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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I'm Excited!

I woke up with music in my heart this morning as I do pretty regularly. Today was different though. Today my songs of praise really had no specific words, rather they just sort of swirled around my heart in a fullness of thanksgiving to an amazing God Who has seen fit to keep me and mine unto the very end of 2014. I slid straight off from my bed and unto my knees. This is a practice I started about two years ago when I heard my sista Ini speak about how doing this helps her get her God-connection up and running from the instant she is conscious of her wakefulness. It has worked wonders for me so far, I tell you. There’s nothing like giving God the very first precious moments of your day – on your knees in full acknowledgment of the fact that He is the source of the very breath you breathe; your heart, mind, soul and spirit open, yielded, and fully submissive to His will for you for that day. On my knees this morning, the reality of every negative thing that could have been but which God did not allow hit me. I was humbled afresh by the reality of His hand having surely been with me in 2014, the reality of His grace having truly been more than sufficient, the enormity of His divine provision, favor and protection over me and over all that are connected to me. Ah yes, sis….the Lord has been good and He surely continues to deserve all glory.

Slowly sipping my absolutely delightful cup of steaming hot coffee this morning (slurrp), I thought about how on the 31st of December each year millions of people worldwide will unfortunately allow themselves dwell on and be overcome with sadness and trepidation, focusing all their energy, emotion and attention on the many things that did not work in their lives in the preceding 12 months; viewing each unfolding New Year with bleakness and a sense of hopelessness at the prospect of another 12 months of assumed stagnancy and near nothingness ahead. I thought about how millions will choose to look at the year ending and that which is to come with the eye of negativity, and I thought how very sad this is. Its sad because truth be told, once we wrap our perspectives around the wrong things, we give the devil a large playing field to distort our reality and future hope through his weapons of fear, hopelessness, doubt, uncertainty, discouragement, disbelief, etc.

Sis, I personally refuse to play willing captive to the enemy of my soul. No, I won’t build estates and invite the enemy to occupy each building as well as manage the property. I refuse to enter covenant with him, and I refuse to hand him the title deeds to my mind. I refuse daily to get into agreement with him. Today, as with every other day of my life, I have again intentionally and willingly covenanted myself afresh to God, yielding my all to Him, and so I’m excited today, sis! Oh, but I am! 2014 has been a very eventful year in ways that are too varied to describe effectively within the confines of this post. It has been a busy year, a challenging year, an exciting year, a year of ebbs and flows – emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, and mentally. That said, anyhow you cut it… 2014 has been a great year for me, and I don’t doubt that if you approach your review from the right perspectives, it has been a great year for you also. This is my take and I’m standing on this foundation unequivocally, with…as my people will say ‘No shaking!’

Sis, more than anything else, 2014 has been a great year because…. hey! You and I are still alive! I mean, how much better can your year have been than that you are still standing at the end of it all? Thank You Jesus! In a whatsapp group I belong to the entire chat history for hours yesterday was centered on a young lady who died the day before – 5 days to her wedding. Heart-wrenching post after post about deaths of children, siblings, etc poured in thereafter. It would all have been pretty depressing but for the fact that I held on to the perspective that I was reading those messages because I AM ALIVE…and well! In this season as always, everywhere we turn there is bad news, and then some more bad news. But here's the thing, our many conversations and analysis are irrelevant to those who are dead. We hear, we read, we empathize….because we are still here! Can somebody shout ‘Halleluyah!’?  Oh, yeah! I've got my praise on for sure, and you need to be sure you do too, my friend.

I’m still here sis, and I am so excited about the winding up of this year. I am staring 2015 in the face and intentionally choosing to see it as an opportunity to start afresh. December 31st is for me a breath of fresh air, an affirmation of the fact that everything the enemy planned to harm me, God re-purposed for my good. December 31st is a gift from God and a reminder that He is still faithful to accomplish the things that He has spoken to me concerning my life and His specific assignments for me. I’m excited because I am able to look at everything I ‘failed’ to achieve in 2014 and come to terms once again with the reality of the fact that those failings were building blocks on my journey to becoming who God has called me to be. I’m excited because I see clearly that my disappointments simply indicate that God’s intent and timing for those things I desired didn't align with mine, and I am so glad He had His way – the best way, the only way! I'm excited because for everything that 'failed' around me, I have grown... and my growth has come with testimonies, and with a ministry of encouragement to others who are also struggling. 

I’m excited because God is does not work according to the cycles of our January to December human calendars, but He is on His own schedule and timing, and 2015 brings with it the prospect of His closing out some of those things I have been trusting Him for in times past, some of which I can be confident that He has purposed to, and will manifest in the year ahead. I don’t know what those things are or may be, but I firmly believe He is working all things out for my good, and I can’t wait to see what good He has in store for me in the year ahead. I’m excited about the prospect of seeing how His ‘blessings are new every morning’ will unfold in my life in 2015; and I’m excited about the ‘all grace’ that He will cause to abound in my life in 2015. I’m excited because I can’t chronicle enough His many faithfulness in and over my life and the lives of my family and loved ones in the past 12 months. Remember the song ‘Count your blessing’? My list is pretty long sis, how about yours? I’m excited because I know our 2015 will end with an even longer blessing chronicle, in Jesus name. Amen!

More than anything else, I’m excited because I choose to be, sis! I choose to frame my life from the perspective of everything that is good, and pleasant, and true, and lovely, and of a good report. Be they few or many, these are the things that I choose to focus on as the fragrance of and for my life. In the midst of the plethora of evil reports we receive every day, I choose to stand on God’s word and His promises and assurances for my life. I choose to see and know deep within, that my having a relationship with Him in the first place is everything, and before all things. I choose my relationship with God, the assurance of my salvation, and my confident expectation of spending eternity with Him in heaven, as being the true color of my success in life generally; and for each year that passes in which - by His grace, the vicissitudes of life have not taken me away from this truth, I’m even more excited.

Sis, I ask that you walk this walk of gratitude with me again today. It has been a successful year because you are alive, and you remain anchored in Christ. That is the true color of your success sis, and I celebrate this with you today. It is this same perspective and confidence with which I speak into your 2015 and declare that it will be a marvelous year for you, in Jesus mighty name. As you purpose today to go deeper, to draw closer, to walk more in His love, and in obedience to the things that He will speak to you in 2015; then I decree in Jesus name, that by this time next year your confession will also be that you are still standing, that you are still standing strong in Him, and that your life is good and blessed - regardless of what your experiences or situations otherwise tried to tell you. There is an amazing year up ahead of you sis. As we bless God together for the one that ends in a few hours, let’s give Him incredible praise for a glorious year ahead in Jesus name.

Hey, are you outside of the fold? Can I invite you in today? Without Jesus as an anchor, life is hopeless. Will you submit to Him today? Will you give Him your heart and your life? Maybe you don’t understand it completely. Maybe certain things you see, religious extremes and the like confuse you. Maybe you have never truly given a thought to the reality of God, or Who Jesus is. Can I tell you today that the void inside of you is a space only He can fill? Can I assure you that money, popularity, position, drinking, sex, partying, etc will always leave you empty in the midst of it, and in the morning after? Can I assure you that the only place where you are ever truly filled and at peace is in Christ? If you would be willing to at least try, will you draw closer to Him today? Will you come to Jesus and see Him color your life by the only true measure of success that has eternal value? Can you allow Him fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you can live in the excitement and fulfillment of today, and live with an even greater excitement and confidence for when you depart from this earth?

Perhaps you don’t believe there is more to life than our time here on this earth. Will you allow yourself consider that if this is true then you have nothing to lose by walking with God while you are here? You have everything to gain though, truly you do! You see my friend, if there is no God and no heaven and hell, you will lose nothing by following Him while you are here will you? But if you choose not to believe, if you ignore His invitation and you find out at death that He truly is…. it will be way too late, and you would have lost everything. Can you purpose today to believe? All our worldly hustling, aspirations and achievements will count for nothing if we are lost for eternity, my friend. This is truth! Pure and unadulterated!

Can I invite you sis to try Jesus? Please pray this prayer along with me if you will: 
"Lord Jesus, I come before you today. I do not know enough, neither do I fully understand. But today, I choose to believe. Today, I choose You Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. Lord Jesus, I give You my life. I choose to believe that You gave Your life for me, that You bled on the cross and died for me. I choose today to declare that You are Lord over my life. I choose You Lord. Father, today, I repent of my sins. I ask You to come into my heart and wash away every darkness. Flood me with Your light, Lord. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit and make me whole again. Father, fill every void within me. Complete me, Lord. I give You my all.  Lord Jesus, teach me Your Word, Your will and Your way. Help me understand, help me grow in You. Walk with me daily Lord, that on my last day, I might come to you in heaven for eternity. Today, I break every covenant of evil in my life, I break every tie with the enemy and the forces of darkness. I declare that I am born-again and that I am made new, in Jesus name, Amen”

God bless you for your confession sis. Now watch the Lord turn your life around and give you true colors of grandeur in your life and a deep overwhelming peace in your soul. Allow Him lead you and guide you and you will know and understand this love and salvation that I am so excited about. Sis, I’m excited afresh because you just prayed this prayer. I am standing with you in prayer, and I have a confident expectation that I will be a part of your amazing testimony in the year ahead and for the rest of your life, in Jesus name, Amen.


