who am i?

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

Unguarded...

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I caught a cold. I haven’t been down with a cold for a while, the sneezing the sniffing, the headaches and the blocked nose…
I was upset that I caught a cold in the middle of a heat wave. I had survived the cold harmattan season with all the dust flying around; I stood in the midst of people sneezing around me. I conquered the cold, dry, dusty weather. I conquered the rains before then. So yes, I was upset that in the midst of what must be a clone of hell on earth, I found myself with a bout of cold.
The heat was stiffing. Humid, hot… the perfect weather to let loose and take off your clothes at any given opportunity.

So, I got thinking…. How come I easily caught a cold in the midst of the horrible heat and I’ve been able to scale through the cold and dusty weather scot-free? You see, when I’m in the cold, I know its cold, and so I protect myself accordingly. I don’t go round in tank tops if it’s snowing, or sleep in just underwear in the harmathan. There are duvets, and there are jumpers and sweatshirts… there are onesies and hot cups of tea and hot water baths to warm me up. I’ve got the cold covered.

But in the heat, my guards are down. It’s so hot I do the only thing I think to do… run into an air-conditioned room whenever I find one. Wear tank tops and shorts as often as I can. Sit in front of the fan with barely anything on, taking cold baths… and when I drink ice cold water, for relieve I let a some trickle down my throat to my chest. I chew on ice when I find any and just don’t take precautions because it’s hot, and all I care about is cooling myself off. In the mist of that carelessness, I expose my chest and body to the elements, cold water drying off on my body etc and there you go, an opportunity to catch a cold.
Expose yourself, catch a cold, cover yourself up, and avoid a cold.

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Prov4: 23

It’s the same way we tend to be on guard when in the world as Christians. We cover up real good like its winter or the rainy season, lest we expose ourselves and catch a cold or get hurt. We’re extra careful in business deals, relationships and dealings with unbelievers and we’re on guard. Then we get into church where its summer… and we expose ourselves to get cooled off. We’re no more on guard; our guards are completely let down… and suddenly we catch a cold and we wonder.
Guarding your heart shouldn’t stop outside the church. You should guard your heart even when you do business with fellow Christians in church… I’ve heard stories of being burnt. Don’t be completely exposed, people are taken most advantage of in the church.

I’m usual on guard whenever I get to hang out with that ‘unbeliever’ friend who is perfect, so I don’t fall for him because that’s setting myself up for something complicated, I’m guarded and I know there’s a barricade even as I laugh at his jokes and enjoy his company. It shouldn’t be any different when I hang out with a born again friend. Because even if there’s a chance that my laugh at his joke could turn into my heart skipping beats, I should be cautious about it, I shouldn’t fall blindly in love without knowing him well.

Guard your heart when you’re dating a guy/girl in church. You just let go riding on the waves of brotherhood/sisterhood in church and then get hurt and burnt because no guards were up and without warning, you’ve been marauded. Because he’s a Christian, you immediately trust him with all your heart and then he hurts you or somehow you find yourself pregnant and abandoned (it happens) The church is where a lot of sick/troubled/human people come to for healing, everyone is being perfected, so love them, fellowship with them, cautiously trust them… but act with wisdom. Don’t just date him because he heads a department in church, or date her cause she’s in the choir. The other day I had a talk with a friend and I just didn’t have the heart to tell him things about a church girl he’s in love with and trusts completely. I’d rather he finds out himself. I don’t think he allowed things to cook well i.e getting to know each other well before jumping on the love boat and letting his heart run loose around her. He’s about to catch a major cold, because he assumed it was summer in church and exposed himself.  
I’ve heard of business deals going sour with fellow church members cheating themselves and having messy fights. Employees disappointed at shoddy work ethics of Christian employees he employed based on trust and church membership.

Some messages being preached need to be guarded against as well. Honor your pastor, but don’t go out there to just any church ready to eat whatever is cooking on the pulpit without having a well guarded heart, guarded enough to make you think after a sermon and study the word for yourself, not hook line and stinker… then you find yourself lost and confused. Let him guide you, but be on guard as well. Some pastors have turned their congregation to a cult followership…. They’ll eat grass if he says so. Which is so unfortunate.

