Monday, December 20, 2010

Marked For Remembrance

When I was younger it was easy to remember promises and appointments. Maybe because they were fewer. But as I grew older and had more responsibilities, I found out that easily yet unintentionally, I did not keep promises. For instance, I may tell my sister I will call her by 5pm on Sunday and end up calling 2 days later. Thankfully Microsoft Outlook calendar, synchronized between my pc and phone, has helped. I fix appointments on either of the two and get a reminder as deems fit. The key thing about this is I mark dates and times for my appointment. And though I may not forget, I remember these appointments and I act accordingly.

As I pondered on the word remember in “God remembered us when we were down…” [Psalm 136:23 MSG], I wondered, “Does God forget”? No, God cannot forget. The word "remembered" in this scripture, and as used often times in the bible, originates from the Hebrew word "zakar" which means to mark (so as to be recognized). It means to be mindful, to bring to remembrance or to call to mind. Permit me to use the analogy in the aforementioned paragraph. By marking dates and appointments on my calendar, I become mindful of them, they are easily recognized as my priorities, and because of the reminders I can prepare accordingly.

The bible gives accounts of times when God "remembered". Just to mention a few, He remembered Noah [Gen. 8:1]. He remembered Sarah and did as He had promised [Gen. 21: 1]. He remembered Rachel [Gen. 30:22]. He remembered Hannah [1 Samuel 1:19]. He remembered His covenant [Psalm 105:8]. None of these cases imply that God had forgotten. He “remembered” them at the time when He was to fulfill His promise, and what He had "marked", He recalled.

God is not a man, that He should lie. Whatever He has promised you, He will fulfill. Maybe you are waiting on the promise of a new beginning, a restoration, a heart's desire or a breakthrough. Maybe God may have put a ministry in your heart, but you are experiencing doubts or opposition. God is faithful. Wait on Him. Those who trust in and wait on the Lord will find new strength. It is in the waiting that you will see God's promises fulfilled. You are not forgotten. He has marked the date for your appointment.  Your Loving Father always remembers and He will fulfill His plans, purpose and promises in your life.

It is my prayer for all those waiting on God, who may be feeling discouraged that His words and promises have not come to pass when expected, that you feel an added sense of His peace and presence, that He remembers you soon, yet give you the strength to wait on Him, for He that promised is faithful.

On another note: Apologies for the unplanned hiatus on the blog. Some restructuring has been going on which should soon be finalized. The blog may also take a Christmas break :-) so here’s wishing you an enjoyable festive season. And don’t forget that the year is not yet over…God is still able to work 2010 miracles in these few days left. Remain blessed and agape love…Rita.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Unforgettable Dates + The Ban Of The BIS

There are some days that remain fresh in our hearts. Yes there are those great days which whenever we remember, we smile or just say a word of thanks to God. But in this post I am referring to those days that bring memories of pain, hurt, bitterness, guilt or regret. For instance December 24th and February 13th were notable dates for my worst heartbreaks. Thank God that is all history. September 11th remains a day for being in memorial. Thank God too for the healing over the years. But there was one, about a year ago, that held me captive. It was a day that reminded me of uncertainty, pain, loss, disappointment, “heartbreak from God” and my human weakness. When I used to think of that day, it is as though I was in a dark room with no hope that light will ever come. It was a day I wished God will completely erase from the timeline of my memory.

Have you ever had a day that remains very fresh in your memory with all the hurt and pain it reminds you of?

But God has promised to wipe away tears from off our faces [Isaiah 25:8]. He has promised to all who mourn that He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, and festive praise instead of despair [Isaiah 61:3]. He has also promised to restore the wasted years [Joel 2:25]. He will not give us amnesia for certain dates and events because He can use those days and events to His glory.

Today as I look back at that day, about a year ago, it is no more a day of uncertainty, pain, loss or disappointment. God Almighty has shown Himself true once again. He is a healer, He is a restorer and He is faithful to keep His promises. He is still God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. [The testimony is not ripe for this season].

I don’t know if you have a day that has remained evergreen in your memory, not because of the joy and pleasurable moments, but because of pain, hurt, disappointment or regret. I do not know if there is any day in your past where you live, that is you spend most of your time wallowing and wishing that day did not ever happen. I do not know if there is a day which appears to be defining your future in a way you do not want, yet you feel helpless about.

If you have any such days, I lift you up in prayer today – that our Almighty God and Father will heal you, will reveal to you the hope and future you have in Him, and give you peace that passes all understanding as you move away from that memory. I pray that you will be sensitive to His voice and His touch, and if He needs you to forgive or be reconciled with someone to bring about your healing, that you will submit to His will.

Why my BIS was banned…the picture says it all...see me falling asleep with my phone...

Mr. Rita introduced me to Mr. BB and I did not waste time in getting acquainted with Mr. BB. Suddenly Mr. Rita became secondary to Mr. BB. I spent my days and nights with Mr. BB. But worse of all, I did not have time for my loving Father – He became an afterthought. So my BIS has been banned until I can demonstrate the ability to be prioritize right…Please do you have any tips? :-)

Have a blessed weekend ahead.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Moments Of Enviousness

Some of the little foxes we overlook...2 Cases I want to share with you...

Case of Friend 1: This lady, I love (didn’t know how much until yesterday) and she will forever remain dear to my heart. We have come a long way, from when we first met at the camp in Aluu, Rivers State. I was 10 and she was 11. We just liked each other immediately. We met again in University about 7 years later. Same class, same course. How coincidental – my matric. number was just before hers. We remained friends though she was the saint and I the sinner. Thank God she never stopped praying that one day I will accept the gift of salvation.

We both got employed by the same company – I first. But when her job came (a testimony I keep thanking God for) it appeared to be better than mine. She made more money than I did. Today she is an international staff and I a “national staff”. In my moments of enviousness, I asked God, “Is she not my ‘mate’ again? I thought I had more advantage in grades and degrees? How come you gave her such a great opportunity that she even has more salary than I?”

