Interview, Literature, Published Articles

5 Minutes With Tunde Leye, Author, Guardians Of The Seal

Sunday 25th September 2016, writer and blogger Tunde Leye launched his novel, Guardians of the Seal, and social media has been abuzz since.

I interviewed him for Connect Nigeria’s “5 Minutes With…” and I think every aspiring writer can learn a thing or two. Continue reading…

Published Articles, Spirituality

What Does The Bible Say About Anger?

The Bible has something to say about most, if not all the challenges that we face. Anger is a strong emotion that we are all familiar with, and scriptures are by no means silent on it. What does the Bible say about temper and managing anger? Continue reading…

Published Articles, Spirituality

6 Most Popular Phrases In Christianese

In case you’re wondering what Christianese is, it simply refers to Christian-speak, that is, the body of language that Christians understand and use amongst themselves colloquially. Let’s examine some Christianese phrases and where they come from; I’ll be using the New King James Version (NKJV), unless otherwise stated.

1. It is well

If you live amongst Christians, especially in Nigeria, you must have heard this phrase tacked on at the end of a sentence or a lamentation. Continue reading…

Spirituality

What God Really Wants

“What shall I bring to the Lord, the God of heaven, when I come to worship Him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to Him?

Will the Lord be pleased if I bring Him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer Him my first-born child to pay for my sins?

No, the Lord has told us what is good. What He requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.”

-Micah 6: 6-8

Not every time “Sow a worthy seed! Give an offering that will move God!” Sometimes give Him what He actually wants.

Family Life, Spirituality

Why Should It Matter How I Dress?

Should I wear my hair in a ponytail?
Should I dress myself up in Chanel?
Do I measure me by what you think?
Absolutely not, absolutely not!

If I go to work in a mini-skirt
Am I givin’ you the right to flirt?
I won’t compromise my point of view
Absolutely not, absolutely not!

I used to sing this song as a teenager; I loved the beat and I loved the attitude!

Why did people always like to get people to conform to their own ideals? How was it my business if men got turned on by what I wore? So what if the ‘V’ of my jeans drew attention to my crotch or my skirt drew eyes to my derriere? Wasn’t it up to them to control themselves?

Then one day, instead of listening with my ears, I listened with my heart. And as I communed with the Holy Spirit, I realised that for me, it wasn’t really about being controlled by the views of others, but by what the Scriptures say. And what does the Bible say?

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Selah. Pause, and calmly think of that.

Over a decade later, I’m thinking about what modest apparel means for me today not just as a woman but also as a wife who will by God’s grace be raising a daughter  for His glory; because it is what pleases Him that matters.

I would like to know your thoughts too.

 

Family Life, Spirituality

Joysuo: Can The Marriage Bed Be Defiled?

Last week a friend sent this article to my Facebook inbox,  Nigerian Pastor in the UK warns Married Couples – “Missionary” is the Only Holy Sexual Act, and a few days later a sister shared the video in a private FB group I’m part of. We had a robust and enlightening discussion that was an incredible blessing, in spite of the differences in opinion. I was especially reminded of the importance of examining the origins of everything we do instead of just jumping on the bandwagon or going with the flow.

Now, I am not unfamiliar with the notion that some sexual positions are considered sinful in marriage. I am not even talking about oral sex here, which many Christians recoil from in disgust, or anal sex which most will denounce without batting an eyelid. I am talking about people who believe that even in the simple natural act of a husband penetrating his wife’s vagina, it matters in what position they do it.

Growing up, I read about Lilith. According to midrashic literature, Adam’s first wife was not Eve but a woman named Lilith, who was created in the first Genesis account.

It was after Lilith rebelled that God created Eve. What fascinated me as I researched Lilith was her offence; she refused to allow Adam be on top of her when they were to have sex, as she considered herself his equal. She wanted to be on top, “in defiance of male superiority.” Even as a teenager I knew enough to throw this unbiblical story in the dustbin of course, but I never forgot the interpretation that was given to the woman-on-top sexual position; defiance of her husband’s dominance. Understanding that some people reason this way would prove crucial; I wasn’t shocked to hear this pastor bash this position, or to find that some believers shared his view. And of course there is the “doggy style” which the sister who shared the video with us told us is defined thus online: “sex after the manner of beasts.”

Many have asked, what about during pregnancy? Apart from the big belly standing in the way of the man on top position, anyone who has ever been pregnant or had a pregnant wife knows that a pregnant woman should avoid lying on her back. What to do? The answer is not blowing in the wind.

I had wondered how I was going to settle down and answer in detail all the questions that have been asked of me since that video came out (by the wives on my BBM group, Wise Wives, especially) but as God would have it, Marriage Missions published an article that expressed all my heart on the issue. I am grateful to the Holy Spirit.

