Tag Archives: Church

I want to be

Got back from church pretty early today. Actually went to another parish and service was fast. And for the first time in a long while I actually had time to reflect on the sermon. Now, with all the activities on a typical Sunday for me, I usually get home and knock out. And I was fast burning out. Late last night I just decided I had to go somewhere else. Where no one knew me and I could hear the word without getting distracted. So off I went and I am happy I did. Those who know me know I over-think things (if there is a word like that) and so what I write below is a result of me thinking about the sermon (actually a recap of an earlier sermon the Pastor had preached) which led to me thinking about other things till I finally got to this writing…

I want to stand before Kings and not mean men

I want to (in the words of my ex) be so hidden in Christ; anyone who finds me must find Christ to find me

I want to honour God with my body, my substance

I want to search the scriptures with all diligence and not just take every word thrown at me (especially in Christian circles) as the law

I want to be the woman who guards her heart

I want to be the woman whose children shall arise and call her blessed

I want to be the woman whose children shall call her bestie

I want to be the woman whose husband takes delight in her all his days

I want to bring my husband good and not harm

I want to be so diligent; so meticulous, hardworking

I want to be the woman everybody knows they are welcome around her

I want to the woman who judges NOT

I want to be as a tree planted by the rivers of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever I do would prosper

I want to be excellent

Oh yes I want to be rich yet very humble

I want to be blessed and yet more a blessing

I want to be able to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves

I want to speak the truth always

Here in is the conclusion of the matter: I want to fear the Lord and keep his commands

I spoke about using this blog as a tracker (making myself accountable) right? So for those who know me (outside of this blog), if I fall short or aint doing any of the above, you have the right to call me to order. If you see me turn a blind eye to the truth, do let me know. If you see me sloppy or not exerting myself, ya have a right to whip me (not literally biko).

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Perfect or Permissive Will?

This is just going to be a mix of different things….

I was at a Singles programme in Church on Saturday and whilst the guest minister was talking, he said something I have heard and I am sure a lot of people have heard over time; is that thing, that job, that husband, that wife, good for you? Even if it/job/she/he is good, is it acceptable to God? And it hit me. Many times I pray for God’s will to be done. And I am thinking and disecting and “deciding” how I want it to play out, what I want to happen just because it is good. And because it is good, it must likely must be acceptable afterall? So even when I pray let your will be done, am I asking for His perfect will or His permissive will? Am I asking God to grant His permission because that is what I want? I began to feel praying “let your will be done” was really vague; ambigious. It could be either His perfect will or His permissive will.

Sometimes last week during the morning family devotion, we touched on the subject forgiveness and my uncle said something very instructive: forgiveness isn’t forgiving someone you can’t hurt (someone bigger/stronger than you) i.e. Lagos State took your land and you are forming I have forgiven Fashola. He said forgiveness is forgiving someone you have the power, authority, resource to hurt YET you refuse to. Funny Open Heavens yesterday touched on the same subject as meekness: having the power to do damage and not doing it.

Which takes me to my next point. Do you choose to forgive/make peace/make amends because we are instructed to “as much as possible, as long as it lies within your power live at peace with all men”? Or to show that you are the “bigger/more mature” person? I have a colleague who is “mad” at me (for a very silly reason). So I tell our mutual friend. And he goes “go apologise”- which I understood and was going to do. He then adds “and show that you are the bigger person”. I paused and frankly I made up my mind I wasn’t going to apologise. At least not at that point. Because it dawned on me I won’t be apologising because I offended her (more so it isn’t even something you would count as an offense) but because I wanted to show I was more mature or the first to apologise.

I see angelsbeauty‘s birthday in the horizon. Yeah she is a few days older. Happy birthday in advance sis. Reminds me of the time Just Joxy thought we were sisters.

And yeah, it is a few weeks to the end of the giveaway so if you haven’t commented, you still got 2 weeks to comment.

