Posts in The Christian Faith

The error in having Handpicked, Politically Correct Messages in Church

I want to start this post by typing “In a world where righteousness has fallen away from many churches” but then I am unsure if I ought to start that way. These things have always been. I am the one stepping out into that world and experiencing these things firsthand.

Or maybe it has become so widespread to meet each of us right at our doorsteps.

God! Where are the churches still teaching holiness and righteousness? I just searched on YouTube to download a certain message by brother Gbile Akanni, “Ordinary men who burn for God”, I typed that in and I saw a good number of messages by Gbile Akanni, and the strikingly familiar thing was the topics of these messages, which breed honest and pure desire for God.

Other topics: Burning perpetually for God, Ever-burning fire on our sacrifice, Plucked to burn for God, The blood provision for our deliverance, Preparing to become a pillar in God’s hand, Silent chapters that derail a man, Fields to burn, What postpones God’s rising on a man, Men who set the pace, Taking God by his word, God’s concentration on lives he intends to use, and many more.

The message I made reference to searching on Youtube, “Ordinary men who burn for God”, I had it on my laptop some years ago and its one of my all-time favourites, a strong blessing to my life. I recommend you listen to it. I remember days alone in my room while in 200 level, I would climb on my top bunk, and have beautiful communion with God through many of these messages.

I also remember the strict sermons in my home church, the instructions from my mission secondary school, The training from my immediate family and The Kingdom Project. These things have led me to have a personal encounter with God and I cannot do some things. Cannot. I cannot worship in some places that violate the sacred principles of the word of God. How many churches today do you still find topics like the ones I listed above?

It is beautifully powerful to teach on other relevant principles in the word of GOD including knowing who you are in Christ, understanding God’s provision for you in health and wealth etc. I teach these too. But, detailed and wholesome teaching of the word of God ought to combine everything. By the time we’re through teaching, we ought to realize everything is covered in good proportion for wholesome Christian living.

I read sometime two months ago on the trouble of topical sermons and I think this is prevalent in many churches today. I quote it below from www.relearnchurch.org :

“…topical teaching isn’t inherently bad. But since the bible has become more offensive to the culture, many pastors have opted for topical sermons to avoid unpopular or politically charged topics.

In contrast, the goal of an expository teacher is not to hear, “what an entertaining speaker” or “what an uplifting message” but to hear “thank you. Now I know what that passage means”.

Friend, if the church will hand pick topical sermons and teach you only appealing aspects of the scriptures, you better save yourself. Carry the bible and read. Open from Genesis and read through till Revelations. Do it again and again. Get a wholesome understanding of the word that can sustain you.

The query I have today is what have you fed on? What are you feeding on? What will sustain you for the days ahead? You need sound teaching of the word of God that makes you love God as he is and not look for a ‘God’ who will give you license to live like the world and still quote scriptures. Believe me, you don’t want that kind of God.

Acts 20:26, 27 “therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God”

Whats your take, friend?

As always, in truth and love,

Debby.

What’s my name?

That’s straightforward guys.

My name is Deborah.

Deborah Ibukunoluwa Adebayo. Read this page detailing more about me.

I have a lesson to share with you as regards my name.

Debby(as I’d rather call it henceforth) was a judge and prophetess in the scriptures. Her story is contained in Judges 4 &5.

She was happily married to Lapidoth (I know of this happiness, guys. She informed me). And she judged under the palm of Deborah.

Mama Debby was a nation lover, a patriotic, loyal and strong woman. She was desperate to solve challenges and lead the people nearer where they ought to be. This desperation, as it always does, led her to her calling where she solved disputes as the chief judge, and also told the people the mind of God as a prophetess.

But mama didn’t loose sight of the truth in the midst of this. There was something holding it all together.

Debby made God’s business her business and God made her business his business. She could’ve gotten carried away with the pressing case of Rachael whose husband wanted to put her away or the case of Nathaniel who flagrantly disobeyed the instructions of God, and in being carried away by that, she could’ve ignored God’s new demand at the battle field.

She started out heeding the call to help at a local level and quashing the comfort of staying back at home doing the chores(I wrote why chores are good in this post) while discussing the men who weren’t at battle. She took up God’s work and God seeing her heart, took up her work – her desire to see a nation whole again.

The lord will take up the national matter on your heart, not to worry. You, my friend, just take up his work.

And when the call comes to go on higher, don’t be carried away emotionally (or logically) with the urgency of the work on ground (cue Nathaniel and Rachael).

Helping Nathaniel and Rachael were very much in line of God’s will for her but her extreme passion to help had a possibility of getting in the way and hindering the real deliverance of Israel.

“Make God’s business your business and God will make your business his business.”

AFAQ (Anticipated Frequently Asked Questions). I know guys, I know.

1. Hey Debby, are you certain national matters were on her heart?

Yes dear, I am certain. God finds it hard to speak to a person on things their heart are not attuned to. That’s because they won’t hear. You hear God clearly on a situation of which you are waiting and hoping and praying.

