The Test Tube – Single but Pregant Part 3

Continued from Part 2: pdlionunlimited.wordpress.com/?p=1507

Sperm bank

Gracey: Jesus should be our example of the way he treated people especially people we would consider “sinners”. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees who were teachers of the law and to me hypocrites. What I find disturbing in churches today is that we are beginning to mirror the Pharisees. Showing love to someone doesn’t equate an endorsement of their sin. Jesus would not be eating with the tax collectors then.

Amy:  There is no painting it. It is flesh. It is sin. I will never forget a very simple message I heard years ago- for every excuse or insurmountable problem, you will have have 70 others that are standing…..

Derek Prince’s first wife already had several adopted children when he married her.

PD’s take already explains it properly.  Whether church support or counsel is right is the least of her problems. The same fear and doubt and insecurities that drove her to this will be there for her to surmount raising that boy or girl, and for her own good she better repent for real.

What she has done is trying to gain gratification or pleasure (in this case perceived motherhood) or security in her human strength or wisdom of only those who have biological children will be safe or cared for in old age. Just like some people say only girls look after their elderly parents, yet we see Naomi who had no daughter being blessed with a daughter in law that was more than 10 sons.

She has sinned- period.

She needs to repent, or else the consequences cannot be imagined yet – mental health issues from identity problems in the child….

Is it any different from a woman who decides to masturbate or use sex toys because ‘husband is not forthcoming’? I won’t be surprised if such women might be among closet homosexuals multiplying in churches and trying to force us to accept them as they are rather than focus on pursuing holiness.

Aj: I actually know a single brother who is looking to adopt a child… What should I tell him?

HM: Tell him to look for wife joor. Its bc of him that lady went to antificial insemination

Kugbo: Gbam !!!!!

Aj: OK ma

My own big question is how would we treat it if she had adopted? Would it be any different? Is the physical sign (pregnancy) really the elephant in the room?

Elly: Exactly….

Lee: Your room must be very big to size an elephant. 😳

PD: In some ways, yes. It is the elephant in the room.

But her reasons remain the elephant outside the room.

She could adopt for a noble reason but then she could adopt for the same fearful reasons she did artificial insemination.

Amy: Let’s never forget we are in the world but not of the world. Our standards do not change because of society.  God’s pattern is there for our good. Children should be born to two people in a married relationship.  If you like use the law or science to create inventions of sperm donor banks or change the societal definition of marriage, the church does not have to change its stand on what is sin.  She must keep arms open to any that want to come, but leadership must be based on certain key qualities being met.

HM: Seriously though, the counsellors can refer to Abraham in Genesis. The wife was tired of waiting and considered her body and decided it will b good to help God and get s child via another woman. This could be called in this time as surrogate, adultery, etc but it is d same thing Sarah did that this woman did just that one was married and d other not married. Both had waited and got tired of waiting. Both considered the situations they were in and both made a compromise. Sarah got d consequences  of her action and this woman will. Why u ask. Bc she did not trust God, and according to scripture whoever relies in d arm of flesh will b disappointed. Now it doesn’t mean God can’t use this woman situations such that it may even seem God engineered it. Her sin that she should repent from is not trusting God enough to wait for his intervention. This applies to us all. So let’s hold us to that promise of God and put it to work by speaking it . Remember we having the same spirit of faith, believe therefore we speak. If God says you shall be called married, please confess it until u are. If God says u shalll not b barren, confess it until u carry your children.  God cant lie. Lets trust Him and act on his Word.

Glo: πŸ‘ŒCHILDREN SHOULD BE BORN TO PEOPLE IN MARRIAGE.

Whether adoption or artificial insemination for a single, I think it’s wrong.

God didn’t plan for Mary to be a single Mom, He sent her Joseph. Even though Jesus was conceived by spiritual conception (lol), God still arranged for him to be born into a home. If every single should go ahead to be single parents because they can afford to, then with time people won’t see a need for a proper family anymore. God designed family for a purpose.