Did I tell you already that I’m excited sis? I did? One time too many? Lol... Bear with me darling, bear with me. I really am super excited! I’m excited for me and I’m excited for you. I’m excited because I'm so blessed sis…I surely am! And as 2014 comes to a close, I speak over you and declare to you once again my precious sister and friend... precious daughter of the most high King...

Be blessed sis... for surely you are!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Exhale!

A few days ago, I had the privilege to partner with my sista and accountability partner Bidemi Mark-Mordi (www.bidemimarkmordi.com) on the first of a series of quarterly meetings titled ‘Sista Power Collaborations’. Essentially, this is a forum for women to come together to grow spiritually, find and fulfill purpose, serving as midwives and collaborators in each other’s lives; the understanding being that ‘together we are more’. This is a series of gatherings that are a fall-out and continuation of the conversations and interactions from the annual Return of The Helper (ROTH) conference www.returnofthehelper.com.ng which BMM convenes annually by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

This first collaboration was themed ‘Exhale & Recalibrate’ and I recall that as we met to review and pray towards the event, I had said to BMM that from the things that were on our hearts to speak, it sounded to me like I had the ‘Exhale 2014’ mandate while she had the ‘Recalibrate for 2015’ mandate. We had laughed, but truly that is the way things played out. Saturday came and was a powerful move of God and it is on my heart to share a few things from there with you.

I honestly can’t replay the entirety of both sessions on this platform, but there are some key things that I thought it would be important for you and I to pay attention to, sis. We are fast approaching the end of 2014 and so I had started by asking each person to take a few minutes to do a hard and honest reflections and assessment of their year, using specific words to describe how 2014 has been for them as individuals, spiritually; emotionally; physically; in their relationships as wives, as mothers; professionally also as business owners, colleagues or employees. I asked everyone to describe the economy of the nation in 2014 as they have experienced and understood it; and then I asked if they could see connections between any of their responses and the state of the economy as they saw it in 2014. The last question was one of how their description of the economy today is framing their expectations for 2015.  

The essence of these questions was for each of us to do an honest assessment of ourselves to understand where we are and what role we have played in getting to where we are. It was for us to face truth, be real about our strengths and weaknesses; and assess those mindsets and perspectives we have held or are holding on to that are not in alignment with God’s word, will and way. We took time to share the responses we had each written down and as expected, every one of us had our fair share of struggles in the course of the year. Each person had a few things they could say had been good or not so bad, but more people than not had something or the other they were beating down on themselves about. All in all though, when we each looked at 2014 from an overall perspective, a general agreement across the room was that challenges notwithstanding, 2014 has been a good year.

Without understanding, this conclusion would have presented quite the paradox. I mean, looking at all the negative words I had penned on the flip chart as people spoke, it wouldn’t ordinarily have made sense to still then come back and declare that it had been a good year. With the right understanding however, why wouldn’t our ultimate confession be that 2014 has been a good year sis? We are daughters of the King and God cannot contradict Himself. If He says His plans for us are good, they are! If He says all things work together for our good, they do! Sometimes it takes us coming to the end of a season or cycle to realize that the fact that we are still standing is a victory and a testimony in itself. And this was exactly where we first anchored sis, that it had been a good year because we are still alive and well enough to have been at Exhale & Recalibrate 2014; even as it has been a good year if you are still alive and well enough to be reading this article now.

EXHALE, sis! You are still here! You’ve made it! We have a few days to go yet, but you have made it thus far and you will make it to the end, in Jesus mighty name. God has been and will continue to be faithful sis, so count your blessings! All said, your blessings are still way more than whatever storms came with 2014. Do you recall His word that when you pass through the waters, He will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you? That when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, and neither would the flame kindle upon you (Isaiah 43 v 2)? He saw you through, sis. He did! Did He not say that though the storms and floods have lifted up their voice; and the floods lifted up the roaring of their waves; that He is on high and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea (Psalm 93 v 3-4)? Has He not been the sure refuge we could run into and be confident until calamities and destructive storms passed (Psalm 57 v 1)? And didn’t the storms always eventually pass sis? You were at various times bent, near broken, beaten, discouraged, confused, afraid… but ultimately you were not defeated sis! You are still here and you are still able to lift your head, exhale and move forward right? Bless this awesome God with me sis! Thank You Jesus!

Exhale sis! He is the One Who assures us that He performs that which HE has planned for us, and of many such matters, He is mindful (Job 23 v 14). Can you not see that this has been your testimony? As surely as He declared it sis, no matter what we went through in 2014, you and I can see that God was faithful in His assurance that He would crown the year with His goodness and bounty (Psalm 65 v 11). Exhale, sis! Take a deep breath and let it out in praise and thanksgiving to the One Who has kept you thus far. 

I remember that I had talked about how when we look at 2015 through the lens of the flesh and in the understanding of man, it would be too easy to confess along with the majority that 2015 is positioning to be a difficult year. I shared however that the word the Lord has given me for 2015 is that where others are saying there is a casting down, I will be saying there is a lifting up (Job 22 v 29). This is my confidence first and foremost because it is the word of God, and it is a word from God. I shared a quote I heard recently that the man with experience is never at the mercy of the man with an argument, and I declared that for the simple fact that I have seen the Lord come through for me and mine time and time again - even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations; I would not be a slave to the arguments and logic of men in 2015. I will stand on the experience of my many indisputable testimonies, and I will experience ‘lifting’ regardless of the going’s on in the economy - because God says so; because I believe it; because with my mouth I decree it, and so shall it be established unto me and mine, in Jesus name, amen.

As you exhale 2014, what is your word for 2015 sis? By all means, ride on the one the Lord has given me because it’s an awesome confession and spiritual decree which heaven has already backed; but can I also ask that you make time to be still in the Lord’s presence and let Him give you that word which will be meat for you throughout 2015?   If there is one thing I have clarity on, it is that 2015 is not a year to be disconnected from the Holy Spirit, and it is not a year to allow distractions take you away from the worship of God. As you exhale today sis, make a resolve to press in, and ask the Lord to help you stay plugged in. Sis, as you exhale, settle in your mind that you have to operate more deeply in the Spirit from today so that you can operate in the rest of God throughout 2015. As you exhale, settle in your mind that according to Psalm 54 v 4:  God is your Helper and Ally; He is your Upholder and is with them who uphold your life. He has always been sis, and He will always be. As this year winds down, allow this to be one truth that nothing can take away from you. 

Exhale sis! Let go of all the struggles and disappointments, and seeming failures. Let go of the targets you set for yourself which God did not assign to you. Allow the Lord give you a fresh breath today sis. Allow Him re-energize you to continue,  and to continue purposefully under His leading. You might not see it, but as long as you stay connected to God Who is your source, all things have worked and are working together for your good, sis. Breathe sis! Breathe!  It really is all good!

Be blessed sis… for you surely are!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scent of Water

“For there is yet hope for a tree that is cut own, that it will sprout again. Though its roots grow old and its stock dies in the ground. Yet at the scent and breathing of water, it will bud and bring forth stems like a young plant” - Job 14 v 7 – 9

I simply love this Scripture! It speaks volumes to me about life. It is applicable in any situation and in any circumstance, and it is a reflection of the omnipotence, love and mercy of God. It is for me a major slice of the ‘hope’ pie. It is an encouragement from heaven above. It is a portion of Scripture which if we hold on to with tenacity, will help us navigate the tough seasons in our lives very successfully.

As I pondered about just how long I have been away from this forum, reading through a couple of half-written or near-completed posts which interruptions did not allow me finish; these verses in Job 14 ministered to me afresh. The Scripture fit even as relates to my commitment to growing with you on this forum, sis. Indeed, with my many responsibilities and engagements and travels, my writing was becoming a kind of ‘tree cut down’ situation. Best of intentions aside, I have really just been pressed down on every side such that at those times that I have even had a spare moment, I would find myself too tired to think. Ever been in those situations where your brain refuses to cooperate with you? Those times when you are staring at a book but can’t see the words on the pages? Those times when you are staring at your computer screen or your notebook, but you can’t see it much less articulate the words you want to type or pen? Those times when you find yourself staring at the television screen without actually seeing or hearing anything? Well, seems like I have been in those spaces more often than not over the past few weeks, lol. It is so well with me and us all, in Jesus name.

