Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Testify Of God - He Has The Heart Of Kings In His Hand

I and this beautiful blogger, who is sharing her testimony today, started interacting when she was believing God for a job. How she finally got a job proved to me that God is more than a miracle-working God. Her testimony gave me faith to trust God during my pregnancy (for I was scared I would have a miscarriage like in the past).

Some time afterwards, she faced a certain challenge in her life, which is why we have this testimony today. I had lost hope that she will ever come out of this challenge. But we kept praying. I prayed simply because the bible says we should pray without ceasing but deep down in my heart, I wondered how God would do it.

As I prepared to post this testimony this morning, I recalled that about a year before her breakthrough, God has revealed that she would have this breakthrough. We were so caught up in the challenge that we completely forgot that God had seen the end, even showed us the end, and was going to remain faithful to His promise. If only we can really trust in Him! Anyway, this blogger was always positive when I spoke to her, and today she is sharing her testimony. For the purpose of this post, she will remain anonymous.

I Testify of God - He Has The Heart of Kings In His Hand
God's greatness in my life has been an eye opener for me. My story is a common one but my Jehovah turned my testimony to an uncommon one.
I met Ogbe when I wasn't looking to go in to a relationship. So when he started talking marriage I was shocked because he came to meet with my aunt with whom I was staying with to inform her.
Then, I had begun to develop feelings for him and it continued to grow and it never for once occurred to me that there was any other way.
Earlier, I had made a vow to God to abstain from sex till I get married and when I met Ogbe and after we started dating, it became increasingly difficult to keep my vow to God. I finally rationalised that since we were getting married, there was no harm in indulging and giving in to his demands for sex. I gave in, then I got pregnant.
I was happy when I found out I was pregnant and rushed to give Ogbe the 'good news'. When I gave him the test results, he just studied it and said nothing. He said nothing for two days until I had to ask him. He simply said to give him time to think about it.Well, I gave him as much time as he needed because,I felt he just had to get himself together for us to start planning our marriage.
I was dead wrong.
He said he couldn't father a child at the moment.That the fact that we discussed marriage didn't mean I should go get pregnant. It was like a film trick to me because nothing prepared me for what I was hearing and I just couldn't handle it. He then said I should get rid of the pregnancy that we would have more babies when we were ready. I refused and he abandoned me to my fate.

I was thinking time will make him change, but he instead became stoic in his resolve.So resolute was he that when he went back to the UK, he stopped taking my calls till as he said, I get back to my senses. I thought hard, but I couldn't see any solution to the dilemma I was in. I wondered at how I allowed myself to be in this situation. Remember that I had not even informed my parents or even my aunty.
I started looking for ways to leave my aunty's house and the opportunity presented itself. I had to move to another town for a job and I jumped at the opportunity; to say the truth I had not started thinking ahead as to whether I would keep the pregnancy but I just felt this inner conviction that I must see this pregnancy through.

Three months went by and still no change from Ogbe and my parents who I went to pay a visit began to notice a change in me.  Then I had to move to my place. I then informed my aunty and then later my mum, who then told my dad. As I tell it, it sounds so simple but it sure wasn't then. That was when  my ordeal started cause the more efforts were made to contact Ogbe, the more it was looking impossible.

I had resigned myself to fate when my aunty called me at about 6am in May 9th, 2011 that Ogbe had come with his people saying he wanted to come and meet my family formally. I was shocked but relieved. Just when everyone had written my issue off God compelled him to come form England for an introduction that I had not even planned with him.
I never planned my introduction. Infact, he wasn't talking to me, would you believe that? But, it happened in May 17th or there about. He went and did it although I was not in attendance.

I thought my problems were over but then, I was wrong. I never saw my would be husband even if for one day all through when I was pregnant. He always gave one excuse or the other.
But as if it had become my way of life, I just kept on believing, hoping and having the faith that I would see light at the end of the tunnel.
Then, reports started coming that he was always ill and during the few times he would call or I call him he was always having bed rest or in pains. Finally, I found out when I was 8months that he had prostrate cancer and had to undergo an operation.

Even though he had wronged me and made me go through a lot, I refused to believe that report and petitioned God to give me testimonies. I didn't want my baby to be fatherless. Never that!
Finally, he underwent the operation and it was successful. 2 weeks later when he came back to Nigeria, I gave birth to a healthy boy and despite indications that I would deliver through CS, I delivered normally.

As if my miracle wasn't enough, Ogbe came, saw my baby and I, and asked for forgiveness. He wanted to do everything for us and kept apologising. Before I knew what was happening, 2 and half months after I gave birth, I was getting married without even lifting my finger.

I tell you when God wants to do something, He doesn't do it in half measures but like I always keep repeating from the scripture as it represents my belief, ''He is able to do exceedingly and above that which we have asked of Him''
When it is over, that is when God begins His work and plan for you, if you can just hold on and believe.