PD: God designed family ooo … Na him know why pass all of us.

Holy Glo, thou hast spoken. The caveat is that of a fully realized adult with a divine calling to take in orphans. In that case, single or married, as long as there is a divine calling, it has to be fulfilled.

Watchman Nee was one of 8 orphaned boys raised by a godly woman who felt called to raise those 8 boys (no more) for the Lord’s kingdom use. From what I heard, all 8 became ministers of the gospel.

Amy: The case of Derek Prince’s 1st wife was more of her adopting orphaned children or giving them a home.  It was not that she was desperate to marry or afraid that she had gone past age. In fact she was already established with many children (daughters) in her home when he met her. There is no sin in a single person adopting to care for an orphaned child like this example. It is when it is being used as a means to fill a supposed vacuum of no husband or biological clock going that is problem.

Glo: I guess this is one of the noble reasons PD was talking about.

Hon: And surprisingly, many of us are seeing that meting discipline to this woman will be unjust unless we also do same to the cousins of this same act like surrogacy and sperm donations for couples.

Aj: I actually know a single brother who is looking to adopt. What should I tell him?

PD: Find out why he wants to adopt. He too might be living in fear of marriage or something or perhaps enough sisters have burnt his cable that he feels he has no prayer at all. Try to help him if that’s the case.

Aj: Great… We need to be a able to discern what the motivation is in each case.

PD: Yes boss.

Obi: All said and done we have come to concrete conclusion on this issue thanks to all that contributed.  This is why we need to appreciate our pastors in church this is just a tip of the iceberg of the issues that they have to deal with all the time and the least we can do is to support them and help them. The counselors are human being also do let’s not nail them and call them judgemental, it could have been you.

I am in a church setting and I know how we talk to youths not to engage in vices that are contrary to God’s word and they step out and do just what you warned them not to do, and when the consequences hit them in the face they run back to the church. Repenting and are counseled in love and guess what once the whole thing fizzles out they go back and commit same vice again.

We are living in the end times where the love of many are waxing cold most youths are hedonist in nature and practice hedonism in church. Hedonists are individuals who come to church or any institution for fun or pleasure, once they are not having fun they will get irritated so when you preach the message of the gospel they get offended and just walk away from the church that is what gives rise to issues like this.

We need to know that pastors and counselors are exegetical escorts, they usher is into the presence of God and the process of transformation is done by the Holy Spirit. This is just my thought. Thank you and good night family

PD: Exegetical escorts, hedonism … Hmmmm … next time somebody calls me out on speaking big big grammar, I will fine the person o.

PD: I don’t get this part … there was something about Pharisees and Jesus eating with sinners and applying to this woman’s case.

I believe there is an honest misunderstanding and consequently, misappropriation of the β€œJesus eating with sinners” line. Jesus did indeed eat with sinners and his ever clear focus was to restore them to the father. He didn’t go after their errors instead he focused on restoration.

But the scenario presented, which we are discussing, is not about a sinner but a saint. A saint in error but a saint nonetheless. The protocols are different for an erring family member, which we have touched severally. In the spirit of humility, being very conscious of our own fallibility, we should lift up the fallen. While the protocol could also involve tough love and sharp rebukes and some harsh looking actions including kicking guys out or handing them over to the devil (gengeun … I don enter!) the focus is the same, restoration.

Calling an error an error is not why the Pharisees irritated Jesus, it was their hypocrisy. Calling out a brother in error for his error does not mean I am not mindful of the errors in my past. There are some errors in my past that, had someone not called me out on it, I might not be here today. If we say only those who have an untarnished record should speak out against wrong, then there would be nothing like correction.

There is a serious duty that Jesus placed on the shoulders of church leaders for which they will give account so it’s not beans or a matter they should treat lightly or that we should castigate them for.

Jn 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Rom 13:5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

 

It behooves us, then, to pray for our leaders that they will always work righteousness in the hearts of the church.

