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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

HOW DO YOU RESPOND IN TOUGH TIMES


At a time like this when things are generally tough due to the economic recession Nigeria is currently facing. Things are generally tough everywhere and the mouth of most people are filled with only negative report. The year 2016 has ended and 2017 has begun. A lot of us are wondering if all the negativity and hardship of 2016 will continue in this New Year. Everybody had different stories to tell in the last year 2016 but one thing everybody agrees with is that it was indeed a tough year. It was a year where we all in our respective lives were put through one test or the other. Even as a nation. The last year 2016 tested our strength. unity and perseverance. Today, I thought to share a simple story about the carrot, egg, and coffee – items we can find easily around your kitchen, in the hopes that after reading it you will look at things and all the challenges of the last year in a different light.

 “A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as if when one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see. ”Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. 

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft, lose my strength and throw in the towel easily? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after an illness, a job loss, a breakup, a financial hardship or any other trial become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter, tough, full of resentment and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. The coffee bean fulfills scriptures of standing and coming out stronger from adversity and changing the situation around it. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. When things are at their worst, do you get better and change the situation around. When the hour is darkest and trials are at their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Do we learn the lessons from the situations in our lives, do we  let the situations and circumstances in our lives improve us and make us better or do we let it make us bitter one scripture that comes to mind is Proverbs 24:10
   King James Version
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
      Message Bible
10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place.

I read somewhere that “The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they make the most of everything that comes their way’’ be it good or bad. Robert Schuller said ‘Tough times never last but tough people do’. Times of testing and trials are actually times of spiritual training and growth. God loves you too much to leave you weak, underdeveloped and immature. Things fall apart sometimes in order to fall into place. Sometimes God removes people from their comfort zone in other to take them to the promised land. What sometimes looks like a miserable ending can sometimes be a beautiful beginning. Some events of life can actually be beyond our control, its important to let go and let God.This trial and test you are going through is not punishment it is training, the normal experience of children. Another scripture that comes to mind is 1st Corinthians 10:13

King James Version 
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    Message Bible
13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.  

The ability to stay calm regardless of the circumstance, to remain calm when the heat is on and to be on top of the circumstance instead of under can only be gotten from God and His word. We have to learn to live by the word of God in every area of our lives. We have to learn to be sensitive to the voice of the Lord. We must be quick to respond and to obey His voice. God’s word says that my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Be assured no matter what might come your way, God Almighty has your best interest at heart. He will never give you anything too hard to handle or too heavy to bear while having this in mind that this too shall pass.
Until our next post I leave you with this scripture from Jeremiah 29 vs 11( The message bible) '' I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for''




Until our next post,remain rapturable.

References :
The word for today daily devotional    3/1/17
The word for today daily devotional     6/1/17
mum2mumafrica.com        8/12/16
 


   



Wednesday, 21 December 2016

IS THERE REALLY ANY NEED FOR COMPARISON



The dictionary has different definitions for the term comparison, but one of the definitions defines comparison as the act of examining resemblances and the other definition defines comparison as the relation based on similarities and differences. As a person I have been so guilty of comparison and I would like to think you too have been guilty of comparison at some point as well. We all have been guilty of comparison at some point in time in our lives. We always have the urge and desire to want to engage in comparison. Even as parents and especially mothers we have been guilty of comparison, we have the urge to continuously want to compare our kids with other kids. The truth about comparison is that comparison breeds envy, competition and resentment. The fact is that whenever comparison comes into play at any point its goal is usually to make the other person feel inferior.

It’s difficult not to make comparison but keeping ourselves in check is the way forward. According to Lisa Bevere in her book Without Rival ‘’comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison is not inspiration. Comparison has a pull to it. If allowed to, it will always move you away from your truest center. Comparison will attempt to puff you up through the insidious vehicle of pride, or it will push you down through the tyranny of insecurity. The brave do not dare to compare, even if that comparison sees them coming out on top, they realize that there are many more steps yet before them and for the cowardly comparison acts as a refuge, who don’t dare to believe there is something more. Rivalry will rob you unless you learn how to turn what the enemy meant for bad into what God can use for good.’’. By comparing and breeding envy we forget that everybody has their own specific purpose and assignment to fulfill in life and that can only be achieved if we walk in our own individual paths and lanes. Someone else finishes school at 20 years and another at 25 years, someone gets married and gets a child immediately, another gets married and it takes some time to have a child. Someone gets married at 25, another in their 30s and some in their 40s.The foolishness that is inherent in comparison of lives is the kind that needs exorcism to expel. Rather than comparing yourself with others, where you are and what you have not achieved; remember the faithfulness of God and where He has brought you from trusting that God is faithful to bring His purpose to pass in your life for as long as you stay focused on Him and in your own lane. One scriptures that comes to mind is 2nd Corinthians 10 vs 12

King James Version
10:12 for we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

                                              The Message Bible   
12.  We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.

