New Year New Beginning


It is with great joy that we officially welcome you to the new year and we could not be more grateful that we are all alive to see the new year. We have a lot going on which would include moving to our official website and restructuring the organization’ All we ask is that you remember us in your prayers, read, share, comment, subscribe and generally live your life better and for Christ. So what better way to start the year than  a post that is geared towards highlighting important lessons for the new year.Now dig in.

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Happy New Year! Yes, it is only right that we begin this with this age-old greeting. It is a new year and with it comes the usual, stock-taking, plans, resolutions and decisions to do better in the new year. For some there really is no need for the buzz and fireworks that accompany the start of a new year, yesterday has gone and today is here is the mantra they live by. If you were in Nigeria as at the 31st of December then you would be aware of the number of churches that had ‘cross-over’ services, the thanksgiving services to God for the gift of a new year, the supplications and finally the new year resolutions. Everyone decides on areas of improvements, habits that need to be dropped and new habits that need to be picked up. We write out plans on our diaries as a way of solidifying them; God to whom we pledge that we would be more serious about our walk with Him, career, finance and other numerous plans. We make plans on how we would be more intentional with our lives. However, before we know it these plans go flying out the window, we become the same way we were before these plans were formed and that brings up to the entire reason for this post.

A new year! A new beginning!

Why the hype? How do we begin the year? How do we ensure that this year does not become like all the other years gone by?

It is a new year and for us it is one that starts on a note of thanksgiving. Being thankful is not just an item to tick off our to-do list on New year. Being grateful is one habit we must cultivate as each day is another reason to be thankful for the gift of life, it is another opportunity to be better, to discover what the reason for our existence is and to live according to our purpose. What better form of thanksgiving is there than to live as Christ did and that is to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God just as Christ did. You have but one life to live as the popular saying goes: “YOLO- You only live once” as such you need to make that life count for something. To live as Christ did is to embody Christ in every of our actions. This new year and indeed every day presents us a clean slate on which to begin anew. There is this Catholic Hymn I love, and it goes: “…Lord for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray, keep me my God from the stain of sin just for today.” The next day is not guaranteed, we only have but the present moment. We must learn to treat each day with the seriousness and importance with which we treat the beginning of every new year. Each day is a new beginning for us to blot out our mistakes, to live a little better, to change failure into winning, it does not have to take the start of a new year before we make all those plans to begin anew.

Just before the new year we celebrate the birth of Christ and his coming to earth holds lots of lessons that we can apply to our everyday life.

We start with his birth and one of the lessons we can learn is Humility, God humbles himself and comes as man to his creatures, He was born in one of the poorest areas in Israel, in a manager with the animals to teach us what it means to be humble. It however does not remove from his divinity, it does not change who He is, He is still God regardless of the circumstances surrounding his birth. Humility is a problem for most of us, the desire to exercise our authority over others, to laud our achievements and exert our power over seemingly inferior beings. God however calls us to a life of humility, Christ although He was God humbled himself and came to live among us and to die a shameful death on the cross for us. We have leaders both Christian and Secular who exert their power over their followers because to them God is using them. It is important to note that there is no powerful man of God, only a powerful God working through man and He can raise up stones to do his work. We as Christians are called to be teachers to all but students of Jesus our master. Our lives should be an example to all, our ways should teach others, show them the path to follow and not for us to conform to the standards of the world.  Being humble does not take anything away from you, it doesn’t make you any less of who you are. Humility teaches us that we do not know it all, there is something to learn from everyone. We have to come to the understanding that all we are and have comes to us from God as such we all ought to make our boast in God.

We move to the Wise men and the gifts they offer to Jesus and their significance to us as Christians. Just as the wise men offered Christ gifts, pause for a moment and ask yourself what my gift to Jesus will be this new year and for the rest of my life?

  • Gold which signifies Kingship. Christ asks us for our LOYALTY that we pay our allegiance to Him, that we hold on to Him in the good and bad times.  He is our King, his kingdom one that has no end and if we remain loyal to him we become sharers of that Kingdom.
  • Frankincense which signifies Priesthood. Incense was used in Jewish culture by the priests during worship to God. Christ requires from us that our life becomes one act of WORSHIP to the God who has created us. And what is worship?  Romans 12 vs 1 rightly sums it up: “So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.”
  • Myrrh which signifies Death. It was used in Jewish time as an embalming oil. Christ died that we might have life. The bible in Romans 6: 23 says that the wages of sin is death and Christ the sinless one bears our sins, takes our place that we might live for him. Jesus asks us to offer our LIFE in service to him alone.