As I spent time listening to and getting involved with the kind of sacrifices she makes, I began to realize that she had very huge responsibilities on her shoulders. Responsibilities which if I had, I may have run away from. Responsibilities which, if she had my salary, she may not be able to handle. Only the “additional” that came with her job, position and opportunity could take care of such responsibilities. I thank God that He knows what is best for us, and in His love and sovereignty, He takes care of our needs.

Case of Friend 2: This lady and I got promoted the same time last year, and to the same level. She was given a house, a car and a driver. I forgot to thank God for my promotion but had my eyes on all that came with her promotion. One day when we got talking, she said, “I have a big house, a new car and a driver, yet I do not get to see my husband to enjoy all these things with because of work!” I felt very ashamed of being envious of this lady.
Have you ever been jealous / envious of someone let alone someone so close?

Many of us have grown with the concept of “mate”. Hence whatever our mates have, we feel we should have. Many of us have been taught “competition” that when it seems our mates have surpassed us, we feel left out and try to get what our mates have. In my case, not only was I being covetous, I failed to be thankful for what I had.

Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another [Galatians 5:26, AMP]

The standard for measuring ourselves should not be our “mates” because there will always be a time when some of our mates will have more than we do, and some others will have less than we do. Our standard for measuring ourselves should be the will and purpose of God for our lives.

And let us be thankful for the blessing of God upon our lives.

Have a blessed week ahead.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Simply Thankful For The House

"If u desired it, but someone else got it before you did....don't loose hope, yours is still on the way ☺" Tweeted by

That was the last thing I wanted to see, read or hear after Mr. Rita called and told me he was not allowed into "the house" I wanted. We had been house-hunting since June and I had dedicated my vacation in August to ensuring we find a house within our specs. 'The house' met our specifications - location, price, size of rooms, services provided and environment. I was terribly disappointed when we were informed that the house was no longer available - someone paid that morning.

So we continued the house hunt. By this time I was no longer enthusiastic about the search. None of the houses we saw met our specifications. They were either too expensive (if they had the services and were of the quality we wanted) or they were of low quality (if they met our financial specifications).

Then, one Saturday, Mr. Rita showed me a house. The moment I walked into the compound, I fell in love. Little did I know that I would fall more in love with the "inside". After the inspection I told him, "please do not hesitate to pay Monday morning".

Over this weekend, we moved house. I love my new house. I love my new home. It is indeed a gift from God. I just want to say, "Thank You my loving Father". I am very grateful.

Now I am no longer vexing for  for that her tweet which, though was true and encouraging, seemed like someone was adding pepper and salt to my injury :-)

If you desired 'it' and someone else got it before you did, don't loose hope because yours is still on the way, better than you imagined.

Welcome to a new month, remain blessed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nigeria At 50 - Day 30: The Parts Make The Whole

*****Nigerian bloggers celebrating Nigeria at 50*****

Yesterday, Nigeria at 50, Day 29 -  Kemi

It is one experience I have not been able to forget - not because of the pain but because of the lesson. The 2nd finger of my right hand had been cut by a crystal of salt. As days went by, the state of the finger worsened (I think it resulted in some infection of some sort). What was striking about the experience was my hand could not function in the full capacity as it used to. It was just a part of a finger, I told myself. But the impact affected the whole hand.

I liken the finger and hand to us and our great country Nigeria. We represent the parts that make up Nigeria - the whole. Individually we may seem insignificant compared to the population of Nigeria. But no matter how small it seems, we do have a part to play. Except the parts function optimally, the whole will definitely not be at its best.

We hear and make complaints about Nigeria surrounding corruption, breaking/by-passing of laws, misuse of resources, instability, just to mention a few. We have our own circle of influence. Would we choose not to give bribe if it will speed up a process for us? Would we use our organizations resources like our own? Would we see someone driving one-way but choose to remain in the traffic if the shortcut can take us to our destination faster? Would we choose not to take advantage of the laxity and loopholes in our system? As I think on these questions, I know what I am guilty of.

There is hope for great Nigeria. Nigeria still remains a country rich in resources. Nigeria remains a country blessed with good weather and climate. Nigeria remains a country with people who are smart, skillful, have the ability to excel in any area, and people who are resilient.

Nigeria at 50 - there is hope for a better nation. If we desire to see this change, we need to do more than dream or complain. Yes, we can. We can change Nigeria little by little in our small ways. We can choose to see, appreciate, speak about and explore the good in our nation. We can choose to participate in what would bring about a change for our country. Change may not happen overnight, but it will come if we choose to make a difference in our little ways. We do not know how our actions will cause a ripple effect on others and ultimately the whole system.

You and I are the parts that make the whole of Nigeria. Let us not give up on ourselves and our country. One day we will see the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

I thank God for our leaders who have vision and are implementing it. I thank God for those who still have a passion to bring about a better Nigeria and take her further than her former glory. "The parts" know...

And of course, let us not relent in praying for Nigeria our country.

Tomorrow, Nigeria at 50, Day 31 - Standtall 

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Tested Promise

It was a Saturday morning. I was about to start my quiet time when I felt it - water dripping from my palms. It had been a while since my palms got sweaty. From past experience, the sweaty palms were a sure sign that the sun will shine that day. It was my secret for planning my days in rainy season. I called it “my rainbow”.

While making futile attempt to dry my palms, I began planning my day in my head – if the sun was going to shine that day, then I could wash, go to market, visit, etc knowing that the rain would not hinder me (though we were at the peak of the rainy season). Then as I began to pray, I heard the sound of thunder.

“How could this be?” I wondered after seeing and feeling my palms wet. My prayers were distracted as I heard yet another clap of thunder. I stood up and drew my curtains apart. Before me were dark clouds and the rain drizzling. Lightning flashed, thunder roared and so I wondered, “why would God make me deceive myself that the sun will shine when He knew there will be a storm?”

