who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Game of Thrones...

This Picture makes me feel more like Brienne of Tarth... but not the point!

I am a Game of Thrones (GoT) fan… I joined the bandwagon somewhere in season five, so I had the luxury of watching episodes back to back, sometimes binging without having to wait for the next week to see a new episode or months after for the new season (I loved that luxury of not waiting). But last season was my first time of watching it in real time. Waiting for each new episode after cliffhangers of the last. Breathing down my friend Oris neck for each new episode.

We watch one episode that is nail biting, and we are in suspense waiting for the next. Suddenly, next Sunday feels too far away. And so we spend time meditating on the last episode, knowing the next is surely coming, but while we wait, we talk about what happened, our expectations are on a high… looking forward for the next. We bite our fingers (well not literally), regurgitate, bringing it out and chewing on it over again, excited about it till the next. And when the season is done, we do the same thing… sometimes, we watch the past episodes, go on fan pages, join discussions… write on facebook, tweet about it…snooping around for spoilers for the next season, and you may find glimpses and pieces of puzzles and guesses that seem right, its not the whole picture, but it excites you all the same. Sometimes the next season starts just after a couple of weeks, sometimes it’s a few couple of months, but for shows as epic as GoT we impatiently, excitedly wait a whole year for the next season… and I hear we may be waiting for maybe two for the finale season 8 (well, GoT just happens to be the scapegoat here… it could be any of your favorite series)

When God speaks to the Game of throne fan in you...

That’s what faith should be like for believers. You’ve enjoyed one episode of Gods blessing in a season, just don’t give up yet, there’s another episode coming, one after the heel of another… while you wait, be in faith for the next episode of success in what you’re doing. 
What do you do? Do you complain? Or you meditate on the blessings God has poured on you? You chew on it, regurgitate, and in doing that you make an easy entry for thanksgiving which makes for easy digestion of rejoicing, which helps lighten your heart, exciting you for what next is coming. Meditation makes the waiting period move fast… it takes away the time or even if it doesn’t, it makes for good company while you wait.  Be it for the next episode or the next season.

What are you doing while you wait? Start thinking of the goodness and faithfulness of God in the different seasons of your life. His promises, the beautiful plot for your life in the bible… the plot that says His plans for you are for good and not for evil… a plot that says He has blessed you and has paid the price for you… given you authority over principalities, you reign! In the game of thrones, you sit on the iron throne, at the right hand of God the Father high above every principality and power… the villain of life has been put under your feet. He prepares a feast for you in the presence of your enemies (epic scene). He anoints your head with oil, and your cup runs over… He has clothed you in His righteousness, and nothing is impossible for you that believe. The plot for each season of your life makes for a blockbuster, each season more intense than the last season, for every level you rise to. Each episode has so much to talk about, so much to rejoice about… so much to be thankful about, especially with all the action scenes of what God has saved you from, how the angels assigned to you have acted on your behalf behind the scenes, battles you are unaware of.

Be encouraged, think of the things you've been through and what God has done, and rejoice as you wait for answers... the breakthrough!Get ready for the blessings that is about to fall on you!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Unknown Error?...

Have you ever tried to top up your phone only to get an error message/a timeout message?
Then you retry and it says 'this card has already been used by you'? And that's when you check the balance to see that the initial top up was successful even though the phone gave you an error msg.

It happens to me all the time. Thus I have learnt to just make the call after I get that message or check the balance instead of trying again… because somehow I know the phone has been credited. It rarely is the case that I have to input the numbers again because the truly wasn’t processed.

This happened to me recently and it got me thinking about how we ‘input’ prayers and are unaware that they have been answered because our feelings process an error message and sends to us. I believe many prayers are answered that we're unaware of because we don't check... We feel like a response hasn't been received because we don't get a "successful recharge" message from God! (Even after His word says He always hears us)
Only to check and realize your prayers were answered but you were too blinded by worry, fear, desperation to notice... you were so focused on the error message of anxiety to notice.
Our flesh gives an error message! We don't feel healed, we don't feel comforted... we just don't feel.... but it's not about feeling!

Sometimes answered prayers come in the form we want it to come in.
Sometimes it comes in the form of a storm to end that relationship that was killing you spirit, soul and body. Or a storm to make you move from that city that wasn't good for you. To prevent you from going on that holiday that may have killed you...etc
What have you been praying about? Maybe it's time to start thanking and praising God for the answered prayers... praise brings down walls of delusion, unbelief, fear and dread! It brings the reality of whom God is to focus.

Be assured that God has heard you... Take that assurance to the bank and praise your way in thanksgiving and wait to see the manifestation.
(it sounds like a mechanical thing to say right? What if you don't see results?) Well there are always results to prayers... It just may not be in the way we imagine. But God is good and perfect, a good good loving Father and He responds to our prayers in ways that He knows will do us well.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Mark 11:24 NIV

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24 (NIV).