To sum it up, He is the way we must follow (Our King), He is the truth we must believe and worship (Our Priest) and He is the Life that gives us life (Our Savior).

And we move to the Baptism of the Lord. After John had baptized Jesus, the heavens were opened, and the voice of God was heard saying: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased…”

 ‘You are my beloved son/ daughter in you I am well pleased’

Stop for one minute and ask yourself:

Can God say that of me?

Can God say that of you?

Our Baptism does the following in our lives:

  • Rebirth: We are born again in Christ, dead to sin and to the world and alive in Christ. So, this is the time to look back and renounce sin, death, the devil and his empty promises and re-born in Christ. Because when Christ comes into our lives, the quality of our life changes and we become the master to sin no longer slaves.
  • Initiation: We become members of God’s Kingdom, adopted children of God, heirs of the Kingdom.
  • Consecration: Consecration means to be set apart. As 1 Peter 2:9 puts it: “But you are the chosen race, the King’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light.” You are called to be the difference this year, to let others see the difference. The difference is you.
  • Empowerment: Baptism gives us the spirit of God and God’s Spirit empowers us to serve God and serve others. It also gives us the strength to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age. God’s spirit renews us as his followers.

We therefore should portray the attributes of people who have been baptized into Christ. God must be able to say of you: ‘This is my beloved Child in whom I am well pleased.’ You are different, set apart, you are now dead to sin, God’s heir, empowered to serve God and your actions must show this. Let this new year mark a new beginning for you. Let this be the start of an intimate relationship with God, a walk with your friend and Lord. Important to note is that God loves you and me, he loves you just as you are, not because of what you have done or not done. He knows you are a work in progress and he is not finished with you yet and the very fact that you are alive is enough proof that you are still important to him. Now is the time to ask ourselves:

What is God’s plan for me?

What is the purpose of my existence?

How am I living out that purpose and how do I plan to live out that purpose this new year and going forward?

How am I serving God this year?

How am I making the world a better place?

How am I being the difference?

How can I be a light to my world?

God has a plan for each one of us and they are all for good. He has a purpose for our existence and we must find out what that purpose is and align ourselves to it. Know this that for your sake God will not keep silent or rest until your vindication goes forth as brightness; meaning that he is constantly on the move working things out for your wellbeing. Let Him be God in your life this year because cut off from Him you will not survive. We need to learn to put our trust in Him and have faith that He does not fail. His love for us is constant and unfailing. He calls us to faith and an intimacy with him. He comes to make all that is imperfect to be perfect. Invite Jesus into your life every day and ask him to be your strength and sustenance. It is not enough to make plans and new year resolutions, it is God who gives us the power and the grace to live by them for it is not by power or by might but by the spirit of God and there is nothing impossible for him to do. Lean on Him.

This year you are called to “Show the way, Be the light.”

See you all next week as we continue with #Christianfiction Thanks for sticking with us. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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Learning to ask WHY

Awww. This is the first post this month. Things are cooking. We have missed you all tremendously and we are back and yes better. Monday mornings with #GWA is here to stay. We would be talking about #LearningtoaskWhy. You want to know what exactly this means and how this affects you; now read:

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A couple of years ago(roughly four years) I lost a friend, not just any friend but one whose life was dedicated to being a bridge that brought people together, the pain was almost unbearable, cried and hurt till I felt empty. Life gone in a twinkle of an eye; plans disrupted, and a void created. From then I have lost a grandfather, an uncle and another relative. Recently, a very close friend of mine lost her fiancé who was also a mutual friend to I and my other friend who had died four years ago, the pain was overwhelming, and it brought back a lot of memories of loss and just when I thought it could not get any worse, my uncle passed away.

Now comes the time for what-ifs, regrets, wishes unfulfilled, words left unspoken, goodbyes left unsaid, thoughts and actions not implemented, praises and compliments not given, the sadness that marks the demise of a loved one and the ultimate question why?

Why him? Why her?

Why did he have to go?

Why didn’t he stay longer?

Why was I not given the opportunity to say goodbye?

How do I move on?

How do I cope and keep on living?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why did God take him or her?

How could God have sat and allowed this happen?

How do you console the family of the bereaved?

How do you stay strong?

Why do you even have to be strong?

