Author - rsl

Love – so amazing

One of the things that concern us on Dove Eyes is Marriage. For us it is a big deal. We believe that it is of God and the true bedrock of society. When marriages fail, families fragment and it all falls back to society. We want our voice to be stronger and louder in this area, hence the idea to host a Valentine dinner.

This dinner provides a platform for couples to engage intentionally for a couple of hours. Come and rekindle the fire of your love. Get tickets for you and your spouse or as gifts for couples you know will benefit from an evening like this. Call 08032012458 to make enquiries and book your tickets

LVE

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While You wait

One of the things I am very passionate about is helping young women find their way around getting married. I am concerned with what happens before the guy comes along. It is important that the lady is in control of herself-her emotions, her desires, her choices and responses so that she can attract and keep the right kind of man. I believe that if she gets this bit right, what happens after the knot is tied becomes a lot easier and there are higher chances of success in marriage.

young african woman thinking isolated on white background

young african woman thinking isolated on white background

While she waits for Mr Right to come along, what does she need to do to make life enjoyable. She is somewhere between the ages of 22 and 35 or more, wanting to get married and not knowing how to go about making it happen? She has tried everything to no avail and is beginning to feel desperate. She is beginning to feel rejected and wondering what is wrong with her.

The first thing to do at this point is leave it in God’s care. That sounds so simple, but I know it is not. Someone could say, I am praying, is that not leaving it in His care. It is part of leaving it in His care but there is more to leaving it in His care. You need to truly leave it in His care. That would mean that you leave it and not take it up again. That would mean, entering a place of rest and having a deep assurance that He will take care of it.

It may sound simple but it is not as easy as it sounds. Why? The circumstances keep screaming. The loneliness, especially as she gets older, the disrespect from people around her, in some cases, the taunting. The list is endless. However as difficult as it may be, it is still the place every sister must get to, the place of assurance and rest. The Bible actually says we should ‘labour’ to enter that rest. It is not optional.

It all depends on how sister looks at this period when Mr Right seems to have gone AWOL.  If she sees it as a time of preparation rather than time wasting away, she will be able to do all it takes to enter that place of rest. It takes prayer and being in the word to get into that place of rest.

What does she need to pray about? First pray about loving and appreciating yourself as you are. Your marital status should not define you. Even though our society places a lot of premium on it, young women must guard their minds and refuse to be locked into moulds created for them by everyone but themselves. She also needs to pray about discovering her purpose in life. What does God want out of her life? She needs to pray about her dreams, her goals in life etc. A woman who is able to understand these things about herself is more likely to be an asset to her man when he finally shows up.

Then she needs to pray about getting ready for this man that will eventually come along, that she will be the woman God can use to really bless him. So that when he comes along, something about her will gel with him, like she is the missing piece.

Finally, pray for God to show you the blueprint of what your husband should be like. She will start to realise what she would really like in her future husband that really matters in the marriage relationship.  She will be able to differentiate the wheat from the chaff as she meets possible prospects and is less likely to choose someone who is not good for her. Remember that being in the Word will help to make the process smoother and more revealing.

One of the characteristics of youth is the tendency to get bored easily. So engagement is crucial to a young woman in waiting. She needs to occupy herself with wholesome activity at this time. Just sitting around at home and watching TV, one soap after the other is unhealthy at this time. When boredom sets in, lethargy and despair take hold of her.

This is a good time to build herself up-get a Masters, learn something new. Learn new skills that will enhance her career. This is also a good time to read good books on leadership, career and professional development. This a good time to volunteer with something she loves doing. This is really the only time available for these things.

This is also the time for her to do something about her identified purpose in life. This waiting period is a good time to do something about it. That is how she keeps busy through this time. It is not the time to waste her life away in front of soaps on TV, or gossip or silly ‘try your luck relationships’. When he does show up, he will meet a woman that is so full of purpose and vision who can be a blessing to him in so many ways. How does that sound? I think she will be intersting to meet and befriend.

What about the things she should not do. It is so easy to do stuff and not pay attention to the things she should not do. First she must not be pessimistic about men. She should not negate what she is praying for. There are still lots of good men out there. Some are also going through the same process. But there are still good ones. Young, God fearing, handsome and looking for the right woman too.

She must never look down on people just looking at them at face value. There is the need to get to meet and know people, then make informed choices.

She must never allow herself to be moved just by material things. That could take her down very painful paths.

She must not live in fear that time is running out. She must stop reading the clock and telling herself that time is running out. Time is in God’s hands and He uses it to our advantage. He does things beautifully in His time. She must never forget that.

Finally, she must not allow family members put her under pressure. She should have a word to re assure them because she has left it in God’s care. She should be the one to pre-empt them, and they will stop harassing her.

