Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

So it’s been a little while since I reproduced my notes from church, not because I haven’t been attending, but because… *sheepish grin* I’m sorry. I’m glad you’re here though because today’s sermon you cannot afford to miss!

I attend HolyHill Church, and if you’re regular here you know I’m always talking about how I enjoy worshiping there, the choir ministrations, the Word of God that feeds my spirit, and the focus on charity the church has using HolyHill Relief Foundation. I love it! 

On the other hand, I’ve heard a lot about Pastor Poju Oyemade; a number of my friends swear by his messages, and I keep hearing great stories about him. Interestingly, I’ve never listened to any of his teachings, and even though I’m in Lagos a lot, somehow I’ve never been to his church.

Then it was announced that Pastor Poju would be at church on Thursday and for some reason I was super excited in my spirit. I knew I would attend.

Fast forward to Thursday evening, I was in church (EARLY), and a really intense worship session, after which Pastor Sunday Ogidigbo introduced Pastor Poju. Cue my thumping, really expectant heart.

The rest of this post is my reproduction of the notes I took during the sermon. Ready? May God bless the entrance of His words into our hearts, amen.

Title: The Economy of Faith – God’s Economic System

Exodus 6:3

El-Shaddai – God of the field. When God revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He introduced Himself as the one who causes fields to produce in abundance… as the God of the marketplace. God is the God of the fields, the one that teaches our hands to profit.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amplified Version) “And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.”

Such a powerful scripture! (There and then I downloaded the Amplified Bible onto my iPad; no time!)

Deuteronomy 11:10, 8:17, 28:11

When you refuse to work at all, there is nothing for God’s rain to fall on. You’re not in the game. Joseph was working in jail and God met him there.

The mystery is, how can anything good come out of Nazareth? Mark 4:30

Give God something to work with – He needs a seed in the ground for His rain to fall on. Even if working for free is the way to get in, do it. Get in the game.

The History of Money

Barter system – French Opera singer (there was a story here about the barter system starting to fail and this singer who was paid in sheep, goats, pigs, and thousands of coconuts and then had the problem of transporting her pay home, lolololol) – value system for products and services. Money moves when products and services of value are exchanged.

Entrepreneurship – using your skill to open the doors for business. Offering – giving a gift without expecting anything in return.

Wisdom creates labor-saving devices. We, as Christians should be full of this wisdom which is a product of the rain of heaven.

Warren Buffet said, “Acquire skills that no one else has, or invest in those who have these skills”.

The ideas God wants to give to me will be too much for me so I will start to trade in them – consultancy/strategy.

The value is not in the ground but in the idea applied to the product in the ground. For example, crude oil. It was just this black, gooey substance in the ground till someone figured out that refined it could do all the things that earned it the name, ‘black gold’.

The starting point to operating God’s economy is this…

  • When we start doing anything, whatever we make from it is not the point. Whatever we are given, whenever we are given, take God’s part and give to Him. Then He will pour out A Blessing that we won’t have room to contain.

But we need to start doing something first. The strategy of the church is (and should be) “…wherever the soles of our feet tread upon…” Where are your feet going/treading?

  • No matter what we’re doing, praise God there. Give thanks – the earth is waiting to yield increases for us when we praise.
  • Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. John 15: 5 God is the husbandman though, John 15:1, and the scriptures say the husbandman is the first partaker of the fruit. So why do we deny him the first fruits?

Anything I release of my own freewill without any demands on the recipient (implied or not) God rewards by Himself. Prosperity is not in material things but the next big idea God drops in your heart.

It was Daniel, it was Joseph, it was Jacob; God is quicker to put His people as right hand, influential men/advisers rather than kings.

Final word: Get to the office excited tomorrow and pray down God’s rain on your place of business. Glory to God!!

And that was it, the message ended while I was still on the edge of my seat, waiting to drink just a bit more. Argh!! Ah well, means I’m hooked on his messages now jor. Totally!

Good news; the message is available for download on our church website, and you’re welcome to fellowship with us in person or online.

God bless you!

 

 

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How’s everyone doing?

Good weekend? Ready for the week? This is going to be one of my busiest but I thought I’d take a few minutes and say a big hello to everyone, play catch up a bit.

