November 22, 2010


There are four things that are unnatural to me in this life. Four things i cannot bear! It is unnatural to say “let there be light” in my house and there is no light. Even God said “let there be light” and there was light! The second thing i cannot stand is to see a dissappointed youth. The very strength of youth implies possibility, so it is very unnatural to have youth and strength and live below the potential and promise it holds.

The third thing that i think is absolutely unnatural is a burnt field. Greenery burnt to char, the ground laid bare and wasted, trees parched up, dried of their moisture and stifled of their life. That picture is unnatural. Green grass, vibrant trees, abundant lush? That’s nature. That’s natural. Life is natural, abundance is natural, vibrance is natural , productivity is natural, fruiting is natural, being supported by the piece of earth that holds your roots is natural, just like it is natural for our country to prosper and unnatural for it to fail miserably in the clutches of poverty, corruption, injustice, and it’s other unnatural ills.

The fourth thing i cannot bear, that is unbearably unnatural, is to have a dream, to see it, hear it, taste it, feel it and then it doesn’t come true. One reason why people’s dreams don’t come true is called “discouragement”. It is a silent killer. It is potent enough to take out not only the dreams of one person but even the hopes of an entire nation.

For instance, in Nigeria, we have seen so much oppression, corruption and injustice and have witnessed the untimely abortion of many attempts at sanity in some sectors, so when someone expresses a positive hope for our country in our hearing, we respond half heartedly that things will never change. They can and they will but discouragement will steal our chance if we let it. I tell you, whenever God is trying to do the impossible in our lives or in a people he stirs up hope, he inspires “believe” , he awakens faith. Isn’t that what God is prompting us to do for our country? Hope. The devil has gotten wind of that and is trying to stiffle it because he knows that if we dare have hope as a country, we would start to pray. And when we pray things will change.

The very rythm of steady prayer will unite us in one purpose. Our collective prayers will harness for us the most powerful forces in the universe: prayer and unity. That’s why we need to take hold of that line of hope, muster our strength and pray out the devil and his pandora’s box of evil from our land.

Have you ever come to a stalemate where you lack strength and inner resolve and feel a total loss of energy to do something you used to believe in or feel strongly about? Have you ever felt irritated by a pattern playing out in your life but can’t seem to muster enough strength to change it and you feel like you are helplessly watching yourself do nothing?

Discouragement is the enemy of strength. The devil is the author of discouragement. The tools of his trade are obstacles meant to stymie (hinder, block, thwart, prevent, confound, frustrate, upset, stump, mystify, baffle) your dreams and desires. He specialises in stinging you with a dose of unpleasant reality until you accept defeat.

Let me show what the blueprint says-

we are God’s own handiwork, recreated in Christ Jesus by being born again( being born into a spiritual life with him) so that we may do those good works which God predestined or planned before hand for us, taking those parts which he prepared ahead of time that we should walk in them, living the good life which he prearranged and made ready us to live.

And it also says:

God is able to make all grace, favour and earthly blessing come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self sufficient, possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.

That’s whats up for grabs. That’s what discouragement is trying to rob you of.

I’m really daring to “a state of believe”, anyone who feels discouraged about a forward movement that they are expecting to happen in their life. It is natural to be happy, settled, established or fulfilled. It is natural to prosper. The devil will try to discourage that hope, don’t let him win over you. For that person, you need to pray against every hindrance the devil has put in your way, in your thoughts, in your mind, in your attitude or in your emotions.

In 1 thessalonian 2:18, Paul talks about being hindered, impeded and stymied by the Devil when he was making repeated efforts to see the believers at Thessalonica. Yep that happens so pray. You need to sustain your faith and hope by feeding on the word of God- the source of faith. Ever read these words in your bible; “Faith cometh by hearing the word of God”?

God will put steel into the frailest hopes and faintest expectations and give you the power you need to break out of the stalemate of discouragement. It is God who is all the while effectually at work in you , energizing and creating in you the power and desire both to will and do what needs to be done to make your dreams come true.

I pray that God grants you today; to be strenghtened and reinforced with mighty power in your innerman, by the Holyspirit who himself indwells your innermost being and your personality, so that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp a total measure of what God has prepared for you to have and experience.

Don’t be discouraged. Be full of hope.

November 14, 2010


From the time i was little, i have been attracted to things that sparkle in the light. I remember how i used to pick up beads, colored embellishments, sequins, even sweet wraps, stones and pieces of glass. I pretended they where precious stones and i was a princess. They were my wardrobe for my princess diary fantasies. So today when i insist a tailored dress must come fully embellished with stones and shiny things my mum just laughs whimsically reminiscing my wee days when i waited for the studs on her shoes to fall off, ran after the colored stones on her laces, or pretended to be her wearing her jewelry!

Well i guess old habits die hard because when i enter a jewelry store i catch fever just looking from one show glass to the next. The large cocktail rings, the bracelets, the beaded and chain neck pieces, the studded belts, and tasty ear pieces leave my throat dry. A colleague who once witnessed my fidgeting was totally bewildered. He said commenting on the incident later, that i was literary shaking! I have since earned the names Esmeralda , Bedazzled and Sparklerella from my girlfriend who teases me whenever i make an appearance with a new piece for my jewelry collection. Yes i like all that glitters, gold or not!

