Friday, November 30, 2007

What are you selling today?

Selling my products

With passion and zeal
I sell my products
I use every resource at my disposal
From my understanding of the subject
To my tested experience,
My eloquence and organization
Combined with other resources for promotion;

But I misplace my values
When I place myself first
And forget the reason
For my existence-
To bring glory to your name
To shine your light in this world,
Only then do I miss
Opportunities to show how marvelous you are;

May my daily hunger
Be on you and your word
May my foremost desire
Be to bring glory to you
May my passion burn
As I share the Good News of your salvation
May my satisfaction come
From doing your will
May I use all that I am and all I have
Just for you.

The Inspiration
I sell lingerie (women’s underwear and night clothes). This is not by any means a marketing forum. The inspiration behind the peom came one day I went marketing. I saw this lady. I had accessed her from head to toe. I had estimated her pocket. It was good. I ran all the range of products I had to suit her size. Everything in me wanted to sell my product. She was a perfect candidate. I heard the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit telling me I had another product to market.

I took out time to listen to her. Her issue was real. My spirit felt compassion for her. I wanted to reach out to her. I realised she had a need. I wanted to tell her it was ok because everything had been settled years ago.

Let’s do some small marketing 101.
Sheila Webber( states that “In order to achieve your marketing objectives you need to have a strategy that includes different elements - the various parts of the marketing mix”. The marketing mix consists of the 4Ps – Product, Price, Place and Promotion ( Product - An object or a service that is mass produced or manufactured on a large scale with a specific volume of units. Price – The price is the amount a customer pays for a product. Place – Place represents the location where a product can be purchased. Promotion – Promotion represents all of the communications that a marketer may use in the marketplace. My lingerie was not part of the 4Ps at that moment. I had a different product to market – The Good News elaborating on the wonderful package of salvation
The place was where I sat with the lady. The promotion was my words (informal communication). And the price? It had been paid for more than 2000 years ago.

We have been instructed to “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” [Mark 16:15]. Jesus Christ assured us that “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” [Acts 1:8]. Some feel this instruction is restricted to the disciples. Some feel it is left for pastors, priests and evangelists. This is the responsibility of each and every one of us. There are places the pastors, priests and evangelists cannot reach. There are needs that should be addressed on the spot. There are promptings of the Holy Spirit that should not be ignored. There are people out there in need of your evangelism.

Let me once again liken our personal evangelism to the marketing strategy. We need to consider the 4Ps of the marketing mix. The product (Good News) and price (precious blood of Jesus Christ) remain the same. Isn’t it amazing to know there is a product that has already been purchased for you? But the place could differ – in your homes, in your schools, at the work place, on the road, in the bus, in the church, at the gym, in the courts, anywhere and everywhere. The list is endless. What of the promotion? You could keep the Good News spreading through word of mouth, your actions or through your gifts and talents. I have a friend that when he arrives any place, no matter how down your spirit is, you must laugh. He leaves you with a merry heart and a merry heart does good like medicine [Proverbs 17:22]. Imagine what could happen if during the time in his presence the Good News is shared.

Back to the incident that started this write up. I ignored the gentle voice and went ahead to say, “Dear Lady, I sell lingerie. Low price, good quality, straight from the States. Would you like to see some of them?” She replied, “Not today, some other time.”

So I did not sell my lingerie neither did I mention the Good News. Maybe if I had said, “I know that man who loves you for who you are, the man who will not break your heart, the man who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think, a man who will never leave you nor forsake you. His name is Jesus Christ….” Maybe that would have caught her attention. Maybe her downcast spirit would have been lifted and refreshed. And maybe we could have got to know ourselves better and create opportunities to sell the lingerie. Maybe, maybe not.

One thing I learnt is that there are various opportunities to share the Good News, and I should take advantage of such opportunities. I never know what difference it would make someday sometime. What do you think?
Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Independence Day

My Independence
The risks stare me in the face
I fear I can not keep up the pace
With all those who started the race
Towards independence;

I know where I am coming from
I am more comfortable with the norm
Rather than heading towards the storm,
I prefer status quo;

But it is high time I leave
Cutting off unproductive cleaves
Ignoring those sights that deceive
And move into all you want for me;

Easily have I removed from memory
That those whom I thought were glory
Have failed me and left sad stories
While you’ve remained faithful;

The risks stare me in the face
Now with faith, my fear is replaced
For I hold on to your word and grace
Sufficient for my independence.