And as Mosugu Eben sings "I serve a God who answers prayers... "

Download here  
This has been one of my favorite songs in this season… knowing that God loves me and He answers my prayers even when I don’t feel it, even when it doesn’t look it. That’s why I praise even when the fig tree does not blossom… 

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
    and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
    and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
    and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
    I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
    I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
    I feel like I’m king of the mountain! Hababkkuk 3:17-19(msg)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When You Fall In Love...

I’m not the girl who falls in love. I’m the girl who has major crushes and moves on. But this was love quite all right. It was the stark raving mad kind of love. Yeah, he was fine, yeah he was bloodily rich. People referred to him as a prince. His dad was one of those high chiefs/kings . So maybe all the perks helped a little, but oh my, dude was the sweetest most humble of them all. My feelings were definitely beyond his looks and pocket and overall perfection.
He’s the sort of guy everyone falls in love with, I couldn’t imagine what he saw in plain old me.

My life changed with him in it. We were in sync, I backed out of things he didn’t like me doing, cut off from friends he felt were bad influences, our PDA was almost too consuming, always whispering to him words only he understood. that man knew how to make a woman feel loved. Morning, afternoon and evening was something special and sweet written just for me, one-liners, whole pages, a story that always spoke directly to my heart. He was my first call everyday and every night he was the ears that listened to me talk myself to sleep. In the afternoons I sneaked calls to him to tell him how much I loved him.

Have you heard me sing before? Well you’d hate it, but this man, he loved it when I sang for him, he listened like I was the best singer in the world, some days I danced into the night with or for him. Those were days of perfection. I had so much peace with him, but I was becoming one of those girls…you know those that go crazy in love that they don’t fit into the world anymore? Those my friends and I gossiped, mocked and made jokes about, no more fun nights out, I was too busy with my love. I was no more popular especially at the hot spots, no more at the events, the little social fire I had burning was slowly ebbing out. I was just ‘the girl he loved’ now. Thus I decided to take things slow, people were starting to talk, and you know how we hate it when people talk, don’t you?

And take things slow I did, more like try to shoo him off like I do with my crushes. It was too consuming for me, or so I thought. From whispering every moment to him to not even giving him a nod of acknowledgement, to blocking out his desperate but calm whispers of love, to dreading his letters, the once sweet words were now like chunks of bitter herbs to me. They only seemed to highlight how wrong I was even though they were the same old sweet words.
I cheated on him, betrayed his trust, and abused his love, made his family and friends wonder why he still hung on to me.

I used him when I wanted, like days when I needed his money and his family connection, or days my leg hurt, and I needed him to rub my back the way only he knew how to, days I was sad, days the world seemed blue, I would come crying to him and he would rock me to sleep in his arms, that peaceful familiar arm of strength and I’d know everything would be okay. Of course that little fox that loves to ruin the garden of love would visit and in the morning I was back to being the mean lover i was. I cringe at what I put him through, the pain, the hurt, the shame. I pushed him to the limit any human would have cracked at, but there he was, his beautiful eyes lighting up for me when I bothered to visit. I knew he was hurt but I was past caring, I had hurt him too much to go back to that place we were at the beginning, o how I wanted to be there, but my shame wouldn’t even let me soften up to him, my shame took me farther away, my shame made me hurt him more, just waiting for him to reach his limit and dump me.

We had a routine I still kept up with. We went to his fathers the king/chiefs at oniru twice a week. On Tuesday evenings for dinner and Sunday mornings for breakfast. On these days I would grudgingly dress up in my best outfit not wanting to go, but feeling obliged to, the least I could do for him for defending me when his family asked him to leave me. I always ended up having the best of times, with the other family members and friends who were invited. Whenever I saw how much they loved my charming loving dude, I would get aggressively jealous, I would whisper and scream telling him how much I loved him, just for the show of it, just so they wouldn’t get to judge me or label me nasty or take him away from me(you see I’m that confused, I didn't want him but I wanted him). I would make sure I danced with him... I didn’t want to loose his love to those who seemed to show more emotions than I did. I would hug him and kiss him and listen to him talk, as mesmerized with his words as the other guests …we would laugh, and we would be the cute loving couple again. Till of course he drops me off, gives me the goodnight kiss, and with the morning light I'd be mean ol' me again.

Oh that man really loved me…no one would or will have coped with my attitude for so long. Have you ever been so loved that you feel it in your spirit, soul and body? I messed up what i had because I was scared I’d be labeled as a weak weird girl, who fell in love and ruined her life. I preferred to be popular in town than be safe and pampered in his arms.

My miserable self wanted to free my spirit again, allow myself to accept Love, the purest pleasure of life without prejudice. I wanted those days back. I just had the worst day ever. the people I tried to impress by being tough on the best thing that ever happened to me were all a bunch of selfish fools, no good. Why did it take me so long realize this truth? We partied together, we drank cocktails together, we gossiped together, we did all those things together but we were no more than strangers. We didn’t love ourselves. They would gladly put a knife in my back and drag me to hades just to save themselves. I didn’t want to wake up in ten years alone, dying from some mistake I made with my ‘friends’. i wanted my love so bad.