We are unique before God with our own individual attributes and qualities. Comparison breeds envy, bitterness and low self esteem. Comparison removes all our individual uniqueness. When we stop comparing ourselves to each other, we are in a better position to accept our self with our short coming and be willing to improve on it, thereby making the best use of our life, gifting and talents. Another scripture that comes to mind is the parable of the talent in Mathew 25 vs 14-15.
New Living Translation.
 14. Again the kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.
15.He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last-dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
Message Bible
14 “it’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities.
15 to one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left.


Specifically it was said that the talents were distributed according to their capabilities, which means their various specific individual gifting according to their specific ability emphasizing their individual uniqueness thereby eliminating comparison, competition and rivalry. We have to understand that life is not a competition and that there is really no need for comparison. Some people will be better than you and you will be better than some others, what is important is that as individuals we continually seek to daily improve our selves. I saw this caption on one of the social media some time ago and it totally left an impression in my heart.


                       Photo Credit : internet

In conclusion guys there is really no need for comparison .We all are different, unique and are supposed to achieve different things in life at different times, filling up different voids in life which is the very essence of uniqueness which is to complement one another and not to be the same. Comparison defeats that essence and most times only breeds resentment, anger, bitterness and hatred in our hearts, making us have  very uninteresting lives and destroying our own confidence.  Let’s discover our unique gifting, encouraging ourselves and others in their specific areas of strength and ensuring that we all work hand in hand in propagating Christ  while staying in our own individual lanes.



Until our next post guys remember Comparison does nothing but harm to us all.Remain rapturable.





Tuesday, 8 November 2016

MY SON'S STORY


                                  Proverbs 10 vs 22 ( King James Version).
 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.


I am sharing this story in appreciation to God Almighty and also hoping that it will encourage someone.
I got married on the 3rd of April 2010.I was so happy. After the wedding I had dreamt of a happily ever life, of having children immediately and not experiencing any challenge at all. The first month no pregnancy, the second month no pregnancy. The months rolled into one year and then the second year came still no child. I had one health challenge after the other through all this period. I was wondering why all this was happening to me, it was so heart breaking because I was born again and I wondered why. The whole experience made me so bitter and angry at God. 

I spoke to one of my mentors Rev Teju Alonge who encouraged me to get a book’’ Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize’’ and also take the confessions in the book daily, by this time I was already almost married for three years without a child. I started reading the book and taking my confessions.  I think on the 25 Feb 2013 I woke up early as usually and I heard a voice very clear and precise “Go and run a pregnancy test on yourself” it was strange and I ignored it, The voice came again more precise and stronger with more precise instructions about running the test. At this point I became scared and confused, but I decided to run a pregnancy test on myself. Behold the pregnancy result came out positive I was pregnant it now dawned on me the voice I heard was from God .It was a miracle I couldn’t believe it God Almighty had heard my prayers,  I was finally going to be a mother. I started my Ante- natal and my EDD was the 31st of October 2013.I had a really smooth pregnancy, God was with me all through and the doctors monitored me closely. So on the 9th of November 2013 at 7.00 am, my son came into the world. I couldn’t believe I had become a mother and he was one of the most beautiful creature I had seen.




           .

                         

I thought all was well but the devil refused to rest, a few hours after birth we found out my son was having problems breathing. We were referred from one hospital to the other, the details of all that happened will be too long to write but the summary is simply the fact that my son could not breathe from his nose, he came out breathing from the mouth. The difficulty he had in breathing was so severe it made it even difficult for him to nurse. It  looked like he was not going to make it till the next day. It was so heart breaking watching him go through all that especially as a mother and knowing the fact that it took me a few years to have him after marriage.  It eventually took the doctors a few months and series of procedures to sort out what the problem was. Through it all, God was there,i prayed  and I held unto one scripture ‘proverbs 10 vs 22 that says The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it’. The whole experience taught me something that can only be described best in the exact word of Christine Caine’’God is good and God does good, but bad things do happen to good people”. It further taught me the fact that believers too can have problems but that the word of God will surely prevail no matter the arrows the devil throws their way.



