Posts Tagged ‘Sunday’

Sometime in February, I had a chat with a Pastor friend of mine, and what started out as me doing him a favor turned out to be the fulfillment of the perfect plan of God for him to mentor me. Apparently he had received this word as far back as 2009 but at the time we spoke (2014) the time was right. Don’t you just love God and the way He absolutely plans things?

Anyway, by the end of the evening (and we must have talked for a little under four hours), I was the proud owner of a beautiful Message Bible, and Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. Whoop!

I dug up a book by my Father in the Lord, Pastor Obi Goodheart Ekwueme which just has little pearls of wisdom for each day and so my devotion literally revolves around these two and a devotionals on my phone on the YouVersion App. This particular one is a 40-day Bible reading plan, created by Hillsongs (my home church), whoop!

So! I started on all three, and brethren (testimony mode), it’s been great! Some days I’ve been so excited with the new knowledge I glean that I call my Momma to preach it to her! PS – my Momma has prayed all three of us into loving the Lord, and am I grateful for that or what!

A few days ago, the topic for the day in ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ was all about surrendering to God, worshipping Him in ways that are acceptable to Him, and becoming intimate with Him. Yeah? Now that I think of it, that’s been the theme over the last four days or so.

Anyway, this particular morning the topic revolved around loving God being a process rather than a one-time action. It said it was a marathon (never-ending), not a sprint. The same way friendships and relationships get stronger and grow fonder courtesy constant interaction, the same way our relationships with God will grow only by constant communication. You don’t love your family and then not talk to them in weeks or months ( I can safely say I speak to at least one member of my family). Seven if you add my 23month old Boo Boo! How much more God?

It also talked about offering ourselves up as a ‘living sacrifice’, again alluding to the need for constant fellowship with God. And this is the part that amused me. It said the reason why we need to constantly rededicate ourselves up to God is because a living sacrifice can “crawl away from the altar”. Lol!

When you think of it though, we are alive aren’t we? Think of crawling babies; I know for sure that they never remain where you keep them (my nephew is a living, breathing, testimony to that)

And so everyday is a fresh opportunity to say to the Lord, “I’m willing to be used by you today, talk to me, I love you and want to please you with my day”. It doesn’t mean you should be on your knees for the 24 hours in your day, it just means you shouldn’t sing “Onward Christian soldiers” on a Sunday, and then go AWOL on a Monday! Lol, that’s another thing that amused me from the devotional.

I’m going through a phase in my life right now and these words have helped me stay strong and rooted in God; I hope they bring encouragement and joy to your heart today. Amen!

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I Skyped with my sister earlier today, and one of the first things she said to me was, “you’re wearing my sweater”. Lol! I think she gave me this sweater in 2002 or so, and even then I think Momma gave it to her. So much love, memories and family in this now shapeless cardigan, but it is one of my favorites.

It’s one of my ‘I want to remember my family’ pieces; others include my Daddy’s sweatshirt, gloves, muffler (he gave me o, I didn’t ‘take’ them). Then there’s Momma’s leggings, my aunty Pat’s wrapper, and so many bits and pieces from my sister’s wardrobe. I have my brother’s Abercrombie and Fitch cropped pants (they went from very baggy to fitted, lol), and a fleece I got from an Egypt Air flight because it smelled like my nephew!

Quick story, and you dare not laugh! 2010 I resumed for the Masters in Birmingham and in the first week I was there (and totally not liking it), I went to the library to get some work done. When I was leaving it occurred to me that my dad’s muffler I had wrapped myself with wasn’t on my neck again. I remembered when my neck felt a little too exposed as I ran into the library (it was a really windy day) and when it dawned on me that I might have lost it, I ran out of the library and defying the wind, started retracing my steps.

God had mercy on me, and I saw that someone had picked it up and placed it on a window ledge. The way I cried when I picked it eh, you’d think I had just found my missing child. Sigh. I think I even apologised to the scarf sef. (Rolling my eyes so you don’t have to roll yours 🙂

Still on my dad, he had a funny habit when we were younger. On the occasions we didn’t leave the house together and we met up in church or anywhere else, he would look at us and immediately know who was wearing something belonging to the other sibling. And he wouldn’t just know, he would say!