Some of us might remember this song by Reverend Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers

 

You gave me my hands to reach out to man

To show him Your love and Your perfect plan

You gave me my ears, I can hear Your voice so clear

I can hear the cries of sinners

But can I wipe away their tears?

 

You gave me my voice to speak Your Word

To sing all Your praises to those who never heard

But with my eyes I can see a need for more availability

I’ve seen the hearts that have been broken

So many people to be free

 

Lord, I’m available to You

My will I give to You

I’ll do what You say do

Use me Lord to show someone the way and enable me to say…

My storage is empty and I am available to You

 

Now I’m giving back to You all the tools You gave to me

My hands, my ears, my voice, my eyes

So You can use me as You please

I have emptied out my cup so that You can fill it up

Now I’m free, I just want to be more available to You

 

Lord, I’m available to You

My will I give to You

I’ll do what You say do

Use me Lord to show someone the way and enable me to say…

My storage is empty and I am available to You

 

The End.

There is another group whose contribution I would still like to share but for now, in case you missed previous parts of this one

Part 1: pdlionunlimited.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/the-test-tube-single-but-pregnant-qa-pt-1/

Part 2: pdlionunlimited.wordpress.com/?p=1507

 

Rhythms of the Heart

Hello friends.

I had a discussion … (I seem to have a lot of those, right?)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Sunday at my church, perhaps at yours too.

The contents of this discussion might make a difference in your heart and service tomorrow, and hopefully for all the numerous tomorrows to follow.

Once again, the identity of the person has been hidden but the conversation preserved.
Enjoy!

​Ez: Please Sir, what’s your take on praise as a veritable tool to fight the enemy (the devil and his agents)?

PD: God dwells in the praises of His People.

Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

These are direct lifts of scriptures. Praise as a weapon is a matter of fact.

The issue, however, is that, though we often sing songs and dance, we rarely praise God. There is a difference between enjoying good music and actual praise.

“Let us praise Him in the dance.”

Also another verse of scripture.

It means it is quite possible to not praise Him in the dance.

Ez: sir.

When could it be said that one is actually praising God?

PD: Like every thing else with God, the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.

It is what’s going on in your heart that’s really happening in the realm of the spirit. Mere words and outward actions amount to nothing unless one engages his heart.

Can you drive?

Ez: No sir.

PD: OK. Do you know about cars and driving?

Ez: A little

PD: You know the role the gear plays?

Ez: Yes sir

PD: What’s the role?

Ez: It engages the car for motion

PD: Correct.

So, no matter how powerful the car’s engine is, and no matter how hard you press down on the accelerator and how high the revometer goes and how loud the engine is sounding, if you do not engage the gear, there would be no motion.

Ez: Precisely.

PD: Now, imagine a car with the gear on neutral on a downhill slope; the car would be seen to be moving, right?

Ez: Yes

PD: And because the engine is making an audible sound and the driver is turn the steering wheel and using the pedals, it would seem he is driving a working car. Whereas he is just going with the flow, with the pull of gravity.

It is when the effect of gravity wears off or when the driver now wants to go uphill that it would be obvious the engine was not engaged all the while.

Ez: Hmmmm! This is deep

I stand to be corrected, sir

PD: 😯

What are you correcting?

Ez: Nothing sir.

PD: 😁

Ez: I am only trying to give you a feedback to know if I am following, Sir

PD: Funny guy.

Anyway, it’s the same with praise. We mostly just flow with the gravity of the music without engaging the heart. 

All the benefits and warfare and victory that come on the wings of praise are actually side effects.

Real praise originates from the heart; it requires the heart.

Bible says “making melody in your hearts unto the Lord”.

If real praise is offered, results follow naturally.

Ez: Since praise is God’s due right, it’s rendering is not conditional on our own part. Right?

PD: Yeah, praise is God’s due. We have to give it unconditionally. But you know, we won’t be able to do it unconditionally unless we know what it is.

