who am i?

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

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.
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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)

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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)
   
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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.
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(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...

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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.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I Told You... Bemyoda!



He told me. I listened. Here I am. On the other side and that moment feels like just a dream… an unrealistic one, here I am not smelling of the fire that burnt me.

"Don't listen for strange hearts, listen for mine. I'll be the voice that tells you to fight for life, for freedom."

“Put your fears aside, make sure you speak out. You will be all right. You’re still alive… I told you”

I listened to His voice… the voice that echoed hope in that deep valley… and here I am… on the other side…because I listened. To what He told me.

Excited about Bemyoda’s new release… “I told you” off his upcoming 2017 album titled 'Stark'

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sharks of The Ocean... or Dolphins Maybe?


It's a pity so many women reduce their worth by getting their validity from how hard the next lady falls.
We were made to be soft, delicate but firm and assertive... Our minds are analytical for a purpose (not just for investigating cheating boyfriends/husbands) We are nurturers; equipped to support and help build up, and not tear down people. We're not created to be bitter vessels of offence formed from the hurt, dents and scars our delicacy sometimes opens us up to. 

From that subtle 'aha' we feel, to the open laughter and excitement when a fellow woman who doesn't even know you falls, is the sleeping monster of your insecurities awakening... Excited to rise up and separate you from who you were created to be… by making you compare yourself with others!
Is it easy? Not always… Am I this way? I am supportive, but I get jealous sometimes… how do I deal with the jealousy creeping in? By complimenting! See a lady looking good and feel the monster of judgment roaring within you? Then kill it by complimenting her on something. Women need more love from women… the competition is unhealthy!

I have people I call friends who never acknowledge what I do… I know I could keep quiet and pretend I don’t see what they do, but I’m not wired like that… I call and I show enthusiasm over what they do. I encourage, ask after their health and their family. It takes you being the bigger person to get them to rise up to be the bigger person as well. Royalty are not threatened by other royalty. Know who you are, and you would own your own space without feeling the next woman is a threat to you in her own space.

Learn from the dolphin... Dolphins are known to rally around injured and sick dolphins and even humans, protecting them from shark attacks, and pushing them up to the surface to help them breath if there is a need... While sharks destroy even their own at the slightest whiff of blood... Support and encourage your friends business, rally round and push them up to breath when they are bruised. Support is as simple as asking how she is/saying a word of prayer/acknowledging what she does/promoting her work and when you can, patronizing her.
Don't be quick to do a dance and spread the word when her relationship/marriage is wobbly.
Don't try to pull her down at the first sign of a cut that is bleeding... One little cut and your gossip like sharks help in destroying her self esteem. 


Be the one who loves/gives support like a dolphin and not tearing down like a shark.
(Of course Dolphins have their dark sides... But we're just emulating it in this aspect)


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Story Story... Not Tales By Moonlight.


I wonder how I got to this place that I am today! If I was given the monotony of the script of my life ‘Inyamu’s Eldorado‘Adventures of Joy’ it’d play out differently (see, I can’t even get a proper name for it)…  splashed with only vanilla, ice and all things nice but with so much deficits. Like those over-hyped movies I hear about and look forward to going to the cinema to see… and once there, I’d be bored out of my socks. What was all that noise about? Common, those rave reviews for this? I’m rolling my eyes half the time, making myself appreciate the few scenes that catch my attention, just to justify the money paid and the company kept… selecting extra sugar coated popcorn out of the bag is more exciting…. Why not stay home and watch movies with engaging conversations like… the godfather or binge on west wing episodes.

You see, there are things I daydreamed about as a little girl… things I pictured as an adolescent… and fairytales I played out as a young adult… now those things taste like chalk.
I once imagined over the top, out of this world proposal scenes as a teenager reading M&B’s and silhouette’s romance novels… now I’d probably walk away from such a loud, public and over the top proposal… (The party involved has been duly cautioned).
Did I age too fast? I mean I’m thirty two soon… and seventeen year old boys are still chatting me up, pot bellied men are leering at me as another school girl to be preyed on… but it goes beyond the looks with age. The slate of my mind was cleaned and it was renewed to think differently… it’s not about the age, seventeen or thirty two, I’d be thinking this way after the refurbishment my mind went through.

