My Encounter with an Armed Robber!

I remember that night like it was last night. I was walking towards my hostel, Manuwa hall when it happened. I had noticed that someone was trailing me all the way from the front of Mariere Hall but I had thought it was one of them ‘chykers‘ so I didn’t even bother to look back.

The front of Manuwa Hall was pretty much the same every night. Boys and girls mingled outside, with a few cars parked. Some walked into the hostel in pairs while some other female students just went about their normal business. I was on my way back from the first segment of our prayer meeting when the ‘armed’ robber attacked me.

I was a leader in the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students, University of Nigeria Enugu Chapter and every Tuesday we had prayer meetings. That particular month, the leaders had decided to meet and pray for about 30 minutes before the general house would come. Anyway, after our thirty minutes segment, I decided to get to the hostel. The prayer meetings usually held at the field and I didn’t really want to hang around in the open air.

‘Hello excuse me’ he said

I ignored him and kept walking towards the door of the hall. He walked up to me and blocked my path, forcing me to look at him.

‘How may I help you?’ I asked, looking him the face.

He asked if I knew him and I replied in the negative. He said that he knew me and that I really had to be careful that I was always moving around with Cult boys. I was shocked. He asked that we step aside and talk and I followed him to under a tree a little distance from the entrance of the hostel.

‘You don’t even have an idea of who you are talking to’. I answered ‘Me ke? Cult guys?’

I then went ahead and gave him a very brief summary of my ‘religious status’ LOL. Anyways, the guy kept ranting and I decided that I had had enough and started to walk away but he stopped me again and told me to handover my handset. I stared at him, how did he know I had a phone? My phone was that small silver Motorola Talkabout T191 that one could hide in their palms. Then it dawned on me, I had made a very brief call while walking past Mariere hall, that must have made me a target. Hmn! I definitely was not about to give away my precious Motorola handset just like that, what would I tell my Dad? This was year 2003 and GSM phones were scarce and quite expensive.

Well, I refused to give him the phone and made to walk away but he told me that he had a gun and pulled something black out of his pocket. Then he grabbed my hand and tried to take the phone from my hand. At this time, the headlights of a car driving towards the hostel shone in our direction and I saw his gun clearly, however, I wasn’t about to let go so easily or rather, I didn’t think I should.

‘Thief!!! Leave my phone!!!!’ I heard myself screaming while holding on to my phone at the same time. I half expected him to shoot me!

‘Ole! Ole! Thief!’ Several male voices screamed from Mariere Hall and from around Manuwa Hall and next thing I knew, the dude was running. Wow! Was I shaken?! I really didn’t believe I got away that easy.

Well, I was really grateful to God that I didn’t loose my phone just like that. The boldness to stand my ground must have come from the HolyGhost. The people around me asked what happened and I narrated the story to them, they were all happy for me.

I finally made it to my room in one piece and handed over the phone to my friend and roommate and then went back for the concluding part of the prayer meeting.

Did He say it?

If He said it. Then you don’t have a problem.

If God has told you something about your life, be very certain that He would make it happen. Maybe it’s been ten years or more and you are beginning to wonder if it’s ever going to happen. Check out this verse;

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”

Philippians 1:6 KJV

God is not slow in delivering his promises. Sometimes we try to help him do his work and that’s when we get into trouble. Let’s look at the story of Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis 15, God told Abraham (then he was still Abram) that he would have an heir. However, ten years down the line, the heir was yet to show up so Sarah (still known as Sarai) decided to help out.

Pause…

Question: What is the difference between helping God and being proactive?

Answer: Your motive! What you do (your actions) and your attitude will align with your motive.

Are you motivated by fear? or are you being led by the Holy Spirit to take that line of action?

Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham out of fear. In her own words

“… behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing…”

But God had promised Abraham an heir and Sarah knew it. The Holy Spirit would not lead you outside of God’s word.

When God speaks to you, it is usually in line with his grand plan/master plan for your life. You need to have an understanding of that plan, when you do, you will not waste time on things that don’t matter, you will live with a purpose.