What’s my message here? Just guard your heart at all times, pray for wisdom and the spirit of discernment, you’ll avoid making half the mistakes we do if we’re on guard.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What's The Beef?...

What’s the beef?
A cow is just beef, so why are humans being killed in droves to please cows and give them comfort to fatten up?
The Fulani herdsmen obviously haven’t gotten the memo on the value of life.
I don’t know what the solution is, what I know is that it’s a horrible situation and lives are being torn apart. This isn’t in the far north or northeast, this is just at my backyard, in peaceful quiet Benue, the food basket of the nation. Where we eat pounded yam for pleasure and abound in the juiciest of fruits. In Agatu… where they people survive on farming and fishing... and my grandma gets the nicest dry fish for the homes of her children and grand kids. We haven't had nice fishes for a while, grandma says the crisis has prevented the women who bring her steady supply from trading.

Death is on a rampage, dining with families and leaving blood trails of heartbreak; deep gut wrenching sorrow.
This is the season where love rises to embrace the hopelessness of people who have been uprooted from their homes, from what normalcy means to them. Waking up and living: cooking a meal, sharing a laugh, scolding a child, sweeping the compound… to the indecency of a camp, a makeshift home, emptied out classrooms. No clothes but the ones they had on as the fled. No privacy, little to eat and dependency on what love has to offer in form of clothes and food from individuals who have a heartbeat for humanity. Because it’s beyond the government, if love didn’t exist, they’d be victims of bureaucracy and corruption, twice hit, from their marauders and the people in authority who have a duty to respond to their plight and ease their burden but wouldn’t until there’s a social media movement that moves them to action.

There are various IDPs spread across the affected region in the state. But I have come in contact with one through my mum and her league of women, some of those led by love to reach out and be a little beckon of comfort. Not like some bags of rice and clothes are any comfort to one suffering from great loss, but they are a joy, an assurance that their survival is worth something, and they will live through this to a time where their land would be completely theirs again and restored, a time where they would be able to breath again without feeling like their chest would rip from the pain and hurt of losing loved ones and entire belongings, not even given the opportunity to have closure from burying their dead.
I haven’t been brave enough to go in the midst of lost hope to give love, because what I’d give wouldn’t be a smile of hope, but a forlorn look of despair and maybe guilt, that I get to come there by choice, I get to wear my own clothes and eat properly prepared meals and leave them in an aced car to a well made bed and at least the comfort of a fan in this heat, when the little some of them had, all of it has been snatched away… just like that, burnt.
I don’t have the heart. Yes I am a coward.
I’m not strong enough to take it in first hand, because it crushes me, even from the filtered information I get from my mum.

This particular camp is made up of those who escaped through the river.
They ran as their homes were set ablaze and witnessed indiscriminate killings of their fathers, sisters, uncles and children, that they couldn’t stop to mourn or hold on to for just a little while longer to their dying bodies. They were pursued and shot at as they fled. Many died right in the heart of an escape to life, but not to living just yet.
As they paddled away in canoes, they were shot at.
One of the ladies lost her husband just as they were about letting out their held breath in relieve at their narrow escape… right on the brink of a second chance, he was snatched from her and her children. What’s a new beginning going to be like for her?
One of the ladies was brought out of camp to be with my family, she’ll be earning some money for the upkeep of her kids.
Her story? While they hid out before they fled… she, her mum and her four kids had nothing to drink for four days, nothing! When they eventually got to the camp, her eight-month-old son died of dehydration. He escaped the machetes and guns of the marauders, but he couldn’t escape the thirst of the body.
There’s such a deep sorrow in her quiet composure, like you could drown in all the unshed tears within her soul. Her husband, one of the brave men who chose to stay behind to defend what they could of their home, their heritage… Did he survive? Or is he still alive and plagued daily with the uncertainty of a crude death and an unmarked grave?

