CRUELTY OF PERFECTION

These days, everyone has a voice and everyone has the perfect way to do a thing; and the noise is really deafening.

The internet is probably the worst thing that has happened to this generation because everyone is simply out there pushing opinions about the best way to do it.

It is quite frustrating being at the receiving end…because right now, we have more than three billion right ways to live on earth. Shouldn’t there just be “the” way?

Why do we do it all? Why do we all want to be at the top and the ones calling the shots? What’s the essence of all the clutter and the hassle and the pain?

I think it’s time we redefine the meaning of purpose.

The foundations of purpose came from people who had dreams of what they wanted the world to look like and they set out to achieve their dreams.

Slowly, all these have been reduced to beautifully crafted selfish ambitions that all boil down to money and the ability to influence people. Dare I ask why?

Why do you want to be the billionaire? Why do you want to wield so much power? If this is not figured out and fitted to be true, nature has a beautiful way of never letting you get zip on the face of the earth.

Can we stop being creatures of ambition and begin to be creatures of the human race?

Church folk mask around ‘kingdom’ but I’ve realized, most times, it is bullcrap because deep seated within is beautifully crafted self-ambitions.

Can we really step back and ask the real questions and then maybe, we’d realize that it truly is about making the world a better place and not making stars of ourselves or self-made people.

It’s about people-made people!

Otherwise, how else do you explain Mahatma Gandhi?

More than ever, I’ve felt my conversations go from deep connections that have eternal value in cosmos to chit chat that happens for the sake of respect for human dignity. Conversations that no longer go beyond the words but stop at the screen of the receiver.

We’ve got to get back to the real world and the true meaning of humanity and the true essence of purpose.

Purpose is not making a name, purpose is not crafting a niche, and purpose is not clouding in self. Purpose is about making life better for everyone because you see a need and then you fill it.

But fast-forward to 2018, purpose today is about staying up all night to craft a vision statement and a roadmap to how you become the best version of you and get people to revere you, get you to make money and get you to live the life.

Notice how much “you” there is in all that?

We’ve reduced purpose to 0s and 1s and it’s either you’re this or you’re that. I wonder how depraved and myopic the world would have been if Da Vinci only focused on painting or only focused on engineering.

I think purpose is about you as a person. It’s beyond what you do, it’s beyond how you look, and it’s about the deeper things that represent who you really are.

What is left of you when all else is stripped? What do we see pumping in your heart when all else is taken away? What do you live for? If we strip your soul bare, what will we find?

I’ve been having sleepless nights and questioning all the rules we’ve created for ourselves. The traps we built for ourselves. The fears we built for ourselves. The standards we built for ourselves. Keeping up with the joneses.

But here’s the big question: Who are the joneses?

Get a 2’1, get married before 30, get rich before 35, have kids in the first year of marriage. But where is the rule book that says you will die if things don’t happen this way.

My life is my choices reflected on earth, so is yours. By the standards of men, Jesus failed! He was a carpenter, heck! He didn’t even make it to 35. But then that’s what it’s all about. He knew what he was bringing to the table. Know what you bring to the table so the standards of men don’t shake you.

The truth is this; and you can choose to believe otherwise, but we have defined purpose largely upside down. Searching within, relentlessly has always been how to dig out your life’s mission.

Unfortunately, today, we read a book, define our purpose and then begin to do. What better way to program yourself for disaster?

Quit the world!

Get a shell so all you can hear is yourself. Hear what you have to say and what you bring to the table for mankind. We’ve listened to the Joneses for too long and we’ve lost our originality.

I’m not the next Warren Buffet, heck I’m not the next Mary Kay. I’m me. Maybe we’ve listened to too many lies!

It is said that if you listen to mentors, you avoid mistakes but what if that’s what we’re missing? What if it’s the mistakes that make us? What if our quest for innocence is why we can never bring anything new to the table? And there are a thousand versions of us trying to solve the same problem because we gleaned the experiences of the same man…

I dare to propose to you that mistakes make men and if you don’t have your own mistakes, you don’t have your own story and there will be nothing you will offer to the world that will change the world.

If truly your purpose doesn’t come from first doing, you might as well tend to the direction of the ten thousand others who have read that book of that purpose driven guy that changed that aspect of the human race.

I’ve watched people pitch innovative ideas to investors and the people with the best ideas are those that bore those ideas from unique personal experiences and not borrowed experience.

I dare to tell you that if you have not found purpose, don’t craft it. LIVE.

Dare to be human!

Dare to make the wild run!

Dare to make the mistakes!

Dare to live out experiences!

And maybe, just maybe, you will finally live a live that is worthy of calling purpose driven because the men who proposed these ideas to us did not exactly have the manuals they have created for the masses to ‘find’ purpose.

You can choose to be closed-minded and say ‘haa! You don’t believe in mentorship?’ Or you can choose to see that there’s a balance to life and there’s a difference between seeking advice and avoiding the true elements of life.

Don’t take to heart every single word I just typed, else, I’d be one of the three billion people telling you what to do.
Your life is yours and I won’t help you live it even if I could. Start now.

Choose.
Choose to accept or reject what you just read. Don’t think because the words are not misspelt, the meaning isn’t.

Do examine again, Why do we do it all?

I wrote this because I felt the burden to pour my heart out. WHY DID YOU READ IT? WHY DO YOU HATE IT? WHY DO YOU LIKE IT? WHY DON’T YOU KNOW WHY?

THE END.

