A Random Conversation

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New things

A few days ago I had a somewhat random conversation that has remained on the periphery of my mind. I was speaking to an expatriate who recently returned to Nigeria on a work assignment for his company. He had worked within the Nigerian business previously and was on what we could refer to as his second missionary journey and conversing with him left me with a few lessons.

The power of living and working deliberately:

Sometimes, work feels like just work, but for him, it felt like a part of his journey, as though he determined that his work was his contribution to humanity. As I listened to him, I realized that, that simple definition impacted his attitude to whatever assignment.  Beyond his immediate tasks, he kept looking to do more...

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I hear voices

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i hear voices 2

This was written by my friend and I am trusting that it will speak to you like it did me.

This is a post about hope and encouragement and about how God leads us step by step, word by word, line by line, precept by precept.

So last year God gave me a word about my desire for marriage. I read it, aahhed, and then like we humans are wont to do, promptly forgot about it. Thankfully I had bookmarked it on my Bible app and so late last year when I was in the doldrums and looking for encouragement, I looked up my bookmarks and there it was.

This time I didn’t forget it. I wrote it down. I say it over and over again. My spirit leaps with joy every time I remember it

A few months later, I was led to Psalm 113:9 ‘He makes the barren woman to keep house and into a joyful mother of children...

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The Unwanted Guest

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not welcome

It was one of those public holidays and I was sitting with a group of friends fiddling with my mobile phone when a video ad popped up. It had a loud narrative and I was shocked out of my skin because I had never seen it prior to that time. I quickly excused it, and imagined that if that happened at a business meeting, I would have been sorely embarrassed. Well, that was the beginning of a series of pop up video ads, not only were they annoyingly inconvenient, they were using up my data too. I could be chatting with a friend and all of a sudden the screen will freeze and these annoying videos will pop up. I was really irritated and after a few enquiries confirmed that this experience was not a general one I began to seek a solution.

The ads became a little more frequent and I left my phone ...

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Shine Your Light

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be a light in the lives of others

Let’s begin with some introspection. Think very deeply, is there something really fundamental about you that you constantly downplay or excuse to fit in or make others feel comfortable? I’m not talking bad habits here though but I’m sure you get the point. Okay, please hold that thought.

A few days ago, I sat on the edge of one of the rows in church for the service and remained seated for a  little bit after it ended to catch my breath and then a young lady stopped as she made to exit and asked to speak with me. She wanted to thank me she said, for owning my height so graciously and inspiring her to do same. I looked at the pretty, elegant lady and held back tears as I gave her a big hug...

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The Lilac Slip…

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my bright lilac slip

Each time I take my laundry to the dry cleaners, the receiver spends precious time shaking the clothes out to check for any defects. Are there any tough stains that look like they will require special care? Is there any rip or tear in the lining or outfit, is there a button missing or is the hem undone? They take special note of all these and receive my clothing.

Guess what? When I pick my clothes up, for the stains they could not handle or any other defects they noticed, they leave me a lilac slip in the inner seam indicating that although they have tried their best, it is still imperfect. Sometimes, I am just getting to know there is a stain or defect, in the very place where I took my outfit to be cleaned. Only I can see it, but it does not make it any easier for me...

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Behind the Scenes

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construction site

On my daily commute, I go past one of two routes depending on the time. It’s like clockwork such that sometimes without mentally committing myself, I find myself driving along the route. I am sharing this to explain how familiar this route is and how much I felt I noticed along my work trips.

Along this commute, there was a very busy intersection, an area with a few people selling early morning snacks such as dundun and akara for instance. After a while, I noticed that the area was sealed off and the road side sellers had to relocate. Guess what? I drove past there literally every day and soon became accustomed to the high solid fence erected to cordon off the area. It became normal to me not to see any activity there. Just a fence and the road.

So you can imagine how pleasantly surprise...

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My Jollof Tales

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my jollof tales

When I was much younger, I really did not enjoy white rice and stew very much. But that was a staple Sunday lunch say 2 Sundays a month except for when my mum decided to prepare a nice curry sauce or fried or coconut rice. I actually preferred jollof rice and my mum was well aware of this preference which for some funny reason she indulged. So much so that she made my lunch separate from every one else’s.