What do the Fulani herdsmen want? There are theories… fingers are being pointed, but sometimes we have to move away from the genesis of an issue and get an exodus from it for a resolved tomorrow. What’s the solution now that it’s happening?
When has the life of a cow mattered more than a human life? When has the life of a cow become worth this indecency to humanity?
Why are we suddenly been stirred to barbaric responses in the era of civilization?
Why is war, rumors of war and crisis becoming a normalcy in our daily lives?
What’s the solution to this?
What’s the beef? And who’s responsible for burying the hatchet and brokering a long lasting truce?
So many questions, but would the answers bring about the peace we’re in search of?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Inexhaustible... The Life Wardrobe Staple

We buy really expensive things and begin the fine art of saving them! Using them only on special, super special occasions. (Who defines what’s special and what’s not? Like the wedding of your best friend even though it’s low key is special and worth that super exclusive dress, but we shelve it and wear it for that celebrity wedding where we know no one, and just managed to squeeze an invite from the printer, so what makes it special? Well, that’s by the way.)

When it comes to bags and shoes, the higher the price, the lesser the use.
Does it make sense? I buy a pair of shoes from Primark and I use it more than, say a pair of Jimmy Choos (No I don’t own a pair of Choos just yet). When obviously the Primark is of a lower quality and would wear out faster from daily use than a Jimmy Choo used as often. I have the humblest collection of designer bags… a very humble collection, and in this collection I have two Louis Vuitton bags. I have worn the life out of the poor darlings; I mean I paid so much for it so why not use them as often as I want to? Rain, sunshine, snow, headrest and travel companion… I have cheaper bags, but they have come and gone after a few good use but the durability of the Vuitton proves itself. (I have a whole chapter on the beauty of Louis Vuitton in my book. You should check it out. Here)

My sister got a pair Vivienne Westwood shoes I loved, and I went back to the shop soon after to get my pair some years ago. I saw her wear hers recently and I was shocked to see that it looked as good as new…. Mine has been worn out. It’s got scratches on it etc. well, it probably helps that she’s got loads of shoes she’s never used or barely uses and I on the other hand have just a handful of shoes that I use ALL the time. The shoes I spend good money on are worn regularly… I mean it’s expensive so it ought to be durable and usable right?
I’m so over keeping certain things away…. If I’ve got a chance to wear, then wear I would. Every occasion is special, so milk it and look fabulous doing it.

The most expensive pair of shoes in my wardrobe are a pair of Louboutins, I didn’t pay for it, it was a gift from my brother. I couldn’t afford to splurge that much on shoes, I can for a bag though :). My point here is that it was free, and I rock the life out of it. God’s grace is the most expensive possession we have in our wardrobe of life. You may be thinking, but I can’t afford it, I’m a sinner… well, that’s the thing, we can’t afford this precious, valuable thing, that’s why it’s given to us as a gift. God loved us so much, that He sent Christ to die for us and He clothed our filthy selves with His perfect cloak of love and grace. Freely He’s given it to us. So, freely, lets enjoy it. You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich”2 Corinthians 8:9 We cannot exhaust it or wear it out by regular usage. It’s as durable as they come, just like my Vuitton bags have served me in all weathers, grace is ready to serve us diligently in every season.It's inexhaustible.

We can’t have such an expensive item for our use, given for free and hide it away to use on just special occasions while we run around in our cheap shoes, what are we saving the grace for? For finding a wife and husband? We can use it for mundane stuff as deciding between chicken and beef for lunch. It’s not just for when we need favor at interviews or when applying for contracts, it’s for when we want the pimples gone, when we want to look fab in that dress, when the hairline is receding, when we want to lose that weight and when we want to stop being pathological liars and cheats.
We hold on to the law like our less expensive items in our wardrobes and use it everyday (helping ourselves, relying on our cheap selves. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands....Romans 3:20), till the special occasion where we bring out grace from it’s well preserved storage to do one or two things for us.

