Friday, January 30, 2015

Let Your Praise Set You Free

I run short of words whenever I try to describe God’s awesomeness and the grandness of the plans He has for us. He watches over us like an eagle and rescues us even when we’ve lost hope. I had a peculiar situation recently but I was so positive in my spirit that I didn’t allow it weigh me down. I worshipped and danced whenever I could because it was a great therapy and I knew God was going to rescue me. To His glory, my situation was remedied. I was so surprised ‘because I didn’t even see it coming.
 
I read Willie Myrick’s story on CBN . It is a story that inspires and is very similar to that of Paul and Silas.  We are reminded of the power of praising God even in difficult situations. The 9 year old boy was kidnapped but released after his kidnapper got irritated by his continuous praise singing. The little boy repeatedly sang Hezekiah Walker’s Every Praise.


In a funny twist, his parents are atheists. His godmother is the one that takes him to church. What better way to prove God’s existence.

Are you in a tight corner and cant seem to find the way out? Get off your seat and praise holding nothing back. Let your praise set you free.

Have a beautiful weekend.


PhotoCredit: thepreachersword.com

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dealing With Body Image Issues And Insecurities

I know many women have conversations in their heads with themselves whenever they are looking at a mirror. You wonder at the pimple that is on your upper lip that might ruin a nice pout in a selfie or about the scar on your right leg that makes you feel uncomfortable to flaunt your legs.  Like that is not enough, you move on to ‘deeper’ things like when you touch your nose and hold it down and wish it was slimmer. You press your forehead and imagine what it would be like if it was less protruding. You stare at your figure sucking your tummy in imagining what it would be like if you were to cut a few pounds off or you play dress up wearing butt pads enjoying the image the extra volume reflects.

Then you get some money and you realize your dream body is just a call away, all you need is for you to call that doctor to book an appointment and you can finally fix Nature’s error(s). Who chooses these bodies for us anyway? What is life when you can’t stand to look at yourself naked? You get the breast implants and discover a slimmer waist and a rounder butt will look better on you so the excitement of the new breast implants is very short-lived because the dissatisfaction you feel is still present.

Honey do you still think the happiness you so much desire can be found in these body parts?

I am an advocate of going after whatever brings one happiness.  But happiness is such a fluid concept, one minute it is here and the other minute you can’t seem to find it. The happiest people in the world are not the ones with the least problems, they are the ones that have decided to let go of mundane things.
Go for whatever makes you happy but be sure the pursuit is worth it. What happens if you are ever involved in a fire outbreak or an accident and your body is scarred from that? Or  Do you think a blind woman’s problem is why are bosom is not well rounded?

Forgive my cynicism, I am just saying all these worries about having the perfect face, breasts, butts , waist , legs and whatever are just vanity.

As a teenager, I fought desperately to come to terms with how I looked. In summary, every time I looked in a mirror all I saw was a scrawny boyish budding female that looked nothing like the girl in front of the magazine and therefore I enjoyed fading into the background wherever I found myself. If anyone told me I was beautiful, I thought perhaps they felt the need to say some kind words to me .My mum was such a sweetheart, she always said I looked royal even when the image I saw in the mirror didn’t look like it. It took quite some time to finally feel good about myself and I discovered that all along the problem wasn’t the way I looked, it was my perception of myself.

I watched Jennifer Lopez discuss  her insecurities and I finally concluded it has nothing to do with one's physical attributes. If you feel insecure 'cause of your looks, look deeper to find the reason why, you'd find it has nothing to do with your looks.

Dress well, carry yourself gracefully, life is not that serious, embrace the wrinkles that tell the stories of how long you have been on earth. Ignore the media's image of what a perfect body should look like, you are amazing just the way you are. snobbish nose, bow legs, round face, big lips, small lips, whatever , none describes you.

Live free.

Photo Credit:bodyandsoul.au




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is He Very Loving Or Just Insecure

I can hear a man’s voice in the background, I thought you said you’re home alone.
That’s my dad, he just came in.
Are you sure? Give him the phone, I want to say hello.

Does this sound familiar to you? Or have you ever had to explain that the reason why you couldn’t pick a particular call was because it was 2am at night and you were knocked out from the day’s event, but you were still made the villain because your partner thinks you might have been with another man/woman. Have you had to explain through clenched teeth that the male voice in the background is your brother’s or have you made enemies of your old friends because your boyfriend perceives they are bad influences.