Abraham on his own part could have asked God if Hagar was the woman who would give birth to the heir. He also could have asked God if that was the time, he could have asked God how the heir would come, when the heir would come and where the heir would be born and God would have answered him.

Did God stop Abraham from sleeping with Hagar? No! Because man has a free will.

You see, don’t assume that God will stop you from walking outside his will for you, if you insist on doing so. It is your duty to follow God’s plan for your life, God doesn’t force people.

Now, ten years later, God speaks to Abraham and tells him when the heir would be born, who would bear the heir (his wife of course) and what the heir would be called (Genesis 17: 15-19). He also seals of his Covenant with him with Circumcision and then changes his name and Sarah’s name. Amazing!

Question: Why did it take God ten long years?!

Answer: There was an appointed time for the heir to be born.

” Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son” Genesis 18:14

Now, there was a master plan for Abraham’s life as shown in all God told him. His seed Isaac had a crucial role to play, all through to Jesus Christ and the Church (we are the seed of Abraham) so God had a particular time that he needed Isaac to come on the scene, just like there was a timing to the birth of Jesus and a timing for his ministry and his death. Not just spiritually but physically and politically too. There had to be somethings going on in the world to create the right atmosphere for the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now back to you, understand that you are not an ordinary person, you are important to God and that’s why he has taken time to make a specific plan for your life. You need to find out what it is by asking him. Don’t assume. If he has told you what, then trust him on the how and the when.

“And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken! For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” Genesis 21: 1-2

Do you know that God actually came to remind Abraham nine months before Isaac was born that he needed to spend some time with his wife? (Genesis 18:10, my interpretation. Lol!) They were rather old at this time but the timing was right and the setting was right.

As human beings, we are usually in a hurry but no matter how much we hurry, we know that it takes nine months for a  baby to grow and be born and because we have that understanding, we wait for the baby to fully develop and be born.

The same applies to what God has said to you or about you, there is an appointed time, a set time. It is important that you constantly renew your mind with God’s word so that you would know what is his good and acceptable and perfect will for you.

God bless you.

*Excerpts taken from Rhapsody of Realities Daily Devotional, www.rhapsodyofrealities.org

Feeling Unappreciated?

Image

Have you ever come to that point in your life when you’ve given so much of everything you’ve got, sacrificed so much and yet it seems no one really appreciates?

It’s possible they actually thanked you and maybe someone sang your praise, but that was all. You were left feeling so spent and maybe drained.

So what do you do at this point? Get angry? Feel bitter? Wish you had not done so much? Decide to be a bit more self centered next time?

Well, the truth is, if no one seems to appreciate what you’ve done, God does.

Yes he does.

The bible says that whatsoever you do, do it as unto the Lord and not unto men.

Did you see that? WHATSOEVER, in other words, anything at all.

The bible also says that God is not unfaithful as to forget your labour of love.

You see, God really does appreciate all that you do especially when you give so much to bless the lives of others.

And He would reward you! That’s the truth, whether you want the reward or not, God is a just God, he does not forget.

Also, you need to start appreciating yourself. Yes…

Praise yourself for being able to give so much and bless the lives of others even if they are your family members.

Joseph recognised that God sent him ahead to Egypt to be a saviour for Israel at the time of famine. His means of getting there was by no means funny.

Same with you. God has empowered to you to be a source of succor and strength to the people in your sphere of contact. Thank him for counting you worthy of such a task and trust in him for the ability to do it and do it well.

And though people may not go overboard to show they appreciate you, the truth is they do! They are glad you are a part of their lives and they would not want to do without you.

So when next you are feeling unappreciated, take a moment to think about the love of God, be grateful for the opportunity to be a blessing and also know that people are grateful for your contributions to their lives.

God bless you.

Image- Courtesy: http://www.wei-yin.com

What exactly are you good at?

ImageYou know what? I have asked myself this same question several times and it’s helped to keep me on track. So, I thought I might as well share. It’s really a question to be pondered upon deeply. It’s so easy to dissipate energy in several directions, trying to do so many things at the same time. But you know what? It pays to find out that one thing you are really good at and when you do, invest in developing it. That is what will make you an expert in that area and also make you stand out.

