The unfolding story

Time-check 00.03 A.M. my phone starts to ring, a look at the caller made me smile and there goes my first call accompanied with a song. After the call I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t, said a few words of prayer and I ended up typing this post.

The 16th of June may just be another date to you, but not to the South Africans whose youths took to the street in a march protesting the poor quality of education as well as the right to be taught in their language resulting in hundreds of deaths and it has been set aside to be celebrated as the day of the African Child or to late Tupac Shakur who was born on this day. The Ogbogu’s are not left out in this too, some years ago, on a day like this Heaven visited them with a gift in the form of baby girl.

20140616_095931

That little seed has grown and has become me, yes you heard me, and it’s my birthday. I’ve thought of so many things preceding this day and all I can see is an unfolding. I pause today to say Thank You to God, our Heavenly Father we have come a long way. He has been my strength in the middle of the night when I’m up thinking of the next thing. I’ve grown and improved over the years cos’ He has broken me and He is still breaking me. I can’t forget my parents, the two of them have given me a glimpse of Our Heavenly Father through their love, sacrifices, I may never say enough of it but I pray I’ll be able to spoil the two of you silly with so much care. My sisters, oh how I love them so much, they thrust on me my first leadership position and they have been faithful followers because of them I can’t quit and my two soldiers, God brought you into the world to make everyone realise beyond the clouds, there is a God existing and not even science can disprove it. I wish I can call out the gifts God has blessed me through friendship but I may get into trouble for forgetting some names but I truly appreciate you.

Timeline
I haven’t spent a very long time on earth but I’ve learnt a few things.
• We have been called into various assignments; you make a huge mistake when you start comparing your rate of growth with another person.
• I am unique and there’s no one like me on earth, I need to ride on my uniqueness to be relevant, trying to be another person will only produce a prototype of the person but not my best.
• Family is important, I may make the best of friends outside but some friends are transient but family remains.
• I shouldn’t always seek to win an argument rather seek to understand the person.
• I don’t know it all in life and there’s no harm in asking for direction if I’m lost.
• I am not an island, I need people to survive.
• Having a successful career is very important but it should NEVER take priority over the family.
• The world is moving fast, we try to act as though we will be here forever hence a laid back attitude to life but I’ve learnt every single time is precious I’ll never get back the time therefore I have to be conscious of it. Enjoy every moment.
• I should never limit myself with my words; I was created to Make A Difference.
• Forgiveness isn’t a feeling rather a choice I’ve to deliberately make to rid myself of excessive luggage.

There are many more, I wouldn’t want to turn this post into a book, maybe a book should be written on it. But that feeling of anxiety creeps in as I enter this new phase of my life, I know deep down in my spirit that the next year is a launching out period of me. Do I know how it’ll turn out? NO, but it’s something bigger than me.

All I pray for is more of God, as He leads me through this phase and places me on certain platforms I should always remember it’s all about Him. Just like my charmer Eziaha said ‘she sees too much brightness in my future’ I choose to believe it but I take it a step further may that brightness not hinder people from seeing God. The story is unfolding and I’m keen on seeing the next chapter.
LOADS OF LOVE
JMAD

 

 

Advertisements

My posting to Iran

I recently got back from leave and my welcome message was a letter stating I was going to be transferred to Iran; my company is building a team to set up a branch there. You have no idea how I felt. A million and one questions ran through my mind but there were two that lingered on – family and church. I don’t have the perfect family but when all our differences are brought to the table, you’ll never have a dull moment. I’ve grown to appreciate the gift of family by having each of them in my life. Guaranteed I’m not in the same location with them but a journey of one hour by air or eight hours by road can get me to them. Iran is 3318 miles from Nigeria and will take approximately 7 hrs. by air.

Church is definitely important to me and I’ve grown so used to my church, the mere thought of changing location freaks me out not to talk of a country where the Christian faith is threatened. While I was engrossed in this thought a question I had asked someone in the past popped up in my head and I’ll ask you the same question, if you are transferred to another location and there’s no church I’m not saying a branch of your local church I mean no church at all, how long will you last as a Christian?

Few weeks ago Social Media was flooded with the story of a Pastor who had an affair with a lady, a whole lot was said, some became virtual soldiers for the pastor, and some took to name-calling of the lady while others pledged their support for the lady for the bold step she took. In all of this we forget it’s really not about a particular church rather the entire Christian community. We have become so religious that we are gradually losing the essence of Jesus’ death on the cross. We should have all (Christians) covered our heads with ash and put on sack-cloth to cry that such a thing was mentioned in church; do we love church more than God? I was in a leadership meeting in church, our Senior Pastor called out all the Pastors of the branches and asked anyone to indicate, if there had been any sexual relationship with any of them, while some people found it funny my heart bled. These are men and women who have been anointed to lead God’s sheep and we are having integrity issues. What spirit are they passing onto us when they stand on the pulpit to minister?