As difficult as this place could be, it need not be so if young women would just be develop the appropriate mind set to handle it. I don’t advise that you put it in the cooler and lock the desire to marry away and face other things like career or even ministry. Young women who do that may eventually not marry. However they must learn to live full lives. The matter must be constantly before her in prayer, but she must not be sitting around and watch life go by. That is such a waste of life with so much potential.

Marriage is a beautiful thing but it is not the be all and end all of life. Young women must be confident as they wait- be happy for others who get their beaus, attend as many weddings and baby showers as friends get married and have babies. It is only a matter of time, and it will be her turn. Always remember, there is Someone who has ultimate superintendence over our lives. His name is Jesus. He has great thoughts towards us. As we keep our eyes on Him, He will do all that concerns us well.  He can never disappoint us. We can trust Him. We can depend on Him. He never fails.

Ck

Chinwe Kalu, wife & mother of four

ck@doveeyeswithchinwekalu.org.ng

+234 803 2001 2458

#relationship #marriage #singlewoman @lindaekeji @bellanaija

 

 

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Discovering Purpose, My Life Story

Thinking about life, i will simply say that life has a way of drawing your attention. When things happen you begin to make decisions based on the understanding and knowledge you have, your experiences, your values, your faith. As it all works together, you discover purpose. As you make more discoveries about life, you make more decisions and that is how purpose is lived out. If I was to summarise, I must say that the more you live your life in God, the more your chances of living a life of purpose. Dove Eyes
How did it all start for me? My first port of call was discovering God Himself. I discovered that I could find God for myself, have a personal relationship with Him and live by faith towards Him. Living by faith towards Him ensured that my needs were met in miraculous ways. I had my first healing experience. It was just amazing to discover that the God who created the universe was concerned about my everyday issues. I found Him for myself and I believe that is the first step in discovering purpose, discover God for yourself. It releases you from fear, hopelessness and uncertainty which would make it impossible to live full or purposeful lives. Only God can do that for you.
After discovering God for myself, I discovered that faith works by obedience. I learnt to live in obedience- obedience to God. Living purposefully depends on living right before God. And to live right we must live in obedience to His word. He taught me how to live obediently. I discovered that, if I wanted my life to make sense, or add up, I needed to live right. It was not easy but He made it possible. I fell over myself a couple of times but just dusted by backside and kept going. With time, I fell less often. Obedience is not easy but by the Spirit of God it is possible. You will get past your excesses, your inadequacies, your fears and walk in faith and obedience. You will be able to rise up in faith and walk with God to fulfil His purposes in your life.
I made, yet another discovery-that pain is a huge part of living out your purpose. Pain can make or break you. The decision is yours. However when you live by purpose, you learn to dust up yourself and keep going. At some point, I Iost my Mum and daughter six months apart. Life had to continue with my head up, looking up to God. At another time I lost a business after giving it all I had. I had the choice to sit around feeling sorry for myself, but I chose to just keep going. I had to learn to keep going despite what life throws at me. That is the only way I can fulfil purpose. After my baby died, I did not have a clue how life would play out, but eventually I had four other children, now 19, 17, 15 and 13. A boy and three girls. What more could I ask. I learnt that after the rain, sunshine must come. There will always be something to look forward to.
In discovering purpose, I also began to discover myself. My utmost likes and dislikes. My dreams, the things I really wanted. For example, I want to be successful in life, but I want to have it all beside my husband and children. I don’t want one at the expense of the other. I discovered my likes and dislikes. I discovered gifts and talents. I discovered I am an exhorter and love to encourage people. That is how Dove Eyes was born. I love to write but never thought much about it. I understood it was a gift. I stopped taking it for granted, I wrote my first book. I began to take myself more seriously, realising that fulfilling purpose is hinged on appreciating myself more, realising I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I matter in God’s scheme of things. I am not an accident of nature. I did not just show up. I am a carefully thought out plan of God. On a mission specific to me.
The greatest understanding I have is that living a life of purpose is not a chance thing. When they say, what will be will be, it’s not exactly true. You have a say in what happens in your life. Don’t allow yourself walk aimlessly through life. You could even understand your purpose and not be able to walk it because of life’s distractions. Fulfilling purpose is not automatic. You need to walk guardedly and intentionally to enter into the fullness of what God has for you. What that does for me is keep me on my toes. Like Paul in the Bible, I never feel I have attained. There is always more. I keep pushing the bar up for more.That keeps my life going. Sometimes the pace may be slow but it is moving.
Always remember, there is Someone who has ultimate superintendence over your life. His name is Jesus. He has called you to a life of purpose. You can only get the best of your relationship with Him when you walk in faith. That is the only thing that pleases Him. Just keep your eyes on Him and take that giant leap of faith, trusting Him all the way. He can never disappoint you. You can trust Him. You can depend on Him. He never fails. I dare to say that.
Chinwe Kalu
ck@doveeyeswithchinwekalu.org.ng
+234 803 201 2458
NB: The full story is in a book you will throroughly enjoy reading called, Dove Eyes, My Journey to Finding Purpose. You can get an e copy by clicking on https://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Cart/Default3Phase.aspx?BookSId=SKU-000562791
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Stop the Fights-Resolving Conflict Between Couple

