Writers You Should Know: Okey Ndibe

I just finished reading yet another of Okey Ndibe’s articles, and it was as enjoyable as I knew it would be. It is one thing to make sense as a writer and another to possess the gift of smooth prose that leaves your reader wanting more.

Whether he’s writing as a social commentator or a book reviewer, Okey Ndibe’s writing never fails to elevate mind and soul. I particularly loved the way he summarised the meaning of Alamieyeseigha’s fate:

“The meaning of DSP’s fate is that, in the end, political chieftain or discounted peasant, stakeholder or staked to misery, rich or poor, we all die. After which, all we own—all we are ever permitted to own, really—is the name we made for ourselves, the unvarnished, un-garnished record of the life we led, the legacy we left. When a man squanders a rare opportunity to elevate the condition of his society, that man dies with little or nothing, even when—especially when—he had every manner of earthly possession.”

Do check him out.

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15 Ps For Every Minister: Unveiling Matthew 10

Wait! Don’t move! Whether you are about to enter into ministry, are bothered about what the call of God entails or are wondering just how well you have done so far in your ministry, don’t take another step until you have read Fifteen Ps for Every Minister! It has opened my eyes, lifted my heart and deepened my walk in a way I’d never imagined!

Citing examples from the Old Testament as a shadow of the New, Ehis Agboga first establishes that every believer is a minister, but all are intended to minister in different cadres. Therefore, bearing in mind that ministry is not location, structure or recipient but rather a walk with God, every believer must strive to minister and occupy effectively until Christ returns.

Matthew 10 is the principal text from which the Fifteen Ps for Every Minister are drawn. The first set is made up of the Foundational Ps, first of which is The Pull, where we see Jesus call to Himself “those He wanted” not based on any qualification or fulfilment of a precedent. Here the author makes a point every intending minister will do well to remember; “Ministry is a high call. It is not a thing you enter into by reason of exposure or contact with those already there.” The Pull is followed by The Push, which emphasizes the sending out, noting that the point of receipt of the vision (The Pull) is not the takeoff point (The Push). Wow! Would that we would learn this and avert the dangers brought on by haste!

David and Jesus Christ are examples of ministers who received The Pull but did not venture out until the appointed time when they got The Push. Interestingly Ehis Agboga notes that “the souls you are meant to reach and affect will not die before you reach them.” How comforting to realize this and understand that God is never in a hurry and neither must His ministers. After digesting the preparation process between The Pull and The Push, we are introduced to the Operational PsPlace, Purpose, Power, Provision, People and Precaution.

At this point I was literally dancing in my seat. The Operational Ps are loaded with simple yet deeply profound revelations; God does not send His ministers everywhere nor does He leave them groping in the dark in an attempt to find their way; If there were no task at hand, He would not pull, prepare and push you to a place. God is not interested in random activity or the unnecessary duplication of efforts; God does not pull us into His service to disgrace us. When God pulls us, He backs us up. He gives us divine enablement to succeed; the quality of your life will not reduce as a result of your entrance into ministry; God gives people as “targets”, as “supporters” and as “ministry people.”

The Storm-Oriented Ps expound on Persecution, Protection, Perseverance and Program as necessary parts of ministry life in a forthright way that does not attempt to sugar-coat stark reality yet constantly reminds every minister of God’s faithful promises.

The Reward-Linked Ps are the last set of Ps in this amazing book and they show us simply that while God does not use people only to dump them later, He also has His standards by which He tries men’s works. Pridelessness, Price and Prize are the key words every minister must keep ever before his eyes. Indeed, as the author reminds us, “All who do not take note of the caveat contained in Rev 22:12 (as regards the basis for the kind of prize each man will receive) may end up in disappointment when they get the prize for their labour in heaven.

Fifteen Ps for Every Minister is so much richer than any review can sufficiently convey, and I absolutely recommend it for every minister who will make full proof of His ministry. Buy it, study it and be astonished by the transforming power of God’s word!

 

 

I first published this review 5 years ago, on Facebook.

30 Days, 30 Blogs: Stupendous Grace

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Stupendous: Causing amazement; astounding; marvelous

The grace that drew salvation’s plan. The grace that not only reached out to us when we were lost, but sustains us even now that we are found. The grace that gives us free access to our Creator, grace that makes it possible for us to call Him Daddy. The grace that promises that all things are working together for our good, no matter how “bad” they may seem now. The grace that will lead us to our eternal home. Stupendous grace!

This blogger knows the grace of God, and everything she posts flows from the knowledge of that grace. Not head knowledge, but a real, experiential knowledge.

She’ll be the first to admit that it was not always so; she says so in her Letter to God:

I know I’ve not always enjoyed this level of relationship with you. For a long time, I was content with bearing your name as my surname and then meeting you for a quick dinner every now and then. I was content with referring all my bills and needs to you and you made sure that my needs were met as good fathers are wont to do.  I was comfortable with a simple, ‘Hi Dad’, ‘Good night dad’ relationship and when challenges came my way, I was bold to bring them to you and you, dear Father, always came through for me. I always had a new story to tell my friends about how ‘cool’ my dad was. Then one day, I listened to one of my brothers speak about you so intimately and a feeling of deep loss overwhelmed me. He had something I didn’t have. I knew your acts, yes, like the Israelites, but I didn’t know your ways like Moses did (Psalm 103:7). And then, I realised that I wanted more.

By her words, the lessons and testimonies she shares, the encouragement she gives, the life she lives, Eloho inspires me. She inspires me because we share so much in common. She calls herself the average girl next door, and I know that’s what she is, because that’s what I am. We are recipients of grace that transforms us into more.