That precious jewel  Onimisi in Ebira( meaning my beloved),Peter meaning the rock Chizaramkpere in igbo  (meaning the Lord answered my prayers ), Testimony his second English name and Nankling in plateau( meaning The Lord has heard) turns three years old today the 9th of Nov 2016 to the glory of God.


                                         
                  
  My heart is full of grateful tunes unto God. My son is a testimony of God’s faithfulness to me and the fact that God Almighty will always honour His word and not let His word fall to the ground unfulfilled. Every day the joy I feel watching him grow into a man before my eyes is something I cannot describe, but most importantly watching him grow daily reassures me of God’s love and the fact that God Almighty is a covenant keeper but most importantly it assures me that no matter what might come his way that his life is only in the hands of God and that God is concerned about every single detail that concerns him.

I do not know what it is you are going through at the moment, it does not matter how fierce the devil appears, be assured  in this promise from God in Isaiah 59 vs 19b

                                 King James Version
 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. 

Until our next post remember you don't have to worry or be afraid because no matter what may come your way your life is in God's hand.










Thursday, 22 September 2016

QUARELLING AND ARGUING IS IT REALLY WORTH IT


A lot of times as individuals especially if you are like me you see the need to defend yourself a lot of times at the slightest attack and getting into unnecessary arguments with family members, colleagues’ or even our spouses especially if we think we are being spoken to wrongly or if what the other person is saying does not appear to be correct. Even the internet these days does not even make it easy to avoid confrontation. We want to air our opinion to every comment on Facebook, twitter or even Instagram even when what is being discussed on the medium does not even make sense or concern us. 
The most important thing about the argument on social media is that a lot of times we don’t even know who is involved but our ego will not let us avoid the argument and confrontation. The irony is that a lot of times at the beginning of the argument we hear the Holy Spirit telling us to let it go, but we ignore the still small voice just because you have made up your mind to win the argument and have the last say. Many times we are even right in what we are trying to say but at the end, the argument does more harm than good, and if we are sincere with ourselves after the argument you know deep down that you have lost your peace and destroyed your witness for God .One scripture that comes to mind is 2nd Timothy 2 vs. 23 -25

New Living Translation
23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.24. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.25.Gently instruct those who oppose the truth.Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

The Message Bible
23.Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights.24 God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool,25 working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth.

 The truth is that some battles we fight are entirely useless, pointless and energy draining, even if we are right in what we are trying to say, it is important to be selective in our battles because in some cases having our peace is better than being right. We have to be okay a lot of times with not giving our opinions and comment. A lot of times the quarreler’s goal isn’t to add value to other people’s lives by showing them the error of their ways; its pure show off and wanting to appear better than the other person. Does that mean you shouldn’t stand up for what you believe, No it means you must learn to disagree without being disagreeable? If you have a tendency to be argumentative remember that it costs you absolutely nothing to respect someone’s opinion .

Sometimes it is a good idea to say less than you know because often your power in a situation comes from silence not words. Anxious people tend to blabber on and on and when you are negotiating that can put you at a distinct disadvantage because it tips the other person off that you are insecure. Always arguing also makes it look to the other person like you are begging them to do and see what is right especially if it is beneficial to the one who trying to make a point. The truth is setting aside our will does not come easily it feels like ‘’ giving in’’ and no one likes to do that  especially when you are convinced the other person is wrong , but that is exactly what Jesus did by dying on the cross for us when we were very much in the wrong.  

In the exact words of Heather Lindsey’’ true godly strength isn’t when you can argue with that co-worker, ‘clap back ‘at that friend or spouse or whoever else. Strength is when you know you could say something to destroy someone and you say nothing. Instead, you pour your heart out to the Lord under your breath and you ask him for his help.Vengeance is the Lord and He can repay better than you.  You pray for that person and you understand that you cannot destroy and build others at the same time’’true greatness lays in your ability to rise above pettiness, ego and sensitivity to other people’s opinions.

Most importantly I discovered something recently that can be captured better in the exact words from the daily devotional word for today ‘’ you may let someone off your hook but that does not mean they are off God’s hook. He will deal with them the right way and bring about the right result which is something you cannot do’’.When God fights our battles, He not only wins but God makes us look good while at it.

In conclusion we must all realize that the thing with impacting lives is that you cannot force people to change their opinions, their beliefs, their thinking and especially their live as a whole you have to be able to influence them to want to do that with patience and most especially setting good and godly example.

until our next post



 
Bye and stay refreshed.

References

Word for today daily devotional       9/3/16
Word for today daily devotional       10/4/16
Word for today daily devotional       13/4/16
The other woman : your in-law. How to  live in harmony with your mother-in-law
                                                     TCW   24/5/16