‘I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride’. That sentence is the one we all hold our breaths for at every wedding ceremony. The couple usually would break out in smiles as the guy proudly kisses his new bride. Fast forward …………three years later, the same people are in divorce courts for irreconcilable differences. What went wrong? Why were they unable to hold it together? Was the love not real? Does love die? They were simply unable to manage their differences.index

That couples will have differences is not in doubt. Disagreement between spouses is inevitable. However, the way we manage them is crucial. We don’t want our disagreements to end up in violence or what I call a state of anarchy, where everything falls apart and cannot hold together. People assume that they can always run to the divorce courts, but the conflict does not end with divorce. What of all the post-divorce issues that still need to be managed. Alimony, child care, etc. The conflict just never ends. Doesn’t it make sense for us to try to resolve issues rather than allow it all to degenerate to the point we cannot stand each other.

This write up is to help you manage the way you fight with your husband or wife, or even your fiance or boyfriend, as the case may be.

To begin with, remember that you are two individuals who were brought together at point in time by God. You grew up under very different circumstances and have to learn to be together. It does not happen automatically. The adaptation process takes time. Beyond dating, marriage comes with more unavoidable responsibility and that leaves room for more disagreement. Before marriage the man does not have to pay bills, the woman does not have to make meals. These are adjustments that are taken for granted, but the individuals have a difficult time making them.

Another thing you must never forget as people of faith is that you have an enemy who does not want this relationship to work. He is the brain behind all the disagreement. You are not each other’s enemy, he is enemy to both of you. There is a dividing line, two of you on one side and he on the other. However he always deceives you and makes it look like you are on one side of the dividing line.

The good thing about disagreement and conflict is that it simply tells us that there is still the desire to be together. Couples that are totally conflict free have given up on each other. I think that scenario is even worse than divorce.

So to put disagreement in perspective, it is simply a medium to get two of you on the same page, and put the flexed muscles away. You disagree to agree. Neither of you needs to win, you need to come out with a position that enables you both to win. What people would call the win-win position.

What are the touchy points of disagreement between couples? Money is a major one. I would like to dwell on that one a bit. Marriage is of God, and He says according to His word that the two will become one flesh. In God’s eyes, you and your wife are one entity. He does not see you as two-in-one, but as one. It is amazing that many couples see themselves as one in many ways but when it comes to money, they separate themselves. I must tell you that as long as there is something for which you don’t want you spiritual union to cover, it will ultimately be the point of conflict. It will be the place where the enemy continues to exercise his wickedness until he separates you. Don’t allow money to be that thing. It is not difficult. Start the discussion about money before you get married. If you are already married, start now. If things have already gone wrong, have the heart to discuss it.

What are the important issues, first trust. You must trust. You must believe in each other enough to have this discussion. You must believe in your relationship enough to discuss your finances. Who brings in the money? Where do you put it? What do you spend it on? How do you agree on what to spend it on? If you can agree on these, it will make a huge difference. You will disagree less about money.

What are the other things that cause disagreement? In our part of the world, in-laws can also cause a problem. In my opinion it is also a function of not seeing yourself as being one unit with your spouse. Once a parent, brother or sister is sacred and placed before your relationship, that person becomes the one the enemy uses to wield power over you as a couple. Once again I must remind you, if you are married, you are not two in one, you are one unit. One whole. Family members-parents, siblings, relatives always want to keep you but, they must begin to see you as one with your spouse, not them. Anyone who does not respect that, should be kept away, if you want to keep your relationship. Again it borders on the value you place on your relationship. If you see it from God’s eyes, you will treat is as sacrosanct.

What are the other issues-Housework, Childcare, sex, gender issues, fidelity etc. There may be some that are peculiar to you as a couple, but whatever they may be, having the right attitude is crucial to getting back on the same page. Attitude of seeing yourself as an equal partner with someone you absolutely love, someone you want to continue to be with.

That attitude comes with trust, responsibility, honesty, accountability, fairness, the desire to negotiate issues, respect and definitely non-threatening behavior. That attitude is supportive of one another. Who doesn’t want that kind of relationship? It take two of you to build that kind of relationship.

On the other hand people tend to use negative actions and attitude to disagree that can never help to resolve the issues-

Coercion and threats, isolation, denial, throwing blames, economic abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, no sex or using the children as the fighting ring. These are all totally unacceptable. The sad thing is that no one really wants to have acrimony in their space yet we use these kinds of behavior to attempt to resolve issues. They never work. The relationships can only deteriorate. Why use them when they don’t work?