You must have noticed no #Scandal talk in a couple of posts. Lets just keep it that way till I catch up with the outstanding 2 episodes I haven’t watched. And why do I have to wait till next year for #Suits?

I actually have a lot more to blog about. Maybe I would break the rule and post once more this week.

Side note: Perfection is attainable. Grace is getting admission into the Christian race; fees paid by Christ. You as the student now have to do the work, study, attend tutorials, read e.t.c to get a distinction/first class (perfection). Nothing less than a distinction. Merit aint allowed. Moreover, we have the teacher (the Holy Spirit) to help us when the examiner (the devil) comes with the tests and examinations. And don’t we have people who graduate from school with a first class/distinction? So who says perfection is unattainable?

Have a beautiful week people.

Let us pray

Almighty Father we are eternally grateful for your grace and faithfulness. For your loving kindness and tender mercies that are new every morning. We thank you for you are our God and there is none other. Indescribable God accept our thanks and praises.

We pray for your mercies this and everyday.

We pray for your guidance this and everyday.

We pray for our nation Nigeria. We lift up our Jerusalem and pray for her peace. Forgive us our sins in this nation. From the East to the West to the North to the South, dear Lord, let your peace reign. We pray for our leaders. Dear Lord, from the President even to the very least public civil servant, you who holds the hands of kings and princes in your hands, turn their hearts towards you. Give us leaders who fear and love you. Have mercy on each and everyone of us. Help us the followers to search our hearts. We get the kind of leaders we deserve. Help that there be a change in our hearts. Help that we wait not for the government to change but to realize that the change begins with us. Help that in our own little ways, we do the right things. Help us to vote the right people into power. Stem the tide of insecurity and corruption in our land and let there be a cleansing from top to bottom and bottom up. Help us to live peacefully with each other.

We pray for the church. We pray for forgiveness. Father forgive us our sins and heal your church. Let your fire as in the days of old burn afresh and anew within the church. Let our church leaders do your will. Let your love be spread abroad afresh within the church. Let there be a revival in the church. Give a change of heart to each one and help us to love each other as Christ loves the church. We pray that our old men (and women) would dream dreams and our young men (women) would see visions. Help us to stop playing church. To stop being religious.

We pray for those looking up to you for children. Father grant them their heart desires. It is your will that none be without child. Cause them to be fruitful and glorify your name in their lives.

We pray for those seeking fruitfulness in other areas of their lives. Cause them to multiply and do so abundantly.

For job seekers, we pray your grant them jobs. For those in jobs they don’t like, give them the courage and boldness to seek and get the jobs they want. For those who should be in businesses and not seek 9-5 employment, Father push them. Take the fear that keeps people bound to jobs they shouldn’t be in away.

For the widows and widowers, comfort them. Strengthen them. For the fatherless and motherless, be a father and mother to them.

For those of us who know you, help us to stand firm and not depart from the way. For those who don’t, draw them close with your saving arms, wrap your arms around them and do not let them go. Help that those of us who know you would do all we need do to bring them to you.

We pray for the newly-weds, lead them in this journey they have began. For all married couples that you strengthen their union. May the oil of their love never run dry. May the wine of their relationship never go sour. Renew their love for each other everyday. We come against every wandering eye. We come against little foxes that destroy the vine. May they never break the hedge. We pray our families won’t fall victim to the devil’s war against marriages.

We pray for those who desire to be married. Answer them at your own time.

We pray for our men. That they may find good wives and obtain favour from the Lord. We pray for our women that in being found, their husbands would find favour.

We pray for our children. They would be for signs and wonders.

Above all we pray that we fulfil your purpose and forever live to praise your name.

We ask this and everyday.

The times we live in

The war against Christian marriages is getting fiercer. The devil isn’t resting. And we shouldn’t either.