I didn't have much choice so I washed my clothes and wrote out my shopping list. But by time I was done with breakfast, the drizzling had stopped and the sun had come up. That day ended up being one hot, sunny day.

The word (and promises) of our God stands forever [Isaiah 40:8]. Whatever He has promised will come to pass. However, there are times when the written and spoken promises of God will be tested. For instance the enemy may make you wonder “do you really think you are a child of God? Do you really think that God forgave you for ‘that’ sin? Do you really think you can be healed or restored? Do you really think you deserve the grace, mercy or love of God? Do you think everyone can be partakers of the promises of God – how much more you? Do you really think that you are fruitful and He has blessed the works of your hands? Do you think you can escape a generational curse? Do you think you have what it takes to have it all?”

By the time you are bombarded with such thoughts (a subtle attack that goes on in your mind or from what you hear around you), you may begin to doubt who you are and lose confidence in the word of God. The enemy may bring before you false evidence (in the form of delays, magnified symptoms, alternatives to the ways and word of God, or stories of those who did not make it). When you start thinking on such false evidences, these bring fear, diminish your faith, take you to a point of hopelessness and discouragement, and you will not know when you start calling negative things into being (i.e. making negative confessions contrary to the word of God).

Have you experienced a word or promise of God being tested?

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless [2 Samuel 22:31]. The LORD's promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over [Psalm 12:6]. Every word that goes out from His mouth will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it [Isaiah 55:11]. It is impossible for Him to lie [Titus 1:2]. His promises have been thoroughly tested [Psalm 119:140]. Since He has performed miracles before and has been faithful to His promises, and since He is still performing miracles and fulfilling His promises, He can do it for you.

You may be standing on His word and you are currently facing His word being tested. It does not matter what signs are currently before you. It is only for a fleeting moment. Rest assured that God’s living and powerful word will prevail on your behalf.

Have a blessed week ahead.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Meeting Halfway

As I listened to a friend's testimony on her health and how she finally got healed, something that touched me was when she said she told God, “Father I am completely helpless. This is where my faith has taken me to. Please help me from here.” I was touched by her sincerity, awareness that her ways could not bring the healing she wanted, and her decision to depend on God totally.

Many years ago I would have called her a 'weak' Christian who, in the light of such a situation, could not fast and pray, cast and bind, or spend time meditating on the word of God. But now I know, from experience, that the presence of some trials is not a measure of how weak or strong we are as Christians. As long as we are in this world, we would face trying situations in one degree or the other. Now I know that our results are not only dependent on how many hours we have spent fasting or praying. We need to understand what God is saying to us about a particular situation and of course, without faith it is impossible to please God.

So I considered the case of 5 people who had headache. One got cured by sleeping it away. The second got cured by speaking the word and the headache left immediately. The third one declared the word, prayed and meditated but it tarried before the physical symptoms associated with the headache left. The fourth took panadol extra and got relief 30 minutes later. The fifth had to go for an operation as the headache was related to something else.
Did they all get cured? Yes. Were they all Christians? Yes. Did they give God the glory? Hopefully. Did they all have faith? Yes (for all have been given a measure of faith) only that their faith were at different levels.

So I ask you today, are you believing God for something? Where is your faith level at the moment? Are you telling God that you trust Him for a miracle yet deep down you don't really believe the miracle could happen? Or are you keeping the appearance of a ‘powerful’ Christian that you cannot tell even your loving Father the truth of where your faith level is? Has your faith been diluted with what other methods are available? Are you at a state of helplessness but would not accept it?

God knows where you are for He searches the heart. Lay aside all pretences. Tell Him in sincerity where you are and do not hesitate to ask for His help. Where you are may not be as a result of complacency, a sin committed in the past, or the length of time you have spent knowing God. You may be where you are because you are overwhelmed by the situation or you were not prepared for it. Your loving Father, Who will not allow you experience a trial you cannot bear, Who will never leave you nor forsake you, knows the steps you need to take to overcome and knows you can have the victory. Don't ask Him to meet you halfway when in truth you are far from starting the journey. Tell Him where you are and He will meet you “fullway”. He will speak to you. He will answer your "why's and how's". He will walk with you and He will teach you what you need to do to increase your faith level to where it should be.

Remain blessed and enjoy the rest of this week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Things We Do Not Know About

As a child, my prayer was simple – God thank you for the things you have done for me (which I know about), the things you will do for me, and the things have done for me which I did not know about. The 3rd part was always key because I was once called “accident-prone” i.e. something major that would involve me being rushed to the hospital was bound to happen each year. Well this was until I prayed about this. Imagine the joy knowing I would not have to face the nurses and their needles.

Speaking of “things He has done which I did not know about”, let me share with you a recent incident.

It was one of those busy days and I had to close late from work (8pm). Since I live on the Lekki-Epe axis of Lagos where “heavy” construction is going on, I knew I was bound to be stuck in traffic. A driver from the office was asked to take me home. I told the office driver that all I needed to be taken to a point where I could meet Mr. Rita, with whom I would continue my journey home.

We got to a place where the road was blocked. After waiting 30mins at one spot, the driver, being very adventurous decided to take a shortcut. This shortcut is also called “beach road” because of the beach sands or “jeep road” because 4WD’s are successful in passing through this road. Now the car I was in was a Toyota corolla and in no way a 4WD. I have seen in broad day light cars of this type get stuck in the beach sand. I had no plans of being stuck in there by 9pm. I explained to the driver that it was not advisable to use this car through that road that night. The route was not recommended by our company. If his car got stuck there, he could get a query. So many ifs ran through my head the more I realized it was late at night. I trust in God but did not want to test Him that night. Let’s not forget that deep down I wanted to join Mr. Rita somewhere on the main road. The shortcut would not give me that luxury. Driver and I argued for 10 mins. In the end, he agreed to use the main road.