Thus after this epiphany, I rushed over to his fathers, it was a Friday, they'd be having some family lunch. I was going to fall at his feet, soak him up with my tears of sorrow, beg him to forgive me. I panicked, not sure if he'd be nice to me, not like i deserved it. I said some nasty things to him a few hours earlier, was that the last straw that would break his love?

I rang the doorbell, feeling like an intruder in that house of love, I fidgeted, wanting to run back, but the door opened before I could, it wasn’t the butler, it was my love himself, how his eyes lit up, and the sight of it drowned the darkness of what i felt, and even before I could say a word, he pulled me to him and held me in his arms as I cried my shame away, all the words i wanted to say lost in my tears,but i didn't have to say anything, the way he held me told me he knew. He smiled and then he laughed,oh he laughed a sound so sweet ….
"don’t cry, I’ll always love you, I’ll never leave you, even if you push me away, I’m close by, waiting for you to come back to me. My love is sufficient to drown your imperfection and mistakes, I don’t love you less than the first day I met you”

That man, my lover, my friend, my king. I’ll never leave him anymore, I’ll go crazy for him, I’ll gladly be called weird and be ignored because I spend too much time with him and time talking about him on fb, twitter, bbm, instagram... I don’t mind being put in the dog house, as long as I’ve got him by my side, That man Jesus…he sure knows how to love, and I’m basking in his love. My love can never be measured to his, but I’ll try my best by accepting all of His love.
"I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
Its up to us to be willing to accept this special love, because it’s just there waiting for us to acknowledge it.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 . . . "Love is patient and kind . . . Love does not demand its own way . . .
Love never gives up"…thus he keeps knocking, the more you push the more persistent he is. Because that’s what he is, he’s Love and love is patient. His grace is more than we can ask for, given freely to those willing to accept it. That's why as imperfect as we are, as often as we disdain the cross and hurt him, he still welcomes us back when we turn back to him.

Sometimes it gets old and boring, if we don't constantly fuel the fire of love.... by spending time together and praying etc. the excitement of the first few months and years are lost on us, thus we find ourselves sliding away, if we're not careful we end up being the mean lovers. Gods warning us about that, to keep watch, to guard our hearts so we don't loose out completely.
Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don't, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. Revelation2:5

The bible is one of his precious gifts to us, because its straight from his mouth to our ears. You find the kindest, truest most loving, and enlightening words in there, that directs, that comforts, that encourages, that teaches you everything, to love, to pray, to have faith, to receive peace, to be happy, to be patient, to care…. its that love letter that speaks straight to my heart.

I am the girl that Jesus loves and I’m proud to be his.... Lets all align ourselves with his love, cos really, there's nothing else out their.

I used oniru, not because of the royal family...before i get accused of crushing over one of them:) but because my church City Of David is located in oniru estate. we have Sunday morning service 7.30am and 10.30am and midweek service on Tuesdays by 6.30pm and my absolute favorite... He's Lord praise hour at noon on Fridays.(an hour of lunchtime pure praise and worship) Come if you can to experience some real love:)
(Well I wrote this when I still lived in Lagos) But here are a list of bible believing churches I attend when I find myself in the area…
Shelter of Glory, opposite Aminu Isah Kontagora Complex, Makurdi, Benue State. We have services on Sundays at 7am and 8.45 and on Wednesdays at 5.30pm

Christ Family Centre Theatre if Faith, Off Ring Road behind Gboko Hills, GRA, Gboko, Benue State, Nigeria.
Gboko 1159
Sundays 7am and 9am and Wednesdays 5pm

Savannah Grace Chapel Abuja - SGC Hall, plot 870/871 northern parkway, beside NHIS Building Utako, Abuja, Nigeria
Service times Sundays 7am and 9am and Tuesdays and Thursdays 5pm

The Standpoint Church Nicon Luxury Hotel, Area 11, Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
Sundays 5pm and Wednesdays 6pm

Plot 1101 Kaura District, between Games Village and Prince & Princes Estate
Sundays 7am and 9am and Thursdays 6pm

HIllsong London has a campus located in the heart of London's West End every Sunday at the Dominion Theatre, Totehamcourt road.  11 am, 1.30pm, 4pm, 6.30pm

Jesus House …. 112 Brent Terrace, London NW2 1LT, UK
Sundays at 9 am and 11.30am

The Vineyard Church 7 Ashley Road Brick Knoll Park, Ashley Road Industrial Estate, St Albans AL1 5UG, UK
Sundays 9am and 11am

There’s just so many great churches out there, these are just some that I have attended and been blessed by… find yourself one, be planted and flourish in Gods word and presence… in company of other believers. Your TV is great, but getting messages on TV isn’t an excuse to forsake the gathering!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Road Trip...

I went on a trip to a town about 45minutes away from where I live, but takes about an hour thirty minutes because of the bad road… how horrible that road is.
We had to charter a not too nice car for this trip because we had car issues… I had plied that road one too many times, but it was always in the comfort of a nice air-conditioned privately owned car…
But this time, how horrible the trip was. The car bounced and bounced and everywhere rattled and my body rattled, I was so sure I had displaced parts from all the prancing… and then there was the dusty section of the road that was extra horrible because the windows were down, I had to inhale an unhealthy amount of dust…
I was exhausted and felt so dirty and in desperate need of a bath when we arrived the hotel at our destination.