These and more were the questions that ran through my mind when I heard the news, the shock, the disbelief, the pain, the heartache, the tears and the night spent wishing a miracle could happen; wishing, hoping praying that it would all be a bad dream,one I would wake up from and learn that he was okay. It never happened, and we learnt to live with the pain that never fully goes away.

Friends told me God gives and God takes, we cannot question him. I had questions; lots of them, I wondered why he didn’t get healed, why he had to go when he had so much to live for, why God called him home when he did. I never asked them because I was told you didn’t ask God questions. His journey on earth had come to an end. I didn’t think of it again until this year when my friend lost her fiancé and she asked why he had to die, why weren’t her prayers answered, he was serving his country why couldn’t he be protected. It tore my heart and I remembered what happened when my friend died. I didn’t have answers for her and I told her that she should take those questions to God.

You see God gives and He takes, He does not require our permission before He creates, likewise He does not require our permission when He decides that man’s journey on earth has come to an end, but we have a right, we can ask him questions. He is not an unfeeling God, He is father of us all and he holds the answer to all our questions. For with acceptance comes understanding and understanding can only come from enlightenment which can only come from answered questions. God is not too busy that he does not have time for your seemingly-to-other people unimportant taken-for-granted questions. He knows, He feels your pain, it hurts Him that you hurt and yes His ways are not our ways and just may be that sick person needs to be in the father’s embrace to rest, yet there are lots of persons whose lives end in a flash, who for their loves ones they had no chance to say goodbye.

It is okay to ask God questions when you do not understand. It is okay to seek enlightenment on why things are the way they are and trust me He will answer. He is big enough for our questions and doubt, they do not take anything away from who He is. However,to ask questions, we must come with the right attitude, come to Him humbly,believing that He holds all the answers we seek. It is the heart behind the asking that matters. We are humans, frail beings by nature, our dependency comes alone from the Father. The answer may be a knowing in your heart that this is his will for that person, a passage from the bible that brings comfort to your heart that they really are in a better place far away from the hardships of the world, a peace that tells you he is aware and he understands,the comfort and solace from friends and other loved ones.

It is unfair to tell a grieving person not to ask God questions, to give that easy-to-say until-you-have-been-in-their-shoes: ‘God gives, and God takes, who are we to question Him’ response. If you do not know what to say, keep quiet and just let them cry on your shoulders. The time will come when their minds and hearts are ready to accept that Yes, God does give, and God takes away in his own time and according to his own purpose. The grieving person can ask and he or she shall receive understanding that makes the pain easier to live with.

And as I am learning in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you seek me with all your heart.” His plans are always for my good, his thoughts towards me are those that will bring the future I hope for no matter how painful and harrowing the journey might be. I am learning to acknowledge as He says in Isaiah 55:8 ‘My thoughts, says the Lord,are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours.” meaning that God’s plans for us, and His interpretation of the plans for our welfare, future and hope may not necessarily line up with ours but they will be better than we can imagine and His plans will give us the future we hope for and give Him glory. We need to trust and have faith that God keeps his words, he is not man that he should go back on his words. We can learn to thank God in our sufferings and pains same as we thank Him in the victories He gives us. I am learning that the life of a Christian is not free from hardships, Christ did not promise a smooth ride, he even asks that we take up our cross and follow him but believe that He will be there the entire time, lean on him and He will give us the strength to carry through any pain, heartache or loss. I am learning to understand that the decisions He takes are not taken lightly, He knows the end from the beginning,that there are lessons to be learnt in any situation even the loss of a loved one, that they could be the answers to a prayer, his way to draw us closer to himself. And he would do whatever it takes to have us to Himself, joined in perfect union with the one who loved us even before we existed.

Think about it: “He loves you with a love that is so pure, a love that defies reasoning, He loves you enough to send His Son, to give Him up to death. He knows what it feels when a loved one dies, He saw Jesus die, He sees your pains, he understands and will give you the answers you seek as long as you come to him in humility and prayers.” And as the bible says in Romans 8:35-39: ‘’ Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or death? As the scripture says, ‘For your sake we are in danger of death at all times; we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.’No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” The hope we have is an everlasting hope that one day we would meet to part no more and we would be able to say: ‘Where, Death is your victory? Where, Death is your power to hurt?’Until then we live our lives in preparedness for that day, so the question is: ‘If death comes knocking, are you ready?’

