Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Little drops Of Water by Julia carney

Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
humble though they may be,
make the mighty ages
of eternity.

Little deeds of kindness,
little words of love,
make our earth an Eden,
like the heaven above.

So our little errors
lead the soul away,
from the paths of virtue
into sin to stray.

Little seeds of mercy
sown by youthful hands,
grow to bless the nations
far in heathen lands.

Glory then for ever
be to God on high,
beautiful and loving,
to eternity.

Stand Your Ground

Have you ever been wrongly judged or assessed in a situation and it drove you utterly nuts? What did you do? Stand your ground or smiled it away? I know someone that is not so easily pushed around..
My new found sister, Francina Norman (yes she is! we share the same royal blood-Jesus-so she is stuck with me whether she knows it not or likes it not, na she sabi..lol) shared an hilarious experience recently that got everyone reeling in laughter at the just concluded Authentic Woman Conference which held in Dublin.
Prophetess Francina Norman
 Francina had boarded a first class cabin on a plane and was minding her business when a strange man walked up to her and said her husband must be a basketball player for her to be able to afford the ticket! Well I've never sat in the first class cabin of an aeroplane so can't offer an appropriate description of what it looks like or the "calibre" of people that do. You can either Google or lets imagine the travel experience together. If you have on the other hand, inbox me the details or get me a ticket so my experience can be factual..lol.

 In true Francina fashion, she told the man her husband was not a footballer but a drug dealer and asked if the man wanted to be a customer!. Her response threw the man off balance and drew an applause from the other passengers. Imagine the audacity!  Of course, Francina was messing with the man but it put him back in his place. She stood her ground and did not allow the strange man's "warped" criteria for who qualifies to sit in first class ruffle her feathers. As long as she could buy the ticket then she qualifies!
free digital.net
Many times, certain situations or people try to intimidate us, setting barriers and standards as to where we can go, what we can achieve, success level that we can aspire to or attain. Society and culture also  attempt to determine what one qualifies for. However, sometimes the enemy might be within, closer than you think. This has nothing to do with your background or environment  rather opinions formed by experiences. It could be  a past experience trying to  set limits on  future glories.  Who say's you can't have a life after a divorce? Or find marital bliss as a single parent? or even have a financial breakthrough after several financial mistakes? STAND YOUR GROUND! Other times it could be the issue of gender or skin colour, it doesn't matter, STAND YOUR GROUND!. Thank God Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger when she was forced to. She knew she deserved better treatment as a human being and STOOD HER GROUND against racial discrimination.
Rosa Parks
Her bravery  gained her international recognition and helped repeal an unfair law. David was no stranger to intimidation especially from his household. He had journeyed to the battle front to give "bread" to his brothers only to find the Israelite army cowering before the philistine giant.

 David saw a glory moment and wanted to take it but the first opposition came from his brothers. "But when David's oldest brother, Eliab heard David talking to the men, he was angry. " what are you doing around here anyway?" he demanded. "What about those few sheep you'r supposed to be taking care of? I kow about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!" 1Samuel 17:28. The brothers were determined to cap his ambition.

But David was having none of that "what have i done now? David replied. I was only asking a question...then David's question was reported to the king and the king sent for him" vrs 29-31. Well before his physical combat on the battle field, David's bold questions got the king's attention.

 Imagine if he'd allowed his brother's intimidation to re-route his ambition and sent him home. 
I tell autism daily "you are not having my son" "Joshua was bought at a price"  "Joshua is healed". Everyday I stand up to the nay sayers, mistakes, wrong choices even the inner voices that want to derail my vision.  In the words of Paula White "Since you did not save me, you cannot judge me"! STAND UP TO THE PAST! STAND UP TO YOUR MISTAKES! STAND UP TO YOUR NAY SAYERS! If you will do anything today STAND UP FOR YOUR GOALS, STAND UP FOR JESUS, STAND YOUR GROUND.
free digital.net 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Little Drops of Water

It doesn't necessarily start to pour when it rains. It sometimes starts with gentle drips.  Even the heaviest downpour starts with little drops before gaining momentum.
 Altair Urbano via photopin cc
 These little drops are signs which alerts to heavier drops to come. It might begin with sporadic burst of rain drops before becoming a consistent shower but it will be utter foolishness to disregard the tiny drops. Little drops of rain affords one the opportunity to project and plan for the likelihood of heavier showers. As a young girl growing up in the not so posh side of town, rainfalls were well appreciated. Its free water saving most families the stress of  the long walk to fetch water for household purposes. It also affords the kids the opportunity to play in the rain naked and unabashed.