Ez: Secondly, the analogy of the downhill can be likened to a easy cruise and at such we just render praise carelessly without our heart in it. After all everything is good and nice.

PD: Exactly.

Ez: But the uphill comes as a reality check that makes us realize that what is and what is not.

For those of us who have been flowing with mere rhythms and rhymes, we no longer see the good in God. But for those praising with the heart, it is firing all the way in spite of the uphill circumstances. Right?

PD: Exactly.

So the question how do we go from lazy cruise to power drive … is how do we engage the heart?

Ez: Doing what we do with real understanding i.e an understanding of what praise is and what it does.

Ez: Right Sir?

PD: Yes.

Although, what praise does is not up to us and knowing that only helps us to know what to expect, knowing what praise really is and how to do it right is critical and totally up to us.

The Hebrew language uses word pictures or concepts to communicate a lot of times and use many words to express subtle shades of difference in meaning so in the example of praise, there are a number of words. But these words our translated inconsistently, I guess based on context, as Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, and thus we use them interchangeably.

Although the three words are used interchangeably, they are slightly different. And since they are translated from the same 8 Hebrew words, the implication in reality is that they are interwoven and lead to one another.

Ez: πŸ€”

PD: I used to have an image somewhere that depicts this.

Lemme see if I can find it.

Ez: Ok

PD: I can’t find it. Let me just sketch it up for you.

Ez: Alright Sir

PD: Sorry it took so long. Photoshop takes longer on this type of work than Corel draw and I don’t have Corel on my system right now.

I hope it’s clear enough.

Ez: Very clear Sir.

PD: Great.

So, the three concepts lead one to another. No matter where you enter, you wind up going through them all.

The important thing is that the heart is involved.

Let me give you the definitions that God gave me and have helped me engage my heart each time.

Thanksgiving is the heart felt response to the generosity of God.

Praise is the heart felt response to the capacity of God.

Worship is the heart felt response to the personality of God.

Example:

God saw to it that I slept peacefully and woke up this morning. He has been good to me. I am grateful. My heart response is gratitude for his generosity towards me. What comes out of my heart is Thanksgiving. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Then, 

God saw to it that 7.2 billion persons on the earth slept peacefully and woke up this morning. He has been good to this many people at once. I am awed!  My heart response is respect for his capacity to be good towards so many people all at once without getting tired or needing help. I’m thinking “wow!” What comes out of my heart is Praise. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Finally,

God saw to it that 7.2 billion persons on the earth slept peacefully and woke up this morning, whether they are good or bad. He has been good to this many people at consistently for as long as He has been God without waiting for them to love him or even thank Him. He does this because of His personality or character. I am captivated and fascinated by His person!  My heart response is love for His personality;  to be good towards so all people, all the time, for all time. I’m thinking God is a lovely person. What comes out of my heart is Worship. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Thanksgiving says thank you; Praise says I respect you, you are powerful and great; Worship says I love you, you are just wonderfully irresistible.

The connection is me … my heart.

There is no way I will thank God from my heart without winding up praising Him and Worshiping Him.

If my heart is involved in my worship, I will remember His kindness to me and Thanksgiving will pour out.

On and on the triangle keeps flowing back and forth.

I hope you get this so far.

Ez: Yea Sir

PD: So, all we need to do is think well about what we are saying and not be absent minded or carried away by the activities around us.

I remember when I was music director, some years back. Service was one, music was on, the worship leader was up on stage, the rest of the music team was executing the various assigned tasks and I was overseeing. 

Then God spoke to me, “what are you doing?” And I said in my heart, I’m making sure things are running smoothly and keeping all the moving pieces together and making sure folks get to worship without interruptions. Then he said, “What about you? Won’t you worship?”

I was singing along but my heart was not in it. I was busy watching and ensuring others worshipped God but I left myself out.

I immediately dropped all I was doing, closed my eyes, opened my heart and thought of the lyrics of the song at that time and I joined the church in worshipping Jesus.

