Dear Sister Brown

letter

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Dear beloved sister Brown,

When the world calls you a clown,

And people persecute you in town,

So that your spirit man is down,

Because you will not pollute your gown,

Just remember the Master’s promised crown.

When your life satan fills

With sorrow and ills,

So poor you can’t pay your bill

Or buy even a pill

For your beloved Jill

Who’s weak and ill;

For him satan wants to kill

His blood ready to spill

Just remain in God’s will,

And all your storms Jesus will still.

When the world tempts you with gold

And squeezes you into its mold

So that your faith becomes cold

And you stray from God’s fold,

Just remember Jesus’ promise of old

To all those who are holy and bold:

“One day, my face you will behold

And my hand you will hold,

And you will have riches untold.”

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10 wrong reasons women marry

newlywed

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Here are 10 wrong reasons for which women rush into marriage.

  1. I’m lonely
    Fact: Marriage doesn’t necessarily cure loneliness. You can be married and still feel miserable.
  2. I can’t wait any longer
    Fact: Many couples wish they had waited a bit longer.

  3. He’s the perfect guy
    Fact: No one is perfect.

  4. My biological clock is ticking away
    Fact: God’s timing is the best.

  5. I can’t withstand the pressure from my parents
    Fact: There’s a lot more pressure in marriage.

  6. All my friends are married
    Fact: Many of them are wishing they hadn’t married.

  7. He’s rich
    Fact: Money doesn’t guarantee happiness in marriage.

  8. I need someone to help my family financially
    Fact: No one can help whom God hasn’t helped.

  9. He’s nice
    Fact: People do change.

  10. I love him
    Fact: Feelings could be wrong.

Bonus: He’s tall and handsome
Question: Who beauty epp?

The rotten tomatoes!

rotten tomatoes

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Tonight I’m sharing with you a story that’s been going round on WhatsApp. Kudos to whoever wrote this story.

A teacher asked her students to bring some tomatoes in a plastic bag to school. Each tomato was to be given the name of a person whom that child hates. So, the number of tomatoes would be equal to the number of persons they hate.

On a pre-determined day, all the children brought their tomatoes well addressed. Some had two, some had three and some had five, some even had 20 tomatoes in accordance with the number of people they hated.

The teacher then told them they had to carry the tomatoes with them everywhere they go for two weeks. As the days passed the children started to complain about the decay and smell of the tomatoes. The students who had many tomatoes complained it was very heavy to carry and the smell was too much.

After a week, the teacher asked the students “How did you feel this week?”

The children complained of the awful smell and heavy weight of the tomatoes, especially those who carried several tomatoes.

The teacher said, “This is very similar to what you carry in your heart when you don’t like some people. Hatred makes the heart unhealthy and you carry that hatred everywhere. If you can’t bear the smell of spoilt tomatoes for a week, imagine the impact of bitterness on your heart as you carry it daily.”

Jesus knew that holding grudges against people is unhealthy for the heart, that’s why He commanded His disciples to always forgive those who have angered or offended them. Until we learn to let go of our rotten tomatoes, we never can have the kind of peace of mind that comes from having a pure heart. Remember, forgiveness is a far better option than revenge.

When God Says No

When God Says No

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I have been trusting God for the calming of a particular storm in my life. The more I pray to the LORD, the more I seem to sink further into the depths of despair. The emptier I seem to feel from the inside. God seems to be a zillion miles away from me, losing interest in me.

My prayers seem not to go beyond the roof of my room. It’s like the burden of the whole wide world is resting on me alone. I feel abandoned, like an old, rickety car that’s gone past its glorious days. My head keeps screaming at me to let go of God since He has chosen to give up on me.

There are several reasons we can pray to God and will not receive from Him. Reason number one is sin. Sin creates a gulf between God and man. It leaves God with no any other choice than to turn His back at us. The Bible tells us that the prayer of a sinner is an abomination before God (Proverbs 28:9). When we pray to God out of a sinful, impure heart, God rejects such prayers because they are a reproach to Him.

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him.
John 9:31

Luckily, God hates only sin and not the sinner. His desire is to see all sinners saved from damnation. If we confess and forsake our sins, He is merciful enough to blot out all of our sins.

Another reason we tarry in the valley of unanswered prayers is a lack of faith in God. It is impossible to receive from God when we don’t have faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6). Many Christians don’t believe it when they pray. They just pray for the sake of it. Deep within them, their heart is gripped with fear and overwhelmed by doubt. They doubt if God can answer their prayers and have a plan B which they go for when God doesn’t show up soon.