I got home by 11pm that night somehow wishing I had let the driver go through the shortcut. But the next day (in daylight) when we had to pass through that beach road, I found out that a very deep ditch had been dug in the path we could have passed. If we had passed through that road, the car would have fallen in there, and it would have taken time and money to bring it out. Not to think of the exposure - being in the middle of nowhere by 10pm or whenever.

There are so many disappointments I have faced which later on I have found out were blessings. Can you think of any disappointment in your life that ended up being a blessing? A delay, a heartbreak, a loss, or something that seems wrong at the moment could actually be God’s loving hand preventing us from something worse.

Rather than complaining, cursing or being angry with God, I am learning to thank Him for those things He has protected me from, especially those ones I did not know about.
I pray that He opens our eyes to see the blessings in our “disappointments”. In every situation we find ourselves, we should give thanks to God, not because of our perception of the situation, but because it could have been worse – and indeed He deserves our praise and thanksgiving.

Have a great week ahead.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Treasure Taken Away

A metaphor. For the purpose of sparing my beloved readers the gory details, I have used this metaphor. If you really want the details, feel free to drop me an email at with your age :-)
My coat of many colors was my prized possession. It was all I had. I could flaunt it and I could boast about it. I treasured it. What was unique about it was that all the patches of materials that made up this coat were joined together with one thread from the beginning to the end of the pieces that were put together. The end of the thread was somewhere on my neck which I tied in a beautiful bow tie. I wore this coat everyday.

There was someone who for many years had been interested in this coat of mine. I did not waste time to let him know how precious it was to me. But one day, as I was strolling home, he told me he had a message for my sister which he left at his place. He asked that I join him to pick it up. Unsuspectingly, I followed him. It was when I got to his place that I saw the sinister look on his face. With just one rough tug at my bow tie, not only did my coat come apart, all the pieces loosened, leaving me naked and ashamed. He gave me N80 (equivalent to 40cents) and told me to get a new dress. But nothing compared to my coat of many colors.

As I walked about in my birthday suit, it took many years to let go of the pain and shame, and to forgive. Until I came to God, I was living in bitterness. But then my loving Father assured me that He will send me someone who will mend the clothes and protectively cover me. God, who keeps His promises, did as He said.
There are many females walking the streets today who have been victims of rape. I do not want to go into statistics because in certain societies, this is not reported or taken seriously legally. Whether she was a virgin or not, as long as what a woman valued was taken forcefully from her, she is left with a scar. Some are so hurt they promise never to come near men – they are scarred for life. Some may even become lesbians. Some decide to sweep it under the carpet and move on with life probably under the deception that it is a rite of passage. Some are full of revenge and decide to take it out on every other man – they close their heart but open their legs, forgetting that they hurt themselves only. Some get married but cannot understand why they do not derive pleasure from being with their husbands. You will be amazed to know how few are the prostitutes who have not been raped. As for age range, let’s not go there.

This post is specific to 2 sets of people.

One set are those women who are still living with the scars of the rape. It might be emotional, physical or mental. It might be an unforgiveness you are carrying in your heart because of the consequences. Your Loving Father wants your body to be indeed His temple. He wants to cleanse you of this hurt and pain. If you have swept it under your carpet and moved on with your life, lift up your carpet. Your Loving Father wants to heal you completely. Go to Him and open your heart to Him today.

The second set are those men who are living with the guilt of what they had done in the past. Your Loving Father has forgiven you even before you asked. You need to forgive yourself. You may have been pondering on how “close” she was to you and how “grave” what you did is, but do not let the enemy rob you of the joy associated with the grace and forgiveness of God.

Let me stop here, this post is making me sober. Have a blessed week y'all...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speaking of Reserves

Drained of My Reserve

It’s been I while I did blog rounds or responded to comments on my blog – and it might be so for a while. As I carried myself into the house that 11pm, exhausted and drained of my reserve, I slumped on the bed and asked God “why?”. I followed up with murmurings and complaining about how hectic and demanding my job had been. But before I drifted off to sleep, I recalled that only 2 weeks ago I was on bended knees committing my work into His hands. I prayed for opened doors, opportunities, and for moments to bring out the workaholic in me. I realized that He had answered my prayers, yet I was complaining. I pondered on how much this job has been a blessing to me. Then I flashed back to six yrs ago when I prayed for this job and He gave it to me on a platter of gold.
Most of the things I have complained about were once categorized as blessings to me. They were once prayer requests. Sometimes we go to God in prayer, and forget that we must be prepared for what we are requesting for.
Now I have quit complaining and I am thanking God for the strength He has given me to face the demanding times, for the wisdom He has given me to overcome challenges, for the creativity He has put in me to add value to the system, and more importantly for answering my prayers.

How far can we go on reserve?

For those who live at the Lekki/Ajah axis of Lagos and have to shuttle to and from that area everyday will understand the apprehension of the driver when he said, “my fuel is on reserve, can it take us to VI?” I had a knowing deep down that we will get to VI with enough fuel to take him to the filling station the company uses. He asked me why I was so sure, and I shared an experience with him which I am sharing with you today.

My mother and I left the wedding ceremony and started our journey back home which was 25km away. We were halfway on our journey when she noticed the fuel was on reserve. I asked her if it was a problem. She said no. She assured me that since we did not have traffic jams, it would be a smooth ride home and she can always fill up her tank.

About 10km towards home, we approached a traffic jam. This was unusual. I could not understand why it had to happen on the day the fuel was on reserve. There was a very bad, marshy spot that was getting most cars stuck hence the traffic jam. People waited for their turns to find a safe place to pass through. Our car was a Mercedes Benz 200 (1982 model) and before the car should quit, it should give 3 warnings on the “R” sign. We had already seen the first one as we left the wedding. While waiting for our turn, we saw the 2nd warning. We could only be hopeful.