2. Debby, I have issues detecting whether God is giving me a higher assignment. I don’t seem to hear him.

Okay, pray that your ears will be open. You can make a daily declaration to that effect, it serves to put you in a place where you are conscious of your desire to hear God. Also, reduce the distracting noise around you, okay? Cut down on assignments God didn’t ask you to take up. Apologize if you have to but draw back from busyness that’s not productive. Importantly, Read the scriptures.

3. Deb, this is not a question. You do have a beautiful name.

Well thank you reader, I’m over here smiling.

No matter how pressing your current assignment or heart preoccupation is, God’s business should be number one. God should be number one.

Toodles guys, till next time.

Don’t forget to drop a comment and share.

I remain Debby.


P.S: I’m totally glad to write on here again after three weeks. 😊 I hope to send out a newsletter soon telling you some things😉.

Debby on the Game Of Thrones (GOT) matter

Before you read

So there’s this stuff that raved about twitter for a while and still goes round occasionally: Unpopular opinion. You state something most people do not believe in but that you strongly do.

When I decided (quite impulsively) to write on Game of thrones, I thought to myself, well here’s an unpopular opinion.

Should it be though? My opinion shouldn’t be unpopular among Christians if it is based on God’s word. Don’t buy into the lie that each Christian should live differently – rather we have a common faith, there is no favourite with God, his standard is sure for all generations 2 Timothy 2:19.

As you read, know that there is no tension in God’s word, if there’s any tension, its with us.

So let’s get right into it!

Ah, Still hold up! This post is for Christians, beautiful people. If you’re not a Christian, I can very well understand your annoyance.



I was hall representative in my fellowship close to two years back now (This means hall pastor). At that time, Game of Thrones was trending. It later died down so I forgot about it but its noise increased in the past few months as the anticipation for season 8 came up.

At the time I was hall rep, I put together a short advice to the members of my hall church on our Whatsapp page and it is below:

Good afternoon everyone.
Something has been on my mind for a while and who else to share it with than you all?

We need to be mindful of the things we feed our bodies, souls and spirits with. Very mindful. We are Jesus people and we can’t afford to get contaminated. We stand out with purpose.

This is about that popular TV series “Game of thrones”. This series has taken the world by a storm. Please I plead with you to desist from seeing it. It troubles my spirit. I’ve never seen it before but I know it’s not the best.
There are much better entertainments for you, without you welcoming evil spirits. I confess to you that I’ve seen the movie ‘twilight’ before and I know its not good for Christians. This Game of thrones seems to be the same and extremely prolonged for a purpose.

You can exercise discipline to stop seeing it if you’ve started. You can pray it out of your desires.
Just imagine how it has taken most people worldwide and held them captive. Scriptures says “don’t become so well adjusted to your society that you fit in without thinking”. Please think. Don’t let this sap out God’s current dealings with you. There is more to it than meets the eye, contend for the faith.
A word is enough for the wise.
God bless us all.

Romans 8:1-2 “So here’s what I want you to do, God help­ing you: Take your ev­eryday, or­dinary life—your sleeping, eating, go­ing-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embrac­ing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your cul­ture that you fit into it with­out even think­ing. In­stead, fix your at­tention on God. You’ll be changed from the in­side out. Readily rec­ognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the cul­ture around you, always dragging you down to its lev­el of im­ma­tu­rity, God brings the best out of you, dev­el­ops well-formed ma­tu­rity in you.”

With love,
From your sister



Today, I find that I still don’t have much to write other than the bible passage above, and if you’re in need of more passages, here are two others:

1.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Whatever sets your mind outside the course of intimacy with God, that thing is your enemy, don’t cuddle it. Your heart and mind is the primary way God speaks to you as a believer, don’t let it become misty. Of course, this goes beyond game of thrones to other things (including other movies).

2.

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:32)

Rather than saying to yourself, “its not that bad, I can handle it”. Rather than quietening your discomfort by focusing on the thrill of the movie, be honest with yourself that seeing this movie is not coming from a place of faith. The swearing, the sex scenes, the worldview it projects…(at this stage, we’re broadly discussing movies). Your desire to be in tune with the Holyspirit should supersede your curiosity for an interesting movie, if you’re properly developing.

Finally, on the issue of nudity.

Desiringgod.org has an article on GOT(12 questions to ask before watching GOT). When I read it, I remembered someone mentioned once that GOT is very graphic, sexually. John Piper of Desiringgod.org invites us to join him in the pursuit of purity of heart and mind. Don’t let us become so well adjusted to our daily culture that we fit in without thinking, thereby ruining our witness.

Christians do not conform – this is not a mouth confession, its a lifestyle profession.


Whatever tension you may feel now, whatever discomfort, its coming from one of two places:

– My reference to evil spirits in my address to those hall members two years ago, lol.

-Your inner discomfort because you know this is right and you have a candid choice to make. You probably preferred not having a choice to make by not considering the matter seriously but then, I just ruined that.

We’re the ones who need to change, not God. Certainly not God.

If this opinion is still unpopular with you as a Christian, lets discuss below.

