Monday, November 30, 2015

When Oceans Rise... Word of Encouragement

2015 is almost over, and there is no doubt some of you awesome readers are still looking up to God for a breakthrough; some of you are probably wondering if God is on holiday, and some of you are crucifying yourselves for your sins. Perhaps, they are the giant obstacles between you and God. I just want to tell you that I know EXACTLY how you feel. 

2015 started off great for me! It came with a lot of pleasant surprises and many reasons to give thanks. Along the way, it took a terrible turn I did not foresee, and truly I tell you that I’ve experienced emotions I never thought I could experience. I have broken down, picked myself up, walked a few metres and broken down again. Anxiety, panic attacks, and flirting with the borders of hopelessness… It has simply been too much for me to understand, and in the midst of all this, the one question I’ve asked myself is ‘why is God silent?’ If you’re asking yourself the same question, this post is for you. 

Sometimes, life does not play out the way we want; sometimes it plays out better or takes a turn for the worse. When it turns out great, many of us give thanks and ride the wave of happiness. When it turns out sad, we retreat, pray, fast and do whatever else we believe will turn things around quicker. It is of course rather disappointing when all these efforts prove futile and we find the foundation of our faith being shaken to its very core. I know because I have been there so many times within a short space of time.

My word for you is to not despair; easier said than done I know, but really, don’t. Life is full of peaks and valleys. Peaks are awesome; the journey upwards is scary in an exciting way. Valleys are depressing; the journey downwards is full of fear, panic, anxiety and every other psychological term that describes how you feel when you are filled with uncertainty. But don’t despair. This is all a test of faith.

Yes, you can break down and cry; yes you can get angry at God; yes you can reconsider if this relationship is heading anywhere, but always remember that no one else loves you more than God. It sounds ridiculous right? Yea it did to me too until I closed my eyes to sleep last night while I listened to music and Hillsong’s oceans started playing. It made me realize the reason we lose hope and faith is because we forget the many times God came through for us. We focus so strongly on the current situation that we forget he has been our help in ages past, hence chances of him failing now are a little slim to none. We forget that when oceans rise, we can rest in His embrace, and believe everything will work out just fine. Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love, and everything truly works out for our good. 

So if you are going through a difficult time, ravished by uncertainty and hopelessness, hold on to this; when oceans rise, God is right there. When we fall into deep valleys, God is already waiting. When the mountain is too steep and we slip, God is already there. If it seems like He’s silent, it’s because he’s about to change the course of your life completely. December is already here. Challenge yourself each day to reinforce your faith, and pray for strength to get through each day. You are a winner; I am a winner. We are all winners. The storm you see today, you shall see no more. Everything will work together for your good. XOXO

Sunday, November 29, 2015

You knew what was in store for you before the marriage


In all marriages, you always get a glimpse of what the marriage will be like before you get married. The difference between successful marriages and unsuccessful marriages is that the successful ones see the issues and decide on whether they can or cannot live the issues. The unsuccessful ones see the issues and decide to go in thinking they can change their spouses (without prayer) whether the spouses like it or not.

Examples abound in the counselling cases that I encounter. There was one case where the woman said that the husband was constantly abusing her, verbally and physically. I then asked whether she did not notice this before marriage. She confessed that there were instances where there were flashes but he felt that it was just a phase and that the guy would get over this habit.

Three Signs You're Dead and You Don't Even Know It

I heard a saying recently; "most people die at 25 and but are only buried at 65 or even older". It made me wonder how it was possible for a person to be dead, yet alive. Recent experiences have proven to me that it is indeed possible to be dead and go to work; it is possible to be dead and have children; it is possible to be dead yet get out of bed every morning and get through the basics of each day. Many people are hibernating in life, and are unaware; many are simply going with the flow for fear that swimming against the current might tear them apart. Many people are breathing oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, but really everything within them is dead, rotten and possibly crumbling to fine particles of powder that can be easily blown away by the wind. It is possible to be dead and not aware. Here are three signs you might be dead and need to awaken yourself!

