Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

I set your promises
Before my eyes
And every day you give me
Is a step towards these things;

I shall not turn back
I shall not relent
I shall not be deterred
By the time and space
Between now and tomorrow;

So I thank you for today
The proof that makes me know
I have left a day behind
And I am a day towards your promise;

Yes I thank you for today
That I can hope and dream
And be assured that with you
Tomorrow will come.

So I run with your word.


Some thoughts for the season...

Beloved,

A New Year lies ahead of you. Enjoy this festive season, thanking God for how far He has taken you. Maybe you hoped to achieve much more this year. Maybe you thought most of your dreams will be realized this year. Maybe He exceeded your expectations this year. Whatever the case may be, do not forget that The Blessing upon your life is forever. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Also remember that His ways are not your ways , He is not time bound and He makes everything beautiful in its time.

Please keep His promises in your heart. Meditate on them (not worry about them). And if you have a word from God, Run With It (Please click the link to read about running with His word).

Please take out time to read the message “Three Thoughts for The Season”.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Favour-filled New Year.

Bible References: James 1:17, Isaiah 55:8 and Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cute Lessons


Children are so adorable and interesting to be with. It was from them I learnt that people do not learn bad. It is inborn just as good is inborn. Let me give you an example. I was with a friend’s one-year old son, a boy that just learnt how to start walking. Let’s call him Cute. He still holds the stools and chairs as he walks. That day, I had my phone charging somewhere in the living room. Cute liked the blue light blinking on the charger. He made several attempts to reach the charger but I warned him not to go near the charger for his safety. He did not cry or get angry with me. When I was engulfed by a Nigerian movie, Cute crept behind the chairs, stealthily, using a long unsuspecting route to get to the charger. Thank God for my side eye and back eye. I caught him just before he put his tiny finger into the socket.

How did he know that he should wait for me to start watching Nigerian movie before he creeps behind the chairs?

Anyway, Cute left me wondering about something that day. Sometime later, he was playing with my phone when it rang. I asked him to give it to me. Now, I knew he was not an experienced walker. He had the phone in one hand. If he had to stand, first he needed his two hands to lift himself up. But he did not want to release the phone. He found it difficult standing up. He crept a little and helped himself up with my feet, then my legs, stood up and attempted walking towards me. I saw the effort he put in trying to reach me. I so loved him at that moment. I reached out to him and helped him walk towards me. Then I lifted him up and swung him the way he enjoys.

For that moment many questions surfaced my head. Is that how God sees us His children? Does He know sometimes we find it difficult taking on new experiences? Does He see our efforts and is moved by our small determinations? Is He so eager to draw near to us as we draw near to Him? Does He get so excited when we rely and trust in Him ? Does He love us so much that He seizes every opportunity to help us? Does He so desire to lift us up and take us to heights we have never imagine? Do you have answers to these questions?

It takes faith, courage and trust to reach out to Him in every situation. But believe me, not only is He continually trying to reach out to us, He is too eager to touch us in that way that makes all the difference.

Remain blessed and compliments of the season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Tanker Driver


I used to have one thing called Tankerphobia. It started because of a story my mother said that before I was born. She said a tanker came running into them directed at her (or me). She made me believe that it wanted to prevent me from being (I think I have blogged about this sometime in the past). Having that fear, I never wanted to drive. After managing to learn how to drive, I had a couple of episodes with tanker drivers. I have had a smashed booth, destroyed side mirrors and cars that panel-beating could not restore because of tanker drivers. I have even pursued a tanker driver with barefoot.

On this fateful day when I was trying my driving skills in Lagos, I came to a junction that led to an expressway. Cars were zooming past at alarming speeds. I told myself that probably a handsome man will slow down for me when I flash or one of those expensive jeeps that do not want to be jammed will slow down when I make a move. 15 minutes past. To my disappointment, neither male nor female, handsome or agbero, jeep or moto, okada or bicycle stopped for me. I was still flashing and trafficating.

I spotted a tanker driver coming with high speed. I immediately stopped flashing and trafficating so he would not know I was interested in entering the expressway. Quickly I reversed small incase it occurred to him to do what I have known them to do. I prayed for the tanker driver to pass quickly so I could continue my flashing and begging, or wait for the expressway to be free (indeed!).

To my astonishment, the tanker driver stopped and flashed me, indicating that I should go ahead. That is not all; his assistant stopped the cars coming behind them so I could have the road to myself. I quickly took advantage of the opportunity and drove back to my destination joyfully.

Maybe God was trying to tell me to change my thinking. Or maybe He was showing me some things I should not have done…

1) I prejudged. Is there someone who is prejudging like I did? You feel you know so much about this person, this opportunity, this situation, what ever you call it, and as such you do not want to take it? What seems like it is no so good might end up being too good to be true.
2) I withdrew because of what I knew in the past. Is there someone out there, like me, who is afraid to step into the future because of something that happened in the past? It is time to let go, says the spirit of God. A better future is waiting for you.

Like the fruit of the palm kernel, the sweetest part of it is encased within the core of a hard shell that does not look too nice.

My prayer for myself and anyone that is in this position is that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened to see opportunities no matter what our past says, to heed the inner voice of our hearts, and to be ready to move into the great future awaiting us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Bible Reference: 2 Cor 5: 17 (KJV) Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Our very own Visual Arts and Literature Event

Guess what’s happening on Saturday, 13th Dec, 2008? Our very own Visual Arts and Literature Event presented by FARAFINA. The flyer below says it all. For me the catch was “Admission is Free”. I read from bottom up :-)







My beloved people, hope to see you at this event. It sounds so exciting and thrilling. I can barely wait for the date.

If you want some info from Farafina Magazine's blogosphere, please visit The Farafinist.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pondering on the breakup – I believe in God

I almost said
This affair is over
I almost said
I cannot do it anymore:

I wanted to turn my back on Him
And go back to where I was coming from
Yes I knew life without Him is hell
But then I assumed accepting my fate could see me through;

But the circumstance
Opened my eyes
To see that I did not love Him
As much as I professed
Nor as much as He loved me,
Then I saw clearly
That my foundation was not solidly built on Him;

I suddenly realized why my relationships failed:
When the going was good
It was easy to love so much
But at the smell of a trial
I walked away;

I quickly forgot the good times we shared
How much He blessed me
How He saved my life
How He has given me a second chance
How much He loves me
That not even my flaws could separate me from His love;

So as I pondered on the breakup
I recalled those times when I stumbled and fell
When I sinned over and over
Especially the same sins I had prayed about
And when I thought there was no hope for me
His Grace was made perfect in my weakness

Whilst pondering on the breakup
He saved me from an accident
Reminding me that He was not yet done with me
That I will live to overcome the trial

Still pondering on the breakup
My life 2 years ago flashed before me
I could have sworn it was not the same person
If not for the mark on my forehead
That reminds me only God can save a baby
Who fell off a 3-storey building

So I knelt down beside my bed
And wept
Cursing the source of such thoughts
Yet making my resolve
That I will love Him whether good or bad
That I will not stop praising and trusting Him
That I will continue to build my foundation on Him;

My Sweet, Loving God and Father
This love affair is forever
Because
I believe in God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For Money or...


Daniella always had the sweetest gist. She was a lady that knew every family in the university staff campus. How? She plaited females’ hair. Either in her shade or in their homes. She knew everyone in detail.

Speaking of myself, she knew the major milestones in my life. If you want my complete story, go ask her. And you can be sure anything you tell her, she will share with someone.