See you all next week as we take you on an exciting journey. Do you know what we will be discussing? Stay tuned and God bless you all. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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This name I bear

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we have been called Christians, our every action must show that.

Hello Lovely Family, it is with sober hearts that we bring this reflection. We have prayed and we believe that God will open the hearts of our minds so that we can take a good look at our lives, see the areas that scream for improvement and with honor live up to the name we bear. 

 I am ashamed to call myself a Christian. For it is an honor to bear the name Christian, yet I have smeared it with my sin. I have stained it with my guilt and I keep my head down in shame. How can my lips profess one thing and my hands do another? How can I with the same lips call you Lord and master yet an insult is never far off. I who should seek to your will is filled with the desire to please others, my heart lusts after another.I move one step forward, I pull back a thousand steps. Something keeps pulling me back and I struggle against the tides. I know you would tell me to go with the flow. But I would like to ask: what’s the flow?
This flow that makes me question myself, this flow that leaves me bereft of words, this flow that feels akin to my person.

 My Instagram bio has Christ lover, Daughter of God, Man of God, Kingdom child, the same goes for my twitter handle. I flaunt it so proudly, scream it loud. Yes, the world must know that I am I a Christian even though my lifestyle says otherwise.I profess my love for you,like an alabaster jab filled with oil, I continuously pour words of libation on the altar of my love for you. I never get tired of letting others know that I am a Christian, yet my life is in shambles. You are so far away I tell myself,these ones are closer, I can see them.

This desire to please others consume me. I shake it off only to feel it come back in a different form. I love one whom I can’t see, and I ought to please Him. But there are so many others who I see and feel that I shouldn’t have to lose them. Remember that you cannot love God whom you have not seen if you do not love your neighbors. I lie Lord!Twisted your words to please myself, to assuage the guilt I feel.For you are Love, for it is the love of you in us that prompts us to love another.

I am stuck fighting a war that I feel like I am losing, this war is worse than the world wars combined. It’s a war in my spirit, a war for dominance – total dominance. One person must win for within me there is space for only one Being. One Being who would have total control.
I must have Faith and what does Faith demand- total submission to the will of another. You see I like to tell myself that I have faith, you know that mustard seed kind but I am gradually loosing that Faith.
The world is gradually pulling me into its arms, it holds me fair and seduces me with promises of beauty. But then what is beauty? When my soul is raw from pain. What is beauty when I am ashamed to look within. What is beauty when I can barely recognize me. You see I try and I fall, and I am tired. My arms are covered in bruises, I want to lay where I have fallen.

I have become a two-faced liar, I should have said two-faced Christian but the sacredness of that name, the weight of the responsibility that the name brings is one I have not borne for a long while. In church I sing Oh how I love you Lord, you see that’s my favourite song. I love you Lord, I think I know what Love is. I think I do love you, but the truth is I do not love you as I ought to and I do not love you enough, for you do not hurt the one you love. The desires of the one you love are supposed to be topmost in the mind of the one who loves but this is not true for me. Your commands to sum it up are this: “Love of God and love of man.” For if I love you, I will keep your words, I would not make for myself another god, money and its pursuits, the desires of the flesh and others would not be my god. I would hold your words in high regard and not profane them. If I loved you as I professed, I would honour my parents, not covet another’s properties.

I remember the words of the psalmists in Psalms 51:3 “…my sins are always before me…” I tell myself that I am not that bad. I am in church every Sunday, I give my tithes and try to keep your words. Defending my every action, no time to take stock and look at my life and see areas that need to be checked and worked on. I constantly make the sacrifice on the cross a sham and continuously send you to Calvary. I look now and see that Calvary was and is the greatest act of love. To give up one’s self for sinners, the sinless one dying in place of those condemned to death.

You offer me salvation and love; this journey you have called me is one filled with obstacles, but your grace is enough. Your love is a shield around me. Even when I feel like giving up, I see your grace.
You let me know that all my efforts are not in vain. You let me see myself through your eyes- an imperfect child of a perfect God. I am amazed that you care. You know that passage Psalm 8:4 that says who is man that you should care,mortal man that you are mindful of him. That’s how I feel, you are aware of every single step that I take, every single tear that I shed, every mistake that I make. You see the often not-so- sincere attempts at repentance. I am scared that I would leave earth without your love. I do not want to be afraid, I do not want fear to be the guiding force, I want love so deep, so pure to compel me to serve you.

