Stories of My Mother- Saint Benedette…

Left behind?! Oh no!

My Mum had kept to her word and actually drove off to Church without us. Lol.

Mum & my brother Ifeanyi at Church

I can’t count the number of times this happened but as we got older, she stopped allowing us delay her and would drive off on Sunday mornings if we weren’t ready, leaving us to find our way to Church.

We grew up seeing our mother participate actively in Church.

Cleaning the Church was something the women did and it was allocated according to groups, my Mum rarely missed hers, except she was maybe under the weather.

She was an active part of the dance group and also sang in the choir for a long while before she finally stopped. She led in different capacities and mentored several younger Christian women.

She solemnly observed all the “no work” days and would make sure that we don’t cook with meat on the days the Church forbade eating of meat, telling us “Uka mabii anu taa”.

Like most Catholic Mothers, she ensured we were up to date on our sacraments and that we regularly attended the block rosary crusades. We never quite got around to attending the early morning masses but that was something she tried not to miss.

The Catholic Church was a big deal to her, she loved the ceremonial way the Mass was performed and actively contributed to Church administration as a lay member and they formed part of her community. After Mass, she would take time to greet her friends, exchanging short stories with some while smiling and waving at others, “ka anyi na nu”, she would say again and again, a kind of parting greeting indicating that she was heading home.

She couldn’t understand why we would leave the Catholic Church for “Uka warehouse” and “Uka Okpulu decking” (an unpopular way of referring to the Pentecostal Churches back in the 90s, when they didn’t have fancy Cathedrals or Church Venues like the Orthodox Churches).

She would lead us in praying the Rosary, something she did religiously, and also in reciting the prayers relevant for the time period. She had some songs that she would sing during such prayers;

Chukwu oma ka I bu,

Ife oma ka e ji malu gi.

Chukwu oma ka I bu,

Ife oma ka e ji malu gi, Chukwu o!

And we would sing after her, extolling the goodness of God and declaring that he was known for good things. Another one was like a chant;

Omelu ife nyilu mmadu omume,

Omelu ife nyilu mmadu omume…

Declaring that God did that which was impossible for man to do. I think it’s a song from the adoration ground in our village Uke, run by the popular Holy Ghost Priest; Ebube Muo Nso.

I remember it was during one of such prayer sessions that she found out I wasn’t a Catholic anymore. Her brilliant mind put two and two together when I didn’t say the “Hail Mary” after her or the other Catholic prayers.

I had just come back from University the previous day and she called for prayers that morning. She simply asked me after the prayers if I still attended the Catholic Church and I said “no”, not knowing what to expect. She was really disappointed as I had been a very devout Catholic and she blamed my elder sisters who had left before me.

I remember when she joined the Faith Alive prayer group, a group of women intercessors at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity. It was something she was excited about and we would often chorus their greetings; Faith Alive, I’m alive in the Lord! They referred to her as Sis. Bene.

My Mum is a huge reason my siblings and I are committed to the body of Christ, her unwavering devotion, which mirrored that of her father, was an outstanding example we just had to follow.

I remember coming back home on a Sunday morning and seeing her seated in her nightie, I immediately figured something was wrong because she always went to Church. When I asked her how come she didn’t go that morning, she waved aside my question, smiling and saying she would attend evening Mass. I would find out some moments later that her Mum, my grandma had gone to be with the Lord in the early hours of that Sunday morning.

It was a beauty to behold how the Church honored her after she passed. Her burial was beautiful with the array of Priests that celebrated the burial mass. Her beloved nephew, also a Revered Father, was one of them. We all talked about how happy she would have been and I could imagine her smiling and looking on proudly.

Cross section of Catholic Priests at my Mum’s burial

In Ever Loving Memory of my Mother,
Lady Benedette Ugwunwa Ezeanya
April 4,1959 – June 29,2019

The Storytela

Why did God bother?

Dear Lord, why did you bother creating this world?

This was my sincere question to him this morning as I read Genesis Chapter 1 vs 1.

All things bright and beautiful

I had wanted to continue reading from the book I was studying previously but I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to read Genesis. I went like “for real? Genesis again?”