In recent times, I have found myself speaking on various platforms which curiously were all themed around the journey from your dreams to reality. One common thread in all these discussions was the fact that so many people are carrying dreams within them that they have no idea how to birth; or for which they lack the resources  - time, money, materials, required to birth the dream. I came across so many people who were frustrated because they had tried one thing or the other which had failed, or which they just didn’t seem to be able to progress past some initial stage. More interestingly though, I came across quite a lot of people who felt that the time or season for the dreams they once had had long since passed, and this really saddened me.

I guess that generally speaking, we can all agree that there are things we wish we had done when we were younger; stronger; had some money at hand; were single; became a parent; had lesser responsibilities; lived in a certain area; had access to a certain person; etc etc. This is true of all of us, generally speaking. However, methinks that when we begin to look at specifics, this would not be an argument that would hold water for everyone. Truth as I see it is that more often than not, it’s a fear factor that is playing out. And sadly, a lot of the time, it is fear about what people will say when we set out on a journey to achieve our dreams in the first place; followed by a fear of what they will say if we fail; and strangely enough, sometimes a fear of what people will say when we succeed.

I also think that sometimes it is easier to hide under the guise of the many reasons why we can’t progress our dreams than it is to admit to ourselves that whatever excuse we have drummed up, no matter how ‘logical’ it appears, is actually a cover for what we truly know is laziness – pure and simple. I mean we are busy enough already and thinking about that next thing can be tiring nes't pas?Nothing good comes easy – we know this. In knowing this, it is usually abundantly clear to us that moving forward towards our dreams requires effort, and already we sometimes feel we need 36 hours in a day, right? But hey, let’s call a spade a spade, sis. All around the world we hear of people who decided to get a degree at the age of 70 or 80 years. Most recently we had a 96-year old finish his high-school diploma. We hear about people who started a new career in an area they are passionate about, when they are well past the prime of their lives. So really, not pursuing your dream is not about how old you are. People walk out of high-profile well-paying jobs to go apply themselves to something totally unrelated that they have always dreamed of doing. And then there are those people  who stay in their intense jobs and just push themselves that little bit more so they can progress their passions. So no, it’s not about having a job, or being too busy. No ma’am. No!

Not to take away from the weight and reality of the challenges we sometimes face, but largely for whichever category of excuse any one has used to hold themselves back, there are numerous counter examples of people in the exact same situations that still do remarkable things out of their innate passions. And you and I know that those kinds of people are certainly happier for it. Nothing beats waking up each morning and being excited about the rest of your day. Nothing beats living your passion every day of your life. Not only is this completely fulfilling to you, but you impact lives around you so much more positively without really having to give it a thought. This sounds to me more like the abundant life the Lord has called us to live doesn't it? Sounds like it is worth that extra effort doesn't it?

I believe sis, that if you and I can look past all the seeming obstacles and convenient excuses for not walking into our dreams, we will surprise ourselves with what we are able to achieve; and we will certainly be happier people all-round. Dare I say that when we commit to our passions, then even when we find life pressing us in enough directions as to keep us away from those things which for us are purposeful and in which we find much joy; we will nonetheless find it easier to get back up again and continue to press forward. This is my experience and testimony, and this is why I resolutely keep coming back to the place of my gifting. I refuse to give up sis! Don't you give up either. 

Dare I say sis, that you need to recognize that in the first place it is the God that you serve that has put the dreams in your heart, and that He has put them there because they serve a purpose in the scheme of things for the Kingdom? Dare I say that God is placing a fresh demand on you today to look again at the things He has put as a seed in your heart, and which He wants you to nurture and grow? Dare I say that nurturing requires time and effort, and that there is a sweating to it, but that it ends in joy when the tree begins to sprout? Dare I say sis, that we need to take our focus off what men will think and rather look up to the One Who is holding us accountable to deliver on His mandates? Dare I point out that if we fail to move forward in our assignments, He will move past us and raise stones to fulfill purpose? Dare I say that living a life that is fully pleasing to God also places a demand on us to be obedient to His call in every area of our lives? Dare I point out that obedience demands some sacrifice and that perhaps you need to look at what area of your life you have to make adjustments in, in order to deliver on your dreams?

Sis, it’s not too late and you are not too old or too busy, or too whatever has been the reason that has held you back so far. You are NOT, sis! What you are is well able! What you are is gifted! What you are is resourced! What you are is empowered! What you are is graced! The God Who is your Father does not put a dream in your heart without providing the resources to bring them to pass. All He asks is that you act on the dream and watch Him magnify your efforts. Your dreams are about more than you, sis. The call on your life is ‘blessed to be a blessing’ and this is a call that clearly transcends self. You need to take up the mantle and run with it, sis. You will be amazed at the number of people whose life and ministry is dependent on you going that extra mile. The Lord Who is your Strength and Provider will help and see you through as long as you purpose to do the work. And He will strengthen you too, sis. He will!

I am so passionate about my ministry. It is not easy to do the things I do in addition to the things I do, and those of you who know me personally can attest to this. But I am committed, and I am leaning solely on the Lord for strength, for inspiration, for provision, for wisdom, for clarity, for help. He is my ‘scent of water’ and each time it feels like my tree is dying, He it is that revives that which is in me again. He is my confidence that no matter how many times I slow down, I will get back up again. He is the confidence I have that busy as I get, I will follow through on this platform; I will still write the books He has laid on my heart to write; I will still do the conferences and events He has laid on my heart to do; I will still minister His word in the ways that He has assigned for me to do; I will still fulfill the dreams He has put in my heart. He is my stay and firm foundation. He is my inspiration. He is my assurance that my dreams will continue to bud and bring forth stems like young plants, and that my life shall indeed be a blessing unto generations as He has purposed. Yes sis, our father and God is my living water and His scent alone restores me. 

Can I encourage you today to be still for a few minutes and take in the Scent of His mighty Water ,sis? Allow the Lord speak to you and bring to your remembrance those things you have almost or completely given up on. Can you be still and let Him assure you afresh that you are well able; that He is holding you firmly by His right hand, that He will help you? Can you breathe in the scent of God’s water today afresh sis, and let your tree stumps receive His life and light once again? Lean on Him ,sis. There is nothing you cannot do through, with and in Him. I pray that you will receive the boldness to start again, sis. I look forward to your testimony of fruitfulness in your passions. The Lord will help you sis, as surely as He is helping me.

Be blessed sis…. for you surely are!



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Your Real Name

If there’s one thing I am learning, it’s that we keep learning every day. Life is a journey of discovery, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that the best part of this discovery journey is that of self-realization. Why? Because as you get to know, understand, and most importantly – accept yourself (shortcomings and all) the way God sees you; only then you truly come into the place of real peace.

Today, I want to share with you something I learnt…. the greatest irony being that it is something that is really not ‘new’ to me per se, but which I count myself blessed to ‘know’ today in a deeper way, and something that I pray will minister to you also. This is one thing I love about growing especially as a Christian. You can never know it all, and sometimes even that which you think you know, you can come to realize with even greater clarity. This is why we never know God’s word enough, even if we were to memorize every single word in the Bible. There will always be fresh realization and revelation, and the same goes for our everyday lives as children of the living God. If we just plug in and anchor ourselves tightly in the Lord regardless… ours will be lives of constant refreshing.

But let me not get ahead of myself…. I believe this message is powerful because I believe it is something the Lord needs you to hear very clearly today. I pray He will open your mind to truly hear with the eyes and ears of your inner man, and to truly receive what the Spirit will speak through these words, in Jesus name. Amen!

So, you know I’m still on the Genesis journey right? Well today, I had one of those ‘revelation in what I have always known’ moments sis. Simply amazing…and amazing in its simplicity! 
Genesis 3 v 20 (AMP) catches my eye and I find myself doing a double-take. ‘The man called his wife’s name Eve (life spring), because she was the mother of all the living’. I have read this Scripture time and again over the years, but this morning I found myself wondering what it was doing in this particular place. I thought ‘Hadn't she been named Eve before?’ I mean, following creation, the entire story up to this point has been about Adam and Eve right? Well, as I asked these questions and more of myself, I flipped back to Genesis 2 v 20 and one verse at a time started to look for where mention was made of ‘Eve’ prior to Gen 3 v 20. I realized for the first time, that there was no mention of ‘Eve’ before this… The other party in the Genesis story up to this point was ‘Woman’ and on a couple of occasions ‘Wife’. I guess I had become so used to the story of ‘Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden’ that my mind framed the words I had read several times around this. But that is not the way the Bible reads… and there is a major message in this!

I asked the Lord to explain this to me because I was really perplexed for some reason. Go to the scripture and check for yourself. Gen 2 v 23: ‘…she shall be called woman…’; Gen 2 v 24: ‘…and cleave to his wife….’; Gen 2 v 25: ‘…the man and his wife…’; Gen 3 v 1: ‘…and satan said to the woman…’;and so it continues from Gen 3 v 2 right down to Gen 3 v 17. I saw that even in verse 16, God Himself spoke ‘To the woman’. He didn’t name her! As He spoke his rebuke, He spoke it ‘to the woman’. Again I asked, ‘Why Lord? What does all this mean?’