We can never exhaust this grace, what are you saving it for? We weren’t made to toil the earth…. When you drop grace aside, you toil. We were meant to work in grace, pursue our dreams and purpose in grace, enjoy our marriage in grace, in that way we don’t labor in vain to achieve. Who are we saving it for? Does it make the price Christ paid/the suffering on the cross less painful on Him when we don’t use it always? He’s not worried that like a child who’s given a mobile phone to play with will wreck it, that you will wreck this grace, that’s not for you to worry about. You may eventually wear out your Jimmy choo, or Louboutins or Vivienne Westwood shoes like I did from regular usage, but you can never wear out Gods endless grace. 
Use it daily boo.
Be beautiful everyday. Look good everyday, wear your best everyday even when it’s just a regular day. Who says you shouldn’t use that expensive shoe/jewelry/bag/hair because you laidback today? Who says you shouldn’t bring out that pair of shoe for a night out with your friends where there’s no chance of a photo op for a magazine or instagram to show off? Who says everyday, every outing isn’t a special occasion to shine in grace? Gods grace is sufficient for you in all conditions. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Like the music minister Chris Morgan sings “Daily as I live, as often as I breathe may my whole life be expressions of your grace….” May our WHOLE life be expressions of His grace, not just a tiny bit, or an occasional bit, but the whole of it, from our waking to our going to bed each day.
My life is an expression of His grace... from the rising of the sun to it's setting, I'm dependent on this grace.

"Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try and find something or someone that it cannot cover. Grace is enough." Brennan Manning


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Death Eats Dust...


The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated
                                                                                 Forever – Bethel Music

He is risen!

He is not here; He has risen, as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay. Matthew 28:6

His resurrection, the empty tomb gives us hope and joy that nothing ends in death… not our lives, not our dreams. Death is a place of transformation to something better.
The empty tomb shows us there’s a power stronger than death. Death has been conquered by something so powerful, yet so gentle and mild… Love! 
Death got served!

God’s perfect love couldn’t be overcome by death. Love truly is stronger than death.
His death gave me the freedom to live, laugh and love... and I choose to live for Him!!!
I’m thankful for the resurrection power working in me… it’s given me the audacity to expect the impossible, so see life where there seems to be death, to live knowing the greatest force in the universe LOVE is working for me, with me and in me. The same power that raised Christ from the death lives in me and quickens me to perfection. Glory.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY: God can breathe new life into your dreams, endeavors, relationships, and needs. Jesus is alive." – Brian Houston
Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Silence Of Saturday...


What happened on Saturday? Saturday was silent. Saturday was gloomy… Saturday was uncertain. Christ had died, all seemed lost, so lost, that no one saw sense or could muster up enough faith to hold on to His words before He left. The assurance that it is finished were probably overlooked as last words of a hopeless dying man, relieved to be relieved of his pain and torment on that cross. All His simple but profound teachings that pointed to Him as the messiah made no sense anymore on that cross.
What happened when his body was buried? Suddenly what they believed and were passionate about seemed surreal. It was real while it lasted, but now was reality. What to do next. Where to go next… what’s the next curve ball life is throwing. That Saturday must have been filled with uncertainty, with fear, with anguish, with questions and wonder. Was he? Wasn’t he? Then how? Why would Judas? How could they have murdered him? Just like that?

They were scattered and hiding out in fear, sought out to be arrested. It was truly finished for them, but not in the sense Jesus meant, but in their botched understanding in that moment.
The heart beat of a mother who tried to reconcile her conception of a son who was the son of God and all the miracles she had seen… to reconcile the reality of the moment to the virgin birth and those profound words that still sounded so clear like it was said at that very moment “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:31-33

We all go through the silent Saturdays. We hear words of assurance, words that stir our faiths, sermons that swell our faith to mountain moving proportions… we’re all hopeful till we get to a point where it seems like we’re stuck between a hard rock and the deep blue sea. Every way feels like no way… because really, you’d feel better if you could move into the deep blue sea, because somehow that gives a sense of direction, of movement even when you know you’ll drown in there. Anything feels better than being still and knowing he is God.
But God said He will, then why hasn’t He? But God’s here with me He says, so why can’t I hear Him or feel Him or see that miracle? Everywhere speaks silence, even the word breath silent words out when you try to read to encourage yourself. Your prayers are mumbles. You are in a silent drought…

But that’s the wrong time to give up. That’s the time to be more hopefully, because you see, as with the disciples, after the silent Saturday where everything they had been taught by Jesus was shaken, where doubt clawed at their hearts of the authenticity of Jesus as the savior… after this deep gutted silence that could slice at every ounce of truth effortlessly, came the thunderous Sunday. The Sunday that changed the world as we know it. The Sunday that saved us, the Sunday that sealed our fates as children of God… the Sunday that restored us and proved every word and every step Jesus took. Resurrection Sunday.