It’s very easy to be in the business of church music and dance without actually connecting to heaven.

Ez: Very true

PD: So, I believe we have tackled your question?

Ez: Thank you sir

PD: You’re welcome.

Ez: Sometimes I wish I can host you.

PD: 😁

The downward callingΒ 

Hello, friends.I had this discussion with a precious friend a while back. With her permission, I decided to share it here so others could pick a few things. 

As usual, any information that could identify her or her circumstances have been altered.

Do enjoy.

​Letty: Good evening PD sir! Please, do we have any our church people that’s a caterer in Abuja?

PD: Caterer? None that I know of. You’re considering Abuja?

Letty: PD. Lemme tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truthπŸ™ŒπŸ½

Hmmmmmm…….. Recently, I ve been battling with the idea of leaving Ibadan. I honestly would love to stay here for many reasons I really can’t mention … But my hubby is here becauseI don’t wanna leave.

Plenty atimes I feel selfish.

But its a pressing burden, I initially didn’t pray about it because there was no need (in my heart), but when I chose to, it wasn’t as troubling as I thought.

My hubby doesn’t like teaching, he has ALWAYS wanted to leave. Wanted to do a Masters so he could be a lecturer just before the wedding. I even threatened to leave him back then πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ.

Looking back, I have been very selfishπŸ™ˆ

I’m determined to let him have his way this time. If I no like am, I carry my load come backπŸ˜€.

While I’m thinking about leaving, I’m trying to find a place that I would best fit in. Abuja? Lagos?

Port Harcourt? AnywhereπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Let Oga have his way this timeπŸ˜‚

 His people would be my people afterallπŸ˜›πŸ˜πŸ˜œ

PD: And you’ve been married for how long?

Letty: 😬😬😬😬😬

7yrs by Dec 15th.

PD: And it took you this long to discover you were being selfish.

Letty: PD naaaa………….

PD: I’m not trying to nail you.

Letty: I have repented naaaa……….

 πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜“πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜₯😒

πŸ˜›πŸ˜πŸ˜œ … All the bad things I used to do, I do them no more.

PD: Yeah, it’s never too late to turn around.

Did your husband ever accuse you of being selfish at any point?

Letty: Never.

I love Ibadan. All my siblings know. Everyone knows.

PD: Fine, but were you called to love Ibadan or to love your husband?

Letty: Now, that made me laughπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚  

I was called to love my husbandπŸ™ŒπŸ½

PD: I may seem to be doing post mortem counselling but I want you to think of this well… If your roles had been reversed, would you have pointed out how selfish he was?

Nepa don take light…. πŸ˜’

Letty: No, was searching my heart.

PD: Not you, Nepa actually took light here.

Letty: Kk

I don’t think I would have told him that (not in those exact words) Even if i definitely would have ruminated over itπŸ€”πŸ€”

PD: Hmmmm… I suspect that you would have found a way to solve that problem.

Letty: True, I would have found a way.

PD: My point is, if it took you seven years to realise how selfish you’ve been and repented, then it has taken you the same time to realise how selfless your husband has been and you should thank him. 

Not trying to knock you, really.

Letty: Sometimes, we do.

Especially Letty. I need to be knocked @timesπŸ˜€

PD: Well, I don’t know if I’m tall enough or have a hammer big enough to make a mark on your hard head but… Well… there is God.

Letty: It doesn’t have to be physical sometimes.

Funny enough I had declare a Solomon 2:3 week starting today.

I most definitely would thank him for being selfless.

PD: Good.

Letty: To think he had encouraged me to pass my catering school exams, through part 1, proposals for part 2 and just sat there watching me excelπŸ˜“πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜₯😒.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

You should have seen his joy when I told him I was ready to give leaving Ibadan a try 😊

PD: When we talk in church at times and we knock men, these are the things I consider and try to to draw our attention away from our determination to make guys look like… well, bad guys… for expecting submission from their wives.