The Inspiration
It started out as a discussion on alcohol and cigarettes. A healthy argument I must say. My seatmate on the flight felt strongly about his choices in life. I enjoyed listening to his arguments though my mind was somewhere on those I was missing back home. The guy brought me out of my reverie when he said he would not forgive his father for neglecting him at an early age and making him become a man before his time. I do not know what transpired between him and his father, and I believe he has a right to his feelings. His statement simply reminded me of a friend who refused to speak to his uncle for not giving him a job, and yet another who said her father did not give her money to further her education abroad and hence was the cause of the wrong choices she made following the order that she remains back home.

I learnt a lot from these experiences, from forgiveness, judgment, expectations to duties of parents. But something else I took out of it was Independence. I will merge two version of a scripture to state “Make it your goal to work with your hands so that you will not depend on others and lack anything” [1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; NLT and KJV]. Paul who instructed the Thessalonians with those words was a living example of those words for despite his work in ministry, he was also a tentmaker [Acts 18:3; 1 Cor. 4:12].

As a child (and teenager), I have every right to expect from my parents and guardians. But at that age when I call myself adult, it is high time I behave like an adult (after all there are some things I will do and claim it is because ‘I am now an adult’!) [1 Corinthians 13:11]. It is time to be independent. Independent in this context does not mean I will no longer take the wise counsel of my parents and guardians. It does not mean I will no longer eat from my mother and sleep under the roof of my father. Independence herein means knowing that my sufficiency is not of man but of God [2 Corinthians 3:4]. It implies consciously knowing that HE has given to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness [2 Peter 1:3]. It goes beyond knowing, but acting upon the truth that HE has given us wisdom, revelation, understanding, skills, abilities, strength and power (to say the least) to be prosperous. This is no time for blaming the past, your parents or guardians. This is not the time to look at the storms ahead or meditate on the failures of others. This is the time to use what HE has given you. In HIS grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well [Romans 12:6]. For you to be independent, you have to take advantage of it. That’s what makes you different from the next person. You do not have to follow the crowd.

Let your dependency be on God for the Lord is good to those who depend on HIM [Lamentations 3:25]. How will HE be good? HE shall open unto you HIS good treasure, the heaven to give rain unto your land in HIS season and to bless ALL the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations and shall not borrow from any [Deuteronomy 28:12; 30:9]. Every work of yours shall be rewarded [Jeremiah 31:16]. With favour will HE encompass you as a shield [Psalms 5:12].

It is time to be independent while holding steadfastly to God. Incline your ears to HIS words and directions, and you will never go wrong.

Have a blessed day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

OASIS 2007

For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!

OASIS 2007 – A Time of Music
(See pictures at

It was going to be my first time attending the musical convention of The Carpenter’s Church. I did not know what to expect. All I knew was it was a Sunday and I should be in church that day. Little did I know that I would fall in love with God all over again that day. As I strolled into the compound where the church is situated, I was shocked by the throng of people moving around. I could not locate the tent I easily spotted from afar. It was only 9:20 a.m. and the church was filled. Filled with beautiful and handsome people dressed in colours and styles that appeals to the eyes.

But I held my breath as I finally made my way towards the tent. I could not recognize it – thanks to the decorating team. I began to have an idea of what the statement meant, “Honor and majesty surround Him; strength and beauty fill His sanctuary” [Psalm 96:6]. If King David was there, he would have felt at home. There were decorations of musical instruments and musical notes hanging on every part of the tent. The lightening inside was perfect, boosted by the glorious light from the warm, bright sunshine. None of the colours seemed out of place but rather complemented each other and made me wonder how beautiful heaven must be.

