#HalleluyahChallenge #Olowogbogboro: What really happened?

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 8.53.56 PMA major mistake we might make is to assume that the many miracles and salvations witnessed with the #HalleluyahChallenge are the purpose and end-all to this spiritual movement. It’s almost like assuming that entering Canaan was the ultimate purpose of God for delivering His people from Egypt.

This will be a severe limitation of the Source of all Power. Thinking this way is not usually overt. That thought lies or is implied in the way we behave going forward after such a refreshing to the hearts of many. We move on to others things as though we merely visited the market, came home, put everything in the pantry and that’s it.

This will be a severe limitation of the Source of all Power. Thinking this way is not usually overt. That thought lies or is implied in the way we behave going forward after such a refreshing to the hearts of many. We move on to others things as though we merely visited the market, came home, put everything in the pantry and that’s it.

Spiritual moves are never like that. They are not momentary neither are they transient. Most times, we are limited in our understanding of the full scope of the Father’s intention when he initiates such moves. Let’s not forget that all prayers, revivals, refreshing, or any form of spiritual movements is first initiated in Heaven; born out of the Father Heart and Goodness. It is then committed, in partnership, to the hearts of “faithful men who will be able to teach others” (invite or reach others as the case may need).

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But for a moment… Nigerian Youth and Politics. 

Since the events of the Arab Spring and its subsequent outcomes, there have been intense conversations around the participation of young people in politics. This is not the typical “register to vote” advocacy, it is the more deliberate and active engagement of youths in the process of seeking political power. Nigeria has also had its fair share of activation leading up to some major movements that have remained a thorn in the flesh of political power holders.

 

If one looks closely, you will agree that young people were the more potent variable in the formula that led to a shift in Nigeria’s political order. Truth be told, this shift was already silently frothing from the season surrounding the demise of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. What happened in 2015 cannot be clearly understood unless you look through the goggles of youth activation. Many will erroneously attribute that shift to the political wizardry of certain strongholds, the convenient alliances, or simply the response of a fed up public. Those in themselves are potent factors, but clearly not the major determinant of this shift.

 

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PRAYER. PROCESS… PRODUCT

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There is a strong longing in the heart of most persons to succeed. That’s a given. By “succeed” I mean a desire to be accomplished in life so that others might reckon with such status attained. You hear severally from the lips of men how they hope not to die a commoner but to leave their marks in the history of humanity, and claim fame for their legacies. This leads to all manner of pursuit. We set targets for ourselves, compete with our imagination of others, and are pushed constantly by the perception of the external environment.

These false projections in the world are further complicated by our perception of time and its effect on desire. Many feel a sense of urgency as age furthers, so as to avoid a loss of motivation and energy to chase their dreams later. To be 40 years without owning a home, a car, stable income, proper savings, or a family is generally seen as unacceptable in society.

All these seething within a person’s mind and baked by the environment of extreme materialism, is a soul-numbing combination that really hinders the true development of sound character required for a qualitative life.

This is the context of the heart with which many come to Father God. Actually, many find Father in the spaces between need and wants, where what dominates the heart is the desire for things – healing, work, family, food, house, prosperity, education, etc. While the love of the Father will almost always take care of such desires with time, He certainly moves past the things that we want to challenge our notion of where the true value of life lies.

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REBELLION

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The Father dropped something in my heart this morning and I want to briefly share some parts that may apply to you. I’ll share it in five paragraphs. 

I have found that knowledge has greatly increased with the proliferation of information and the tools to access this. For this reason people in this generation know a lot more at their age compared to people in previous generations. Our kids today are already interacting and functioning in a context of information overload, as I even heard my 3 year old niece once reacted to her dad’s intense play by saying: “daddy stop terrorising me”. Knowledge and concepts, peddled by written or spoken words are daily communicated over portable mobile media, which perform multiple functions, and our generation is already saturated. 

Here is the problem. The Bible records in 1 Cor. 8:1 that “knowledge puffs up”. A very close observation will reveal the link between the rise in knowledge and rebellion in the heart of men. Rebellion has taken hold of many because they are bloated with “knowledge”. They think they know much now and can question everything. While the ability to question is a positive quality that can bring progress, however without understanding, it leads to rebellion. This is where many today have pitched their tents – a rebellious heart is present with them.

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BITTERNESS AGAINST GOD

BitternessI feel strongly led to share this. Some of us are bitter against God and we do not know it. I want you to read this and subject your deep thoughts to God so He can expose those hidden pockets of darkness that can mess you up big time.

We all understand what bitterness is, and of course not the bitterness arising from the taste buds, but that of the heart – that destructive human emotion that can corrupt your spirit the way pride can. Let me quickly explain so I don’t assume everyone knows what it is.

Bitterness is the ‘deep seated’ feeling of hurt, hate, anger, or resentment that resides in the heart of a person towards another due to actions or inactions by that other person or group of persons. It is deeply seating within the reins of the human soul, and that’s why you can get yourself to believe it isn’t there. The problem with bitterness is that it is a destination you arrive at and cannot honestly tell how you got there, except you are careful to sit and review the journey from its start.

Hebrews 12:15 states that “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” The Bible refers to bitterness as a type of root.
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THE VEXATIOUS BUDGET OF NIGERIA’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Good day folks.