A time came when the real professional came in, and I humbly gave the script to him to overhaul. Sometimes, I come in to add my own scenes; you know that two-cent input that is never needed… but goodness me! What a disaster they’ve been, so I humbly revert back to my main role as the lead actress in my story - I’ll tell you the truth though, I’m more like the supporting actress in this story, even though its mine, there’s a lead act, a very cool one at that and so good at what he does, I'm only in this movie, because He choose to be in it. It's only a hit movie, because we have His name in the cast.

I like where the scriptwriter is going. He’s made it quite predictable in an unpredictable way. I love mysteries in movies and books, but suspense isn’t really suspense with me, I take the fun out of the mystery, because I somehow manage to have guessed right. Maybe I get too analytical… I should learn to chill and just watch... right from my Nancy drew and famous/secret seven five days, I've almost always been ahead of the authors.
But anyway… I know what my story is about, but goodness, the twist and turns and nail biting scenes keep me on the edge of my seat. If it was a cinema, I would completely forget about the popcorn or even the idea of looking for sugar coated ones. My mouth would hang open, and not even flinch when one of those rats rumored to be in certain cinemas in Nigeria use my foot as a chair to enjoy my story.

Scenes as intense as being thrown into the fire and coming out unscarred… no special effect! Every scene as real as can be. You could see the smoke, feel the heat of it and smell it through the screen and I’d come out unscarred in my red lipstick, still scenting of chanel and my hair well laid, and maybe even heels to balance my strut… shutting the religious folks up, encouraging those who are watching me and just being fabulous.
I care about my looks… I love nice things (thus on this movie set, I have been given a wonderful wardrobe and stylist to satisfy my taste), but what has that got to do with my truth, my basking in the love of God and walking in His power? While I’m enjoying myself in this love, people are scrutinizing and judging… and being concerned about me. She needs to get married… but with the way she looks, does she know how to cook? Cook? Seriously?
That’s the scene where I would walk into the kitchen, dancing to hillsong, open the fridge and bring out some eggs… can I cook? I would crack the eggs, the camera zooming in as I whisk it briskly, put the pan on the fire and fry it, then let it get burnt… and then I would turn and face the camera… Eat this! I can cook and would cook burnt eggs if I want to, what has my cooking skill or lack of thereof got to do with my kingdom slayer status?

There’d be comedy, there’d be romance, there’d be betrayal, there’d be drama (like the cooking scene), there’d be the supernatural; paranormal… there’d be events that would be tagged as sci-fi and even horror and then there’d be the general theme of blessed!
I sit on the edge of reason as frequently as I fall off it, not knowing where I’d land… suspense. But always knowing I’d find a firm safe landing in the land of extraordinary… and then faith shows up as a parachute and glides me firmly on solid ground. Bones in position…purpose fulfilled.
There’d be a moment where I deal with insecurities… where I’d stand in front of the mirror crying, looking at myself and asking if beauty really is a gift? And trying to find the thin line between gift and curse… till I finally rise up from the ashes and embrace it fully as such a gift that is beyond what my face looks like. There’s a beauty that comes from embracing the love of a God, who loved me so much, He became man, proposed to me with the greatest gift: the gruesome yet beautiful gift of the cross (beat that… what a romance!). How can’t you be exceptionally beautiful without the contours and bronzing of makeup when you’re hooked up to such a love?
There’d be betrayal, where I’d stay faithful and true to some who end up taking for granted the purity of all that is molded in gold for them, and crushing it right at my feet, glowing from all I’ve given but instead, I’d be compelled to love them still, and hold no strive, but move away from the poison and keep living in peace with all men. Now that requires some extra coaching from my acting tutor on containing emotions.

There’d be bravery… of a girl, unsure about certain things but the love she’s got and stepping out to literally live her dream. Not knowing how, but knowing that she’s doing it, and she’s shaking the world with this little seed in her hands, one ridge at a time. Bravery in times when her heart beats and her mind taunts her about the possibility of failure and the downpour of shame that’d come with it if she dares… but throwing that caution holding her hostage in the edge of reason out and doing it anyway.