A double-minded person can simply not receive from the LORD. Only an extraordinary faith can produce an extraordinary miracle. When we doubt God, we dishonour and commit a sin against He who has promised to give us our heart desires.

6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:6-8

God can also refuse to grant us what we ask in prayer if such conflicts with His plan and purpose for our lives. The Bible calls such prayers praying amiss, to satisfy our own lusts. So many of us are selfish in our prayers. We want God to bless us with material blessings so we can oppress the less privileged with our wealth. We tend to forget that God is the discerner of the heart and will judge us according to our motives.

You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:3

Another reason God will delay answers to our prayers is to teach us to be consistent and persistent in prayer. He wants to teach us patience and waiting upon the LORD. We need to pray at all times and without ceasing, not losing heart (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). God often protects His children by not giving them what they ask immediately because now isn’t the best time to have what we’ve been praying for.

5 truths about forgiveness

Forgiveness

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How much do you know about forgiveness? You can’t tell until you are done reading these five truths about this important Christian virtue. This post is a bit lengthy, but definitely worth reading. Let’s go.

1) Forgiveness is a command for all Christians. And this command is from no one other than the Master Himself (Matthew 5:43-48). Forgiveness is never optional; it is ever mandatory. Forgiving those who have wronged us is not something we do some of the time; it is something we do all of the time. We have to practice forgiveness regardless of whether it is convenient for us or not.

Jesus hit Simon Peter with this same truth in Matthew 18:21-22. Peter went up to the Lord and asked Him how many times must his brother sin against him and he forgave him. He then quickly suggested as many as seven times. But Jesus told him without mincing words, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Jesus then went further to tell a story which profoundly illustrates the importance of forgiveness in the life of a Christian.

Here is what Jesus was telling Peter (and is still telling us today): “I want to you to learn to be endlessly forgiving towards others, just as I have always been towards you.” Jesus Himself laid a fine example for us to follow when He forgave His enemies while still hanging on the cross (Luke 23:34a). Christians have been commanded to forgive because it was God who, through Christ, first forgave us, cleansing us from all our sins.

And be kind to one another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32; see also Colossians 3:13

2) Forgiveness changes only the forgiver, not the forgiven. Forgiveness is about us. We are only helping one person when we forgive, and that is us.

Refusal to forgive hurts not the person we are denying forgiveness but us. Holding grudges against those who hurt us is the quickest way of damaging our health. When we refuse to forgive, we let others determine our happiness. We give them the power to control us. Unforgiving attitude makes a prisoner of us.

Forgiveness is a call from the bondage of resentment, bitterness and hatred into a victorious life.

Christina Puchalski, M. D., wrote on the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine Web site:

There have been many studies looking at the role of forgiveness in health. Unforgiving persons have increased anxiety symptoms, increased paranoia, increased narcissism, increased frequency of psycho-somatic complications, increased incidence of heart disease and less resistance to physical illness. . .The act of forgiveness can result in less anxiety and depression, better health outcomes, increased coping with stress, and increased closeness to God and others.

3) Forgiveness is supposed to be unconditional. We do not have to wait until the wrongdoer apologies or returns the stolen item before we forgive. No matter how long we wait, some people will just not come right the wrong done to us. It is either they have deliberately chosen not to repent or do not see the need for repentance. In fact, they may even falsely believe that it is us who need to come beg them for forgiveness. Obviously, insisting that such persons come reeconcile with us is an exercise in futility. That is why it is important that we learn to forgive readily, graciously, and unconditionally.

4) Forgiveness is a heart thing, not a mouth thing. When we fail to practice genuine forgiveness, we lock our offenders up behind the brazen bars of our hearts. They remain there as prisoners, unable to escape. And the longer we keep them in our hearts the more they mess us up. The more they pollute our hearts and alienate us from God. If you didn’t know, your heart is either a prison or the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Telling someone we forgive them a million times changes nothing when it doesn’t come from the heart. Forgiveness must flow from the heart through the mouth. The person needing our forgiveness must first be set free where we lock them up in our hearts. Until we do this, we have not truly forgiven.

5) Forgiveness doesn’t render the law useless. It doesn’t mean we should let others trample on our rights and civil liberties at will. It doesn’t mean someone can defame us and go scout free without facing the wrath of the law. The command to forgive doesn’t make it a sin for us to seek legal redress in a court of law. Yes, I believe Christians can go to court for the right reasons.

