I’m not saying it’s a Nigerian thing but has it happened that when a stranger touches you, the first instinct is to plead the blood of Jesus and start rebuking every curse from your life. Or maybe it’s just me or maybe you see it as being too religious. And you’re right. Cause the truth is my reflex should be completely different if I truly know what I carry in me.
And so it happened to me one day that a stranger tapped my shoulder accidentally. He was an older black man. He was a bit weird to me. I was wondering why he would tap me (it was clearly a mistake) but I had already started rebuking every evil spirit. Then I started laughing at myself.
“Greater is he that is in me”
Jesus was never afraid to heal the sick. He placed his hands on those that were dead, those that were mad, those that had skin diseases or even diseases that couldn’t be diagnosed. When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, it was power that flowed out of him into her and not the other way round.
Demons fear to come in contact with us not the other way round, knowing well that we carry a higher power because the word says the same spirit that was in Jesus lives inside of us (Romans 8:11).
I found myself praying that this ‘mistake’ that this man made to touch me will instead transform his life. That whatever burden he was carrying before touching me will disappear.
It’s a really simple message but not any less important to remember. Whatever you’re going through remember that the greater one lives inside of you.
Guys, it has been really amazing. Another phase of my life complete!! (Dancing vibes). More vibrant posts coming your way.
I recently attended a barbecue (bbq) party at my friend’s house and it was a wonderful experience. About a week later an illustration was revealed to me while praying.
2 Timothy 1:6-
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
The word ‘fan’ immediately brought my memory back to the party.
My friends had gotten a disposable bbq foil tray because they didn’t exactly have the bbq equipment and this was easy to use. The food was ready for grilling but it was raining heavily.
Apart from that we had never used the tray before so we were clueless on what to do. So I used my umbrella to shade the tray while another friend went out to get smoking papers that would make the tray flammable. Once started, he had to constantly fan the coal to keep the fire burning.
Whether it’s a coal tray or traditional firewood method, you always have to fan the flame. This ensures that there’s enough oxygen to keep the fire burning.
As I thought about this experience, I understood clearer what Paul meant by his instruction to Timothy. If you don’t fan the talent it will die and become cold.
As I mentioned, it was raining. Another thing we can understand from this is that there will be storms in life. According to Reverend Funke Felix-Adejumo in her message ‘Love Affairs’, “every man has his midnight.” Storms are part of seasons of life. They don’t last but when they happen you need to be shaded.
One of the illustrations Pastor Malcolm Baxter of Heart Church gave was about standing under the umbrella. He was talking about tithing in the series ‘It starts with the heart’. His illustration showed that when we obey God by giving ten percent of our income, our finances come under the covering of God like an umbrella. In the same way, when you are saved and serve God, you are covered when the storm comes. However, we need to remain under the covering of God so that our talents will not be destroyed. These destroyers are sin, laziness, fear, faithlessness, wrong relationships and worldly pursuits.
The smoke paper is like the fuel that helps the coal tray to burn brighter, like in Nigeria we use kerosene for firewood. The Holy Spirit is a necessary personality in our lives. He is the anointing that guides us, teaches us and strengthens us.. Through the Holy Spirit, God is able to implant ideas in you that will set you apart. He’s a constant source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Finally, we are aware that the coal tray represents the gifts and talents that God has placed in us. The coal tray was for a purpose which was to grill the sausages, grill the burgers and roast the corn. What would have been the point of lighting the coal tray and letting it burn for no reason. There is a purpose for which God has gifted us. There is also a place for using this purpose to bless others. When the tray is lit, it gives off fire and smoke which add to making the taste of the food unique. The same way we should use the gift God has given us to fuel and flavourthe lives of others.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Scott Mirams in Flickr
It’s been a minute and I have missed you dearly.
It’s time to share a wonderful story I read on a blog my loved one shared with me. For me, it tells of how much God loves us and how our relationship with him should be.
I remembered how on one of my Whatsapp group chats a friend made a comment. He said “Many of us put our expectation within our means, that is not faith. Many ask God for puff-puff, chin-chin, sweet and yoghurt. What about asking God to make you the World Richest because we need cash for mission works?” Another friend of mine replied by saying that God cares about the ‘small stuff’ in our lives as much as the big stuff.
Both statements are very true. But, in reading this message I’ve come to understand that God doesn’t just want to bless us so that we can be satisfied. He wants to bless us so that we can be a blessing. Asking for the big stuff shows our mentality beyond ‘self’ and shows our desire to be used by God. In the big things we ask for, most definitely the small things will be taken care off and often will have to be addressed first before the ‘big things’ can manifest.