If everything is as silent as death around you, rejoice, there’s a resurrection for you. Christ died that we may have life and have it in abundance… life isn’t just the air we breath, life is the life we live; our relationship, our marriage, our careers, our ministry… everything! There’s a resurrection and in it, the fulfillment of all the promises.
Whatever you’re going through, there’s a word for you it truly is finished. That situation is finished; it can’t finish you unless you let the silence of Saturday hang you on a noose of unbelief. There’s a calm just before the glorious storm. God is working, even when it’s silent. It was silent on earth, but Christ was down in hades to raise some dust J proclaiming His victory to the kingdom of darkness. Destroying the power of death, so when its silent, know He’s behind the scene, perfecting it for you, bringing us to the perfect finish through the perfect sacrifice.
Expect a resurrection!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Debt Free... Yayy!

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Have you ever been in debt? I have and it was horrible. I got involved in a somewhat bad deal; well it wasn’t all bad till there was an outstanding bill I couldn’t meet up with at the stipulated time. Oh gosh! Life just twists and turns you to a deplorable state of unrest. Your life isn’t yours anymore, even when you try to relax, something nudges you… ah ah, not today my friend, you owe…. You owe. You’re in debt. Even when no one is calling you to pay up, you still feel haunted.

I live in Nigeria; we don’t bury ourselves in institutionalized debts in these parts. We don’t have credit card bills piling up, very few people buy their homes on mortgage. They don’t see all of us as credit worthy and the banks make getting loans even for legit businesses a hellish task, talk less of personal loans. Thus we’re not used to the debt life or living beyond our means on credit. There’s no fear of houses and cars being repossessed, because we out rightly own what we have. Ain't I glad about this... not having any credit card bills to deal with. A friend who's a business man kept laughing at me, and telling me to man up... that's how business is done, sometimes you owe... sometimes you don't. But how could I? I was not built for being in debt.
I didn’t have any peace, one minute I’d be laughing at something and even enjoying myself, and then I’d remember my debt, a little taunting voice in my head would get me weak and sad and withdrawn.
The day I got to sort out that debt was such a happy day. I could breath!

The debt life isn’t a life to live. The debt free life is such a blessing. Waking up in the morning knowing you owe nothing, nobody has anything on you. Your phone rings and you don’t hope it’s not about the money you owe. You wake up feeling free and go through life feeling light, nothing is bugging you. Nothing is nudging at you, nothing is breaking your relaxation… its peace, joy all the way.

God has given us a debt free life. 
If I felt this way about money, how much worse it is to feel like you owe a huge debt in life, one your money can’t pay for.
We were in debt, you and me. Our lives were a mess. An accusing finger pointing at us everyday and we would accept the accusation, walk in shame, working all day trying to pay up the debt. But we still weren’t making any progress, all attempts; all our toiling wasn’t even a drop in the ocean in our debt bank. It was truly a hopeless case until Jesus came in and paid off our debt. Just like that, on that cross, He paid the highest price and now we’re free.
He died to set us free.

“He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.” (1 Timothy 2:6a NLT)

Stop living like one who owes. Creeping through life with your head down, living in fear that God is angry with you and would soon be demanding you pay a price for your sin. Don’t think the headache is a price you’re paying for lying, or barrenness is a price for a promiscuous life.  You don’t owe anything. Live life to the fullest in Christ… a rich and satisfying life is what the death debt payment has given you. Enjoy life to the fullness, peace like a river, and joy like a fountain. God is not angry with you. He’s accepted the payment Christ gave for you. Truth is He paid so much more than the price of our sins, just to make sure there’s no loose end. Thus not only has your debt been paid, but you’re no longer a slave to sin; not a slave to fear, to lust, to heartbreak, to sickness… you rule over everything that has kept you captive, you've been set free.

