Why I Went Back To Church

Why I Went Back To Church

What should one do when one believes that some practices of their church are not in accordance with what the Bible says? Leave?

Initially I was sure leaving was the answer. I cannot stand to be called a member of XYZ Church if I don’t believe in all they do. Or can I? I felt that I had to agree with everything that was being done in my church, in order to be a member. And I didn’t, so I quit church.

During my time away, I spent long hours in prayer and meditation. And I learnt a few vital things which I will share in this blog post. The Word of God is active and living, sharper than any two-edged sword, to the dividing of bone and marrow. I believe! I’m a witness.

The summary of what I learnt during my time away from church is this; Christ is not coming to rapture any one organisation. If I’m looking for a single perfect place of fellowship where there are no mistakes or human errors interfering, I may not find it. If we were all to leave our local assemblies because of things we believe are not in accordance with the Apostles’ teachings, we would all stay home.

One should not be under the leadership of a charlatan and thieves of course. I refer here to matters of doctrine and dogma. The Bible warns of “doctrines of devils” because they do exist. May God give us discernment. Barring that though, draw near to God.

I long for the Biblical Church; but I have found that leaving one’s local assembly is not always the answer. When tares were found among the wheat the Master did not ask for them to be uprooted or for the wheat to run away. “Let them grow together.”

If you are growing spiritually where you are you shouldn’t let what you don’t agree with rob you of that. This is my sincere humble opinion. If you can bring change where you are so that things are done differently to God’s glory, please do so.

When we see each other we should encourage love for everyone, truth & justice, care for orphans, widows & those in hospital and prison. As long as it lies in our power we should pursue peace with ALL men, and holiness without which no man will see God. (Hebrews 12:14)

Don’t be blind. By all means know what is right and what is wrong in your church. If you can bring change, do. If you are growing, stay.

When it’s all been said and done, there is just one thing that matters; did I do my best to live for Truth? Did I live my life for You?

Spending money on concerts, jets and other such things, when people cannot feed and pay school fees, is painful and hard to bear. Missionaries are on the field in the hinterland taking the good news to the unreached, and you will weep if you see how their families suffer. There are people in church who don’t even have enough money to go back home, clothes threadbare, but leaders are feeding fat. It is painful, oh so painful.

So is leaving the answer? Not always. If we all leave will that help? No. The answer is in each of us putting our own faith to work. God will handle them. But you and me, let’s do our part. Let’s share the good news, let’s empower those we can. It’s the power of ONE.

 

“For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed Me…I was naked, and you didn’t give Me clothing.” “Lord, when did we ever see You…and not help?”

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me”

Matt 25:31-46. Enough said.

When you have, give. If you see a need and know someone who can help, call their attention to it. Empower people by sharing information.

If you have a leader’s ear, or know someone who does, bring suggestions. How about skill acquisition training? Career seminars? Gather friends and go visit the orphanages, hospitals and prisons together. Start a scholarship fund together.

We had these units in my school fellowship, and some churches I’ve been in before. The giving was crazy. Even students!!

Do you know that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t take collection in church? The whole work is funded by members on a personal level. Lesson? People will give cheerfully and lavishly to the work of the ministry. People will give grudgingly or not at all to enrich the pockets of one or a few. People like me anyway…

We are now learning to stop waiting on Government to do what is right. Can we stop waiting on church leaders and get on with the work?

 

 

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Twitter TL- Your Tweets Make a Difference

young girl is a victim of abduction

 

Some think it’s “just Twitter” while others know it’s not but don’t think it matter that much. The truth is, it matters more than you know.

@subomiplumptre shared on this subjects in a series of tweets, which you can read below:

 

1. I used to work in the Research Department of @AlderConsulting, where I learnt a valuable lesson. #Analytics

2. It’s not enough to collate data. True value lies in understanding what it means & how it can drive decision making. #Analytics

3. On May 20, I read a story by @ThinkProgress tagged, “How The World Quickly Stopped Caring About The Kidnapped Nigerian Girls” #Analytics

4. You can view the full article by @ThinkProgress here http://buff.ly/1pgSH2k  #Analytics

5. Google Trends show that chatter about #BringBackOurGirls has waned globally. #Analytics #Graphic pic.twitter.com/LmvDuabOoU

Bring Back Our Girls Analytics

6.Total tweets now stand at 3,586,486 but you can see the decline in daily tweets. #Analytics #Graphic pic.twitter.com/fh5Q6YiNZF

Bring Back Our Girls Analytics 2

7. There is a world of difference between online advocacy and on-the-ground change. However, both play very important roles. #Analytics

8. Though online chatter has subsided, actions on-the-ground are in full swing as can be seen from the recent march to Aso Rock. #Analytics

9. Impact can also be gauged by troop deployments by the US and Nigeria’s ongoing military operations. #Analytics

10.Perhaps this cheeky statement by Americans in the mid-west is now gaining some credence. #Graphic #Analytics pic.twitter.com/i0bqLoJEI0

Cheeky Hashtag Comment

11.The lesson for advocacy orgs like @EIENigeria is that for issues-based campaigns, the window for mass online support is ltd. #Analytics

12. Be clear about the outcomes you want and drive them while the topic is hot online #Analytics

13. For #BringBackOurGirls, key objectives have been met. #Analytics

14. Military intervention is underway; religious leaders have been mobilised to pray; advocacy groups are pressuring Government. #Analytics

15. Importantly, there is a sense that victims of terrorism in #Nigeria are not as alone as they once were. #Analytics

16.Perhaps none of this would have been possible without the incredible pressure brought on by the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. #Analytics

17. Citizens are now demanding for complete eradication of Boko Haram, not just the return of the #Chibok schoolgirls. #Analytics #Nigeria

18. No longer are we satisfied with just moving on when we hear of incidents in Abuja or Kano or Jos. #Analytics #Nigeria

19. Finally, we have proven that this is no longer just #socialmedia or business as usual. #Analytics

20. #Socialmedia is as effective as any other advocacy tool and can mobilise nations and on-the-ground action. #Analytics

 

Many thanks, Subomi Plumptre!