After about 20 minutes, we were able to move. Then we saw the 3rd and final warning on the dashboard. We knew we had to move fast otherwise, we would be stuck in that unknown place. But as we moved, we fell into the bad, marshy spot and there we were struggling to get out until the fuel finally finished. There was no help from anywhere because around us were frustrated, angry people all trying to get to their destinations. Stuck in the mud, I told my mother that there was nothing we could do except pray. In my mind I hope a motorcycle would pass by and we could ask the rider to bring us some fuel. Or some good Samaritan would come and help us push the car or give us fuel. I thought of all the options through which God would come through for us, but none of them worked out.
When the road had cleared and as dusk began to draw nigh, my mother attempted to start the car. As she did so, the car started as if there was nothing wrong with it. The car moved out of the bad marshy spot as if it was plain ground. We thought the car would jerk to a corner, but no - the car took us straight home. You cannot imagine the joy and excitement my mother and I shared as the car moved with ease. We could not thank God enough.

When I told the driver that the car could take us, I did not respond because I had a knowledge of how cars work. My response was based on a knowledge of what God can do. When it seems we cannot go on, when it seems we have exhausted all our options, or when it seems we have reached a dead end, that is when we see His manifestation - right on time. He works in such a way that you cannot dispute who is at work. He does it His own way – His ways are perfect. Those miracles and testimonies that God gives us, when we think on them, they are to act as faith boosters, especially in times when we doubt if He is really with us or what He can do.

And prayer works!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The One Behind The Scenes

The interview lasted less than 10 minutes. It all started well with information about me, my undergraduate project, and why I wanted to be part of the program. When it got to the question “when did you finish your NYSC?” I was quiet. I was not expecting it and I had no proof to back up the lie that almost escaped my lips. “I am still on it,” I muttered in fear.
“You have not finished your military service?” the French man in the panel asked.
“I have only 3 months to go and most of it is during the festive period,” I tried to defend myself.

Their body language told me a lot. Some shook their head. Some kept a stern face. The greatest disappointment came when I looked at my Prof. He looked powerless. No one was on my side.

I was dismissed and soon after I left the interview hall to begin my journey back to Delta State where I was undergoing my NYSC. Though I was greatly disappointed, I tried to look at the brighter side. If I missed this opportunity to be a pioneer student of this Master’s Program, I could join my mates in walking from company to company, dropping my CV and hopefully be called for an aptitude test that would lead to a job. I tried to be a bit optimistic though I worried about the money, time and effort I had put into being accepted for this program.

To avoid further pain, I removed my mind from the program and made the most of my last few days in Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South, Delta State. I remained passionate about my anti-female circumcision campaign, organizing quiz competitions between schools and enjoying the company of my wonderful roommates and Otu-Jeremi students. One day as we were strolling to get our meals, my trium (which had my contacts so I often carried it out with me in the event we stumble upon the landline that could call “outside”) beeped. I had just received a text from my sister which read, “You have one week to confirm your acceptance at the Institute otherwise your position will be given to someone on the waitlist”. I looked at the date of the text. It was sent 5 days earlier. That meant I had 2 days left to confirm my acceptance. That to me remains a miracle because there was no GSM service in Otu-Jeremi at that time.

It was years later I learnt that the panel had to sit a couple of times to debate whether or not I would be taken. I also learnt that because they agreed to accept me, it gave room for others who were also rounding up NYSC to be part of the program. This concession only existed in my own time. I cannot count the blessings that have resulted in my life just because I attended that program that time.

Today as I reflect on the goodness of God, I realize that God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf. He is the one who makes a way where there seems to be no way. He is the one who has the heart of kings in His hands, and He turns it wherever He pleases.

He can open doors for you which no man can shut. For your sake He can make man-made rules to be bent. For your sake He can do a new thing. Just because of you, He can inspire one to create new drugs or treatment procedures for your healing. For your sake, He can take you to a place you never imagined could bring you restoration. For your sake He can turn what was once your shame and fear to a blessing. And He who surrounds you with favour as a shield, can make His favour so shine upon you that even others will be blessed and will benefit from His favour upon you.

Beloved, you do not need to defend your situation neither do you have to worry about how God will realize His promise to you. His plans for you are only good and He is working everything together for your good, working behind the scenes on your behalf. He is the one that will fight for you. Be still and trust in Him.

Related Post: Serve In Warri?

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Legend of the Kolar Gold Fields

The Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) constitute the second deepest mines in the world. There are a couple of legends associated with the discovery of gold in KGF, but I would like to share the one documented in Wikipedia. It comes as folktales in the mouth of some old villages.

Hundreds of years ago when the Chera dynasty ruled the south of India, a poor Shepherd (Kuruba Gowda) was walking in this region and a very violent wind blew to raise the dust from the callous dry ground of this hilly rock region. Unable to see anything the Shepherd tumbled on a rock and when the dust settled down the Shepherd found a treasure lying in front of eyes, the treasure was huge enough to make him a king. The Kuruba Gowda then named his kingdom as Kolar.

According to this legend, it was a storm that led to the discovery of the gold mines. There are many people who can testify that after passing through a very stormy time in their life, they discovered something precious. It could be the priceless mines of the unfailing love of God. It could be the indescribable grace and faithfulness of God. It could be the simple yet profound knowledge that indeed there is God.

Some things that are most precious to us today have come to us through “storms”. Periods of trials have taken many to a life of spiritual greatness and personal revelation of who God is. Difficulties challenge our energy and our perseverance but bring the strongest qualities of the soul to life. These storms that many pass through are catalysts to our faith and holy service.