I can’t count how many times I heard him say, “why are you wearing your sister’s dress?” Na wa. Somehow it always made me laugh, especially since 9 times out of 10, he’d be right! Always made me laugh.

After a while though, everyone grew up, it kind of became a chore knowing who was wearing whose clothes, and after a while he stopped. I miss it o, the twinkle in his eyes whenever he said that.

Still on my dad (and clothes), when I was about 13 I read this scripture, Matthew 6:25“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” And from then on, my answer to whatever I was asked would be “I’m not giving it any thought.”

Now, Saturday nights were spent (amongst other things like Scrabble between my folks or us kids), arranging our clothes for Sunday. This particular Saturday night, I refused to bring out and iron my Sunday dress, because I was, ‘having no thought’. To be honest, I had an outfit planned (in my head) and I figured that when I brought it out the next morning, they would believe I was really ‘living the scripture’.

After asking a couple times, everyone left me (especially when I started singing the scripture). The evening and the morning, Sunday! I woke up, showered, and went to my wardrobe to pull out my planned outfit.

….

……

It was there o, but apparently I’d worn it somewhere quite a while before that day and not only did I have food stains on the front, something was wrong with the zip!

I cried that morning eh! Plenty cry! My folks were gracious that morning, very gracious, it’s my brother and sister who couldn’t stop laughing. SMH. I don’t remember what I ended up wearing, I think it was something Momma had been trying to get me to wear, and that morning I didn’t have a choice.

I love my family – my two big brothers, my sister, Momma and The Patriarch, and my precious, precious nephew – love you guys to the moon and back!

Mwah!

 

 

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First off, growing up I always felt like I only needed to attend only one service per Sunday. Growing up as a pastor’s child? Not too easy. According to my father’s gospel, every living soul in his house was supposed to leave the house in the same car for the first service, and return in the car after the last service. When we were younger, there’d be a snack between services but that disappeared sooner than I hoped!

So, by the time I could stay for just one service, I took it. I made it a point of duty to stay for just one. Even as a church worker, somehow I would get some unique satisfaction from being able to skip a service.

Didn’t have that problem while I was in Birmingham and serving in the choir and children’s ministry of RCCG CRA Perry Barr because we had just one service. And even though the service and all my work in church meant I would be in church for as much as 5 hours in a day, I didn’t mind! It wasn’t labeled, ‘two services’.

Anyway!! Today’s all about the first service of the year at my super fabulous church, Hillsongs London! Attended first late in 2012, and the thing I’ve done most since then? I keep going back, and each service is such a blessing I know I’ve found my home! Next step is joining a unit but before then, whip out your Bibles, and let’s run through my notes from Sunday!

Pastor Robert Madu (pronounced by everyone as ‘ma-doo’ even though his father is Nigerian) was in church, his first time ever in England, and is an incredible speaker. He taught on “The formula for a great year”, and I hope these notes bless you as much as they blessed me!

He started by talking a bit about the power of the intro, referencing social scientists who talk about Estimated Relationship Potential (ERP). ERP dictates that the first five minutes determine if your audience will lean in and follow your conversation, or become distracted. How do you introduce yourself? Do you smile? Do you invite people by the way you speak, or do you chase them away?

Matthew 6:31-34

John 16:33

Genesis 1:14. How we begin things matter, not just how we end them. Martin Luther King said “he who starts late in a race must run faster to overtake or forever remain behind.

We fail at our resolutions year in year out because we run them on willpower.What we need, is real power, the same thing God used to create everything we see today. We need, ‘Word Power’.

When we’re in places where nothing seems to be working, it’s not the time to complain, but the time to praise God onto the scene because He is the only one who can make something from nothing! For His glory!

We need to come to a point where we implicitly believe that everything God has said concerning us must come to pass.

Genesis 1:3-5 = God said let there be light, and there was light.

Genesis 1:16-19 = Three days after he created the sun, moon, and stars. Have you wondered what had been shining for three days though?

Genesis 1:14b = So why did God bother with making the sun, moon, et al? Because He wanted us to see signs of seasons, days, and years.

The formula for success this year is trusting God regardless of the season I’m in. Living beings have seasons, we all have days in our years, but the constant is God, and ‘His Word’. Everything else changes.