In dealing with disagreement, remember two cannot walk together except they agree. Also remember that your marriage is a 3 fold cord that cannot easily be broken. The power to keep it strong is available in God, to keep it alive and sweet. You must be willing to pay the price God expects from you to make your home a haven where the Spirit of god can dwell and ensure the will of God is in place. Be the agent of peace. Even if your spouse has gone crazy, decide to be the one God can work with and He will work with you.

The power of prayer can also not be over emphasized. Remember the popular saying that a family that prays together stays together. Sometimes, you need to get into the closet with God to sort issues out. Don’t wait till things get out of hand.

For me I love being married. It does not mean we never disagree but I have told you what we do to keep ours going. I have been at it for almost 22 years. Trust me, they work. Just try them. Enjoy yourselves. Enjoy marriage. Give people watching reason to want to get married. That is what God expects. Delight yourselves in Him and He will sort things out for you. Ck

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Unleashing the Power of Imagination in 2016

ImaginationI am still so excited about this year 2016, even though we are now in February. I can no longer call this a new year. That means we need to get on with the year. At this point we should be working our aspirations and dreams for the year.

I asked myself how do we do that and I had heard a sermon by Pade Durotoye, Unleashing the Power of Imagination in 2016. This is my summary of the things he said that day. I think this is another way of saying live by faith because faith and the imagination walk side by side.

How do we unleash the power of our imagination? How do we unleash this power in our lives to arrive at the lives we truly desire? Let me start by asking a few questions. Do you believe God is your heavenly Father? Do you know He is the all powerful God? Do you know that God is the one who enables us to use our imagination? Do you know that God has great plans for your life? Do you know that He desires that you have a good life? I hope your answers to my questions are yes. That means you are ready to use your imagination to your maximum advantage. When God wants to bless you, He triggers off something in your imagination, the thing to do is to agree with your imagination to bring it into your reality. Once you build the life you want in your imagination, you need to keep it alive until you experience it in the natural. At the backdrop of your imagination must the God who is lovingly crafting out the life He planned for you from the beginning of time.

When you are using your imagination you create a virtual world. It is so real to you, it motivates your actions. Even though you do not physically see it, it keeps you alive. Does that not sound like living by faith and not by sight. It is not the same as dreaming. Neither is it the same as wishing. That is some level of using your imagination but they do not produce results. When your imagination is active, it is ruled by a mega mind that is totally focused on what it sees. That is the type of imagination God uses to bring His goodness into your life. You could call that level of imagination faith. What makes it special is that it is active and alive. It propels your life. That is the kind of imagination that took Joseph from his father’s house to becoming Prime Minister in Egypt and eventually saving his family. Or Joshua and Caleb when they led the Israelites into the land of Canaan.

When your imagination begins to work, life sometimes throws things at you to attempt to stop the flow of your thoughts. Fear of disappointment. Will it work? Can I really experience it? And because we don’t want to experience disappointment, we let our desires go. Sometimes our reality is so daunting that it takes way too much to keep your imagination alive. You just cannot get past what is happening all around you. Circumstances frustrate your power of imagination. What you must do is recognize that these obstacles to your imagination are robbers with an assignment to rob you of the life you truly want. When you see them you must recognize them for what they are and resist them. They are enemy tools to deny you of God’s plan for your life. You must not let him. Stay with your dreams. That is active imagination.

God uses your desire to work out other things in your lives. The more you engage with your imagination, the more God uses your desire to work out Himself and His character in you. To enter into the reality of your dreams, you must pay the price. He will take you on a journey. He will teach you the things you need to learn to get into realizing your dreams. Then when he has prepared you, He rewards you with that thing you desired in the first place. Isn’t He am amazing God. That is the way it works though. It is still all within His grace.

Finally, as you work your life from imagination to reality, remember that you must be grateful. It is easy to be grateful for the things God has done, but I am talking about gratitude for the things that are still in your imagination. Thank Him profusely for them all the time. Avoid complaining when things seem like they are going contrary and it is just a matter of time and you will experience your dreams live. Once you can keep the gratitude tap flowing that is the key that locks it all in. Remember you are dealing with the faithful God. He does not fail. Trust me on that one. Start using your imagine and draw down the goodness of God, your destiny. That is really what living by faith is all about.

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Soaring High in 2016

I am particularly excited about 2016. It promises to be a great and flourishing year especially for people of faith. It is a defining year for us despite the issues we have as a nation and the looming predictions. We will rise up to who are as people of faith. We walk not by sight but by faith. We see the things that are not as though they are. So even though the predictions Soaringmake sense, we will look above them and draw down solutions. We must not operate in fear and despair, because there is a lifting up even though it seems like there is a casting down. We must trust God enough to live our best most daring lives, the lives we truly want to live without being intimidated or afraid.

Soaring High in 2016 sounds like a mere cliché. What does that even mean? How do we do that? How do we position ourselves to arrive at our desired destinations in 2016? That is what this piece is about.