Don’t live life like you’re in debt. Timid and tattered… the bible says the righteous man is as bold as a lion. Are you righteous? Of course you are, I can boldly say that… we are righteous because Jesus died, and we have been accepted in Him, thus we are the righteousness of God in Christ. Go through life boldly, knowing you are righteous and you can do ALL things through Christ.

Jesus assumed our guilt and suffered the full penalty of our sins, in our name, in our place. The entire debt against the one who believes in Christ is wiped out. T.L. Osborn

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

A debt free person would do things from the standpoint of what Jesus has done, the finished works on the cross. He would pay attention to details, to the fine print of who He is as written in the word. He would know his stuff, who he is, what he is, the value of the price paid for him. He thinks long term, he don’t just fall into sin with instant gratification, he thinks about the prize set before him and even if he does fall, he gets right back up as the righteous and forgiven man that he is. He isn’t afraid to ask his Father… yes He paid our debt already, but it doesn’t stop him from asking for more, rather it gives him a right to more, more than enough, thus he's bold enough to ask Him for more, to meet his needs. A debt free man refuses to be intimidated by life, he saves the word in his heart and is equipped to encourage himself when he comes across trouble. He has the Holy Spirit as his wise counsel and delights in fellowshipping with him. He isn’t afraid to say No when necessary, knowing that yielding to popular demand doesn’t define him, but his identity in Christ sets him apart. He knows the value of money, the power in giving; offerings, tithing, sowing and charity, that’s the value of cash and not in hoarding and just for personal gains.

Why would He give His life for us, just like that? Because He loves us. The cross equals love.

Good Friday is celebrated as the day Christ died. It’s a reminder that you are debt free, and we have a fully paid life. Don’t let the devil keep knocking on your mind and threatening you with a life bill that’s already been taken care of, with a huge tip. His death has set you free indeed. Live in this freedom and don’t let life intimidate you, because you owe it nothing, and God is not angry with you anymore.

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36

One of my favorite hillsong song is ‘man of sorrow’ A part of it goes like this …
Now my debt is paid, It is paid in full. By the precious blood, That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin Has no hold on me Whom the Son sets free, Oh is free indeed
Whom the son sets free, is free indeed!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rest...

Sometimes it feels like everything is coming against me… even as I smile and go through life like I don’t see the issues, they’re rushing towards me but I refuse to get depressed about them. I ask myself, is it worth killing yourself over? If you don’t see it as worth your life then why bother? It’ll surely pass, the issue will be sorted and life will move on.
This evening was one of those oh what a life lamentation time, but I’ve been comforted by this truth whispered in my heart, that for every pain and every challenge, there are hundreds of gains and goodness. For every tear, there’s a lot more joy. There’s a lot more good happening than the bad we project.
Have you noticed how our minds tend to project the bad happening more than all the good happening?

You think you see trouble? Well, reasons for your peace are more than those troubles that have come against you. So choose peace. Choose rest. Choose life. You’ll be surprise at how well things come into perspective when you rest. I’m not referring to the drug induced kind of rest that blanks reality out, I’m talking of the kind of rest God offers… the one where He tells us to come to Him and He will give us rest. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
When you’re in the God kind of rest, you’re in a glory induced haze and your eyes are opened to see that you are a giant in the eyes of the troubles coming your way and not the other way round. You see that there’s more sweet in the pudding than sour and you’re able to conquer/endure easily.

I love this story of Elisha and his servant….
When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17Then Elisha prayed, “O  lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
2 kings 6:15-17

That story isn’t just for then. It’s for now. There’s more working for you and in your favor than against you. Even when life seems to be falling apart, there are more things that have fallen in place for you than fallen apart. It’s all a matter of your mindset, what you choose to amplify, what you choose to fix your gaze on.
Trust that you’re going to be alright and whatever situation, no matter how massive it looks is just like a grasshopper that will be stumped on. In the words of Elisha “ don’t be afraid, for there are more on our side than on theirs”
There’s more working for you than against you. Rest in the arms of your Fathers love.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Incense Lagos... The Invite: A Worship Experience... An Audience of One.