Daniella knew me from age 11 (we are age mates). Her hand was so soft that everyone always went back to her after she touched their hair. She was so astute that she quickly learnt all styles once they came out. She was flexible. Even if I called her to my house by 8p.m., she was ready to assist. During all our meetings, she filled me in with what was happening on campus (and to ex-campus children).

Yet, she never failed to leave a spirit-lifting word.

I envied Daniella a bit from afar. She was doing something natural to her and was making money. I wondered why I was not making money out of writing.

One day, I voiced out my thoughts.
“Do you know you are blessed? You have a gift, you know it, and you are using it to make money. This is a true case of someone living their purpose on earth. That is what many desire but cannot achieve.”
She laughed a high-pitched laughter that always amused me.
“The purpose of the gift is not to make money,” she started.
“Then why don’t you make my hair for free?”
“Because you’ve never asked me for that,” she said, and laughed again when I asked for free hair do.
Then seriously she said, “The purpose of the gifts God has given me is to let people know more about Him and bring glory to Him. When I make people’s hair, I do not get fulfilled because of the money but when I have passed the good news that God loves us. I also try to share inspiring testimonies with people.”

I nodded knowingly.

“For instance, when you tell me of how you overcame the temptation to dupe a client, and the rewards you got for standing in integrity, I can share it with someone else who may be facing a similar situation.”

I wanted to hear more.

“Many miss their purpose because the focus is getting money. The focus should be on glorifying God. I tell you, I still have my customers not merely because I can plait hair, afterall there are several gifted hair dressers out there. My customers remain because we have a relationship, which God has helped me build with the words He put in my mouth. From them I have receieved money, presents and favor which I may not have if my focus was on money.”

In my privacy, I pondered on her words. Was I slow to exploring my gift because I was not sure how I will get money and remain comfortable? The answer was “Yes”. I am trying to realign my thinking.

Have you found yourself being hesitant about responding to your calling or utilizing your God-given talent because of the fear for income, sustenance or maybe rejection?

As long as you are in line with what God wants you to do, He will surely provide for you. And He will leave you fulfilled in what you do.

If I was to pick a verse that reminds me of Daniella’s words, I’d use: “…whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God…”
[1]

Remain Blessed.

Please join me to welcome Funmi to blogville. In her posts, I see the truth of how sometimes we feel at work. She is bold enough to express it. Funmi, welcome oh!


[1] Bible reference 1 Cor 10:31b

Friday, October 24, 2008

Serve in Warri?

My Desire
Having been posted to Delta State, I wanted to serve in Warri. This was for the following reasons:
1. I had a boyfriend in PH I wanted to keep seeing often, though the relationship was on the rocks.
2. There were some crisis in Delta State and from Warri I could easily get transport home.
3. I had a best friend in Warri who lived in a cool house.
4. There was a prospective single guy there who had indicated interest. Though his middle name was Infidelity, since I did not know better, I could manage fighting with the other girls for him and if I was lucky, it could lead to marriage.
5. There was Shell and other oil companies which meant I could mingle with some of them and eventually get a job after NYSC.

The Posting
I and a few other corpers were sent to Shell Warri for an interview. The plan was post us to secondary schools. I prayed for Warri so bad. I included doctor’s report prior to my interview. To my utmost dismay and disappointment, after the interview, I was posted to a place called Otu – Jeremi, in Ughelli South LGA. Not in the Warri zone for CD (Community Development). I was depressed. The classmate that I had been with from orientation camp till that time got Warri. More depressing.

God does things on an individual basis.

I reluctantly left for Otu – Jeremi, a place that had no GSM network therefore no communication. The place was a village. It was isolated. I was to teach Physics.
Boyfriend had no plans of visiting me in that place. Prospective guy I may not see again. Oil Companies, I cannot get to visit. The future of Marriage + Work seemed bleak.

Because of the remoteness of the location, we were permitted to come for CD only once in a month. I scheduled my classes from Tuesday to Thursday morning. This gave me chance to travel to PH every weekend.

The Gain
1. When I got tired of traveling (if a relationship is not working, it is not working), I decided to stay in my place of service. This quiet time was when I began to read my new bible (first time in history). I also started attending church (irregularly). I began to focus on the people in the community. I began to learn a new language and culture. The corpers and the pastor organized a talk on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for the villagers. The talk was based on a medical and Christian standpoint. I can still see the relief on the old women’s faces as they shared their stories of the effects of FGM.

2. I had stopped worrying about husband and work. In some of my previous visits to PH, my lecturer (Prof) told me about a new Master’s Program in Uniport (called IPS). If I partook in it, they will accommodate me, pay my school fees, and pay me stipend. I laughed. Could such a thing exist in Nigeria? Prof encouraged me to apply for the program (by paying N10K that I did not have). I did the test and passed. I did the interview. All these happened before I resolved to remain in Otu – Jeremi. I still did not believe in the Master’s Program.

Then one day as I was strolling with my fellow corpers in that networkless Otu – Jeremi, playing with my phone, a text came in from my sister saying I had been successful in the IPS interview and I had 1 week to accept the offer. Apparently they had tried to reach me and could not get me so they contacted my sister. I looked at the date sent. 2 days left to accept. I packed my overnight things and was on the next bus to PH. How did God do it that there was MTN service in Otu – Jeremi?

3. IPS started at the later part of my service year. I got permission from my Principal and NYSC officials to go for the training. What kind of favour is this?

IPS gave me excellent training – technically, professionally and exposed some talents I never knew I had. Through IPS, I got my current job, a job that exceeded my expectations of a job. In IPS, I met a man, different from all I’ve met, whom I admired secretly. He was the man that drew me closer to God and made me stop speaking negatively about myself and my life. I didn’t know one day he will be My Husband and King.

When God sets out to do something for you, He can do it just for you. It does not have to follow the normal pattern of things. His blessings are customized.

Looking Back
I later learnt that those in Warri were not allowed to leave Warri for any reason. If I was there, how could I have done the IPS program and eventually get the blessings that came with it? When I did not have Warri, I felt God had shut the door of my future on me. But now I realize:

Sometimes a close door(s) turns us in the direction of the only open door which no man can close
[1].

This is one of my many testimonies. If you are facing or ever face a disappointing situation, remember that God can turn a disappointment into a blessing. Trust Him and have faith in Him for His plans for you are only good, not evil, plans to bring you to an expected destination
[2].

Do take some time to think of moments when it seemed a door was shut at your face. What do you see now? The Hand of God?

Have a beautiful weekend ahead and remain blessed.

IPS (Institute of Petroleum Studies) is highly recommended for engineering students who want a broad-based training prior to joining the oil industry.


[1] Bible Reference Revelations 3:8
[2] Bible Reference (rephrased by me) Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tomorrow

Tomorrow
Where will you be?

Who will remember
Your broke-ness or brokenness
Your toiling and sweat
Or the doors shut at your face?

Who will imagine
Your silent tears in secret
Moments you almost lost hope
Or when your fears grew with each day?

Who will know
Of your seeds sown
Seeds of time, energy and resources
And resilience despite disappointments?

Like a flower about to blossom
And a seed waiting to sprout
In just a little while
Your breakthrough will come:

Tomorrow
Where will you be?

Begin to confess and visualize
All that you want for yourself
And back it with My Word
For I am watching over My Word
To perform it.

Do not envy him/her who seems to be there, for you do not know what he/she passed through to get there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That Boy's Smile...