Love and light,

Debby

SINGING IN THE SPIRIT

Heyy guys. How are you doing this Saturday morning? I’m very well. Very alive, thank God. I hope to do a life recap someday soon. In the meanwhile, do read this post and be blessed:
There are specific attributes common to all true Christians in the world today, irrespective of location or exposure.
Some of these Christians haven’t had the luxury of a bible translation in their dialect, yet their faith is as true as the example Jesus set forth.
You may ask ‘what then leads Christians all over the world, to do the same things and respond to situations in the same manner’? The simple answer is: The spirit of God. The same Holy Spirit he sends into our hearts which acknowledges that we are the children of God Romans 8:16.
The Spirit helps us act in the way of God, joining us all as one in ChristJohn 17:21.

Christians all over the world don’t just sing because it is a tradition we met in the faith, but we sing out of the Spirit’s leading.

Take a look at the book of Luke 1:67; Zechariah, having been stricken dumb by angel Gabriel at the point of his wonder and doubt, immediately praised the Lord once his mouth was opened. A song had been building in his heart at the wonder of our God from the time of his acute surprise in the temple right till the delivery of his son, John.
Spirit-filled, he opened his mouth and uttered this prophetic song:

“And his father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied saying, blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David…”

Some months earlier in the same household, Mary and Elizabeth had engaged in prophetic singing of their own. Elizabeth got filled with the Holy Spirit when the baby in her womb (who was already filled with the Holy Spirit) leaped for joy – Luke 1:15.
Imagine, then, how much more we believers who today carry the Holy Spirit on the inside of us and not just in a baby inside of us, imagine how much we ought to be filled with the spirit of GOD.
Can you imagine the prophetic worship that should emerge from our beings when we meet with another ‘Mary’ in the presence of God; when iron sharpens iron – The beautiful unplanned prophetic worship.
To further establish in the scriptures that the spirit of God spontaneously leads believers to worship are the following instances:
1.Deborah and the host of Israel: Judges 5: 1 – 31. Vs 3: “hear, o ye kings; give ear, o ye princes; I even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel”.
2. Hannah: 1 Samuel 2:1 -10. Vs 2: “there is none holy as the lord; for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God”
3. Daniel: Daniel 2: 17 – 23. Vs 20: “Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his”
4. David the psalmist: Psalm 103
5. Moses and the children of Israel: Exodus 14:31 “and Israel saw that great work which the lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the lord and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses”, and for this they sang- Exodus 15:1 – 21. Vs 1: “then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the lord, and spake saying, I will sing unto the lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea”
Vs 11: “who is like unto thee o lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
6. The twenty four elders and four living beings: Revelations 4:9 – 11. Vs 11: “thou art worthy o lord to receive glory honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created”
7. Angels and the saints in heaven and on earth: Revelation 5: 13, 14 ; Revelations 19: 6,7
Are you familiar, dear reader, with the joy that moves you to sing God’s praise? Are you reflective enough to let God’s spirit awe you with his marvelous deeds like it did Zechariah? Remember: A song had been building in his heart at the wonder of our God right from the time of his acute surprise in the temple till the delivery of his son, John. Spirit-filled, he opened his mouth and uttered a prophetic song.
Can it be that when our hearts don’t fill with the beautiful praises of this majestic and incomparable God, that we are busy with the ‘toys’ of this world, and have lost sight of him? Can it be that the spirit of the living God which is responsible for drawing us to worship isn’t finding full expression on the inside us?
Truly, we have been created for the praise and glory of his name (in words and deeds) Revelations 4:11. Amen.
*All scripture quotations are gotten from the KING JAMES VERSION.

What say ye?

With joyful singing,
Debby

My take on House Chores

Hello!
Story, story? Story. Once upon a time, there lived a boy called David and he was a shepherd. One sunny day, his father sent him to enquire about his brothers’ welfare. Here’s what happened:

Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded the supplies and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle position, shouting their war cry. Israel and the philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath the philistines champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.

1 Samuel 17:17-23
A/N: This post was written some many weeks back but its ever relevant:
SINCE I got home a while back, I’ve been pressed with a few house chores – nothing too much really, but things that haven’t gone down well with me.

WHY?

I had a wrong mindset. I had gotten so consumed in the fast-paced, so-called ‘result driven’ world that I subconsciously put a price on everything. If it wasn’t going to add to my knowledge base, better my spiritual life or yield me money, it was pointless.
But that is far from the truth.
What happened to the scripture that says whatsoever presents itself for you to do, do it with all your might, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or skill in the grave where you’re going. Ecclesiastes 9:10.
What of 1Corinthians 10:31?
God makes our meek character through things like this. I’ll be honest to say I’ve had amazing moments doing the dishes at home – times when I heard God review my life and actions, times when I worshipped and prayed. And even if none of these, like I stated, just learning meekness is sufficient.
ON SUNDAY, we had an extraordinarily long bible-passage reading in church – as I joked, it was almost longer than the sermon which came up later.
One of the passages read was the story of David’s meeting with Goliath – 1 Samuel 17. The Lord gave me a simple lesson right in the church – you can find your life’s vision while running an errand!
In the midst of house chores, you can fulfill divine mission. If you’ve listened to great men, you’ll reckon a number of them talk of finding their big calling in the middle of service to God and/or man.
David was so diligent with his errand that he got someone else to handle the cattle he shepherded while he went away to obey papa. At his brothers’ camp, he gave the supplies to the supplies keeper (might’ve paid for that) and ran to say hello to his brothers.
He didn’t say, “Well I’ve taken the supplies over, they’ll meet it when they get back“. He was so diligent with it all. If you’re like I was two weeks ago, thinking everything should literally add to you (even when sacrificing and helping), it’s not called being a goal-getter, it’s a ME-mentality disorder (selfishness).