I have seen a few online petitions going around lately and one has caught my attention. The petition requesting the National Assembly (NASS) to open its book regarding the perennial N150 Billion (Approx. $600 Million) budget is a feel good one, but really doesn’t open up the matter. It’s okay to sign the petition, but more informative to understand the issues.

Let’s remember that the cold war between the Presidency and the NASS started in 2011, when President Jonathan refused to approve the NASS budget that was increased from N112.24 billion to N232.74 Billion (over 100% increase). The President had proposed N120 Billion, but eventually both parties agreed to settled for N150 Billion, which has remained the yearly budget till 2014 (Their budget was slashed in 2015 to N115 Billion). From that point on, the NASS practically stood in the way of the Executive over several issues, for which Nigerians paid the ultimate price. Can you imagine that if left unchecked, the NASS would have been blowing over N200 Billion on themselves????

Prior to 2011, there was some level of budget breakdown for the monies allocated to the NASS. We could tell what went to the Senate, House of Representatives, NASS Service Commission, etc. For the past 4 years however, no one has been able to breakdown this budget of N150 Billion despite the various demands by pressmen relying on the Freedom of Information Act.
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HEARING AND SEEING GOD IN YOUR LIFE

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For the patient minded, read on.

One of the most frustrating things that we often have to deal with in our lives is the question of the existence of God. If you are human, you probably would have pondered on the issue and wondered if at the end this was all a big lie. Often times, you rebuke the thought and “keep the faith” because you have been taught to believe the consequences of streaming along that thought is quite dire, and damnation awaits the one who finalises that position. For those who have pushed that envelop further, it can take a course requiring some empirical evidence, such as saying “if you are God, can you…”, or “if you really exist, blow some cool air on my face”.

Even for those who tend to take their faith in God seriously, there are moments when they arrive at a seeming inaneness of it all, staying spiritually aloof for a time and floating in the nothingness of conviction. It can be quite painful and grievous for some. Most will deflect the matter from causing pain and pray out something like this: “I wish You would speak to me and let me hear you beyond any reasonable doubt”. Oh! The number of times I have wallowed in those moments, even after extended periods of deeply fulfilling spiritual renewals. 

We are often challenged with the concern of building our faith on what we have heard and received from others, or sources other than the self. We hear others speak glowingly of encounters with God and we rejoice momentarily, sometimes shiver from an attack of goosebumps, and join a collective frenzied expression of exuberant praise. However, we soon settle back to human nature and realise how dominant our emotions have played a huge part of what we profess. While this isn’t  necessarily demeaning, it leaves much to be desired; for we are yet to touch something more tangible to our inner person, and we know it.

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TAKE BACK YOUR HUMANITY 

SM Evils

I woke up on the morning of Easter Monday, floating back to earthly life from deep thoughts on unspoken matters. I had just been re-energised by simple meditations on beautiful and uncomplicated things, inspiring my heart with a positive outlook to life. My mind was on fire with all the songs I had just finished singing from the previous nights’ concert, and I still could literally feel the bellows of the Church organ resonating in my bowels. Still longing for my bed, I had to wake early to go see my sister, whose birthday it was. I didn’t mind. My legs were tired, but my mind was alive.

Spoiler Alert!

I’m usually alert to spoilers, but not on this morning. I was revelling in unguarded pleasantness, until I scanned through my Twitter feed. Usually, I search specifically for informative content, particularly from individuals who have a history of tweeting articles and following it up with a great conversation. Sadly, my feed was plastered with commentaries on a recent statement made by a traditional ruler, which set Nigeria’s Tweetosphere ablaze. So many tweets were flying around the subject matter that I had to carefully trace what exactly prompted all the vitriol. Unfortunately I followed the Rabbit trail (all in a few minutes of siting in the car waiting for my sister) and realised later that I had squeezed out almost every ounce of joy in my heart. 

How did that happen? While I sat there amazed at how people turned on each other over someone else’ comment, I was ignorant of how the bile had seeped into my mind and cast a dark showdown over my thoughts. I was now thinking on how this might spark electoral violence, ethnic rivalry, and a series of unfortunate events in Lagos. By the time I arrived at the local Catholic church with my sister for the Mass, I was a different man. I had lost the sense of the beautiful I woke up with. I sat in church contemplating Nigeria’s troubles, rather than enjoy the strange art of worship I wasn’t used to. I had just swallowed the bitter pill that online social media serves us daily.

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A TRIBUTE TO MY OUTGOING PRESIDENT: YOU SIR, HAVE MY RESPECT.

Goodluck PencilReally, you didn’t have much of a choice because the handwriting was clear that Nigerians needed a change. Not because you didn’t do well, but because the propaganda against you was seethed in the red hot belly of strong alliance that formed from the moment the unexpected knocked on your doors.

Despite the failures of your government, both perceived and real, your nobility breaks through the preponderance of narrow narratives of politics and persuasions that border on the preposterous. I believe you were given to our country as that lonely wall upon which our differences, vexations, animosities, and bile will be nailed to, just to unite us on the common activity of breathing out our devils.

Personally, I do not prefer your leadership style. To this, I have learnt that we are all made different and crafted for a given time, a given setting, and given people. For this, I can see through the heat and mist of my desire, beyond the trifling conveniences of my ignorant learning, to the higher calling of personal graces with which some are endowed.
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