I was on my way back from a wonderful Sunday service in Lagos. Some of the things I admire about the Lagosians, which I gathered from the few services I've attended there are: -

1. They know how to worship.

2. They can dance their energy away in praise.

3. They do not joke with their Sunday dressing.

But despite the refreshing message and the excitement I had displayed in church, there I was on reset mode to life - back to thinking of the things I do not have and wondering if God had heard my prayers. Contrary to what I was just taught in church.

Then I saw this boy. Dark complexioned, handsome boy. A child that took more than an extra glance from me. He had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Yet he was paralyzed from waist down, no legs and was on one of those boards with wheels to propel him. He was playing with some “complete” children who taunted him and mocked him endlessly. He was a beggar too. Yet his smile remained.

I asked myself, “Why should he smile? He has nothing to smile about. He can’t go to school, get a job, marry, copulate and have children!”

All of a sudden I saw my vanity stare me in my face. Was that all I thought about life? Was life so stereotyped? It was as if God was telling me there was more to life than: “Go to school, get a job, marry and have children”. It was as though He was telling me each person had a different purpose in life and all those things I thought were life are not the essence.

I looked at the boy again. He was still smiling despite his situation. This time, I smiled. He had taught me a few lessons in life:

1. Life may not be perfect, but God is.
2. Life will not offer me all I want but God will supply all my needs.
3. Each level of achievement in life will not be fulfilling until I can be content at the level I am.
4. Who am I to limit God?

That smile of the paralyzed boy, I still see it today. It is a constant reminder that if I reflect on my life as it is, there is a reason to smile. And then I realized “God has given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine”. [Psalms 4:7, NLT].

What of you?

And as you reflect on your life, if you find one reason to smile, know that ahead of you are several reasons to smile.

Remain blessed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Timekeepers

My dear people, I was away for a while for reasons beyond my control. I was working hard :-). Thank God for the public holidays. It was very timely.

I really missed reading your blogs. My sincere appreciation goes to all those who checked up on me. Thanks for your love. You all are wonderful.
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I had something I wanted to post but I have to deviate and save the post for later. Let me tell you why.

I went to visit a friend and I stumbled on an article. You know that section in magazines where they put comments from the readers? Ok...In one of the reader’s comments, this lady was talking about how someone saw her and her son and said, “this boy has come of age. Won’t you get a younger sister for him?” The woman became SAD and wept the whole night. It had taken her 5 years to have this child and due to infertility problems she could not have another. The comment from the friend (or foe?) reminded her of her pains and inability.

This may have been a remark said for the sake of conversation, maybe humorously, but it had a negative impact. I have been a culprit of these kind of not-intended-to-harm comments but I guess I never knew how bad the impact could be. I have learnt now. I’d rather say “God bless you” if I have no positive words to say.

I’d liken this friend to people I call timekeepers. These ones say, “You’ve finished school over 4 years now. When are we going to chop your first month’s salary?” Not knowing that Mr. Man is struggling with rejection from many interviewers. Or, “You are over 25 years old. When are we coming to chop your wedding rice?” Putting Mademoiselle under undue pressure. What of “You’ve been working for 5 years and you have not built house or bought tear rubber?” without considering that Mr. Man is training all his younger ones in school. Let me not go through all the examples. Timekeepers just sit down and tell you what time is right by their standards. It is more painful when the timekeepers are your loved ones.


Whose standards should you follow? Who made time? Let the timekeepers keep timing until they are tired. It may just be that their comment is something you are believing God for. Rest assured that it will surely come to pass. You must not forget this one thing: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise towards you, as some people think [2 Peter 3:8-9a].

Remain blessed.
Please join me to welcome a great lady to Blogville. Fanwest is a lady whose words helped shape my life and who always loved me as a friend inspite of myself. Fanwest, welcome oh!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Buildings

Limited

For so long
I have wondered
Why I am still where I was
Yesterday;

I blamed it on You
Not know the truth
That all I wanted
Was right before me;

But I was limited
By how far I could see
All I thought I deserve
And all they said I could be;

But you’ve opened my eyes
That I may know
Everything is out there
Waiting for me.

The Inspiration


Baby and I were bored with the adult party going on. Imagine that staff and spouses were having a social event yet they were still talking office talk. How boring! Baby was a colleague’s daughter that couldn’t keep her eyes off my sexy red gown. We left the room where the dinner was going on to have our own fun.

Baby at the age of 3 was good at using the camera. She wanted to snap everything in sight. As we got to the balcony that overlooked the beautiful city of Abuja, she decided to take some pictures.

“I want to snap the 2 houses,” she demanded.
“There are more than 2 houses here,” I told her. I was seeing the beautiful scenery, the night glittering with bright light at different corners, and nature in an alluring rhythm.
“There are only 2 houses,” she insisted.

I realized that we were looking at the same place but from different points of view. Her view was obstructed by some parts of the balcony. I, being much taller, could see the view in full.

“Can I carry you up to show you the other house?”
“No, I want my two houses…” and click click, she continued taking photographs of the two houses.

Baby was telling me something with her response. I wondered.

Are we usually content with our comfort zone to the extent that we do not want to make a move to see what is really out there?
Are we limited by our circumstances, situations, or what people say? I remember one lecturer that said A is for God, B is for him and C is for the intelligent students. Everyone was okay with it. Until a quiet friend of mine came and told him A is for human beings.

There are a lot of blessings out there for you to take hold of. Do not let short-sightedness, fear, past, what people say determine what blessings you deserve. God has them unlimited for you.

You have been blessed as far as your eyes can see. Think, dream and see big. How far are you seeing today? Do not limit yourself or limit God. And as you expand your vision today, know that all you see will be yours.

Have a blessed day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blogville Award+Joy+Happiness

Guess what!?!
I received a blogville award from Aloted. Certified Honest Blogger?!? I'm so lost for words.

If I’ve been dishonest, this has humbled me and made me repentant.
Now I am filled with joy..no happy...no cheerful...ooops!
Please what is the difference between joy, happiness and cheerfulness? A friend and I have talked about it for over 1 hour and we still did not come to a conclusion. Dictionary calls them synonyms. Please help. Thank you.

My EROLyrics : Thank You

You’ve touched my heart
In so many ways:
With words
With consistency
With your virtual presence
And by speaking my love language to me;

Just to let you know
I appreciate your gift
That teaches me more about God
That He is Love and He is in us…

Thank You.

EROLyrics To Aloted, to Blogville...

To all My Blogs Readers, I want to say thank you. You have been my motivation.

I pass on the award to the following…
Emilia
Fantasy Queen
Jaycee
Oluwadee
Parakeet
Red Sapphire
Standtall

I find your blog special in content… Oluwadee, you can have the award a million times over.

The Rules:
1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing that they have received an award
4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
5. And then pass it on!

All the best…

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Race

I want to say a big Thank You to Blogville. You all were so wonderful during my Sept. 11 memorial. Just to let you know that you made it a joyful memorial. I felt love from above and from almost every part of the world. I will print out your comments and share with my family members. God bless you.

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The Race
I was on my way to see Guy. I had been missing him all the while his girlfriend was around. Now she had gone, I had to seize the opportunity to be with him. I had plans on my mind. I felt excited but deep down, I felt a pang of sadness. Because I was second best. I had settled for it because it seemed I had no other choice. What I really wanted was not just to be a “first best”, but a “one-and-only”.

