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The Cross

IMG_5092Poem by Pastor Ifeanyi Okogwu

There was no other way
We could get there
But he came

There was no other way
We could be rich
But he became poor

There was not other way
We could be healed
But he was wounded

There was no other way
We could become sons
But he became a servant

There was no other way
We could be happy
But he was cursed

There was not other way
We could get beauty
But he was stripped of glory

There was not other way
We could be free
But he was assessed

There was not other way
We could be welcome
But he was out-cast

There was not other way
That we could live
But he died

(Pause)
The perfect for the imperfect
The saint for sinners
The son for unworthy servants

And there is no other way
We could best say “BRAVO”
Save to step in his-steps

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10 Words of Encouragement for Pastors

Nowadays many pastors are being discouraged especially when they do not see the results they expected. That does not mean you were not called nor that ministry won’t work. But you must continue for He who called you is faithful. If you are a pastor, you must encourage yourself for you must continue in order to see result.

These ten points were shared with us at our pastors’ meeting by our senior pastor, Dr Wilberforce Oti. It was a big encouragement to me. So I wish to share it here on my blog. It is my desire you will find it encouraging.

  1. Choose your friends wisely but choose friends. It is a known fact that our progress in life is affected by those who go with us. And if you decide to go with Jesus, you will soon discover many people will no longer fit into your life. You must not befriend the world. At the same time you need some friendship. You cannot say you wont have       a friend. Choose carefully those who will help you fulfill your assignment in life.
  2. The church can never love your family as much as you do. Your family needs you more than the church does. If anything goes wrong, the church will find another pastor but your family cannot get another you. Give your family due attention and time. Serving God should be like the burning bush — it was burning but it was not consumed. Serve the Lord zealously, but God does not intend you to be consumed in the flame. Rather be a living sacrifice.
  3. You have influence, use it. Very often we find situations that challenge our ability to bring change. Even at times we encounter rebellious members. But you must not forget that you have influence. You do. Use your influence to bring positive change. Use it to snatch people from hell and pull them into the kingdom of God. Yet do not abuse your influence.
  4. If you protect your Sabbath, your Sabbath will protect you better. Create time for rest. Resting time is receiving time; work time is giving time. It is your refreshing, repairing and restoring time. It will prevent burnout and enhance creativity. Take time to rest.
  5. No amount of accountability or structure will keep you from temptation if your heart is impure. Pay attention to your heart. Set your heart right with God. The heart is the fountain of life, if any impurity gets in there everything else will be polluted. There are two environments that determine what a man does — the internal and the external environment. If you set your internal environment right and pure it will withstand every pressure from the external environment.
  6. Let God lead. It is God that does the impossible. No matter the circumstance you come up to, follow His lead and He will bring you through. Very often we assume we know what God will say and do only to realise we were grossly mistaken. Do not waste your time: wait on God and follow His lead. That’s fast.
  7. Keep Jesus the centre of focus in the church. Our denominations may have different founders and different nomenclatures, but they all belong to Jesus, every genuine instance of them. Keep Him the centre of focus and everything will fall in place in the church.
  8. Your personal health affects the health of the church. The life of the pastor grossly affects the life of the church. No wonder Apostle Paul urged the elders at Ephesus to take head to themselves (Acts 20:28). Make every effort needed to be sound physically, financially, relationally, and otherwise.
  9. The people in the church deserve authenticity. That is a scarce quality nowadays. The emphasis on personality and packaging has advanced the course of cover-ups. It even seems disadvantageous to be honest. Yet dare to be authentic. It will pay off on the long run. Don’t be someone you are not.
  10. You will never make everyone happy. If you try to, you will be unhappy. It is unproductive to try to please everyone. People respect the person who opposes them for their own good. When you focus on God and pursue God, people will pursue you.

I believe these tips have been of help to you. Go do exploits in Jesus’ name. Amen

IS BEGGING OK?

 

beggar

Once in a while, one may be in a situation that soliciting is an inevitable peaceable solution. Then you may have to implore somebody to make some adjustments to save you some cost or aid your course. Those occasions are inevitable and must be faced with wisdom. But what worries me is begging becoming a culture, a way of life. I cannot stop asking myself, or anyone else, whether it is okay to make begging a way of getting our needs met? Is it normal to think that getting something, money or food, for free is normal?

I recall recently meeting a young man who would prefer begging for a free N20 or N10 note instead of earning N50 or N100 for a small sweeping work. He so disliked work to my utter astonishment. Yesterday, I was jolted into thoughts when I observed a staff of a federal government institution begging another staff for lunch. I think begging for free stuff has gone into the psyche of our people as the way to go. It may be called PR or other beautiful names.

Olaudah Equiano, the first Ibgo man to write a book, in describing the land of his nativity, said there were no beggars, no drunkards and no mad men there. Thus we may infer that begging was not accommodated in the minds of eighteenth century Igbo people. Begging must have been imported or developed more recently, possibly after the Biafra war. But from the beginning it was not so.

Is there any gain in begging for living or bgging to supplement one’s income? At the best, I think, there are losses. You may have different thoughts, which I’d like to hear (or read), but these are the damages begging could bring:

  1. It destroys self-image. It is only when a person sees himself as disadvantaged or incapable that he will have the moral ground to beg. Having to maintain a disadvantaged or incapable image of oneself to justify begging is unproductive.
  2. Begging engenders discontentment on one’s true earning. One begins to see his due as unjust and may resort to unjust ways to balance up when begging fails.
  3. Begging cripples creativity. Somebody may argue that begging employs creativity. But that is in a wrong venture. People should apply their creativity to improving their lives and means not to beg. Begging establishes the despicable situation.

According to Chimamanda Adichie “Happy Recession” is now the greeting in Nigeria. Yet a culture of pathological begging will not bring us the change we hoped for. Let us create the future we want by deliberate, responsible and creative actions today.

7 Ways to Make Decisions Others Support — Leadership Freak

It doesn’t matter how decisive you are if your team doesn’t grab the rope and pull. Worse yet, they might support you when you’re in the room, but drop the rope in disapproval when you’re gone. The power of decisions is amplified by the number of people who support them. Engagement: People who feel left out, pull […]

via 7 Ways to Make Decisions Others Support — Leadership Freak

Bethel, Here I Come (a poem)

Bethel, here I come

Like a child from its frivolities

Not to say what I am and have

But to greet, worship my God.

 

Bethel, here I come

Like a prodigal from his villainy

To be restored to sonship

That I may serve the Lord, my God.

 

Bethel, here I come

Having disposed of my household gods

And the garment of iniquity changed

To manifest the glory of my God.

 

Bethel, here I come

To be nourished and sheltered

Under the shadow of the Almighty

To dwell in the secret place of my God

 

Bethel, here I come

Not to turn and go from here

But to dwell eternally

In the HOUSE of my God.