And the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me. Please hear and let this truth sink deep, sis.

The Lord said asked me to note that the woman was not named until AFTER she had sinned and was in her fallen state - naked and ashamed, hiding from the presence of the Lord. He asked me to pay attention to this fact. He reminded me that He had already given Adam the mandate in Gen 2 v 19 to name every living thing, and that whatever Adam called every living creature ‘that was its name’. He reminded me that ‘Adam’ the spirit man – male and female which He created, were His representatives on the earth, created in His image and likeness, and with His full authority to rule and reign on the earth. Then He said to me that all that happened when Adam called the woman ‘Eve’ was that Adam was following the principle of the identity that He (God) gives to His children, and calling the woman by her divine name and mandate. He said to me that He when He rebuked the woman, He was speaking to her sin nature, to her flesh; that He was not saying that this was who she was designed to be, or who she was.

The Lord showed me that we are given a definition of ‘Eve’ in Gen 3 v 20. Eve means ‘Life Spring’ – a beautiful name, a name filled with promise, purpose and potential. He asked me to think with my human senses for a minute and imagine what ‘flesh’ would have named the woman ordinarily. I mean, a woman who has sinned and also caused you to sin in such a major way? A woman who has brought a weight of hardship on generations of women (in childbearing) and men (in toil on a land that is now cursed)? A woman who has taken away your cover of the glory of God? A woman who has caused you to be cast out of Eden (the place of God’s delight) with its abundant provision and protection? And you know that as Adam, flesh would never allow you give cognizance to your own role in accepting to also eat of the fruit that was offered. Flesh would not remind you that you also were given the commandment – in fact, you were the primary custodian of the commandment not to touch the tree, or that you could easily also have said No! Flesh would never allow you to accept those thoughts. No, no ,no! Flesh would lay all the blame squarely on the woman and her guile, and what her 'evil' intentions might have been, etc etc. And through all these, if flesh was to have named the woman, she would then have been called some name which would translate to mean something like ‘Burden’ ‘Liability’ ‘Destroyer’ or worse. Maybe if flesh had named the woman, she would have been the first Bible character named ‘Mara’. Do you see where the Lord was taking me?

And again the Lord said to me… ‘Adam named her Eve…“Life Spring” because that is the name that I know her by. That is the name I called her to be from the foundations of the earth…and that is the name that she is!’ God said to me that He does not name us according to our sins, shortcoming and failings in life. No sis, He does not! If she had already been called Eve at creation, and if He had rebuked her as 'Eve', He would have been defining her spirit-being according to a sin nature which would not be in agreement with 'the image and likeness' of Himself. He said that despite the weight of her sin of disobedience, He already had a redemption plan and He already knew His victory over sin and the devil. Knowing this, He was not going to call His precious creation after things that had happened in the flesh, and especially not when He had already declared all of His creation – herself included, ‘Good’!

Sis, the word of the Lord for you today is that no matter the labels the world has put on you because of your sins – past, I dare say ‘present’, and certainly future; that is not the name the Lord calls you. Regardless of the names that you yourself have put on yourself as a result of secret sins, of things from your past or present which everyday hold you bound in fear of discovery and in condemnation; regardless of those names that people have called you because of what they (and perhaps you?) consider to be failings in your life – unmarried; divorced; single parent; raped; spoiled; broken; unfit; jobless; struggling financially; overweight; uneducated; one kind of failure or the other…. Regardless of all the above, that is NOT what God called you from the foundation of the earth, and that is NOT who you really are!

The Lord said to tell you today that He has looked past all of that, and today He names you afresh! He said to remind you that He formed you, and He called you ‘Good’. Can you please truly believe this? God said to remind you that He was intentional about bringing you into this world. He has specific reasons why He birthed you. He has specific reasons why He has allowed everything in your life to be. He says to remind you that you don’t have to understand it all… but you have to know that His word is TRUE and ALL things are working out for your good and for a far greater weight of glory than you could ever imagine! He said to remind you that you were born for ‘signs and wonders’ and the fact that you have grown into adulthood contending with one challenge or the other does not invalidate this divine assignment on your life. You are the fruit of a womb, and God say’s to remind you therefore that you are His reward… and that this is true regardless of whether your birth/foster mother/parents wanted you or not. Their mistakes do not invalidate the word of God in and over your life.

The Lord said to remind you that the enemy is a beguiler, a cheater, a deceiver…and his strategies are many and varied, and sometimes you have succumbed and you will succumb; but God assures you that He will never name you differently because of this. God says to remind you today that you are ‘EVE’ - a life spring. It is through you, your experiences and testimonies that life will come forth …both literally through your womb, and otherwise as you commit to being a blessing in the lives of others and helping them come to and remain anchored in the way of everlasting life in Christ. God said to tell you that you are a Life Spring as long as you remain focused on walking in His will and way, and allowing Him lead you into the fullness of His assignment for your life here on earth.

God says I should tell you today to shake off the labels, the many negative names. He said to tell you to shake off the names you have accepted to be called., to shake them off violently!. He says that until we release what flesh and the world and the devil call us, and embrace what ‘Adam’ has called us, it will be hard for us to truly enter the place of God’s rest and live a life of His supernatural peace and abundance here on the earth. God says to remember that He has called us ‘Good’; ‘Blessed to be a blessing’; ‘Ransomed’; ‘Forgiven’; ‘Renewed’; ‘Restored’; ‘Sanctified’; ‘Justified’; ‘Pleasing to Him’; ‘Righteous in Him’; ‘External excellence’s’; ‘Joy’s to generations’; ‘Favored’; ‘Loved’; ‘Worthy’; ‘Kings and Priests’; ‘Brethren of Christ’; ‘HIS OWN’. His own, sis! His own!


The Word of God is filled with these and so many more names that are His prophetic description of who you really are as His child. Today the Lord asks that you and I press deeper into Him and His Word, so that we can truly know that no matter the situations and circumstances of our lives, in Him we have a glorious name and that name is our heavenly mandate and our heavenly reality.

I don’t know about you, but this is such a blessing to me… because more than anything else, today I know again with deeper insight and clarity that my name… my real name…all my real names (Forgiven; Saved; Anointed; Qualified; Chosen; Loved) they all add up to this one ‘WINNER’! Halleluyah! The Lord will help you truly find and know you and your real name my friend, even as He is surely helping me.

Be blessed sis… for you surely are!





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

There’s always light

Yes, I’m still here sis. I know it’s been another long hiatus from this page, a full month actually, but yours truly is still right here with you. If you have followed my last few posts, two big things should have hit you – first is that life happens and sometimes our best laid plans aren’t able to play out the way we plan (of one mine being a plan to go back to blogging every week); and secondly, the fact that life happening regardless, we must be relentless in delivering on our mandates – and so regardless of how many weeks it takes me to deal with ‘life’ as it happens, I will keep coming back. I will be relentless in fulfilling my assignment to grow with you on this very same journey of life.

I so wish I could share with you some of the many interesting things I have been dealing with over the past month, but that would be a book and not a blog post, lol. Besides, that is not the word I have for you today. And I have to be obedient to share what the Lord has shown me this morning right?

So, a couple of days ago, the Lord asked me to go back to study of the book of Genesis. Genesis? I asked because He had given me this same assignment very early this year, and from the things He showed me then, He had also given me a title for a book I am to write. Life has happened to me enough so that I actually haven’t made much progress with this assignment, but I have shared the book title with my precious sista, Editor and Publisher Bidemi Mark-Mordi (www.verbatimcommunications.com) and I had started to record my first notes a few months back. There was a time when I would have patted myself on the back for at least making a move, but hey… that was too many months ago to still be basking in that particular glow.  That said, God obviously still has His way of using our procrastination's and failings to birth the things that He has purposed and He continues to make this clear to me in my life, as I pray He does in yours.

As I got the Word to go back to Genesis once again, I will confess I went through one of those ‘Lord, is this really you?’ type moments. But you know girl, I could almost see our Father shake His head at me in mock exasperation, saying ‘You know My voice, Audrey. Get to it’. So, I obeyed and I am so glad I did because He is showing me new things, and they are revelations that are such a word in due season for me, as I pray those I am led to share on this forum will be to you too (and as I pray the book will be to every reader eventually).