I have noticed that, nowadays, any man with a good head ends up living life the way his wife wants it lived and not the other way around like it seems it used to be.

Letty: You’re at the risk of being misunderstood. What meaneth thou? 

Oh, ok, I get you. 

Shouldn’t it be like the days of old? πŸ™ˆ

PD: Depends on how old the days you’re referring to are.

It used to be, Mr Man, you’re the head and that used to be a good thing but now it seems like it’s bad to think like that cos we immediately think of all the million things that could go wrong… meaning, not done the wife’s way because hubby is a power drunk tyrant.

Letty: I have considered myself as “submissive” I could be wrong though. Could just be reasoning this submission matter with my own understanding. 

But would not wanting to leave Ibadan, even if he knew this from day one, be regarded as “unsubmissive”?

PD: You knew he wanted to leave, and you dug your feet in the rocks and said “I shall not be moved”… Do you think you submitted?

Letty: I still believe in a man being the head, and using veto power when needed sha.

Except I’m wrong, or, I’m not doing it the way God wants.

But He knew this before we married naaa.

PD: Please, we’re just bouncing thoughts o, I’m not trying to knock you o.

Letty: Even if you were; I will forgive you.

I knew he wanted to leave, he knew I didn’t want, I opted out of the relationship if he wouldn’t be in Ibadan. 

I honestly didn’t think I was doing something wrong. @that time sha

PD: OK. I guess he chose staying with you over chasing his dreams. Men, no be today we start. You know it’s the same thing Adam did, right? If he had done what was expected, he wouldn’t have eaten the fruit and Eve would have died alone.

Anyway, here is what I think it should look like: God sets direction for man to follow and woman ensures he stays on course. That way, she gets to arrive at where God meant for her as well.

Letty: Lol, so, what are you stylishly telling me?

PD: That he loved you.

Letty: Hmmmm……

I have always known that.

The way you are saying it now, its like, I never understood how see his love was/isπŸ™Š

PD: Yeah, ladies don’t really get how much they are loved because no matter how hard a guy tries, he can’t package his emotions into words like a woman can.

Letty: Certainly can’t. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

PD, you are so wise!

I should call you “the wise one”.

PD: 1Tim 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, *the only wise God*, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Letty: How come it took me this long to realise my hubby had been selfless?

And I am busy looking for the city that best suites me, when the guy eye dey Abuja since … plus he knows exactly what he wants.

PD: Now, here is what I want you to practice doing from now on. When your husband proposes a move, give him your support verbally and with all body language. Let him know you support him, but then, find out if he prayed about it. Let him know you want to pray about it for God to give both of you clear directions on what to do.

Letty: πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

Ama do just that.

PD: I hail the future of your marriage.

Letty: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Guess I understand submission better.

PD: If that is what you got out of this chat, God don win.

Letty: Yes, He wins again.

PD: Have a good night, my sister.

Letty: Kk.

Permit me to share our conversation in a Christian women forum.

I think I have to make the women know I have erred, and set a kinda example.

They kinda think I’m a perfect woman. That ain’t too good you know.

PD: Well, I have often said that being a leader is not just about showing what to do but also showing how to do it and that includes how to repent and get back up.

Letty: My leader sir!

Once again, you have spoken correctly.

PD: I was going to ask much later for your permission to blog it, of course adjusting elements that reveal your identity while maintaining the gist.

Letty: Permission granted. Aa long as you send me the link.

Wanna read the story too😊

PD: I always do.

PD: Ehn? When did I become your leader?

Letty: Once a leader, always a leader. Accept the assurance of my highest regard.

PD: Choi! Na my head you dey break all this oyinbo?
Letty: Lol. Your girl is loyal.

PD: Abeg o, Sista, sleep is catching my eyes … Only my eyes o.

Letty: Goodnyt sir

PD: Good night ma
Some days later…


Letty: Good morning.

PD: Wellllll … So how did your Songs of Solomon week go?