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Incense is in Lagos this weekend guys and I would love you to be a part of it. The Blueprint church has so graciously offered to host us, and I’m so so excited.
It's a love revolution! More than a worship experience. It's an encounter that lifts to new dimensions and breaks barriers. Worship... A phenomenon that's best lived than described. 

We can only get to the Spirit and truth kind of worship when we understand just how loved we are by God... In that understanding we respond to Him and love on Him even when the rents long overdue or we've built our own estates. Our worship wouldn't be based on what's happening around us but on what's happening within us.

Incense is about stirring the truth of that love in our hearts and bringing us to the place of unadulterated worship.
Excited about Incense Lagos this Sunday. 4.30pm at golden tulip hotel Festac! (Beside Shoprite)

We have a team of anointed ministers who’ll be helping us release our worship. Trust me... You don't want to miss it. I'm so thankful God chooses to use me for this when He could have anyone.

See you on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stuff Fairytales Are Made Of...


The romance stories I find myself drawn to, are those where two different social classes seem to merge in love. How social barrier isn’t a determinant of how hard love hits and when it does, they fight through everything to the happily ever after.
The wealthy handsome guy, and the lower class beautiful lady… What perfect fairytales are made of… Sigh!

A few examples of stories that make me swoon….
Sound of music… gosh! I only began to really understand and see the story line as an adult and I was blown away. The captain and the nanny… how absurd, so beautiful, so heart melting, what perfect daydreams are made of.
Pretty woman floored me. The wealthy business mogul, who was young, suave, handsome… the toast of society, an eligible bachelor falls deeply in love with a pretty prostitute… no college education, no class, no money, the bottom of the social class.
Annie… Daddy Roberts, the unmarried billionaire, falls in love with his beautiful secretary Miss Grace.
Voice in the wind… Marcus, the wealthy Roman elite falls in love with his family’s plain looking Jewish slave.
Cinderella… The handsome prince, falls in love with the poor, maltreated orphan girl, and puts the kingdom at a standstill as he went in search for his one true love.
Ruth and Boaz… ahhhh Boaz! Wealthy, kind and probably handsome Boaz and poor poor beautiful Ruth, scraping for food, gleaning on his field. What a story, what a love. Excuse me as I swoon for a minute thinking about them.
Esther and the King... The plain Jewish girl who caught the attention of the great king.

I was thinking about it recently and I realized… wait, that’s really my story. I’m drawn to these love stories of love beyond the social classes because I see me in them.
Well, that’s the salvation story isn’t it?
I am the low life, the lower class, and the out dog. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, the one with no glory (fame, grandeur, dignity, riches etc) and He is the eligible, wealthy, handsome elite who falls in love with me. He is the King of kings…. He is the Lord of lords. He is the Messiah… He is the Holy one and He’s so in love with me. He fell so hard, He did all He could to get me, even if it meant giving up the treasure of His kingdom to win my heart and bring me to the same status as Him…, which it came down to… He gave Jesus for me.
Such a ploy to woo me, make me acceptable and qualify me to sit on the throne of His kingdom, equal to Him (for ye are gods) and now He calls me His bride, His princess, against the better judgment of anyone who would have anything to say about it.
Why would you stoop so low for this one? When You could have anyone You want? But He did it still… the power of His love. So powerful that He died for us, He made the perfect sacrifice for us, to prove just how true, how real, how unshakeable, how priceless this love is.
The perfect love story… Called out of darkness (the lower class/low life) into His marvelous light (the high life/top of the social class chain/the privileged class).
In pretty woman and all those stories, the wardrobe of the ladies had to change to reflect their new status. The shopping on rodeo drive, the beautiful jewelry… so exciting. So does God want me to reflect His glory, that the world will know He’s taking care of His pretty little bride, thus now I have ALL, for He has blessed me with all spiritual blessings in the heavens (His kingdom) and He has given me authority over all the powers of the enemy (I wear His signet ring the blood of Jesus/His name) and I carry His love child in the womb of my Spirit (the Holy Spirit) and I’m birthing great fruits for the glory of my love!