Some few months back, maybe about 4/5 months, I was with a married friend who decided to educate and advise me on what and what I should and shouldn’t do as a married woman. He also spoke to me about thinking deeply before getting married and gave me a lot of reasons why marriage shouldn’t be rushed. Anywayz, the talk ended with him telling me a trend he noticed in his generation. Women seem to get married these days either for the name (I am a Mrs not Miss), for the children (I want to have children, all my friends do) or both. Another group won’t even bother with getting married. Just find a willing man and have a kid or two. And that stayed with me. If there was really anything I really really remembered, it was these statements he made.

On Sunday, I was talking to a few friends in church and of all of us, there was someone we would call a matured single (over 35) and she made a statement “I just want to have a child. I don’t see anything wrong. I asked at the church office and they said it was wrong”. At first, I thought, “is there really anything wrong with wanting a child”. Then I remembered the conversation above. Started reading a book my mum asked me to read this after and this issue was raised again. While reading, I went on twitter and saw a friend’s tweet “Just heard a woman say this on the radio ‘it is 2012, who waits to get married to have a baby’. My question: is this what we have become?” She thought it was pure insanity for people to be thinking like this.  That got me thinking. It was like God was saying something. Same issue 3 times in 6 days.

Let me state that growing up, I guess because of the kind of mother I have, marriage has always been something she doesn’t joke with. She is so into praying for your marriage years before it ever happens. And one thing she once told me was “there is a battle against Christian marriages”. And in those days, divorce rate wasn’t this high. Divorce was mostly “a thing of the world”. You never hear Christians divorce.

These days however, when you hear of divorce it is mostly within the Church. What went wrong? I think we allowed the devil a lot of space. While we slept and became complacent about marriage, he was busy working and putting finishing touches to destroying marriages and not even allowing marriages that would cause him issues take place. I notice that a lot of people don’t even pray as singles about their marriages. Trust me, I know at times it doesn’t make sense. There are days I don’t even pray about mine or  just say some half-hearted prayer and move on. I think it is just a sad reality of the times we live in. We have gotten so relaxed with everything, not just our marital lives and have given the devil a chance. Churches have become something else. There is really no focus any longer in most churches.

Back to the book I am reading (as I am currently not yet done). Some of the things that struck me I list below. Some are things we already know. Some might be new to people.

1. Asides our salvation and Christian life, who we marry is the next most important decision we make. It can make or mar us.

2. God doesn’t want any Christian to marry an unbeliever. See Abraham where Abraham made his servant swear. Genesis 25:1-14.

3. Any parent worth their salt would show interest in their children’s journey to marriage. See same passage above i.e. Abraham.

4. Prayer plays a crucial role when it comes to the issue of a successful marriage. One thing my mum always says is “marriage requires a lot of prayers”. Yorubas would say marriage is oja okunkun (night market). You don’t know what you have bought until you enter. I don’t subscribe to that though.

5. The greatest foundation you can establish for your marriage is the foundation of prayer.

6. God may decide to give you a test before He leads you to your appointed partner e.g. Rebecca. She didn’t even know she was being tested.

7. Prepare yourself as you pray for a suitable partner.

8. There are battles to fight for everyone planning to get married.

9. God instituted marriage and He has a reason for doing so (maybe this should have been the first point sef).

I however find it depressing that most times when books talk about marriages and “preparation for marriage”, they seem to focus on the woman. How to be submissive. How to be humble. How to, how to, how to. Even in books they start off talking about both end up focusing on the woman. *sigh*. Are we saying men don’t need to be spoken to? I hope I don’t fall into the same category with the musing below (maybe I got them because am female).

Woman: womb-man. Because of God’s plan for redemption (He knew man would fall), He had to create a womb-man through whom Christ would come into the world. Man (male specie) wasn’t created with a womb and as such couldn’t get impregnated by the Holy Spirit (got this while reading the book. Funny I have heard a lot of talk on the womb-man, just never struck me this way).