For the return leg of the journey the next day, I returned in a style I was used to… a nice air-conditioned private car. I was relaxed and so happy I didn’t have to go through the rigor of the first leg of the trip.
When we seemingly glided on the same bad road, even though we went in all the same potholes, I thought how this was the same horrible road that rattled my bones the previous day… but my experience of the road this time was different because of the vehicle I was in.

I literally felt sick after that trip. My body ached from the first leg of the trip and I was thrown into a comatose sleep most of the day.

I had always known the road was bad, but I had never really been so affected by it on previous trips because I was in nice cars… I had even driven myself once or twice on that route and I didn’t feel it was so bad. But the moment I stepped into another kind of vehicle for the trip, everything seemed to have gone wrong. I experienced it in a different light.
Earlier this year, I experienced the same thing. This time, I drove with my friends to Porthacourt(a Nigerian city) about nine hours away from where I live, I didn’t even feel it, not the bad road or the distance… it wasn’t tiring at all, it was fun and relaxing. Fast forward to a week later when I had to return home with a chartered car… from the moment we started the trip I already felt tired(he picked us up about two hours later than our agreed take off time)…. The bad roads pierced my nerves(if that makes sense) and of course the car had troubles on the way. I hate to think about that journey. The driver dropped me home feeling like I walked the distance… I couldn’t believe it was the same trip I felt refreshed after about a week earlier.

Jesus said in this life we would have troubles…. There’s’ always trouble both for the saved and unsaved/believers and unbelievers.
Life is like that really messed up road… there’s no sugarcoating it.  One day after the other we hear different horrors, from cries of recession, to cries of terrorism, to unjust things happening, to molestation and child abuse etc and so many hideous effects of these things like increased suicide rates among other things as a result of discouragement and despair. Life is a bumpy road… but your experience of this flawed road is dependent on whose car you’re sat in…

You will pass through the fires and it will not consume you… (Isaiah 43:2)
A thousand may fall at your left and your right… if you make the Lord your refuge, the most high your shelter, no evil will conquer you... He will order His angels to protect you.... He is your refuge and safety place, you will find rest in Him. (Read Psalm 91)

I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." John 16:33(MSG)
Jesus said he has overcome/conquered the world… now that’s the vehicle to jump into(the shock absorber of this vehicle is top notch)… you go through the potholes and dusty road knowing Jesus has conquered, you go through it cushioned in his love, that as much as the reality of what’s happening surrounds you, there’s a deeper truth that gives you peace in the midst of it. You’re shielded and they do not and cannot affect you… same experience, different reception and handling of it… same experience, different security measures keeping it from affecting you.

See, I knew the road was bad but was never affected by it until the day I took another kind of vehicle… once you take your eyes off Jesus to try things your way/another way, you’ll realize that the same situations would leave you so scared and covered in sooth and just so despaired that you begin to think and see suicide as not as bad an option as you used to think when you heard those news.

In this world you would have trouble… but if you’re riding in God’s vehicle, know that He is providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil… (Psalm 94:13(msg))

People are going through trouble in marriages, finances, self image, and life goals etc.
I’ve gone through periods that have been daunting and tasking for me, but never enough to floor me. I’ve never seen a reason why I should pack up and get floored on life because of certain seemingly larger than life crisis, both private and public experiences that I have faced. I have cried but I have not allowed the tears drown me. Now its not because I have super powers… its because of the car I am sat in. I have seen others go through the same things or even less than I have and look like car wrecks. It’s unbelievable how good I’ve looked through some of the worse times of my life.

Who are you riding with on this journey? The worlds system with a car that makes you feel every single bump and wear and tear of the road, or with Jesus in His car of salvation that takes you through the bumps without feeling like you’re going through it, because He has indeed overcome the world for your sake?
I don’t want to arrive the destination of my dreams too beaten to enjoy the victory… I want to arrive rested through the process.

Beloved, let not your heart be troubled. Rather, let it be strengthened and established in the love and wonderful promises of God for you! Joseph Prince (John 14:27)

We are children of Light!
By Gods favor, we are exempted from what affects the people of the world! We weren’t saved for nothing.
Jesus has deprived the elements and systems and evils of and in the world of its power to hurt and harm us and has conquered them all for us” Apostle Mish Ogbodo

Its easy to get on-board this vehicle… it takes nothing from you… instead it gives everything to you. You don’t have to get it right before been accepted in Christ i.e change your clothes, and wash the mud off your shoes so you don’t stain the interior, get sober, clean off tattoos and wipe off your ruby woo painted lips i.e You don’t have to drop your denomination… whatever it is… all it takes is letting Jesus into your heart and resting in His vehicle as His love drives you… leads you through life… cleans you up and dresses you right.
(Say the welcoming word to God - "Jesus is my Master" - embracing, body and soul, God's work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That's it. You're not "doing" anything; you're simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That's salvation. Romans 10:9(Msg))
And it all starts with just simple words…

Whisper it to yourself, or shout it out loud… just make sure you sound it out…
Thank you Lord for loving me,
For your grace that accepts me as I am and shows me mercy
Have mercy on me
I’m tired of doing things my way, in my own strength
Please come into my heart… come and be Lord over my life.
Let your love wash me afresh.
Teach me your ways.
I believe and I receive you into my heart. 
The Bible says if I confess with my mouth that “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved 
and so I confess that Jesus is Lord over my life
Thank you for my salvation.