“You can find your life’s vision while running an errand!”

You can find God in the middle of your mega errands. Tell me, what has been your experience running errands? Or are you one of the infinitely lucky ones who live life without house-chores?
P.S: If you’re unfamiliar with the rest of David’s interesting story (the life vision he got while running his errand), run a google search of 1Samuel 17 or get in touch with me.

Much love,
Debby.

'Ambitious Millennial Christian' Kara

Kara as a case study, is a new feature on the blog in 2019. She’s decided to help us in analyzing some matters; se does this by sheer honesty about her life. You’ll be hearing a lot about her 🎉.
Today, Kara is an ambitious millennial Christian. She has good drive about her professional life. She’s in stride to ensure a good plan up till her retirement years. Kara is a a Christian: she loves the Lord and fellowships at a good bible-believing church. Finally, Kara is a millennial.
Dear Kara is prone to facing a problem that some other ambitious millennial Christians are facing today: using her mind, rather than the Bible, to judge.
She’s curious and often ready to learn; she’s an adherent to the blog post – blow your own mind. For this reason, she reads blogs, books, listens to podcasts and watches documentaries. She’s so used to this that it’s imbibed into her daily routine; she either listens while in transit to work, during her lunch break or as she’s falling asleep. Her mind is growing fertile. We are proud of Kara; she has a growing intellect, emotional perspective and a strengthening will.
Physically: Kara eats well ( we’re so proud of her). Kara goes a notch higher by posting all her healthy eating pictures online (for now, let’s ignore how this is a subtle attempt on her part to flaunt her good outings)
Kara’s body and soul are bouncing. What’s left? Her spirit.
On the mornings Kara doesn’t wake up late, she observes her quiet time. Kara remembers to listen to a message from her bible-believing church every once in a while – once a week. She’s not chanced to go for her mid-week service (except when on leave from work) but she goes on Sundays.
What that does to dear K is make her mind and body more fertile than her spirit. Imagine the daily nourishment on one hand and the average unpredictable nourishment on the other hand.
Consequently, she over-rationalizes homosexuality as a Christian, she permits a level of lasciviousness. She creates ‘Modern Christianity’. Her perspective is but a subjective 21st century skewed lenses.
Kara has an open mind, as it is said, to many matters. She considers the many possible sides and she gives varying worldviews a chance. The trouble here is: Kara’s bible isn’t as open as her mind is.

She judges everything on the basis of her experiences and understanding instead of judging her experiences and understanding on the basis of an unchanging God.
The solution is hidden in the whole exposition. Kara, feed your mind(knowledge-lover? Tick). Feed your body (fit-fam eater? Tick)
Above all, seek God’s Kingdom first and everything would be added unto you(Matthew 6:33).

For we fix our attention not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18″

Change your priority Kara.


This post, as all others, is subject to copyright.
Engage with me on social media. There’s more interaction outside of the blog:
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Twitter: @debbyadebayo_
Facebook: DebbyHub Blog
With abundant love,

Debby
Do leave your comments below, we’re interested in learning.

The Word Of God ( A Guest Post)

Hiiii everyone.
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. My week seemed really long but great all the same.
Did you read Bukunwa’s guest post last week? Here’s another interesting piece.
Settle in for a treat. 💙


Name’s Bukunwa.
I’m a student. An engineering student 😉 although I’m not too techyy like that but I like solving problems.
I love nature. I enjoy walking in beautiful gardens or by the river line.. all these serene places. I look forward to having more of those experiences. Not alone only… but with someone special hopefully.
I love theology and history and biographies that are somehow connected with Israel and the church. I actually enjoy reading stuff like that.
I also like having deep discussions with people and I like games kinda… though people say I’m serious too…


The Word of God

Some people say music is food for the soul. For others, it’s the breath-taking view of nature landscapes and scenery that gives them goose bumps. For others still, it’s beautiful artwork. Those paintings and frescoes and classical, majestic works of art that instantly transport you into another world. The idea is that these things sort of refresh and awaken the soul. They provide a unique sweetness, satisfaction, pleasure and comfort to the person enjoying them.
However, for those of us in Christ, our food is God’s Word. God’s beautiful voice that takes us away just as the voice of a lover does to his beloved. His comforting, fatherly, loving, spiritually nutritional and eternal Word is what the soul of the believer needs and naturally yearns for. We live by the Word of God. It is our everyday food.
See how King David the Psalmist and a lover of God puts it:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