Sadly, many so-called enlightened Christians are ignorant of these self-evident truths. They have out of sheer ignorance literally become a refuse site and take all sort of rubbish from every Tom, Dick and Harry. No matter what evil or injustice they suffer from others, they must look away and pretend as though nothing has happened. Such mentality only promotes a culture of lawlessness and impunity.

A speeding truck hurtles off the roadway and collides head on with an oncoming car, killing all occupants of the car. Police blame the crash on drunk driving on the part of the truck driver and charge him for culpable homicide. Church members and the pastor go to commiserate with the devastated father who lost his family in the nasty crash. The pastor encourages him to be strong in the Lord and also forgive the truck driver. He tells him frankly that he must persuade the police to release the man or else he will risk going to hell. After all, letting the man rot in jail will not bring back the dead.

This is not the message Jesus preached while on earth. God is not the author of confusion. He hates chaos, disorder, evil and lawlessness. His love of mercy and compassion certainly does not negate His sense of justice. Forgiving lawbreakers doesn’t mean we should let them go without facing the consequences of their lawless deeds. It only means we set them free from the prison of our hearts. It means we do not harbour even an atom of bitterness against them who have hurt us.

Take that leap of faith now!

leap of faith

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Sammy is madly in love with Jesus. Jesus only is the centre of his devotion. He simply can’t trade Jesus for anything else in this world. And he also can’t live without reaching out to the lost with the gospel. He even has a daily routine of going out to tell people about the Master. Sammy never allows any opportunity to preach Jesus to someone slip away.

But people hate to listen to what Sammy has to say because of the state of his health. Sammy has a physical deformity which requires him to lean on a stick while walking, always grimacing with excruciating pain. He also has a speech impairment which makes him struggle to finish a sentence. For these reasons, Sammy is always ridiculed by those he tries to preach to.

Sammy leaves home one fateful day, to go talk about Jesus as usual. He had prayed beforehand that God would cause the seed of His word in his mouth to produce good fruits in the hearts of his listeners. He leaves home filled with joy and assurance of answered prayers.

The first person Sammy approaches after leaving home isn’t only an atheist but also a foul-mouthed fellow. She feigns interest in what Sammy is saying and begins to insult him thereafter. Then she tells him what hurts him to the bone marrow. She tells him to quit preaching because he himself obviously needs Jesus more than the ones he’s trying to get saved.

Sammy becomes downcast as a result of the atheist’s remarks. From that very moment and place Sammy becomes determined to receive his healing. He snaps his walking stick in two and throws it away. He then starts crawling home, praying to God to either heal or kill him. Lo and behold, Sammy receives his healing as soon as he reaches the door of his house. Alleluia!

You and I can relate with Sammy. We have become so comfortable with the stick of troubles and woes in our hand that we don’t want to let go of it. We literally depend on the stick for support rather than look up to Jesus for healing and wholesomeness. We see the stick as a lifeline rather than the barrier to our miracle that it truly is. We delay our miracle because we find a temporary solution in the stick we’re holding.

True, being a child of God doesn’t mean that life for you will be a smooth and fun-filled ride from start to finish. Jesus never preached or insinuated that we become invulnerable to all of life’s afflictions the moment we become His followers. There will always be one battle or another to face as long as we remain on this side of existence. The Master even let His disciple, and by extension us, know that they would have to face tribulation in the world (John 16:33).

But luckily, Jesus in that same verse also gave the assurance that He already had overcome the world. What does Jesus overcoming the world mean for us? It means Jesus has already fought and won life’s battles for us. Sadly however, we have become so obsessed with the stick in our hand that we fail to see that the battle has already been won for us in Jesus.

The truth is as long as we clutch on to the stick which we’re supposed to discard, we’ll never see the need for Jesus to step into our situation. The children of Israel in the wilderness wanted to return to a life of cruel slavery in Egypt because they left their stick back there. Their stick in this case is their lust for Egyptian dainties. This lust for food blinded their minds so much that they were willing to forfeit their newfound freedom.

4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: ‘Who will give us meat to eat?

5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;

6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!’

Numbers 11:4-6

You see, breakthrough is always elusive for the children of God who decide to keep their own stick. They may fast and pray from now till thy kingdom comes, but can simply not receive their miracle so long they treasure their stick. He who has a temporary solution to his problems doesn’t wait on God for a miracle.
It’s doubt and a lack of faith in God that cause us to stick to our stick. We doubt God because we give room for fear in our hearts. We entertain fear because we don’t trust He who has promised to always be there for us. We don’t trust Him because we’ve not encountered Him. We’ve not encountered him because we don’t accord Him a prominent place in our lives.