I was once in a relationship where I needed to keep the guy I was seeing up to date on everything I do. When I say everything, I mean everything. I silently bore all sorts of ridiculous allegations because I felt he was going to come around and he‘d understand just how much I loved him. Turned out I could have been waiting forever.

Love has to be one of the most misconstrued concepts. A teenage girl might think she is in love with a man just because he has a ripped body or his accents are to die for. Lots of people think love is all about the butterflies in one’s belly at the sight of another. Love is not all those controlling unhealthy feelings some people share. It is that pure selfless feeling when two souls meet and are able to find friendship even after passion.
 Love is great when mixed with a little dose of jealousy. We naturally want to guard what is ours and it is fascinating to know someone else could be losing sleep over you (I mean this in a good way). However nothing hurts like trying to explain to an over possessive lover how committed you are to them over and over again. They don’t just get it, it is like trying to explain laws of Physics to a 2year old child.


It is easy to be caught up in this kind of relationship and still stay back in such relationships despite the mental, emotional and sometimes physical abuse. You blame yourself sometimes for the fault of your partners telling yourself you should be less outgoing just to prove the point that you are faithful. He controls every aspect of your life, he has the passwords to all your social media accounts and even cloned your sim card so he can monitor your calls and you still think it is normal.


If you are caught in a situation such as this, you need to admit the truth to yourself and spell it out as what it is. You are in a controlling unhealthy relationship and something needs to be done fast. I know you probably tell yourself he loves you but honey , if you don’t act fast, you will come out of that relationship with nothing left of your self-esteem.

You are no psychologist, stop trying to sort out personality issues where your feelings are involved, if you are going to play doctor, then take a break from the relationship while you iron out your differences.

It is not as easy as I made it sound but we are going to discuss how one can deal with an insecure partner in my subsequent posts.

For now, don’t be caught up in an unhealthy relationship masked as a loving one. You need to address it.

Have a great day.



Monday, January 26, 2015

Put Your Best Foot Forward!

I've always been told that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the realization that something else is more important than fear.... and honestly, it seems I used that saying as a motto when I was younger. I had zeal that knew no respite and courage that laughed in the face of fear. However, the older I got, the more my fear grew. I don't know if it's because I became more cautious or simply because I started to focus on other things, but I know I simply relaxed and watched many of the dreams I was so passionate about take the back seat. 

Perhaps you are just like me- grown and cautious, with dreams that are in the back seat, though not forgotten. It is high time you take your big step and put your best foot forward! What is it that you have always dreamt of doing? Is your job just a means to an end to you?  Is it plain routine? a necessary evil you have to go through all for the sake of fulfilling societal obligations? Well, I'll tell you something I told myself last week while I was meditating- 'don't die before you are dead". Don't forget your dreams and aspirations simply to fulfill expectations set for you by other people. Put your best foot forward

Putting your best foot forward might start with simply making a list of all you hope to achieve. Writing your plan of action to achieve each is the next step, and finally taking action. It doesn't matter how difficult or unattainable a dream may seem, always put your best foot forward. In the words of the boy band Westlife, "you have to fight for every dream because who should know which one you let go of, will make you complete?"

Don't let your dreams die, step out in faith and believe in yourself! Go out and get yours! 


When One Gets Too Familiar With The Things Of The Spirit(A Personal Experience)

The service had started an hour before I entered but I cat walked in like the church should be glad I was gracing them with my presence. After all, I was wearing the dress I just bought and my shoes were to die for. I made calculations in my head of how many compliments I would get at the end of the service and my feigned surprise like I didn’t know I looked that stunning. I was just going to stay the next 45 minutes probably chatting on my phone and catching up on whatever gist I might have missed on the social media while waiting for the service to end. It had suddenly become the norm after my supposed life changing altar call. Church services were just for socializing.
 
I couldn’t explain it, I seemed to have devoured all the parts of the bible. Nothing fascinated me anymore. I could recite my everyday prayers in my sleep, it started from thanksgiving to prayer for forgiveness, then I ask for whatever I want and pray to make heaven. I had sunk so deep into this monotony and everything had just become so routinely. I knew I had to find a way out of the block. Every message sounded the same to me. I was the type of Christian I despised. Neither here nor there. Not bad enough for some kind of sins but not Christian enough to take the right stand.

You know how this story goes, there are no half ways, and one is either in or out.I was slowly treading the path that might lead to my destruction.