The Word of God is true and sure and sweeter than honey and enduring. It converts the soul. It reaches down deep within, and causes volumes of joy to gush out.
It rejoices the heart. It enlightens the eyes. We are to desire it more than we desire gold or ‘big money’. Take the money, give me the sweet Word of God!
We are to desire His Word: If you love God, you will love the sweet sound of His voice and the words contained therein. You will desire His Word because it pierces your heart with His beautiful fragrance and also because it is the window that grants us to a clear view of His majesty.
The Word is filled with His knowledge, nature and attributes. There’s nothing more rapturous for the believer than to continuously ascend the mountain of God’s revelation. This is what the Word of God offers us richly. 1 Peter 2.2 says that as new-born babes, we ought to desire the pure milk of the Word, so that we may grow thereby. It is very normal and healthy for a believer to long for and regularly feast on God’s Word. God’s Word is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold.
The thing about the desire we ought to have is its burning, zealous, flaming and impassioned nature. We ought to terribly yearn deeply for God’s Word. It’s a Spirit-provoked hunger. It’s the same way the babies (who have weak bones, muscles and cannot walk, talk etc.) cry so loudly when they’re hungry. You dare not sleep around them. You cannot. They’re weak everywhere else but not those vocal cords. Not at all. The loudness of their wailings is just out of proportion. How intense is your love for God’s Word? How long have you been living life without being nourished by God’s Word?
Kindly consider how much you need the nourishment and life from God’s Word. Pray for a revival of the love for His Word in your heart.
A very important key to studying the Word
Understanding the meaning:
Suppose I say,

“Debby, kindly put just three cubes in the cup of tea on the dining table”.

Simple right? So Debby puts three cubes of St. Louis sugar in the hot cup of tea on the table. I arrive few minutes after and I’m speechless. I actually needed that tea very urgently and I dare not take anything hot or my stomach would suffer for it badly. I actually meant ice cubes! Oops!
Did Debby fully understand me? Of course not! She did not get the actual meaning of what I said. She didn’t get what I meant. To her, it meant sugar cubes. To me, it meant ice cubes. So where does the true meaning of my statement lie? With her or with me? Obviously, it’s with me. The meaning of a statement always lies with the author of that statement. It is the author who actually knows most fully what exactly he or she intends to communicate.
Therefore, when we study scriptures, let us quit asking

what does this mean to me”?

Let us start asking what it actually means. What it actually meant to the bible writers (and most surely, the Holy Spirit who inspired them). We would be greatly mistaken (many of us already are) if we just spin off scripture and interpret it as we perceived it. That’s error! We must seriously strive to find out,

“what did this mean to the apostle as he wrote this down”?

What exactly was the issue in his heart that he was trying to communicate?
We will all be amazed by how much this mind-set will drive us to such accuracy and diligence in studying what scripture actually says. We would tend to read through the train of thought and not just pick one verse out of context. We would have a richer and deeper meaning of God’s message in His Word.
Most people see the scriptures through their subjective, twenty-first century, skewed lenses. The mind-set targeting the author’s intention would remove those misleading (subjective, twenty-first century) lenses and lead to a clearer gaze at the beautiful and very pure truth that ran through the mind of the authors of the scripture. This would most surely lead to a more accurate understanding of what the Grand Author meant to communicate to us.
There’s so much more to say. However, I believe by God’s grace, these few words would serve to stir you in the deepening of you love for God’s Word.
Amen.

Breaking News (A Guest Post).

Hiiii guys.
A friend of mine is doing the writing today. I’ve known Bukunwa for quite a while and today he’s writing on both a bad and good news.
Keep reading. 💙


Name’s Bukunwa.
I’m a student. An engineering student 😉 although I’m not too techyy like that but I like solving problems.
I love nature. I enjoy walking in beautiful gardens or by the river line.. all these serene places. I look forward to having more of those experiences. Not alone only… but with someone special hopefully.
I love theology and history and biographies that are somehow connected with Israel and the church. I actually enjoy reading stuff like that.
I also like having deep discussions with people and I like games kinda… though people say I’m serious too…