Enjoy the wonderful lessons from this story.
Once upon a time, a little boy named Igbagbo walked down a street called Aye. On that street, he met a kind old lady called Ara. She gave him a piece of candy. It was the milkiest ball of chocolate he had ever seen, covered in golden sugar flakes that made Igbagbo’s mouth water.
Excited, Igbagbo accepted Ara’s candy. As quickly as he ate it, he realized that the candy was awefully bitter. It made no sense! He wanted to protest but Ara had disappeared.
Dejected, Igbagbo abandoned his journey and headed back home. Somewhere along the way, he met another old lady called Iyanu. She showed him her candy. Afraid of being deceived again, Igbagbo rejected it. Besides, her candy looked mundane, there was no way it could have been sweet.
Iyanu had known that Igbagbo would reject her candy. So, she asked him, “Would you trust my candy if I…
Alright so for those of you that have seen this post already I’m sure you would agree that it wasn’t quite finished yet. That was an error on my part (covers face in embarrassment). It’s a representation of the moment you get a message and write it out as quickly as possible. It’s also a representation of how our act can be right before we tidy things up and step out for the day.
But for those of you who are reading through for the first time.. Welcome!!!
Whether first time or second time the message for today is very simple and is in line with the passage:
2 Timothy 1:7
‘…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’
This message was born out of a series of events through the week and a few points from yesterday’s message (06/19/2017) in UCB, Word for Today.
I don’t know about you but I struggle a lot when it comes to making the decision whether to quit something or not. For example quitting a job for a better one. The time might be right to move on but instead we stay longer in our current situation for different reasons. For me it might be dreading the waiting period that follows. For you it may be considering your finances . I know people who struggle with moving on from a past or current situation. For you it might even be the relationship you are currently in.
Yes! You are right!
About what? I’m sure you’re asking yourself.
Well, God’s grace is sufficient but you need to take action!
To be honest most ‘real’ people look at Christians like we aren’t serious when it’s time to take action and we start calling out to God for grace and help when it’s actually us that needs to make a move!!
Back to Timothy. There are three things highlighted that influence our ascent to the next level and how we sustain promotion.
This is the ability that God has put in us that is required for us to activate our gifts and actually work. Power as we know in scientific terms is the rate of doing work. How much you actually get to achieve in life is entirely up to you as it is up to God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Moving to the next level requires us to play our part. That means ‘Fan into flame the gift of God in us’ according to Timothy in verse 6.
We have to make the decision to leave our past behind and move on from our current situation to something better.
Love has a lot to do with our attitude. Our attitude is our reaction to situations around us and determines if we move to the next level and how far we can ascend.
Chuck Swindoll said “ …we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day…life is 10 per cent what happens to me and 90% how I react to it” (UCB, 2017)
Having self-control is another attribute to carry along when moving to the next level because temptations will come but if we do not have a mind that is focused (sound mind) or we easily fall to sin then there is also a limit to how far we can ascend. When moving to the next level there is no point carrying unnecessary burdens because they have the capacity to slow you down or trip you up. There is no point weighing yourself with issues and circumstances you cannot change. UCB puts it this way “We waste our strength extinguishing fires that if left alone would burn out on their own….There are enough painful trials in life; why endure the ones you can ‘strip-of’”
Holding on to pain, grudges, the past, will do nothing more than limit you from embarrassing greater opportunities ahead. Besides it will only give room to doubt and fear and will translate in you having a bad attitude.
So everything that you need to move forward has been placed in you. Your power, your attitude and your mind. Use it well.
Thank you all for subscribing to my blog and being a part of my life. God bless you.
Life isn’t short but it is often times unpredictable and goes by fast. What counts is not just enjoying the moment and planning for the future but it is about doing God’s will now and looking towards an eternity with Him.
I was so excited about my previous post that I thought to do another one. Following from my last post, I mentioned that Order is important because your life needs to be in order if you are going tobe of influence to someone else. In relation to last posts discussion, there is a place for order in our lives because orderliness is next to godliness.
Order is important because your life needs to be in order if you are going to be of influence to someone else.
I thought of the man who Jesus told to leave everything and follow him and the man replied by telling Jesus that he needed to go back and settle some things. You may be wondering what this has to do with order but it led me to reflect on the reality of my situation. I had a whole list of things to do- from school work to tidying my room. I simply thought that I would focus on my school work and leave the tidying up till the weekend.