So my niece and nephew were ill, one had malaria and a tummy bug, and the other one had a cold that stretched at least two weeks, and she still had it after she gave it to me. We spent small time in the hospital, and that’s where the story about blood donation came from (I published that recently).

I’ve also done a bit of local travel, looking forward to when I can take a proper holiday… I owe myself two – one for my birthday and the other because life is short and we should take time off to rest and be quiet when we can. Amen?

God dey.

Work is alright… Moved into a new office in June and we’re getting settled in really nicely. Really thankful to God for that, and the immediate possibilities I see for expansion.

Still on work, got two interesting referrals recently, a stark reminder that clients, no matter how little, matter and an excited client post your custom might make a difference as much as 24 months after. I’m really thankful for the referrals, and now just need God’s help to ensure that we beat the standards we’re being held to. Amen?

On Saturday I was privileged to speak at my church’s business/entrepreneur summit, and I drew my topic/talk from some work I’d done for a client recently. I spoke on minding the gaps and facing the direction of travel. Corny I know but it was a good opportunity to fuse my love for trains with my experiences as a student, an employee, and now an employer. It was interesting for me to talk about some of the lessons I’ve learned, and how each step leads to the next, and the next, and the next. It was also very instructive to talk about the place of God in business, and the mistakes I’ve made simply because I ignored the still small voice telling me no. I had a good time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

What else? I’m happy. Sweet baby Jesus this daughter of God is happy. I am joy-like-a-river, peace-like-a-fountain, love-like-an-ocean brand of happy. Such a beautiful feeling. Everything in my life; experiences, joy, sadness, mistakes, successes; everything that I have seen has prepared me for where I am now, and I am thankful to God for His many blessings and precious gifts. There’s a new mercy every single day! And I’m loving it!

Finally, I need to get back in the gym. Don’t know why I’m typing this instead of renewing my membership but yeah, this child needs to be back in that place where more calories are burnt than piled on. Yep. This week is out of the question sha, and I’m not bothered in the least what you think! *sticks tongue out*

Finally finally, lol. My nephew moves to reception next school session! Whoop! He’s officially a big boy now! Interestingly, he’s slowly outgrowing the millions of hugs and kisses I drown him in, and he’s only four! I thought they didn’t start all of that till much later? Arrrrrghhhh! Bring back my baby! *sad face*

Finally finally finally, I got a birthday gift yesterday… I know o, this is still for the birthday that passed in May. Is the Lord laying it on your heart to send me a pressie? Harden not your heart biko!

How have you been? Are you keeping okay? Are you doing well? Want to share? Please do!

Mwah!

PS: A song in the back of my mind for a few days now has been “we are h-a-p-p-y, we are h-a-p-p-y, we know we are we are sure we are, we are h-a-p-p-y!” (If you went to primary school in Nigeria this should ring a bell… or two… or three… or four… I’ll stop here)!

So it’s my Pastor’s birthday today, whoop! Pastor Sunday Ogidigbo is the golden age of 39, and he decided to share with us 39 principles he’s learned through 20 years of following Jesus, 19 years of preaching the word, and 5 years of pastoring full-time.

Ready for it? You better be!
39 things that equal wisdom for daily living.
1. Be planted in the word of God; listen to it, apply it, abide by and be guided by the word. Let His word lighten your path and guide your steps.
2. Be prayerful, not because you feel like it but because you ought to. Pray in the spirit, in your understanding, in season and out of season.

3. Be addicted to fellowship. As long as the iron is in the fire the fire will be in the iron. When you stay connected to God in the place of fellowship you remain on fire for Him. Executive Christianity will profit you nothing.

4. Fast often. It must be part of your lifestyle, at least once a week. Fasting is a spiritual catalyst.

5. Join a service unit, be useful in the house of God.

6. Join a smaller fellowship unit in the church.

7. Read books. Develop the gift and passions inside you.

8. Surround yourself with Godly friends. Any friend who isn’t helping you grow is destroying you; if you’re not changing them they’re changing you.

9. Have faith in God. Flood your heart with materials that will build your faith.

10. Read biographies whether they be men of God, politicians, sportsmen, social activists.

11. Be a giver… Giving is the proof that you’ve conquered greed. Give as you have, to God to your parents, to the needy, and with the right attitude.