It’s that easy.
Please send me a mail (akutjoy@yahoo.com) if you said these words, I would love to hear from you and just kick it with you on this trip…. We love road trips don’t we? And its fun when we are riding with others. I would love to keep you company.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Not Just Yet!....

The other day I lay down thinking how death wasn’t a bad idea at all.
I wanted to die….
Now ask me why, and I can’t point at anything in particular that was wrong.
I have been through dark seasons in my life, and this isn’t particularly a dark one… its full of light and hope and joy, and something so little, so insignificant that I truly cannot say what, made me feel like maybe it’s a better deal… Heaven! Away from this overwhelming sense of responsibility in life.
Heaven is rest… heaven just eating some good good food and chilling amongst many other wonderful things... like beautiful worship. (the food gets me always)
No i wasn't thinking suicide... it was more like a caught up kind... the Enoch kind, just hanging with God and there she goes.

It was such a feeling of being down, I wouldn’t say I was depressed or was I? But I was down and I literally forced myself to worship in that hour… it was about midnight, and during the Nathaniel Bassey #praisechallenge. My force to worship wasn’t because I was questioning God in that moment, more like questioning myself I guess. The things I am doing and have to do felt overwhelming and i had no idea where the next step was to land(because i wasn't staying still enough to let God lead me), I can't even say what I was questioning… it was just a big pile of empty nothingness around my thoughts, myself, and my room. I had lost steam… no steam!
The Internet connection was horrible, so I couldn’t join the instagram praise party… so I did what I do best on my own… I worshiped!
I worshiped myself to sleep and I woke up a few hours later forgetting about what I was dealing with a night before. Not mentioning it to anybody. Not seeing it as a big enough deal to mention to someone in a counsel kind of way.

But why am I writing this here, because some people think its all perfect for Christians/certain Christians especially those in some sort of ministry.
I understood Elisha in that moment, after building momentum and doing this gorgeously power filled things for God; he called for fire from heaven and what a fire came down, he rounded up all the prophets of baal and killed them all. Such a tough guy, but he got threatened by a little woman and fled, went into hiding, went into depression, questioned God…. Sometimes even in the thick of your faith, you will be more human than superhuman… and its okay. It’s okay to cry… it’s okay to not pretend. It’s okay to allow yourself to get to the place where even you know that you need help…. Because it is in this place that you get refreshed in your spirit… that you get renewed in your heart… that you get to experience Gods love like never before. Sometimes it’d be silent and you would feel like God isn’t hearing you, but even in that feeling, that’s the best moment. Because He’s holding you tighter than ever… didn’t he say His strength is made manifest in our weakness?(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Sometimes, the times we cry out for help are not the times we need help the most. It’s the silent seasons that are quite more dangerous…
Just a few weeks prior that night, I heard some news that was disturbing to me. I stood firmly on the water of faith, but my heart was weary about walking long in the storm. I knew I could survive it, I would walk through it, but I didn’t want to be strong in that moment, I didn’t want to encourage myself by reminding myself of the things I knew to be true. I was vexed about the news, and so I ran to my friend. I got into his home and just dropped on my knees Nollywood/Bollywood style… I was deliberately being dramatic on the rug, and I was deliberately crying… I looked for the tears and I loved that they came out. It was a relieve leaning on someone else… and to hear the encouragement I knew in my heart sound off from someone else.
I think the silent moments like I went through a few nights ago are more dangerous, because you cant pinpoint to anything… and you think of how uncomfortable this home is getting, wanting heaven. Wanting the easy way out of nothing and everything.

But how selfish it is to think that. If God has given you dreams and a mandate to fulfill, He has equipped you to do it. He wouldn’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. (Matthew 11:28 msg) If you’re wearing a challenge in a season, know that it isn’t ill fitting on you… you have what it takes to rock it perfectly.
There’s a reason Jesus asked God not to take us from the world, but to keep us from the evil one. (John 17:15)
I mean, why can’t he just take us when we get born again? Because there’s so much to do on earth and he needs us!
That’s a nice thought… God needs me, and He needs you. God in all His glory needs me to be all He has called me to be, and so when I get discouraged, I will get up and keep at what I have to do, its okay for me to act as a spoilt brat every once in a while and cry or wonder… but I have to snap out of it, find a way to be disciplined with words of encouragement from those close to me… or just fall into worship and get myself back together.

(I’ve realized that sometimes Christians don’t know what to do with a 'depressed' or 'going through stuff' believer. They instantly judge or say you’re not spiritual enough. Leaving the person needing help to feel condemned. That’s why many refuse to show their discouragement till they implode. You are not a weak Christian because you cry about something or you feel discouraged sometimes. When you go through that… make sure its just a going through, don’t spread out a mat and sleep in your discouragement… when you fall, you get up and keep going.)