Dear Anonymous Blogger, thank you for responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share this testimony. God loves it when we keep our promises, and I know you will have many more testimonies to come. I am thankful that you did not abort this great man you have brought to this world. I pray someone is blessed by your testimony. In everything, there is room to give thanks to God. Love you...

Monday, June 25, 2012

His Different Facets All Have Names

On getting married to Mr. Rita, 2 facets of him I was sure of was he was my friend and he was my husband. But in the course of the marriage, he has been my provider, my plumber, my mechanic, and more often than not, my motivator. Whenever a need arises, I know the “part” of him I expect to see. For instance, if my tire gets flat, I do not expect his plumbing skills or motivating skills to come to play. I expect Mr. Rita the mechanic to show up. I can expect because I know. And should a new issue come up, say the need to hang pictures on the wall, I can only hope that I see a carpentry side of him come to play.
Similarly in our relationship with God, He reveals to us His many facets. I can attest to God being my Jehovah Jireh who provided for me when I had nothing. When I have had the need for healing, He has shown up as the Lord who heals.  When I have tried to hide from His presence, because of my sin or feeling inadequate to call out to Him in times of distress, He has found me and still blessed me. I know He is El-Roi – The God who sees. Yes, He is El Shaddai, God Almighty, but He does have different facets, and I long to see more of Him.
His voice calls out to His children today, “Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own” [Jeremiah 33:3, MSG].
Do you have questions that need answers? Have you been calling on Him? Do you desire to know more of Him?
How else will you call to Him except by His name? Imagine not knowing the name of someone you call a friend or a father. You will probably call him by “Hey!” or “Ssssss!” Knowing one’s name is the first step to building a relationship. Consider how you feel when someone who just met you for the first time calls you by name. You feel “known”. I can only imagine that God wants us to know Him by name too.
As you start this week, call to Him. Call Him by name. I am sure He has shown a facet of Himself to you before. Has He once been your provider, your healer, your peace, or your victory and you long to see that facet of Him again? He can be those to you, and even much more. Do you desire to see Him as the supreme God, your Shepherd or your righteousness? There is no end to His different facets.
Call to Him, and He will answer you. He will tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.  He is Jehovah Shammah – The Lord who is always there [for you].
Have a blessed week ahead.
For names of God and their meaning, please visit HERE.
Some boast in chariots & some in horses, but we will boast in the Name of Jehovah, our God [Psalm 20:7].

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Busy At Night

I can recall that while I waited on God for my job [you can read about it here], those months seemed so long and I felt I was passing through a "night" in my life. The uncertainty and the delay was really worrisome. Yet I was comforted. The Word of God says, "...All that night the LORD drove the sea back...[Exodus 14:21, NIV]". This word referred to the night before the great miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. The scripture confirmed that God neither sleeps nor slumbers [Psalm 121:4]. The real work of God for the children of Israel did not happen when they awoke that morning to find they could cross the Red Sea, but it happened “ALL that night.” i.e. throughout the night. Similarly, it was when I received the letter for my job that I realized God had been working behind the scenes, all through my "night", to give me a miracle.
You may be at a point in your life that seems like night or darkness. You may wonder, "what is going on?" or "when will this night be over?" I just want to drop a word for you today to reassure you that there is a great work going on in your life though it seems the night prevails. You may not see the evidence yet, but God is at work. God was just as much at work “all that night” as He was the next day, when the Israelites finally saw the evidence. The next day simply revealed what God had done during the night. Your "day" will come, and you will see evidence of the work God has been doing during your night. You will see His miracle in such a manner that no one else can take the glory. Wait expectantly on Him because the night will surely give way to the day.
Remain blessed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Children Teach - All About Fathers

Happy Father’s day to all fathers, fathers-to-be, and all father figures in peoples’ lives. What will the world be without fathers?
I am one of the teachers who teach the 8-9 year olds in church. Today’s lesson was about the loving father, taken from the story of the prodigal son [Luke 15:11-32]. The children brought a lot of insight into this bible story, as well as their perception of fathers, which I could not help but share.
Let’s start with what the children had to say about why they love their fathers…fathers, here is your checklist! 
1.       He treats me like an angel
2.       He is kind
3.       He supports me
4.       He disciplines me when I do wrong
5.       He never breaks his promise
6.       He is generous (he buys me toys and things I ask for) :-)
7.       He helps me with tasks and assignments
8.       He thinks about me all the time
9.       He loves me soooooo much
10.   He makes me know what God is like
What was amazing to me was realizing how much the children appreciated being corrected by their fathers, how they look to their fathers to keep promises, and how their fathers are reflections of who God is. Amazing!
After reading the story of the prodigal son, the children were asked to say what they really liked about the father in the story, and how the father was like their own father. Here goes…
1.       The father explained his actions to the elder brother (the young girl who said this mentioned that she appreciates it when her father explains to her some decisions he is taking)
2.       The father was always expecting his son (the girl that said this enlightened us to the fact that the father sighted his son afar off and ran to meet him, and she loves it when her father runs to her, embraces her and carries her like she is an angel)
3.       The father was always thinking about his son (the boy that said this explained that even when he is not around, he is sure his father always has him in mind)
4.       The father considered the lost son of great worth, not like a hired servant (the boy that said this explained that our fathers always see us as precious children, despite our mistakes)
What was profound to me was a realization when Aunty Chidinma (who was teaching the class) explained that we have an inheritance with Jesus. Immediately my eyes went to verses 28-32 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’  ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Maybe my understanding is not correct, but I deduced that Jesus is the older son in whom we are co-heirs [Romans 8:16-17a]. He is the one who is always with God our father, and owns everything that God has, while we are the children that were lost, and when found, not only does our Father celebrate and rejoice over us, He allows us partake of the inheritance that belongs to “elder brother Jesus”! Selah.