I learnt something and I hope to apply it in Iran. Beyond the lifting up of hands to a good choir rendition or shouting halleluiah or amen to the pastor’s sermon; we need to know God for ourselves. When Paul and Silas were in jail they had church there, they knew God was limitless, boundless and existed everywhere at the same time. Granted the believers were praying for them but they still called out to God. A pastor in my local church said “In the Anglican church, we have the Liturgy to guide public prayer but in our closet there’s no Liturgy rather we are to pour out our lives to Him” and another pastor said “Our leadership is not to take advantage but to give advantage”.
A few questions are going through my mind and I’ll share it with you:-
• After Sunday service is my behavior consistent throughout the week?
• Can I have worship in my room when the choir isn’t singing?
• Can I open my Bible on my own without a Pastor?
• Can I have fellowship with God alone without a gathering?
• Who does God mean to me and not just the God of my Pastor or Church but I mean a personal encounter?
• If I don’t have a Christian sticker on my car, carry a family-sized Bible can anyone tell I’m a Christian?
• How often have I discriminated other churches because their order of service was different from mine?


Truth is we have played church for too long and it’s time to come back to our first Love Jesus Christ who first loved us in our sinful nature. Let us arise in unity and stand for the gospel of love Jesus preached. At the end of this world I’m not standing before God as a church member rather as an individual.
LOADS OF LOVE
JMAD
N/B The story of going to Iran was inspired by some random thoughts of Church and Relocating; not to worry I’m still with you

Photo courtesy : Truthforlife.org

INSPIRING BEYOND DEATH

Ever heard of the phrase leading beyond the grave. We tend to hear someone’s dead and gone. Yesterday a memorial service was put together for not just a man but a great man Pastor Ina Omakwu who passed on, on the 25th of February 2003. Today is exactly 10 years he left this earth but he’s not gone his legacy lives on.
Pst InaI never met Pastor Ina but it’s amazing to hear messages he preached so many years ago  still have a lot of impact now. In fact it was a message he preached God knows when that inspired my first post. I have listened to people talk of the encounters they had with him and most of them didn’t talk of his sermons rather his life style. Below are some of the tributes.
Mr Boss Mustapha “To Pastor Ina Sunday was a day to prepare the congregation for the week, his vision was to turn the multitude into members and then into ministers.”
Mrs John “He taught my husband and I that parents can negotiate with their children and our relationship with our kids improved.”
Mrs Sarah Ochekpe “He taught Christ and the Bible in its simplest way.”
Deacon Eugene “He taught me simplicity in the things of God hence I had a joy walking with God. He taught me to demystify money by making me see money as a messenger and me the boss. He was a true lover of people even on his sick bed he remembered my birthday”
Pastor Kailo “He was not just interested in your work in church, he’ll go further to what you do for a living and even go further to ask after your mother. He was a unifying factor. Convened an inter-denominational service that broke the barriers of denominations. He was a giver and it always came timely.
Pastor Wale” He had a family impact. Everyone in the home got touched in one way or the other. He was a man who cared about people’s debts. He was paid some money by the CBS for some job and he called for a meeting of the staff and asked all those who had pledged towards the support of the church building to write down the amounts they owed and he started paying off the amount he could afford with the amount he was paid (This broke my heart). He believed in the worst of people and brought out the best in them.
The Omakwu'sPastor Sarah (His Wife) “ He was fun-loving, intelligent and humane. He made the Word JESUS real. He did husband real well. He was the best man that ever lived apart from God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and maybe just maybe after Abraham , Jacob and Isaac.(This statement put a big smile on my face and caused the tear to stop flowing for a while).
The Family  *A deep breath*. These are just a few I can remember. The memorial service got me thinking, and just like my theme LIVE TO LEAVE A LEGACY, what will I be remembered for. This is a man I never met but the words God spoke through him are still finding relevance and it comes all the time refreshed.
I ask you now to join me to think of this, what will people remember you for when you are gone.
Pastor Wale said something so profound and I quote him “It’s a rare occurrence to have good and great together but Pastor Ina was a great man and very good too. He went further and said when you are good at something you tell people of it but when you are great people tell of it. I saw a model man in him. A pastor of pastors and leader of leaders.”
imagesCAHJYYHLAs we remember the memory of a great man Pastor Ina whose life is still inspiring beyond the grave may we all re – examine our lives and live it in such a way that when we are gone our foot – prints will be remembered on the sand of time.
Loads of Love
JMAD