I had been studying the book of Corinthians and was getting inspiration from Apostle Paul’s teaching and ministry. I didn’t think Genesis would inspire me that way, I practically knew the book by heart (we start every year with Genesis and whether we finish the entire Bible by the end of the year is topic for another day)

Anyways, I went to Genesis and started reading it with this “let’s shaa be reading” attitude. After verse 1, I went to verse 2 but the Holy Spirit asked me to pause and took me back to verse 1.

I read it again.

He said, look away from yourself, look at God.

I read it again and asked him to show me what he wanted me to see.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I thought about THIS present world. The chaos, the pain, the sickness, the death, the confusion, the suffering, the deceit etc. And I asked, “Dear Lord, why did you bother?”

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth

I read it again and this time, I saw purpose. I saw intention. God is a creator and he intentionally created a beautiful heaven and earth.

In the beginning, it was all beauty, order, excellence, peace, perfection. No pain, no sickness, no suffering, no death. Then God created man and gave him dominion over everything good he made.

My fave view in the world… Sunset!

I saw love. God created the world out of love. Just look at nature! Beautifully orchestrated and excellently in order!

I read the notes in my study Bible and a line stood out;

God did not need to create the universe, he chose to create the universe, because God is love and love is best expressed towards something or someone else.

Life Application Study Bible (Gen 1:1)

It all started to make sense. The world as we know it is NOT the way God designed it to be because sin came in and with sin came corruption. God is not the creator of chaos, sickness, evil, death, wars, etc. The devil is!

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

What the devil stole, Jesus came to restore. Jesus brought us perfection and a beautiful, super abundant life.

Just take a look at nature, and you would understand God’s original intention. A perfect self sustaining world with everything in abundance.

Surely, there is a God!

The life we are living now may not entirely reflect this beauty, it’s possible that it might even be a far cry but then God has given us another opportunity through Jesus to experience his purpose and enjoy our life everyday.

How? Accepting that Jesus died for us takes care of the sin nature and gives us the God nature which is righteousness. This qualifies us to take a hold of the good life, which God has made available to all that believe in his son.

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

‭‭

1 John‬ ‭5:11-12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

So while I’m in this world, I do not have to be subject to disorder, chaos or pain in the world. I live a beautiful life in Christ Jesus, and I’m glad that God took his time to create a beautiful world in the first place.

I understand that I’m created beautiful, I have an inherent sense of order and excellence and I would intentionally allow this reflect in every area of my life.

Enjoying everyday life in Christ ❤️

Peace!

The Storytela

Life With My Boy: The Voice Of God

image

My son dreads cutting his nails, he calls the nail cutter ‘Cutting Wound’ and declares that it’s a dangerous object.

Or maybe I should say that he acts like he dreads cutting his nails when he is at home. This is because when I have to get an Assistant teacher in his school to help (after loosing several fights at home) he would sit properly, stretch out his hands without any tantrums, allow the teacher cut his nails and then say ‘Thank you Miss Alice‘ or ‘Thank you Miss Taiwo‘ depending on who is helping out.

One day, I insisted that he would cut his nails at home while he was awake and we struggled to no avail, so I decided to turn to the jungle for help one last time.

image

I told him he would go to the Jungle and live with animals, since he wants to grow claws in the place of nails. He kept laughing and didn’t budge. I took him out of the house to the staircase and locked the connecting gate. He kept laughing thinking it was a game. I then told him to walk down the staircase and out into the compound/jungle. As he began his descent, I made everyone go inside and then I made a very loud noise ‘moooooooooo’ (I sincerely didn’t expect this to work).

Next thing I heard was Ikem screaming and running up the staircase, ‘Mummy open the door, the Gorrilla is coming’, please open the door’.

I tried so hard to stifle the laughter, the gate had openings so we could see ourselves. I said I would let him in if he was ready to cut his nails. Anyways, it worked and we had a peaceful nail cutting session. Afterwards, I stuck to cutting his nails when he was asleep.

Fast forward to this weekend, we are his room working on his school project, and I noticed his nails were due for a cut.

‘Ikem, you need to cut your nails.’ I said

‘No Mummy, God said I should not cut my nails’. He replied.