Remember whose you are, Return to me says the Father, I stand and knock at the door of your heart, and I offer you Redemption so that you might Rejoice in me and that one day our Reunion in heaven may be all that you have dreamed of this side of heaven.

This name that you bear isone that I have called you by, I call you Child, you are mine, I knit you inyour mother’s womb, I have known you since the beginning of time. You are mybeloved, loved just as if you were the only one that existed. Christian, Christ-like,following the path of Christ is your mission, bear that name with honor andlive up to your name.

Do follow us on all our social media handle @Godlywomenarising. Don’t forget to share, like, comment, subscribe and tell a friend to tell a friend to visit our page.

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The Story of One Man retold – 3

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the continuation of the story as much as we have and we loved writing it too. We felt every pain and sigh (don’t worry there are no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in. 

 

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I’m afraid we have some bad news” more bad news! I thought, like my whole world had not just crumbled before my eyes. What more could happen, little did I know that Life as I knew it was over. I tried to lift my right hand in resignation and found out I couldn’t. I became frustrated. “Waarhh waarhh ris haapuning” I said. You guessed right, my speech had become slurred. The doctor with a look of dejection the kind I have never seen on a person less a doctor’s face proceeded to mumble a bunch of jargon (that is how they seemed to me). I managed to catch the words “hypertension, high blood pressure, partial stroke, liver infection, kidney shutting down… India, surgery, 100 million, a long road to recovery, less than 50% chance of the surgery being a success.”

He however wanted to run some more tests when I was more stable, an MRI scan to see if there was a tumor and a biopsy of the tissues of the liver and kidney to determine the extent of the damage to the kidney and liver. I had never been more scared in my life than at that moment. How? That question kept reverberating in my head. How could this happen? I ate healthy, exercised, my wife had a fitness studio and ensured that we all kept fit. I was the model man for healthy. How did I go from being healthy to been so sick in a couple of days? Why didn’t my body give me signs? How do I survive? Where do I go from here?

I shut my eyes hard, wishing it was all a nightmare, may be if I laid still it would all be a dream. I opened them slowly to still find myself confined to the hospital bed, my wife still distraught, half of my body still useless. “Is this the end Lord?” I think to myself. Different thoughts cross my mind. I remember the Bible passage “greater is the end of a thing than it’s beginning….” and I could almost swear I could hear the devil laughing at me. Oh, I could just imagine the tabloids having a field day “Multimillionaire loses all in a day” or “24 hours of calamities” or “The beginning of the Multimillionaire’s downfall” that should make a good Nollywood movie I muse sarcastically within me. I could imagine the tales that would begin to fly… they would probably conclude that I had done money rituals, and all these were a part of my bargain with the devil or a punishment for all my numerous sins. “but why?! Why Lord??! Why?” I sob within my spirit. A nurse comes to give me an injection…I feel the pain fade and sleep consume me……….

Yet sleep held no comfort, the demons I was facing followed me into my sleep. I dreamt I was locked in a cage inside a deep, fast-moving river, there was no key to unlock the cage and I couldn’t swim and was drowning. I screamed and screamed, but no one came to my aid and the instant before death took me, I woke up gasping for air. I kept waking and sleeping in fits and starts and on some days, fear held me bound and I could not sleep. My nightmares had officially started, and the dreams became a part of my daily existence. I lost so much weight during that period and became a shadow of myself.

I still had to do the tests that were to decide my fate. I had been battling with headaches and blurry visions and the doctor said it was part of the symptoms of brain cancer. I had spent 1 week in the hospital by then, finally the day came for the MRI scan. It was carried by 6:00am as I was not supposed to have eaten anything before the test like I had any appetite considering all I was facing. The whole process took about 45 minutes, I laid down on a table, a coil was placed around my head and the table moved into the tunnel. I have never been claustrophobic but inside that tunnel I felt so. I kept thinking: ‘this was not happening, I would wake up and it would all be a dream.’ After the scan, I was sedated just so I could get some rest.

In the afternoon, I had a renal and liver biopsy to determine the type of kidney disease I had. A thin biopsy needle was passed through my skin to remove kidney and liver tissue and carry out tests. The pain and discomfort I felt made me want to scream at the unfairness of the entire situation. After the tests, I was given medications and was told the results were going to be ready in a couple of days and all I had to do was rest and focus on getting better. Did I really hear the nurse say, ‘get better’? what was I getting better for, my children were gone, I had no job and I was slowly dying. What was there to live for I mused, and the answer came back to me: NOTHING!