Sometimes we read Scripture and we miss things that have been readily evident to many others for so long. Today for instance, I saw for the first time, that the very same principle on which God called forth vegetation to reproduce from the seed that He had already put within them, and according to their own kind and in their own likeness(Gen 1 v 11-12); is actually the very same principle by which He created man. Simply put… God, in speaking the creation of man into being, was in essence calling for the seed that was already in Him (our Spirit man) to come forth out of Him, in His image and according to His likeness. Somehow, I had never really seen this and I truly can’t recall anyone having made the connection for me before.  Many things were laid on my heart as this simple connection was made, but suffice to say that for today, my only assignment to you from this is to lay a foundation by reminding you that our God is a God of Principle! And…. if you and I would submit to His principles, we will live much more purposeful and fulfilled lives here on earth.

As I got to verse 13 of Genesis 1, I found myself asking a question I had never thought to ask before. ‘Why didn’t God simply make everything in one day?’ I mean really sis, why? It’s not that He wasn’t able to. Indeed, our God could have created everything He created in those 6 days in a single day or even in a moment. I pondered on this a bit and the Spirit of God said to me that it is because our God is a Master Builder; an excellent craftsman; because in building with excellence, everything has its own time, purpose and season; because process is critical to building, and because ‘Process’ is a key principle in God’s Kingdom.

Sis, the Lord reminded me that there is actually a fullness to be experienced in every phase of the building process...if we would only open our eyes to see it! At the end of every ‘Let there be…and there was’ period of creation, God looked at what He had done, approved of it and then basked in its goodness for that day. He knew (because He knows all things) that He was not done yet, that there was not yet a completion. But He didn’t sit around fretting about what was as yet not done. No! Rather He stayed, He remained, and He basked in the goodness of that day. When the time came, He then spoke to the new season, birthed something new, and again repeated the cycle.  So what does this mean? Sis, you and I need to realize that our lives are not over yet, so we need to learn to rest in each season. There is a reason greater than you and I could ever really and truly know for the methodology and order in which God does His own things. But there are some principles (that word again) that make clear that He is in every minute detail of every creation process – including the birthing of every single day, phase or season of our lives.

I found myself looking more deeply than ever before at the methodology of creation and seeing for the first time that there were principles that guided what God created in which order. Again, very simple things that perhaps some great scholars have written and taught for years, but my eyes were just opened to this, and there must be a reason. I saw for the first time for instance, that God created the land and the seas first because quite obviously (I can say that now) vegetation needs to be anchored to the ground and feed on nutrients from within the soil, and it also needs to be watered so that it stays fresh, survives and flourishes. Speaking of principles, does this kind of remind you about how we only find that sense of true joy and completeness when we are firmly anchored in and on the Lord who is our Firm Foundation, and how the Spirit of God in us waters and refreshes our souls so that we can really and truly live and flourish? Principle, sis! Principle!

The Lord re-established to me that there are things He first brings into our lives because they are the very things that will nourish us and build our muscles for the next levels in our lives. Each of us must go through a ‘morning and an evening’ in order to reach the fulfillment of the ‘day’. It is the phases we are in that are the foundation to help us stand when God adds the next floor on the building that is our lives. And no sis, it does not follow that where we are at any one point in our lives will always be good. One of the things God showed me last week was that when He created light and ‘saw that it was good’ (Gen 1 v 4), He didn’t destroy darkness. And He could have, couldn’t He? He could have said ‘Light is really great, let there be no darkness’ and that is exactly what would have happened and you and I would know no better today. But He rather allowed the darkness to continue to exist alongside the light. What this spoke to me is that in the grand scheme of it, God is light… and that He allowed darkness to coexist with light because darkness has a purpose that He alone sees and understands.

I was pondering on this when suddenly my attention was caught by two Scriptures that lay practically side-by-side on the same page in my Bible (Gen 1 v 4 and Gen 1 v 14). God had already clearly separated light and darkness into Day and Night (v4-5), so why did He still go ahead and create the ‘lights in the heavens’ to still further separate the day from night? Wouldn’t mankind have known the difference between day and night simply because one was light and the other was darkness? Later on in that verse it speaks to God having done this to provide us with signs and tokens of His care and provision, as well as to mark seasons, days and years. But something else was spoken to my heart. Sis, the word of God to you today is that this further creation of lights and evident signs of separation of day and night, is a type and shadow of the fact that only God sees the big picture of your life and He has sorted you out completely. Only God sees through and understands darkness and light at the same time, sis. He wasn’t referring to day and night in that context, He was referring to the seasons you and I have gone and will go through as He builds our life into that beautiful image He has of us in the end. This passage wasn’t about the physical day or night sis. After all, when we are in our seasons of trial, the challenges are with us day and night for days, weeks or months on end. No, it’s so much more than that!

His word to you today is that He will never fail to give you a token or a sign that will help you know that – no matter the weight of the day you are in, He is with you; He loves you; and He will hold your hand and walk you through till you see the light that is actually already there. And there is light sis! There is! This word is to help you see this, sis. God knew that if He simply left things at the first separation in Gen 1 v4, our inner man would give up very readily on the measure of faith He has already put in us through the Holy Spirit. We would give up because our physical eyes might not be able to see anything in our current circumstances to validate that faith, and the level of doubts and fears we would then allow in the physical would completely becloud that inner light. Knowing this, our God Who loves us beyond measure constantly puts testimonies (signs and tokens) in our lives just so we know. Just so we know sis, that the Master Builder has not given up on us; that hard as it might be, this season is for a reason; that we are being built up and perfected in our seasons of darkness; and that light surely will comes…for our God is light… in every situation. He is the light that is our victory! He is the light that dispels every darkness around us! He is the light that illuminates us, making us shine brighter and brighter, until the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There is just one proviso though, sis….and this is that we have to keep looking up to Him alone! In Gen 1 v 16-17, God created the two great lights and set them in the expanse of the heavens. Why? Why couldn’t He have made it such that light would emanate from the dust of the ground or the leaves of trees at night? Or why did He not set the sun, moon and starts to shine from deep within the core of the earth? If He had done that it wouldn’t have been strange to us because that is all we would ever have known to be normal. But it’s about principle once again sis. God set the lights in the heavens because He is our Father in heaven and because He is light! He set them up there because He wants us to always look up to the light (to Him), regardless of whether it is day or night! God wants us to look up to Him so that we learn to rest in whatever season we are in, knowing that the One Who is light Himself is very much in control; that He is building us up for greater testimonies ahead.  

Sis, I see this as a secret to a successful, contented, spirit-led life that will bless us and glorify God. Do you see what I see? I don’t know what your ‘day’ or ‘night’ looks like now, my sister and friend. I truly have no idea what season you are in. But, God wants you to know today that there is always light! He is always your light and He will take you into His rest now if you let Him. Don’t look at what is not working, sis. Don’t let the enemy shift your focus! Any way you cut it, if you would literally ‘count your blessings’, you will not be able to deny God’s faithfulness in your life; you will not be able to deny that the Light has shined for you in both your day and night, year in and year out. He is the same God today as always, sis. Trust Him! Lean on Him! Allow Him help you through the difficulty of this season, as you look up to Him and trust that all things are working out for your good. The Lord will help you sis, even as He is surely helping me!


Be blessed….. for you surely are!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

God's Plan A

It’s been nothing short of an interesting few weeks for my family and I While I would so love to share all the details, you and I know I already don’t do shorts posts so trying to capture the many delays, trials, breakthroughs, and lessons in waiting that I have experienced would be rather stretching, lol.  Suffice it to say that I find myself in Canada with no husband and only three of my four children here with me – a situation that is very far from the plan I assure you. The greatest irony of this situation is probably that of the two children who we were to settle into schools here, one - the one who was due to start school last week, is still stuck back home waiting for his passport to be returned from the embassy. The other, who is here with me, is off to school tomorrow and will neither be able to see his father or older brother (they don’t get in for another three days, sigh!) whom he hasn’t seen in a couple of weeks, before he leaves.

Errr….you can tell my sighs are more for myself than for them right? I mean, here I am seriously missing my husby (boo hoo); leading my second child off to school and away from home (boo hoo hoo); knowing full well that when my first son does arrive in Canada he is heading right off to Campus since he is already late for classes (boo hoo, sob sob); and… knowing that in another week or so, I will be heading home to the reality of a nest that is now half empty (wailing unapologetically now!). Okay! Sniff sniff….  I hear you remind me that I’m a big strong woman! Sniff sniff…yes I surely am! BUT sis, I have long since failed to make the connection between being a strong woman and being unreal. As I see it, I am stronger still for working out all the things God is helping me be and achieve, and yet being able to remain open about my vulnerabilities, struggles, and tears. I am a strong woman, who right now misses her husband terribly, and I miss my boys – the one with me and the one who isn’t, desperately. I am a strong woman who will have a big cry at every opportune moment because it’s my prerogative, and because I’m hopelessly unashamedly emotional like that!

