The Church: Back To The Matter

My friend invited me to his church’s Carol of 9 lessons last Christmas. Although the 9readings bore me, I enjoyed all the Christmas melodies the choir sang.

One thing piqued my interest during the service, one of the readers, the 8th in particular -a rich woman, after reading the verses from her Bible on a lectern, announced to the congregation.

“From my own purse, I donate the sum of N100,000 to the choir” She said.

And there was delirium in the church. I was perplexed and immediately asked my friend, “why are people rejoicing?”

This isn’t a new scene in church nowadays. The church has lost her way, people go to churches these days to show off their affluence and opulence. What happened to giving in secret? It is written in the Bible, if you give to God for people to praise you, don’t expect any gift from God because you have been praised and exalted on earth.

The fact that pastors and Bishops allow this act to go on in the church baffles me. I mean, they have great knowledge of the WORD and know it is wrong in all ramifications.

The church is the only place where the poor and the rich are supposed to be equal even if it is for 30minutes but the case is different nowadays, pastors recognise the presence of “top shots” during mass. What is that?????

Pastors are supposed to be the voice of people and the bridge between the Government and the people but now they lick the asses of those in power in order to get a substantial donation from them. They can’t even stand on the pulpit and tell them their sins to their faces anymore rather when they climb up there, they lie and brain-wash their congregation with “prosperity messages”.

Some pastors own private jets, off from the donations and offerings of their poor congregation and they claim the jets are for evangelical work. I pray oh!!!!

In the past, the church clothed, fed and trained children from poor backgrounds in schools. Today, there are so many religious affiliated secondary and tertiary schools which the poor ones/members can’t even afford to send their kids to.

The church has become a money-making venture. We have more motivational speakers than pastors these days. All you need to be is a good orator(good command of the lingua franca/good with words) and have an in-depth knowledge of the Bible and you are ready to start off your own ministry.

The other day, I met a man of God and he said to me..”God told me to tell you, you are destined for greatness but people are after you. I’m going to pray for you and after that, ‘anything’ you feel is good, you donate to my ministry.” Emphasis on anything. A lot of pastors go around scamming people all in the name of God.

Our insatiable thirst for miracles has made us easy preys for these ‘predators’. Some christians go from church to church in search of miracles, signs and wonders.

During sermon, some pastors will tell you how they prayed for one sister/brother and his/her life turned around for good and I often ask, isn’t that blowing your own horn? Is it necessary?

As we celebrate this easter period, let’s have a sober reflection of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary, how he suffered death and was buried so that we may have life.

Christ is the reason for the season,let us celebrate his death and resurrection and most importantly, live a Christ-like life.

May God help us all. Amen.

Happy Easter good people of God

Partial Repentance

“So mi sit down right beside sister Pam
Who ah tell me everything about the congregation
‘Bout Sister Paulette and her gay husband
And how she ah still ah sleep with the mini bus man

Sister Gwen claim she ah Christian
But ah last night dem catch her in ah stone love session
She a do the dutty dance to de Matterhorn song
And say she get de thing them from the baby cham”

Whenever I listen to Shaggy’s Church Heathen track, I can’t help but nod my head in agreement as I believe the singer portrayed everything that is wrong with the church today.

Have you noticed how we deviate from our evil ways when we are troubled and in dire need of God’s intervention in our lives? Yes, that’s what conditional/partial repentance is all about.

Partial repentance means partial escape from sin. It occurs when a person honestly repents for certain things in his/her life that he/she has done wrong, but not for everything. He/she doesn’t see it all. He/she only sees a part of the sin, so he/she is repentant only for the part he/she sees.

Conditional repentance is when an individual repents conditionally/partially because he or she is asking God a favour.

I believe christians are guilty of this, one way or the other. One minute, we are so “spiritual” because we are heavy laden but the moment the loads are taken off our chest by God, we return to our old ways.

That’s a common thing amongst us. I believe everybody is/has been a conditional repentant at one stage in his/her life. We run to God in times of trouble and turn our backs on him when HE delivers us from our troubles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a saint, I’m just saying it the way it is and I feel it is better we repent completely with a pure heart, not just when we need something from our creator.

Repentance is the most noble and beloved form of obedience in the eyes of God. He loves those who repent and it is because of His love for His creation that He tests them with sins so that He may shower His blessings and favours upon them after they repent.

Repentance is to repent from the heart,to train the heart into obedience and to make a firm resolution never to commit the sin again.

Repentance brings about humility and a sense of helplessness that is not easily acquired through other forms of worship.

Let me leave you with this piece of advice,if you take this too seriously, then you really need some church.

Marriage…scary

I was opportune to grace my friend’s parents’ Silver Jubilee (25th Wedding Anniversary) in Abuja last month. The parents met during their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, they both served in Jigawa State in the 80s and also got married in the 80s at Holy Ghost Cathedral Church Enugu.