Let’s take a little walk up memory lane, do you know any popular person in any field at all? Whatever field it is, I can bet you that they did not just arrive where they are overnight. It’s possible some of them seemed to have become popular ‘just like that’ but if you take time to read up their biography, you will discover years upon years of practice, consistent practice, without giving up even in the face of several rejections. Quite a number of really famous writers that we know today had their first manuscripts turned down by several publishing houses, I’d cite two examples: Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ was rejected by all publishers apart from Heinemann and Agatha Christie’s manuscripts were rejected for 5 consecutive years.

The key is to believe in yourself and in the gifts that God has deposited in you, because God has really blessed you. You need to stay inspired and motivated, never letting circumstances deter you. 

Invest time and resources in developing your God given talents. Do something everyday to polish that skill, make up your mind to make a difference with what you have and with that determination, no demon hatched out of hell would be able to stop you!

God bless you.

Image courtesy http://www.searchenginejournal.com

When you wake up by 3pm…

Image 

There’s this popular adage in Igbo language that goes;

‘A man’s morning begins whenever he wakes up’

And that’s the way it is. A dream morning routine for me would be: Brush, Pray, Work-out, help everyone get ready for the day and then head to work. But sometimes I skip the workouts (oops!).

Now imagine if I woke up late, like say 7am and instead of rushing through all my routines and dashing out of the house, I start lamenting:

 ‘Oh! I just woke up late. Why did I wake up late?’

And then I pick up my phone, go through my chat list and I see different updates from different friends: example a friend might write;

‘Wow! Great morning, early start’

Then I start feeling bad and instead of getting ready for the day, I decide to visit my online fitness group page and read the various workout logs and I see different exercise logs from different people who woke up earlier and again I feel terrible and I continue my lamentation

‘What made me wake up late sef?’

And 30minutes later, I finally drag myself and start off. I get to work and attribute everything that goes wrong to waking up late.  In summary; I get to have a bad day just because I woke up late!

Now, compare this to people who feel that they ‘started out late in life’ maybe you are one of them. You probably didn’t finish school early,

Or maybe you didn’t get a job when others did,

Or maybe you didn’t get married when you expected to

Or maybe you did get married but didn’t have kids on time

Or maybe you are yet to have kids.

The examples are endless…

Whatever your case is, one thing you must NOT do is to waste time comparing where you would have been if ‘it’ had happened earlier to where you are presently.

Instead, invest the time and energy is making the best of the moment and preparing for a greater future. Thank God for his blessings in your life, including the ones you cannot see with your physical eyes.

AND GUESS WHAT?

God is never late! (2Peter 3:8-9) It is human beings that are time bound, counting days and years and trying to ‘catch up’ but the bible says that God makes everything beautiful in HIS time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Does that mean that God is inconsiderate? Absolutely not!

Let’s take a look at Jesus; he didn’t begin his ministry until he was THIRTY! Like seriously? I mean in today’s world people expect you to have achieved so much at the age of thirty! But the truth is that Jesus took time to prepare for his ministry and when it was the right time for him to launch out, he did and in three and a half years, he made the kind of impact that is still being felt more than 2,000 years later. 

Have you read the story of Mark Kay Ash? That would be in another article.

What does this tell you? What really counts is doing what God wants you to do, when He wants you to do it, where he wants you to be and how he wants it done.

So, quit comparing yourself with anyone. Rather seek God! What does God want you to do now?

A successful person is not just someone that has loads of money and fame. A successful person is someone who is doing what he was created to do, thereby making a success out of others around him.

The lives and destinies of men are intertwined with yours; you’ve got to fulfill your destiny, so that they can fulfill theirs.  It doesn’t matter what obstacles that have come your way, greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

God says ‘I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

What are your expectations? What are your desires? What are you saying to yourself about your life? Or are you still wallowing in self-pity?

Just in case you are still feeling bad, then this bible verse is for you:

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28- Amplified Bible.

If you really believe that, you will never be discouraged or feel bad for one more second in your life. Rather, you will smile, think positive thoughts and find a way to encourage someone around you.

God bless you.

Photo credit: http://www.buzberry.com