Purpose before marriage: a woman is called to be first a wife then a mother. You had a life before entering into a relationship, don’t lose it. If you don’t know your purpose before you enter a relationship, you would not only get bored, your expectation would be cut short.  You are called to be a wife first then a mother. Balance your roles. Don’t neglect your husband because of your children. Know your purpose in life before marriage. After marriage and kids, WHAT NEXT?  Knowing your purpose helps you fill the void. Being a sister, child, mother, wife is part of your purpose. It isn’t your purpose. Find your purpose, use your skills, talents, gifts. Do what you love doing and love what you do (this I wrote down around May/June).

Finally, found a very lovely blog I would love to share.

*music*…. Presenting coralandcarameldrapings.

Happy birthday Angelsbeauty. 2* years o easy mehn….

Tada.

Side note: I do understand where matured singles come from when they talk about wanting children especially as it seems they are getting older and the probability of them getting married is almost zero. It is understandable. I also believe that especially in Christendom, there really isn’t a support system for matured singles. With pressure from family members and friends (who mean well but the way they go about it at times leaves much to be desired), I think the church should do more to keep such people from straying. And in our own little way, let’s support them. Not putting unnecessary pressure on such people. They already have a lot on their minds. We shouldn’t add to that.

Side side note: Nearing 5,000 hits. What do I do? Thinking of doing a give-away but have no idea what the competition should be. Any thoughts?

Life in the UK

I dunno what the title of this post should be. Am sure before am done, I would figure out a title.

Ok, I didn’t post for about two months so trying to make up for that especially since I no get work. Have to find any and everything to get me out of the house now, before I lose my mind. Feels strange to just be home doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Except shop for my sisters. Thank God for them. There were times I almost could beg them not to ask me to shop for them but at the moment? Am glad I had something to do, even if it means shopping. It is as bad or is it as good as me saying thank you to them for going to shop for them. Don’t get me wrong, I do like shopping but at my own convenience and most times online as I would most likely get what I want than get into the store and discover they don’t have in store and save myself hours of walking round malls. It is that bad/good. Bored out of my mind and am just counting days at the moment. Well, since I no get job, I thought I should blog about the last abi na past one year. English is getting hard mehn. Ok, back to the post. What did I say I wanted to blog about again? Yes. Schooling here.

I have lived all my life in Nigeria. 20 something plus years and schooled in Ibadan and Ilishan, lived in Ibadan and Lagos and asides trips to the UK and Ghana, I can’t remember travelling anywhere else. None the least, not for this long. Maximiun 2 weeks. So it was a whole new experience coming here to school. Can you blame me? From Taiwo’s playgroup to Staff School to ISI to Babcock. A bitter-sweet experience though. This would be the first time I would be leaving home literally. And be alone. So I thought sha. In the bid to form Miss Independent, I found a school in a city I thought I knew no one. Only for me to pay my fees and an uncle goes “you know XYZ, ABC and DKM live there?” 3 of my mum’s cousins (all sisters). Whew. So much for running from family. Ok, not running in that sense. I am just not the keeping in touch, family family, calling, texting, visiting person. Plus I always feel I might be inconveniencing people. So I would rather just keep off. Then to make matters worse, mumsie decided to follow me. *side eye*. I become the source of jokes for my friends and uncles. The one whose mum came with her. So much for forming Miss Independent. Strike one.

Landed o and found out that not only does mumsie have cousins here, popsie too get them plenty, family friends friends (figure that out) I didn’t even know about and they all just kept calling. Like someone called them and told them I was in town. Now I had no choice than to keep in touch with people even if na to dey text. Even the ones living outside Manchester. Well, I guess it made me a better person. At least the fear of calling my aunty or mum or grandma and they ask after LMN and I don’t have an answer made me keep in touch. And it was fun sha. At least I knew I couldn’t go hungry even if I tried. Especially during exams. And I had fun babysitting though for the love of God, 2 kids maximum. Chasing my aunty’s brood wasn’t an easy something especially on days when they are just ready for you. Threatening to report them to their dad worked sha. Got them quiet for a while.