First we must have goals for 2016. What are your goals? You must have them written out. You must have them put up in a place where you will be in constant touch with them. You must also have a plan to achieve your goals. Goals without an execution plan will never become reality. This sounds familiar doesn’t it? But have you done it? If you leave them in your mind, they are mere wishes and guess what will happen to them? They will fly away by the time life hits you. Then you need to work those plans every day. Touch that plan every day and work it with diligence and excellence. That is the way to soar. First, you will feel like your life is purpose driven. Then you will enjoy the pleasure of approaching your gals with every passing day. What more could you ask for?

Second this you need to do is develop a mega mind. What is that? A mind that has no boundaries, a mind that operates outside the box. In fact it has no boxes. A mind that stays the course. A mind that keeps going despite what it sees. An actively dreaming mind. A mind that is full of the things you want to see rather than the negative stuff. A mind that does not comprehend word like impossible, I can’t, it’s too difficult. That kind of mind does not understand obstacles. There is always a way out. That is the kind of mind that will make it in 2016. I did not say survive but I said make it. In other words, that is the kind of mind that brings accomplishments of goals, succeeds at what they do. Nothing short of mega mindedness will work for 2016. So if you have dreams, goals and aspirations for 2016 and you are not mega minded, you will probably not make it. Fill your mind with pictures of the things you want. Surround yourself with things that sustain those pictures. Refuse to see the negative and stay that way. That is what it means to be mega minded.

Another thing you must do is find the goals you have put together in the Word of God. And meditate on them day and night. Never let them go. Put it on your devises as confessions. Thank God for technology. As people of faith we must find our lives in the Word. That is what will ensure that those goals become our reality. If you cannot find it in the Word, throw the goal away. Let the Word bring your goals to pass. That is the only way you can get the things you want and still have joy and peace. The Blessings of the Lord make us rich. WE want the true blessings of God.

One last thing is to pray in 2016. I am not talking about those wish wash ones we say when we are rushing off to work. We need to spend time in real prayers. Not just reeling out what we want but also understanding what He says and thinks so that you can get instruction and direction. That takes time and effort. You will have to wake up earlier, so no to some weekends out, or something. Pay the price in prayer. Don’t be slack in this area. It will help you deal with all opposition and distractions. It will keep you. Prayer will keep you tuned in to heaven. You will hear heavenly conversations about yourself that will change your life for ever.

I am feeling particularly good about 2016. WE all like New Years. We tend to cut off and start again. But that is not what I am feeling. Infact, I am going into the fullness of the things that began in 2015. It feels like a defining year when certain things I have hoped for will finally fall in place. I am watching as it unfolds. I know God does not operate in time, But He operates in seasons. At this time, His season for me and the new year coincide. That is good for me. That is why I feel this bubble in my heart. That is not to say I have not had scary moments but I dust myself up and keep going knowing that my Kairos moment is finally here.

At the end of the day, we must keep our hopes alive and dream as big as possible. We must not allow ourselves to lose the battle of the mind. We must stay connected with heaven and not allow our lives to be determined by the predictions. The word of God must be our mainstay. That is what will guarantee our success in 2016. I wish you the very best that 2016 has to offer. It will be a great year. Just watch and see. Ck

 

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Thankful, Grateful, God is Good

The Word

Psalm 103:1-2

1 BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!

2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits–

The Message

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

December is here again-the last month of the year 2015. My thanksgiving and gratitude mode has been activated. I look around me and despite all the bad news around us I still feel it is such a privilege to be alive today. I am not taking being alive for granted. For me, it does not matter what the circumstances are-good or bad. All I know is that being alive gives me the opportunity to hope for a better tomorrow. And that is the bottom line.

I don’t think that we live our best lives, by constantly looking forward to our tomorrows, however, that hope for tomorrow enables you hold up today. It makes today easier to deal with. That is why we must all have hope for tomorrow. If you are alive and cannot hope for tomorrow, you are ‘living but dead’. I refuse to live like that. I am alive and extremely hopeful for a great tomorrow. That is what activates my gratitude and thanksgiving at this time.

Why am I writing this? I know that at this time of the year we are usually advised to take stock and for many people that brings the blues. Because we tend to look at all the things that we had planned for the year that did not happen. That casts a shadow on the things that we actually achieved. So instead of being grateful and thankful for our half full glass, we moan our half empty glass. I did not get the promotion. I did not get married. The tenth year of not having children. The business did not meet target. What of all the things that did happen. What about the fact that you were not laid off like 300 others in your office. What about the fact that, you got to know that the guy you would have married was a chronic liar. That discovery has saved you a lifetime of misery. I could go on and on.

I realize that if we do not intentionally recognize and magnify the good things God has done for us, we will continually appraise ourselves as having fallen short. We must look closely at the year and thank God for all the things He has done, big and small. That is what fuels the confidence to keep the faith for those things that are yet to happen.

