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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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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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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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A Father’s Joy

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fathers joy

As a child, I sometimes thought my parents were taskmasters. LOL!!! You know how you hear your name all the way in your bedroom from the living room and it’s to pass them the remote  which by the way is sitting next to them or to come open the door for a guest when they are right there in the living room. Yeah,  African parents must have a script they act out inadvertently because they literally all act the same way.

My dad was the one that took me to all my common entrance exams and he always waited with snacks and lunch in the car to ask me ‘how did it go?’ We went the whole 9 yards from the National Common Entrance to the entrance for then military schools and when my brother and I got admitted to boarding school far away from home, he drove over 400km to drop, pick or visit us...

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Relationships…

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people-1

This story is about a couple and how their actions inspired me greatly to be more. For me, they are #goals in this regard

So, I was at the residence of Mr and Mrs A on Saturday and realized they were planning a party. Not a very big party but they hired a caterer, there were rented seats and tables and music. When I inquired, they said it was for their support staff; people that work in and around their home. When I saw the scale though, I remember wondering at the scale. How many domestic staff could they possibly have?

And then, the people started arriving with their families, and the party began.  There was such a ‘joie de vivre’ in the air and everyone was having a nice time. At some point Mr A began to speak and what he said inspired this post...

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The PT I know…

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tony-rapu-4

It’s amazing, the realisation that PT is 60!!!

I remember when it struck me fully in the first half of 2016 that he was knocking on 60’s door, I could not believe myself. Suddenly, all I could see was a man who chose to be impactful regardless of the generation. So I am here to share a few things about the Pastor Tony Rapu (PT) I know.

He is one of those people one would have been jealous of as a sibling or class mate. The very simple reason is that he has what I call a midas touch. Anything PT touches, he does well. He is a man of excellence. It is not only what he preaches, it is what He lives. Embedded in PT is an unwavering commitment to order...

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Welcome to 2017

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stupendousgrace111

Happy New Year Y’all,

I’m so glad we made it through 2016.

One thing that has been on my mind is to start  ‘doing what I know.’ Often times, we know so much and do so little. For me, this is the time to stop accumulating more knowledge without application especially because I know the power is in applied knowledge. So for a start, I’m making a decision to be more deliberate about documenting my journey in 2017. I already know what Habbakuk 2:2 says (And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables…) I have applied it in part previously as regards my goals. Now, I will be more deliberate and consistent about writing it all down. I will be more deliberate about praising through it all too.

There is something about writing it down and here I am not speaking...

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Do You Know Him?

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do-you-know-him-1

If you know me, you will know that I have a huge thing for Zaria based pastors, from Chris Delvan to Chingtok Ishaku and Joshua Selman. I listened to Pastor Chingtok Ishaku teach recently, and he shared a story that interested me.

A few years ago Pastor Chingtok was trying to make his way to Abuja to preach after a service at his church in Zaria. At the time he did not have a travel worthy car so his wife dropped him off at the park. As he boarded the taxi, he pulled out his Blackberry phone (t’was in the hey days of BB’s), with Pastor Chingtok labeled across the messenger. A conversation started.

Him: Wow, I really like Pastor Chingtok

CI: Really? Do you know him?

Him: Very much (he goes on to describe the powerful meetings and ministry and how Pastor Chingtok is his favorite pastor i...

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Legacy vs. Inheritance

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legacy1

A few days ago I was reading a piece by Sam Chand and here is an excerpt:

“People get those things confused. So I want to clarify it for you today. Inheritance is what you leave behind. Legacy is who you leave behind. Inheritance you can buy. Legacy you cannot purchase. For me to leave a good inheritance I just need some money. I can leave houses, cars, lands, stocks, bonds, insurance policies that is inheritance. Legacy is, who will be there because I invested in their life. Who will be there that will say ‘if it had not been for Sam Chand,’ that is legacy.”

As I read through, I thought about David and his life of legacy. I share a few of my thoughts here.

After David’s life had been threatened by Saul in 1 Samuel 21, he ran away, and later became a captain of 400 discontent men.

And ...

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#LOUDIT: Trusting His Heart

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trust Gods heart

You know how you watch a friend journey through life and share somewhat in the highs and lows so much so that you feel like you could write an Oscar winning script out of it? That’s exactly how I feel about my friend Pearl and the amazing story God is writing with her life.

I met Pearl a while ago. She is one of those people who are extremely passionate so she’s impossible to ignore.

Pearl worked as a banker in Nigeria but had always nursed the dream of living and working in a multinational company in the US. For this dream to happen, she knew she had to go to school in the US. Back then, she and God had one of those relationships where she only went to Him when she needed a breakthrough. So when it was time to resign her job and head to school, she again went to God...

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What’s on your dashboard?

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your dashboard

I was driving over the past weekend and my dashboard lights came on showing ‘Low Tyre pressure.’ I am able to drive several miles with the warning light on until I get to a vulcanizer. Usually, when I get to one, they have to gauge all the tyres to discover which exact one is low on pressure. Depending on how low the pressure is, they either pump the tyre or try to figure out why and fix same. On Saturday, they found a long nail in one of my rear tyres and then they fixed it.

As I thought about the low tyre pressure warning, I realised we all get those warnings as we journey through life. If we attend to them quickly, we can avoid the ‘flat’ tyre and all the inconvenience and sometimes embarrassment that comes with it...

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Choose to enjoy your transition…

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life seasons

Some of you are experiencing an extremely dampened pace in your lives right now, and it may be an uncomfortable, even painful switch from the life you’re used to. I am not sure what it is for you, maybe God has led you into a place you thought would be booming with fruitfulness…only instead of what you expected, now your steps have ground to a near halt. If you are one of those people who has always had things plain easy and now have to deal with a slow season, it’s plain difficult to stay stable in the face of a slow transition. The year just crossed into the second half and you cannot seem to find God in your circumstance. Instead you are burdened by the apparent time lapse in the delivery of your blessings...

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