Now picture this, we had no domestic help (this is another story entirely) and usually lunch was made before we left for church in the morning and so all we had to do was clean the house, shower, have breakfast and get dressed with my dad’s supervision ...

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Good Good Father…

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IMG-20141022-WA0001

I was speaking to a much older family friend some time ago. A few years ago, they sent their two oldest kids off to boarding school. It was really odd because just in their neighbourhood was a really good school and the kids already attended the school. But also because it was so abrupt, after the first year, they pulled them out and shipped them off to boarding school. It did not make sense at the time and in fact I doubt that the kids who were our friends understood very much what the reasons were. The parents offered not much by way of explanation anyway.

The school was so far away, talking like 4 hours driving to drop them off and visit. So it was clearly not an easy decision even for the parents. At the time, it didn’t even feel good to our friends...

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LOUD IT: God answers!!!

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Basic RGB

My friend and sister (I like to call her ‘Hephzibah’) shares her testimony with us on ‘LOUD IT’ today.

“When I got my job straight out of grad school 4 years ago, a lot of my contemporaries laughed at me. It was at one of those old companies that people have forgotten about but still managed to somehow keep surviving.

At the time, I wasn’t exactly rolling in job offers so it wasn’t like I had any other option than to take it. The salary was below average and to make matters worse I was relocated to one of the most expensive parts of the country.

Back then, I didn’t have a stable relationship with God. I was religious, one of those people Paul speaks about that have a form of godliness but deny its power...

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Deep Work

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deep work

A few weeks ago, I received an abstract in my email. You see, one thing I’m grateful for is the way Abba reaches out to me. He knows me in and out and when He converses with me, He does from that ‘knowing’ place. I am quite analytical so when God needs to get me sometimes, He sends the same message in different ways so that I am literally locked in and unable to ignore or analyze it away and then His Spirit does the work of convicting me. Oh this father of mine…

I’ll share a few excerpts from this abstract I read, from a book titled Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.

“Current trends push you – and the rest of the world – toward shallow work. This push to network, tweet, respond quickly and multitask can fill your days with shallow work...

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LOUD IT: Jehovah Overdo!!!

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jehovaah overdo

I know there’s some of us who need encouragement and that’s why I love testimonies so. They serve as reminders that God did it for someone else. They remind us of God’s might and assure us that if He did it for others. He will do it for us too. They encourage us when we find ourselves in similar circumstances

Today, I am glad to share the testimony of my friend and sister. Infact, she is almost my name sake. I met her first 7 years ago when we belonged to the same praise team/choir. She was diligent and served the Lord with her talent. I knew she was trusting the Lord for a baby but it was really inspiring to see her commit time diligently to service whilst she waited. Here’s her testimony.

“Where do I begin? God has been faithful to me and knowing Him is the biggest testimony of a...

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Being vs. Doing…

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being vs doing

When we were much younger some of my siblings walked on their toes. My grandparents, uncles and aunties all had fun saying to them to put their feet down. LOL!!! Just the memory of it has me in stitches. Not sure if it was a paternal or maternal legacy but it was passed on to us anyway. As they grew older, they stopped tip toeing and retained a slight bounce in their steps. But it was cool, nothing to worry about really. The very obvious tip toeing was done or was it?

A few weeks ago, I saw a video of my niece walking on her toes, exactly like my sister used to and I heard my sister saying to her to put her feet down just like my mum used to. I laughed until my sides hurt. It felt like a very ‘de javu’ moment...

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Hearing God…

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hearing God 1

Yesterday, I got asked this question: “How would you know God doesn’t approve of the person you’re dating? Hi , can you write on this? Would help a lot of people out there.”

My response is not really relationship advice in itself. It is a little broader as it regards how to know whether or not God approves of our choices. Like marriage, there are important choices we need God’s perspective on as we live our lives and so it is important to not a few of us to be sure that our choices are aligned with His. Infact, the more we grow in Him, the more important His opinion becomes. The idea is not to even choose and ask Him to bless. It is to ask Him to lead us to choose. Kinda like the carpenters rule of ‘measure twice, cut once…’

First, let me begin by saying that God is a good, good fa...