12. Find a mentor. In the multitude of counsel there is wisdom; follow people who are headed in the same direction you want to go. Be accountable to them, submit to them.

13. Be holy. Holiness is the quality that validates our ‘sonship’.

14. Be a soul winner. Be a public Christian. If you are ashamed of Him He will be ashamed of you.

15. Be generous. The liberal soul will be made fat.

16. Be a person of integrity and honour. Be true to God, to men, and to yourself. Don’t make promises you won’t keep. Let your words be bankable.

17. Honour all men. Treat elders like your parents, accord them the respect they are due. Fear God, honour the King, love the brotherhood.*Don’t ever conclude on a Christian, you don’t know what God has in store for them.
18. Be contented. Learn to enjoy the things that you have.

19. Be supernatural. Don’t operate based on the things you hear, see, read.

20. Be humble. Humility engraces and enthrones. God gives supernatural support to the humble.

21. Work hard, work smart. Work to learn before you work to earn.

22. Learn to understand people. Be tactful, political, and diplomatic.

23. Be hospitable, allow people to eat your food and drink. Accommodate strangers.

24. Dream big. Visions are free, get yours. Money is too small to be a dream.

25. Be purposeful

26. Live your life on information and revelation.

27. Meditate on the word. Meditation is to your spirit what digestion is to the body.

28. Attitude is everything. The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

29. Love is the greatest. Love will always guarantee victory regardless of what life throws at you.

30. Be friendly. Try. Celebrate the successes of others. People never forget how you make them feel.

31. Be simple. Simple is hard but powerful and effective. Be brief.

32. If you have nothing to say, keep quiet. Train your mind so your mouth talks wisdom. A foolish man who talks less will be seen as wise.

33. Fear God. A fool says in his heart that there’s no God.

34. Don’t live on impulse. Let principles guide your life so it has a sense of direction.

35. Be gentle. Blue flames burn hotter, empty barrels make the most noise.

36. Self control.

37. Control your appetite, especially for food, sex, and sleep. A man who cannot control these three cannot be a vessel into God to be used by him.

38. Family is important. After God comes your spouse and children.

39. Hold no grudge, begrudge no man.

Happy birthday pastor Sunday! Thank you for yielding yourself to God and HIs great work, and for constantly dividing the word of truth with such simplicity. God bless you today and everyday!

So my Pastor has been teaching about giving, and because I’m a good person (he he he), I’ve been reproducing my notes on here for you good people of God. There’s another dimension or teaching on understanding giving here (you’re welcome).

Ready? Quick prayer: Dear Lord, may these letters bring light to our hearts and life to our hands. May we be blessed and divinely guided by reason of your word we’re sharing here today. Amen.

Ok, let’s go for it!
An offering is something precious given to God as part of worship; consistent with the worship of God is the giving of an offering. In Genesis 4, we learn that offerings predated tithes (Genesis 14)
Six elements of an offering

1. The gift, the thing that is brought.

2. The giver, just as important as the gift brought.

3. The receiver. There are two people involved in receiving the offering; the church, and God.

4. The offer. You can give an offering without offering it because ‘the offer’ is of the mind. Ananias and Sapphira brought an offering but it wasn’t offered.

5. The acceptance or the rejection. The receiver reserves the right to accept or reject the offering.

6. The blessing. Every time an offering is offered and it is accepted, there is a blessing.
*It is better to give to the poor than to give to your pastor. Matthew 25: 34-46
Ten thoughts about offerings

1. There are different types of offerings. Worship offerings (typically given at church services), project offerings (Moses collected this from the Israelites when they were building the temple), charity offerings, prophet offerings, partnership, first fruit, etc.
*Every time God calls for a seed, it’s because there’s a harvest ahead.

2. Offerings can either be free willed or commanded.

Don’t give emotionally, don’t ever feel pressured to commit yourself to an offering or pledge you’ve not been led to commit to by God.
3. The first person to bring an offering in the Bible was Cain, but that offering was rejected.

Genesis 3.
4. The second person to bring an offering was Abel, and it was accepted. So Cain was the first to ‘bring’, but Abel was the first to ‘give’.

