I have being very hesitant in posting my NYSC experience as by now you have probably gotten tired of the whole NYSC story. If you just read a little further I promise that you wouldn’t have wasted your time or your mental faculty trying to process what I have to say.
For readers who don’t know the meaning of NYSC-National Youth Service Corps. NYSC is a one year scheme, designed by the Nigerian Government, entailing a 3 weeks paramilitary training at various camps across the federation, after which you serve the community where you have been posted to. Now I am starting to sound like one of the NYSC officials 😉 .
NYSC was a whole new experience for me; of course I had to cover a whole lot of distance by various means just to get to one funny destination called Wanune, Tarka. I leave your mind to wonder about the state, but of course there is google. If by now you haven’t gotten tired of my beating around the bush, then I say congratulations my friend. I am getting to the very heart of the matter.
Have you ever been in a strange place and you have wanted to identify with another? On my first day in camp, there was a lady directly opposite me. I had seen something of hers that identified her as a member of my church, so I carefully waited for her to finish her prayers and then I greeted her and waited to chip this in “Are you a member of….church”, you should have seen the smile on my face when she said yes. This was the part I was waiting for; I immediately chipped in “That’s my church too”. She made a good friend, as I latter got to discover that she was in the same platoon with me and we attended the same fellowship in camp…I did meet another person and she was also from my church too and we made such good friends too. The binding factor here was our DENOMINATION, after that we got to know each other beyond Denomination.
Then came a Sunday morning and I think the title of the message was about “Breaking Denominational Barriers”. I have not been so much into the names of churches as I could sometimes go to another church different from mine and blend in, but for some good reasons I have to identify with a church and stay there.
The Truth is; some of us and even I have forgotten the reason for DENOMINATION and we have replaced the word with SEGREGATION, sometimes with CONDEMNATION. If she is not in my church then he/she is on her way to Hell-fire. May I remind you that we would not stand that day as a DENOMINATION but as individuals and as the Church of Christ! Let me give a brief description of what we are doing, we are all on the same football team “Jesus Team”, but we seem to be playing for the other side or scoring own goals, due to division.
Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
One of the tools the devil seems to be using at a time like this is division in the house of God. He divides then he carries out its plan. It’s very hard to attack a group of people together, but get one person out of the group then it becomes very easy to attack such a person. Let me also remind you of the time when the disciples came to meet Jesus;
Mar 9:38-40 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbade him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.
We shouldn’t be found attacking ourselves all because our doctrines are different, let’s consult the bible and if you feel your brother is not getting something right, win him over with love. We must always have the mindset that we are the body of Christ, irrespective of our different denominations. That my friend is the greatest lesson I learnt in camp.
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Listening to the first lines of Jason Nelson’s song dominion and he goes like “depression, you have to flee, you no longer have dominion over me” and I couldn’t help but think of a lot of people that have had to battle with depression. You probably have gone through the feeling before without even knowing that it’s called “Depression”.
I can’t just help but think that depression has to do with “Deep-pressing-on a person”. It’s good that English language gave it a name and that it exists in the dictionary, but in my own dictionary of words, I’d like to kick out depression. It doesn’t even exist! I can’t help but think that I have something personal against depression.
I really do have something against depression. Truly first impression matters and depression has never left even a good second impression on me. Depression is a thief of hope and joy and it knows that am not accusing it wrongly. Ask anyone that has ever being depressed and they would tell you. Depression robs you of God’s blessing, because it knows that Joy is the access to God’s blessings.
Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation
Fact about depression is that it is a thing of the mind and it doesn’t rob you without your permission. Asides the fact that depression robs you of your blessings; it also has its effect on your health. Depression has an ageing effect and hinders your spiritual growth.
Pro 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Rule your spirit! As simple as this may sound if you don’t have a rule over your own spirit, then you can be easily tossed about by circumstances or situations.
Pro 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Encourage yourself! Depression would always give you reasons to be downcast, but the only way to fight back is to also give it reasons why you shouldn’t be.
1Sa 30:6 And David was greatly distressed for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encourage himself in the LORD his God.
If you would just take your eyes off the things that seem to weigh you down and fix your eyes on Jesus, then you would realize that it wasn’t so big after all, just like David and Goliath. Even if you are not capable you serve a capable God.
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I was running late for an impartation service which was slated for eight and rain was falling heavily, I was able to get my dad to drop me at the bus stop as he was free at that time. After boarding a bus, I sat at the middle row alongside the conductor, there was a boy directly in front of me, and he looked a little bit young. He gave the conductor 200 Naira note and the conductor handed him a 100 Naira in return.