There’d be emotional moments, when the one in whom she leans on who she can’t see, whispers to her in the dead of the night, when she stays up enjoying his presence… uhhh, paranormal they say? When she hears whispers that seem to come from her heart, but isn’t her speaking… when the tears flow from the force of the love she feels and the power of the words spoken.
There’d be crazy moments of her laughing with one in whom she cant see… when she jumps up in glee over nothing and dances to the silent but potent beats of His love in the face of seemingly strong oppositions.
Crazy moments when she lays on her bed and sleeps while the storm rages, unafraid, confident… even as her heart beats sometimes, but knowing, there’s something that conquers it all on the inside, working on her behalf, unfailing… knowing that the storm may have come to destroy her, but the one in whose love she rests is converting it to a fire that helps forge her for better.

What a story… even I with my imagination would have never thought of half of this… I can’t believe I get to live this life. I can’t believe I get to do this life with this God. I cant believe, even as much as He loves me, He sees me faithful in my human shortcomings to carry this seed of dreams that are brought to life as I daily choose to live, and to live in Him… trusting His love and faithfulness to see me through every moment, not caving under pressure, rejoicing in the face of adversity… I get to live this life… I get to do this. I get to understand a revelation of His love daily.

This is my story… well, just a brief glimpse of what it is.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mind The Gap...


Because some platforms on the London Underground are curved and the rolling stock that uses them are straight, an unsafe gap is created when a train stops at a curved platform.[4] In the absence of a device to fill the gap, some form of visual and auditory warning is needed to advise passengers of the risk of being caught unaware and sustaining injury by stepping into the gap. The phrase "Mind the gap" was chosen for this purpose and can be found painted along the edges of curved platforms as well as heard on recorded announcements played when a train arrives at many Underground stations. Wikipedia
 
A post shared by Joy Akut (@inyamuakut) on

You often hear and see signs with the warning “mind the gap” when you’re on the London underground. Its so glaring, you can’t miss noticing it. You’re reminded to mind the gap between the train and the platform, because sometimes you get so distracted by all your thoughts, the music plugged in your ears, conversation with a friend or the paper or book you’re engrossed in that you absentmindedly get on and off the train, but those announcements cuts into your thoughts and you’re quite deliberate with getting on and off the train… it’ll cause an avoidable havoc if your carelessness causes your feet to slip into the gap. That seemingly small gap is a big problem if you slip and fall in. There’s delay with the trains and probably injury that completely derails you from arriving at where you’re going to at the time you want it get there, if you get there at all.

Mind the gap; Guard your heart.

We should have such warnings to guard our hearts everywhere we turn. We shouldn’t get so distracted by life, that we forget to remember to ‘mind the gap’, guard our hearts as we hop on trains from one season to the other… when we don’t deliberately guard what gets into our hearts, its easy to slip and fall into that gap leading to self inflicted injuries of depression, strife and offense. And we know it’s hard to continue your journey when you’re injured with strife in your heart.

This is your reminder to mind the gap/guard your heart. Don’t be distracted by the relationships that have gone sour… (no relationship should be so tasking that it distracts you and makes you so weary that you don’t pay attention) don’t be distracted by your desires… not even money, your needs or wants should be big enough to distract you… falling or slipping into that small hole is of bigger consequences, God is too big for you to limit him or lock him down to your distractions of self. Don’t get tangled in the small… those seemingly small issues have bigger consequences.
We’re so distracted by self, that we don’t pay attention to where we’re going, thus easily fall in the gap of strife of offense. With self-centeredness, it’s easy to fall into the gap of offense, and the feeling of being offended broods more injuries than we can handle, causing a larger damage.
People would hurt you yes. You gave your all for that relationship and in the end, you weren’t treated right, stop brooding on me me me… and get over it. Dust the dirt, move on, forgive, as hard as it seems… and it is hard, because you have legit reasons to be mad at that person, to wish them evil… but you realize that making a decision to not pay attention to how the hurt is affecting you sets you free and saves you from a lot… it takes a decision to not dwell on the hurt, to let go and wish the person well… its good riddance for you. Treat the open wound, let it heal and move on. Many girls especially have fallen into this gap of bitterness, and we cant blame them, but it doesn’t make it good for them. Not everything that is right is good for you. Some drugs as much as they come with their healing abilities, have adverse side effects much worse than what they cure. Your heart doesn’t need that.