This parable made me realise that we have to be ready at any time because God can call on us at any time. Jesus can even come at any time so we have to be ready. The same way anyone can show up at my doorstep and I want to be ready to receive them. I want the atmosphere of my space to be cheerful and in order; not dull and a mess. We may not always get a second change re-perform (1 Kings 19:19-21) so at all time be ready.
God can call on us at any time. Jesus can even come at anytime
I would not pretend like I am an ‘A’ student when it comes to being tidy but the point I am driving at is that you never know when Jesus will send someone your way, so you have to be in order and be prepared.
Most importantly you have to be equipped with the Word. 2 Timothy 4:2 tells us that we should be prepared in and out of season because we may have to speak to someone or encourage someone or be of influence to someone. We don’t have to lay things off till we are sure and everything is falling in place or wait for the ‘perfect’ moment. We should ensure that at all times we are ready like soldiers because soldiers are always ready for battle. The trumpet can sound at any time.
Soldiers are always ready for battle. The trumpet can sound at any time.
We have to be smart and on our feet. In the previous post, I mentioned that the prudent give thought to their ways (Proverbs 14:15). A prudent person considers the future. You have to think ahead and think fast and in line with God’s plan for your life.
You have to think ahead and think fast and in line with God’s plan for your life.
Your Life needs to be in order for you to be of influence
Orderliness means being prepared at all times
Order your steps in line with God’s word
Be equipped with the word in and out of season meaning at every time
Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think about this initially. I had something on my mind to write about for two weeks and I didn’t know how to put it down. Then it dawned on me that I haven’t done an audio message in a while. This audio message is basically about recovering from a ‘burn out’. What I mean by that is recovering from a low point in your life. I actually wanted to post an audio message directly from my church website, that’s Heart Church Nottingham. I was listening to the message and it was so in line with my message for you and in fact my personal experiences. I will still put the link up so in your spare time, please listen to it.
So, speaking of low points, I am probably not the only one who has been at that point where everything is going great and things are falling in place both physically and spiritually. But it’s like we have put in so much work into perfecting our lives that we suddenly feel exhausted.
Pastor Malcolm while speaking about the topic ‘from setback to comeback’ made reference to Elijah. He was at his high point, working miracles and doing God’s work. Then suddenly he is threatened by Queen Jezebel and it’s like “I’m going to die anyway Lord kill me!” 1 KINGS 19:1-9
I remember at the beginning of the year before and during my exams, I worked so hard because I wanted to do so well, being the ‘guru’ that I am. Once exams were over I was so exhausted, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Spiritually and physically my battery was flat.
And in speaking to her and reflecting, I realized that it usually took a while to come out of a setback stage. So in Pastor Malcolm’s message ‘from setback to comeback’, he mentioned 5 things to do to comeback from a setback.
The first thing is to Arise. You can’t run forever. You can’t hide away forever. Elijah ran and thought dying will solve his problem but that was not the solution. That was just a lie he was feeding himself with out of fear. You need to create the right environment for yourself. What are you listening to, what is influencing your decision and your thoughts? You need to stop making excuses for remaining in the setback position. You need to step out into an environment where you can be fed with positivity and encouragement. Social Media does not- I repeat- does not help! Where does your report come from? The second thing is that the angel told him to eat. Elijah had to get up, eat and drink.
He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 1Kings 19:6
In your case it might be that you need to eat, drink, and exercise. You need to relax and take care of yourself. Create space to groom yourself. In my case I had to fast. The first time I was low, I thought the solution was to spoil myself and do whatever will make me happy. I was eating, exercising, going out. But that was not what I needed. Someone needs to retreat! It doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself, because you need to be in an environment where you can be encouraged, but you may need to separate from the things of the world and focus on God.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1Tim4:8
Physically Building yourself is very good. Exercise helps a lot with relaxing and de-stressing but godliness profits also. This brings me to my third point, which is, you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Because godliness is from the Spirit of God.
Another thing is: Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18
Doing things that physically elevate you will only be temporary but with the Spirit of God you can be sure of a smooth constant flow. I was turning to the wrong things like movies, food, hanging out with friends. I was doing anything to escape and ignoring the fact that I was feeling down and low.
The next thing is: You need to rest in God. One thing I failed to really do was pray and give things to God. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
The times I felt low, I just didn’t do anything about it. But the third time I was like no! I cannot allow sin, I cannot allow depression to hold me down. I remember praying for God’s rest and his peace. At such times it might be difficult to even pray. When I can’t pray what I do is listen to music because it helps me get into the mood of prayer.
The last thing is to let God minister to you. Most importantly you have to be open to receive from Him.
We all have that setback, low point. No one wants to admit that “I’m depressed or I’m falling back into sin.” Just because we have been Christians for so long. But we need to separate ourselves from things that set up back or refuse to let us come back.