I took a walk down to Guy’s house to kill two birds with one stone. First to exercise and secondly to think. I was enjoying my walk and thoughts when I got distracted by a group of children playing. One that particularly caught my attention was a little boy, dirty looking, thick catarrh running down his nose, no pant, spots and rashes all over his body, and with a bent leg. I love children but I could not see myself touching this child. Let’s call him Sboy. He was persistently flogging another boy, probably an elder brother. Let’s call this other one Bboy.

Then one of the children suggested they have a race to get to the end of the road and back. Trust children, anything to run around and disturb. They all bought into the idea. On your marks…set…go…and all the children ran off with the speed of light. Except Sboy (who could not run) and Bboy. This is where I had to stop walking and watch.

Sboy reached out to Bboy and asked to be carried for the race. Bboy reached out and took the cane from Sboy’s hand. In my mind I said, “This is time to flog Sboy back”. Bboy dropped the cane aside, carried heavy Sboy on his back, and joined in the race. Of course, the other children were on their way back while Bboy and Sboy had only gone halfway. Together, Bboy and Sboy completed the race. We know who took last.

To me, Bboy was the winner of the race. That was love, forgiveness, grace and help he had ministered. Three tear drops slid down cheek.

As I turned to continue my walk, it dawned on me that Bboy just enlightened me on the relationship between God/Jesus and man. Like Sboy, we are not perfect and we commit sins, sometimes without a conscience. Yet God forgives us and completely forgets what we did. Despite our flaws and imperfections, He loves us and accepts us for who we are. When we reach out to him, He receives us with open arms. And then, it does not matter when others get the things/to the place we desire. As long as we are with God, we will get there, victorious, using less effort, at His appointed time, and finish well. He will bring us to an expected end.

See me fighting for first and second best, when there was someone who loved me more than anything or anyone. By the time I had reached Guy’s house, I had a different thought on my mind. Enough of second best.

“Guy, I just came to tell you I’m going back home. There is someone there waiting for me. I just realized He loves me so much.”
Guy thought I was being funny. But after I explained everything to him (as logically as possible), he understood. He let me go, knowing he did not love me as much as God loved me.

That happened years ago. Today, I am a “One and Only”.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memorial


Of September 11. As America is in memorial today, so am I. Only that mine is 15 years. 15 years of losing a man I took for granted. Every time I have to reflect on the incident that took place today 15 years ago, I just weep. There has been no maturity about it. I think of the manner, the untimeliness, the words I wished I said, and the things I should never have said or done. Now I know it is never too early to appreciate a loved one or to say, “I love you”.

I recall this day 15 years ago. Before the crack of dawn, the deed was done. Leaving Daddy, who was so full of life, as nothing but a lifeless corpse. In just a matter of seconds. I wondered if morning will ever come.

The Incident:
I remember vividly well that night. It all started by 1a.m. We were woken up by the shrill cry of neighbours who were being attacked by armed robbers. Dad, who never minds his business, picked up a whistle and started whistling for help. The whole area where we lived was at alert. I guess everyone bolted their doors and started hiding.

I went to Mom’s room where she was with Boy. He was awake and needed a change of diapers so Mommy asked me to do it. Then I heard voices under the window of her room. Someone asked in a deep voice, “Wey dat man wey dey disturb our operation?”. I panicked. “Mommy, they are around the house,” I said. She quickly ran to Daddy and told him. Daddy said we should all enter one room and hide while he deals with them.

We went to the biggest room in the house. Dota 1, Dota 2 and Dota 4 hid above the closet so that if the men want to rape, there will be few to rape. Me and Boy hid under the sheets of one of the beds in the room cos they assumed I was the only one who could keep him quiet. Dota 5 and Dota 6 were so small that you could barely find them hidden under the bedsheets of the other bed. Mom paced the room as Dad carried his cutlass to fight the men.

We heard the shattering of the back door and in no time, they were up to Daddy’s room. I heard nothing else.
After 10 minutes of the longest waiting period of our lives, we heard the men say “Omo, let’s go!”. We waited for Daddy to come and call us out. 5 mins passed. He had not come. Dota 4 said she heard something like a gun shot. We told her to shut up, that she only thinks of bad things. Mom told Dota 2 (the tomboy) to go and ask Daddy if we could come out.

*Sniffing…*
I have never heard Dota 2 scream like she did that night. It was shrill and laden with emotions. Then she ran back to the room to call Mommy. She could not talk. Her lips were moving but no word could come out. She was panicking frantically. After Mommy held her, he managed to voice out, “Daddy has been shot”.



We all ran to his room.
The door of his room had traces of blood and human flesh splattered on it. I was still carrying Boy. We were totally speechless when we all walked into the room. Dad was lying on the floor, on his student’s scripts, in a pool of his own blood. He was trying to utter something which could not be heard. He tried to reach out to us but we were too scared to touch him. His face held deep pain and anguish. His left arm was scattered by the gun shot of a double barrel. That is how we all stood crying “Don’t go, Daddy. Don’t go.” We were confused and helpless.


Till date, we never knew what happened between him and the armed men.

Those were the days of no gsm, nitel lines were for rich people. Dota 1 and 2 went to call for help that came 20 minutes later. We watched as Daddy was tied in a bedsheet and taken to a car. Mother, Dota 1 and 2 went with them. Our neighbour (not the one being attacked) came and took the rest of us out of the house. One of the kids prayed for us that night.

Mommy, Dota 1 and 2 came home without Daddy. Then it dawned on us that we were fatherless and mother was a widow. It happened to real people not in Nigerian movie.

Traditions and Customs:
We were 6 girls and 1 boy. Boy was only 1 yr 9 months old when the incident happened. Dota 1 was 17. Tradition and Customs (T&C) said the girls should not go to school but go and live with Dad’s people as housegirls. T&C was to save Dad’s money to train Boy. T&C took all that belonged to dad leaving us homeless. Luckily, mom got a job in the university and we were given a small house to move into. T&C dragged mom to court several times within her one year of mourning. Salt inside pepper. T&C made us hate where we come from. T&C made us shave our hairs for one year and insisted that we should not wear wig.

Looking back:
Then, I was completely angry with God. I did not know Him. I simply turned my back on Him and said “Where was God when this happened?” But today when I look back, I see that He is the ever-present God. He is a Provider. Imagine that Mommy’s breast began to flow with milk so Boy had nutritious sustenance while we struggled on how to eat. He provided one day at a time. He could cause people to miraculously give when we desperately needed it (my 1st school fees after was paid by donations from my classmates). Imagine that I had a scholarship in university because someone liked my native name. Imagine a lecturer telling me not to pay for any of his textbooks or handouts. I had them free. Talking about what God has done during those 15 years, is a novel of its own. God, I thank You.

God does not take life – He gives life. This took me 15 years afterwards to understand.

I know how much progress there’s been in the lives of Mother, Dota 1 to 6, and Boy. And I know the best is yet to come. As I reflect on the incident that took place today 15 years ago, I just weep, yet comforted by the knowledge that there is a Father who will never leave me.




Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Pedicure

Before I start, please permit me to digress, but not too much.

Sometime last week I saw someone. He was waving at me frantically. I knew the face was familiar but I could not trace it. We spoke. He sounded well-educated (if there is anything like that). Did we go to the same school? I wondered. I appraised him. He was dressed neatly, looking smart like a guy heading for a fruitful date. I did not say anything concerning the fact that I could not place his face. Then after the brief discussion he said, “Okay, good night Aunty Rita!” There are only few places where I am addressed as Aunty Rita. Suddenly I could place his face. He was a security guard in our office. I only saw him in the uniforms opening and closing the gate. I said to myself, “I should never judge people by what they do or the clothes they wear.”