My wife must have exhausted herself from crying as anytime I looked up all I could see was her swollen face and eyes red from pain. As I looked at her, I felt the worst was yet to come and I could not comfort her. The test was carried out on Monday and when the doctor came in that Friday morning, the gravity of the situation was etched in the lines on his forehead. There were no preambles, my heart beat increased, and I started sweating. I felt sick and I retched but nothing came up.

It’s cancer! I am sorry the doctor said.

My God, I have cancer, how? Tears streamed down my face and I felt so dejected and abandoned.

The doctor was still talking, and I had to listen. He gave a litany of all that was wrong with me. In his own words: ‘I am sorry, but you have glioblastoma multiforme, a fairly common type of brain cancer. The tests also revealed that you have benign tumors in your liver which thankfully are not cancerous and Chronic Kidney Disease which might require dialysis and a kidney transplant which are not readily available in the country. We also need to monitor your blood pressure and white cells count as the count needs to be high to effectively fight the cancer. I tuned out, but he continued. I am recommending four weeks of intense radiation therapy followed by removal of the tumor depending on the outcome of tests and a reduction in your blood pressure. Also, you would need to start treatment for the kidney disease, I suggest we start with dialysis immediately and raise the monies needed for a kidney transplant, the brain surgery and the liver surgery. We need to see a reduction in your blood pressure so as not to strain the muscles of your heart. There is need to watch out for seizures as they are part of the symptoms of brain cancer and could lead to death if not checked. I would be giving you Divalproex, to control the seizures. The drugs could lead to personality changes and slurred speech. The total cost should be within the range of 100 – 150 million given the magnitude of the treatment required and the cost of rehabilitation.

I cried till I was spent. Life as I knew was officially over. I thought of what I could do to raise the funds, I knew my medical insurance could not cover it. I wondered how God could bring me to this point after I had faithfully served him. He obviously didn’t care about me or maybe I had done something wrong and was being punished for it. I was discharged and asked to return in four days to start the radiation therapy and to carry out a dialysis.

I went home and on my second day at home, I had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Luckily, I got to the hospital on time and the doctor was able to control the seizures. He said I needed to do carry out another MRI scan immediately. I was so scared and the look on my wife’s face echoed my own fears. I was admitted and the next morning the results were out. It was as the doctor had feared, the tumor in my brain was growing aggressively and something had to be done urgently.

 

Thanks for sticking with us and reading. The story will hopefully come to an end next week until then stay with us. May God bless you all abundantly. Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising. Please drop a comment, like and share.

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The Audit

Dear Family, this is the first Monday of the month and what better than to start this on a note of introspection. Most of us are all guilt of not always having time. As usual we hope that this causes you to think and reflect on your life and make the necessary changes. Now Dig in:

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“I’ll call you back later, I’m at work and it’s quite busy”

“On a Sunday!” my friend exclaims

“I’ll call you” I snap as I hastily dismiss another friend’s call

I have been making a lot of such promises for a while,

“I’ll call you, I’ll get back to you, give me a minute, give me five minutes…”

I could almost hear my inner man sigh, but I couldn’t care

Not now!

Another audit is due anytime now, we must prepare!

It’s a Sunday but it feels as overwhelming as a Monday after a two days public holiday

We have to review all our books and ensure we are ready,

We have to go over everything we have done and ensure there are no lapses

We have to correct every error we have made

We have to check each other’s files to ensure we are all ready,

Everyone one is tensed

We have been having self-audits for weeks now

My staffs are tired, but they keep pushing

No one wants to be found wanting.

It’s quiet, everyone is busy

Then suddenly someone exclaimed “wetin! We no even prepare for rapture as we dey prepare for this audit”

We all laughed, and everyone relaxed.

I shook my head, dried the tears that slipped from the laughter and continued my work.

I got home and prepared to sleep when it really dawned on me

I am working hard at the wrong goal, pursuing fast in the wrong direction.

My prayers had gotten shorter and shorter…I skipped them on some days and just said thanks on my drive to work.

I had become an August visitor in my father’s house, fiddling with my phone on the few occasions I managed to be in attendance.

Worshipping only when I get the chance and even that was done with me checking the time and wishing the service to go faster,

Watching 30seconds posts by pastors on Instagram had become my devotion.

I assuaged the guilt in my soul by telling myself that I was still listening to God’s words.

I struggled with watching the post and scrolling to keep up with the recent happenings.