I knew I had to make a change and the void I felt needed to be filled. I started from acknowledging the situation. I recognized how self-conscious I had become, forgetting that I was not my own. I needed a fresh dose of anointing and I was ready to be broken and pieced together again. A convention was slated for a week and I resolved to attend every single service with an open mind. I had a lot to learn and I needed something to minister to me and wheel me towards that turning point again. This time I hoped to hold on to that beauty of the fullness the Holy Spirit brings.
Songs are a big part of my life. I even hum soundtracks to my day to day activities, so it is no surprise that I was finally redeemed through music. The choir came alive on the first day of the convention singing Tye Tribbett’s ‘Bless the Lord’. An awakening occurred inside of me, it was like a release of fresh anointing. I broke down and cried, I was glad because I could feel the fire that I thought was burnt out still burning. God didn’t go anywhere, I was the one that stopped being in touch.I stopped appreciating the freshness in every message, I thought i had heard it all.

I share this now because for some weird reason I gave a speech in the dream I had last night about the turning point in my life. I know this might just change someone else’s life too.

Are you where I used to be? Do you feel the need to be excited in the Spirit again? Understand that one might slip atimes and you need to take conscious steps into making that change before you get sucked into the life you escaped from. You need to always be on guard, the enemy is lurking in the dark just waiting for you to slip. Stay alert soldier. God loves you too much to leave you stuck in a ditch. He is that voice of reason that silently speaks when you are left alone with your thoughts. Hear him and Genuinely seek him. Don't be satisfied with being dissatisfied. Find that connection again.


Have a great week.

Photo Credit:redletterchristians.org

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Of Nose Rings , Scanty Clothes and Other Doctrines

There are lots of misconceptions in the Christendom. See, I was going through one of my FB groups when I stumbled upon this debate about what to wear and what not to wear. The writer wanted to know if wearing anklets was in line with the practice of Christianity. As you’d imagine, many people had  opinions on what they thought was right or wrong.

I was surprised to read some comments and that left me wondering of our general view of Christianity. Christianity is not a cult where people have regular uniforms, we are not under law but we are guided by the need to live a modest life tailored after the life Christ lived. The problem here will now be that modesty is relative. I remembered riding the bus home one day and a woman that was well adorned in jewelries and with long manicured nails stood up to minister, people immediately started murmuring  and passing all sorts of nasty comments. They had already profiled her as an unbeliever even before she spoke. She was unrelenting and she later got people’s attention and I am sure her words probably saved a life that night.

I agree that one’s physical appearance in relation to clothing and accessories might be reflective of the person’s character but God sees deeper than that surface. God’s way is not our ways, what makes sense to us might be foolish to him. How did we ever reach the conclusion that we will be judged based on what we wear.


The ultimate criterion has always been accepting Jesus as one’s Lord and savior. Anklets, toe rings, nose rings or whatever accessory we decide to adorn ourselves with doesn’t  put us off as good Christians.

Christianity is a faith and not a religion. Jesus didn’t die so we could be judged by things we wear or don’t wear. Don’t wear trousers, don’t wear front buttoned shirts, don’t wear skirts with slits don’t apply make-up, don’t use jewelries, don’t use wigs or apply chemicals on your hair If allowed, we’ll be told not to wear perfumes or use scented soaps or wipes because the products will attract people’s attention to us. All these are at best doctrines and practices that are not even near the core of what we should stand for as Christians.

So what if a person follows all these doctrines and is considered chaste and pious in the eyes of the society but is filled with hate and spite?


Truth be told some form of clothing might be so scanty that another man is led into sin, this is where modesty should be employed but it is really wrong that we judge other people because of their perceived extravagant fashion choices. Let’s keep our eyes on the price, which is to spread the Love and knowledge of Christ, rather than invest energy and time into distracting doctrines and practices.

Have a beautiful weekend.


Photo Credit:Zazzle.com


Friday, January 23, 2015

How Are You Affecting Those Around You?

Last night I watched TLC for two hours straight. That rarely happens! the only TV channel that manages to capture my attention for so long is BBC Lifestyle and it has to be because I'm learning recipes on Masterchef or staring in amazement at the competitors of come dine with me. But yesterday, I found myself watching the different journeys of the first graduating class of Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), and I was watching with rapt attention. If an earthquake had happened at that time, I probably wouldn't have felt it. I was watching in admiration as the girls told their stories, how they got into OWLAG and how the academy has affected them positively. 