*Cain’s offering was rejected not because it was grains and fruits and Abel’s was animals, but because it wasn’t his best.
5. There are two components in every gift; the material component which is seen, and the honour component which ascends to God.
*The weight of the offering is not in the material component but in the honour; it’s the heart from which the gift is brought.
6. The heart, attitude, character, and motive of the offering is just as important as the offering brought. Where the heart is malicious, angry, or impure, the offering is lost. Genesis 4:4-7.

Matthew 5:23-24
*Your destiny should be too important for malice.
The most important gift is our hearts and souls to Christ, it is only then we have as it were accounts where our offerings are recorded.
7. The offering is a spiritual seed, the soil is the heart of the giver. Joy fertilises our seed (reason why we’re told to give cheerfully).
8. God is the ultimate recipient of all the gifts we give.
9. Humans are involved in the receipt of any offering, whether it is to the poor, our parents, in church, wherever. Offerings are not only given in church.
10. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Bring what you’ve purposed in your heart.
Plan your giving, and give your best (within your means). Don’t treat God like a conductor.
Be prompt in your giving.
Pay your vows. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6

I hope this blessed you, and I pray you have a fabulous week!

Welcome to church!

So my church pastor started a series on giving, and I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ll try my best to share it with you! Ready?

Giving and receiving are cardinal functions of life that cannot be broken or suspended without consequences. Life as we know it operates on the principle of giving and receiving.
Giving and receiving is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the church because people approach God like they approach gambling.


Why do we give?

1. We give because it is a law. Luke 6:38

Most times you don’t reap where you sow, you reap what you sow.

2. We give because we are in love with God.

3. We give because we are alive, to sustain life.

4. We give to honour God, and to honour man. Proverbs 3:9.

*The first fruit principle: By choice, not to be compelled. It is the first increase in anything we’re doing.

5. We give to be of help. Luke 10:33.

The reason why some people are hungry is because some others are greedy.

6. We give to worship God. Exodus 23:15

7. We give to stir the covenant we have with God.

8. We give to stop plagues, to destroy hardship. 2 Samuel 24:17-25

9. We give to provoke a blessing.

10. Giving moves God.

When do we give?
1. According to Ecclesiastes 11:6, we are to give every time.

2. We give in season and out of season.

3. We give when we have, and when we don’t have.

It is not what you give, but the heart behind the gift.

Where do we give?

1. Giving must begin at home.

2. On the street. Giving to people who are disadvantaged and cannot give back to you is one of the most fertile soils.

3. You give in church.

4. You give in the office.

How to give?

1. Give cheerfully. The attitude with which you give is just as important as the gift you give. 2 Cor 9:7

2. Give tearfully. Psalm 126:6

3. Give sacrificially, going beyond the call of duty in giving your seed. It is the giving that comes at a cost.

4. Give bountifully. 2 Cor 9:6 Bountifulness is not in the quantity but in the quality.

5. Give consistently.

6. Give systematically.

7. Give with expectation. “It is a sin to give without expectation” – Mike Murdock.

Who to give to?

1. To God

2. To your family

3. To the house of God

Matthew 5:23

Give to widows. Galatians 2:10

Give to strangers, Hebrews 13:2

*It is better to give to the poor, than to give to your pastor.”
Giving doesn’t have to be money. There are a lot of things we can give!

1. Money. 2. Time. 3. Talent. 4. Material things. 5. Good words. 6. Food, drinks, and water.

7. Shelter. 8. Good smiles!

Give someone a smile today!

I attended church on Sunday the 8th of November 2015, and just as church today (in January 2016) is ending, I decided I wanted to share that word with you.

What church do I attend? HolyHill Church, which is on Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2. I love my church, and believe it is the place where God waters and feeds my soul. I love the worship sessions the focus on prayer, the commitment to the poor, and the informal, yet direct line to God.

Pastor Sunday taught on the title of this post, how to become an element of change on earth. Below are my notes literally copied and pasted, and I hope it blesses you like it blessed me.

1. My thoughts.

I’m the one who determines when my morning season comes. Regardless of Gods calendar for my life, if I am not willing and obedient I will not eat the good of the land.

There are certain things that come into my hand that I know are not mine. I must become attuned to the voice of God and ask whether the thing in my hand is seed or bread.