By

Abraham Audu

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ALL SHADES OF LOVE💖

SCENE ONE

Sarah had just left the church building with a few of her friends. She was so blessed and edified by God’s presence and was happy she was in the company of the “right” people. For the first time, her past was not the subject of discussion.

Her excitment was especially triggered because the convener of today’s meeting was Jude; a young man…who made the illustrations used in his message, very relatable. He spoke eloquently and knew how to connect with his audience. Also, she heard him pray in a strange language with audacity and ease. It was nothing like she had heard before. This must be what it means to be anointed.

She made up her mind to ask Eunice, her neighbor who invited her for his mobile contact. If she would relentlessly pursue God this time, she would have to do it with guidance and mentorship.

Eunice was in the company of a number of people so Sarah waited a while for her. But as soon as Eunice saw Sarah, she beckoned her to come join them.

Hi guys. This is Sarah, my gorgeous neighbor. It’s her first time here, said Eunice to her company (Israel, Celina and John). Nice to meet you Sarah, Israel enthusiastically responded. Did you have a lovely time? John asked. Feeling at ease because of the warm reception, she responded in the affirmative, and proceeded to ask, please how do I get in contact with Pastor Jude? There’s something I’d like to discuss with him.

Hmmm, that’s how all these newbies will be doing. You think Apostle Jude is someone you’ll just be seeing anyhow. He is a man of God oh. See how you just even called his name! He travels abroad to minister almost every week. He doesn’t have time for frivolities, Celina addressed immediately, then walked away.

1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (MSG)

1If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

SCENE TWO

Why do we go to church, mum? Six year old Ernest asked as he watched his mum delicately pack up his breakfast. To worship God, my dear, his mum answered.

Following her to the living room, he continued; But does God need our clothes and money too? Is he only in the church? Why do you prefer to give Mrs Smith in church our new clothes, and not the people who don’t have? Is Mrs Smith God’s sister?

Ernest’s mum was puzzled. How would she explain to him that there are different kinds of giving? And some are actually called seed sowing…

Ernest, sometimes you give what you have to get what you want. You will understand when you’re much older. She concluded.

Just then, Mrs Smith walked in. I could have sworn I heard you say you have to give to get what you want. If yes, don’t you think it sounded a bit opportunistic.

Haha, not exactly ma’am. I was just trying to explain the mystery behind seed sowing to Ernest. And why some of us need to keep tapping into the graces of some of you up there, she teased.

Hmmmm. For the many people you consider to be “up there”, how many of them “tapped” their way through? True, principles always work but you won’t have lasting, enjoyable success without a relationship with God. What is the motivation for acquiring wealth? What would it be used for? Do God’s people only seem distribution channels to you?

1 Corinthians 13:3 (MSG)

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

SCENE THREE

So, after diligently serving the Lord for 27 years, her son ends up a hooligan, being the sole propagator of all those crimes? Helen overheard Danielle, her personal assistant say about her to a mutual friend at her office desk. Tears began to form in her eyes as she realized that her life had become a source of ridicule for all at the office.

All these spiritual activities people engage in, it isn’t the guarantee for a good life oh. Be moderate in all things. That’s the secret. Danielle continued.

Helen could take no more, and was about rushing in, to give them all a piece of her mind when the Holy Spirit stopped her. As she repented, He said; Take a cup of coffee to Danielle in the next five minutes. She didn’t get to have breakfast before leaving home.

Lord, this is unbelievable. I’m still hurting. Why does it have to be me? She complained.

James 1:20 KJV
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
…it’s the goodness of the Lord that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4)

Days later, she went into Paul’s room and broke down in tears. She stumbled upon different brands of alcoholic drinks, and some harmful drugs. She saw him fast asleep on the couch, in his bedroom. She moved towards him and planted a kiss on his forehead, then said; I won’t give up on you.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (SBC)

“Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride;”

CAN YOU STAND BEING LOVED?

I’ve come to realize that the challenge in giving out love comes from the inability to receive it. Giving out love might not be as difficult as it is, with knowing how to receive love. This is why most times, God’s love is only equated to emotions and affection.

Here’s the deal:

God isn’t going anywhere. Whenever you’re ready, He will always be here. You never take Him by surprise, He isn’t mad at you, and won’t ever get tired of you.

His response to us always will be out of an overflow of love.

God’s instructions are filled with love. He nevers loves us to irresponsibility. He corrects and instructs from a stand point of love. This is why the Psalmist always found delight in meditating on His precepts (Psalm 119:159)

He prepares the path for us, and sets us in line to follow through accurately.

He has the power of undergoing any thing for our sake, has unwavering faith in us and who we are in Him.

He is extremely romantic…unfolds in different ways. Super innovative and creative; He is a safe leader and lover. Makes each one who comes to Him feel like the only object of His affection.

Spontaneous, yet calculated. Gentle but firm. You’d always know its Him; because Love is ever His signature.

HOW TO RECEIVE HIS LOVE

Rest! We function from a point of rest. Take a moment and close your eyes. Then, imagine Him smiling at you because you’re beautiful. Drink of His river of love. It’s a river of ease, joy, peace and fulfillment. So much closer than you ever thought.

It’s that easy. With this consciousness, your life becomes an overflow to others. You don’t fake it at all. You did nothing to be loved…so no one is truly deserving. You give as freely as you’ve received.

MY LL.B (LAW) JOURNEY, IN ABU!!

I struggled for a long time before I got to publish this. I hope it blesses someone!

HOW IT ALL STARTED!