Friends, don’t imagine for one second that your tweet is just a tweet. The Chibok Girls have not yet been rescued. Let’s not get tired. Keep up the #BringBackOurGirls tweets.

Your tweets matter!

 

 

Online Grocery Shopping in Lagos: Jaramall vs Mhqstore

MHQ anafricandiva

 

I recently started shopping online, and although I was skeptical at first, I have fallen in love with it.

One day last year, a friend put up “Your online grocery store, www.jaramall.com” as her BBM personal message and I was intrigued by the idea. At the time, I had just started the Meet the Boss interview series for connectnigeria.com so I was always on the lookout for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who could use a little extra publicity and whose founders could inspire others with their story. As a home manager, I was also interested in anything that could bring relief.

I went on the site, ordered a few things and voila! At my doorstep! I was so thrilled. I didn’t have to leave my home, go to the market and wade through a sea of humans, sweating and carrying shopping bags around, every time I needed to cook. I interviewed the CEO of Jaramall, and shopped online a couple more times before I started to long for the market again.

For one, I missed haggling. Was I really getting a good bargain? Couldn’t I get my groceries cheaper if I went to the market to “price” very well? And the free delivery period was almost over! I would now have to pay for delivery again on top everything! I went back to my “customers” in the market and that was it.

Then, one day on Twitter, I discovered another online grocery store, www.mhqstore.com and once again my mind was on an interview with the founder. That changed when I visited the site. The arrangement was so different, and they had so many other things that Jaramall didn’t have (hello red snapper fish!) so I decided I just had to try them! Then a funny thing happened.

Just as I was thinking about it, Jaramall sent me a message saying they had an Easter gift for me. They delivered it- a basket of goodies! A huge watermelon, a pineapple, apples, pears, bananas, smoked catfish, lots of yummy things. Of course I was excited! I felt so grateful…and guilty. Like a lover who was planning to cheat on a good, loving partner. But I hardened my heart; told myself I just had to try MHQ Store out before the interview, and then I would return to Jaramall :p

I did just that, and here’s a summary of my experience.

MHQ Store’s variety was what drew me to them in the first place. Apart from the red snapper fish (heheheee) they had other basic things I needed. For instance, they had ponmo N200 whereas Jaramall was selling bulk, N7000. They had okra, which I couldn’t find on the Jaramall site. They offered blended tomatoes, pepper and onions in 3 categories; hot, mild and low. The whole set up was just novel, and seemed designed to really make life easier.

Then, although they were late and kept me waiting, when they delivered the girl who came was nice and courteous. I also liked her uniform (someone is running a serious business here 🙂 ) She didn’t come with their POS machine which was the option I had selected when ordering. I always do cash on delivery when shopping online, but I didn’t have cash at home that day hence my decision to use my card. So they asked me to pay into their account. Unfortunately I had issues with my online banking and I couldn’t transfer until 4 days later. They didn’t bug me even once, so patient! I really appreciated that. Soooo, MHQ Store is fantastic!

But I’m sticking to Jaramall. Why?

Jaramall anafricandiva

Simply because the 80/20 rule which applies in marriage also applies here. You can’t get EVERYTHING you’re looking for in one partner; the best you can get is 80%. The problem usually is that “20% looks pretty good when you don’t have it.”

  • First off, Jaramall won my heart with that Easter package. They didn’t have to do that, I hadn’t patronized them in months! And I needed fruits in my life!
  • Secondly, delivery. Jaramall is ready to deliver practically anytime – as soon as possible. MHQ Store has a fixed delivery period: 2pm-5pm. Now, that in itself is not bad, just that I personally prefer cooking earlier in the day. Plus, Jaramall delivers to me for N300 (down from the initial N500) while MHQ Store’s delivery fee is N1000. Enough said.
  • Then, their customer service is something else. Unlike my first order with MHQ Store which went awry (they were sending me emails which were going to spam and I ended up calling them to cancel the order because time was running out so I had to go to the market), Jaramall always calls to confirm my order. The lady who calls is always sweet. After delivery they call again to make sure everything is okay. The one time they mixed up my order and gave me two bottles of curry instead of one curry and one thyme, they came back with the thyme, apologized profusely, and next order they “dashed” me a free pack of salt. Pampered customer purring…

The most important reason however, is their willingness to become better partners. I sent them a Twitter DM about selling smaller quantities of ponmo and voila, N300 ponmo appeared on the site! Can I have smoked kote fish please? Smoked kote fish appeared on the site. What about okra? Working on it right away. They are so RESPONSIVE! They even called once to ask if there was anything else I would like to have that they weren’t offering yet.

And that, my friends, is what you should look for in a partner. Not someone who is perfect, but someone who is willing to learn, grow and meet your needs better. That’s the kind of partner you should be becoming, too.

PS: My interview with the founder of MHQ Store will be published soon, and I’ll post a link here.