Eh’?! I wasn’t sure I heard him well. ‘God cannot tell you not to cut your nails’. I replied.

‘I heard the voice of God, he told me not to cut my nails. Jesus said I should not cut my nails’. He replied smiling back at me.

Heyyyyy!’ I was short of words. ‘God can’t say that, it’s not in the Bible.’ I insisted.

‘The Bible of God says so, Pastor Chris said I should not cut my nails.’

Sincerely, I just left the matter at this point. To be revisited when he falls asleep.

THE END.

Life With My Boy: OMG! He’s 3!!!!

Birthday Cake

Listening to my son lately, I see how much he’s so grown and today he hits the big 3 without the 0! LOL.

I remember recently in Church, he was sitting besides me and then started showing me his gentleman tendencies.

First he reached up and touched my hair:

Son: Mummy, your hair is beautiful.

Wow! Was I touched? I smiled and thanked him. I had a unique hairstyle on and people had been complimenting me.

Then he reached for my face

Son: Mummy, your lips are beautiful

I was practically blushing as I said thank you. I was wearing red lipstick. He then pointed to my eyebrows:

Son: Mummy, your eyelashes  (he meant eyebrows) beautiful.

Wow! My every morning struggle of getting the perfect curve on my brows. Lol.

Then he pointed to his Dad and said

Son: Mummy, see Daddy’s head, it’s big!

Oh my God! I couldn’t hold back the laughter even as I told my hubby later on.

Actually, my son thinks big is a compliment and loves to show of his big tummy! So we do have to condone some shirtless days at home. Lol.

Happy birthday to my adorable 3 year old, the hand of God is upon your life and you are blessed and highly favoured. We love you!

PS: The days of ‘that toy is for 3 years and above’ are over. Now I have to find other excuses. Lol. 

An Angel To The Rescue

A colleague sent me the story below and I couldn’t stop praying! It would bring tears to your eyes. Enjoy!Image
 
Dear Pastor and brethren,
I want to thank God for the opportunity of being present to give this testimony to the glory of God Almighty.
On the 10th of June, in the morning while driving on my way to my construction sites where I presently handle various building projects ads an Architect, I suddenly felt the urge to pray, but not really knowing where to direct my prayers to. Hence I started praying in tongues over each of my projects and workers against any mishap or evil. I prayed for several minutes focusing my mind on the sites and all to be done that day till I felt a knot loosen in my spirit, however after driving a few more minutes, I felt another heavy burden in my spirit which needed my attention. I later directed my prayers again to my projects but heard the holy spirit telling me to just speak mysteries to the day not knowing what I was praying about, this I did for several minutes again until I felt a victory note in my spirit.
After this the day went smoothly until it was evening and I had to go pick my wife and baby from school and work respectively. I had driven all the way from a site at Magboro till I was almost at Berger, exactly on Kara bridge when suddenly a jeep moving with very high speed from the fast lane crossed over to the slow lane where I was and hit my car from back left with so much force that it threw my car off the road till it landed on the bridge edge so that my half of my car was left dangling over the watery depths below and the other legs were off the ground on the other side.
The car was squashed and it was a miracle that I escaped completely and got out without a scratch.
Later a crowd gathered looking down the bridge for a passenger they claimed they saw jump out of the passenger’s side down the high bridge unto the grounds below. According to eye witness we were two in the car and they saw someone jump out the car through the other window. I kept on telling them I was the only one in it but the people around who claimed to see the other person were overwhelming. It was said that the person landed, stood up and walked away into the crowd. This was also confirmed at the police station by the policemen under the bridge which I denied any knowledge of, but no official report could be made because the person who they claimed walked into the crowd looking fit after falling from such a height could not be found or identified by anyone till date.
Till yesterday I was still confused about it until I had a dream last night that an angel had physically held my car in position preventing it from falling off the bridge after which he jumped below and went away. I immediately woke up to write this testimony and give thanks to God for this great deliverance which still baffles me as I honestly still can’t explain it. Our God still works wonders especially in this month of prayer. Thank you mighty Holy spirit my ever present helper.
 
Yours faithfully
Bro. Biyi Kushimo
Christ Embassy Zone 5.