The summary of my position is that we must cherish and not abuse the liberty we have in Christ. The marriage bed CAN indeed be defiled, and we must be careful to glorify God in all that we do, including married sex. (1 Cor 10:31)

What and what can defile the marriage bed? Do read the article, and let me know your thoughts- What Is Not Okay In Bed?

Peace!

Spirituality

Will Buhari Put Islam Inside Your Jollof Rice?

“Anyone who thinks anyone can Islamize Nigeria is an ignoramus. A country of over 170 million people. Will he put the Islam inside Jollof rice?”

That was one tweeter’s response to the declarations of “Buhari will Islamize Nigeria” and I laughed so hard, it took a few minutes for me to calm down.

“Buhari will Islamize Nigeria” is one reason many have given for deciding not to vote for him come February 14, 2015. Do I think Buhari will Islamize Nigeria? No. However, this post is not about Buhari. It is about the Islamization of Nigeria.

We already know, as seen in the above tweet, why some people think this is impossible. So I’ll just use bullet points to help you understand- even if you won’t agree- why others think it absolutely is possible.

  • Islam is the second-largest religion in the world today, after Christianity. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today, and that number is expected to grow to 2,2 billion by 2030.
  • Get this: Jesus came, preached the good news about Jah’s Kingdom, healed the sick, raised the dead, was crucified, resurrected and was seen by many, was believed on in the world and taken up into glory. YET, after this, Islam could still not only emerge, but grow to make up 23% of the world’s population today.
  • Turkey remains an example; then called Constantinople, this country was the birth place of numerous Christian apostles (Paul, Timothy, etc). Antioch, the place where Christ’s followers were first called Christians, was in Turkey. Turkey is the location of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The oldest church in Turkey was built by Apostle Peter himself. Today, however, Turkey has a smaller Christian percentage of its population than any of its neighbours, including Syria, Iraq and Iran.
  • Turkey’s most recognisable religious building, the Hagia Sophia which is now a museum, was originally a church and was converted to a mosque. Yep, when Mehmet conquered the country he went into the church and ran straight for the altar shouting, Allahu Akbar! Today, Islam is the largest religion of Turkey with 99.8% of the population being registered as Muslim. There was no jollof rice.
  • PLEASE NOTE that Turkey is a secular state promoting religious tolerance and there is no Sharia (Islamic Law); it is neither Muslim nor Christian. Now, indulge me and read the two preceding bullet points again, then tell me whether Turkey has been Islamized or not.
  • Every religion increases primarily in 2 ways: conversion from one to another, and children being born and raised in the religion. Right now, Muslims across the country are free to convert to Christianity if they hear the gospel and choose to accept Christ. In a Sharia state, that would be a crime and the penalty is death. Anyone who understands the essence of Christianity knows that every true believer desires and prays for an environment conducive to the propagation of the gospel. Sharia in every state would effectively cripple missionary efforts to bring Christ to Muslims in the country.

Can a country like Nigeria be Islamized? Yes. The challenge is knowing what Islamization actually is, how it happens, and realising that this fear is about more than the next 4 years. It goes way, way, waaay beyond that.

The truth is that hidden agendas are notoriously difficult to prove or disprove. Speaking about establishing Sharia in every state, Buhari said it is important to “educate Christians that they have nothing to fear.” Is it his fault that he doesn’t understand what there is to fear? Or was he just pretending not to understand? We cannot tell.

Will Buhari Islamize Nigeria? I don’t think so. If there is ALREADY an agenda to Islamize Nigeria, as Boko Haram’s actions and the drive for nationwide Sharia suggest, will a Buhari presidency make it easier to do it neatly? Perhaps.

So yes, hearts will bleed at the loss of freedom and choice that Sharia will bring for Muslims if imposed in every State. Hands will be cut off, people will be stoned to death. Closer home, we ache as always for our Muslim friends and loved ones whom we want to know Jesus. The worry among Christians is not unfounded. Also, the thought of Muslim populations increasing while it becomes more difficult for the church (whose converts are at risk of being executed) to grow its ranks is understandably unnerving for many.

Yet, we must focus. We must remember that we are in the end times. Our work as a church is not to panic and foolishly think that voting along religious lines and resisting every Muslim candidate henceforth forever is a sensible or practicable strategy. We will continue to have both Muslim and Christian presidents, and maybe even one who is neither. Our work as a church is to return to the Biblical faith and insist on much needed reforms so that we can operate in power. Power as of old. We need to stop focusing on making millionaires and start paying attention to making disciples. True disciples, not churchgoers.

I, like many other Christians, will vote GMB/Osinbajo come February 14. For many of us it was a tough decision that took a long time to make, and not even for religious reasons. We have decided. Is Jesus trembling in His boots? Highly unlikely. He has built His church upon a Rock, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. At the end of the day, it is Jah’s kingdom that will be established.

There is a lot to fear, but God has not given us a Spirit of fear. He has given us a Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 11:15).

Hallelujah!

 

Spirituality

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 charlatans 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?