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Make that call!!!

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access 1

When we were kids, we had a PABX line. This meant that we had access to all our immediate neighbours via the line but we had to call the switchboard to make external calls to NITEL lines and they billed our home monthly.

Sometimes, an operator called in sick and just a few were left to man the desk so you could call over and over before you reached an operator. Sometimes, it was a grouchy operator took our calls and at other times, it was almost lunch time or close of their shift. Anyway, we quickly learned that the operator’s mood impacted how quickly our calls were transferred to the main switchboard even if the lines were free. It was obvious from how quickly our mum’s calls were made sometimes relative to ours that who we were also mattered...

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Chuck it out

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trash it

I used to be a shirt person and for a long time my work wardrobe was majorly shirts and suits. I collected work shirts in different colours and styles until I recently lost interest and gave most of them away. I started feeling more like work dresses and blouses and slowly my work wardrobe changed.

However, I woke up on Monday feeling like wearing a shirt, so it was that I looked through my wardrobe and found one. It was a sky blue striped shirt that had been ironed and folded and was seating neatly in a corner. I remember wondering why I had not even thought to wear it all this while. Without hesitation, I put it on, it fit perfectly and reminded me of my shirt era. I tucked it into a navy blue skirt, looked myself in the mirror and liked what I saw...

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Divergent Outcomes…

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divergent stories

I met Valerie towards the close of last year, she was working as a domestic assistant at my aunt’s home. However, I realised she could not really read and write. I found it quite surprising because my interactions revealed that she did not grow up in an educationally less disadvantaged area and she confirmed that her older sister with whom she resided before taking up this employment had a degree. It was odd given that they were raised by the same parents in the same home. That felt like the first onion peel as the more I peeled, the more my eyes stung. She was so bitter...

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The Grind Stone

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the grind stone

When I was much younger, my family was friends with a family with whom we visited often. They had a daughter who was close in age to my sister and I so we did house chores together very often. Imagine us doing the dishes for instance, whilst singing and harmonizing our favourite songs.

However, this family had a different background/ orientation from ours and one of these was using the traditional grind stone to mill fresh food items. At our home, when there was no power to use the blender, our mum would have us use the grater or a small traditional mortar in which we simply pounded. Our interaction with this family was frequent and somehow not being able to use a grind stone began to make us feel inadequate...

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His mercy endures forever!

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unfailing love 1

I remember how excited I was when National Common Entrance results were published many years ago and I had scored above the cut off mark. It was quite a high threshold so I was really glad the preparations paid off especially because of how invested my parents were in the preparation. That is probably my earliest memory of the lasting joy and thrill of success after hardwork. After that, it was time to gain admission into the university and after that time to get a Masters degree and then write qualifying professional exams and then get a job. Each of those landmarks was exciting but the thrill of it did not last forever, something else always came up. Today there is new stuff I need to do and what lies behind me is not as exciting anymore...

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When the dust settles…

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The Miracle of Dammam II

Ehis doubled his pace and walked briskly from after school lessons towards the barracks where he lived with his parents. He recalled the NTA announcement that the match would be aired at 6pm. That’s all he talked about during the day. It was the U-20 match between Nigeria and Russia at the 1989 World Youth Championship held in Saudi Arabia. He had spoken to Chinedu his neighbour, they were the only ones that had a coloured TV in the block and it was fun to watch matches there. Also, Mr. Obi, Chinedu’s dad was legendary when it came to match analysis. He rushed quickly home, dropped his bag and hurried towards Chinedu’s house. He recalled that Chinedu’s mum always made really nice puff puff too, something to look forward to.

The match began and the first half was bloody...

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Being Witnesses…

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WITNESS

The more I think about Abba’s heart for his lost sheep, the more I realize that nothing about that ‘me, myself and I on the way to heaven life’ I once craved is really going to be possible if I let God. What God really wants is for me and you through our lives to bring an authenticity to Him that people cannot ignore. He wants us to be generous with our lives. When He asks us to be witnesses, what does He mean? You know how the signatures of witnesses bring  validity to a document or their presence affirms a narrative, He wants us to be that for the gospel. Witnesses that bring an authenticity to what the bible says.

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept...

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