I am thankful for the lessons from the children, and how even we the teachers get to learn more about God through what we do and the children we communicate with.
Have a very blessed week ahead.

UPDATE:- I got this explanation to the verses (Luke 15:28-32) from David C Brown and I decided to share...

The elder son became angry and refused to go in - he was someone refusing the blessing because he thought he was righteous. The younger one realised his need. But the father is still pleading - and God is still pleading for even those who are self-righteous to come in.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Known Personally By Your Name

I remember a guy who was looking for a referee and had to meet a lecturer he admired. To his dismay, the lecturer said he did not know him. The guy insisted that he had always attended the lecturer's courses and even had a good score in the exams. The lecturer simply replied, "there were too many of you, I cannot even recall your face."

There are many situations that are similar to this where it seems you may not be "significant". Just to mention a few, it could be like working in a very big organization, being part of a large congregation, or being the smallest or youngest in a group. It might seem like alot of effort is required from you before you can be noticed or even known.

Today your loving Father says "I will do this thing also that you have asked, for you have found favor, loving-kindness, and mercy in My sight and I know you personally and by name [Exodus 33:17, AMP]. In the midst of billions, He knows your name and He knows you personally. He knows everything about you and He even sees your life ahead. It is not by your works or your righteousness that He has chosen to know you. Not that your works are not valuable before Him. As a Father who took time to create you, you do not need extra effort to make Him know you.

As you make your requests known to Him, go boldly into His Throne of Grace. Remember that He knows you personally, and by your name. His response to your request is not generic but specific and customized for you.
Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the personalized relationship He has with you. Ask Him to show you how you could improve on the experiential relationship you have with Him.

Remain Blessed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Still Sober About The June 3rd Incident

Sunday June 3rd. As I closed my office related files and was about to put up my post for the week, I received a call from Mr. Rita.
After all the pleasantries (for he had just landed in PH) he asked, “you sound like you don’t know what is going on…aren’t you watching the news or is ur bb not on?”
“What is going on?” I asked.
“Dana Air crash!”
“What are you talking about?” I picked up my bb (which had been beside me for over 4 hours but I did not have the chance to glimpse at it) and went to Recent Updates. The display pictures and status updates told me a lot.
I do not want to bore you with all the details of this incident but you can read a bit about it HERE. The truth is I could no longer put up a post after hearing that news. What kind of message do I want to share when my nation is grieving? I asked myself. I should be mourning with those who mourn. These beautiful lives must be honored. I hope to participate in the “Writing to Heal and Remember - Calling Flight 9J-992 To Lagos” on May God inspire me for this.
If you take a moment to reflect, you will have so many questions. The Why’s and Why not. How could God have allowed this? What sin is God punishing us for? Were there not righteous and innocent ones on that flight? So many questions you can ask.
But the main questions are to be targeted at ourselves. Is tomorrow really ours? What is the very essence of our life? Why did God create us? What is it that He has designed us to do? Are we walking in His Perfect Will for us? A successful life or a good life is not measured by how long we live, how much we acquire, or how well we are doing in the eyes of man, but by how well we are walking in line with God’s plan for our lives.  
There is no need to live in fear or stop planning of a future. Rather, much more than ever before, we need to respond to the voice of our Father. What have we been putting off because we feel we have tomorrow? What should have been our priorities but are now at the back seat because of seemingly more pressing issues? What grudges are we holding hoping that after many years we will see our negative wishes on others come to fruition? What can we do differently?
It is my prayer that these beautiful lives we lost do not turn out to be a wasted sacrifice. May we be awakened to the reality of how one apparently small decision can affect the lives of many, and may we see visible changes in our nation as a result of this painful sacrifice.
For those grieving at this time, it is my prayer that the Lord comforts you, surrounds you with His loving embrace, give you an added sense of His presence, and give you a new experience with Him. It is not easy, but I know God can heal you.
For us who are still here by the grace and mercy of God, may we seize the opportunity to make a difference, reflect on what really matters in life, and be thankful for His mercies that are new every morning.
Remain Blessed.