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria was never the option!! My elder sister had always had a thing for the North, but even after she successfully gained admission to ABU to study Electrical Engineering, I wasn’t influenced.

Born and bred in Lagos, I just wanted somewhere close. So as a science student, influenced by Dad to study Medicine, I wrote my first JAMB in 2012 with University of Ilorin as my first choice.

But of course, it was a total flop. I had a JAMB score of 186. I remember how much I cried, when I found out. Although I was an average science student, I hadn’t experienced such kind of failure before.

I passed WAEC and GCE well, then, enrolled for NECO examination. After WAEC, we had about three weeks break, before the NECO so I decided to do something unusual. I registered Art courses for NECO. My dad thought I was confused and crazy. I thought so too myself, yet I still did because I wanted playing around.

I had a personal tutor who helped me prepare for two weeks, and then, I read everything I could voraciously, for the last one week.

My dad realized I was serious, so he encouraged me to do a pre-degree program in OAU, Osun state. Unknown to me, the literature texts for JAMB were different from WAEC and NECO… That’s how I was clueless during the exams and didn’t make the cut off Mark.

The sequential effect of these events dampened my confidence and I let life just pass me by.

God looked upon me with His goodness and my NECO results came out. I made all my papers (except Yoruba language of course). But at that time, no one really cared. So I still felt inadequate.

I decided to leave home and get away from all the negativity…

My Zaria experience began.

JAMB/POST UTME

I had gotten so involved in Koinonia that every other activity became secondary. My mum got worried, and insisted that I enrolled in extra moral lessons in Zaria. Unfortunately, I didn’t last a month.😆😆

I met a dear friend, Michael Kumekor, in Koinonia who offered to tutor me (for free). And because he is phenomenal, he also instilled in me foundational values.

He ensured my speaking and writing quality improved, and that I was spiritually and morally upright. It was more than I ever bargained for.

I opted for Computer Based Exams because of my flair for gadgets and was done with my exams in an hour. I had 267 as my results and everyone made a big deal about it. Well, everyone except my dad.

I had applied to study Law in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and he wanted at least a 280.

After much deliberation, he decided that I should do a change of institution to Ahmadu Bello University. My chances of admission was greater than in OAU.

Immediately afterwards, ASUU embarked on a 6 months strike and I had to return home. Those months were almost the most productive in my entire life. I took out time to prepare for the next phase of my life, with little or no interference.

In December, the strike was called off and we had to return immediately to Zaria to write Post UTME. I was elated. I brushed up my books and refreshed my memory (I’ve always been a last minute study person).

I got to the hall and met some beautiful sets of people; amongst which were Grace Sani, Agnes and Benny. We talked, argued and had fun before the exams.

When I got to the hall, I saw the exam questions. It was unbelievable. They were the simplest things I’ve ever seen in life. Especially the Christian Religious Studies. I sang my way through to answering them. I had a 340 eventually.

REALITY😨😨

It then dawned on me that I might likely study Law. It wasn’t what I wanted at all. I wanted Mass Communication. What began as a joke was getting really serious.

All I wanted was to have fun and be creative. Little did I know, I was charting the course of my destiny.

ANOTHER SHOCKER!

Law was in an obscure campus, called Kongo. How on earth was I meant to survive? Church, friends, family…everything was in Samaru. My heart was broken.

I almost didn’t do the registration as at when due. I did it on a Thursday and that’s how I met Dinchi, Ozi, Mans and Kharimat. The officials complained about my dress and I had to borrow a scarf from one of them to help myself. It added to my dislikes for Kongo. But it changed eventually.

100 LEVEL HIGHLIGHTS

I met John Mikky in Samaru after I had successfully paid my school fees and he offered to help me click accommodation. I was so happy. He ensured I was able to and got me a room of 6.

I had 6 roommates (with a squatter) Blessing (my bunkmate), Martha, Becky, Nana, Medinat and Mary.

What I Learned in 100 LEVEL

Consistency: Both in spiritual activities and academics. I was so fervent in the spirit, zealous and without knowledge most times.

Special thanks to Mohammed (M.M.) and Haruna Ozi Salami who took me out at night to read. That’s how I discovered I was nocturnal. It worked well for me all through my years in school.

Setting Priorities: As far as I was concerned, the only reason I stayed back in Zaria as opposed to OAU was because of my love for Koinonia. Also, I was a School of Ministry studen then; which meant I had to manage my time effectively.

This translated to my weekends being totally occupied. Week days were squarely for academics, while weekends and breaks were for spiritual activities. It helped me maintain a healthy bale for a while.

I had a pact with myself, that if I couldn’t cope with law, I’d transfer to mass communication. At the end of the session, I was on a 2.1. That’s how I knew I was stuck for life.

200 LEVEL HIGHLIGHTS

I decided to widen my horizon, beyond School and church and engage in other activities.

Tried out a couple of public speaking competition and was amazed at how appreciated I was… with little or no training. Then, I also discovered I could write after my father, (AJS) commended my efforts.

I had my favorite roommate (Favour Himi) who was able to accommodate all of my excesses and always provided a conducive environment for my gifts to thrive.

And I made two great friends; Aisosa Ogboro and Tosin Osadare.

What I Learned in 200 LEVEL

-People love you not because you’re the best, but because they have chosen to.

-Self discovery is a life time pursuit. As you discover you, serve yourself to the world.

-Never be afraid to take risks.

-Diligence is always rewarded.