The boy refused to collect the change due to the fact that the money was wet as a result of the rain. Let me chip this in, I was actually happy that the boy rejected the money, because the conductor was treating him in a very rude manner.
They both had an argument and the conductor rained him with insults, after which he told the driver to stop the car and they asked him to come down from the bus. As if that was not enough they continued insulting the boy immediately after they dropped him, I was concerned but at the same time all I wanted was to get to my destination on time.
Now here is the funny part, a small distance after the boy had highlighted, we had a funny sound from the car, boom! Then the car slowed to a halt. I then overheard the conversation of two of the passengers. They were talking in Yoruba but for the sake of all, I will transcribe to English.
“The head of that boy is very strong” one of the passengers said to another. This means that the passenger thought that it was due to the fact that they told the boy to highlight that the vehicle packed up. The second passenger nodded his head to affirm his statement. We had to come down as the bus was no longer in good shape to take us to our destination. I overheard the same passenger repeating the same thing to the conductor and then all of a sudden the conductor that was using abusive words earlier, started saying “God pass am”. At that point I couldn’t hold my laughter.
I walked up to the passenger and asked him if he ever considered that the bus had needed maintenance prior to that and that’s why it was in such a condition. Immediately I told him he started saying “don’t mind them they don’t take care of their vehicles”.
A friend of mine was recently telling me about some few superstitions and how the devil uses it as an opportunity. He said in the North you are to treat twins well, otherwise it is believed that something negative can occur.
He said there was this short boy, a twin, named Hassan. Hassan was a dwarf and had a very big head, as of that time he was 20 years. According to him folks called him “Kei de Kei”, then on a Saturday morning, Hassan was passing along the route where a woman fries akara and she calls him “Kei de Kei”, which in Hausa means “double head” and then he said “let me see how you would fry your akara”, well to cut the long story short the akara was in the hot oil but couldn’t get fried until she apologized and then by the time she got back to her akara it was burnt.
The moment I explained to the passenger his perspective changed immediately. Why did he result to thinking that the boy was the cause of the bus breakdown? Knowledge! God speaking in Hosea 4:6
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
I do not doubt that it is good to do good and all. My challenge comes to linking it to the Law of Karma or superstition as it relates to us Christians. Take care of twins because you one day want to have your own and not because something bad would happen if you do not. One thing I learnt from Pastor Ubong Ntia is to ask a question and the question is “Who said so?”
“They said all the girls in your family never get married” your reply “Who said so?”
“They said you won’t make it” your reply “Who said so?”
“You are under superstition and the law of Karma” your reply “Who said so?”
It is what you place yourself under that you are subject to. Good thing was that I was able to get to my destination on time for the impartation service, if not I would have looked for that conductor with a big whip. I leave the rest to my imagination. So much for superstition and Karma!
Does this feel like something you are going through at the moment? Then this article is for you. You felt this was the right decision you could ever make, to make the situation right again. Your friend, Parent or the guy that promised you marriage, promised you it will be all better after the abortion and soon enough you found out that it was a lie. It wasn’t alright at all.
The circle begins. This is the time that nobody told you of. The period after the deed is done. The questions start swimming in your head “Why did I do this?”, “Am I going to be the same again?”, “Who would ever want me?”…and then comes condemnation knocking on your door “I am worthless”, “God would never love me anymore”, “I am doomed for judgement”, “I would never marry and have a good home” and the list goes on and on.
Pause!!! Beating yourself down with condemning thoughts hasn’t changed anything so far! In fact it probably has added more to the challenge already.
The trick of the devil is to hold you down through condemnation, fear, doubt, low self-esteem…If you have confessed your sins to God, He has forgiven you and he has given you a clean slate. Who are you to remember what God has forgotten?
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 8:1 makes us to understand that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Run out of condemnation by walking into the waiting arms of Jesus Christ.
The Lord is waiting for you with his arms stretched out, just like the parable of the prodigal son. Heaven would rejoice to have you come home. He is saying to you come irrespective of who you are, we can reason together and everything will be alright again.
Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
You can still get up! The story of the woman at the well side shows that Jesus Christ still has Mercy on even the most despised, on those who have given up on themselves. He forgave her but there was one instruction he left with her.
John 8:11 …Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.