Isn’t it awesome? Stuff that goes deeper than the fairytales.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Love Collision: Love is God - Obiora Obiwon




 Obiora Nwokolobia-Agu, mostly known in the music industry as Obiora Obiwon, is an award winning Nigerian singer, musician, songwriter, recording artiste, music minister and evangelist. He was honored as Nigeria's Voice of the Decade (21st century) at the Nigeria Music Awards.  He is sold out to the gospel of Christ and continues to minister this message at various churches, Christian and other secular events. Obiwon is married and has two lovely children.
Facebook: Obiora Obiwon Twitter: @ObioraObiwon iTunes: Buy  here

 
What is your definition of love?

At the risk of sounding clichéd, Love is God... and I’ll explain my own understanding of this.

The day I settled with the whole issue of what love is, does true love exist and all such questions was the moment I came to terms with the fact that you cannot separate the Maker of all things from Love which He created and vice versa.  I had started to really seek and find if indeed there was anything like “love” as we know it and at a point when the love songs I often wrote and sang began to take on a more larger than life presence and meaning. I was also making grave mistakes and having misfortunes with romantic love in my own life. In my curious quest I found God as the ultimate Love I was searching for, the Love Being in whom I could safely and truly experience the highest meaning and expression of love ever possible. I realized and accepted that every other type of love and relationship on this realm flows out of that original Source or has been corrupted from this original. 

Have you had a love encounter with God?

Yes, severally... and I’m having one right now. Remarkably though, the day I truly submitted all of me and my ways to Him and other intimate moments alone with Him since then are exhilarating and unforgettable.

How has that changed your life and your perception of Christianity and what religion has portrayed it to be?

I found a true connection with my Maker. In retrospect I found that you can only hear of this or choose to sneer at it as another trick, until the day you freely decide to try it for yourself and stick at it... then the true encounters with the God of the Universe begin, you wouldn’t want to go back and you would understand why it would seem like others were quite ‘overzealous’ trying to introduce this to you. People being people choose bits and pieces of the aspects of the Christian message and twist and adapt it to suit whatever purpose, and this can scare away anyone who had wanted to try Christ for size. However this doesn’t change the fact that Jesus, the core of his message and all about Him is realer than the air we breathe and the best life ever. Additionally, as a “fly” guy, I had resisted giving all to God because that didn’t seem to be a ‘”fun” lifestyle and there might be certain things I would no longer be able to do. However after I made up my mind to do it, I discovered along the way that the God life is the best, “funnest” and safest lifestyle possible, even if He had to take a little time to change my initial tastes and concept of fun and satisfaction.

How has this love shaped your understanding of who God is? How has this love walk affected your life? i.e Has this love shielded you from trials? If it hasn’t, how have you been able to reconcile the truth of a loving God with the facts of life’s challenges in your face?


I’m learning everyday. Seasons of doubts and anxiety have crept up in the midst of certain circumstances, but I’ve learnt that if one could still believe and trust through these times and challenging circumstances, you would eventually come through to experiencing new dimensions of His love and His person on a whole new level. My claim to the absolute verity of the last statement is my personal experience; it has happened to me over and over again. It’s right in the love encounters that one is reassured of the unfailing and faithful nature of His love, therefore I come to see love encounters with God as a daily necessity for refreshment, strength and reassurance.


If you were given a chance to witness this love to someone, what would you say?

I would say all I’ve said above but probably summarize it thus: The Love of God is the love, satisfaction, rest and meaning that you've been searching and yearning for all your life... and it is personified in Jesus the Christ."

  Here’s Obiwons latest video 'Bunibe'. Bunibe shows a jubilant yet inspired Obiora Obiwon as he sing-dances his way across various situations of everyday life in the city and streets of Lagos, Nigeria. The song seeks to inspire faith and hope through praise in various circumstances.
I think it’s so apt for this post. Only a person who knows how loved he is by God will be willing to praise even when the land lord calls and trials and problems seem to be lurking around. So will you praise Him? Get up and dance knowing He loves you, and His love is bringing you out of every situation. There’s a fourth man in the fire, you wouldn’t be burnt.


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