#1 You've stopped believing in yourself: People do not necessarily die from external pressure and pain. People die inside when their hope in their abilities die. People die when they believe they cannot achieve much, or their extensive efforts will amount to nothing. If you have gotten to a point where you've stopped believing in yourself, and are now ravished by feelings of hopelessness, pain and lack of success, you might be dead inside or very well on your way there. Pause. Step back. Reassess your situation; reassess your strategies. Your failure is not in your ability; it is most likely in your execution style. 

#2 You've stopped believing in love: At some point in life, many people claim to stop believing in love. They refer to past hurts and pain to justify their stand, but after a while, they warm up to the idea of love again. They watch a movie that melts their hearts, they witness a beautiful proposal that gives them hope, they come in contact with someone who does everything right without slipping up, Those are the people who managed to stay away from the dark side. You know you're dying or are dead inside when you've crossed over to the dark side in this regard. When you no longer have hope in humanity or understand why you need to show a person kindness, you're slowly dying inside. No single tree can make a forest, and it is almost impossible to find a tree with a single leaf on it. In other words, you're more likely to flourish when you are connected to others in love. Believe it or not, little acts of love and kindness make the world go round. 

#3 You're sleepwalking through life: Do you ever wake up and feel like you have nothing to look forward to? I understand work is not exactly something many people look forward to but it does help to have a mission set for each day, even if that mission is work. If you are at the point where it feels like you have no mission set for the day, and cannot fathom what you ought to be doing with your life, you might be at death's door inside. I came across an interesting quote that said "loneliness is not the absence of people; it's the absence of purpose." I believe sleepwalking is the absence of a sense of purpose too. There are times when life is just downright difficult; believe me I know. During such times, try as much as possible to engage in activities that keep your mind stimulated. Writing, drawing, singing, aerobics, dance class, whatever it is, no matter how insignificant it may seem, get engaged in something that keeps your mind working, and sets goals before you. 


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Five Reasons Why You Should Avoid Sex

If I had a dollar for every time someone rolls his/her eyes when the celibacy debate comes up, I will probably be right there with Dangote and the likes. Having sex on the first date or after a few dates has become the fad in the present age, even within churches.
Everyone is probably doing it so why be different?
Interestingly, there are people in the present age who dare to be different despite the moral decadence. According to a study , one in 20 couples actually practice abstinence, although it might not be a mutual choice.

People practice celibacy for different reasons; it could be for religious, moral, spiritual or health reasons. Whatever the reason might be, it is not a decision to be imposed on anyone. Everyone and even unborn children know that fornication and adultery is a sin but many still go ahead and break it anyway. There are some rules that can only be kept after one has gained a great understanding why one should keep them.

Rules and regulations are good sometimes but that doesn’t make them easy to keep. It sometimes could feel like being in a strongly guarded cage with huge locks. I never used to like any kind of rule- good or bad. My secondary school reminded me of that cage a lot. Man! Did they have rules? “Don’t be caught doing anything after lights out; always be at the assembly; observe siestas and prep classes; you can’t leave the school except on holidays and midterm breaks; cooked food are not allowed in the hostel; etc.
Looking back now, I have come to understand that some rules and regulations had to be made to save mankind. Imagine if we were all allowed to do whatever we please, if we could get away with murder or if it didn’t matter if we all thought the streets are great refuse dumps? What a chaos we would have created? The point is we don’t necessarily have to understand rules to obey them but understanding them makes them easier to keep.

I can roll out dozens of scriptures on why one has to keep one’s body but you might still be missing the point.
  • STDs are real, yes I said it. There are so many, see a list here. A woman shared how she discovered she couldn’t have children after having contracted chlamydia which blocked her fallopian tubes. Oh, how about condoms, you might ask? Well, they have been known to break.
  • The most obvious one has to be unwanted babies. Even married couples find it hard to deal with babies that weren’t exactly planned for not to consider someone that is not married and ready. As earlier said, condoms have been known to fail.
  • It can be very liberating to know you have no sexual ties or obligations to anyone. You don’t have to wonder about your weight, your sexual skills and what nots, when you could be doing or thinking about more productive things.
  •  It breeds intimacy. You would have more time to focus on other parts of your relationship as you are likely to be less distracted. A study shows some abused people confuse sex for love.
  • Well, I can’t but go spiritual, sex is really sacred. Your body is the temple of Christ. There is an odd chance that one would get married to one’s first love. Imagine all the body counts and all the unknown spiritual engagements with different people before one finally meets the one.