This message is specific to someone going through an unexpected, unimaginable and prolonging storm in his/her life. You have so many questions, and doubts as to who you really are as a child of God. Beloved, what lies ahead of you is more than a gold mine, though you cannot see it yet. The dust of pain and sorrow will settle to usher in rest and restoration. And when you remember this storm, you will not remember it for the pain you passed through, but for the joy it brought you for yourself and in Christ Jesus. You will also be amazed at how what almost made you give up will be an inspiration to someone else.

In that day you will proclaim, “This is my God! I trusted in Him, and He saved me! This is the Lord, in whom I trusted. Let me rejoice in the salvation He brings!” [Personalized NLT version of Isaiah 25:9]

None that wait on God shall be ashamed [Psalm 25:3].

Disclaimer: The legend has no proof; it just comes as folk tales in the mouth of some old villagers. Souce: The Legend of the Kolar Gold Fields.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

God Let Me Show You How To Fulfill Your Promise

When I had the dream that implied Mr. Rita will be my husband, I could not wait to see that dream come to pass. I did not ask the Giver of the dream to show me how it will be or how I could prepare for the promise ahead. When 6 months into the relationship Mr. Rita he had not said anything, I decided to show God how to fulfill His promise by introducing sex into the relationship.

Many ladies feel that sex is the way to a get a man. If you want a damn good man, passionate about God, I tell you, sex is not the way. It will only make him see you as cheap, and with time you will become “see finish”. You lose the essence of courtship and your judgment will be clouded.

What is now a source of bonding in our marriage was the same thing that made us grow apart in our relationship. He was not happy that all his "efforts" to be a godly man had suddenly shattered. He was no longer growing spiritually. Each time after we had been together, we both felt guilty. I felt frustrated that after giving myself to him, he was not discussing anything about marriage. Infact, he began to have more females flocking around him who seemed they could help him in his situation. All our efforts to stop was not working – maybe for a day or two, and we were back to square one. In such a situation, you will feel so guilty to even pray or go to church. We have many Christians today, including those holding positions in church, who are sinking deep in sin and cannot do anything about it.

Lots of things happened that led us to get help from our Pastor. Restoring sexual purity is not something you do by your power and might – you need the grace of God and you need someone you can be accountable to. I remember her words, “God is more interested in your soul than your service”. She wanted me to understand the price Jesus Christ had paid for my salvation, and not take the grace of God for granted. She told me to stay away from Mr. Rita if I was serious about regaining sexual purity. I disobeyed and did not tell Mr. Rita. When she found out, she sent for him and told him not to ever communicate with me again – no texts, phone calls, emails, flash, visit, etc. Being a man who was serious about his salvation, from the church office he called me and told me the news and said goodbye. And that was it. No more Mr. Rita.

I cried. I was heart-broken and everything around me suffered. I doubted God. I resisted being a Christian for a while. Then I stumbled upon the scripture, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame…” [Hebrews 12:2]. As I meditated on it, I realized that Jesus Christ endured betrayal, brutality, pain, and shame just for me. What then was fixing my eyes on Him and learning how to close my legs before marriage compared to what He went through on the cross (even if it was only me on earth, He would still have gone to the cross)? Then I began my journey of getting to know Him (February 2007 – 1 yr plus after the dream).

Six months of not seeing Mr. Rita and focusing on God, His word, and Church, helped me to grow as a Christian and help in shaping me into who I am today. When finally I saw Mr. Rita, and he had not married someone else, we started courting. This time doing it the right way. I learnt how to have fun with a man without involving sex. It is beautiful. I developed the best relationship ever with the opposite sex. I saw the innate beauty and handsomeness in this child of God whom I call my king. Six months later, Mr. Rita had indicated interest in spending the rest of his life with me. If a man is able to keep himself sexually pure during courtship, endure waiting for the evolution of a woman, that man will be easy to trust and will think twice before defiling his bed.

When I reflect, I laugh. 2 years went by because I wanted to show God how to fulfill His promise. When God has promised something, it will come to pass. But He does not need our “help”. Trying to help God only leads to disappointments, delays, pain, and sometimes, losing the dream. God is self-sufficient – He is God all by Himself and does not need our “help” to realize what He has promised. He needs us to simply obey His instructions and follow His leading. If you are at a point where you are waiting and it seems nothing is happening, ask Him what you should do and be ready to obey.

And the greatest shocker for me was when Mr. Rita told me that the sex was not his reason for marrying me. He said sex can be got from any woman and anywhere. He was looking for more and if he did not find what he wanted in a wife in me, he would not have married me. My unmarried sisters, please take note. Don’t give yourself for free.

Don’t try to show God how to fulfill His promise for you. He that promised is able and faithful.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Nights Preceding The Solstices

It was sometime in May when I visited Paris. (My advise - do not go there alone/single. You will be tempted to have one of the opposite gender by your side). I unpacked, informed some friends I had arrived, watched some movies then took a nap. I woke up refreshed at about 7pm, had dinner and decided to go to sleep against my course the next day. Next thing, I received a call from my friends asking me to hang out with them.
"It is late", I responded, eyeing the soft, comfortable bed in my hotel room.
"The day has just begun, nobody goes to bed by 7:30 in Paris during this season", they replied.
I drew aside the drapes in my room. Lo and behold, the sun was up like 3pm in Nigeria. That is how it was till about 11pm that day/night. As I woke up late the next morning, I simply muttered, “This is the real meaning of longer days, shorter nights”.

It was sometime in November when I visited Aberdeen. I woke up early to catch the 8:30 bus. By 7:30am, I was done with all preparations. I stepped outside hoping to get a glimpse of the area around me. To my surprise, it was as black as night – 12 midnight in Nigeria. I went back to my room to take a nap since it was still night to me. To cut the long story short, I missed the bus and went late to class. I told myself, “My geography teacher never really explained the concept of longer nights, shorter days”.
Geography/astronomy has the different seasons, and the Solstices in some cultures are considered to start, separate or fall in the middle of the seasons. These Solstices are marked by different lengths of days and nights.