Hello.
This is a breaking news because it’s worth your attention a million times over. It has to do with eternal life. I mean, you shouldn’t sleep every night and wake up in peace if you don’t have peace with God, are not in a relationship with Him, or have no concrete hope of eternal life.
So I want to briefly share the gospel. What is the gospel?
The gospel is good news. It is not some good news that doesn’t affect anybody like ‘the eagle at the top of the inhabitable Mt. Everest has given birth to three chicks. Awwwn! So cute!’ It’s not that kind of good news. It’s good news that tremendously and eternally affects you. It’s amazing news!
What makes it so amazing is that there was only BAD NEWS and looming disaster before the GOOD NEWS majestically walked in. That’s really why this good news is so beautiful, amazing, destiny-affecting and therefore very critical and important.
The Bad News: Mankind (including you, obviously) is fallen. This means that man was initially created in the image of God. (Genesis 1.27). Man sinned against God. (This is very true and factual. Every account narrated in the bible has withstood the most intense scrutiny throughout all the centuries and has proved authentic and factual). Since God is the Author of life and His breath and presence sustains all things, man’s sin or offence against God meant man stepped out or turned in opposition to God.
When the fish turns in opposition to the water where the source of its life is, what happens? Death happens gradually and inevitably. So also, man experienced a spiritual death or corruption. Man only retains the image of God in a very very residual and remote sense.
Now, the principle God set for procreation is that everything procreates after its kind (Genesis 1.11-12). Tigers reproduce after their kind. Same with spiders, banana trees and other living things. Therefore, man began procreating after his spiritually corrupted kind. This kept on going generation after generation. Consequently, we are all sinners and have a sinful nature. This fact is only proven by our natural impulses and drives for sinful habits, however they might be masked. You are sinful deep down within. And this is because you were born with a sin nature. No one can fulfil the righteous requirements of God. Absolutely no one!
The Really Bad News: God is all-powerful and completely holy. He is also perfectly just. Therefore, he will punish all sin. His punishment for sin is also everlasting. Sin always leads to eternal death and condemnation. This death will be such that the immortal soul of the sinner will experience everlasting, conscious torment, banished from the peaceful, joyful and gladsome presence of God and all good things. This is really a horrible thing.
The Good News: God is abundantly merciful and gracious. He knows about the helplessness of man in His sin and provided a way of escape. God sent His only Son (His Word which became flesh), born of a virgin (and not of the seed of man which would have rendered Him like every other child who inherits the sin nature). His Son is Jesus. He lived a perfectly righteous life because He has the nature of His Father. He should be rewarded or at least applauded right? No! He was then punished for the sins of us all (Isaiah 53.6). God’s plan of saving us was perfect.
It works like an exchange. Jesus grants us the credit for His perfectly righteous life and takes the punishment for our sins. Therefore, we are counted righteous before God’s judgement throne, our sins are punished and completely catered for in Jesus and we have eternal life! Wow!!! How beautiful.
All you need to do is to actually believe this good news. Accept it by fully trusting in it. Bank on Jesus and His righteous provision for your eternal safety. In doing that you must repent of your sins, acknowledging that they are abominable before God.
Then, you would’ve maximized the really really good news that’s been made available to you.

Christian Persecution (Asia Bibi's story).

For some beautiful reason, of late, my mind has been centered around Christian persecution. I know its to prompt me to pray but I also want to prompt you to pray.
Lots of Christians nominally live each day in a bubble, passive about what is going on to others who call upon the name of the lord like they do.
Very often growing up, I heard my mum lead people to pray for Christians in the persecuted world by saying (paraphrased):

“you wake up on a Sunday morning and tie your colourful headscarves and on your way to church, you see several others in colourful attires, so you think there are many Christians. But it isn’t so. There are many people in various parts of the world who cannot publicly act like you do. When they get courage to hold services, they do it quietly without clapping to draw any attention. when they meet to pray, they do it in ten minutes in a toilet or some other secret unsuspecting places.”

On the contrary to this thought pattern of there being many Christians everywhere, ChrstianityToday, states that approximately 215 million Christians experience high, medium or low levels of persecution, which turns out to be one in twelve Christians.
Did you read that?
Let’s make this clear. In some of these places, its not just forbidden, it is illegal. Its like having cocaine on you. Religious Nationalism is in place. You mostly cannot share your faith with your children, you can only pray that one day they would be touched and turn to the lord. Sharing your faith with your children is risky as they’re terribly indoctrinated at school and other places. For your safety and theirs, its almost best to wait.
And you won’t believe it! – While typing this post, I stood up to get my phone to check a fact. It was then I saw this from someone on Whatsapp – ‘Asia bibi has been released, praise the lord’ . It was unbelievable. It was sent in by 5:10pm. I checked my phone at 6:00pm. how could I have known that when I set out to type this post, this lady had been released? You don’t get ? She was acquitted today – 31st October, 2018(the time of initial blogpost draft). She was freed from the charges of blapsphemy the day I sought to share the need to pray for persecuted Christians. She’s been acquitted, declared innocent by the supreme court of Pakistan after eight years!
Read the abridged version of Asia Bibi’s story on BBC here.
There’s trouble on the horizon though. The acquittal has stemmed lots of protests and now Asia Bibi can’t leave the country yet. In fact, another appeal can now be made against her acquittal (and that might eventually lead to her death depending on the outcome if carried out). All these because of the violent protests. Read on BBC.
Christians are imprisoned, beaten, made to lose properties, molested and even killed for their faith. Christians are one of the most persecuted groups in the world.
You will be hated by everyone for my sake, but he that endures to the end shall be saved” Mathhew 10:22.
Christian persecution is hostility based on identification with the lord Jesus Christ. Haven’t you heard that “what isn’t worth dying for, isn’t worth living for?” A time comes when you’ve gone beyond basic bread and butter Christianity, a time when you say like Peter when asked to leave the Lord: Lord, to what person could we go? Your words give eternal life. John 6:68.
I’m only afraid that some Chrisitians have never considered the hard questions – really, would you lose a limb for Jesus? Would you stay in jail for him for eight years like Asia Bibi?
Today, would you pray for the faith of those who go through these things that make you tremble? Would you also build your faith beyond fair-weather Christianity?
One Chinese Church leader who spent 23 years in prison, once said to the Christians who did not face persecution:

“I was pushed into a cell, but you have to push yourself into one. You have no time to know God. You need to build yourself a cell, so you can do for yourself what persecution did for me – simplify your life and Know God.”