If it feels tough for you… don’t be despaired, Gods got you. Nothing more than you can bear. You can’t crack under that weight because it’s the perfect size, the perfect fight, and the perfect obstacle for you in all your graced status to overcome and handle.
Don’t underestimate the power of praise in those moments, the power of worship… the power of remembrance/meditating on Gods word/ prayer.
You’ll be fine. Heaven is a beautiful place, but earth is beautiful as well, and what helps in making it beautiful is you refusing to cave to trials and focusing on what you’re called to do… be it fashion, arts, medicine, law, music, civil service, production, teaching… anything. Your walking in purpose is you standing as a puzzle piece that has been fixed in place on the board, one by one we fit into the picture in our calling till the end picture is produced… a beautiful heaven on earth even with all the trouble it faces. You make the picture beautiful.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30(MSG)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Boobies... Suckle... Worship!

I’ve been reading about breastfeeding.
It’s left me in awe at how awesome God is. Before we thought of formulas, a world that would get so busy for mothers to stay home and breastfeed, He put all a baby would need in the mother’s breast. Every nutrient for every stage of the baby’s life is available. The mother has everything her baby needs to grow up healthy and build his/her system in her.
Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates.  There is nothing better for the health of your baby.  Leukocytes are living cells that are only found in breast milk.

I read that a mum’s breast milk changes to meet the baby’s need. This happens because when babies suckle, a vacuum is created which enables the infant’s saliva to get into the mothers nipples. Here, the mammary glad receptors then interprets the baby’s spit backward for bacteria and viruses and if they detect something amiss i.e. the child is sick or fighting an infection, the moms body changes the milks immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby’s particular virus by producing customized antibodies.
A 2013 clinical and translational immunology study found that when a baby is ill, the numbers of leukocytes (a colorless cell that circulates in the blood and body fluids and is involved in counteracting foreign substances and disease; a white (blood) cell.) in its mothers breast spike.

In other words, when a baby is ill, the breast milk picks signals and changes to the antidote for what the baby needs at that moment. The milk produced from nursing a baby with a cold resembles colostrum, which is the super milk full of antibodies and leukocytes women make during the first few days after birth.

All these goodies in the breast, babies are sure having a ball!
Now back to the main the main, the reason for the breast talk, or boobies’ as my dearest dearest six-year old niece Michelle would say with mischief.

EL SHADDAI .. Almighty, All Sufficiency, the Breasted One. He meets all our needs. All Consuming Judge, to sweep away or make desolate .. Gen 17:1; Ps91:1; 81:10

The bible refers to God as the many breasted one.

All breasted one… The All-sufficient one.

In Him is everything… EVERYTHING you need.

The one who nurtures you like a mother nurtures her babe.
We are all children of God… it doesn’t matter if you’re a hundred and two or a day old… and that qualifies us as his kids to suckle on Him.

And as every nutrient a child needs to grow, to build up the immune system etc. is contained in the mothers breast, everything we need to be all we’re called to be in this world, to live victorious etc is contained in God!

Latch on to him exclusively.
Suckle on His love and grace.
Just like the baby’s saliva sends a signal, when a need comes… even before you call, from your sucking, a signal is sent up, and a solution, an antidote is given… right in the sucking.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything other thing is added… taken care of.

Isn’t God just so beautiful in all His ways? How He presents Himself to us and mirrors just what He’s like in the life of a mother and her newborn baby. He gives us a picture of the nurturing love that He has for us.

The beauty of our God. … our ALL in ALL. The I am that I am… meaning all that we need Him to be, He is for us. Provider when needed, a friend, lover of our souls… comforter, helper…. Counselor.
When you’re lied on, cheated on… treated badly… you’ll suck on Him and He’ll sooth you with the nutrient you need to be strengthened in that place of hurt, He’ll be your defense.
When you’re confused, at a loss of what to do… He’ll be your helper, your counselor.
When you’re in danger, in the valley of the shadow of death… He’ll be your guide; His rod and staff would comfort you and give you boldness.

As we suckle on His grace, the antidote for every situation we face is provided.
As we suckle, a signal is given and all that we lack, all that we desire is given.

There’s a flow of milk as long as a child keeps sucking… and it is always a relieve for the mother for this milk to flow. You can’t receive all that God has for you if you’re not sucking. There’s all that provision, but there is no flow, because you just wouldn’t receive, and His boobs (sounds weird to say) is heavy, desiring a release to you, it gives Him joy to see you receive from Him.

How do we receive? How do we suck on this love of our God? Suck on the many breasted one… the all sufficient one? In the place of worship!
In worship, we just draw and draw and draw from Him. Worship, praise, prayer… just spending time with Him.
Be the child of God that you are… spend time with your Daddy who mothers you, and enjoy all that he desires for His children to have.