Old people want to be young, young people want to be old, but the art of living life well is to trust God through and through.

Screenshot 2014-01-06 23.47.26

I put this up on Facebook a couple days ago… The seasons will not dictate my faith!

Everyday is a gift from God; what I do with that day is my gift back to Him. And I am determined that I will spoil my God with a wonderful gift every day of this year!

P:S – I love my church! And I’m mega grateful for Pastor Madu!

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Hiya!

What did you get up to this week? Good stuff I hope. My week’s been one massive bag of emotions leaking all over the place, but that’s how life gets sometimes isn’t it? Thank God for strength to get through it, emerge in one piece type of thing.

So I’m going to run through my week very quickly, been a while I did that, and hopefully I can get you to share what you’ve been up to as well.

Sunday

Hillsongs rocked!! I don’t think my Sundays are complete without church on Sunday, but even more cos I attend the best worship services at Hillsongs!! By the way, there’s a Christmas Carol at Wembley Arena on the 20th of December and you should totally come!!!

Decided to do the ‘a post a day’ for my blog in December. Put the word out on Twitter for 31 people to write about their year and the response was so good, I started getting submissions almost immediately! Cool! Cool!

Monday

Woke up early, got quite a bit of work done on YNaija2015 (www.ynaija2015.com). Pause. I’m Founding Editor for this news site, and working with the smartest guys in the room, we deliver political analysis and news out of Nigeria every single day. Strictly political. I’ve been working on this since it was launched in April, and I totally love it! You need to see the ‘high’ monitoring the elections in Anambra (a state in the Eastern part of Nigeria) all the way from the UK gave me! Should totally be on ground for elections next year and 2015, but I digress.

Got some great feedback for some work I turned in for Future Challenges, that was great too. Don’t really remember anything else I did.

Skyped with a darling in the evening, was so cool!

 

Tuesday

Did a lot of writing today, I got some groceries, and I wore my new wellies to ASDA even though it wasn’t raining. Did you notice I said the wellies were new? Lol. They’re Apple Bottoms, and I love them!

‘Facetimed’ with Booski today. First time in a couple of days so that was good. Plans, plans, plans.

By the way, we’re attending the premiere for MTV’s Shuga next week! Need to go hunt for a dress that will look fabulous but protect me from the cold!

 

Wednesday

Crazy day, emotionally. Started with the two-hour phone call, and I’m grateful for the decision we took on me renewing my passport immediately.

Went to iron a top to wear to see the stage performance of ‘Lion King’, and ironing brought back vivid memories of my aunty. My desolation must have been palpable, I don’t think I cried as much as I did on Wednesday like I did when I heard she’d passed. I miss her so much. So so much.

Yeah, got an email (somewhat unpleasant) concerning some work I’d delivered on. Looked at it and smiled. Least of my worries for now I promise you. Will take my time and deal with that over the weekend.

I got up, had a shower, and went off to London. Had a brilliant time (thank you @Chude)!

 

Thursday

Went to start the process of renewing my passport (I’ve promised myself I won’t do the story till I have my new passport in my hand so you’ll have to wait a bit for that).

Had something called ‘Red Thai curry‘ with lots of veg, rice and beans at a place called ‘Pod’ somewhere in London town, loved it! Then I got a micro sim for my HTC, and just like that, I’ve kissed the Blackberry goodbye! I miss it though, and even though I still have a sim in it anymore, I still use it.

Came home, actually slept off on the train so went past my stop (blame the Nigerian High Commission for tiring me out), but I got home ok at the end of the day. Passed out on the sofa, hunger woke me up so I ate and crawled upstairs.

Evening should have gone differently but hey…

 

Friday

Skyped with my brother, and then spoke to Mamman this morning. I miss my mother to bits! And my sister, and my dad, and my brother, and Boo Boo, and my boyfriend. By the way, Boo Boo is all grown now, I think I’m ready to start accepting applications for the post of ‘wife’!

IMG-20131102-00271

That’s Boo Boo, the cutest baby boy on earth, and my besto Wumi!

Emotion, emotions, emotional! Soon as Momma started praying for me (and I swear I needed it), my ‘floodgates’ just opened and I was bawling for most of the day. I miss aunty so much, and fingers crossed my Dad can deliver on what I want him to early next year. That’d be many shades of awesome, if he can pull that off for me.