*******************************************************

He sat on the chair while I washed his feet. With gentle massages and selected foot treatments, I brought his dirty feet to a state he could never imagine. But the thirty minutes of soaking, scrubbing, massaging, nail trimming and washing his feet was a moment of reflection.

He was once a baby I tended. I washed his diapers, made sure he ate at the right time, sucked his catarrh (ewww!!), and carried him on my back while I went about doing my household chores. My back or my bosom was his first place of sleep before he would later be laid in a cot. Now he’s a grown boy, playing football in the dirtiest places, and mature enough to make decisions for himself and the family.

I was seated at a lower position in order to get the pedicure done. It looked like a Master and Servant scenerio. But I was not washing his feet because he had ordered me to do so. I was not washing his feet because he could pay me to do it. I was not washing his feet because I owed him a favor. I was not washing his feet because he could not do it himself.

I did it because I love him (and of course, the feet were dirty!)

I was not less of a person by washing his feet. I was sure of whom I was and the act could not take it from me. As I slowly wiped his feet, I had to recall when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. He was still the Son of God yet he humbled himself. He was secure in who He was.

“How do you like your feet now?” I asked him when I was done with the pedicure.
“Are these my feet?” he asked humorously.
I was okay with the joy and appreciation in his eyes. That made my evening.

As he walked away, tiptoeing like he did not want his feet to touch the ground, my spirit concurred with my thoughts, “I am not great because of what I do. I am great because of who I am: Your child made in Your image, in whom You reside.”

And I echo this to you, “You are not great because of what you do (or do not do). You are great because of who you are: A child of God made in His image, in whom He resides.”

The story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet is based on John 13:1-17.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Walks

Walk 1

That walk that night
Towards the ditch of destruction
I carried the heaviness of heartbreak
And the burdens of physical pain
Which time could not abate;

I wondered what was the point to life
If heartbreak comes by being nice
And physical pains from doing nothing wrong;
I cared nothing of life and so much less of You
I felt the only relief to pain
Was greater pain that would lead to death
But lest it be called suicide
It had to be like I slipped into the ditch;

Just before I took the step
That would cause a fall and lead to my end
The light of a car shone from nowhere
'Cos eyes were fixed on me, I had to walk away;

I could have sworn I heard You say something like
“My Child, I’m not yet done with you!”


Walk 2


That walk called my life
Headed for eternal destruction
Though I knew where I was going
There was nothing I could do;
But from nowhere, Your light shone
Through Your Word and Your Love;
I could have sworn I heard You say something like
“My child, the cure to pain is My Love
And there are so many great things
You are yet to achieve!”

*******************************************************

Today, I felt like jamming a police van. The driver did one very wrong driving and came in front of me. I had to hold myself because I have had enough car-jamming for my lifetime…

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Heart

My Heart
Has tasted of Your Love,
Of Your Mercy and Goodness,
Even if I can only recall few moments;

Those broken pieces of My Heart
Then scattered 3600 kilometers apart
You found every bit of it
And with Your Deft Touch, made it one piece;

My once hard, diamond heart
Changed its state by Your Fire –
A Consuming Love that softened every region
Making it malleable for Your Transformation;

Your Caress on My Heart
Roused a harmonious rhythm,
Your Touch on My Heart
Brought about complete healing;

My Heart
Has tasted of Your Love,
Of Your Grace and Faithfulness
And this My Heart knows fully well:


Now I can Love like You.



Simple Truth:
We cannot change a leopard’s spots,
But God can change its heart.
- Rebecca Barlow Jordan, Daily in Your Image, page 283.


Friday, August 29, 2008

The Good Samaritan Story Retold




I was on my own by a T-Way junction ready to drive to the road home. Please see picture for explanations. (Concept culled from Archiwiz. How do I hyperlink the name to the blog?). I was reflecting on how smart I had been to take the short-cuts and escape the Woji hold-up. All of a sudden, I heard a loud BANG! I was dazed for 3 minutes and saw one of my fore-father’s faces. When I regained consciousness, I realized I had been hit by a car. A taxi driver was reversing carelessly and smashed the right side of my car. From the picture above, please tell me who is wrong?

The rain was falling heavily. It was a cold, stormy evening. I came out of the car with my skimpy clothes and children-sized umbrella. I accessed the damage. Not too bad, but I had just spent some good money fixing some damages I had caused for the car. I was not ready to spend another kobo panel-beating and spraying. I raked, shouted, insulted and cursed the driver. People came to beg me. The more they said, “Madam, calm down”, the more my anger built. Driver offered me N500 to fix my car. That was the height! I seized his car keys. This led to another 15 minutes of begging of which I went deaf to his pleas. I told the guy I cannot forgive and forget. I told him I will return his car keys after he has fixed my car.

I heard that gentle voice ask, “If it was Jesus, what will he do in this situation?” and I quickly replied, “This is not the time for the question.”

1 Week later, I was heading back to the office from lunch, so much in a hurry that as I was reversing, I jammed our neighbor’s car. At the exact same area taxi driver hit me. Neighbor’s car was on its own and neighbor was in the office probably thinking other thoughts. He had been looking for ways to repair the car or buy a new one. I said to myself, “I don enter. My money will finish in fixing and spraying another man’s moto.”

I called neighbor and reported myself. He laughed and said I should not worry until he sees the damage. Later that day, he told me not to worry that he will take care of the damage.

Between me and neighbor, who is speaking Christianity? Me, who wanted to kill poor taxi driver for the small damage or him, who forgave me of the great damage I did to his car?

It is our duty to preach the Good News with our actions as much as our words. It is not about how many times we attend service, how many offices we hold in church, or how much of the scripture we can quote. A hungry man will most likely give his life to Christ if he is given food rather than words.

I learnt from that experience, especially to answer the question “What will Jesus do in this situation?” I know He will always show love and take appropriate actions.



Remain blessed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Sun Shone

I think I was still dreaming when I heard the question, "are you watching Nigeria's match?"

I had no plans to. I could manage the gist of Nigeria vs Argentina. My eyes were still shut and I was somewhere between dream world and consciousness when I replied, "It’s too early for me this Saturday. Will get up by 6a.m.”

I needed my beauty sleep. And I had a long day ahead of me. Our company was holding a family day that Saturday. As a member of the organizing committee, I felt I had to conserve enough energy for any task ahead.

Suddenly, the rain started falling. Not drizzling. It was a torrential rain. Instantly I sat up on the bed with my eyes wide open. There was no atom of sleep left in me.

What! I screamed in my heart. How can rain fall today. God! Did we not pray that rain will not fall on this day? Have I not gone around boasting that the rain will not fall? Have I not been talking about August break? Where did this rain come from?

I tried to remove my mind from the thoughts running through my head. I was upset with God. I fixed my eyes on the TV as if I was really interested in the match.

The rain will not fall during the event. That was what you prayed for.
But in the past few days, when the rain starts like this, it does not end until the next day.
All you have to do is believe that the rain will not fall.
While I am seeing and hearing it? Oh Please!!!

For without faith, it is impossible to please Me.

I became quiet for a moment. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. He has the power to change the weather. He held the rain on my wedding day. What made me think He could not do it again?

The rain became heavier but by that time, fear had left me. I smiled. As long as God has said the rain will not fall during the event, it will not fall. I thanked Him for it. I became filled with peace. I watched the first half of the match then drifted off to a dreamless sleep.