 Frederic Mancosu via photopin cc

As pleasurable as  playing in the rain was, nothing beats the anticipation of the rain itself.  The gentle pit pat of rain drops on the roof tops and the sweet musky smell of wet sand was heavenly. The smattering of sounds on the rooftop was all the neighbourhood needed to start gathering available empty buckets and pans to collect rain water.
It doesn't necessarily have to be much but the anticipation was all the same. The people knew that little will go a long way to alleviate the constant water shortage and the accumulation of little becomes much. They knew that the tiny drops was a symbol of much more to come.

Elijah the Tishbite understood this principle in 1Kings 18. After the land had experienced intense drought for thee years, Elijah prayed that it would rain again but Heaven did not immediately open its gates and poured rain. What Elijah saw instead was a "little cloud no bigger than a man's  hand" 1 King 18:44. It was a little cloud but it was good enough for Elijah. In that "littleness" was packed  everything that Elijah had prayed and expected.
My little boy with autism did an interesting thing some weeks ago that got me on my knees giving glory to God. You see with autism, you have to initiate and motivate good behaviour which could try the patience of even Mother Theresa and I'm no Mother Theresa!!

It was breakfast time and the menu was weetabix but Joshua was having none of it. Instead of throwing the usual tantrum to express his frustration, he gently pushed away the box of cereal, walked to the cupboard and brought out branflakes! In teary amazement, I gave him a hug and breakfast was tantrum-free.

My boy now pro actively makes requests and asserts his preferences. I almost did a triple jump  the day he gently opened the front passenger seat of my car showing his desire to sit beside me. These "little" milestones  might seem ordinary to other parents but to me it was  all the sign I needed.  Its about to pour "rain" in my household and my empty pots and buckets are ready for the flood

. The little drops of water is gradually becoming streams of water. The years of drought is over and I am overjoyed. I can see the little drops of water in my son's life, how about you? Don't give up yet! Whatever the situation,never discountenance the evidence of "little" that you are seeing; with God little is much!! If the "little cloud no bigger than a man's fist" was good enough for Elijah, then I'ma start celebrating.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Oh Taste and See

Just by merely looking at the murky concoction that my father was making, I knew without a shadow of doubt that I wanted no part of it. Unfortunately, I got nominated to do the honours of passing verdict on this invention. My father is an ardent cook and is always looking for creative ways to make bland food more interesting. His children were his test victims but this particular food simply did not pass my visual test so I bluntly refused.

 No way on earth's sphere was I going to allow that "muck" down my throat. I had witnessed the making of it and believed it wasn't just safe..lol. Without pushing his luck, my father simply handed over his creation to my younger ones who took it with mush gusto and were gushing about "baba's" latest fad. I was waiting for someone to throw up only to see them smacking their lips and begging for more.

Quietly and out of curiosity, I went to taste the dregs of the concoction  and IT WAS AMAZING. Tail in hand, I crawled to my father and asked for some. "Baba, i tasted the drink and its actually nice. Can I have some", I begged. But it was too late. My Chef Daddy had cleaned up his creative instruments and was done for the day. As a  child, that was the saddest day of my life made worse by my siblings making so much fuss about Baba's power drink. I made up my mind that day many years ago never to bluntly refuse anything that came out from my father's kitchen without at least giving it a trial.  He is my father and would not deliberately harm me. What my father made that night was a healthy jug full of green juice packed with healthy nutrients. I did not appreciate it initially but now I'm an advocate for green juice, call me a "Green Juice Campaigner".