The difference is that my strength is in Christ alone and I know this. So sis, after each cry I will pick myself up and give God the glory for the amazing things He has done, is doing and will continue to do in my life. I will lift my hands in worship and thank Him also for the gift of my tears. Yes, ma’am, I surely will! I will thank God for my tears because there are many others who have no husbands to speak of, or who have such terrible marriages that they actually look forward to times of separation with their spouses. Yet, here I am missing my husby and best friend. Thank You Lord! I will thank God because it is only a woman with children that knows the pain of separation from them. I will thank God because I am leaving my children in another country to further their education, which means they are moving forward (that’s what ‘further’ means right? Getting ahead? Yes ma’am).

I will thank God for my tears because even if husby and I had the desire for our children to school abroad but had no resources, we wouldn’t be here. I will thank God because we could afford for all the family to come together to see the boys off. I will thank God for my tears because even if we could afford to all come, but one or more of us was dealing with some kind of major health issue or infirmity, we wouldn’t all be here. I will thank God because I still have two amazing children who are home with me now. I will thank God because I know that even when those two are ready to leave home, He will give me the strength and grace to move into the next phase of my life. You get my drift? Bottom line would be that as I cry (and I most certainly will) about leaving my boys here and the transition phase my family is once again going through, I will NOT allow myself forget the goodness of the Lord, His love for me, and the ultimate privilege of His choosing me and freely giving me Himself as an anchor my soul in Him.

But this is not about my missing my children or my crying sprees, sis. Neither is it about my strength as a woman. Sorry, but I just needed to put this first bit out there. Today I want to take the lesson from my son’s experience to share what God has been teaching me and is helping me to practice. My first son is off to university. We completed his visa application and then proceeded to wait. We were however beginning to worry somewhat when the timelines began to stretch a bit and we hadn’t received a word back from the embassy. I kept reminding the Lord of the major visa-related testimonies He had put on my lips two years ago, asking Him to come through for us once again.

On this one day, I felt a leading to send an email to an address God showed me. I was initially reluctant because the embassy always tells you they will not respond if your application is still within the standard processing time. But the Lord spoke clearly to me and said, ‘Send it. I have prepared the person who will give immediate attention to your mail’. With this assurance, I obeyed and less than an hour later got a response, and things began to look up from there. My sista and I had submitted our applications on the same day, and had our boys do their medicals on the same day and at the same hospital (our family hospital at that). You can then imagine our confusion when her son’s passport came in and our son’s didn’t.

Long story short, her son since resumed school with other students last week, while my son is still home waiting on his passport. I mention this because quite frankly, it didn’t help our anxiety having her son’s application timelines as a reference point for how things should have gone for our own son’s application also. I mean think about it: same day (and time practically) submission + same day medical = same processing period = same batch approval, right? Perhaps if we didn’t know better, we wouldn’t know better right? But we did! My sistas son’s approval and receipt of passport was our reference point, and it didn’t help. Can you relate sis? My sista, all my sistas really, were resolute in prayer on this matter and for that I love and appreciate every single one of them, but it was tough going at times – made worse perhaps by not having my family together physically through this.

But…   and this is the foundation of my message to you today sis, the challenge which I now know, is that our reference point should not have been my sista’s son, it should have been God and that which He has purposed to do for His good pleasure and purpose.

A few days after I arrived in Canada, God had given me a Word (Ruth 3 v 18) assuring me that He would not rest until the matter was settled today. That very same day, I got an email confirming that my son’s visa had been approved. Joy overflowed and I sank unto my knees in absolute praise. But, days later the physical passport still hadn’t been dispatched. I went to God again in prayer, reminding Him that He said He wouldn’t rest until the matter was settled and that I needed Him to perfect what he had started. His reply was so quiet and soothing and a question to me as to why I would think His perfect will had not been done. He said simply, ‘My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are infinitely higher than your thoughts’.

I can’t describe the peace that flooded me then. I really can’t. I understood His response so perfectly, sis. You see, I had since realized that there was clearly a reason or indeed reasons that my ever faithful God didn’t want my son to be on the university campus during the Orientation week, and I had said as much to a few people, my son included. It had ministered to my spirit that there are some associations that come your way each time you enter into a new environment, and if you are not careful you will find yourself aligned with the very wrong set of people from the start. I had such a conviction about the fact that God was keeping my son away from certain people and or experiences that wouldn’t ultimately be good for him, and this was confirmed when a friend told me she had watched a news story about the debauchery that was going on in most university campuses in the name of orientation.  And yeah, it doesn’t follow that every child who is present at the orientation week will involve themselves in those things, but we are each on a different path as are our children, and the enemy’s has different strategies to try to derail us from our destinies.

I was reminded about the fact that - while I am my son’s earthly mother, and while it is in my flesh nature to anxiously expect and pray for the best for him; God Who is his heavenly Father loves him so much more than I ever could, and is also working all things out for his good. God reminded me of something I’d heard Craig Groeschell  say a couple of weeks before we travelled, that ‘The things that are often our afterthoughts, turn out to be God’s Plan A in the first place’.

That expression had struck me very strongly and thinking about the totality of our experiences this period, I realized that while it took me going through my earlier emotional roller-coaster to finally come back to the place of prayer and a Holy Spirit realization/reminder that God is working something else out for the good of my son and by extension our entire family; that God had a plan A from the start which never involved my son arriving on campus at man’s appointed date. God certainly didn’t manufacture a reason for not allowing my son get to campus earlier because He saw through my disappointments and anxieties. Not at all sis! He had already purposed it all, and He had already worked out the end from the beginning for our good – even though we can’t now or might never fully know or understand His ‘Why’ ….since ‘His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are infinitely higher than our thoughts’

In my quiet time with the Lord this morning, He led me to read Psalm 143. This was David – a strong man as well, running to the Lord to admit that the many trials and travails around him were wearing him down, and he was dealing with some sort of depression in the flesh. In the spirit though, he came back to the place of remembering how good God had been to him time and again in the years past. He understood that his victory and restoration were in the place of full submission and worship of God the Father, regardless of what he could see around him that was intent on crushing his soul. And in verse 8 he said ‘….for I lift my inner self to you’.

Wow! As I read this, the Holy Spirit said to me that this is the key! That in our flesh, we might face delays, disappointments, worries, travails that will try to crush our spirits; but… if we lift our inner selves – our true selves, our spirit man, up to God; if we do this sis, then we will always be able to confess ‘Lord, I don’t understand this, but I submit. Lord, I confess that Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts; but I believe Your thoughts towards me are good and not evil, and that Your ways are designed to lead me to fullness of joy in You’. We will be able to come to God fully yielded and admit that we have no strength of our own and that He alone is our Source, our Trust and the Anchor to our souls. If we know that God’s Plan A – whether it looks like our plan B or whether it looks like something we find ourselves in because everything else failed, is ultimately the best for our lives; then no matter what the flesh is pushing at us, we will find it in our spirits and in our hearts to say ‘Lord, Your good and perfect will be done’.

Sis, I don’t know what in your life isn’t working out the way you would have thought it should. I don’t know what many efforts you have made and continue to make that seem not to yield the results you were aiming for. I don’t know what it is in your life that looks like it is being delayed sis. I don’t know what has made you cry or what is causing anxieties in your life right now. I don’t know sis, but I want to encourage you with this word and ask that you trust God to show you the good that He is working out of your trials. Even if you can’t see, or if you are so pressed down that you can’t even hear God now sis, can you just lift your inner self up to Him? Can you just go into praise and worship of Him regardless? Can you pray in the spirit for a while to Him? Can you boldly declare that He is working all things out for your good even if you are not sure how? Can you tell Him that your spirit says ‘Yes’ to His will and His way? Can you surrender yourself to whatever His plan A for your life and situation are?

Awww sis, there is so much peace in this place of submission. I make no claims to have apprehended fully sis, but what I do preach is that as you and I walk this walk together, we will encourage, build, hold each other accountable to living the fullness of the lives that our Father has so uniquely designed for us to live. Submit to God’s Plan A today sis. Its way better in the long run than our human plans and desires can ever be. And that’s the truth! The Lord will help you to truly know and remember this truth sis, and He will help me.



Be blessed sis…. for you surely are!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

ARE YOU READY?

No matter where you are in the world, there is a lot of fear in the land at this time. It really doesn’t take much to know that we are truly in the last days. In my country, in addition to the already existing insecurity and insurgency, a new enemy - the very deadly Ebola virus, made its entrance unto the scene a couple of weeks back. The Ebola virus is not one that can be ascribed to any religious intolerance, ethnic discriminations, class distinctions, or divergent political affiliations. It is an enemy that is quite literally no respecter of persons… and its right here in our space!

People have died, and new cases are being reported in different regions. What is clear to me however is that what is happening now is not about the Ebola virus per se. No sis, it’s about a harvest of souls…. And a dark harvest at that! It’s a dark harvest because there is the question of just how many of those souls that have gone and will go, are ready to meet the Lord. Ebola is one more way that the enemy has released a spirit of fear into the land and into the hearts of believers and unbelievers alike. And boy is there great fear in the land!