300 LEVEL HIGHLIGHTS

I started to gain a little level of popularity to what I could do, and I got extremely busy. My grades started to decline gradually.

I became the deputy head of my faculty law clinic, editor in chief of ENI Media, a member of ENACTUS, SOW, amongst many other things. I was so overwhelmed…looking back now I don’t know how I coped with them all.

What I learned in 300 LEVEL

Goal Setting: I was gifted a beautiful book by Ayodeji Adeyemo, I think it was hand crafted and I used it to set goals which AJS taught me to. I set both long term and short term goals…although I never got to accomplishing them all.

-I had flaws: In fact, plenty of them. I got so used to being wonder woman, I trivialized friendship and relationships. My choleric personality didn’t help much either.

I also got terribly heartbroken, it took me a while to recover. Almost all the wrong things happened all at once. I was greatly misunderstood. Admired from afar, but criticized by my inner circle.

These and many other things made me become withdrawn. I became my favorite company.

And of course, my grades continued to decline.

400 LEVEL HIGHLIGHTS

I wanted freshness so I frequently changed company. I was friendly but hardly had friends. Didn’t want to hurt anyone or get hurt. I embraced solitude like my life depended on it.

I joined Rhema Chapel Worship Team and got out of most of my previous engagements.Although I still kept in touch.

I also became the Secretary of ENI Media.

At this point, I was totally uninterested in school. I had put so much efforts but wasn’t getting commensurate returns. Academic results became a matter of luck and I detest anything I can’t understand or control.

I had my first carry overs in this session.

Because I had developed a melancholic nature, I became more observant and studious of people. It felt like I could see everyone but no one saw me.

I went on solving as many problems as it was within my capacity, but no one took so much interest in mine. There was just this illusion in them that I could always take care of myself.

I Learned how to comfortably remain alone.

Then, I met Michael Amonieah.

He revealed God’s unconditional love to me and taught me to reveal to others. My Intelligence Quotient (IQ) shot up remarkably! He became a friend and a coach.

After some months, the most unfortunate series of events occurred and I became suicidal. The only person I could talk to was the Holy Spirit and Michael.

Eventually as I got better, I knew who the right company was for me. I made the choice to stick with them forever.

Major things I Learned in 400 LEVEL

-God’s love and mercies are endless. They preserved me.

-This realization hit me: you don’t need to do anything to be loved. If you’re in doubt, ask Jesus.

-Genuine people are scarce.

-You are your own responsibility

500 LEVEL HIGHLIGHTS

I call this session “My Harvest”

I opened this blog at the beginning of the session which was a huge turning point for me. It is a platform to communicate as much as possible, all that God commits to me, to His people.

I experienced and still ongoing tremendous ease of operation.

I unlearned almost everything I held dear and became like a child.

I turned down so many things I have cried for before now. I became extremely joyful and content.

Testimonies

I got about six job offers which I had to turn down a majority of them before I felt I wasn’t ready.

I did my project on my bed. Just lying down and typing with ease…Then, submitted few days to the deadline because I got busy. Can’t believe I still got an A. My supervisor didn’t even correct/read it.

I quit reading in class…mosquitoes cannot be disturbing me anyhow again😂😂. But I passed all of my exams, even the carry overs.

I had so many troubles, but nothing was capable of stealing my peace and joy.

I fell in love with Kongo towards the end of my stay. It represented peace and serenity; enabling me think and plan effectively.

And most importantly, I met some more cool people like Nate Yakong, Binga, Tosin Abolarin, Michael Audu, Tabitha, Jeremiah Idoga, Pst Rampy, Emeka, Tosin M, Halimah, Tabs, Janet…and so many others.

Oyiza and my sister became great companions too. I got to appreciate family like never before.

Also met more priceless mentors and models: Elisha Mamman, Daddy Elisha Gaiya, Jumoke Adenowo, Jakes Akande.

More things I Learned in 500 LEVEL

The Power of Perspective: whatever you focus on magnifies. Focus rightly.

The Power of Network: right people are the greatest assets you’d have, after God and your mind.

-With God, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.

I am grateful for successful completion of my undergraduate program; but much more…for the things that have been added unto me.

It all ended in praise!

NORMAL CHRISTIANITY BY JONATHAN WELTON (BOOK REVIEW)

Welcome😃😃!! This book has totally began a new beautiful experience in God, and I’m happy I get to share a part with you all. You can check out the previous review of the first Chapter here.

Jonathan Welton believes that major hindrance to the moves of God is a mindset and lack of transformation thing. This led him to highlight five (5) Revival Myths with the aim of debunking them. Enjoy!

The first wrong perception is that fact that a particular church or demonstration is the epicenter of the next awakening.

Many people are waiting for prophecies to come to pass before they live as Normal Christians. Many define revival as a strong sense of God’s Presence and the Church impacting the world for Him. But that shouldn’t be something that we should be waiting for; it is just Normal Christianity.

James 4:8a KJV
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…

In the New Testament, the members abided constantly with Jesus like he told them to. Not waiting for dozens of prophecies over a region or a sovereign move of God.

Although God is sovereign, that is not His number one attribute.

Genesis 1:26 KJV
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Here, we see God being relational and discussing the decision of creation within the Trinity. The Godhead is much more relational than we have understood.

The heroes of the faith have interacted with God on the basis of relationship before sovereignty. Abraham was audacious enough to bargain with God over the number of righteous men. Moses debated with God when He was going to destroy the Israelites.

Normal Christians are aware that God is extremely relational.