 God has a lot in store for his children only if we will draw nigh unto him and trust His benevolence. How can you know the taste of a thing without making an attempt to put it on your tongue and allow your sense of taste give a verdict.

There is only so much information you can get from other people's review except you have a personal encounter. I love the ministry of the woman at the well with Jesus in John. After her meeting with Jesus, she ran into the village to share the good news. Out of curiosity, the villagers came out to meet the man who had sparked such excitement from this woman. They came out of curiosity but ended up with a personal experience. Their verdict was no longer based on second hand review."They said to the woman, we no longer believe just because of what you said now we have heard for ourselves and we know that this man is truly the Saviour of the world" John 4:1-42. "OH TASTE AND SEE". "The angel of the lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.Oh taste and see that the lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. O fear the lord, you His saint, there is no want to those who fear Him" Psalm 34:7-9.

God is good and desires that everyone should partake of His immense goodness and generosity. "I will satisfy my priests with abundance and my people shall be filled with my bounty", declares the lord. Jeremiah 31:14.  In fact, God oozes goodness.

The lord wants to save, heal, restore, bless etc. Like.Like my glass of green juice, God is full of goodness and wants you to partake in the overflow. O TASTE AND SEE.

P.S. I want to specially celebrate  a dear friend who is a living testimony of what it means to taste and see the goodness, mercy, blessing, healing, favour and joy of the lord. Happy birthday Mildred. I must say you won the weight loss challenge. I bow but ain't giving up. Kindly check out Mildred's blog Here . Yep! She's also a pastor.
Pst Mildred Kingsley Okonkwo. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Heaven's Intervention

*Amaka* was inconsolable! Every effort made by the doctors to make her take her medication fell on deaf ears. She wanted none of their attention. She just wanted to sleep and never wake up. Her pain was not caused by her wounds, it stemmed more from the heart. She felt forlorn and lonely. "Let me die", She screamed at the doctors, managing to clench herself into a ball despite her pain.

Her gut wrenching wail broke my heart as I walked pass her room. Thirty minutes later, the doctors managed to get her to sleep and I could hear her gentle snore interjected with burst of sobbing but at least she was getting some semblance of rest. The next day one of the doctors asked if I could help with Amaka. He felt I might be able to talk with her as we were both from Nigeria. I was not a nurse but I understood what it meant to survive a traumatic experience and rejection at the same time.  Amaka was a survivor of kerosine explosion. She'd suffered massive degree burns to her body especially her face. It was back in 2003 and doctors had told her there was only so much that plastic surgery could do. As I tip toed into her room, my heart broke at the sight of the young lady sobbing in the corner of her room. Without much ado, I tiptoed over to her and held her in my arms. In the throes of her pain, she didn't notice my entrance and my arms around her did not startle her either-she was lost in pain. I managed to wipe her tears while we sat in silence , two strangers in a  hospital far from home brought together by physical loss and trauma.

 Amaka's story wasn't new. Its an old tale of rejection in the wake of challenges. Following the explosion, her supposed fiancĂ© never showed up at the hospital nor made any attempt to see her. He wouldn't even take her calls! He just disappeared. They were meant to marry August of that year while she suffered the accident in June. That unfortunate accident busted her marital dream.

"whatever happened to "together forever"? the poor girl cried. I was tempted to crucify the guy's action but I knew better having experienced such when I lost partial use of my right hand in an accident in which over sixty people died. You see some people are not built to with-stand challenges. Many simply abscond when something out of the norm confronts them. When there is a deviation from a set of expectation, they bail out! Their reasons may range from pride, other people's opinion, financial ability or simply cowardice. I do know the story of a man in the bible who was tempted to bail out from a situation he did not bargain for-Joseph the earthly father of Jesus. Imagine the audacity of his soon-to-be wife telling him she was pregnant by the holy spirit! who is fooling who? The little wench must been playing hanky panky behind his back. Mindful of the disgrace and even consequence of the pre-marital conception in that era, he purposed to quietly put her away to face the shame and punishment alone until HEAVEN INTERVENED.