My son was invited by another friend to go along with him for an open mic talent contest at his church. I had said this was fine because my son is quite the artist, to the glory of God, and we do everything we can to support him in this. We went out together, having agreed I would drop him off at this church to meet up with his friend on my way out. There wasn’t as much traffic as I had anticipated though and so I asked him to call to confirm how close his friend was to the church. My reasoning was that since this wasn’t our home church, I would rather he went with me first to see my friend first, rather than have him sit alone waiting in unfamiliar territory. Well guess what? He called and his friend said to him that his mother had decided he should not attend the event because they were concerned about the spread of the Ebola virus and so were being careful around going to public places. Seriously? Would this mean they would not be in church this Sunday then? Hmmm!

Social media is agog with one Ebola-related thing or the other. Some people have even found it in themselves to post jokes about what is a very deadly virus. I personally don’t see anything funny about a real situation that has the potential to wipe out hundreds of men, women and children in the space of a few weeks. Then of course, there are the superstitious opinions and the highly uneducated guesses that end up being broadcast on social media with such rapidity that makes clear that the senders are cloaked in fear, and so are unable to make rational judgments about the misinformation they then broadcast. Between those who are advocating bathing in and drinking salt water, to those who now refuse handshakes, to those who are avoiding going out – even to church; all that is manifesting is the spirit of fear pervading the land.

Yes sis, I hear you ask if we shouldn’t take extra care in the face of this reality. Surely we should. But, methinks there is a clear difference between being careful and operating in fear. If we would but settle down and allow the Spirit of God to minister to us, we would usually be able to discern when we have crossed the line of carefulness and entered into the realm of fearfulness. God has said that He has NOT given us a spirit of fear. And fear is certainly a spirit, sis. It is a spirit from the pit of hell. Fear is a spirit that can hold you down right where you are seated. Fear works by taking over your mind so completely that you are literally paralyzed. Fear grips at your heart, constricting it so much so that you can sometimes hardly breathe. Fear works to hold you back from doing the thing(s) that God has designed you to do. Fear holds you back from experiencing the life of abundance which is God’s design for you and I.

Sis, allowing fear to overtake us is really you and I saying that we don’t believe in God. Hard word, but oh so true! Our Father already knew that fear would be one of the enemy’s strategies to keep His children away from His fullness. He already knew that flesh would fail us. He is God remember? That is why His word (which He exalted above His name) tells us to cast our fears on Him. God has said effectively ‘I know that of your flesh, fear will come; but of your spirit, stand in faith that nothing is impossible for me, that I am with you and I am mindful of you’.

My daughter’s godfather said to me about 20years ago, that there were six million ways to die already and so he couldn’t understand why anyone would be afraid of that one more way – in this case, Ebola. Think about it with me, sis. There is no guarantee whatsoever that when we go to bed at night, we will wake up the next morning, even when we went to bed in absolutely good health. Those great people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack got up, had breakfast and were working as usual in their offices when those planes came flying in. Yet you and I head off to work every day with a sense of certainly that at the end of the day, we will head home once again. On those really bad days, we are practically counting the minutes so we can ‘just leave this place’. What do we know sis? What did any of those 9/11 guys know? Who would have told them they would die at work?

This is a season where many of us are hopping on one flight or the other for our holidays. Many of us have to take one flight or the other for that quick meeting, that presentation at our corporate head office, and so on. Sis, what did those guys on the Malaysian airline know? How could they have imagined that they would board a plane that would disappear over the deep sea and till today has not been found? Sis, who could have told the other guys that their plane would be shot out of the skies… a passenger plane? In 2014? Who could have told them sis? Who could have told that couple who went out for a nice romantic dinner that the wife would choke on her meal and die right there at the restaurant, in front of her husband? And yet, you and I pounce on our meals everyday like it’s a given that eating does not put us at the risk of death. Hmmm! Need I go on?

There are a million stories and ways in which people can and will die sis. Life is great, and we all want to live, but… death, by whatever means, is a constant. And… the dead are dead! The dead are not looking back and thinking how horrendously they might have died – in an accident, through a horrible disease like Ebola, if they were gruesomely murdered… whatever. NO! The dead are dead. The thinking and analyzing and regretting, etc are for the living to do. The dead are dead, and are immediately having to face God the Father in the ultimate accountability for the lives that they lived here on earth.

Sis, this is the crux of the matter! We do not need to fear death, for when it comes to us, the only thing that will matter to us who are then the dead, will be which side of the eternity divide we are headed for in that instant. So yeah, I pray that Ebola or whatever other evil disease or situation out there does not come near my family. Yes, I pray that I will live long enough to see my children’s children. Yes, I pray that by the time I go, painful as my death would be for them, my children will be old enough and established enough not to find themselves in the place of dependency. Yes, I pray that I will not be widowed in the prime of my life. Yes, I pray that I will never have to bury any one of my children and grandchildren. I pray all these, yes… but more than anything else, I pray that should the Lord’s time for me be earlier than I would like, that when I am called, I will be called into His amazing presence and that I will have the privilege of resting in His love for all eternity in heaven. This is my greatest heart cry!

Making it heaven is ALL that counts, sis. So, today I am calling on you and indeed myself to again reexamine our lives and be sure we are in alignment with God the Father. Today, I am again calling on anyone who has not yet given their life to Jesus Christ, to do so today. It is not difficult. It is as simple as this prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I believe in You. I believe You are the Son of God. I believe You lived and died for ME. I believe You shed Your Blood on the Cross at Calvary for my sake. Lord, I come to You fully repentant. Forgive me my sins, My father and my Lord. Wash me clean with Your Blood. Fill me with Your light and truth. Lord, write my name in Your Book of Life. Help me! Hold me! Teach me Lord. Help me to live for You. Show me the way Father. I give you my body, my mind, my will, and my emotions. I give you all that I am and all that I have and I ask that You turn my life around and use it for Your glory. I declare today I am born again of the Spirit of the Living God. I declare that Jesus is Lord over my life, in Jesus name Amen”

For those of us who are already in Christ, I call on you and I today to cling even more closely to the Cross. I call on each of us today to do a spiritual exercise and examine and be truthful to ourselves about what little foxes we have allowed into our vineyards, of what areas of our lives we have kept from yielding up fully to the Lord. Sis, each of us must be in ‘Ready’ position all the time. We must! Our lives are a race to the Cross, to the glorious crown from the King of Kings Himself, to eternal rest in our beautiful heavenly Father. Today the Lord is assuring us that there is a reason He has repeatedly told us ‘Fear Not!’ We cannot be so held down by the fear of death and dying that we lose sight of this. God is on the throne and if we are in Him, our end is always good. We have no idea when our last day will be, sis! Indeed, we will never know the how or the when. The Spirit of the Lord is however reminding us today that the ‘how’ of our dying is irrelevant, but the ‘when’ is critical. Sis, we cannot afford not to be ready at our ‘when’. Our ‘when’ is the end of our sojourn on this earth, and in the end, our readiness is all that counts for eternity, if truth be told.

Today I speak over you and I a prayer that the Lord will hide this truth deep in our hearts. I speak a prayer that we will truly know that the Lord in a wall of fire around about us and the glory that is in the midst of us. I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will align ourselves with the Father; that as we continue to behold Him, He will conform us daily more and more into His image of glory. I speak a heavenly blessing over us and declare that none of us will be lost, in Jesus name. I declare that that we will not die before the time the Lord has appointed for us, in Jesus name. I declare that regardless of how we eventually die this earthly death, we will live the eternal life in the bosom of the Lord, in Jesus name. I hear the Spirit of the Lord call us to be ready sis, and I hear His quiet steadfast assurance: ‘I will help you, My child’. In Christ we are helped sis. How glorious is that?


Be blessed sis… for you surely are!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grace… sufficient for when life happens!


I had a very emotional reaction to something a friend called to tell me a couple of weeks back. Highly emotional! I mean, I literally burst into tears. It was a combination of very deep hurt that she would leave me out of that experience – though I didn’t know exactly what the issue was at the time (yours truly having been too upset to hear her out completely) and an even deeper pain that she’d had to go through it by herself regardless. I had said to her that I could only be as much a friend to her as she would allow me. In responding, she had tried to explain briefly how intense things had been on her side, which I must admit incensed, me all the more. Why? Because if anyone truly knows me, they know that I drop everything without a second thought, in order to be available to my near strangers – much less dear friends who are in need. I would not have been too busy to make time to be at her side, visit her in hospital, or if she were out of town, call and text her several times a day to encourage her and pray with her.  I was so upset that I literally couldn’t speak, so we had a bit of an exchange by text with me trying to let her know how hurt I was, and she trying to calm me down with a promise to call back to give me the full details when I was more settled. She’d ended her chat with these words: ‘Life happened, sis!’