If God is not moving, I will move Him”

-Smith Wigglesworth

A statement like that may sound presumptous or arrogant to those who have overemphasized the sovereignty of God. But seen correctly, Smith Wigglesworth was referring to the fact that the depth of His relationship with God would cause Him to respond and act, because he has moved His heart.

Charles G. Finney debunked the ideology that revival was a sovereign move of God. God did not come closer to the Church at a random choice, but He came closer when the Church turned back towards Him.

Many have focused not upon God, but upon their lack of His Presence.

If we focus on God Himself, His Presence will increase in our lives. What we focus on, magnifies.

Normal Christians understand that Jesus set an example for us to follow.

Jesus became like us and limited Himself to human restrictions. By doing that, Jesus made His lifestyle completely accessible to us. He also expected us to exceed His record.

Many times, the average Christians say that they cannot live the same way Jesus did. Often, their reasoning sounds like; “Well, of course Jesus did that, He is Jesus”.

The belief that Jesus only did miracle because He was God leads to a lot of disempowered thinking. It separates the believer from God’s expectation that we live like Jesus and removes our responsibility of being Normal Christians.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that revival comes and goes – it is not constant. God’s Word says we are to move from glory to glory; which means always moving steadily forward.

2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

But blended into the teaching of revival, the Church seems to advance to mountain tops and decline into valley lows.

Truth is, all of us go through the valley seasons of weeping, the only difference is how each of us go through them. Those who have their pilgrimage are the ones who, as they go through the valley of weeping, transform their valley into a place of springs and pools.

God sent you through the valley so that you would take over the valley, not so that you would submit to the valley experience and love is depression for 10 years.

There is no excuse for not progressing forward. There is no neutral and no retreat in Normal Christianity.

There are usually 3 groups when there is an outpouring of revival. Those who join in, those who oppose, and those who stand by analyzing and asking questions.

They ask, Is that really a revival? This question is totally void of reason because what we observe as revival is actually seeing an outbreak of Normal Christianity.

How do we sustain this move of God? If we consider this question carefully, we will realize that it is our goal to sustain ourselves as Normal Christians. Sustenance cannot be addressed apart from personal responsibility.

We must each maintain our own personal circle of spirituality in life. It is not the (primary) job of the churches to spiritually feed the believer; it is a personal responsibility to feed oneself.

-Charles G. Finney

With a shift as regards these myths, the Believer will.be capable of a much healthier walk with God.

-Jonathan Welton

NORMAL CHRISTIANITY BY JONATHAN WELTON (BOOK REVIEW)

For the purpose of this post, we will be exploring just the first chapter of the book. This is due to the depth and wealth contained in the book, present in each chapter. I think its sufficient enough to explore just one for this season.

INTRODUCTION

The book begins with a brief history of how Coca-Cola came into being and has gained incredible influence, even penetrating into the most deeply remote areas. He summarizes that this is so, because Coca-Cola tastes good.

The contrast was with the Gospel, and that even with approximately 500,000 churches in USA, the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) has not been completely fulfilled.

Conclusion: Our Christianity doesn’t taste good.

In an attempt to further establish his assertion, he decided to examine a common phenomenon in Church; Revival!

The typical definition of Revival is when God comes close to the Church, and Christians are convicted of their sins in the streets and cry out to God for Salvation.

Revival is community awareness of God.

Jonathan Welton summarizes those viewpoints as God spontaneously coming close to the Church and people getting saved at an unusual rate. It is attributed to repentance of sin, which is somewhat confusing (in his opinion) because then, it is both the cause and effect of revival.

Pentecostal definition of revival includes; raising the dead, casting out demons, healing the sick, walking on water, multiplying food, power evangelism, angelic visitations, transport in the spirit between locations, as well as all of the Holy Spirit’s gift in operation.

But after these much explanation, his conclusion is I DO NOT BELIEVE IN REVIVAL.

WHY?

Having searched the Gospels and Book of Acts, everything on the scale is expected of every Christian. The New Testament does not present the idea of revival, it shows what a Normal Christian life looks like.

If a group of Christians in a region begin to seriously live like Jesus, in the full meaning of that reality, the rest of the Church would elevate them and claim that a sovereign move of God is taking place. When this happens, it creates an unfortunate separation that lessens the responsibility of the rest of the Church to also live like Jesus in fullness.

WHAT IS NORMAL?

Normal is a system of measurement based on comparison with an ideal. Abnormal means that there is an aberration from the standard.

Jesus Christ is the example of Normal for the Christian. To be different from Jesus in any way is to be an aberration from the standard set by His life.

Being normal is a personal responsibility. We must be willing to accept the fact that we are required to live as normal Christians everyday.

The question has never been “where is revival?” but “who is revival?”

Revival is not something that occurs outside of you. Maintaining your own spirit and the force of the Holy Spirit within you is how you sustain revival.

Typically, it is easier to worship at the altar of our past experiences, revivals or we want to prophesy and declare about the future moves of God. But the responsibility of living normal in the present is extremely unpopular.

Every normal Christian has a spiritual river of water flowing from their innermost being. This is the same river that flows from the throne of God and brings life and healing to the nations.

This water quenched their spiritual hunger. They nowcarry a fountain of water that releases eternal life everywhere that they go.

They believed they were seated in heavenly places, are ambassadors sent from heaven as well as representatives of God to bring reconciliation to humankind.

Everyone in the Church was considered a king and priest, as well as a citizen of heaven.