I met a lot of interesting people. Interesting on both sides, good and bad interesting. Funny characters. Some I blogged about. And really nice people. Like a senior of mine at school I met on the bus, funny am sure he doesn’t remember but he dropped me and my bestie off (well with her elder brother; his friend) for our graduating class dinner at ISI. And some other really nice people from church and in class. And some very annoying and irritating characters, mostly Nigerians. Horrible, horrible people. They had me on the verge of pulling my hair out on some days. As in if na my natural hair dey my head on those days am sure I would have. Or maybe hit my head on the wall.

Attended a very lovely church. I dunno why people always complained about “white churches”. What exactly is a “white church” sef? If anything, asides the people I met here and school, I am so gonna miss church. This post seems pretty disjointed ba? No flow? I dunno. Just writing as it came to mind biko. The effect of boredom. I should/would post more on my experiences as time goes on.

Tada

Oh, haven’t found a title yet. Guess my experience would do or something of that sort, since more stories would come.

Tada once again.

The Cancer Scourge

I lost a friend.

Yesterday I read an article written by a bereaved brother about his sister’s death and I couldn’t help but be very sad.Tossed a lot before I finally slept (I read it at night). First yes because anybody dying is a very sad event (though that is the end of us all). Secondly, this woman was barely married a year (she died before her first anniversary) and I WAS AT THE WEDDING. I had recently become an Usher in Church and if I remember clearly that was the first wedding I was an usher. Thirdly, she died of Ovarian Cancer. I think that was what hit me most. Here was a woman who if am correct was in her 30s, finally married and ready to live life as a married woman and less than a year had to deal with cancer. This year, it would be 9 years I first heard about ovarian cancer and 8 years since I lost a friend to ovarian cancer. We were both 16+ years when she died. A few days to her 17th birthday. When we knew she had cancer that fateful day in 2003, I did a search on it and all I could find were what I consider myths which I think people still believe till date. The myths that it happens to promiscuous women, old women or women who regularly have sex especially with multiple partners. Myth busted. Someone died at 17 and she was a virgin. Read a story too recently of another girl in the UK who died at 21 and her mum was campaigning that the age for yearly pap smears should be brought back to 20. She believed that if it was 20, it would have been detected early. Issue is because most people don’t do regular smears, it isn’t discovered until it has advanced. Another issue I discovered with cancer generally especially for us Christians is the I live in perfect health, no sickness can stay in my body, what I don’t know won’t kill me life.

Yes, we believe in divine healing but I don’t think that should stop us from regularly doing health checks. I couldn’t help but think about this woman and the fact that she lived here in the UK and could easily do a pap smear. I don’t know if she ever regular pap smears before it was discovered but what if she hadn’t. Could she have discovered this early and therefore still be alive?

Same with breast cancer. Granted ovarian cancer isn’t as popular as breast cancer. It is then baffling when I hear people say they have never had their breasts checked. These are educated people who could easily do it themselves, check in a hospital or if they want to, they can do a mammogram. Another myth, it happens to older women. Oh well, an ex-Nigerian International lost his wife in her mid 20s to breast cancer years back. I don’t think 20-30 is old. I get upset especially when people don’t wanna talk about this in churches. I remember when I had a lump removed the first time (I was 16), I was going to talk to some older teens in church about it and one of our teen teachers scolded me and asked me never to talk about it again; “You don’t discuss such issues in church”, she said.  I know the church is all about eternity and being good and spreading the good news, preaching salvation, and all but it is sad churches hardly talk about health issues or encourage their members to do regular checks.

I think have ranted enough. Just want to encourage people to do regular medical check ups. Could save your life in the long run.

Deception

The Spirit of the New Age was the sermon my dear Pastor preached during Digging Deep on Tuesday. He broke it into parts and so part one which he talked about that day was on DECEPTION. I had to buy the CD immediately after Church cuz it was something I needed to hear. It was deep.

It is a serious issue o… It got me really really thinking. He started by using TRUTH to explain what deception was as we all know, truth is the opposite of deception. What really struck me most in all he said that day was the issue of relativity. In the bid to appear funky, tolerant of others, logical, not to be seen as strong-willed, we have allowed relativity to come into our speech and actions.