"an angel of the lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived of her is from the Holy Spirit....when Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the lord commanded him and took Mary home as his wife" Matthew 1:20-24.
Despite Mary's explanations, Joseph was bent on bowing out of a situation that didn't conform with his plan  until HEAVEN INTERVENED.
There is only so much an individual can do to restore a broken relationship or win back a loved one except heaven intervenes. In the words of Paula White "whatever is for you, no power from hell can take from you". No need crying over spilt milk. It might hurt for a while but trust that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28.
In the wake of personal challenges instead of wasting over energy situations you can't help concentrate on restoring order back into your life. Eat well, exercise, pray, meditate on the word of God, in short get your groove you back on. If that person is for you, he'll coming running and if not, you are better off without them. "they went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us they would have remained with us but their going showed that none of then belonged to us" 1 John 2:9

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A mother's Devotion.

I read a heart breaking story about a young mother who used her dying breath to save her six month old baby. Jessica Arrendale sheltered her baby in the toilet after being shot in the head by her boyfriend who later turned the gun on himself.
Knowing she was dying, this brave woman gave her daughter a fighting chance at survival.
 Everyday I hear amazing stories of how mothers brave the odds to provide for their children or give them life (bear with me guys, I'll write positively about you soon.
A dear friend who was in a coma for six weeks following a stroke told me how her mother practically sold her belongings to ensure she got the best medical care. She disregarded comfort and fasted almost everyday for a year seeking heaven's mercy for her child(David did same too..good man David..lol). Many women, too numerous to mention have sacrificed for their children even to the point of death.

 The central focus of this post is drawn from 2 Samuel 21. The Gibeonites had asked that seven of Saul's sons be given to them for atonement for the mass murder he carried out on them during his reign(Please read from verse 1-14). One of Saul's concubine could not stop the killing of her two boys but she did something that broke my heart -she protected their corpses from further violation at death. "the mother of two of two of the men, spread burlap on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from tearing at them at night" vrs 10. I don't know how long harvest season was but it must have been loooong. She may not have slept either because she was working day and night protecting her "babies".  She also displayed immense bravery and strength fighting off wild animals at night. 

Her children may be dead but I'm sure she felt they deserved some semblance of honour even in death. This lady must have been deemed a crazy woman by onlookers but she was beyond caring. Moreover, her act of love spurred David to do right with the "bones" of Saul and Jonathan.  I also applaud the wisdom of Moses mum and how she hid him for three months; defying the king's edict and not minding the consequences of her action if discovered. (Exodus 2). Ordinary women exhibiting outstanding strength and bravery in the face of adversity.
I've made some sacrifices for my son too. Nothing in the league of what most women have done but sacrifices nonetheless and would gladly repeat them. After reading the biblical accounts of these brave women, I miss my mum
Paulina(as I fondly called her) was not given to too many words but her kind gestures and beautiful smile spoke volumes. When things were rough back then, she gladly sold her favourite and expensive clothes so her children could have decent meals. Even in the wake of challenges, she preferred to suffer and endured the sharp edge of a vicious tongue than leave her children to weather the storm alone. Dearest Paulina, You never asked for castles just simple pleasures. Now your children can afford to buy you as many Shawarma as you can eat but you left too soon. Guess, heaven's got better tasting Shawarma than the crap we buy here.   Miss you pretty one. Miss you Paulina.
P.S I'm still not the world's best cook but I dey try. Joshua has not suffered from stomach cramps after eating my meals, maybe he hides his pain behind his cute smile. In fact, let me ask him right away..Lol

Monday, 22 September 2014

Lord, Unrush Me.