They had gatherings of people who were so hungry for God they would meet all night. Someone even died by falling out a window, and they raised him from the dead.

They walked in so much spiritual power and authority that the Holy Spirit had to stop them from going on one of their mission trips.

This is what many of us would consider a revival of astronomical proportions, but I am convinced that according to the Bible, this is Normal Christianity.

Jonathan Welton

Do you agree with what he says? Can’t wait to read your comments! Thank you for reading through.

THE TRUTH, WITH ISAAC ADINOYI (Pentecost in Balanga)

INTRODUCTION

My name is Saliu Adinoyi Isaac. I am from Kogi state, born to the family of Mr & Mrs Samuel A. SALIU.

EARLY YEARS

First of all, my birth was quite dramatic. A number of unpleasant occurrences transpired before I was born. I was born in a family of six siblings including myself being the first born/child.

I grew up with a lot of inferiority and complex issues, coupled with the fact that I was also an extreme introvert. That means that I grew up with lots of my dreams, ambition, and aspirations in life not shared with anyone at all but were only contemplations in my heart.

But fortunately, I noticed I had such a passion for the house of God as what we would call today, “A church Boy” but with minimal understanding and direction.

Soon I found out that my mother had dedicated me to God in my early years saying;
“If God was looking for anyone to use seeing that both her and my father had so little knowledge of Him, that I was available for Him to use“.

CAN YOU IMAGINE! Here was my mother transacting my life with the Lord without my consent.

I became clueless about purpose and relevance, hence my search for purpose and relevance began. It started with football, I just discovered I had an inert ability to play football and I played for several years thinking I was going to be a professional footballer. This was during my secondary years (2000).

Then in Wusasa Zaria, I came across a company of friends and we called ourselves “The Voice of Destiny” this was where my journey began as a chorister after I discovered I could sing pretty well. We sang until we made a Name for ourselves as intended.

Eventually, the passion to be a music artist died when our producer ran away with both our money and the master copy of our album.

And then all of a sudden, I came into Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in the year 2009, and found out I could dance so well.

I joined a dance ministry called “The Redeemed Dancers” I danced so well, I thought I was going to become a professional dancer up until 2012 when my encounters with the Lord began.

PERSPECTIVE ON MINISTRY

Ministry in my own opinion is one among the many largely misunderstood word and concept in the Kingdom of God and in the Body of Christ at large.

Ministry in one word simply means SERVICE. Among the many principles that make for an accurate understanding of the word ministry/service, we must also understand that service or servanthood has a form.

Ministry/servanthood has a form, it has a carriage and an attitude.

Philippians 2:5-7 KJV
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Apostle Paul began by communicating to the Philippian church that there was a ideology that Jesus upheld while He walked the earth, which is an understanding I also want you to permit. And what was this understanding? Jesus being in the form of God, take note of the word “being” meaning that was his true reality personified with and in God. But to make his ministry effective on earth He had to make himself or take the “form” of a servant, because a servant was not His “being” and I think this is where most ministers of the Gospel get it all mixed up.

Servanthood does not strip you or deny you of your spiritual essence with God but a platform or posture of heart that makes your service both to God and humanity effective.

Therefore my admonishment to ministers of the Gospel is to quit thinking of ministry in the sense of its glory and glamor and start thinking ministry in the sense of its price and cost… This is where Service comes in.

HOW THE NUDGING OF PENTECOST IN BALANGA (PIB) BEGAN

I was just lying down in my room, not even praying nor studying, but resting and with a heart panting after the Kingdom and His person. Suddenly, I heard the Lord spoke to me loud and clear; “Isaac, You will put up a crusade platform for me during your service year”. It was so dramatic that I had to look around because it sounded like I was with someone else in the room… Guess what! There was actually someone in my room, He was only invisible. I was troubled in my heart for days not for fear but for reverence and at the same time, not knowing who to share with.

Then I decided I was going on a retreat before the Lord. This was because, having known the level of spiritual consecration and financial implications involved, I needed some answers.

So I eventually went on the retreat and the Lord spoke to me again on the 13th of July 2016 about putting up a crusade platform for him, but this time it came with a strategy. Although this strategy was not as charismatic as I wanted to hear it as my requests were around the Anointing and Finances and God never said anything about that but all he told me was… When I get to my place of service, I should raise an altar of prayer and Intercession and he will draw men by His Spirit.

That was how I was posted for service in Balanga, Gombe state. It is a very remote place to be domiciled. There was no electricity, no power supply in the last one year as at when we got there. While we journeyed there, most of my collegues especially the ladies were crying; communicating their displeasure for the place.

Upon arriving, the first thing I looked out for (God bearing me witness) was where I could pray… And trust me, I found because the voice of God was influencing my decisions.

When I finally parked my belongings there, I began to pray tirelessly every night. Trust me, God speaks to you, it doesn’t just happen.

PIB was birthed from the womb of intended, diligent prayer and Intercessions.

I thought it was going to be automatic; in the sense that God will just suddenly make my bank account fat and release the Anointing for PIB… But guess what? God will have to test you through time on your resolve and faith in what ever He commits to you.

For more than three good months, I was praying and nothing seemed to be happening. Although my collegues amongst whom I lived admired me and I kept offering my prayers as incense.

When God was done vetting my commitment to the vision, then another instruction came. He asked me to make an announcement in the corpers lodge where I lived for who ever was interested in joining me to pray at night. Mysteriously, five ladies obliged to join me….