Grateful to Francesca (@ZanyFran) for talking with me and giving me my first laugh of the day, and for people who love me unconditionally, unreservedly, and don’t mind going over the same thing again and again just for me to get it.God bless you two.

That’s where I am now. Friday evening. Once I’m done with this I  have to finish two articles and send them off to my Editor (yep, this editor has got an editor, several in fact). Then I’ll speak to my dad, and it’ll be bedtime.

Need to shop for my dress tomorrow, post off some stuff (including some tea to a sister in Aberdeen), and then either get a massage or see a movie, or maybe I will do both! I have promised myself I will shake off this despondency, even if it’s the last thing I do!

Love, peace, and everything sweet,

The Fairy GodSister.

 

 

 

 

Had a chat with a buddy the other day, and he was telling me of a lady designer, new in the fashion business, who wanted him to set up a shoot for her with some models. Cool idea right? As is with most new businesses, she didn’t have money to pay the models, but said they were welcome to some of the clothes, and for the others there would be a discount, her way of saying thank you. Still cool right?

So the models come, and in this semi-freezing weather they try on outfit after outfit, and pose for pictures. When they’re done, they get an outfit each; one of the models has her eyes on another outfit and wants to know how much it costs. “£200”, says the designer. For one dress? From someone whose clothes don’t have a label? Laughable. That’s over 50, 000 naira, for one dress. One dress that won’t wake me up in the morning, give me a shower, and then wrap me in its ‘goodness and mercy’. One dress that isn’t by Nine West, or Ralph Lauren, or …(insert any name you please). Insert the name, because this designer (for now) is nameless.

How much will designer sell for when she makes a name for herself then? Lol, that’s one less designer for me to patronize already.

You can’t afford to pay these people who have worked for you (didn’t even refund transport costs) and yet you want them to further enrich you by charging an arm, a leg, and maybe even their Nan for ‘unknown’ dresses? Pretty? Yes. Worth 200 quid? Definitely not. Did they buy them? No. Especially since the said designer refused to sell two for £150. I’d just give the design to a dressmaker to recreate for me. Simples! (insert meerkat voice)

Whatever happened to starting small, and then working your way up?

Almost borders on greed if you ask me, but hey, what do I know? Just going to walk away.

Second scenario came from a story my dad told me. You have a store or a shop in a market and about 10am, you’ve sold goods worth, let’s say £150. Then you remember you haven’t had a coke, so you buy one. Then you decide you might as well mix it with sprite, and so you buy one as well, and mix them all up in a big cup.

Then you remember that soda goes best with a snack, so you order some, just one or two. And then you see something online, maybe earrings or a dress, and hey, you’ve made some money today anyways, so you might as well order one.

Before the day is over your friend drops by and there’s a friend’s sister’s daughter’s wedding in a few weeks you should attend, and you must take asoebi* for it. How much is the fabric? Just £120 pounds. At the moment you have less than £70 so you put down £50 as deposit and promise to pay the rest in a few weeks.

When you’re locking up at the end of the day you realize that not only are you back at the zero you started with at the beginning of the day, you’re in debt.

And so you show up in church on Sunday asking the pastor to pray (and urgently too) because your enemies from the village are working day and night to see that your business doesn’t succeed.

It won’t.

Derive the lessons as you please, and have a super productive week!

*Asoebi- common in Africa, this refers to a group of friends coming together to pick one fabric they’ll wear in support of their friend who is celebrating (or mourning).

 

 

First things first, I don’t have a child, at least not yet. But, I’ve taken care of quite a few of them, I love them to pieces, and there are few things I wouldn’t do for a child. One thing actually, and that is sucking their nose (to clean it out). You know when they are at that age when you can’t tell them ‘blow’ or mimic the nose-blowing action for them to follow successfully? I know aunts and moms who won’t hesitate to put mouth to nostril and…..yuck!

Ah! You’re still here! Means you didn’t bring up your breakfast. Seriously though, it relieves the child enough (there’s only a few things worse than seeing your baby with a stuffed nose, breathing from the mouth), and some claim, better than nasal sprays and things. Still can’t do it though! My friends who are moms say that as soon as I have my own babies I will do it but nope! I don’t think so!