North Korea consistently ranks top in the world’s most dangerous place to practice the Christian faith(ranked top for 17 years). Afghanistan comes closely behind. Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea etc. Pakistan scores highest in violence towards Chrisitans
According to Opendoors USA, Every month:

  • 255 Christians are killed
  • 104 are abducted
  • 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage
  • 66 Churches are attacked
  • 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned.

The website also states:

“There is something about hardship that allows us to know God deeply. When times get really tough, we discover more about who God is and how he really works”

Scripture says in Hebrews 13:3 “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” .
There are mission resources for praying around the world. As children, my sisters and I used the children edition of Operation World – “you can change the world through prayers“. There are resources everywhere for everyone, you just have to be deliberate about it.
John 15:20:

“Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. ‘if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”

2 Timothy 3: 12

“Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Persecution is seen in all the pages of the Bible, not just with the early church in Acts but right from the start.
The church prayed for Peter. You can pray too. Get specific prayer directions that would help you be accurate in your prayers, you can go beyond repeating “God, I pray for Christians facing persecution” every single day. You can still pray for total protection for Asia Bibi and her family from those still threatening them. You can pray for others too by name or tribe. I knew of Asia Bibi through WOMIG -TKP.
Remember:

1 Corinthians 12:26 “if one part of the body suffers, all the other parts share it’s suffering. If one part is praised, all the others share in its happiness.”

References: Opendoors USA, ChristianityToday
YouTube video on persecution.
Happy New Month.
Love and Light,

Debby.

IVCU 2018 Village Outreach; My perspective in a summary.

Hello everyone. Quite a number of times, I’ve been asked about my silence over here. My mind has been here but my daily actions haven’t aligned. I apologize.
But by my stats, I see you keep coming and you encourage my heart. 💙💙
I’m back. Where do I start from?
What I really want to do is give you a little gist of one of the events I’ve had in the period I’ve been away.
I guess I’ve never stated it explicitly on here, even though I’ve done so indirectly a number of times: I’m a 500level law student of the university of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and I worship at a campus fellowship: Ibadan varsity Christian Union -NIFES.
My fellowship is under both the auspices of Christian union and NIFES(Nigerian fellowship of evangelical students).
We are very evangelical.
We embarked on a village outreach recently. The village where we had our camp base was Jarija. We’ve visited the surrounding villages in that location for outreaches for quite sometime.
Village outreach take off is always on a Thursday and we stay there till Sunday.
Thursday found me at House no 12, Kurunmi road. It’s a residential area for university senior staff, and this one belongs to one of our patrons in fellowship. A number of us were there cooking; mainly sorting out the fishes to be used for the entire outreach, cooking dinner for that evening + other basics. Someone told me of how the abundance of fish we sorted and cooked, triggered his memory of the Jesus(documentary) film where two fishes became an abundance for all. I know!
Here’s a photo grid of pictures from that thursday:

Everyone had a scheduled takeoff time for the village. Mine was 2:30pm and so at that time, I took off for the chapel within school. At the chapel, we got seated in a bus, the bus was loaded with extra bags of water and we took off.
I led the prayer as the bus took off. I had a book with me which I intended to read the whole journey. However, I couldn’t stop praying once I started. 😀 I kept praying personally.
P.S: why do people always sleep when travelling, even for short trips? I don’t get it. Virtually everyone on the bus slept.
We got to the base, Jarija, circa 4:16pm. We met a team praying on ground, as is always the case. We joined and then we prayed, prayed and prayed. And still we prayed. Later in the late evening, we stopped to rest for a while. Before long, we gathered again, and prayed and prayed. That’s the way thursdays go in the village – pray it through.
The final buses were yet to arrive from school. Eventually, the bus bringing the food arrived really late, I didn’t take note of the time but I guess it was around 12am already. We ate white rice, then had a camp briefing by the Evangelism secretary and off to sleep.
Oh wait, my unit – prayerband, – had a brief meeting where we were counselled to join the entire prayer chain for the night.
We always have a prayer chain during the outreach. Everyone has an hour prayer slot when they’re woken up at night to pray. That way there’s always a group praying all night till dawn. You can always stay for more than your time slot. As prayer band members we were adviced to stay the whole night praying. Erhm, however, after my duly assigned chain of 12-1am, I strolled back to the hostel like a cartoon character, and there I slept.
The next morning, the camp commandants were at it. It was an experience with these commandants. I’ve been in village outreaches before and had commandants but these ones were indefatigable 😁. They wore neon coloured orange vests over their clothes. You wouldn’t imagine how annoying their shouts could get in the mornings but I appreciate their dedication to the work( I’m just being polite). Its exhausting having so much noise around you for the most of the day, and a greater amount of it when you’re just waking up!
I had my personal devotion, then we gathered for general devotion. There was time for us to fetch water and have our bathe – all these, under strict time slot accompanied with loud claps, bells and shouts from these commandants. *Sighs*
We had an exhaustive in-house bible study time. Then we ate our brunch.
Each person falls into an axis as per the norm. We had three axes (OBV, a blog reader pointed out the plural of axis to me; Axes not Axises); A, B, C.
Each axis had about four or five villages underneath it. I was allocated Ladele village but for friday, I was among the group that stayed back to pray through out – remember, prayer band member? We prayed till Axis A members got back from the house-to-house evangelism in the early evening.
The camp base was in Axis A. The format goes thus: after house-to-house evangelism in the villages, the villagers are told about the crusade to hold in a chosen village for each axis. So of the four or five villages in axis B, Omu-Aran was chosen, of the five in C, Akindele was chosen. Ofcourse for A, our camp base, Jarija, was chosen.
At the time we prayer band members paused praying briefly, we quickly broke our fast then gathered to pray again for the crusade about to start.
I soon left the prayers to join those organizing the village children. P.S Flashback – Thursday night after I arrived and we had that mini break inbetween the long hours of prayer, I sat outside with a book (I’m the fresh air + book type of girl). I beckoned to one of the village girls and she came to stay with me. That gave a host of them boldness to draw near me too. But I kept mute mostly because I was a little tired, and more because my yoruba was all over the place. These children spoke expert yoruba, I heard them clearly. I was a little skeptical about speaking the yoruba I tend to speak. I never went to a church where interpretation was made from English to yoruba language so when it comes to words like redemption, repentance, other bible words and general lingua flow, I always stutter. I can however speak household yoruba.
Last year’s outreach, I was going to ask a woman which religion she believed in. Religion in yoruba is ‘Esin’. My people, lo and behold, I asked which ‘aisan’ she worshipped. ‘Aisan’ means illness. That did it. It just did it. Yourubas can be very superstitious. How do I go about explaining that error. Did I mean her harm?
now you get my reluctance to speak yoruba in the face of the expert yoruba these children threw about.