Thank God, I knew that the appearance women was symbolic in the realm of the Spirit. I know that they represented the spiritual womb that will incubate the word of prophecies God gave me.

No other person joined us to pray until after like a month and then men began to troop in.

By the way, these are my personal experiences, your own strategy could be different, however I believe that there are so many wisdom keys to walk with.

As at that time, I had not yet told any of them what God told me about putting up a crusade platform, all we did was to keep praying, up until one night we were praying and the power of God broke out, the spirit of Prophecy came strong upon a Lady named Funke Adebayo Greatness.

She walked up to me under the Anointing and said to me; God has given you Balanga in your hands and He has prepared the way for the crusade. Here was I dumb founded and in awe because I never told any of them.

We eventually grew to a team of 13 including myself,and I was instructed to make them the leaders. I began to teach and build them as it related to the vision. There was need to make the vision plain enough for them to run with it (Habakkuk 2:2-3).

I explained the vision so well that if I had died during the planning process, PIB would have still held and would have been a huge success.

The theme (PIB) came when I had begun serving already. I was walking down to the lodge after a powerful prayer meeting.

I called my fiancee and began to share with her what happened during the meeting and she said to me in a funny way… “Hmmmm. Pentecost In Balanga” Meaning, I was the Pentecost personified living in Balanga. And my goodness, it was like an arrow shot into my spirit and then instantly God spoke to me, that is the theme for the crusade. I shared this for a reason because at times like this God will choose not to use your regimented ways of hearing from him but choose to use the weirdest if you’ll permit me to use that word in speaking to you.

This was how concrete planning began and in terms of leadership and administration I began to put systems in place. I created departments, not vaguely but tailored towards to actualization of the divine vision.

I learned that there are no resources without a vision.
And that was how resources began to flow in (in that remote place). There are not dry places as it were, there are only dry people, with a lack of vision.

While we were praying, prophecies came concerning financial supply and abundance came and they were well documented. But that God said it, does not make it work automatically, He needs your absolute participation and you have to engage your mind in thinking productively.

We had a budget of #300,000.
So we came up with a financial vision called “project 5000” to target 60 kingdom financiers who will sow #5000.

We followed the vision through and “c’mon now” the light of Ephesians 3:20 was manifest. We had a budget of #300, 000 but guess what! #412, 000 came in cash. God foresaw expenses we did not capture in our budget but went ahead of us miraclously.

We also leveraged on relationships because God granted us access and we were able to secure a number of things cash free.
In a nut shell the crusade was worth over have a million naira… About #800, 000 both in cash and in kind.

It was a three day meeting. Souls came to the saving knowledge of Christ, the blind received their sight, the lame reciceved strength and the oppressed were delivered Glory to God.

Hallelujah!

INGREDIENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CRUSADE

The following are inevitable ingredients for a successful crusade any day any time;

VISION

Your sight is a function of the eyes while Vision is a function of your heart. The vision I’m talking about is not what God showed you with your eyes being opened into the realm of the Spirit… That’s just an experience you had with God and it is unknown to anybody. The vision I’m talking about in this context is your experience with God being articulated and made plain in clear terms such that he that reads it can run with it. Until your vision is received, articulated, plain and understood, it is not a vision. This was one of the infallible laws I engaged for the success of PIB.

PEOPLE/ MEN

This cannot be over emphasised for a successful crusade. That was a law I engaged to the success of PIB and it worked wonders.

You are only the receiver and the explainer of the vision, YOU ARE NOT THE RUNNER OF IT! It is those that reads and understand your vision that will run with it. And until your vision is ran with, it doesn’t come to a fruition. THE POWER OF MEN!

THE ENDORSEMENT/PERMIT OF AUTHORITIES

This was also one key that guaranteed the success of PIB. It includes both spiritual and earthly authority.

Please I must emphasize here that you must be very bold and courageous in doing this because you may meet individuals in authority who are likely to challenge you with questions, therefore you must trust God for the wisdom to respond.

God granted us favour and gave us access that guaranteed the success of our crusade.

For instance, the community township stadium we used was not ours therefore we needed the consent and endorsement of the Local government chairman, not just him, we had to seek the permit from the police force within that territory, I met with Kings, monarch and many more. Let me just say this please… For authorities who will prove adamant, God will always raise a Jonathan for you amongst his midst. This is the level you have to operate the law of honor. The king and authority you do not honour, his favour or endorsement you do not deserve. I literally lost count of the number of wine we bought and gifts we bought for this purpose.

In addition, you will need to seek the alliance of the churches within that territory and honor… Here, churches may come up with all kinds of suggestions but be careful not to tamper with the Blueprint God gave you. When I had PIB, I had to write a letter to all the churches within that territory, speak with the CAN Chairman northeast and so on and so forth.

FINANCIAL PARTNERS

A lot of partners will come around and really want to be of help and support your vision but I am careful with my choice of words “Financial partners”.

Holding a crusade or running a ministry is very capital intensive. You do not have the financial capability to run it, even if you do, it is not wise a thing to do.

However, you must trust God to be the highest financial partner of that vision. People will not believe and commit themselves financially until they see how committed you are both physically, spiritual, financially etc committed to your vision. You need to trust God for favor at this level and trust me, men will show up! We had financial partners that sowed heavily that I have not met with my eyes till date, just a word with them on phone.

PRUDENT SPENDING
Till date I still have my list of expenditures we made and their costs. I have almost all my bank statements printed out. I made sure I kept track of all expenses made and ensured it was accurately accounted for.