During the mass, the presiding priest asked the couple to exchange/renew their vows; the man expressed his undying love for his wife, thanking her for accepting his marriage proposal, carrying and bringing their children to the world, assisting and standing by him through the ups and downs of life.

At the end of his speech, the woman was short of words and whimpered like a baby. It was evident that something like LOVE still exists; it’s always cute to see old couples holding hands and looking at each other like teenagers who just fell in love.

Sitting with some friends during the reception, we started arguing if such still exist in this our generation. They all concurred that marriage is something they all dread and aren’t ready to ply that road anytime soon.

I comprehend their fears completely; the urge for material things has changed the story of love thus most ladies can’t function if there’s no cash involved. Money shouldn’t be the priority when choosing a partner. There’s more to marriage than money alone.

Marriage is a broad course, nobody has ever got an A in it but that doesn’t mean you should have an F. Marriage isn’t about the wedding either but it’s about everything that happens after the wedding. It is a 3-ring affair: Engagement ring, Wedding ring and Suffering. Yes, you read that right. Paul said in 1st Corinthians Chapter 7 v 28: “But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face troubles in this life…”

People say marriage is an achievement but I disagree; raising a family is the achievement and not marriage itself. There are so many factors put into consideration before a man/woman decides to spend the rest of his/her life with the partner. These vital factors include: love, compatibility, understanding, tolerance and sustainable means of livelihood for the family.

Most women say they want security in life so they won’t date the poor but what they fail to understand is that a poor man with a good heart is better than a rich man with the heart of a beast. If that dude isn’t rich today doesn’t mean he will be poor forever. My Igbo people say “UWA NA EME NTUGHARI” meaning the world revolves and nothing is permanent. Getting married to the rich doesn’t guarantee happiness in life. Happiness is priceless perhaps those who say they will rather cry inside a Mercedes Maybach than laugh on a bicycle have never experienced pain in their lives. Don’t misconstrue my point; I’m not in support of a man dragging someone’s daughter to suffer with him…NO. The man must have a sustainable means of livelihood for the family and also the woman should work and aid the husband because she was created by GOD to be a help mate to the man, helping him to be the best in all ramifications. The purpose of working and earning is for the woman to appreciate what the husband gives her.

A couple has to be compatible and understand each other for the marriage to work; they must share the same ambitions and aspirations. Due to the fact that we all have flaws, tolerance is vital. In my opinion, the union between an uneducated man and educated lady will ‘NEVER’ work because men are naturally egotistical and he will feel insecure in the long run.

In the end, work hard and pray hard for GOD to make you successful and take you to the apex of your aspirations and also to provide a good partner in life for you. What qualifies you as a great partner isn’t in your looks/appearance but it’s in your good heart, good character and real personality. When a real man finds a real woman, he will never let her go. It’s funny how material women blame men for breaking their hearts. Real men/women don’t settle down with fake women/men. The only place you can find a fake woman is temporarily in the heart of a foolish man but when the fool becomes wise, the wise person is in serious problems. Looking for a real man/woman when you are a sham is like looking for a live fish in the forest.

The Ex Effect: Sex With My Ex

A fortnight ago, I ran into my Ex, Chinelo and her bestie, Nkeoma at the movies. I had gone to watch Total Recall, the new blockbuster starring the multi-talented Colin Farrell but I was told it was yet to hit the cinema so I had to settle for ‘Think like a Man’ for the umpteenth time, I never get tired of seeing that movie though.

Chinelo and I broke up almost two years ago because the fights were getting worse. When a woman is fed up in a relationship, you’d know. She starts bringing up old dirt and gets agitated at the slightest provocation so I used my sagacity and annulled the relationship amicably for both parties to be happy. Although we became friends, we hadn’t seen or talked to each other for 18months.

She looked like a bag of money: sassy, beautiful and enchanting. Chinelo has always been a nymphet; she is worth more than a second look. At a glance, I was bewildered by her pliant lips and curvaceous body. It brought to mind all the good times we had – the mind blowing sex, the incredible adventures and the crazy games we played.

We watched the movie together – though we talked throughout the length of the movie. At the end of the day, we exchanged numbers, twitter handles, BB pins and other relevant information and set up a date in the near future – that’s where all the temptation started!

We hooked up again last Friday, had a drink or two and went back to my place for some sexual eruptions. We couldn’t resist each other; to make it worse, the sex was better than before; it was as if we were never apart. After the first round, my iTunes randomly selected Lil Bit’s joint with Yung Joc and Jim Jones “Sex with my Ex” from my music library. A line in the song goes this way “…can’t believe I’m having sex with my ex” and post coital tristesse set in, we vowed never to do such again but after some minutes, we were at it again.