In life we experience different seasons, and we have the “nights” as part of them. The night in the context represents periods of adversity, trials, disappointments, despair, overwhelming confusion, uncertainties, obscurity or when you feel God is silent. I don’t know if you have passed through one of these or if you are going through one.

The days/nights preceding the Solstices taught me that though they are composed of nights, the nights associated with each day was of a different length. Bringing this to life, you might go through a situation in 2 months which took someone else 5 years to pass through. Similarly, you might face a situation for 1 year, which took someone else 3 months to go through. An example is of 2 friends who applied for jobs within the same organization and were both successful. One had to wait one month before she was called to start, the other had to wait for a year before she started. Imagine if you were in the shoes of the one who had to wait one year. Won’t you have felt inadequate, hopeless or as though what you were believing God for won’t come to pass?

Yes, in life, our nights have different lengths. The time you have to wait will be different from when someone else would have to wait, so do not compare. In some cases it might appear that the other person did not wait, because everything seemed to have happened so fast. You never know. What is sure is that “as long as the earth remains, there will be day and night” [Genesis 8:22]. No matter the length of your night, you will surely see the day. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning [Psalm 30:5]. And you can be sure that God, who neither sleeps nor slumbers, is working all through the night in your favour. If He seems silent to you, do not lose hope for He says, “I will watch quietly from My dwelling place…” [Isaiah 18:4] yet working for your good. If you have to wait, I pray God gives you the grace and strength to wait on Him. God has made everything beautiful for its own time.

Related Devotionals From The Heart Of  A Loving Father – Working All Through The Night and I look On From My Dwelling Place.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Need A Man - 100% All Male

I cannot forget the day he changed the tyre under the rain. What seemed to me like a trailer's tyre, he managed with skill, strength and wisdom. As he worked, I watched the move of every muscle of his upper body. With the sensuous thoughts that ran through my head, it was no surprise that I was sweating under the rain.

There is something about a man’s masculinity that arouses a woman. His build, his strength, his ability to protect, ability to get things done, to fight for woman and to lead, are things a woman looks for in a man. The knight in shining armour (with his other instruments of warfare) remains somewhere in our dreams as the standard for measuring our man. However I have come to see that a man’s masculinity is much more than just his physical.

In the course of a discussion with a dear friend, I asked her,” How did you feel when your husband started praying about this issue that’s been bothering you?” She replied, “Like it was settled.”
“Same here,” I agreed with her. “When Mr. Rita prays for me, I just feel it is settled. Like he has fought my fight. I feel his greater strength, his skill and wisdom has been put to work successfully”.

It appears that church and religion are for the women. Some say women are naturally spiritually inclined, or women have more problems (lol). But this was not so. As I go through the bible from Genesis to Revelation, I see how God has desired to walk closely with men. I see as God has used men for great things. I see that God still desires to use men to do even greater things.


Man has been called to be the head (of the home). It is a great responsibility woman should not wish for. If the enemy attacks the home, the first person God will question is the man [Gen 3:9]. This responsibility surpasses bringing food and money to the table. No doubt as a leader he can delegate certain duties. A man is different from a woman in many areas – strength, approach, reactions, just to mention a few. These qualities of man, when applied in the spiritual, bring amazing results.

I am excited when I encounter men who pray. I am more excited when I meet men who seek the face and heart of God. I am most excited when I see men who, sincerely and with pure motives, are channeling their “masculinity” into the works and ministry of God. That is a man- 100% all male.

Today, I lift men up in prayer. May God help any man who desires to but is yet to make a decision to walk with Him, to serve Him, to humble himself before Him, to accept his role as spiritual head, and/or to make out time for a personal relationship with God. May such men have a fresh encounter with God. I pray that men will have the desire to study the men that have successfully walked with God, learn from their ways and understand the heart of God our loving Father. I pray that our homes and our world be filled with men who pray and are spiritually ready for inevitable wars. I pray for men whose hearts are aligned with God’s, that they may steer people, families, and generations in the right direction – even if it is one person at a time. I pray for men that pray. That is the masculinity that really matters.

Woman, do you have any man to pray for? Your husband, father, brother(s), fiancé, boyfriend, bosses and friends? What we really need from our men is more than their physical and material possessions. Agree with me in prayer. Prayer makes a lot of difference – this I mention because I know, not because someone told me so.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Follow or Not To Follow


It was sometime in 2004 and I had rededicated my life to God after a lady preached the Good news to me in a way that spoke to my heart. Everything seemed to be moving smoothly. I was studying my bible, going to church, attending fellowship at the office, just generally trying to be holy. I had told my boyfriend to stay away from me for a while, so I could build my personal relationship with God. I did not want to fall into sin.

1 month gone, and it was all perfect, until an old friend came visiting. It was a Friday. He drove from far to pay me this surprise visit. When I asked why, he said he felt lonely and realized I was someone he could really talk to and spend time with. You know how such words do women. I felt wanted. We went out for a lovely dinner. We talked and laughed till midnight. Then he decided to drop me at home (I was staying alone, in the BQ of my landlord then). He said he would like to spend the night over since it was quite late to drive back to his house. I said it was okay, as long as he sleeps in the parlor and not interrupt my sleep in the bedroom.

The next morning, after bidding him goodbye (for good), I told God it was over between me and Him. The guilt, shame, disgust, and low esteem I felt was nothing compared to the transient 5 minutes pleasure that ensued during the night. I concluded that I was not cut out for Christianity. I told God I was not going to bother myself about it, because I had fallen many times, and this was the worst of all. If what happened that night was with my boyfriend, maybe it would have been better. But with a guy that just appeared – that was worse that adultery, I told myself.