Please permit me to make mention Praise Obabueki who did an amazing job handling our finances.

ROBUST LEADERSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION
Alot of men or women of God pay more attention to just being just spiritually empowered and neglect the place of leadership and administration.

Leadership is what will give your vision to hold a crusade structure, it will make it systemic in its operation, it will make the outcome of your crusade predictable. Please never neglect the power of leadership, it was on of the ingredients that ensured a successful crusade.

STRENGTH AND COURAGE
How could I have wrapped up this session without talking about courage? God will not tell Joshua to be strong and courageous if there was no reason to be afraid. Things will SURE happen to challenge your faith and test your conviction.

For example, finances may not come as at when you have proposed to need them, men and women will persecute you, you will feel like quitting, etc but you must be strong and full of courage. It will look like nothing will happen, but the Bible says wait for it, though it tarries, it must come to pass. Your vision is very potent and self fulfilling but your responsibility is to stay and partner with it.

Habakkuk 2:3 KJV
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

MY MISTAKES!!

YOUR VISION CAN WEAR YOU OUT… You will need divine strength and wisdom. I think this was one of the mistakes I made. I barely ate through out that season, I wasn’t eating well because I was on a very long fast, I barely slept or had quality time to rest and go for some sort of hangout or relaxation.

I Prayed…and prayed and prayed especially at night, I say this not to boast or make a statement but I could literally count the numbers of times I slept through out the night during my NYSC. I fasted until I began to have some abdominal discomfort where I found out I was stooling blood.

Please, pay attention to your body and health. You need your body to vehicle that vision God has shown you.

I also made certain mistakes in exploring alot of other options before releasing funds for some expenses. We ended up purchasing some things at higher prices than they should have been.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Galatians 6:9 KJV
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

APPRECIATION

My appreciation first of all goes to God the giver of life and vision. The one only who empowers men to fulfill their purpose and callings.

Secondly, my appreciation goes to my father in the Lord, Apostle Joshua Selman Nimmak who tirelessly pours his heart into building and imparting.

To my team members, team Air force 1 Intercessory Ministry. David Dodo, Sunday Edem, Praise Obabueki, Daniel Iyiola, Vivian Emegwa, Omowunmi Mary, Greatness Funke Adebayo, Adedamola Adeniji, John Ubon, Victoria Olanipekun, Victoria Ade, French Afure Daniel, I Love you all deeply.

My appreciation also goes to our guests ministers, Pastor Rampyal TK, David Dam, Udayi Elijah, Tabitha Jonah, Daniel Haruna, Amada Precious Wato, Patricia Abutu, Precious Shall-Holma.

Finally, my deep appreciation goes to all my financial partners, may the Lord bless and increase you all from glory to glory. I Love you all once again. Shalom!

WHAT EVERY INFLUENTIAL MAN NEEDS.

I am no ultimate custodian of knowledge, but the things I’d sharing in this post is gotten from interactions with mentors and leaders by privilege. It is also the sole reason why I’ve been able to feature quite a number of people on GCB with little or no hassles at all. So enjoy!!

P.S: It’s in no order of priority.

LOYALTY

There are a number of reasons why many people seek men. Chief of them all is to seek help for personal causes, and ride along many who are treading similar paths. As soon as it is discovered that they are not beneficial, they are set aside for yet some others.

As men rise in influence, it becomes extremely difficult to separate genuine people from sychophants. Especially because success is attractive. It attracts different kinds of people and things.

THE DILEMMA OF GREATNESS

Success is a very lonely realm.

-Apostle Joshua Selman

There are so many ingredients that make up the equation of success. As you attempt to rise, it demands that a lot of weights be taken off from you (especially irrelevant relationships). Most times, you end up being the only one standing upon your values and convictions.

The most painful part is that a number of people lack the ability to recognize the seed of greatness; which adds up more to the loneliness realm.

But at the scent of breakthrough, everyone would desire to reckon with you. How then do you identify who exactly loves you genuinely and who loves you for what you represent?

A major index for identification is that those who love you genuinely stick with you, even after being exposed to your imperfections.

N.B: The other category of people aren’t necessarily bad. This classification is necessary for the kinds of commitment you give to all men.

Wealthy and influential men are people who have very few needs.

Your relevance in their lives is determined by your ability to solve a problem they ordinarily won’t be able to, at their level. And one of such is the dire need for sincere people.

Loyalty and faithfulness is not having to live your life for the sake of successful people necessarily. It is the ability to stick with them, regardless of their weaknesses.

When you decide to a genuine friend, who loves people for who they are, and as God’s creation, you will not only attract influential people who will feel safe with you, your influence rises also with them.

VALUE

Contrary to popular beliefs, influential people are drawn to persons with prospective or refined value. It reminds them of themselves, when they just began.

Now, this doesn’t mean you go about flaunting how much you’ve managed to acquire all through your life… Truth is, when you have something, you have it! It is undeniable.

Be wise enough to know when to speak, and when to take advantage of opportunities. Maintain a posture of humility, and let your focus be on building yourself.

I’ve always wondered how attached successful people get to people who make certain measures of progress in the right direction.

At this point, your offer of value isn’t for their patronage. It is to give them an experience. the attachment you compel with mastery and value is not for transaction purposes, it is to provoke emotions.

And of course, you always make multitude of sales when you are considered emotional appealing (as regards to business).

Did this help in anyway? Are there any other things you think should be added to the list? Do share with us.

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