I attended a workshop where a few things were said about order. Ordering our lives is important so we can take charge of what God wants us to do in the world. You cannot influence others if your life is not in order
I did not start writing again till end of March because I was burned out. I couldn’t influence anyone because I didn’t have anything to give. I was running away from everything. When you see yourself getting burned out, you need to come out of it and that’s what I’m talking about when I refer to the five steps:
Arise from your burnt-out situation
In my case I needed to fast, you might need to take care of yourself and eat better and take walks and go on a retreat or a vacation. Be joyful. But it’s not about being selfish and ignoring your responsibilities. No, it’s about knowing what is right.
In Proverbs 14:15 the bible says only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
Whatever you’re doing you need to think about it. Is it in line with who I am as a child of God? Is it in line with what God wants for me at this time?
You need to let the Holy Spirit guide you
You need to rest in God
You need to let God minister to you and you need to be open to receive from him
This is the month of May and I want to wish you a happy new month ahead.
Today is Apple Pancake Inspiration Launch Day (A.P.R.I.L.) April is also my birthday month (just slipping it in there). I remember my first food recipe post on this platform which was about puff puff. This experience is definitely a success compared to that and I want you to really try this out.
So what’s this all about?
I used to make my pancakes by first adding the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients (like milk, egg e.t.c) but it ended up looking like crepes and not fluffy the way I wanted it. So I learnt it a new way (inspiration from my Kenyan friend). I am sure most people do it this ‘new’ way already, but if you don’t, I am happy to be the pioneer of your new pancake mix.
So the simple trick is to add the flour at the last stage and not mix everything jambajantis together like I used to.
Another question you might be asking is why apples? Well, you can use anything really. My personal favorite is a banana, but most people use blueberries, white chocolate, raisins e.t.c. It depends on what you like. Also, apple was the ideal choice for my APRIL acronym.
Here is what you need (7 servings):
1 Cup Self-Raising Flour
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Liquid milk (I use Nido and then add warm water)
1 Tablespoon Oil
Here is the process:
Okay so I don’t exactly measure all my ingredients and I don’t know how to quantify pinch in baking terms if there’s anything like that but you can choose to trust me (take a leap of faith).
Chop the apples into very small dice ( so that it does not stick out of your pancakes like large cubes) in a pot and add some sugar ( I do not like mine too sweet because I add syrup at the end). Add some water and boil till the apples are soft enough and the water is evaporated. It will be like a sticky paste.
In the mixing bowl add your oil, cinnamon, egg and milk. Mix well. Then slowly add the flour as you mix until you have a thick consistency. Stir the apple paste into the mixture.
I add the apple paste last because the apples are chunky and would not allow the flour to mix well if added first. However, for banana pancakes, I add the bananas first because it is smooth.
Heat the pan (not too hot) and add the paste. Be careful not to over brown your cakes so after thirty seconds flip over.
That is all. It’s absolutely yummy!!!
I wrote these words on the first of April as I reflected on my attitude towards payback. I identified it as a syndrome because a syndrome is a condition characterized by a set of associated or concurrent symptoms.
Often times I have the urge to hold on to the wrong that others have done to me. I often feel I have to pay back in order to feel at peace and satisfied. We call it revenge. I also feel guilt for the wrong I have done to others and expect to be hurt in return. We call it karma. I am sometimes uncomfortable when someone does something good for me especially if we aren’t really close. I want to pay back the person. I do not want to be in debt to anyone and I call it independence. Sometimes I look for ways to return back the share of a lent hand given to me. I do favor people but still expect to be paid back for what I’ve done.
I am writing in the first person, in order to portray my personal experience, but this attitude is the same for someone reading this post now. You may think otherwise but have you considered this:
When God has been so good to you, you try to be good too and do all the right things. You are paying back for the good God has done and you confess, “Lord I give you my life”. But when you slip up, you realize that you may not have given a 100% of yourself and feel God will pay back and take back the goodness and the blessing he has given you.
But on this day I remembered the prodigal son. He was good and expected a reward in the form of a pay check. His father knew he deserved it and gave him everything that he was entitled to. But this boy went and spent it all and had nothing left. He had to go back to his father but this time he was expecting to be punished as a payback for being impatient, arrogant and irresponsible. He was even ready to make another deal. He prepared his speech:
“Father I know I deserve to be paid back for the wrong I did to you. But give me this second chance and I’ll pay back by being your servant”
He felt his punishment was to be stripped of his title as a son and be made a servant. But His father made a completely different remark:
“No. You owe me nothing but to be exactly who you are.”