But more importantly, I watched Oprah Winfrey, a woman who came from the bottom of the food chain, just like most of us, yet made her way to the top through dedication and hardwork. As much as I admired that, it wasn't what stood out for me. It was the fact that she took her time and energy to develop an environment where girls could learn more about themselves, own their voices and stand for their dreams. I wondered how she got to the point where she was absolutely convinced she could do it. She could have made up many viable excuses such as "I don't have children, so I don't know how I'll be able to help these girls", "I am American, why help girls I barely know in Africa?", "I don't know what the African culture is like so I can't help all these girls in disadvantaged environments"... but she didn't. She chose to be strong, because she knew that in spite of how terrifying the process may be for her, she was still in a better position than those girls; she was in a better position to help them than their parents ever could... so she did. 

Many of us are busy giving excuses, we are busy compiling reasons why we just can't affect the people around us positively. Instead of being a blessing to them, we oppress them with our ostentatious behaviour. You might say 'well, Oprah Winfrey has more money than I do. Surely she can do what she pleases with it. That may be true, but money is not the only key to affecting people positively. Lend an ear every now and then, share your connections, help them when they are job hunting, help them when they seek scholarships, help those around you with the little you have. Be a blessing, not an adept excuse giver. Oprah Winfrey did not have to build a school in South Africa; as a matter of fact, she did not have to build a school anywhere in the world. She could have chosen to spend her money on fancy holidays and whatever else tickles her fancy, but she didn't. She reached out to a community that she barely knew and made a difference. You can reach out too, to those around you who look up to you. You can affect them positively and make a difference, no matter how small. Are you having a positive effect on those around you? Think about it

image culled from oprah.com

Thursday, January 22, 2015

4 Types Of Men To Avoid

Falling in love has to be in the class of one of the coolest things in the world. It is so great to have another person’s name constantly ringing in one’s head and having private laughs just remembering how great the times spent together were. This part is no doubt the easiest part of a relationship. It is just the heart alone on a wild selfish exploit. There are no deep thoughts involved, one doesn’t have to deal with the long term (yet).

It gets realer when one needs to take the step to seal things up forever. See, I am a romantic (or I like to think I am) but I think some things are just logical. Falling in love isn’t enough, there are other things to consider. I read of a lady that dumped a guy she already had an introduction ceremony with because she wasn’t sure of his potentials. Five years later, the guy is still struggling. I am not about to mock any one’s struggles but some facts just speak for themselves. Dreams are good but they don’t pay bills and when things get really tough, egos and feelings will be scarred. You don’t want to set yourself up for a miserable life.

Marriage takes some deep thoughts and below is a list of the guys you don’t want to end up with.

·         The dreamer: he has a blueprint of what everything should be in the ideal world. He might even deceive you he has got some potentials but don’t be deceived my love, he will still be on that mode in many years to come. You don’t need a dreamer, you need a doer. Someone that can hold his own and take care of the family. Put on your running shoes and run fast from that man. Forever is a long time.

·         The stingy man: I can’t even explain this because I don’t understand how one can be stingy to whom one loves. I understood the concept of giving and receiving from God premised on that. The ability to give is closely linked to love. Your parents gave up many things just to give you a great life because they love you. God rains blessings upon us because he loves us. Partners exchange gifts because they love themselves. It is a no brainer. Don’t allow yourself make excuses for such person’s behavior. You don’t want to be stuck in such relationship forever. Move while you still can.

·         The selfish man: he is all about himself, he probably thinks he is doing you a favour by proposing to marry you. He can literally choke on his own air of self-importance. There are always telling signs like when he had to go the gym when you were ill at the hospital or when he will rather upgrade his smart phone while you still go about with that cellotaped one. He just doesn’t see anyone’s situation outside his own. You don’t need him. There will be times you will encounter situations that need selfless approaches and you don’t want to find out then that you have been riding solo all along. I know men that take public transport just because the only car makes it easier to transport the kids and their wives.

·         The womanizer: Do I even have to tell you this? Moving on.


Like I said earlier, love surpasses that superficial passion of enjoying another’s company. Falling in love is that infatuation part and very far from the real deal. While chemistry forms a large part in deciding whom we might want to settle with, it is not enough and we need to watch out for some things because love doesn’t have to hurt.

Some men change while some stay stuck with their annoying personalities. Don’t make someone else’s drama yours, just don’t deceive yourself on the things you think you can handle. There is always that voice of reason that rings in every one’s head when one is about to make important decisions, be very sure you are ready for the whole ride. Look well and listen before you leap.

There are always issues between couples but they need not be ones that go to the very foundation of their co-existence.