I have a nephew who will be a year old in a few days, and I love him to pieces, just like I would love my own child. He’s my first official nephew, and my parents’ first grandchild. Naturally we dote on him, at some point he wasn’t allowed to cry (except my sister and I wanted to get a talking to from my mom), and to be honest he’s the cutest baby in the world!

I was there when he was born (well not there the entire time to be honest, I freaked out at some point), and I’ve bathed him, sang to him, fed him, rocked him to sleep, strapped him on my back. I’ve changed diapers, cleaned his vomit, read to him, prayed for him, endured him banging on my laptop (with bated breaths) cos he’s looking for himself inside it, what else could you do for a child?

2013-03-27 13.42.17

I remember bawling in church one Sunday because my sister had sent me pictures of him very ill with quite the spread of rashes. But, I have never, and don’t plan to ever clean his nose (or any other nose for that matter) with my mouth thank you very much. My boyfriend might be open to that, I dunno. I’m happy to use Calpol nasal spray because it really, really worked for my nephew.

Ah ha! Now that that’s out of the way, I’m delighted to be joining Mumsnet Bloggers Network, I’ve read a lot of articles off that network and I sent in my application with my heart in my mouth. I was pretty chuffed to get that email welcoming me to the network, really chuffed!

I look forward to sharing stories from my childhood, tales from looking after my nephew (hereafter referred to as Boo Boo or Liam) and mirroring experiences from everyone else here.

I’m African, Nigerian to be precise and so even though I currently live in England, there are some parenting techniques/experiences I will write about that will be traditionally African (proudly) – so feel free to ask for explanations on anything!

Some days it’ll be full on posts, other days it’ll be short stories, and some days it might be a video or a picture, but you have my word that each offering will bring you back for more!

Hugs,

Future mom

I was in church about a month ago, (Hillsongs Dominion Theatre), and when I heard Pastor Gary James Clark wasn’t around, I was a little worried. So far he’s the only one I’ve heard preach so I wondered if I would enjoy the service.

Plus it was a pretty emotional morning for me; I’d heard the night before that my darling nephew was really poorly, seen pictures of him that broke my heart, I was feeling stressed from work, deadlines I hadn’t met, there was just so much on my mind and honestly I didn’t feel like heading to church that Sunday morning. But I did, and looking back I’m very grateful I did.

When we had the prayers at the end of the worship session, the Pastor (don’t remember his name) said that when we pray we shouldn’t just be mindful of our needs, we should be mindful of the fact that God is closer to us and bigger than whatever it is we’re facing and he wants us to come out of it better and stronger. I had quite a bit to pray for so that just helped get my faith up to a good place.

Anyways so Pastor Bobbi was introduced and when she came up, somehow from the first few words my spirit just totally connected with her.

The title of the message is the title of this post: The Glorious Invitation. According to her, the greatest invitation that has worked its way through time and history is that of Christ entering our lives and ours entering His.

Romans 3:20

As a Christian/church, your singular most important role should be to live/conduct yourself in a way that helps others hear God knocking on their hearts.

John 6:44

John 10:9

She said we need to constantly remember our salvation stories because they not only take us back to the place of excitement and sacredness of our relationship with Him, but it also helps us act right for the sake of those in the valley of indecision.

Joel 3:14

As we go about our everyday lives, Heaven holds its breath, hoping that our conversations and actions lead someone to say, “I want to know a little bit more about God”.

  1. There is an art to invitations – our lives, our compelling stories are invitations. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
  2. There is power to the invitations we carry – Hebrews 10:24-25. We’re not merely inviting people to a church service but we’re praying that they come and encounter the invitation within the invitation.
  3. There’s wonder and miracles within the invitation. The harvest ultimately belongs to Jesus. Message to church leaders – Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God gives the increase. It’s not about the church, it’s about guiding those souls to a place where their hearts are ready for the invitation from God.

Songs of Solomon 5

We had a short prayer after the message and then we sang one of my favorite Hillsongs song, “Christ alone, cornerstone, weak made strong in the Saviour’s love, through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of All”

P:S – I didn’t write out the scriptures because I want you to bring out your Bible and search them out yourself!! Bring out your Bible!