People would come to talk, to distract, to share grievances, to entice you with pity so you start to pick on the wound that is healing, letting anger lay hold of you and soon your heart gets so intertwined with bitterness, you fall in the gap and end up delaying yourself from the better that the train you should have boarded was supposed to take you to. Forget the past and move!

People would talk about you, good and bad words would slip into your hearing… don’t dwell on them, or as you take in too much candy of the good words you hear, when the bitterness of the bad comes, it affects your mood and you stay wounded and distracted by self, too distracted by being so focused on this opinions to mind the gap and you fall a victim of your own self-centeredness… Take heed to those things lest at anytime they make you slip… Stop opening your mind to irrelevant things.
You’re not truly free until you are free from the opinions of men.” Moyo Akin-Ojo

I recently began to realize that most times, self-centeredness/pride is the cause of most of the issues we go through. It was a hard truth to take in, but I did take it in.
When we fail at something, why do we feel so beat up? Most times, its because we’re so concerned about reputation, what people would say, how they would laugh… and so we refuse to try again to save face. We let failure define us because we’re so selfish… dwelling on self.
I recently hosted an event and it went well… but I was so full of self at some point that I forgot the motive/vision of what the event was about, and I kept sulking instead of enjoying myself, I sulked so much I couldn’t speak well when I held the mic, I sulked so much, I missed out on doing something important God instructed me to do during the event… You see, I was so distracted by self that I was almost falling into the gap, I quickly realized what was happening to me and I repented. Did I follow my dreams in hosting the event? Yes. Was it successful? Yes… it only didn’t go the way my self wanted it to go… in a way that I’d have glorified self.

I have tried to convince myself that I hate public speaking; I would rather write all I want to say and give people to read… I’m so concerned about how I sound and if I’ll look good doing it or what the people are thinking that I forget that there is a higher purpose to my being called to speak… and I have to stop being such a selfish person to overcome the fears and just do it… the Nike way.
There are many things many people dream of doing… things they have pictured in their hearts for as long as they can remember, but are so selfish with their fear of failure that they don’t even try to step out. Every legit reason for not trying has an undertone of selfishness. Mind the gap, guard your heart, and don’t fall into that trap of being so engulfed with self that you miss out on so much.
God sent Jesus to die, knowing we had a free will to choose to believe and accept Him or not… but He did it anyway, not holding back on His vision/dream because He feared no one would accept this sacrifice… He did it anyway, moving beyond self and it’s paid off, because every day, people’s hearts are surrendered to the power of this love and the sacrifice of the cross.

Refusing to forgive people who’ve hurt you in one way or the other is a sure way of slipping into the gap and not getting on the train… you’re justified in your offense, just as God is justified in His being angry at us, but He chose not to exercise His rights, instead He forgave us ALL, through Jesus death. If He could do it, what’s our excuse? God isn’t a selfish or self-centered God, He thought of us above all… He doesn’t dwell on how much we hurt Him, or how we offend Him, or how after all He’s done for us, we throw His love in the trashcan every chance we get… Instead He dwells on how much He loves us. The blood of Jesus is His eternal ‘mind the gap’ reminder that He can never be angry with us anymore.
Let the same blood and the love that allowed it spill be our own eternal reminder that we are equipped to let go… that we have been equipped to move on from the past into the future. We are equipped to rise above every hurt and disappointment and move on to better. Let the blood be a reminder that we can guard our hearts and chose to rise above shame and despair without falling into the gap of depression and condemnation, that trap of self-pity that only helps in disrupting our journey.

Guard your heart because out of it comes issues of life… when your heart is wounded, everything around you, every issue you face mirrors the wound in your heart… you deal with people based on the hurt you experience, and distrust causes contempt which just deepens the wound some more.
 
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
    avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
    ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
    leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:23-27(MSG)
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