2. My dreams.

The dreams of God seek to establish His will upon the earth. Any dream that doesn’t factor in my community or helping people around me is an ambitious dream, not Gods kind of dream.

3. My words.

What am I saying to and about myself?

John 6:63 My words are spirits, they create my experience, my future, my world. Any areas of my life where I’m currently experiencing darkness just needs the Word of God for light to be shone there.

As a child of God I should speak the promise not the problem.

What’s within me dictates to my environment, reason why I should be particularly careful what I allow into myself.

4. My faith.

Until I come to a place of faith, there won’t be a performance of the things God has promised. Hebrews 11:1,2. Faith should be my lifestyle by default. I need to doubt my doubts, send faith to open the door when fear knocks. Faith is essential for reproducing the supernatural in the natural. Hebrews 10:38.

1 Tim 2:12

*When the devil comes to trouble me, if I stand on the word, he will leave because he is not omnipresent and has other people to trouble.

Jude 1:3

It is not over till I win. This is the only game where the referee is on my side and won’t blow the whistle till I win! Hallelujah! Hebrews 11: 6.

Faith doesn’t always produces instantly; it’s not always ‘name it and claim it. Sometimes it takes a process, for instance the Hebrew boys thrown in the lion’s den. Sometimes our faith is tested, and we must remain hooked/fixed on God the entire time.

I have the DNA of greatness, long as I don’t lose my faith; regardless of where I am, what people do to me, that DNA will reproduce. So quit fighting people when they wrong/cheat me, not only will my faith reproduce, I place vengeance in the hands of God. Think Isaac and the wells he was building till he came to his Rehoboth.

When things are going rough, ask God what He is teaching, how best to remain under His wings, and grace to understand the times and seasons and also to align myself with His will.

May avoid amplify these words in our hearts and cause it to do us good. Amen!

Isaiah 54:1-4 God will do things in my life that will reverse whatever shame or loss I’ve suffered. Amen o! Big amen! Even if this shame was self-inflicted, God is more than able to reverse it and bring me into the place of glory He’s designed for me! Glory to God!

Welcome to church! This service I attended on the 20th of December 2015, and I’ve had to put my own title of the message because I don’t remember what it was. Don’t know how I didn’t write it down.

I hope it blesses you, and if you’re ever in Abuja and want to come through to fellowship with us, you’re more than welcome to do so! HolyHill church, meeting at Immaculate Suites, Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2.

Romans 14:1-19 (this scripture contains basic principles that will help us navigate this course called life In explaining new concepts or ideas, it is best to start with isolating what it is not first.

A lot of things we burden ourselves with or restrict ourselves by in the name of religion are not scripture-based.

Don’t discriminate against others in the faith who may not be as ‘strong’ as you are. Even people who are not in the fair deserve our love and prayers, not condemnation. It is this ‘our way or the highway’ stance that has bred radicalization and extremism in our world today. Even Jesus had friends who didn’t believe.

People have rights to their opinions, and we should respect them.

It is better, more rewarding and sustainable for people to come to your Jesus because they can see Him in you rather than you forcing Him down their throats.

Don’t allow your station in life to make you resentful of people who are better off than you are. Conversely, when you’re doing great, don’t mock people doing badly so you don’t become them and experience that life.

Kingdom prosperity is not measured by material things…pertinent to note this because sometimes we erroneously equate Christianity with wealth. So when people are not doing well we attribute it to their sins. Think Lazarus.

Godliness delivers prosperity, however, it is not a measure of Godliness.

Three pillars of Godliness (things our lives must be defined by)

1. Righteousness: The kingdom of God is primarily centred around our relationship and harmony with God. Romans 14:17

Righteousness is boldly standing before God without any shame or blemish; saved/cleansed from sin and empowered to do good by the Holy Spirit.

“As a Christian I must get to a point where my creed is equal to my deeds” – TL Osborn.

2. Peace: freedom, absolute liberty from strife or offence. The peace of God that passes all understanding should permeate your life enough to give you calm/rest even when storms are raging around you.

Peace is material prosperity in a form that cannot be seen or touched.

3. Joy: this is our spiritual lubricant, the only one recommended for our spirit-man. Joy is the connector, the thing that brings all that should accrue to me as a child of God into my space.