I had no time or, so I thought but truth be told, I had time for social media and other frivolities.

It got worse because of my preparations for the audit

But I have come to the realisation that this life is only temporal

All these things we are chasing won’t last forever, they are all ephemeral.

The rewards are not worth losing heaven over,

Sometimes we are even denied the reward,

Man’s scale is not always just

So, in all my pursuits I must not lose sight of what is most important

That is the heavenly audit

Where I will have to give an account of all I have been given: my life, time, wealth, family and friends

Where I will have to justify how I took care of these, where it will be decided if I misused any

I need to do a periodic regular self-audit of my spiritual life,

I need to keep checking all that I have done against Christ who is the standard

Correct every error, check to see that I am firmly standing.

Ensure there are no lapses,

Ensure nothing is out of place

I always need to ensure that I am prepared for the most important audit of all

THE RAPTURE!

 

 

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I AM NOT A HYPOCRITE

Hello Lovely Family. We are back to our usual #Mondayposts and we are back to serve you better. This is a long read, so we suggest that you settle in and read. Enough said, now read.

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Don’t you know me?

Don’t you see me?

Yes, me!

I have this favourite seat in church

I don’t ever miss a service.

I who keep every of the Lord’s commands

Name them:

‘Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy’

I am always in church on Sunday and I sure give my tithes and offerings.

‘Do not commit adultery’

‘Do not commit fornication’

That’s easy; I am a ‘VIRGIN’

‘Thou shall not have any other God before me.’

‘Thou shall not make for yourself any graven image’

I am sure the Lord was not talking about me. I am not an idol worshipper. I am a Christian. It’s everywhere on my social media page: #UnapologeticallyChristian #ChristianandProud

‘Do not commit murder’

How does that even relate to me?

I have never killed anyone, I cannot even consider it

The sight of blood makes me want to puke.

I have gone through the entire commandments and I am certain I keep everything.

And the Lord speaks:

‘Let’s dissect your entire life and see if you are nothing but a hypocrite.

No Lord, I am not!

I am your child, the image of you. Anything but a hypocrite.

The Lord speaks:

Let’s hold up your life against these commandments you so highly speak of.

Let’s hold them as a standard and measure your life against them and see how you fare.

So, which of them do we begin with.

‘Do not commit adultery’

‘Do not commit fornication’

You say you are a ‘Virgin’ right, lofty title ‘Virgin’

Do you know the standards you are called to uphold; virtues of purity and chastity.

Oh, you think I do not see how you stare lustfully at that sister that sits just in front of you in church or you think I am blind to the thoughts that roam your mind when that brother in the choir raises his voice in worship to me.

Or you think I do not know that you masturbate. You do it in secret, in your room so that no one knows or sees. You think I do not know where the arcade of porn movies is stashed.

Are you surprised that I know these? Have you forgotten that I see both in the secret and in the open?

 

Should we go on?

Or are you convinced now that your life does not match your words; that the word ‘Christian’ is only but a cover for the mess that your life has become.

But Lord…

I… I…

You what?

Follow the letters of the law?

‘Thou shall not have any other God before me.’

You say you are not an idol worshipper but the love of money and its pursuit fills your day. Yes, money has become your idol.

Lord, I am just being ambitious.

Ambitious?

Yes Lord, ambitious!

No for you it is get more with no thought as to the state of your soul.

When last did you spend an hour with me or say thanks and not the hastily rushed words you spout in the mornings before you rush off to another money-making pursuit.

When last did you talk to me your friend and Lord? Oh no, the only time you remember me is when you are in need.

Now doesn’t that scream hypocrite!

You keep saying you don’t have time, clearly put as you do not have time for me excepts for the Sundays you deign to come into my presence, those times that I struggle with your phone for your attention; time you spend criticizing others for their behaviours; time you should have spent listening to my words.

Oh no, you are not still convinced right, need I say more.

Hate fills your heart.

Your neighbour you have refused to forgive

Your brother you owe a grudge against.

He hurt you deeply and so you won’t let go.

Do you know all the times you offended me, broke my heart and trust; made a mockery of my sacrifice on the cross, made my blood a waste and all you had to say was ‘Sorry’ and I forgave and forgot everything. You do not remember.

You have killed him so many times in your mind.

Aren’t you a hypocrite saying a thing and doing another.

‘Thou shall not steal’

Should we go into that?

Embezzlement, fraud, refusing to earn your wages or pay another his just wages.