We also need this confidence to finish the year strong. We must finish the year on a high, because that is what we need to take off in 2016. If we allow the end of year blues to finish the year, you will need to start our life engines from the cold. You know how difficult that can be and how much time that takes. We cannot afford that. We must be energized from the inner man to maximize 2016 from the first day.

That is what being thankful and grateful will do for you at this time. What am I thanking the Lord for at this time? I have to thank Him for me before anything else. I am truly thanking God for being alive. I had experiences that threatened my life, my sanity and everything I believed in 2015. My faith was so stretched that I was forced to go back to what I first believed, just to reinforce my faith. And so that I am alive, and well, and sane and still in faith, for me is a great miracle. I am truly grateful for that.

Another thing I am thanking for, is someone really special. God brought him into my life some 24 years ago and he has remained a major item in my life since then. He married me 3 years after and has been the most stable thing in my life since then, in good and bad times. He is the head of our home, the father of my four children, and still the best thing that happened to me, after Jesus. His name is simply Iyke. I am grateful to God for bringing him and keeping him in my life all these years

I must thank God for my children- Dikachi, Maruche, Ginika and Neto. I cannot thank God enough for them. My son and 3 daughters- family is the best thing God did for mankind. People feel the most hurt from family but they also get the most joy from family. I am so grateful for my kids. They are alive, healthy, and doing great in the lives-academically, socially and spiritually. What more can a mother ask for?

I am also thanking Him for the work of our hands. Getting Dove Eyes back on air was a major breakthrough for me. I had been out of the country and getting back on air was a challenge. But just is a twinkle of an eye, I was back on air. I have the wonderful opportunity to bring encouragement and Godly motivation to all my listeners. That really gladdens my heart. On Dove Eyes, we have been able to air motivating and inspiring stories to enable young people tackle life and win. That is a huge privilege that God has given me and I totally appreciate it.

It was also a difficult year to start a business in Nigeria, but my husband and I took this giant leap of faith and we are still on that journey. There have been rough and tough moments getting Customer Passion Point Limited off the ground, but worth every minute. Our confidence in taking this giant leap of faith is that it is taking us forward to a better and wealthy place.

I am thankful for friendships, relationships that have made life easier for me this year. I am particularly thankful for my bestie, Margaret Amade. I have known her now for almost 25 years and it has been a very rewarding relationship, truly iron sharpening iron. At this time I feel the need to say so. We need to appreciate those that God has placed in our lives.

I also want to thank the Lord for my local assembly for the past two and half years, This Present House. Pastor Tony Rapu and his lovely wife Pastor Nkoyo Rapu have really been a blessing to me. I remember many years ago, when the Lord made me know I would someday sit under pastor Tony’s ministry. It did not look like it would ever come to pass. He took us there after we got back from Tanzania and it has been an amazing experience. The Lord had said so many things to me prior to my getting back from Tanzania. As I stepped into TPH, they were saying exactly the same things-in word, in prayer and in song. It was amazing agreement. This 2015 has been a year where we have all been pushing in to the counsel of God for our lives. In Pastor Tony’s word, there is a call of greatness on my life. He has set the stage and back drop to empower me to answer the call of God on my life. From the very depths of my heart, I thank God for this amazing man of God.

As I write, I know that sometimes it is difficult to be thankful. This is one of those times. This has been a tough year, with our economy being so unstable and unfriendly. It puts pressure on the different spheres of life- family life, social life, even spiritual life. However I cannot afford to keep my eyes on the facts or issues that surround me. I choose to be thankful, appreciative and grateful for surviving these difficult times. I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus, who will continue to enable and empower me to pull through. He is my confidence at this time. I am so thankful for Jesus being the foundation on which my life is built. I have known Him now for 26 years and He has been extraordinarily good to me. Knowing Him makes all the difference. He is indeed the rock on which my life stands. He is a friend indeed. He is father indeed and never fails. I have to thank God for Him.

We all need to trust Him with all our hearts. He will never let us fall or fail. Even in the valleys of our lives, He is right there. Bottom line to living a thankful life is to trust Him. He is faithful. As I get older, I am beginning to realize that life does not guaranty us anything, so every good thing I experience, I should be thankful for.

We need to thank Him for our Nation Nigeria. As bad as things may look, we are actually bracing up to be who we should really be as a nation. I see all that is going on as birth pangs to bring forth the Nigeria of our dreams. It will surely be well with us.