That day remains a testimony. The sun shone brightly throughout the event. I could not compare the warmth with the rain that fell that same morning. Everyone talked about the weather and marveled at how beautiful it was for the occasion. Then when I got back home, the rain continued.

You may have prayed to God but certain circumstances show up to make you think He has not answered your prayer. Have faith in God. As long as you have prayed according to His will, He has surely answered you. Don't be discouraged by the current, temporal, doubt-raising situation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cry of a Distraught Heart (I)

Am I less righteous
When things did not go as planned
When my prayers seem unanswered
When the world seems against me;

Did I pray less
Or did I sin more
Is it because I did not read your word
Why is my case different;

Should I fast
Should I sow
Should I work for you
What should I do;

My heart hurts
My thoughts in disarray
I am completely confused
I feel empty and hopeless;

Am I less Righteous
Than those who have my lack
Where did I go wrong
And what should I do?

This is a cry,
Of a Distraught heart.


I write poems in first person. This poem is not about me.
The response and the inspiration will come in Cry of a Distraught Heart (II).

God bless you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dream to Reality

It was 08-08-08. Like always, you called me the nickname unique to you alone. I was thrilled with joy, for what follows was usually a birthday gift.
I cherished those gifts not because of the worth but because of the thoughts and love behind them. Like the "OK" pant and socks (I can't forget the ones that were torn from day one, LOL) and the drinks that made everyone think you favoured me above everyone else. I never remembered to say thank you, yet again.
You told me to close my eyes while you lead me to my birthday gift. As always, I trusted you. My excitement kept rising. And then you said, "Open your eyes!"
I opened my eyes to be awakened from a dream. Looking at me with great love was the great, wonderful man we used to joke about.
Though it's been many years (I've almost lost count), I really miss your thoughtfulness on that day. Maybe I haven't got used to your absence. Your departure did one great thing for me - it made me realize I should never depend on any man but solely on God.
Yeah! God is the Father who has never left me nor forsaken me. He has never disappointed me. He has never broken my heart. With Him, every other thing falls into place. On 08-08-08, I took out time to reflect on how faithful He is, how awesome He is, how good He is, and how gracious He is. I realized it has been years of grace and goodness.
I thank God that He is not a dream.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back on Track

I recall hearing a voice that said “Take the left turn” but I ignored it and took the right turn. I did not know where the left turn led to but I knew where the right turn led to – a familiar road.

It was a Saturday and I was heading for a wedding ceremony. I had to be there before 3p.m. I was already running late having met several traffic jams on my way. But the height was when I got to the centre of the town, at the end of that right turn, and the road was blocked. I consoled myself that it will move afterall I had never experienced holdup at that place. But as seconds ticked by, nothing was happening. Except several cars reversing.

I waited until it was 15 minutes to my deadline before I decided to obey that voice I heard over an hour ago. To my greatest surprise, that left turn led to a smooth, free road and I was able to get to the wedding reception before 3p.m.

Even when you take the wrong path, if you hearken to my voice and retrace your steps, I will surely lead you to that place I have prepared for you. And on time.

“Not only wedding receptions?” I wondered as I took my seat at the venue.

Every area of your life. I will bring you to My expected end.

I nodded slowly while throwing a smile at those I was sharing a table with.
I had learnt something about God that day. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Even when it seems we have gone astray, He is still eager to see us back on track and lead us to the great things He has kept for us.

Where are you in your life now?

Walking away from God? If you turn to Him, He will receive you with open arms and continue walking with you.

Have you just returned from walking away from God? It may seem you have lost some time, but God will perfect everything that concerns you. He is not tired of you. He will redeem those times you think you lost.

Are you on that smooth road with God? Walk on and do not be discouraged. He is walking with you to bring you to the expected end He predestined for you before the foundation of the world.

Remain Blessed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

When To Say Thanks

Real Faith
What would it take
For me to say
I trust You
And I believe in You;

I don’t mean by mouth
But in actions and from my heart
And be at rest
Amidst apparent delays in my requests;

I guess ‘tis when
I get to that point
When I can come to You
Without demands
But when I can say thanks to You
For things that haven’t come true.

The Inspiration

It had been a struggle all morning to get a document printed out due to network problems. I asked my colleague to print the document for me since he could access the network printer.
“It’s done,” he said when he sent it to the printer. “You can pick it up in ten minutes time.”
“Okay,” I replied.
After ten minutes, I went to the printing room. My document was ready. I picked it up joyfully.
“Thanks and God bless,” I said as I breezed past his corner. “I’ve got the prints.”

That’s how you say thanks, a gentle voice said, startling me.
“What? How?”
That’s how you say thanks, the gentle voice whispered in my ears. You wait until you have seen it physically before you believe that it is done.
I wanted to argue that I must have said thanks after he sent the document to the printer. I asked someone to wash my mug. I did not thank him until he had brought the mug back cleaned.
"I say thank you only when I have seen what I want?”
Yes
"But the guy was going to wash the mug. He always washes my mug very well when I ask him to. And my colleague always prints for me when I ask him to. That was why I asked him to do it today.”
Silence
I tried to say the sentences rephrasing it with when I ask God for something.
“But You are going to answer my prayer. You always exceed my expectations. That is why it is only You I ask.”
When will you say thank you?

I knew it was time to thank God for things I had prayed for. Not to say thanks with my mouth, but with my heart, with faith that He had answered my prayers. Is He a God that I did not know? The time to say thanks is now.

When will you say thanks?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What's in a Name?

I brought the car to a halt in the available parking space adjacent to my office. After listening to Joel Osteen’s message that said “The Favor of God”, I took advantage of this free parking space provision as favor from God.

I had just locked the car door and hoped to hurry into the office when three hefty men in army uniform and long guns started running towards me. My heart was pounding frantically against my chest. I asked myself, what crime have I committed to warrant 3 men coming towards me? It would only take a slap from one of them to finish me, I thought.

I tried to ignore them and started walking away. One of them thundered, “Hey you! Hey you girl, will you stop there!”
I stopped in my tracks and turned to face them. The security guards around my office turned away, pretending that they did not know me. I was on my own.
“Why did you park here?” one of them shouted when they got up to me. “You just parked the car there and started walking away. Who gave you permission to park here?”
I did not reply immediately because fear had seized me. By the time the three men surrounded me, I knew I had to defend myself.
“I saw parking space here, near my office, so I parked,” I replied. I was shaking. So was my small voice.
“You are not permitted to park in this place," the man continued. "Oya, carry your car and go. This place is only for residents in this area!”
I smiled. My husband works for this organization that had the residential area.
“Even the wives of staff are not allowed to park here?” I asked.
“Wives of who?” Now his tone was less harsh.
“My husband works for the company…”
“What proof do you have?”
I said, “Go and check your directory for my husband.”

Then I called his name.

The other two men started moving back slowly.
“Madam, we are very sorry,” the chief attacker said. “You could have told us the first time that your husband works here. We are very sorry.”
I accepted their apologies and headed for my office. In my heart I said, if I did not respect my husband, from now on, I will respect him. Merely calling his name had given me freedom.

I liken this situation to when we pray, and we call the name of Jesus. This event reminded me of the name above every other name – Jesus Christ. I could imagine negative spirits fleeing at the mention of this sweet, powerful name. I could see circumstances taking a bow at the utterance of this awesome name. This is one name I should never take for granted.

Whatever you ask in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the will of God, consider it done, for Jesus Christ is the name above every name [Philippians 2:9-11].

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Love for the Season

February 14th. Saint Valentines Day. A day set aside to celebrate love. Yet I had no lover. Years had gone by and I had always hoped to share this day with that special someone. This year was not different. Once again, I was alone.