We wanted each other so bad but there was an obstacle – we had new relationships so in order to save our present relationships, we had to stay away from each other.

Often times, I hear people blabbering about their Ex and it makes me laugh all time. It’s a very common scene on twitter, people diss their Ex every 10minutes on that social network. Some of these people may have gone back to their Ex for sex, care or help at least once in the past but here they are, raking over coals and cursing them on twitter. Anyways, Nigerians are known for their hypocritical ways.

I keep asking myself why we repeatedly feel affection when we see our Ex. This iteration is still mystical to me. I don’t get it, if we still feel something for each other, why then did we separate in the first place? I must say it takes courage, self control and GOD for one to resist the sexual advances of an Ex.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says: “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way & expecting a different outcome.” Some often get bemused after these happenchance with their Ex and find themselves craving to go back to them. The fact remains just because you had awesome sex with him/her doesn’t mean when you leave your present partner, that things will be all cosy as you want/expect/dream. Returning to an old flame is like reading a book over and over again expecting a different twist in the end. Things will never be the same again.

Talent

I’ve always wanted to play football in one of the big leagues and show the world the talent God gave to me.

People who’ve known me for years still can’t believe I didn’t play professionally. Allow me to blow my own horn; I am blessed with the gift. I can play as a playmaker, striker or winger. I am tremendously skillful with both feet, have a flair for defence-splitting passes and a hawk eye for goal.

Everybody in my family supported this dream of mine except my dad. My dad is a very intelligent, meticulous and articulate man thus I trust his opinions and thoughts. The moment I knew he didn’t give his consent, my heart sank because I believe the man die!

He said “How can you, my son be a professional footballer? Mba nu! You are more intelligent than that. You must be educated. What would you do when you retire from the game at 30/35?”

He had a very serious point. Most footballers call time on their career between the ages of 30 and 39. You know what they say, life begins at 40 so you see where he’s already looking at. If I retire at 30 without education, I could become a liability to other members of the family.

My dad always maintained education doesn’t make one rich but gives you wealth of knowledge and removes the scales of ignorance from your eyes. He believed footballers are womanizers, who lavish their money on girls, cars and other irrelevant things because they lack educational exposure.

My late uncle was an ex-Green Eagle and my in-law, Christian Obodo used to play for the Super Eagles. In my late uncle’s case, his career was cut short by a nagging knee injury and my dad said to me…”My son, if you have a career ending injury like your uncle, what would you do with your life?” I couldn’t utter a word.

I kept on nursing my ambition to lock horns with the stars I watch every week on television, I sent my video clips to some clubs, most notably Manchester United and Real Madrid wearing their colours in the video clips. I even proceeded to write SAT with my friends Ababa & El Rey which I passed and got admission to study Economics at Memorial University of Newfoundland, UCLA or University of Illinois but my dad didn’t budge. The coach of University of Illinois Men’s soccer team at the time, Ben Massena tried to pull the deal through…for where? UK and Ireland (University of Loughborough to study Chemical Engineering) came calling…zilch! Then my dad asked me one question that if I answer it correctly I could go play wherever I want. He asked “what would you do with the money you will make?” Huh, did I hear him correctly? Who you dey ask that one? I mean I was 15/16 at the time and of course, I couldn’t answer that question. I was speechless and numb.

Parents often pressurize their kids into choosing things they don’t want like filling Medicine and Surgery, Law, Enginnering or any other professional course on their JAMB forms for one particular reason or the other (could be selfish or not). That’s why some of these kids end up failing because they have no interest in the course or are afraid of failing & disappointing their parents.

Don’t get me wrong, our parents love us and they want the best for us but what they fail to understand is that God gave you that talent you have for a reason.

All they have to do is support and encourage the child’s dreams and ambitions and help him/her develop that talent. When they do, the child will definitely do exceedingly well. I’m yet to see a person who failed to bring to fruition his dreams, goals and ambitions when he/she had the backing of the parents.

For instance, look at Lionel Messi, the man who every football lover believes is a Martian, was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at the age of 11. Argentine perennial champions, River Plate backed out on offering him a deal because they had no money to foot his medical bills. Then came Barcelona with an escape route for the Argentine imp, offering to pay his medical bills only if Messi signed for their academy (La Masia). The father, Jorge agreed and resigned from his job as a factory steel worker and migrated to Barcelona to be with his son.

Today, he’s won everything winnable except the World Cup. He has been world footballer of the year thrice at just 24 and has 21 winners medal with club and country including a myriad of individual honours.

If you have a talent, nurture it and put it to great use. If you are a parent, help your child discover his/her talent, aid and support the development of this God-given talent.

What’s your talent?