We need to move from being a fake people to a faith people. Nothing is impossible for a man of faith. No mountain is too high for him to climb; neither is there a river so wide he cannot cross. Sammy is a man of faith because he cut his walking stick in two, preventing him to go back for it in case he changed his mind midway home. And his faith gave him what he wanted.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:12

In a nutshell, if we don’t take a leap of faith, destroy our own walking stick, and come to a ‘heal or kill me’ situation, our miracle might continue to be elusive. Remember, faith is the engine that powers the train of miracles. Go take that leap of faith now.

Commissioned for battle

battle-ready

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It is never a sin for a child of God to fight for a just cause. In fact, all genuine Christians have been commissioned to fight what the apostle Paul in his charge to Timothy called the “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). We enlisted into God’s army the moment we made the decision to follow Jesus. A battle line has been drawn between Jesus and us on one side and Satan and his minions on the other. We are soldiers of the Cross, and Christ is our Commanding Officer.

We do know that the life of a soldier isn’t all fun or a bed of roses. Soldiers aren’t trained to remain in the comfort of their barracks. They’re rather forced to a regimented lifestyle characterized by routines of work and drill. Thereafter, they’re posted to anywhere the commander deems them fit to serve.

Same thing with us followers of Christ. God hasn’t called us to a life of fun and laxity. He didn’t only call us in order to bless us with material blessings but to also teach our “hands to make war” (Psalm 18:34). The church is a training ground where God trains and equips us for spiritual warfare. He then sends us out to the world in order to fight for the divine cause.

But what is there for Christians to fight? A lot.

First, soldiers defend the territorial integrity of their homeland; they guard against external invasion that undermines the sovereignty of their state. Christians too are supposed to stand up and fight any form of threat to the authority of their Master and His Kingdom. We need to fight and defeat the enemies of the Cross who are bent on silencing the gospel of Christ.

The world today is hostile towards God and His children who uphold His standard of holiness. Satan is more than determined to destroy the world and envelope it in perpetual darkness. Little wonder men are becoming increasingly perverse and immoral. It is our duty as Christians to rise up and fight the devil, until he’s beaten to surrender. We can do it, for the power is in us.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

5 Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Christians are also duty-bound to fight for and defend the faith which was once delivered to the apostolic fathers. The gospel and indeed the Bible whose immeasurable benefits we enjoy today is the product of the martyrs’ blood and sweat. We simply can’t afford to let what these generals fought and died for go into extinction in our time. We need to as a matter of urgency rise up against the wave of false and heretic teachings sweeping across the Church today, dumbing down the Word of God.

A whole lot of so-called men and women of God these days are causing serious damage to our Faith. They twist the Bible in order to suit their own selfish and sensuous desires, thus misleading many innocent souls. Such ministers of God preach a watered down version of the gospel in order to pull crowds to their churches, thus making more money. They make the Church too conducive for sinners, claiming that God accepts us just the way we are. Such people are a threat to the Christian Faith and must be exposed for who they are.

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jude 3

Another important area Christians need to be ruthlessly violent is that of soul winning. Our generation of believers is apathetic to the plight of the lost; we don’t seem to be passionate about the countless souls being held captive in the camp of the devil. The 21st century Church is quick to boast of the Holy Spirit never been so close to believers in the history of the Christian Church, but at no other time in its history has the Church been so cold, careless and complacent, lacking of holy fire. The best we do to save souls these days is have a half-hearted commitment to personal and corporate evangelism.

And there are some of us who even discriminate against the unsaved. We condescend to them and try our best to avoid them like plague. We even secretly are glad that we’re not going to end up in damnation like them. If this was Jesus’ attitude towards the sinners of His time, then we too would have lost out on salvation!

The Church has to quit being lukewarm and rise up to the task of soul winning. We are quick to criticize the Laodicean church whom the Master rebuked for being “neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:15), whereas we too are there already. We need to march on, without fear, to the enemy’s territory and snatch all the preys in his shackles, until not even the vilest of all sinners is left behind. God’s desire is for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). We can do it; we must do it.

In a nutshell, the Christian life is not one of bread and butter where everything is rosy and idyllic. It is beyond going to church on Sundays and letting people know that you love Jesus. The Christian life is one of commissioning to fight. We’ll fight sin, self and Satan and indeed whatever that is against God and His Kingdom. And we are to fight on until Christ, our Commander, declares the battle won. Only then can we be worthy partakers of the promise, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).