Editor's Note:It's interesting that I'm sharing this devotion written by Lysa Terkeurst. She is an amazing speaker and best selling author. Lysa writes on an issue that I was privileged to hear from another beautiful lady, Francina Norman.  The world is in such a hurry that it misses out on the most important things in life-people and moments. These days people and events are mixed up in a blur with no opportunity to truly appreciate what's happening at any given moment. When last did you stop to enjoy nature just for the pleasure of it and not because you got stranded on the roadside?
No wonder, life is sometimes described as a rat race with people scuttling about. My son loves nature and would most times stop to appreciate colourful flowers but of course I wasn't having none of that-no time to frolic in the grass!
I never had the patience to stop and allow him have his moment until an ordinary situation changed me. Josh and I were returning home from shopping when I saw a lady stand on the grass path while her little girl picked flowers. The woman did not rush the little girl but watched with a smile on her face while her "daughter" enjoyed herself. For the woman, it was about that moment of letting a little girl enjoy herself-nothing else mattered. No rush!! Reminds me of Jesus' encounter with the woman described in Mark 5:25-34. Jesus was on an important journey but was interrupted by a woman who had an issue. Jesus did not push her way but stood and listened to her story"oh boy, did she she have a story!. Vrs 33"then the woman knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at her feet and trembling with fear told him the whole truth".  Jesus did not rush her but listened! He did not let his other assignment stop him from hearing this lady's story-she was just as important.  .
Oh that we might be UNRUSHED. Enjoy Lysa's devotion.Follow this link to read more

Friday, 19 September 2014

How to train your dragon.

*Sacha* knew without a doubt that she'd need every ounce of strength to teach her new class. She'd just recently moved down town and had taken a position to teach a group of kids whose behaviour would test the patience of  a saint. But she needed the job desperately as the extra money would help offset her college debt. Looking at the motley group of kids in front of her, she knew that mere pumping of information would not be effective, so she decided on a strategy that may get their attention-demonstrate the art of karate and get them to repeat her actions. The class found it interesting and from that simple demonstration, she was able to teach self control and alertness.
She got in that moment what days of standing in front of a chalk board and just talking couldn't achieve. She incorporated a training strategy in her teaching.

I recently concluded a professional training certification and realised the immense benefits of training as an effective tool in learning (bagged myself a distinction as well...*deafening applause* you are too kind..lol)
Training is such a misunderstood word. Most people assume teaching to be training but that's absolutely wrong. Teaching entails reeling off information while training is a demonstration of skills in the impartation of knowledge. It is simply "show and tell". A true trainer must be able to demonstrate a set of knowledge skills and not just talk and talk.

What's with all these training palava, you may wonder? It is because every believer must have training skills!! It is one thing to tell people about Christ and another to truly live the New life in Christ. This is evident in the way we speak and relate to people.  Anybody can talk "the talk" but not everyone can "live the talk". God's expectation is that we both live and talk "the talk". "be you doers of the words and hearers only, deceiving your own self" James 1:22", "therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practise is like a wise man who builds his house upon a rock" Matthew 7;24.

As a parent, I know what it is to talk "the talk" to my son. "Joshua thou shall not" is a regular feature of my conversation with my boy. After all, the bible says "train up the child in the way that he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it "Proverbs 22:6.  However. how often do I demonstrate my own instruction is another issue.  
 This scripture that is largely misunderstood means "tell them and show them". If you tell a child don't lie, then you don't lie because children learn through observation and are known to repeat what they see.. You want kindness from your child, then show kindness. For a lot of people, believers are their first encounter with Christ especially our children. Like it not, you are a book being read by many . I pray you make an interesting read.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Connect Right! Connect Well.