The most hurting part of it was I was still nursing the heartbreak of December 23rd the previous year. Christmas and New Year were spent in tears. I thought Valentine’s day would be different for once. I almost cursed the guy that put me into such state of sadness, emptiness and lack of self-worth.

I could not bear the squeals of excitement as my sisters unwrapped their valentine gifts. I could not remain in the atmosphere of happiness filled with laughter, exchange of kisses and embraces. I left them and drove towards one end of Port Harcourt. I wanted to be far away from home.

All along the journey to no destination in mind, I saw couples. Couples on the streets, couples in cars, couples about to enter a shop, couples coming out of a boutique. It did not matter what kind of couples they were. They were what I wanted at that time. I felt I was the only one alone in the world.

In my state of sadness and depression, I drove down a lonely road. At a T-junction, I was stopped by two policemen. They wanted to see my papers. I had no plans of cooperating. I was all emotions at that time. After some moments of arguing, they asked me where I was going to. I pointed left.
“Oh, the Motherless Babies Home,” one of them said. “Let her go.”
I got directions from them to the Motherless Babies home.

I walked into this room with babies crying. The adults were probably used to these sounds and were not moved. They went about their daily activities. A woman walked up to me. She was the matron of the Motherless Babies Home. She did not ask me much questions. She took me around and showed me the babies. Most were less than six months old. They looked like they were starved of something. Not food. Not clothing. Not shelter. Something was missing.

For each crib I went to (and the child was not asleep), I noticed the child reached out to me. They wanted to be carried. They wanted to be touched. The moment I carried them, stoked and patted them, there was this satisfaction they had. I cannot use words to describe it. They became peaceful, relaxed and some even went to sleep by my mere carrying them. Then the Matron said, “some of these children die because they lack love. All they need is someone to hold them and touch them. That love a mother shows a child in the early years is like a nutrient needed for growth. That is what these children are lacking.”

Only this morning, I was wishing for someone to hold me and touch me. Here I was seeing children who had never been adequately touched before. Touch-starved babies.

Love is affectionate, a gentle voice whispered in my ears.

After I had touched each child to rest, I started my journey home. I began to think about my mother. If I ever doubted her love for me, every trace of doubt was erased that moment. She loved me. She touched me enough to make me a healthy human. Despite the heartbreak, I knew there was someone who loved me. I was going to tell her I loved her too.

Love is proactive, the gentle voice whispered in my ears.

I thought about the mothers of the babies. How could a mother ignore her child? There are many women out there who would give anything to have a child yet someone was throwing a child away. If I was such a child, I would never forgive the woman.

Love is forgiving, the gentle voice whispered in my ears.


Maybe the mother had to do it in the best interest of the child, I began to reason with myself. Maybe she knew she could not take care of the child but someone out there will give this child the love and comfort she could not give. The abandonment might have been in faith.

Love is sacrificing, the gentle voice continued whispering.

By the time I got home, I was thinking of who has made sacrifices for me. Maybe many people have. But greater love had noone than this, than to lay down his life for me. That was what Jesus did. That was all the love I needed that day.

I opened a bottle of wine and shared among the family. For the first time I told my mother and siblings that I love them. That made their day. I felt very happy seeing them filled with joy. I was genuinely happy for the fun they had that day.

Love is not envious, the gentle voice whispered again.

So I reflected on the words of the gentle voice. I learnt a new meaning to love. I learnt that Valentine’s Day was for loving, anyone, and for giving.

I knew from that moment on that I would never lack a lover for the Valentine season, because there were so many people to love and to give to.

Love is in you, the gentle voice concluded.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

That Bold Step of Faith

Time to surrender
I have struggled to that point
Where I cannot go on
For nothing has changed
In my current state;

I tried to look ahead
But I saw dearth
Which made me hopeless
So I've feared to take a step;

On my own I can do nothing
On my own I have done nothing
So it is time to surrender
Completely to you.

The Inspiration
“I really worry about your work,” Emily voiced her concern to her husband. “It not only keeps you out late, it leaves you exhausted by the time you return home.”
She set his breakfast before him then sat down adjacent to him.
He reached out and stroked her face lovingly then said, “I’m believing God for a better job.”
“Amen,” she said half-heartedly.
As he pounced on his delicious meal, he said to himself, “If only she knew that I am not a night-shift bar tender!”
After he lost his job, he accepted the offer to be a lover to a rich lady. His reason was he wanted to continue being the “man of the house”. He had to provide somehow. Though he was getting money from the lady, he was not happy with his life and the secret he was keeping from his wife. Every time he prayed he said, “God, if only you could give me a job, I will not do this again.”

Sometimes, when we do not get answers to prayers, it is because we are not acting in faith. God is simply waiting for us to do what is right and trust him completely amidst what our current situation is saying. For without faith, it is impossible to please God [Hebrews 11:6].

I saw faith in action when a friend of mine announced that she had quit her job.
“Which job are you moving to?”
“None,” she said casually, “I am just waiting on God to give me the job He has for me. He is my provider.”

Then I realized she had taken a bold step of faith. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see [Hebrews 11:1 NLT]. She was not waiting to see the job physically before making the move. She knew it will come.

Many a times, we get used to our comfort zones that we do not want to take that bold step of faith that will lead us to what God truly has for us. Fear is one spirit that comes into operation here. But today, I want you to know that you can overcome anything that will prevent you from receiving God’s best for you. For Jesus Christ has overcome everything for you [John 16:33].

What are you believing God for? Take that bold step of faith to receive it. Do you need to do away with someone or something? Do you need to sow a seed? Do you need to change your location? Listen to the gentle voice of the spirit telling you what you should do. Obey. Though you may not know what the future holds, that bold step of faith will lead you to what God has reserved for you before the foundation of the world.

Have a blessed week ahead.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Job: 10 Great Things I’m grateful to God for

1. He gave it to me on time
Just when we had almost lost hope… wondering where we will get provision for the project that had been dragging, He gave me the job. Though I thanked Him then, today I am still grateful for the job. Last night, my sister asked me why I made the decision to accept the job. I just laughed and brushed the talk aside. There are very few times I have felt so strong about something, like I actually heard Him say “This is it”, and this was one of those times.

2. He has always given me good managers
All managers I have worked with were good to me. These are people that would fight for me even when I am sleeping. These have been people that are concerned about what concerns me. Even when it seemed that the managers were difficult, He taught me how to understand them and see them through His eyes. These are people that I have learnt great principles from, which have helped me in my career.

3. He has given me good health all through
When I think of some stressful times at work, I thank God that I did not break down. I don’t know how He did it.

4. I have never been made to feel inferior because of my gender
Infact, I have been made to feel real special because of my gender. Never for once have I heard or perceived, “she cannot do this because she is female”.

5. I have always got promotions when due and with great commendations
The statement explains itself.

6. My salary has always been increasing
One will wonder why I should talk about this. With inflation, salary should increase, not so? There are several situations where this would not be the case. For instance, one can switch to a lower paying job. I am indeed grateful to God for this steady, geometric increase in my pay.

7. He has shown me opportunities to be creative
I could surely not get bored on the job… not when He shows me daily challenges and opportunities to be creative. They have been so much that I now show others these opportunities and challenges.

8. He has given me very good colleagues
Though work is supposed to be professional, it is amazing that this job has given me friends and colleagues that behave like family.