Jesus Christ is saying the same to you daughter of Zion, I do not condemn you even if the world does, go and sin no more. Do you know how precious you are? In case you are thinking that you have never aborted, I ask you, what about those dreams that were placed in your heart? What did you do with them!
Heb 12:1 …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…
We can take our queue from the life of Paul the apostle. Paul was one person that should have being moving around with his head buried in the ground. But here in this scripture he charged us on moving ahead and I ask that you do same.
Phi 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Phi 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
If at this moment you are thinking of going through this gory process of abortion, here is a piece of thought “abortion is just a temporary solution”. Remember the spiritual and medical effects of abortion. Like TD Jakes would say Woman thou art Loosed. Play!!!
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I and my immediate elder brother were taken to the hospital to see my elder brother, but I was told that on getting to his bed at the hospital I screamed “Masquerade”. My brother’s face was swollen and you couldn’t even see his eye. I think my immediate elder brother was able to stay by his side.
On Sunday my mum takes a bike going for service and the bike man begins to narrate the incident all over again not knowing that my mum was the mother of the said boy.
“Madam, if you see the accident wey happen here ehn. Fine boy, him mama rub powder for him face. Car come jam am, the boy just die”
“That’s my son you are talking about and he is alive”
“Madam no oh! We dey there when the thing happen, the boy die”
The bike man follows my mum to the house to see my brother. On getting to our house, he narrates the whole incident to my dad. My dad not really knowing the full extent previously, burst out in tears and starts singing.
“I have a very big God oh, who is always by my side…”
Before the bike man leaves the house he looked at my brother and said “this boy will be great”
When I called my brother a masquerade in the hospital, it was due to the fact that his face was disfigured beyond recognition. The kind of face dis-figuration that would have needed a plastic surgery, after all his face was dragged on the wall and on the ground several times, before the car finally stopped. It was supposed to take days for my brother to recover from this ghastly motor accident, but that same day he had gotten better, by the next day he was able to play around in the hospital with his face back to normal. Well, God the master surgeon worked on his face and my brothers’ face is one of the smoothest I have ever seen.
We also did not know the full extent till the bike man gave a narration of everything that happened and am sure the man was able to believe in the God we serve. In fact medically the kind of accident my brother had was such that the person could have seizures due to brain damage which could later lead to death as the accident victim becomes older. Our testimony was such that there was no brain damage, neither was there any cause to continuously run to the hospital due to seizures.
LESSONS FROM LIFETIME TESTIMONY
1. A believer has the authority to decree and declare, and it will be established.
Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
2. God works in ways that we cannot understand and it all seems like a dream before our eyes.
Psa 126:1 A Song of degrees. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
3. We serve a God that neither slumbers nor sleeps, always watching over his children.
Psa 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
This is just one of the numerous testimonies that God has worked in my family. There are different lessons to be learnt from these testimonies, so please comment and share what you learnt from this testimony, let’s learn from you.
To read the first part of this testimony click here
If you have testimonies that you want to share on this platform, please send it to email@example.com
I want to share a testimony that is very precious in my family. A testimony we are always eager to share. It happened sixteen years ago. My mum went to the market to get food stuffs for the house, back then we were staying in my state. My dad was to arrive from Lagos as he was currently working there. Usually, my mum makes a list of what she wants to buy in the market before setting out.
On this particular day she left out Maggi from the list of things which she was supposed to buy, which is very unlike her. Then she decided to send my brother to get it.
“Valentine, please watch the cars passing by and make sure you stay away from the main road”
Prior to this time my immediate elder brother had told my mum that he had a dream that the flower vase on our table got broken. So my mum gathered us to pray and my immediate elder brother sang this song
“The devil is losing again……”
Car tires screeching, driver tries to swerve, but succeeds in picking the young boy from the wall. Drags him a long distance, with the car leaving a mark on the wall…eventually climbs on him, the market women in the vehicle rush down to help the boy and then suddenly the driver drives off.
A Muslim man runs to the scene and places his chest on the boy
“He is Dead”
They got a piece of cloth and they covered him. “Who is the boy’s mother and how can we get to her?” they asked.
A good Samaritan runs to a nearby house
“Mama Val, Mama Val”
She rushes out
“Your son Val had an accident and he is dead”
She runs to a nearby well to jump inside and suddenly hears a voice saying “He that keepeth watch over thee neither slumbers nor sleep” (Ps 121:4)
Here the story goes; my brother was taken to several hospitals, only to be told that the doctors were not available. Due to the chaos, they forgot a nearby hospital, to which the doctor was a family friend. On getting there my mum went out to pray as she wasn’t let in with him.