But now to the good stuff....

The idea of 2010 was hard for me to capture even 2-3 years ago because it looked like a major milestone from Y2K, but 2010 has come and is passing and i thought i should write something to remind us about the goals we made at the beginning of the year.

Sometimes in the pursuit of our goals we ourselves could be the stumbling blocks - now i don’t mean we physically do things to hurt or hinder our progress but i refer to our thoughts where we can think up the obstacles of fear, dig pits of discouragement or blot out the light of hope with doubt. The enemy within is a mind full of disempowering beliefs, negative emotions and negative thoughts.

A negative thought is that line of discussion you have with yourself that drains your energy and keeps you from moving forward toward a solution or a desired result.”They are disintegrating elements which break up the straight line of effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless” says Author James Allen about thoughts like doubt and fear in his book, As a man thinketh. A mind assailed by self doubt and/or crippling fears doesn’t believe in itself. These thoughts of inability or weakness lead to failure.

Wouldn’t it be ironical to expend physical effort to attain a goal and at the same time continue to frustrate it’s accomplishment by entertaining thoughts and phobias, attitudes and habits which do not harmonize with what you want and desire? James Allen writes “ As the physically weak man can make himself strong so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong”. Personally i read my bible every day because it is a repository of positive thoughts and right attitudes that attract success. The general idea is to align your dominant thoughts with the attainment of the goals you are externally striving to achieve.

You are most certainly not your moment of weakness or your experience of failure. You are not your weakness, YOU are your strengths put together. Rehearsing poor thoughts won’t give you a sense of power but a sense of failure and inadequacy. There’s more to define our capability than mistakes we’ve made. There’s more to show our strength than the trials that have defeated us. We are people with ability to do and to change and that’s the kind of thinking that should be in a mind that has become friends with itself and its goals.

So there... as the year faithfully ticks away fulfilling its allotment of days, i hope someone reading this also ticks off as done this year’s allotment of goals!

November 07, 2010

Eka’s bridal shower

Eka is the modern day Florence Nightingale with a Monalisa smile. She’s quite the girl next door so when the girls asked me to be the emcee at her bridal shower, i knew it would be a sensible evening. Bridal showers these days turn into wild parties crawling with good girls anxious to get bad. The game of “truth or dare” is quite a favorite, because you can get away with asking a total stranger their dirty secrets or with taunting a friend into confessing a surreptitious tryst. Wresting truth from unwilling lips gets more entertaining when a girl chooses a dare. When this happens, her “questioner” becomes the evil stepsister, daring her to an embarrasing task with a penalty. But knowing our bride -to- be, we suspected she would exorcise her guests of such schoolgirl antics if we dared them.

We realised there would be different classes of women; single, dating, engaged, and married. It could be an opportunity to trade life’s recipes and hand down ageless secrets, woman to woman. So began the best bridal shower i ever attended. We spent our time asking questions, sharing experiences and trading lessons. The single girls wanted to know the challenges of their married friends. Everybody wanted to know how Eka met Mr Right.

We spent an especially long time resolving one girl’s concern about sex before marriage. I was alarmed when i realized how little the younger girls knew. While they had been told sex outside the nurturing environment of a marriage relationship was wrong, nobody had ever told them why. Even those who thought it was wrong based on religion, could not back their religious beliefs with personal conviction. There was a brief arguement then but Eka punctuated it from a biblical standpoint that fornication is a sin and God’s way is abstainance. For a minute we forgot it was a bridal shower not a women’s conference.

We tackled the myth that if a girl didn’t have “work experience”, a man wouldn’t want her but which man likes to know someone has had you before he married you? I wondered if those who peddled these ideas would be happy to teach it to their sisters. We agreed that if it wasn’t good for the sisters it definately wasn’t good for the girlfriends. One undergrad student was scared her boyfriend would leave her if she didn’t give in. If he really loves you he wont ask you to do something you don’t want to or threaten to leave you because you didn’t let him have his way. But what if you’re sure you’ll marry him?

To help the girls we did an exercise called “Getting motivated by the fear of consequences”. We explored all the possible effects of dating with “benefits”. We considered every angle including how it could affect the ladies emotionally and spiritually. We also explored hypothetical scenarios, like what could happen if they were found out by someone who would be dissappointed in them or if they realised it wasn’t love but he just wanted to get in their pants or if he dumped them for another girl or if they ended up marrying someone else. Here, i observed that every one seemed to know a tale about some friend whose freedom of expression later caught up with her in married life. By the end of the exercise, we noticed that while getting pregnant was a common item on their lists, getting dumped and contracting a disease were some of the most feared consequences.

Just before the food was put away and the dancing began, every woman in the house gave the bride -to- be a piece of advice. Each woman gave freely from her experience. It was all heart felt, Eka cried. Many days later, i still cherish the bond of sisterhood formed from laughter loaned and tears borrowed at Eka’s bridal shower.
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