Letty: 😊 good. Thanks for asking.

We also went to the cinema twice this week.

PD: You took him out to the movies?

Letty: 😁

PD: Well, that’s not something you see every day, is it?

Letty: 😁

Skeletons with nine lives?

Hi. It’s been a while. I’ve been a little busier than usual. A dear friend asked me last night why I had not published anything for a long time so I dug around some stuff I was saving for such a time and found this.

My wife and I are part of a lovely vibrant WhatsApp group where we discuss lots of stuff. This is one of such discussions from a while back. I retained the original “pidgin English” to facilitate the flow in which it was original created. 

Do, please enjoy.

Lee: Good evening brethren.

PD: Lee, the invisible. How far?

Lee: Good evening PD. I’m good.  Just chilling 

PL: Hello Our able minister of welfare?

Lee: 😳When was I appointed? 

Good evening PL.

Lee: Ehen, I have a question 😊 How much is too much? To what extent should Intending couples talk about their past life? ‘past life’ being previous abortions, ex-es, sexual escapades etal.

PL: Now, Lee is around 😁😁😁

Waka pass no fit you.

Lee: πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦

PL: This question carry bele o.

Lee: Yes oh! No be small bele. I have someone faced with this challenge.

PL: I think as much as possible but timing is important; At what stage you should tell is the issue.

I believe in full disclosure but if the intending spouse can’t handle your past, then I wonder if the person can handle your future cos something from the past may just creep up and an explosion Will be inevitable.

Lee: Is this always the case? Aren’t something’s better unsaid?

If a ladty didn’t suffer damage to her womb while aborting and before she got born again, irrespective of the number of times. Isn’t there now no condemnation for her? 

Na question I dey ask oh!

PL: I think the guy has a right to know what he is getting into

Lee: Hmmmm………

If said too early, wouldn’t it be a bit awkward, and if left for much later, wouldn’t it be manipulative?

PL: If too early, you may risk telling an unserious person your secrets which may end up badly and too late is not good either.

I think as you go into a relationship, you will notice that the level of commitment deepens so choose when to tell the person your past and do it in such a way that the person is given the choice to continue or not. I don’t agree with telling the person after official introduction that 10 abortions have been done😁

Sim: Hallelujah!
Lee: Assuming it’s one guy that got her preggers 10 times, shay?
PL: Whether one guy or five.
Sim: 1 guy can’t. Lets say 20 guys! 
Lee: πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦Be careful my friend.

Lee: If you tell am just before introduction e no go say why you come tell am when you know say e don serious? Like you waited for him to love you pieces before you talk.

PL: That is why I said as the relationship is getting serious please talk. This world is a small place o. What if the guy responsible shows up in future and just decides to make her life miserable. I think the guy has a right to know what he is getting into. 

Lee: What he is getting into abi what she was up against in the past?

PL: Getting into in the sense that she chooses to marry a lady who has done abortions and may suffer consequences of her actions.

Sim: Anything that is messy talk oo… DSS still dey work.

Lee: I remember one time in school back then, a guest preacher said “some things are better left unsaid” he was referring to issues of the past.

PL: I know people believe different things but I think full disclosure is better. If the guy backs out then I think he is not ready to handle your life. If he is the one that says he doesn’t want to know, fine.

Lee: Full disclosure, is it for the fear that  some things might come back to “haunt” her, or is it that it is scriptural?

PL: My dear,some things can come o. You no go believe. 

Sim: Like wiliwili.

PL: LOL. 

Lee: Na im I dey talk so.

After all, a man that didn’t marry a virgin should know someone else had been there before. 

So, why should she tell him she had 10 men there before. Is it that the 10 men would show up and worry her life someday?

PL: When I say full disclosure, it is not as if she will write a list of every guy that has done something but tell him this is the kind of life I lived and so on.

Lee: Ok

Now to what extent again? 

Eg, I had boyfriends in the past and I have had to abort before?