This thanksgiving and gratitude mode stays activated, even to the point we switch to the demand and declaring mode for 2016. I am excited. I am expectant. I am full of hope in believing. That is where my strength lies. I am sooooo thankful. Ck

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Faith As I See It

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
When I got born again so many years ago, Faith was such a fascinating phenomenon. It seemed so simple yet so difficult.  It’s easy to listen to a sermon on faith. It is even exciting. However, when you have to faith healing from a terminal disease or your rent is due tomorrow and you are in faith or you need an opportunity that a million other people also want, then you understand why faith is not easy.
I could not take my time to understand faith. I learnt it on the job. I did not have the luxury of being able to understand faith fully before living by it. At the time I got saved, my father was upset with me. I just got into MBA school and he refused to give me pocket money. I bless God he paid the fees but nothing for pocket money. I learnt faith for survival on the job.
One of my first faith moves was just after MBA school. I had just got a job and needed a pair of shoes for my new job. The only pair of shoes I had left were in terrible shape. I tried to get a loan from friends but no one was forthcoming. In fact, one of my mentors at the time told me not to take a loan but trust God for my shoes.
I was in a bit of a dilemma.  Does God bother with such things as a pair of shoes for his child? I did not have much choice but to wait for Him since all my efforts failed. I had to live by faith. I actually had to start work wearing my old horrible looking pair of shoes. It was embarrassing but I had no choice.
After a few days at work, it was my birthday. My best friend from secondary school sent me a card from Germany. The card came by normal Nigerian Nipost.  She sent it to me through my Father’s office. He came home one day with an envelope for me. A card from my friend. I opened it and there was DM20 in it. By the time I changed it, I had just enough to buy my first work shoes.
If I begin to write all my faith moves, I would write loads and loads of books. I have found that by faith we indeed obtain a good testimony. In everyday language, faith simply means to take God at His word. It means that in every situation, God is your first port of call. In the story I had tried a couple of things which failed which is why I turned to trust God, but He had it all worked out. For me to get that money at the time I did, my friend would have had to send it long before then. That had to be God working ahead of my need.
What makes faith so difficult to accept is it’s simplicity. How can something so seemingly small give me so much. Faith asks one question. What does God say about this? Once you know what God says, you work with it and expect results simply because you work with it. You simply trust that God will not mess you up.
For a lot of believers, faith is a last option. It is never the first option. We run to borrow money until we are turned back or become yoked in financial debt. Then we turn to the Provider. Or we run to the doctor at the slightest sign of a problem, until you find out the disease is terminal, then we run to the Healer. Or we need direction, we go to everyone but the Counsellor who has been given to us to direct us. The list is endless.
I check myself and I discover that my decision to live by faith is also borne out of having been bitten a few times. I lost my first child. I had a check in my spirit as the doctor examined her and gave medications. Remember I was already a faith person, but I chose to trust her medical skills because there was a baby involved. Apparently, she did not have enough skills to deal with the situation that day. The child died. God could still have acted in the situation but she died. Since then the doctor is always my last resort. Most of the time, I don’t need to go to them.  Please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against doctors,  I am just trying to encourage us to take the God option before others.
My oldest daughter was talking with her friends in school. She could not remember the last time she had seen a doctor. Her report,  ‘by the time my Mummy prays, there is usually no need for the doctor’. She came home to tell me about this discussion.
Someone may say, my faith cannot handle this or that, but you will be surprised what your faith can handle when it is truly tested. The Bible summarises what it enabled mere men and women to achieve in the later verses of chapter 11. ‘They subdued kingdoms,  worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became violent in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens,’ all through faith.
What this tells me is that with faith nothing is impossible. I can have anything my heart is able to create. Sometimes we start the creation in our hearts but we don’t finish. So faith cannot bring it to fruition because it is not complete in our hearts, or it is not important enough in our hearts. By and by faith works.
So for the next few weeks, I have faith on my mind. I read through the Bible and find excitement from all the faith stories. David, Gideon, Ruth, Esther,  all the nameless people who came in contact with Jesus. They could be anybody, you and I. The question we must ask ourselves is, how far do I want to go with God? In making the decision as to how far you want to go, remember that the only way to get the best out of Him is through faith. That is what pleases Him. The extent to which you exercise faith is the extent to which you will enjoy what God only can give.
I asked the Lord, ‘why do I experience so much of Your goodness? Why does it seem like I am singled out for Your goodness?’ And He said to me, ‘It is the extent to which you allow Me into your life that I can show My goodness’. It made sense.
For me, when I got born again, I had nothing. Not pedigree, not money, not connections, nothing. I had an education but I had come to understand that without the other three, it did not mean much. In short, I had nothing. I was being rejected and I had nothing. That day, I knew deep in my heart, that my life had started afresh. I saw new possibilities. I wanted to be a successful person. I wanted family badly-husband and kids, I wanted a life of influence. They all became possible that day. I was no longer unsure of my future.
 I still have portions of that dream to fill out, but largely, I can safely say that the process that began many years ago is still on. I am getting closer and closer to the full picture. It has been by faith-not reluctant, last resort faith but by following closely after God. It has been worth it.
Please stay with me as we go on this journey of faith in the weeks to come. You will be glad you did. God bless. Ck
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Building Confidence to Bring Down Our Giants

1 Samuel 17:12-50 (The Message Bible)

Enter David. He was the son of Jesse the Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse, the father of eight sons, was himself too old to join Saul’s army. Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who had joined up with Saul were Eliab, the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father’s sheep in Bethlehem……….

