIONAL

3. It requires being SENSITIVE in the spirit

4. It requires practical things like REARRANGING our schedules

5. It requires RECOGNITION as to when to shut down

6. It requires DISCERNMENT as to what is detrimental 

7. It ultimately requires ROMANS 12:2 

 

In short, in order for me to Psalm 46:10, I must first Romans 12:2 my life so that 'we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.'

 

2 Corinthians 3:18 | NIV

 

So help me God.

Amen

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Abraham and Isaac up on the mountain



I just read Genesis 22:1-12. 

I am trying to imagine what I would be thinking had I been a fly on the wall when Abraham heard he was to sacrifice his son . This is his only son, the one born to him and his sweetheart after many years of waiting, even beyond the fertile years of Sarah. A miracle baby, a precious baby, one that defied science when there was no IVF. 

And then there was the matter of the promise that Abraham would be a Father of many nations.

This story appears to raise more questions than answers. How was Abraham going to be the father of many nations after he kills his only son and heir? 

If it were in this present day, I wager his family would call on the psychiatric community to have Abraham sectioned and we in the body of Christ would all be binding and casting and denouncing every plan of the enemy. The social media waves would be bursting with compelling messages, calling for all of us to pray 'against the plan of the evil one' . The message would go something like this. 


Dear Christian brothers and sisters, please read this message to the end, it is vital and important that we take action and pray in one accord. You all remember Elder Abraham and his wife Mummy Sarah, and how they shared their testimony about the fruit of the womb after waiting over 30 years? 

Sources close to the family ( this was leaked by their house help ) reliably informs us that Elder Abraham is about to kill that baby who is now in his teens. He said he heard from God that he should sacrifice Isaac aka Oluwa pamil'erin .

Everyone should say this prayer and pass on urgently to all your chat groups and networks, to forestal the machinations of wickedness in high places


Dear Heavenly Father , we come before you on behalf of Daddy Abraham and Mummy Sarah's family. We bind every plan of the enemy to destroy your precious fruit of the womb Oluwa pamil'erin ( God has made me laugh) 

We say that all the evil forces surrounding them should die by fire! 

Protect the life of  Oluwa pamil'erin , send your waring Angels to protect him and fight for him. Restore Elder Abraham to his right mind in Jesus name. We declare that no weapon fashioned against this family shall prosper..............etc etc etc 


Thankfully, we learn from Abraham's actions that obedience is more important than anything else , that God's sovereign will triumphs over all. That God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

That God is a miracle working God indeed.

That trusting God will never take us to a place outside His will.

That our perspectives on life may be at total loggerheads with God's plan and His plan may appear to go against all logic.


I am not sure that I would have obeyed in this manner, I am sure I would be rebuking the enemy and would not have recognized this instruction from God. Abraham did, what about you and me?

What is God asking us to sacrifice, something so precious that he has gifted us with after a long, long wait? 

Are we tempted to try and align sovereign will with our own logic spurred on by what we want? 

These questions are scary to think of, but it is clear from this scripture that I must, so help me God 


Other things I have learnt:

  1. There is no limit to the extents to which God will call you and He dictates the 'how' 
  2. God is the giver of our lives and He alone has the power to direct its path.



Saturday, 20 May 2017

Focus

Help me to FOCUS Lord on you and the things you deem most important in my life. Turn my gaze away from distractions and going my own way. I need your Holy Spirit power to fill me anew, so I can FOCUS. AmenπŸ™πŸΎ 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Sovereign Lord - remembering Marianne and Benedicta

This May 2017 was twelve years since I received the news of my father's passing away. I remember that I was in the car on the Tema beach road in Accra Ghana, and hubby was driving. A phone call came in and the news was broken to me and the beautiful sea scape and beach instantly lost their meaning. The grieving process has taken me through various twists and turns, and I am in a place of peace and acceptance now. Thoughts of my late father, together with just receiving the news that I am all cancer free at my five year check up, brought me to remembering two women. Marianne Dappa and Benedicta Ampong who have also passed on to glory at various times after my Dad. This post is in honour of these two women who like me were diagnosed with breast cancer. We all belonged to the same house fellowship which we hosted in our home for a season. I still cannot get my mind round the fact that out of thirteen or so regular attendees to the fellowship, three women were found to have breast cancer within a short space of time. We could not be from more diverse backgrounds and ages, and the only common threads are the obvious one that we are all women and attend the same fellowship. It is like a cruel coincidence, and definitely a trial in terms of, 'how could God allow this to happen' in so small a group? 