We were not worthy, we were not qualified, and yet we are loved with a love so deep, so high, so wide, that we can never fully grasp the intensity of it.

What a joy to know the grace of God…we rejoice in the grace of God!

 

30 Days, 30 Blogs: 19th Street

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There’s so much that can go wrong when a blog has guest posts often. The possibility of this is even higher when the blog owner doesn’t write as many posts as he features.

What I’ve come to realise in life is that many cooks do not necessarily spoil the broth; it’s too many cooks that spoil the broth. How can you tell how many is too many? Well, it’s an art, and Uncle Efe has it down to a T. It’s not easy to say whether it’s as a result of the timing, the quality of the writers or the assortment of themes, but there are never too many cooks on 19th Street.

This blog invites you to “explore memories of life’s experiences” and everything you’re looking for, from relationship gist and true life stories, to poetry and fiction, you’ll find here. I particularly love how the blogger invited various people to write about their 2013 in December last year. Rich, inspiring pieces, every last one. And Uncle Efe was such a graceful and gracious host, putting his little notes at the bottom of each one, thanking the contributors for sharing and wishing them well in 2014.

My favourite posts however, are the ones for and against the motion that Uncle Efe is Naija Husband. No matter how many times I read the “for” I still find myself laughing- howling, in fact. Efe is obviously not Naija Husband but apparently this is obvious only to some of us. Perception is such a powerful thing.

This blog is truly special, and it’s all the different flavours that make it so. The more the merrier, all the way. Enjoy the broth!

30 Days, 30 Blogs: Dr N’s Musings

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Dr. N has been a medical practitioner for over 8 years and she started this blog to share “what you wish your doctor told you.”

Of course this was enough reason for me to be drawn to this blog- who doesn’t want to hear the truth about something as important as health? Her passion, burden and purpose in life is to educate, inform and empower Nigerians and the rest of the world to make informed health decisions. Add to that the fact that she is unapologetically Christian (it’s uncool to be that these days, by the way) very candid, a devoted wife and mother, and writes the kind of relatable fiction that I enjoy…there’s no denying the fact that I’m hooked.

You can be sure I’m always busy gobbling up all the posts that have any references to married sex; lord knows we spend too much time telling young people to abstain and way too little time helping them when they eventually get married. I’ve always been exasperated by how religious people like to pretend when it comes to sex. It’s one of the 25 Random Things About Me I shared in an old post here.

Here’s a delightful snippet from one of Dr. N’s posts:

“When you meet the right man, you need to open up your heart slowly to the idea that God has authorised him to receive the jewels you have been keeping for Him. Slowly, as the wedding approaches, you see him as a priest who receives the offering. Just as the Israelites gave their precious sheep and doves to the priests to burn and even eat, but believed it was God who got the glory. So I honour God and my husband with my body. If I lie there stiff as a board, muttering “Blood of Jesus”, the guy will be turned off. Soon, we will need a marriage counsellor. Rather, I let go with reckless abandon, just as I scream and dance in church, so both he and Jehovah are excited. Let’s be real ladies, it takes 2.”

Yeees doctor! Ladies, have you heard? It’s what the doctor ordered! And she talks to the guys too. Bookmark this blog today!

30 Days, 30 Blogs: Musings of a Caramel Latte Addict

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This is my favourite relationship blog! Her relationship with God is sooo inspiring, and I have often been intrigued, amused and blessed by her views on romantic relationships too. On top of that, she features posts from other writers about relationships, and some of the things I’ve read here are amazing, especially the true life stories. So much to learn!

I did a review of the blog here.

Now that she’s married(she got married 2 months ago), I can’t wait to see her practice all she’s been preaching! I know it’s not easy but there’s grace enough for her.

We have so much more to look forward to:

I intend to start a series. In fact I have so many many beautiful plans for this blog. I intend to write about my relationship (which I never do) but in the form of a story. I intend to give practical tips to brides to be on planning a wedding. I intend to start a prayer series for newbies in marriage etc. I intend to publish some of my stories that are gathering dust in the folder. So many things on my mind. But for now, I just want to do a little dance.

We’re waiting, Temi, we’ll be here when you finish your dance!

30 Days, 30 Blogs: Diary of a Lady Whose Lover Is Her LORD

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The life of a single woman who follows Christ is a very interesting one. Posts on this blog make me remember faith and trust in a time of uncertainty. In the midst of the challenges, loneliness and doubt, she must find joy in her Maker. She must hide her heart in Him.

Questions, questions, questions. Is God really good? What am I supposed to be doing to speed up this process? How will I know him when I see him? Lord, could you please get my mother off my back? Gosh, another birthday and I’m not married yet…on and on. The question of the will of God is one of great concern for this blogger; nobody wants to make a mistake in marriage. She writes:

Growing up, you would always hear messages that went something like this; ‘God’s Will is difficult and your flesh will always fight it, but you would need to submit to it because God knows best and in the long run you will see it’s for your good’.  I heard it so much that my mind got it twisted because the emphasis then was placed on the Will being difficult than it was for my good. They made it sound like  when your mother would force you  to drink ‘agbo’(a traditional fever concoction drink) because she knew it would make you well, but that didn’t change the taste of the drink( I still cringe at the thought of those memories).

I’m glad she knows where to find answers. Yes, God is good. Yes, He will bring the right partner your way at the right time. No, he won’t force you to marry a man you do not like simply because it’s “His Will” or whatever other lies the enemy uses to torment the waiting heart.

This is a new blog, with only a few posts, but it’s one I will definitely be following!