I pray that you take God’s joy with you! Have a fabulous week!

This particular person? I don’t remember how we met. Like I tried to search my brain this morning, no luck. But, she’s one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Francesca is the angel God sent from heaven to save me from myself, yank me out of self-pity, stress, fear, you name it. Fran is the person who will listen to me complaining about something and in the middle of my well-prepared speech will go, “but Chisco I reject this feeling of sadness in the mighty name of Jesus!” I either start laughing (I think it’s something with the way she pronounces ‘Jesus’ when she’s trying to shut me up), or I start crying because I’m overwhelmed. But she never leaves me there. She will sit with me (even if over the phone), and be quiet with me till I’m better, or till she decides she’s had enough then she’ll go back to bullying me!!

Lol. I love her. Few females I really love (or love at all), and she’s one of them. Everyone needs a friend like her. Someone who you can be silly with, who accepts you the way you are (and loves you intensely), who prays for/with you, who is real. That’s it, Onomarie (and I can never say this name right) is real.

2015 was the year I learned not to be afraid. Pause.

That’s not entirely true. Let me rephrase that.

2015 was the year I learnt to face my fears, confront AND overcome them.

You see, I’d often viewed “facing fear” as something soft or abstract – not overly ground-shifting or life-altering. The loss of a job maybe, a bad breakup, or an uncomfortable confrontation; you know, difficult things, but not really life and death.

Well. Let’s just say life happened.

I lost my father on the 2nd of January 2015, and in many ways it is still a shock, almost unbelievable actually. That swift, sudden, brutal and absolutely painful event shattered every single thing in my life. I hated God, life, my immediate family, my late father (God rest his soul), and everybody else I came in contact with. I was seething with this volcanic-like rage; just bitter, angry, lost, grieving and waiting to erupt. I wanted to colour the world black, because that is how my soul felt – dark and odious. Like Job said in the Bible, “the thing I feared most had come upon me.”

But fear (and grief) are heavy burdens to carry; they poison everything they come in contact with. So I had to make a (hard) decision – to keep moving, or to let my grief (and fear) consume me. My father may have died, but I was still living. I owed it to his memory, and more importantly, to myself, to live wholesomely and completely. As long as I had breath in my lungs, dreams in my heart, and yearning in my spirit, I would keep living, and by God, I would keep moving forward.

So I reset myself – my soul, my mind, and my spirit – not an easy task to do by the way. I cried when I had to, (still do that sometimes). I learned to share my grief, my questions, my angst, my concerns, with my friends and burden-helpers, those who upheld me like pillars, people who fought tirelessly to move me out of the funk. Those who gave me tough love by saying “Okay, that’s enough, no more now.” Those who sent messages of hope, encouragement and humour, those who stood in the gap for me, who prayed, sent me food, or just sat with me.

It’s been an incredible year really. I lost my father, but I gained an incredible perspective on life. I learned that family is less and less those who bear the same surname with you, but much more about those who share your grief and your triumphs. I learned that putting someone you love in the ground, is one of the worst things that can happen to you, but maybe also the most important, because you value more, those you have with you. I’ve learned to be less patient with time-wasters; people who take and take from you – your time, your energy, your resources, your emotions, – without giving back. I’ve learned to immerse myself fully in life, to laugh, to learn, to travel, to love, by God, to live!! I’ve learned to live this life honestly, completely, fully, but also intentionally. Never before, have I been this desperate to accomplish God’s call and purpose for my life. Never before have I cared less about “haters” or “enemies” what are those? Only distractions. Only pesky scarecrows in my rich field of wheat and barley.

I have learned that fear is there to be overcome; you must not let it rule you. Fear is not of God, it’s from the devil. I have learned to look fear in the eye and say “ehen, you’ve hit me with your best shot, now fuck off!.” I have learned to stand. Oh! to stand and keep standing. I have learned to stand victoriously. I have learned focus and the beauty of rising up from ashes.