It was devastating to hear the news of the demise of these two sisters. I just cannot fathom why neither of them survived. They were both steadfast in faith and were very strong women. They got good medical interventions. I keep asking why they were called home and why I have survived . I must be honest and say that I sometime felt guilty and I know this is not a rational reaction. It is what it is, and I wish to face it square on and accept the sovereignty of God. Psychologically, it is a challenge to think of. I have not been stronger or more focussed, or stood on the word of God any more than either of them. 


I have been thinking of this over the years and it came up again as I crossed the milestone of five years post surgery. My conclusion is that I don't know the answers to all my questions, or to fully comprehend the pain of separation that their families have been and are going through - God alone decides, He alone knows. It is just by His grace that I am still here. 


So, I wish to celebrate my two sisters in the Lord, co-warriors , who have been called home. To honour their memory and their lives. RIP Marianne Dappa and Benedicta Ampong. May the Lord continue to strengthen their families and all who loved them.

 Amen πŸ™πŸΎ




Thursday, 4 May 2017

We are pressure cut diamonds- thoughts on the role of pressure in our lives



Pressure is important and necessary in this life if we are to be refined in the way that our Father God wants. Each one of us comes to this earth like a rough cut diamond, bearing the limitless potential and creativity that is wrapped up in our DNA. Our true brilliance needs time and the pressures of life before it can be experienced by us and also seen by others. 

Our DNA is not just about physical, psychological and emotional characteristics we inherit from our parents and ancestors, it also includes the image of God which he placed inside every single human being he created. Our spiritual DNA may appear intangible until we make certain choices that connect us with what God intended when he allowed you to survive in the midst of some one hundred million potential sperm. 




The thought of this is mind blowing and sometimes I find it difficult to grapple with understanding the full impact of what this means. Arriving here on the planet with our God DNA means we already have:

-The mind of Christ

-All the powers of heaven

-The characteristics of God himself


We were imbued with this sometimes enigmatic quantum of power from the God Head in a way that should make us able to withstand the knocks of life. 

It's hard to imagine this, but we are to embrace the knocks of life, for in and through them, the unique characteristics of our particular kind of diamond is revealed. This is because every one of us has a purpose or destiny or life's walk; whatever we like to call it, what this 'path' signifies is the 'reason for our being'

We see so many examples out there in the world and also in our lives of the indomitable human spirit. People who travail beyond the confines of crushing limitations to excel in some way and thus bringing us to a place of inspiration and wonder. 

One of the key God characteristics we came with is creativity. Inherent in each one of us is the capability to use our God given creativity to surmount the issues we face. Creativity is an agency of change, it is an agency of healing, it is the most potent force of God. 

Unfortunately, the popular information pushed out there is that creativity resides in musical and visual artists alone - or at least mostly in that group of people. This is not true, every human being has creativity buried within them because it is a key aspect of the Godly DNA we arrived on planet earth with. There are many ways that creativity is expressed, even more than the Seven and a half billion humans inhabiting this beautiful earth. 

Our primary job is to unleash this inherent creativity through various fields of endeavor to bring about change in a manner scripted by heaven. The pressures of life force us in various directions. The purpose of pressure is to direct us to develop in growth producing ways. To shut down and oppose the odds that stack against us is like a physical work out to build and strengthen our muscles, but in the spiritual/ soul sphere of our lives. This is the role of 'pressure' in our lives. So it is really worth keeping this in mind when we are going through our sometimes painful life's journey , that your particular design, brilliance as a diamond is being 'cut and polished'. The brilliance of a diamond is predicated on how it is cut, how many facets it has which ultimately reflect light in optimum ways. 

So embrace pressure, and shine forth the glory of God, reflecting His true light, His character and DNA which is already within. For all their beauty and brilliance, Diamonds are very hard and not easy to break. In the analogy I am focusing on here, it means we are actually more resilient than we can imagine.