Everyday I am amazed at the power and influence of social media. In fact the rate of technological advancement these days is astounding. When I think I've caught up with a particular model of a device, something else shows up on the horizon, so I have stopped playing "tag the donkey" with technology especially social media. There are just too many platforms out there. Phew!! I must confess, I have forged some great friendships via social media. My active foray into the world of social media in 2008 has brought me in contact with people that have contributed actively into my life. Some of them I've never even met!! A lot of these impacts may not even have been directly addressed to me but by mere reading these group of people's  status updates, I AM BLESSED and inspired to pursue my vision. The Laugh Out Loud Comedy night was a vision inspired by these people whose pictures I'll put up later. They were not aware of this program  like I said some of them I have never met but they indirectly contributed to its birth and success. I will not even waste space  to speak about the flip side of social media on this post, not on this watch...lol. Ironically even they "contributed" inadvertently to my growth. After all, God created Cosmos out of chaos and brings beauty from ashes. So thank you "FRENIMIES".
This brings me to the central truth of this post, God uses situations and will bring people your way that will help nourish your vision. In your journey to higher heights, you will encounter people that have been divinely positioned to help actualise your purpose-good or bad. Luke 1:26:56 tells us Mary's encounter with Angel Gabriel and how the birth of Jesus was foretold. After telling Mary about her role in the Messiah's Coming, the Angel mentioned Elizabeth whose pregnancy was connected to Mary's purpose. Immediately Mary got the message, she rushed to visit her cousin(no time to waste). The angel did not tell Mary to share her vision with just anybody, friend or foe but with someone who could understand spiritual matters-someone who carried a vision as well. Scripture records that the moment Elizabeth heard Mary's voice, the baby in her womb leaped-her vision was ignited. Even Mary couldn't help but burst into praise. DIVINE CONNECTIONS.
Omobolanle Olufemi Longe
In this season, you need the right people to ignite and birth your vision. May God grant you the insight to know and hold unto the relationships that matter. Also receive grace to let go of toxic people. What you carry is too precious to be terminated. CONNECT RIGHT! CONNECT WELL!! AND SEE YOUR VISION LEAP TO LIFE.
LOLA OGI  Chief Editor www. SpiceBaby.com
Dr Temi Odejide, Snr Pastor House On the Rock London

Kelechi Anyalachi,Managing Consultants at LifeImprints.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Discipleship Takes Time

EDITOR'S NOTE: No serious farmer plants a seed and waits all night for the seed to sprout, that will be downright silly!! What farmers do is till the land, plant the seed and continually ensure the farm is well watered, de-weeded and adequately managed. They also know you cannot rush the growth process of a seed as it will adversely effect the expected fruit either in quality or quantity. Patience is the key and patience is a virtue that grows in time.  The rule of thumb in wine tasting states that the older the wine is the better the taste. Growth takes time and requires a process. Even human development is in phases-baby, teenager-adulthood etc. The Christian walk is no different. Few years ago, I attended a school of discipleship but realised being a disciple goes beyond the accumulation of knowledge or the acquisition of a certificate. It is a continuous journey that requires application of knowledge.. In order not to be half baked disciples, lets allow room for growth and this process takes time.
Enjoy this wonderful article written by Phillip Nation, publishing director for LifeWay Christian Resources. 

"Knowledge is power" An Ebola Survivor's story

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Ebola pandemic ravaging parts of Africa is cause for great concern even for the international community as a result of global travel. In countries like Liberia, thousands of lives have been lost without semblance of hope in sight. The trail of death is likened to the effect of biological warfare-devastating and horrific! In the midst of these trying news, it is with elation that news of someone surviving the horrors of these disease hits the news. I read with joy the story of Dr. Ada Igonoh one of the doctors that had contact with the late Patrick Sawyer(the first identified case of Ebola in Nigeria) and her survival story. Aside from the many reasons she highlighted, Dr.Igonoh narrated how she researched the Ebola disease even more after her diagnoses further enhancing her chances of survival. She did not depend solely on the doctors but helped herself by getting information on the disease. Information is liberating and knowledge is power. "my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6.  
The story is told of a man in the 1900 who went on a cruse from England to America. He never ate on board the ship throughout the trip as he though the ticket only covered his travel but not the meals. The "poor" man brought his own food for the long journey. At the end of the trip, the Captain asked why they never saw him at meal times. The man explained his reason to the Captain. The Captain replied, "sir, the ticket included all the meals as well". I'm sure the man felt stupid  but it was no one's fault but his!! There is no bliss in ignorance.  Beyond what you learn in church, dust the cobwebs off your bible and study.
picture courtesy Miss Pitite Nigeria blogspot.