I have learned that my scars are my greatest assets; that instead of reminding me of the past and filling me with regret, that they point me towards the future, towards the woman I am meant to be, towards the woman I am becoming. I have learned love – that it is ABSOLUTELY about giving – anything less than that, is jive. I have found God again, anew, different, deeper. I am listening for Him more, involving Him with everything – from the mundane to the important. Oh! And I am still fighting fear, daily – in my work, in my mind, in my spirit, but I am winning, because I am of God’s I CANNOT lose.

I don’t know exactly what 2016 has in store for me, but I imagine that it will be a year of achieving big goals and dreams. I’m standing ready. As the Yoruba proverb goes: “there is nothing coming from the sky that the earth cannot handle.” That is me, standing ready, standing prepared, because the earth is mine and the fullness thereof. Bring it on 2016!

My gorgeous friend...

My gorgeous friend…

I love you chekeleke. My sister-girl!

Every now and then you meet someone (even if virtually) who is such an encourager they act like they’re not on this same earth with all the attendant issues. That’s Eloho. From the first time she popped up on my timeline (I don’t know how) I’ve never seen her say an unkind word or anything that doesn’t uplift a spirit.

And she loves Jesus. Icing on the cake, or maybe the cake itself!

It’s so magical though, the way she is. And I’m sure you’ll love her entry as much as I did! She’s super special, and that’s why she’s up today, Christmas Day! Merry Christmas to you, and you, and you!

My name is Eloho, I am a financial analyst in Lagos, Nigeria and when I’m not doing that, I love to sing, read and just live life one day at a time experiencing God’s ‘stupendous grace.’ I also love kids, and love to see people happy and walking in purpose.

What did I learn? Let’s say I learned a whole lot. Let’s go

  • I learned that God IS!!! He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Like a pancake, seems like God turned me over just as I turned light brown to give me this assurance.
  • I learned that what we know will be tested and we had better be ready. 2015 tested my faith, my resolve and trust in God deeper than the most recent years. But I learned that God’s grace is sufficient, He doesn’t allow more than we can bear.
  • I learned about perspective and timing. It’s a new day at midnight, you know. But the only reason I can celebrate the new day is because I have knowledge and a clock. It’s the same thing with life. My attitude and response to the darkness is a function of my perspective.
  • I learned from my 6-year-old cousin, that ‘nice is different than good…’ Doing what is right and good doesn’t always feel nice but it is the proper thing to do. I’m still learning not to let the fact that the right decision might hurt someone stop me from going ahead to make it.
  • I learned that wisdom is greater than weapons of war. Not every time fight, sometimes just apply wisdom.
  • I learned that ‘Peace is a radar’, far above anything. It is the compass for my life’s journey. Constantly in my face is the image of boiling water and the lack of a reflection therein. Peace is all I need for clarity and if anything ceases to bring me peace, it has to go.
  • I learned that when we think we are infallible in a certain area, we set ourselves up to fail because we are least prepared in that area. Let Him who thinks He stands take heed lest he fall became very literal for me.
  • I learned that we cannot by an act of the flesh bring the promise to pass. Desperation and listening to people may make us feel as though waiting on God is not enough. But I learned by my own Sarah type experience to ‘lean in.’
  • I learned to appreciate the small moments. I lost a friend, Hammed Ajiboye this year. I miss him and wish I made some more time for him.

These lessons didn’t come easy. But I’m grateful that as painful as the experiences that birthed them might have been, I AM better.

Adjusts mic to an appropriate height at the award podium, smiles and pulls out a tiny sheet of paper.

  • I am most grateful for my stupendous wealth in family and my friends. I could go on and on here. God brought amazing people into my life as well. I was NEVER alone.
  • I’m grateful for favor. God continues to surround me with favor everywhere I go.
  • I am most grateful for revelation and clarity. Slowly and steadily, I am gaining a better understanding of what I am here for.
  • I am grateful for ‘discontentment’ and how it’s pushing me out of my ‘comfort zone.’
  • Grateful for my journey so far. Not the script I would have written but it has strengthened me and left me in awe of God’s sovereignty.
  • I’m grateful for service and the opportunity to give back. I derived so much joy from a lot of those moments.

To what I would do differently if I could? I would be a little easier on myself. Gosh, I was quite hard on myself for the mistakes I made but now I have resolved to fail forward and trust that everything is working out for good.