The MessageDavid & Goliath

The year is still new but is running so fast. With all the negative reports from the economy-Oil prices are crashing, the Naira is being devalued etc, there is a need to have confidence in Whom we have believed. We find all kinds of obstacles in our lives. I call them giants. These giants are constantly working to make sure we don’t come to the fullness of what God has in store for his children.  The enemy wants us to operate in fear and despair. We will not allow ourselves be robbed of that which is available to us in God. All our dreams we will possess. The question is how do we build our confidence to take on our giants?

I read our text for today and decided that there are five survival stones we can use in defeating the giant. David had five stones in his pouch and only used one. But let us look at the five stones.

First stone: Our confidence must be in God alone. We cannot afford to put your confidence in anything or anyone else-not money in the bank, not our connections, not our hard work, not our education, not our pedigree-On nothing else but God. David was able to take down a mighty giant with just a stone. This is a giant who has been threatening the entire Israeli army. His trust was in the God of the Israel armies. Cursed is he who trusts in the arm of the flesh. It is not about having skills, or being powerful. It is about trusting God implicitly. He is the only one who will never fail.

Second Stone: We must have a goal. Am sure you have heard and read this so many times. But have you done it? A goal is not a pipe dream or a wish. Or our imagination going hay ware. A goal is something we truly want to accomplish. We should take it a step further and write it down. Announce it to yourself and the whole world. What was David’s goal? He wanted to kill Goliath. He told anyone who cared to listen. Until we write down our goals, they are just pipe dreams. Imagine that there are so many written goals that did not make it to fruition. What chance does an unwritten one have? I can tell you, almost zero. Write down your goals. And put them in your regular sight. Not in a dairy you read monthly. Paint the goals as loud as you can, just to keep them before you, all the time.Goals

Third Stone: Put together a plan to actualize your goal. Goals without plans cannot come to fruition. In fact what makes a goal receive life is the plan to accomplish it. Until you have a plan, it does not amount to much. Make sure the plan is suitable for you. David’s plan was to use stones to bring Goliath down. They tried to give him amour but he could not move in them. So he went back to his original plan. The plan must work for you or else, it won’t get you to the desired destination.

Fourth Stone: Trust the walk you have with God. Sometimes when I look at the plans I have made for this year, I feel a sense of intimidation and despair. They look so impossible. But then, like David, I remind myself of the walk I have had with God. Like David, He has seen me through the lion and the bear and He will see me past this present giant. Has He done anything in your life to date, begin to shout those things at the giants that stand before you today? He has healed me in the past. He has provided for me in the past. He has delivered me in the past. He will do it one more time. The God who has been with me on the sixth occasion will never abandon me on the seventh one. God is faithful. If He did A He can also do B and down to Z.

Fifth Stone: Follow through to the end. Don’t stop half way. As stupid as it looked, David actually put his hand into his purse and brought out the first stone and threw it at Goliath. If anyone told you that a young teenager’s stone would kill a giant that loomed before him, who would have believed? It just does not add up. But he followed through and that gave him the giant. So please do not look at the possibility or impossibility of the goal and plans you have, just keep going. Execute your plans to the letter. The power of God will come into the picture and do the impossible. What looks impossible to you will suddenly become possible. That giant or those giants will suddenly disappear before you. Don’t allow negative feeling, facts, financial reports, medical diagnosis, despair, intimidation, fear or anything else stop your execution. You will step right into your dream and live it just like you envisioned it. Just follow through.

You have to build confidence with your five stones to get to the Promised Land. Life will always present giants as you attempt to live the life of your dreams. The fact that giants show up does not mean you cannot live your dreams. All you have to do is pick up your five stones and start walking towards your dream. That is what will make them happen. However, if you walk away, that’s it. Imagine if David had not come to the rescue, that giant would have made mockery out of the entire Israeli army. God is still doing the impossible in people’s lives today. He is still bringing giants down with little pebbles. Remember, God perfects the things that concern us. Just stay with Him and He will be right there through it all. He is faithful and will never let you down. He says in His word, ‘No one’s ever seen or heard anything quite like it-what God has arranged for those who love Him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). He also says, ‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for, the year you hope for’ (Jeremiah 29:11).

Sometimes I ask myself why God allows the giants. I realize that every giant we overcome makes us stronger and as we go through makes us more like God, in strength, character and purpose. We just become better people. The giants will always show up. We will simply stand up to them and eventually get past them. That is the key to unlocking our dreams. Ck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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