“Father, I shut the gates of Heaven and Hell, no one gets in, till my son comes back”
Minutes after, the doctor comes to meet her where she is
“Madam, your son is back to life, but in a critical condition.
My dad gets back from Lagos and hears that his first son was involved in an accident, though by then it wasn’t so critical any more. What happened next always brings gratitude to our hearts.
The continuing part coming up next….
I want to thank all who contributed in the name suggestions of the previous article, Mr. Oshin Emmanuel, Mr. Seyi Akinseesin, Mr. Barry,Mr. Jon Koko, Miss. Susan Ug, Miss. Marian, Mr. Kayode Onoba, Miss. Ibk, Mr. Akpaibor Etse, Pst. Omo Jesu, Beyond Words. I had a hard time picking any of the Names, so the article remains nameless as they each suit the article in their different ways.
Many of us have stories to tell…Many years ago I stood as a very skinny and perplexed young girl as I watched a panel beater (as they call them), use all sort of tools to hit my favorite red car. My dad was found of taking me to the mechanics anytime he went there (I never understood why he didn’t take my brothers).
Oh well! I think I understand, I was supposed to learn some lessons, plus the bible always referred to both male and female as men, so maybe in my house it was same! In fact recently a lady banker saw me topping the oil in my dad’s car and was so surprised. The fact that I grew up with boys even influenced my decision to studying engineering and at the end of the day I ended up being referred to as a guy by my male counterparts! As a matter of fact all engineering girls were referred to as guys!
Back to my story! I tugged at my father’s hand innocently and asked my dad “Daddy why are they beating the car” can’t really remember his response, but I guess he must have said “Wait and see”. At a point the man started using sand paper. I just couldn’t take it again!
I wasn’t there when the car was hit but I just couldn’t help but think of the man…Why did he have to hit my dad? Finally my dad dragged me away from the car, all the way home…Did I tell you I kept on disturbing him with questions all the while!
I didn’t want to leave I wanted to stay by the side of my red car. I dressed up very well as we were to come pick up the car the next day (I think I did). On getting to the workshop, there was a look of alarm on my face “Daddy where is my car” I always thought the car was mine after all it was for my dad. When dad laughed and pointed to a strange looking car
Wow! I exclaimed. I thought the car was strange because it looked very new, almost like the day my dad brought it home. In fact to me it looked better. I looked at my dad and probably said “When can we do this again” and he probably gave me a reply like “Any time we get knocked in the back”
2 Corinthians 4:8(msg) We’ve being surrounded and battered by troubles, but we are not demoralized; we are not sure what to do; but we know that God Knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.
Exciting! Life may have dealt you some few knocks, and like me you may have asked plenty questions when God is only trying to bend you back into shape, but I have no doubt that you would be restored better than new! After all he is the manufacturer and the best panel beater ever. I read once in an article that a potter breaks the clay when it’s not taking the shape he had in mind and moulds it again. Didn’t get to name this article so please help out, what name do you think suits this article best, and it will be used.
Harry’s been working all day, too exhausted to eat his dinner so he slouches on the sofa as though he’s caught some fever; fatigue is taking a toll on him! The next moment his mobile buzzes, he picks the phone to see it’s Tony calling, he becomes keen all of a sudden one could almost think it was some promotional good news. Tony says “I’m headed to the bar, would meet you there” Harry jumps off like he’s been suddenly called for a long anticipated interview! He would drive off 6 miles away just to booze! His wife insists on knowing where he’s going, he says he’d be right back before she knows it. It’s now quarter past 7 in the evening, she keeps quiet and stares helplessly, it’s not the first time he’s doing this, it would be 1 the early hours of the morning before he gets home in a half imbecilic state, making Mr Bean look like Einstein! Then the drinking-to-stupor cycle would begin all over by the setting of the morrow. His is a hopeless case she thinks to herself. His is sheer addiction!
Josh is far too decent and disciplined, he’d drink only occasionally; only at a friend’s party or at the traditional marriage feast. He would never have more than a bottle chilling in the refrigerator to which only once in a while does he take a gulp. He never gets pass being tipsy. He always knows how to hold his liquor and when to shut out the bottle. He’s the ideal man when it comes to taking alcohol; he’s only a mild consumer at that!
Two painted scenarios of Harry and James gives us an idea of the upper and lower limits of alcohol consumption by those who indulge.