The ball is really in your court and like I said earlier, you can only come to this understanding by yourself. Open yourself up to the Holy Spirit and let him guide you. No one said it would be easy but it is worth trying.
Also it doesn’t matter if you have been having sex before reading this post, you could make amends and take that step to keep yourself. Don’t be deceived by the media, there are many people that are practicing celibacy/abstinence.

God bless.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Five Things You Should Do Before You Say “I Do”

Marriage can be a whole lot of fun, but for some people, it can be full of surprises. They get married and wonder if they even know the person they are married to. They complain about the sudden change in their spouses, and the overwhelming sadness that clouds their marriage.

Truly, it is impossible to know a person completely, and people do change as they grow older, but there are traits about your partner you should know as they would affect the everyday dynamics of your relationship. I was having an interesting discussion with a few friends, and somehow came up with a list of things to do before you decide to tie the knot. 

#1 Go on a road trip: If you think you know your partner well enough, try going on a road trip. I am not referring to a road trip to the next city, or the next state or province. Try something that involves rest stops, long hours of driving, and exchanging responsibilities. Road trips are fun, but they can also test your patience. How does your partner shape up when things get sticky, cramped up and uncomfortable? A road trip could be an eye opener.

#2 Play devil’s advocate: I mean deliberately disagree with your partner on something that is vividly clear. Assess how he or she handles the debate? Does it lead to anger? Do you feel forced to accept his/her opinion? Does he or she catch on that you’re playing devil’s advocate, laugh about it, and move on? Or does it end in sulking? This is an insight into how your spouse will handle your arguments. 

#3 Build something together: It doesn’t matter what it is; a bicycle, a tractor, a bookshelf, anything you fancy. In healthy relationships, couples relish working well together to achieve their set goals. Building something together can help you see what your partner is really like when there’s a goal at hand. Does or he take absolute control of the process without paying any attention to your input? Or is the task approached with constant grumbling? Or does your partner simply fold his or her arms while you take on the bulk of the work? This is a preview of how you will both achieve your goals.

#4 Play Thirty Seconds or Pictionary: The first time I played thirty seconds, I laughed so hard, I cried. Literally! There are no other games that test the communication skills of individuals as well as these two. Couples need to be able to communicate without spelling everything completely. Sometimes, as much as one partner wants to spell things out, it’s just difficult to do so. These games teach the art of communication where every single detail is not spelled out. You might be surprised to find how bad you both are at communicating abstract stuff.

#5 Go to a couples’ retreat: Couples counseling sessions are fun and all, but sometimes, it involves a pastor who gives advice and two people who nod along because they cannot dare to argue with the pastor. An unconventional way to discover and address loopholes in your relationship is a couples retreat with other couples you hardly know. Why? You will not feel the need to impress anyone, or simply nod along. You can speak up, talk about what bothers you, and awaken your intimacy if it’s sizzling out. To do this successfully, you need to open-minded, so it is honestly not for everyone. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dear Husband, Birth Control Should Not Be Left For Your Wife Alone

It is interesting in this day and age that men still leave the issue of birth control to their wives. How can a man say, "I thought you were doing something. How can you get pregnant without telling me?"

I remember sometime back when someone told me her husband was furious with her when she said she was pregnant. I was amazed at her husband's reaction. I proceeded to ask the following questions;

Question: Were you using any birth control method?
Wife: No

Question: Did your husband know that you were not using any birth control method?
Wife: Yes

Question: Was he using any birth control method?
Wife: No

Question: And both of you continued to engage in regular sex?
Wife: Yes

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pastor Poju Oyemade invites you to Singles Summit at Covenant Christian Centre on 29 November

The Covenant Christian Centre presents another edition of its Singles Summit.

The theme of this edition is "Eliminating the Seven Most Prevalent Causes Of Faulty Mate Selection" 

Venue: The Covenant Place, Iganmu 
Date: Sunday, November 29, 2015 
Time: 4.00p.m 

It is Free!!

Here is a Facebook video about the event

Join me this Sunday for the Singles Summit

Posted by Poju Oyemade on Sunday, November 22, 2015
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