I would also imagine some more. Think I got jaded at some point and just existed. But no, God is able to do far more than I can ask or IMAGINE. So it is time to imagine wildly and boldly and LIVE again.

31 days of gratitude

She’s such a gorgeous soul! I can’t wait to meet you, has to happen in 2016! Merry Christmas @Eloxie (That’s her on Twitter, I say follow her, you’ll be glad she did!)

Awwww, I really like Tony! I remember meeting him at church once (House on The Rock The Refuge), but I don’t remember if that was the first time we met or if we’d met before. I also know he called me on my birthday this year, whoop! And he has a brother in the Army, who is on the frontlines of this fight against Boko Haram. Kai, I don’t know if I would be able to sleep at night ever if my brother was in the Army… then if he was in the Army and actually fighting! My poor heart. I’m just grateful his brother is fine, and ask that we all keep him in our prayers please?

Tony’s entry is lovely, really lovely, and then it’s so powerful, like punchline after punchline! It resonates with me in a lot of ways and encourages me in a lot of ways, and I know it will do just that for you too.

My name is Tony Atambi. I’m Nigerian (proudly so). I’m a lawyer who currently lives and works in Abuja; also a Christian gentleman.

As with every other person, at the beginning of the year 2015, I was all pumped up and ready to go. Felt like new vistas had been opened up to me and I was just going to cruise through. You know that feeling I speak about.

Errrm…Let’s just say as the year went on, motivation waned far too many times, I felt like I was stuck in a rut far too many times, not knowing with the slightest precision what to do next with my life. And so there were quite a number of times where, as a result of the worry arising from life not being in motion, I slid into depression.

Flowing from the above is the first major lesson I learnt in 2015;

  • Motion doesn’t equate progress. If you have ever tied motion (being up and about for up and about sake) with progress, you might wanna discard that thought. It is not valid. Being busy is simply what it is – Busy. Busy doesn’t necessarily mean progress. The guy trying to empty the Atlantic Ocean is busy but he will never make any progress.

On closer examination of my thoughts, I realized that I just wanted to be busy, regardless of whether it was productive or not. It pays sometimes to take a break and ask if you’re just running around or getting productive.

  • I learnt that my fears are not necessarily valid. In fact, I dare say fears are not valid. The fact that you fear something doesn’t confer it with the capacity to happen. There is no truth about fear. You fear what may or could happen. Yet it is never certain. So I find that sometimes, the things we fear are things we should really confront.

I’m immediately reminded of my brother who is fighting the insurgents in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. I used to be so afraid for his life, especially when we are inundated daily with stories of soldiers who are either missing or dead. But I realized that each time I call him, he’s always available to take my calls. So the fact that I feared that something could happen to him doesn’t mean it did happen. Discard your fears. They are not valid.

Plus, nobody became a great success because they feared, anyway.

  • Most importantly, I learnt to be thankful to The One who has the master plan and to trust in that master plan. I’m a firm believer in the plan that God has for our lives. I didn’t see clearly, everything He has planned out. But this year, I took my trust in God a notch higher.

There are an array of things I’m grateful for. But here are a few.

  • Peace of mind. The outgoing year brought along a few storms but in the midst of it all, I had the peace that could only have come from a supernatural place. God, actually. And so even when it seemed like the world was going to come crashing down on me, peace flooded my heart like a river.
  • I’m grateful for the beauty of falling in love (yeah, this is my emotional side) and being loved in return. 2015 brought along to me, a certain amazing lady and Lord knows, I’m in love. Baby, if you can see this, you know I love you to tiny little bits.
  • I’m grateful for second chances to start again. God has given me far too many of them. I wouldn’t give me that much grace if I was God. LOL.
  • I’m grateful for the grace to always speak a word in season that blesses someone. Every now and then, I put out tweets that serve to minister to and encourage people. I get very positive feedback all the time. In my little corner, God has used me to bring His word to people. He takes all the glory.

One thing I’d undo in 2015 is stalling the execution of a few plans. But hey…2016 is right around the corner and I hope to reach for higher accomplishments. We can now clink glasses and drink to an even more amazing 2016!

tony atambi

What a gentleman! Unfortunately ladies, this one here’s taken! Here’s to an amazing 2016 Tony, please invite us to eat jollof rice next year o, God bless you!