Sweet soothing background music floated through the tent extending to the nearby vicinity. I sat outside. King Saul needed to have been there too [1 Samuel 16:16]. It was a moment of refreshing and revitalizing as God was adored, worshipped and praised with sounds and music. The music ministrations were awesome – from the New Wine Choir, to the soloist and selected groups from the Carpenter’s Church choir. I knew God was there for HE inhabits our praise [Psalm 22: 3].

As I listened to the music that day, several things were happening. I was falling in love with my beautiful God. I call Him beautiful because from the lyrics of the songs I could perceive His unfailing love, His tender mercies, His loving kindness, His grace, His sensitivity, and His sacrifice which no one can repay. I heard words like, “It was not easy but it was worth it”. I meditated on these. It could never have been easy for Jesus to humble himself, die a shameful and painful death for me who was born into sin. To think that Jesus feels it is worth it that He dies for me. Me, who could commit one sin remorselessly in the next second. But He did it because He knows there is something good in me. And you. And He knew all we will experience. He died that we may live again and have a second chance.

While I was yet falling in love with my beautiful, lovely Jesus, meditating on all He went through for my sake, I could feel the music breaking down the walls of my thoughts and rebuilding with words of God; wiping away my fears and replacing them with faith; and erasing any trace of doubt and disbelief that I had ever harboured. I felt the lyrics of the songs were directly for me and no one else. I was learning something about my Heavenly Father that day. He was the one who loved me more than anyone else [Hebrews 13:5]. I confessed all my sins that moment and recommitted my life to Him.

God was at work through the music. Healing was taking place that day. Healing of the body, soul and spirit. Physical healing, spiritual healing and emotional healing. There was cleansing, there was forgiveness, and there was wholesomeness as the words of the songs permeated the very essence of our being. And then, there was the interlude when our Pastor (Pastor Mrs. Nkechi Ene) called out to people to give their life to Christ. She did not need to preach a sermon. She simply recounted the subtle, living words we’d been hearing all through the morning. I was not surprised at the number that responded to her words. Infact, I believe there were many more, who had the urge to come up to the altar, but were rooted to their seats out of pride, fear or self-condemnation. But thank God that many people streamed towards the altar in surrender to HIM. Many were tired of doing things their own way. Many wanted to start a relationship with the faithful Father. Many seized the opportunity to rededicate their lives to Christ. It was no wonder at the mass of people that responded to the altar call. God was there. There was fullness of joy and continuous pleasure [Psalm 16:11]. There was great rejoicing in heaven. I could imagine the joy in the presence of the angels of God as those people accepted salvation [Luke 15:7; 10]. And surely the word of God would come to pass in the lives of those who surrendered to our Lord, the word that says, “Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness” [Isaiah 35:10].

Oasis 2007, Glory be to God for that day! Thanks to all those who contributed in making that day a success. It was not only the singers nor only the decorating team. What about the prayers of individuals? That day I witnessed a combination, nay a harmony of gifts and talents. It made me realize that there is so much to our God from whom every good and perfect gift comes from [James 1: 17] and a bit is manifested in us, His children. Above all, the Glory of God was resident in that place. I did not stay until the end but I know I left there filled – filled with the Holy Spirit and filled with some knowledge of an awesome God [Ephesians 1:17; 5:18-19]. I look forward to Oasis 2008!

How great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty! [Zechariah 9:17]

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No more Starvation

No more starvation
I was hungry
I had never felt like this before;
As the days went by
The emptiness grew
The ulcers panged
The cravings cramped,
It was deliberate starvation

I wanted
Not hunted
For as little as a drop
Of food from you
So filling, So refreshing,
All I could ever need;
Yet I managed residual strength
From food months ago
Like it could sustain
What a big risk
When the solution is my action away

My parched lips
Could no longer speak your word
For I had not taken
My daily bread
I had managed a quick grab
Of the icing from your word
But that was never enough
To keep me above the limits of hunger

I was hungry,
And drained
From lack of your word
But I cannot take it anymore
Never again will I starve myself
But feed daily to the brim
On your word, with you
And never put anything before you
My first love.

Revelations 2:4-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
4But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].

5Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God's will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.