The 1 million dollar question is;
“IS ALCOHOL COMPLETELY BAD OR IS IT A MATTER OF THE DEGREE OF INTAKE?”
The question has been as controversial as it gets as far back as I can remember till I was tired of hanging in-between lines, those who told me it was bad seem to have just accepted the dogma without any convincing reason as to why I shouldn’t take alcohol. Those who said I should take alcohol but only mildly, couldn’t convince me pass a shabby interpretation of “Proverbs 1 vs. 20”so I decided to ask the Holy Spirit for His own interpretation. The KJV of the scripture makes it clear in:
Matthew 7 vs. 7 “…seek and you shall find…” in:
Jeremiah 33 vs. 3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Here’s the truth I found in the scriptures:
The Levites were among the first group of persons given the instruction to abstain from alcohol as it is not for Priests to take strong drinks.
Leviticus 10 vs. 9 “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations:”
The bible also made it clear in;
Proverbs 31 vs. 4 “[It is] not for kings, O Lemuel, [it is] not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes’ strong drink:”
From the instructions given to the Levites who are priests and the advice given to king Lemuel, it therefore becomes imperative that strong drinks are not for Priests’ or for Kings to consume or meddle themselves with. The grey area is “but I’m not a Priest or a King or at the least, it doesn’t appear so!” Well, here’s what the bible says in First peter 2 vs. 9;
“But ye [are] a chosen generation, a Royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…”
The phrase “Royal Priesthood” clearly indicates that all Christians to which you are a part of, are Kings as in ‘Royal’ and Priests as in ‘Priesthood’. It therefore applies that Alcohol (strong drinks) is not for you if you are to enjoy the spiritual benefits of being a King and a Priest. If this scripture doesn’t still appeal to you, then let us look at Revelations 5 vs. 10;
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Here in this verse of scriptures, it appears clearly that Jesus by His dead in the cross has redeemed us to be Kings and Priests, so if we were once alcoholics of any degree before our salvation, we would have to stop if we are to enjoy that reign on earth!
Some say if that’s the case, then why did Jesus change water to wine? Grape wine comes in two forms; fermented and non-fermented. Fermented wine appears lots of time in the bible sometimes called strong drink and at other times merely as wine. The non-fermented wine which could clearly be called grape juice is what ensues when fresh grapes are pressed before fermentation is carried out. If we agree that Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God as John 1 vs. 1 state, then Jesus would clearly be in agreement with the code given to the Kings and Priests. How would Jesus in all His holiness break the very code He created by converting water to alcoholic wine? Would it be that He did that because He didn’t want to fall-the-hands of those present in the marriage or because He wants to ingratiate the celebrities?! Of cause not, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! Glory to God!
The bible says in James 5 vs. 10;
“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example…”
If I was to ask you to walk up to a man of God you respect for his fruits be he a brother, a pastor, a prophet or whatever title and ask him to advise you on whether to consume alcohol or not, what do you sincerely think he’d say? Let’s come home and make reference to the prophets we know, if you were to walk up to Pa Adeboye (Daddy G.O) or Bishop Oyedepo (Papa) and ask their advice on the matter, what would they suggest to you? I bet you know the answer already!
Let us follow the examples of these ones who are ahead of us in the faith should in case we find ourselves in a controversial situation. At the worst case; if taking alcohol will not get me to hell, not taking it will also definitely not get me to hell, but I can’t say so for the reverse so it’s better to stick to the safe side! Glory to God!
I don’t know if this happens to you…but it happens to me a lot, I read a scripture and then the meaning may not sink in at that moment. I know I have being reading this particular scripture but the reality of this scripture dawned on me after quoting it to my cousin today.
I was feeling so wise after talking with my cousin and decided to add this at the end of my speech, “He that has an ear let him hear”, and then it actually dawned on me that everyone has an ear. Does it mean that the bible did not know what it was saying? Of course not! The bible was very specific about what it was saying!
Here is the truth not all that have ears can actually hear. Why is this? It takes an inner ear to hear what the spirit is saying.
Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
I mean God is Spirit and He says they that must worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Permit me to paraphrase that “they that must hear him, must hear him in spirit and in truth”.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
It’s therefore necessary that you hear with your “inner ear” which is enabled by your “spirit man”. In communicating with God who is a spirit, your spirit man must be alive and sensitive to the Spirit of God. The more sensitive you are to the Spirit of God, the more open you are to receive and hear from God. Decide today, to listen to what Spirit has to say! Remember, it is not everyone that has an ear that can hear.