Truly, all the offering in the world would not be enough to pay back what God has given you or me.
I considered this: even the very body that we live in was formed and created by God. One day this body will be called back to the dust and our souls will be called back to God. So even our lives are not even ours to payback with.
God does not require us to pay back anything. Instead he gave us everything in himself, his son and his Spirit. He blessed us with even the precious yet most undervalued gift of life. He doesn’t want us to be anything more than we already are which is to be love beings.
We show love in our act of service. We show love in being responsible and agile. Love doesn’t mean we don’t get angry or make rash decisions. Love doesn’t mean we aren’t sensitive or emotional. Love means we are unconditional in our attitude. We do not keep record of wrong and we appreciate the good done to us by others. It means that we also take the proactive step to be good too.
Ditch the pay back syndrome and instead fill your heart with gratitude and love.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
They had spent the past five years of their lives planning ahead from the day they would officially say I do. They had agreed on everything: what deco was needed in the house, who will do what, who was welcome to stay with them and for how long, how many children they would have, how they would spend financially and other things couples had to agree on before marrying. But nothing had prepared him for his wife’s comment on their wedding night.
“I think you we should use protection tonight babe”
His tone wasn’t angry. He just wanted to make sure he heard right. A lot of things had already started running through his mind, like did his wife have a disease she was not telling him about? He trusted her so he was not going to be too forward. He just needed to understand.
“It’s just I’m not ready to get pregnant it’s too soon”
He waited for more explanations because even her reason was outlandish and unexpected. They must have discussed wanting to have children and when, but he did not remember discussing how long they were going to wait till that happened. He said nothing but stared at the frame of her body in the darkness of the room.
Ada had a dilemma in her own mind. She was not ready partly because she wanted to enjoy her husband but also because she had her career to think about and being pregnant now would perhaps make the climb to the top a little slow. What if she would have to quit her job? Being overly dependent on her husband wasn’t her style. Another thought that bothered her was that what would happen if when she was finally ready to have children she wouldn’t be able to. Igbo women were fertile anyway but with the uncertainty of the universe, there was a possibility that things would not go as planned. She prayed against her latter thought. But at this moment how was she going to explain this to her confused husband?
This was the exact dilemma that Ada confessed to her mother the next morning. Her husband did not take her silence lightly. There wasn’t any place to get protection at that time of the night so of course it was lights out.
The mother of the bride stared at her daughter, mouth open in disbelief, as she listened to the drama that had unfolded.
“Didn’t you discuss this during counselling?”
“Well, we did, but was thinking along this line recently.”
“And you decided to wait till after the wedding to state this?”
“I did not want him to have any doubts.”
“About what? You’re his wife!”
Ada remained silent.
“Okay let me tell you the truth and hopefully this truth will set you free.”
Ada stared at her mother.
“What you’re feeling is very normal. But it’s a feeling borne from fear and fear isn’t permitted in the life of a child of God, neither is worry. But here’s what I’ve learned and I’ll share it with you because it’s a passage that addresses all your current problems”
Her mother rose up to pull out her bible from the bedside dresser. The older woman then returned and sat by her at the foot of the bed.
She opened the little black book and read:
The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
See, you’re under a new covenant and under this covenant you will be fruitful. Also under this new covenant, you will flourish.”
“You say new covenant but yet you read from the Old Testament.”
“Exactly, and that is because God’s promises are yes and Amen. Regardless of the time, he had decreed, He will bring it to pass. There isn’t any need to worry about this any further. Go home and agree with your husband. Honor him and please him. But don’t hold back because of fears, especially knowing now that your fruitfulness and prosperity have been settled long ago.”
Ada wipes away tears that have suddenly begun to slip down her chin.
“Thanks Mama.” She stretches her arm for an embrace.
As we should know, in a coupled relationship, it is not just what ‘I’ want or ‘you’ want. It is what ‘We’ want. This is a difficult bridge to cross and that is why couples go through months of counselling and take time to agree together before the big balloon day. But even after all the ceremony it takes a conscious effort to make decisions together. Another lesson displayed in the story is the importance of having a spiritual partner. Either a friend, relative or mentor, you need to be open with someone. You also need as much confidence that that person’s advice will steer you in the right direction of peace and joy and not fuel your fleshy emotions. The most evident lesson is not to let fear and worry cloud your judgment on certain decisions. God’s word has the answer to whatever questions we are asking in secret. The answers may not come black and white but if we seek for his opinion on life’s most challenging situations, He is ready with an answer and with a very active support system (the Holy Spirit)