You are not carrying a gun so you do not qualify.

You focus on the outside and do not bother with the inside. And you think the title ‘hypocrite’ doesn’t fit you.

Now listen to me:

“It is not enough to clean up your act on the outside, I am more concerned about your heart. It is not enough that you do not commit adultery or fornication, when in your heart you have looked at another lustfully.

The heart is what you are, it holds every of your thoughts and feelings. It is that part of you that only I see and know. I look on the heart and your inside matters as much to me as your outside appearance.

Let go of the secret sins that eat up your soul, keep your heart pure and blameless before me, for only the pure can be admitted into my presence.

Don’t be a hypocrite, one face in the public and another in private. I seek the whole of your heart. Do you realize how much you are worth in my eyes? I love you unconditionally.

Now, return to me!”

 

Man responds:

‘I am a hypocrite; covering my sins with my seemingly good deeds. Your words condemn me Lord and I hide my face in shame. They show me the folly of my ways and the errors in my thoughts. I have been on the path that seemed right but has been the path of destruction all along. Hide not your face from me. Be gracious to me. I repent of my sins.

I want to be able to stand in your presence and have the right to call you father knowing you, loving you and serving you.

I return Lord.

Your child returns to you.’

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The StoreHouse—-Those Beyond the Law

Hello Lovely Family, We are gradually getting to the end of what has been a wonderful and enlightening series on the Store House. I can’t believe that by Friday we will be done with Tithing and move on to other issues. I like to talk but for now just dig in.

 

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When you look at the Laws of tithing in Deuteronomy, the poor had an entitlement in these offerings and tithes (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-5). Discovering that God’s intention for the storehouse was majorly to make it a place where there would be food to feed those who are hungry was a real spiritual awakening for me. Realizing just how money and material blessings corrupted the Jews so much that the store house became more commonly used as a treasury to store wealth (cf. 1 Chron. 26:20; Neh. 13:13) while the most important things became neglected made me understand we Christians are just as corruptible as ancient Israel used to be.

In Christ, the laws, even that of the tithes, were to be fulfilled and He taught his own repeatedly that there should be no limit to how much care you put into giving for this reason. His Apostles did just the same thing and gave 100% of their time and their life to this cause. You can read it up in the Acts of the Apostles. I won’t bother myself quoting a single passage for you. READ! No one burdened their followers on laws such as tithing because much more was expected from those who were beyond the law and they were filled with the grace to do exceedingly more than a mere one-tenth tithe, one-sixth and one-fifth offerings or even first fruits. New Israel has been commanded, under the dispensation of grace, to give everything to the cause of God’s true justice. The Apostles were really strict about the dangers of subjecting anyone to the law because every law comes with both a curse and a blessing. Those who are in Christ have received the grace to do beyond what the law demands. St. Paul while talking about the dangers of being held by the laws [of circumcision] warns that they are obligated to obey the whole law if they obey just one of it and “this persuasion does not come from Him [Christ] who calls you” (cf. Gal. 5). Be wary of being forced to obey the laws of Moses. Such persuasion does not come from Christ who calls you. The Apostles taught the faithful to have collections for the Lord’s people and that’s the most you will see in the infant Church of the New Testament concerning commandments of giving.

An Example in Corinth

In Corinth, St. Paul had sown the seed of Christ in the hearts of a good number of faithful but the sheer number of spiritual gifts they kept receiving made these young Christians very unruly in many aspects. In Pauline fashion, he decides to address their misunderstandings in a letter with his usual style of admonishing, in an act to drive home key points that matter most, before returning to the loving fatherly figure he is in person. After talking about divisions, disputes, sacrilegious feasting of the Eucharist and abuse of spiritual gifts he gives them the most important teaching on Love/Charity in chapter 13 before giving them the same commands of giving every Sunday for the purpose of the Lord’s people (I Cor 16:2). Please do not mistake the “Lord’s people” to just mean the Church leaders only because they are not the main people who these collections were for. They were for those Jesus mentioned in Matthew, remember the hungry, thirsty, naked etc. These were the purpose for giving so that all can find meat in the New Covenant storehouse of God (cf. Matt. 25: 31-40). It was important for the faithful in Corinth to understand that they were under no lawful compulsion but were expected to give from the heart so, in his second letter, Paul included the emphasis “not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” to drive the commandment home. Those words were forever etched in my heart as a child even if I didn’t really understand why (see. II Cor 9).

 

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