So back to Friday when I joined those organizing the children, I made sure I played the firm aunty’s role. I was telling them I won’t tolerate any noise at all, I made them shout and repeat the memory verses I taught them etc. All theses were done with what we’ll call “bold face*“. When it came to teaching the word though, I gallantly left it to the better yoruba speakers. And yes, I taught them some beautiful songs, I hope they still remember.
The pictures below aren’t capturing even half of them.

P.p.p.s: The children were not as gentle as they appear in the pictures. Take my word for it!
After we were through with teaching the children and giving them gift packs, we helped at the crusade ground where the preaching was going on. We prayed with the villagers that accepted Christ, prayed for their specific needs, and jotted down their address details for follow-up. After that, those from the other axes began to arrive having done same where they were. We had dinner. Then prayer chain began all over.
This night, I couldn’t walk to my hostel like a cartoon character after my 12-1 am prayer chain slot. Why? We prayer and members were no longer adviced to stay all through, but mandated to stay the whole prayer chain so I did. 😀😀. It was amazing. We however had continuous rain showers. Not drizzle. Rain that drenched and soaked us. Rain that caused me to shiver. The involuntary shake shake shiver. But still we prayed prayed inspite of the shake shake shivers.
Saturday went pretty much the same way with routine. By 5pm, the children we had at hand were more in number. The commandants’ claps got louder still, their voices louder. It was almost incredulous.
One thing I always look forward to in our village outreaches is the bible study. We always have lots of time to study under the open heavens. It was a beautiful time again. The only issue was that we had an abundance of sunlight. I mean abundance. Guys, I had sunburn. I’m still recovering from that sunburn(well…, I’ve done really well over these two weeks now). Sunburn so evident, it has been the subject of discussion for almost everyone who’s seen me since then. Like I laughed it off with a friend, the bible doesn’t promise beautiful faces for those who preach, it’s beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7). But wait, Daniel 12: 3 says those who turn many to righteous shall shine like stars forever more. 😇
Another notable fact: on Saturday, I went for house-to-house evangelism and the prayer band members who did so on Friday were the ones who then stayed back to pray all through the day.
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Saturday night, after the crusades in each axis, and everyone had arrived, each axis leader gave a report on the souls won, challenges faced etc. Then we had thanksgiving praises to God for all the souls that had been won. We danced till day break.
We woke up and had devotion time. Then thorough cleanup of the environment began. We cleared the kitchen equipments, cleared out our hostels which happened to be the primary school for the villagers. I spent time picking charcoal from the ground and underneath my fingernails looked very blessed with black coal.
Then, the photo gallery sessions began, as people filed out of the village in different batches.
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I doubt I did justice to the experience in this narration, but this is an attempt to encourage someone else who is otherwise very skeptical every time they hear of a village outreach. It is beautiful to serve. And no, no witches will eat your head off if you’re in Christ Jesus.
Added point: It’s a great time doing what Jesus did while he was here on earth. Try it.
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Urhm, even though they won’t read this, this post is dedicated to those whose names are still carved in my heart from the village experience. To: Idris, Smart, Aminat, Iya wasiu and that loud woman whose husband has packed out. I’m praying for you.
Ivcu 2018 village outreach: Glad tidings of great joy.
Ever been on a village outreach? What was your experience?
*Bold face means false bravado.

Love,
Debby