Cheers.

Photo Credit:jumpdates.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stay Fervent In Prayer

Prayer is the key to all we desire, all we wish for, and simply our guide to everyday life. Many of us tend to pray only when things are too difficult to bear, some of us pray without really connecting to it; it is more of a routine than something we enjoy doing. Some of us however, are very connected to our prayers and we are always spiritually aware of what happens around us.



One question I hear many Christians asking these days though is "after asking God for something once, should I keep praying about it? If I do, doesn't it show that I lack faith?"

I used to ask myself the same question at some point. I wondered if God felt like I lacked trust in his ability to hear my gentle whispers of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 put things in perspective for me. It says "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".  This verse not only highlights the need for us to give thanks continually but it also makes it clear that we should pray for what we desire without ceasing. The fact that you pray about a situation, a need or a want continuously does not mean you lack faith. If anything at all, it is evidence of your faith. Think about it this way: If you need to book an appointment with a very important person, chances are you will need to go through security and more often than not a PA. Depending on how badly you need to speak to this person, you may have to make a number of calls to his or her PA trying to find an open spot into which you can be squeezed. Do you call the PA just once, expect her to remember your charming voice three weeks later and book you in for a few minutes with her boss? I guess your answer is no. If many of us are afforded the opportunity, we would call the PA, buy her chocolates, praise her fashion sense and even strike up random conversation.

Why not apply that fervency to our prayers? It is not because God is deaf, or because he forgets. It is because we believe strongly that we should pray fervently. Why do we keep calling the PA? Because we believe she's the only one who can get us time with her boss! Well, God is the only one who can give us all we desire, and all we wish to have. Our fervency reminds him of how strong our faith is, and how much we believe he is the only one who is able! XOXO

Exclusive: Pastor Poju Oyemade's bride-to-be revealed

Finally, the identity of Pastor Poju Oyemade's bride-to-be has been revealed. The media has been agog lately with the news that he was getting married soon. He even made reference to upcoming nuptials on National TV during the December Cross-over service last year.

Pastor Poju Oyemade is the Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Centre based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the convener of "The Platform" and WAFBEC.

The bride is Toyin Fajusigbe (popularly known as T.Fajj). She is the Founder/Producer of Story Teller Media in Nigeria.


This very private wedding will take place in the first week of February, 2015.

Covenant Relationships has been granted an exclusive interview which will be published next week.

Watch out for the interview.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Holding Off Kids For Career's Sake

There are times I really want to know how exactly happiness is measured. We all keep going round and round trying to fill up the holes in our lives with the utmost goal of being happy. I have a friend that just wants to meet a rich man to marry and bear kids. That is her lifelong desire and aspiration. While this might seem ridiculous and incomprehensible to another, it doesn’t stop it from being a goal. If you ask another person, you’d likely hear something totally different. We are members of same race but totally different in our ways which informs the disparity in our choices.
 
Like I said earlier, our aspirations might be different but there are some things that come with the natural flow of life. As a woman, it is expected that one gets married at some point and bear children, this aligns with the principle of procreation. However, there are instances where the woman decides to hold off marriage for education or career purpose or decides to hold off giving birth for the same purposes mentioned earlier even after getting married. At times, those in the entertainment business hold off because they don’t want anything to mess with their physical appearance or they don’t want to lose momentum on their career growth.

I love when a woman holds her own and puts her foot down in decision making that changes so many lives. It is thrilling to see a woman in all those high offices that used to be marked with ‘men’ and even more exciting to see that they have been able to strike a balance. Different profession requires different approaches and it is easy to become a slave to one’s career without one knowing.

This is where I ask if it is alright to make such decisions? Should one hold off kids for career pursuit?

However way one views it, you’d agree career pursuit is premised on the quest for relevance.My opinion is that much as happiness is a desired end for all of us, its translation to each person is different. I would also love to state that one shouldn’t be selfish in one’s search for happiness. Having a great career is an advantage and lots of people might respect one widely for one’s achievements but work can’t fill the void of a family or children. When one’s bones are tired and the crowd desire more youthful hands and faces, it will seem like a misplaced priority. If one plans well, it is very possible to have a decent career alongside kids and husband. You need not go down the extreme road, your certificates stop being useful to anyone else the moment you breathe your last but the kids would live after you and celebrate the life you lived long after you are gone.


I will love to read your thoughts on this. Kindly drop your comments in the box below.

Photo Credit: babcare.com
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