9. He has given me understanding to learn so much within the period I have been in the organization
I look back at what I knew when I joined the organization, when I was trying to find my feet and blend within the organization. All I had was the degree and the ability to learn. Today, I cannot quantify what is in me concerning all facets of the organization.

10. He has given me wisdom to lead and manage people
It has been some years of learning from the Master – how to lead and manage people. Everyday, there is something new to learn. Three profound things I have learnt are 1) Manage yourself first 2) A leader needs humility 3) Chastise in love. All the answers on how to be a great leader and manager you can find from His Word. Jesus is the perfect example.
I have made mistakes and stumbled, but He has picked me up and showed me the lessons learnt.

What a wonderful journey it has been walking with Him at work!

Heavenly Father, today, I say a very big “Thank You” for my job, for I know this is your will for me in Christ Jesus. Just want you to know I truly enjoy this gift you gave me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Changeable Destiny

Destiny. I had always believed it to be an event or a course of events that would inevitably happen in the future. Even when I could see that I was headed for destruction, I would say “we are helpless in the face of Destiny. There is nothing I can do about it.” Now I know better. Destiny can be changed. A decision, prayer, or intercession can change destiny. I learnt this when I had the challenge of having a sexual relationship with a coworker.

For months Big Boss had been stating his interest in me. I call him “Big Boss” because he held a top management position. Then I was a young single lady who had just joined the organization. He was a married man in his fifties. I was scared that if I did not give in to his request, I might lose my job. Week after week, the pressure mounted. I could not report it as a case of sexual harassment, after all it came subtly in every meeting we had. At nights when he called, I was so lonely that I looked forward to speaking with him. Each line he dropped was seed for my flesh. As the days went by, it became more difficult to say no.

I thought about my career in the company. I thought about the stigma if anyone found out about us. I thought about my future – maybe no man would marry me after hearing I had been a girlfriend to Big Boss. But when I thought about the pleasures and the satisfaction of my flesh, I began to wonder why I should bother about my future and what people might think.

I felt like I was at a crossroad in my life. There were so many decisions I could make at that moment though only one was the perfect will of God for me. I could postpone my answer giving me more time to evaluate what I was feeling. I could report the situation to my manager. I could say yes and accept the consequences. I could say no, but that word could not come out of my mouth.

“Lord, I need your help,” I cried to God. “Your word says that the temptations in my life are no different from what others experience. And You are faithful. You said You will not allow the temptation to be more than I can stand. You also said when I am tempted, You will show me a way out so that I can endure. Please take this man away from me because I cannot say no. Please make him forget to call me today.”

After this prayer, Big Boss called on the hour, giving me his itinerary for the day, and what he planned to do with me in the evening. “I am going to give you pleasure you’ve never imagined,” he said in a deep, sexy voice during his last call. I could not resist anymore. I made up my mind. It seemed God did not answer my prayer so I concluded that He did not care. I decided to give in to the demands of Big Boss.

I prepared that evening. I bathed in scented water, wore my favorite underwear, perfumed myself from head to toe, and wore clothes that would not hinder the activity for the evening. I was ready 3 hours before my date. I lay down on the bed thinking on the nice words Big Boss had told me. Every remembrance of his sweet words made me wish for time to move faster. I was in this dream world when my best friend called.

“Are you coming to church this evening?” he asked.
Church? I asked myself. I had forgotten about mid-week service.
“No, not this evening. I have a date,” I replied.
“With who? Can’t you bring your date to church?”
“Certainly not! My date is with Big Boss. I have said yes to his request.”
“You said yes?” He sounded disappointed.
“Yes, I did.”
“Okay. I’m sorry but I am going to ruin your date this evening. Every five minutes, I will call your mobile phone.”
“You won’t do that!” I could only wish for once my best friend will not mean what he said.
“Yes I will.”
“Then I will put my phone off.”
“What will you tell your folks if they try to reach you and find out your phone is off?”
I was quiet for a moment. He knew that during the evenings I kept my phone on to be reachable by my family members.
“What time is your date?” he asked.
“In about 3 hour’s time.”
“Why don’t you come let’s chat to pass the time?”

His house was fifteen minutes drive from mine so I accepted. When I got into his house, he was praying. When he finished, we spent over an hour sharing our day’s experience. There was so much joy and laughter between us. I felt refreshed.

When I got up to leave he said, “You really don’t want to see Big Boss, do you?”
“No I don’t, but I have given him my word. I can’t turn back now. It’s too late. If you were Big Boss, how would you feel if a lady backs out of a date which you both have agreed on?”
“I would feel she is not interested and I would move on to the next available lady,” he said casually.

I felt a mix of cold, inferiority and hurt.
“Really? So you mean if I tell Big Boss I am not coming this evening, he won’t lay down on his bed having a moody evening?” That is what I would do if my date did not show up.
“Come on, he is a man. A mature man for that matter. He would probably hang out with some friends or call someone else. A woman that is seen as an object for satisfying a man’s lust is not indispensable. Any other woman can fill in that gap!”
“Oh! I see,” I said slowly.

Suddenly, I knew in my spirit the decision to make. I was no longer afraid. I became bold. I was no longer focused on the pleasures my body wanted. I picked up my phone and called Big Boss. I cancelled the date, apologized for giving him the impression that I was interested, and told him I would like us to keep our relationship professional. He was okay with all I said. After the call he sent a text saying that he had hoped we could deepen the relationship but he respects my wish to keep the relationship formal. That was the end of the pressures from Big Boss. I have been able to look him in the eye afterwards without guilt or fear. And I have been able to say no to several others without going through the weeks of indecision, fear and confusion.

Today I look back and reflect on that day. God’s response to my challenge was the best thing for me, better than what I prayed for. Now I realize I was not stuck with the destiny of being a girlfriend to Big Boss. That destiny was changed through prayer, the choice that was made and intercession by my best friend. God is faithful and His ways are far beyond anything I could imagine. He did not allow the temptation to be more than I could stand. When I was tempted, He showed me a way out.

Resonance

My Beloved,
By Being You
Made in My image
You have so much
Deposited in you;

But when you move
At My Frequency
You can do great things
More than you ever imagined
More than the world expects of you;

When you vibrate
In response to my vibrations
Then you can impact the world
In that way I have predestined for you;

You have all it takes
To be all I’ve made you to be
To achieve all I’ve called you to do
To turn dreams to reality;

Key into Me
Your Resonant Frequency
Then you will experience
Profound greatness
Novel achievement
And unimaginable fulfillment.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Forbidden Fruit

It beckoned:
Its rare beauty, its mystery
Was the greatest captivator in history
Every drop in my resistance
Was due to an extra glance
Yet I felt it was alright
To look one more time;


It beckoned:
Persistently, yet subtly
It spoke to me
Come closer please touch me
Feel me and taste me
Experience me just once
You will never be the same again;


It beckoned:
I stuttered a refusal
Just for the record
I knew better than to say yes
But there was this emptiness
That needed to be filled
With something different and sweet;

It beckoned:
The call had become light
I feared I would be denied
This one and only opportunity
To explore the untouched fruit
That exuded sweetness and satiety
So why live a lifetime in rue?


No longer could I hold back
My last strands of resistance
So I touched and savoured
Then took a bite with great hopes

As the liquid touched my tongue
I could have sworn it was sweet
But that sweetness was too transient
Compared to the sour, nay, bitter taste;


And then it dawned on me
After the deceit
That there was no beckon
Save my desire and weakness
That drove me to taste
Of eternal grief, sorrow and pain
Only redeemable
By Love Himself.