Life happened!

Such a simple phrase and yet packed with so much depth. Those words settled every upset I had at the time completely and have stayed with me ever since. Life happened! Life happens…and when it does, there can sometimes be such unpredictability to our actions and reactions, but for the grace and power of God.  Life happens and has certainly been happening to me. ‘Life happens’ is the summary of my hiatus from this forum for so many weeks now. You see sis, life has been happening to me, and it has not been an easy ride. My travails over the past few weeks are enough to have written a book on. It has been one thing after the other, and if I will admit it, it has been pretty overwhelming. One of my sistas came to see me recently and had said to me that I had an odd kind of calm about me. Given that I am ordinarily a very calm person, her use of the qualifier ‘odd’ told me she could sense something was off. And how right she was! I was inordinately calm because I was ready to implode sis, I was. The combination of physical and mental exhaustion, emotional upset, and having to be strong for everyone at home and at work despite all of that, had me working all my autopilot controls to the max. You can relate right?

So yeah, life happens, sis! But we can’t give up can we? Nope! Remember we are called to be relentless right? If you haven’t read my previous post ‘Relentless’, let me encourage you to look it up in my archives sis. I saw something on Facebook a couple of days ago which said ‘’Giving up is like slashing the other three tyres of your car just because one tyre went flat”. I thought how it spoke brilliantly to what our response to the pressures of life should be – that if life pushes us down in one area, we must continue to move nonetheless. It never is all bad. Never! ….especially not with God on our side.

I see now that there is a reason why the Lord allowed me this ‘Life Happens’ experience at this point in time in my life. Last week, the 7th annual ROTH (Return of The Helper) conference held here in Lagos. It has been my privilege and blessing to be a part of this event for a few years now, but this year the Lord simply took things to the next level. This year, the Lord allowed me to see, hear and understand with more clarity than ever before, that even though life happens, He literally holds us through every storm and uses our trials to build us and others up. This year, the Lord allowed me meet in the flesh, a lady who has been a friend and encourager, even though we had never met, and had only spoken on one occasion. At ROTH 2014, I was blessed to meet Dr. Irene Olumese, along with her remarkable husband and sons.

Sis, I can’t tell you in this space what Irene’s story has been. I was simply enthralled as she spoke on "Graced for Glory', sharing her life story openly and freely to help us see. Suffice it to say for over 20 years, starting just a couple  of years after they got married, they have struggled through one horrendous attack on her health or the other, and several surgeries to boot – the last of which had the doctors amputate both her legs. Indeed, her hands were to have been amputated as well, but the Lord our God Who is mighty to save countered the Doctors say and restored her hands to life completely. He had promised to give her ‘Feet of Grace that would carry her where her natural feet could not take her’, and God has been true to this word. As she shared her story, all I wanted to do was to shout ‘ENOUGH PLEASE!’. Several people in the audience simply sobbed uncontrollably. I was too numb for that though. You see, I knew a bit of the story. My sistas and I had held Irene up in prayers on several occasions, including through the time of the amputation. But I know now that I didn’t have depth of understanding and clarity regarding just how long and how intense her sufferings had been until that day at ROTH.

Life happened to my sista Irene Olumese BUT….to the glory of God, she is still standing and standing strong. Halleluyah! Irene is walking, she is dancing, she is using her life and experiences to teach people around the world what the GRACE of God really means. She is literally showing that what the enemy meant for evil, the Lord is using for good. Yes sis, her prosthetic ‘Feet of Grace’ have literally taken her to minister God’s love and mercy across countries of the world that she would otherwise never have been to. I watched this amazing woman smiling, laughing, singing with all her heart in worship to the father, hugging people, listening intently to them and offering words of counsel, praying with them. 
I watched Irene and never saw her wince in pain. I saw her pouring out of herself continuously so that those around her could receive a touch from God in their lives. I heard her declare boldly that this second chance the Lord had given her at life – complete with a new set of lungs (yes, I said lungs) and new feet, are dedicated completely in service to Him. I heard her challenge us by her life, to truly live for God. I watched her and ‘heard’ her unspoken determination to help God’s children truly see and know Him through her life experiences. I watched her, and I loved and love her with an intensity that can only be of the Lord. I celebrated this amazing woman at ROTH 2014 and I will always celebrate Dr. Irene Olumese …. So much strength packed into such a lithe frame. Yes ma’am, the Lord showed each of us that day that He is God, and He is ALWAYs with us. I encourage you to share Irene’s walk through her blog http://touchinglives4good.blogspot.com and her Feet of Grace ministry.  

I celebrate also Dr. Peter Olumese and their sons Ose and Ehi. I found myself watching them constantly with a lump in my throat. Peter has stood beside Irene like a rock through the years. The truth is that the ‘For better, for worse’ vows notwithstanding, no young man or woman goes into marriage with the expectation of the kind of ‘for worse’ experiences that these two have had. But Peter has been stoic! He has exemplified Jesus Christ Who is our ROCK! He has been a pillar of strength. He has been love in Irene’s life as God is love in ours. I doff my heart to you sir. 

Their sons, Ose and Ehi….these are young men who have loved and nurtured their mother through thick and thin. They have physically carried her, they have kept house for her, they have cooked for her, they have fed her. They have given up time with friends and parts of their social lives in order to be there for her. I watched them always on guard. They were so attuned with her needs – if she needed to sit, if she needed to stand, if she needed a tissue, or a glass of water. They escorted her everywhere, and never did I sense any form of exasperation as is common with youth. That these young men love and are unabashedly and wholeheartedly committed in love to serve their mother is crystal clear (speaking even more to the great woman that Irene is- as wife, and as mother). These were gentlemen to the core and I don’t doubt Ose and Ehi will make amazing husbands to some blessed daughters of God one day. Yes, I celebrate these fine young men. The Lord will certainly not forget their labour of love and great shall their rewards be in Jesus name, amen.

As I think about how the Lord used and is using Irene and her family to minister to me, I want to leave a few things with you sis:

NEVER GIVE UP! ........First is to say again, never give up sis! Never give up! There is truly always someone out there who has it ssssoooooo much worse than you do, so always find it in yourself to thank God that whatever you are dealing with is not much worse than it otherwise could have been. There is always something good in our situations if we would only open our eyes to see. The Lord is clear in His word that He will never give us any temptation we cannot bear, and He promises a way of escape. Giving up means we don’t truly believe; that we don’t think we are able; and worse still… that we don’t think He is able!

PUSH BACK! …….Push back sis! The word of God tells us that if a righteous man falls seven times, he still rises. And remember it is the righteousness of Christ that we walk in and not our own, so don’t allow the enemy and the spirit of condemnation begin to make you question whether you qualify under the scripture reserved for the righteous. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus sis. Never forget this….and knowing this, get up! No matter how long you have been down, get up! Push back! Remind the enemy that you serve a God Who is more than able to see you through and use your life for His glory. Remind yourself that you are called for a purpose, that the Lord did not create you as a space-filler on the earth. No, He called you to carry out an assignment and as long as you refuse to stay down, you will fulfill your assignment in Jesus name. Don’t stop writing, don’t stop speaking, don’t stop loving, don’t stop trying, don’t stop giving your very best! Don’t withdraw from living. No, push back at life sis! When life happens, push back. Your Father is the Giver of Life. He is the Author and the Finisher. In Him do all things consist! Nothing is impossible to Him and nothing shall be impossible for you if you lean on Him for strength. He has called us to live and live gloriously sis, and so shall it be if we refuse to be bowed down by the storms of life. 

TRUST GOD! …..Trust God sis! Trust Him with your mistakes, your messes, your failings. Trust Him to work things out for your good. Trust Him to bring helpers into your life to see you through every situation or challenge you may be facing. And open yourself to be helped sis! Do NOT allow the enemy isolate you! Isolation and mental domination are the devils ways of pressing you down and keeping you focused on your problems – magnifying your largely unfounded fears and creating problems in your mind that don’t even exist. If we would but look up to God, sis! He is our strength, and He is our Helper. When life happens, trust God! Go to the place of worship. Worship even if you can’t find it in you to utter a single word of prayer. As your worship rise to His ears, God Himself will infill you afresh with a confidence that nothing life throws at you is greater than that which He has purposed for you. He will release grace and strength to you, so that like my sister Irene and her family, you will be able to smile, to dance, to have the confidence that God is mindful of you, that His grace is sufficient for you, and that all things will certainly work out for your good.

The Lord helps and will continue to help you and I sis. Even where life happens and situations and circumstances puts us on crutches, like Irene you and I must lean on He Who is the ultimate crutch, and we must LIVE sis! We must! With the Lord on or side, we will live... to the praise and to the glory of His name! This is my confidence and trust… and so shall it be, in Jesus mighty name. Amen and Amen!

Be blessed sis….. for you surely are!       


About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.