We begin to classify everything based on the circumstances, the situation . You hear people say things like “if you look at it from this angle”, “it is right in this context”, “let’s think about it in a ‘logical’ way and you would find out he/she is right”. I am pretty sad, because I believe I have fallen into that trap a couple of times. So as not to rock the boat or to be tolerant, I begin to rationalize the truth “I know what my Bible says about an issue but”… Keyword is BUT. I think when the word but gets introduced into the truth… well… we pretty much are telling a lie and deceiving ourselves and others.

It’s sad that as Christians we can’t stand up for what we know is true and right as other religions do. And we are “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, “the One True God”. We can’t face our friends, colleagues, relatives and let them know what we stand for? So as not/to get on the wrong side of the other person? So as not to lose their friendships?

Even within the Church, we have allowed relativity to creep in. The Bible doesn’t support divorce. I hear some Pastors allow their members to get a divorce “depending on the situation”. Makes me wonder. The only reason why divorce is allowed in the Bible is on grounds of infidelity and even at that, if you are getting a divorce based on that you have raised a standard by which you would be judged. So am thinking on what other grounds, what other situations do these Pastors allow their members to divorce? Like one of our A/P said, when you get married, you throw the key away, that door is never to be opened. And like PB said (as I like to call him), if you are leaving your marriage cause of maybe he/she beats you, are you saying you can’t take the matter to God? The one with whom nothing is IMPOSSIBLE? Are you saying the man or woman can’t change?

Another deception that I can’t shake off (which I heard for the first that day) was the issue of sex before marriage. Funny how people use the Bible to suit their motive. The same A/P says she saw this Spirit filled, tongue talking young woman who was pg and asked how she got herself into that situation. The chic tells her that in their church they are allowed to get pg as long as they are going to get married. And then quotes 1 Corinthians 7: 36 ; KJV- “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry”. “But if a man thinks he ought to marry his fiance because he has trouble controlling his passions and time is passing, it is all right; it is not a sin. Let them marry.” – NLT.

I first heard this passage when my pastor back in school, spoke to us about why he decided to marry early even without having much to take care of himself and his wife.  A point PB even mentioned this fact when this matter came up. The Bible is saying if you can’t hold yourself, it is better to get married than to burn. How that translated (in that church) to as long as you know you are getting married, you can start sleeping with each other beats me… It says let them marry not let them have sex. Or one I heard that a church says it’s members don’t have to pay tithes because God allowed tithe paying for the Levites, widows and the poor to have something to eat and it is an Old Testament Law; Christ came to abolish the law so that law doesn’t stand. And as there are no more “Levites” in the New Testament, it isn’t necessary. For the widows and the poor, you can give them whatever you can afford, plus the church has set up foundations to take care of such people. And am thinking really? Seriously?

I believe in this age, we Christians should know our Bible very very well. In fact, hug our Bibles because… hmmmmm…. people are being deceived o… and not on a small scale…  the devil isn’t taking it small at all; ko mu ni kekere. Or is it the issue of homosexuality we should talk on? Story for another day. I hear Christians say because this person is gay doesn’t make him a lesser person and story story. You hear things like “that is how God created them”. Nibo? Where? My Bible says God created them, male and female He did create not male and male or female and female; not Adam and Steve or Eve and Evelyn. “They are just being in tune with their sexuality” True their sexuality doesn’t make them lesser people but like my people would say, nkan ti o da, o da; what isn’t right isn’t right. #nuffsaid. Abortion…. you hear “if someone was raped and got pg should she keep the baby”? The situation issue again. I say yes. I agree, counsellors and people talking aint in the situation with you but I believe if you are a coG, all things (good or bad) would work together for your good. He makes all things beautiful in His time. My Bible gave strict instructions not to kill.

May God help us.

A/P: Assistant Pastor

pg: pregnant

coG: child of God

Just pondering