“… God wants more than an experience with you; He wants a relationship.
When you have a relationship with God, He will reveal Himself to you. He will give you more than just success; He will give you significance. He will teach you how to master the gifts He has placed in you and only then will the world move over and make space for you.” Paul Adefarasin

Have a relationship with Him…. spend time with Him… feed on Him!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

On Mosquitoes and Insomnia...

Inability to sleep… insomnia is the glamorized name. like they took that hideous ordinary looking discomfort and gave it a make over… dressed it in a ball gown and suddenly gave it status, and made you feel like it's not so bad if you use its royal name. Glam bam wide awake… Lady insomnia is keeping you company.

I have no problem with staying up at night. I love it. I come alive at night… typical me is drifting off to sleep at 4am, fulfilled, happy and not frustrated at being up so late, because some times I even make myself stay up… sometimes I try to push myself, I’m up living as the queen of the night time till the sun comes out and when the hustle and bustle of activities for the day begins, that’s when I tuck in and just float over to a beautiful comatose… or semi-comatose because I hear when the phone rings at 8am or 9am, someone who’s had hours of hours of a good night sleep feeling its okay to call, and when I by reflex groggily answer the call that ends up being a total waste of time and an annoying interruption, they think aha ah… you’re still sleeping at this time? You’re enjoying oh… and in that sound, I hear an undertone of lazy lazy lazy… you’re so lazy. But I really don’t care, as long as I’m productive all through the night, then keep your thoughts and maybe your calls to yourself, at least give me till 10am. I love my beauty sleep….

But you see, it becomes a problem when you don’t feel like being creative at night, you’ve prayed and then its almost 2am and as you snuggle in, the artificial darkness collides with the natural… there’s a power cut, and the generator is faulty. So you figure… it rained, the weathers cool, you can sleep off... only to close your eyes and wham! The monsters of the night start marauding. They are tiny, but not tiny enough to ignore. Close to the ears they zoom past with an annoying buzz. I find myself slapping myself so hard it feels like I’m doing a self-flagellation on myself like those monks. I hit my ears really hard, it dinged, I thought I may have burst my eardrums. I figured something out about those little evil suckers… most times I slap a spot and aggressively scratch, they have bitten and are long long gone before I attack myself… and the moment I gently rub my hands on my shoulder or any part of my body sometimes, something sticky is felt… blimey, I just killed one and it was a fat one, fat on my blood, taking a lazy nap on my shoulders/body and I had no idea. You only feel their bite long after they’re gone, so stop with the self harm by slapping yourself so hard in the bid to kill them.

Now I can’t sleep. Nothing frustrates me as much as mosquitoes, i remember as a child doing the exact same thing, being frustrated and looking for them kill. I pray for the light to be restored, that would keep them away… I hate the idea of insecticides because it causes allergies for me, and I end up spending the night puffing on inhalers. I put on the torch on my ipod and launch a search for mosquitoes, I might as well fight a battle if they would keep me awake, I hunt them out and kill as many as I find, it gives me a satisfaction that I have fired my own ammunition against them, even though they burst to death with my own blood. My friend says if mosquitoes decide to do a pay back, I’d be in trouble, because they would all troop to my room for all their comrades I have killed. I’d be ready for them.

And so I am forced to stay awake, because the moment I close my eyes, those terrors are close to my ears. I asked God why He created those petite, little monsters… and I thought to myself, maybe they weren’t meant to torment us so, maybe they play a part in the environment, and maybe the fall of man that distorted the way things were to be, unleashed their senselessness to attack the ones who have dominion over them.
I stay on instagram, liking relevant and irrelevant pictures, I try to pray at the same time, I read FIN stories, and slap myself at intervals and cringe at the giant shadows the light from my phone makes of them. I try writing, but my laptop battery is almost out.

Its 5am and I really do want to sleep, but they haven’t retired for the night… its 7am, the light from outside trickles in, they fizzle out… its 8am, power is restored, I close my eyes to sleep… its 9am, my phone beeps with an important call that cannot be ignored, and that call forces me to shower and drive out, it takes me out of the house for about an hour. Its 12:15pm, I’m in bed, snuggled in to sleep, but I have my stay the path book by Bobbie Houston by my side, I have my laptop open writing this. I am sleepy, I am tired from my battle with the mosquitoes, I'm a bit grouchy... I may have snapped at my mum. I need to sleep, but here I am, insomnia being real to me. The craziness of sleeplessness.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Father's Business...

I went to the market to buy some sweet potatoes, and the teenage girl manning her mothers’ goods attended to me with zero courtesy! She was so rigid, no smile, and no attempt to cajole me to buy her goods. She gave the price as her mother had probably instructed and just stood with that dirty attitude when I tried to bargain. I would have gladly paid for her goods if only she was nicer; I would do the obligatory bargaining dance (so I don’t feel like I was cheated) but end up paying. But I got no courtesy, so I walked away to the next woman selling sweet potatoes, and bought it at the same price the girl gave me for because this other lady served me better, even when I tried to bargain, she handled me well enough to get me to cheerfully part with my money at her original price.
That little girl messed up her mothers business with her attitude and lack of thereof. She lost a customer with the much-needed money I could have given… she cost her mother so much, but she was too stuck up with herself, she didn’t notice… or care.