So I found myself at that decision point – “To follow or not to follow” God. I could see the path I was trying to run away from, but I knew my attempts had resulted in failure. I did not want to deceive myself so I chose “not to follow”. I watched my life deteriorate. I fell more into sin, I killed my conscience, my life was filled with pain and dissatisfaction masked by a charade. I was not happy and I knew the path I had chosen did not have good in store for me. I left church and fellowship (nobody cared) and entered a world of my own. I felt trapped, but said I will stick to what I had chosen though wondering if there could there more to life.

In retrospect, I think God was “dying for me” for in my sinful state, He gave me a dream about an acquaintance – a guy I knew, respected, but did not want to get close to lest he contaminates me with his good nature. I felt compelled to share that dream with him, only to realize that it was actually a message from God. So he opened up to me, we got talking, and with time, I felt relaxed in his peaceful and godly presence. Like Mary at the feet of Jesus, I enjoyed listening to his stories and teachings of God. As he talked about God, I began falling in love with God. 2 things he did that turned my life around – he told me he believed God has a plan and a purpose for my life, and he bought me a study book “Because of Jesus” by Connie Witter. Only a man sensitive to the spirit could have done such because I love anything exam-like (which was how the study book was designed). That study book made me realize I was already a virtuous woman, the proverbs 31 woman, not by my works or efforts, but because of what Jesus had done, and God was seeing me as righteous not the way I saw myself.

Small by small, I started liking God, but I was not rushing into a relationship with Him. You know how it is when a person is coming around you and you are gradually having affections for him/her? As my likeness for Him increased, I started disliking the things I used to do (though I had not stopped doing them). One day, I found myself at that point, “To follow or not to follow”. After thinking long and hard, and hearing His loving words, "Come to me, my daughter who is weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" [Matthew 11:28], I decided “to follow”, to try God, and see if indeed there could be more to life. That was in February 2007.

I am telling you, the sum of joy, pleasures, and happiness I have had before 2007 are nothing compared to what I experience as I decided to follow God and stay with Him. Life with God is beautiful. Only Him could fill a huge void in me, and make me whole. Despite the steep learning curve with Him, I cannot deny His unfailing love, His graciousness, His mercy and loving-kindness. Indeed there is more to life - with God.

I do not know if you ever have to stand at that junction to make a choice between “To follow or not to follow” God. If you decide “to follow”, you will never regret it (even if the enemy tries to make you regret). It does not matter where you are coming from or where you have been. When the Master Molder, the Artist that knows intricacies, the God who knew you before you were conceived, the One who made you a masterpiece, when you allow Him work on you, you will be amazed at what He can do with you and what can become of you.

For me, this I believe – Even if it is only 1 person whose life I touch, whom I shine the light and love of God to, or whom I help to stay with God, it is better that 2 of us are saved than we perish. For I do not know if that 1 person will become a Joseph Prince, a Creflo Dollar, a Juanita Bynum or a great man of God tomorrow, who will touch the lives of many others. I will be so delighted to sleep over at his/her mansions in Heaven.

Looking back at 2004 when I rededicated my life to Christ, I realize that I was working so hard to be righteous. It is not by power, might or works, but by the Spirit and grace of God. It is something Jesus Christ has already done for us. Remaining in Him is also not by power, might or works, but by His Spirit and realizing that it is a walk of faith. You may fall many times, but by His grace, You will stand up and walk with heads high.

Lest I forget, the acquaintance eventually became my adorable king, Mr. Rita as I call him on my blog. Doesn’t God have a great sense of humor?

Have a blessed week ahead…

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Unique For A Purpose

I let the sun go down on my anger that night because he did not help me prepare stew and he was not interested in learning. After cooking enough food for 2 weeks, I went straight to bed and slept in anger. The next morning I woke up and grunted, "The sink is blocked". I knew in the house there were no instruments for fixing a seriously blocked sink. But when I heard the sound of pumping, suction and flushing, I had to take a peek at what was going on in the kitchen. With his bare hands, he was fixing the sink. All the anger of the previous night instantly dissipated as I thought, "he may not know how to make stew but he sure is a sexy and skilled man at plumbing".

It began to dawn on me that our differences are for a purpose. The world is beautiful because we all are not the same. There are those around us that will make us laugh, those that will make us think, and those that will encourage us. We grow up in families. As huge as mine was, none had the same strength and weaknesses. We go to school and play/work with people. Each one has his/her unique abilities. We work in teams. Each has something to contribute, no matter how dormant a team member may seem. We should not look down on anyone.

You are unique for a reason. Along with this knowledge of uniqueness comes responsibility. For if truly you are a unique expression of life, then unique to you are the gifts, talents and potential to excel at the unique tasks which define your destiny and your life calling. No one else can fulfill what you have been uniquely created for. If you do not do what you should do, it will go undone, or done by someone else in a very different way.

Also, speaking of gifts for the body of Christ, God has given each of us a gift(s) from His great variety of spiritual gifts. He expects us to use them to serve one another. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. God never changes His mind when He gives gifts or when He calls someone. You can have, know and apply your spiritual gifts.

I take my hat off to all those who are applying their gifts and talents to shine the light and love of God in this world, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you. God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers, as you still do [Hebrews 6:10, NLT].

For those who are in the process of identifying your gifts and calling, or to take the bold step of responding to them, may your eyes be opened to see who you really are and what difference you can make in this world. I pray God will make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do [Ephesians 1:18, MSG].

May we not run out of time, health, love and wisdom without knowing why we are here, and having the information and tools we need to express our unique potentials and live an extraordinary life. May we not leave this life without fulfilling our purposes.

If you are interested in identifying some of your spiritual gifts, you may visit this link on Spiritual Gift Test (140 Questions, ZeL thanks for reminding me to warn all :-) ). I made an attempt. My strongest point went to writing (for now) and my weakest point went to celibacy :-) (My name is not Paulina!)

You are unique for a purpose, so also are the circumstances you pass through. Are you fulfilling what you were created for, taking advantage of the road you have travelled, or are you allowing the greatness in you remain latent?