This encounter got me wondering: are we messing up our Father’s business with our attitude? How much damage has our inability to show love and compassion caused? Do we show some level of grace when we deal with people? Do we show some level of excellence and diligence in our businesses? I mean God is the Father of ALL grace; we should be able to show at least a little when we handle His business. Look at how excellent creation is, we should be able to show the same sort of excellence in our business/daily life.

Jesus was found in the temple after his earthly parents nearly had a heart attack from discovering him missing and searching for him. When found in the temple, He told them he was going about his Fathers business. He must have acted with decorum, with wisdom and given honor to the scribes for them to have sat down to listen to the little boy speak. He handled his fathers business well, with grace. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business?” Luke 2:49(DHB)

Do the gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of us? Think about it! Sometimes, the only bible people would read is our lifestyle/attitude … that’s all the convincing needed, to either get them to buy your product/service or serve your God.

And he calls himself a Christian! A statement I’ve heard one too many times from people disappointed by some person who parades his Father’s name/business, but in no way represents him in the way he runs it.

What happened to diligent and excellent service? Tongue speaking and anointed does not give a license to misrepresent your father by the bad fruit you allow to fester because you’re a child of God. Good children handle their fathers business well, and Gods business goes beyond the church; a pastor or a worker or called to certain offices in the ministry…. It includes our ‘secular jobs’ as engineers, politicians, musicians, producers, pilots, soldiers, writers, domestic helps, husbands, wives etc… what ever we find ourselves doing, we do it to the glory of God, because it is His business we front for. We represent Him in every sphere as Christians.

In your daily life, what are you living? Do you have integrity? When people hear your name, do they encourage me to come to you or do they warn me off you or your services? When a person is dating you, do people stare with pity and warn the person off or say how blessed that person is? As a pastor/priest do you misrepresent what you preach?
Have you earned a sour reputation on your job?

My family had a printing job and I recommended a friend who was also a spirit filled Christian to handle it… Long story short, a day to my grandmas funeral and we had no program printed, after paying him about eighty percent of what he charged… to cut an even shorter story short, he didn’t deliver the work and disappeared from the scene, an emergency work had to be done by another friend. The whispers spoken loud enough for me to hear was an accusation that I gave the work to someone in my church… what a picture it painted… a church member with such a lousy score on integrity. That’s someone who is anointed, but like that teenage girl selling her mother’s potatoes, hasn’t handled his fathers business right… and I would without guilt walk to the next person offering the same services next time because of the attitude I received from this one. This is a misrepresentation of this God of grace, love, peace and forgiveness we teach. Has he apologized to my family and I for the embarrassment? No! My mum got his dad involved and he had to refund the money… but an apology would go a long way. The teenage girl attitude came to play in this scenario.

When I was ready to publish my book, I went for the best. I didn’t think I had an option to do anything less. I paid a lot for professional editing services… even though in the end I saw one or two errors In the finished work, I know I did my best, it wasn’t out of negligence, I could have gotten my sister or friends to read through, and look out for typos, save myself that money, but I knew if I was publishing a book, then it had to be done well. I could have ‘printed’ the books anywhere in Nigeria with lots of willing printers for less than a quarter of the price I paid for publishing, and saved and made a lot of money… be profit driven… but I was more about excellence than profit. I want people to hold my book in their hands and see something of value, many would only be encouraged to read by how the book is packaged (by the way, my book Kiss & Tell is available on amazon and all the major book stores online)… the book has God’s imprint on it, why should it be presented as anything less than excellent? If it represents God, it doesn’t mean it has to be shabby, that’s when it ought to exceed every known expectation.

That’s the picture we grew up with, Gods business is Gods business, so we don’t need to put in any energy. We just show up and show out… but we take more time in doing it if it doesn’t concern God. Thank God for eyes that are opening to see the importance of excellence. Now we have gospel music been produced with excellence and performances/ministrations with so much work put into it. Churches look better and church workers aren’t as scruffy looking in the name of the Lord as they used to be.
We serve an excellent God, a God of excellence and He’s given us this kingdom business in the dreams He’s placed in our hearts and the things our hands have found to do, do them well… don’t let the gentiles ridicule your God because of you.(Romans 2:24)

Yes God loves you irrespective of what you do… but why not honor Him with what He’s placed in your hands? Why not show forth His excellence? Why not be kind and show love? Why not gain more knowledge in what you do and find ways to be better at it? Why not stop cheating people? Why not give top-notch customer service and show excellence? Why not clean up and have baths and wear clean clothes? Why not brush your teeth and stop being so spiritual that people avoid you because you stink in the name of the Lord. You don’t represent God that way.

Like that awful teenage girl… maybe people aren’t patronizing you because of your attitude or lack of, your neighbor isn’t using witchcraft to excel in his business while you fail… he understands the principle of integrity and excellence in service. Shut up, stop complaining, put your faith to work, as you pray for good success, work towards that good success and improve on your services. Stop binding and casting and start looking within to bring about the necessary change. There’s grace available. I should know, because I’m on this journey of learning to manage my Father’s business as well.
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