PL: I believe it is about trust.

Lee: I know of someone whose “intending husband” referred to her womb as a graveyard. It hurt back then, but they eventually married sha.

PL: And she married him? She try.

Sim: It is❀ Like Jacob

Lee: Sim be careful. 😑

I may just send you to the naughty corner.

PL: He he he.

Lee: She regretted ever mentioning it to him. Funny enough he never mentioned or raised the issue again after that incident. They have been married for about  several years now. The man claimed he was “upset”.

PL: Ok, they made up … which is good. The man will not have any reason to not trust her cos she was truthful.

Lee: You may be right. She fit don forgive, but she never forgot.

PL: But at least, he apologized, forgave her and was willing to move forward. She too should forgive him for his reaction. He could have called her that and still walked away.

Lee: Is it just a woman sef? Why is it that it is always a woman that has something to say? No be man give the woman bele? 

Ehen, shouldn’t men confess previous assisted abortions? 

Abi are we always doing this to ourselves? 

#ranting.

PL: It is not just woman o. It applies to both. You sef ,cool down. You and women liberation.

Lee: Women liberation πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦

I just feel women have been cheated for too long jare.

PL: .so now , we should pound men? It goes both ways.

Lee: Nope, we should empower women.

Mee: Which women? Hebrew womenπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€

Lee: Come back oh!πŸ˜‚

PL: Empower them to fight men😬😬😬

Sim:  With guns?

Lee: Empowering doesn’t necessarily mean fighting men Na. Fight man ke? You fit? Who e epp?

PL: Lolzzzz … Nobody jo.

Lee: Anyway, it’s just that men expect to here a story if she’s not a virgin, and think it’s perfectly normal and excusable when they are not.

PL: It goes both ways. It is about building trust, not just for women. How about sexually transmitted infections? Hepatitis is there. HIV and so on.

Lee: Chai!!!!!! I really didn’t /don’t mean health related issues oh! It would be wicked not to tell an intending one had HIV or the like. What I was referring to was more of “non-health” related issues that may not have any direct effect to the couple.

PL: Abortion get effect o. It’s all about trust. No be only bele. If he has a child, he should also declare. 

Lee: Yep.

Some things no dey hide

Ehen, that reminds me.

I heard of someone that called off her wedding 2days to. It was her bridal shower. Omo, babes don buy gifts prepare for shower parry, only for one babe to show up with a baby she claimed her fiance fathered. 

On inspection, baby looked like family, with further investigation, it was true. Sharply she called off the wedding. She was brave, I commended her.πŸ‘πŸΌ

Wingman: 😳

Lee: Why shineth thou thine eyes?

Wingman: I’m practicing eye shining.

PL: Choi!

If the guy had opened up earlier, maybe she could have decided to continue cos it is a lot to take in and accept. The other woman and her child will always be a part of their lives. She has to be able to make that choice

Amy: In this matter, I think it should be on a “Need to know basis”- start by sticking to the summary and depending on the depth of relationship. You must however not lie or refuse to disclose answers the partner seeks to make their choice….. some people  find graphic details hindering than helpful, others like to know everything  (just like some like to know baby’s sex before birth while others like to be surprised). 

Jesus simply said  “you have had five husbands”.

PD: Picking up the thread… Please, I use the male pronoun as the universal pronoun. I do not by it indicate one gender versus the other. It’s just easier to express your thoughts without having to dance around the “he or she” lines. 

The issue at hand is not the details of escapades. In the process of full disclosure, you might breakdown the proposed person’s capacity to remain committed even if his initial commitment was genuine. 

As PL said, it’s about trust not just prophylaxis against possible future explosions. We are not what we used to be or do but the records are there, sometimes the scars as well. 

There are some people you meet and you know there is nothing you tell them will shake their commitment, even if it initially breaks them emotionally, they will eventually rally and continue unfazed. But then there are others who do not fit this description. It’s just the fact of life. 

As you get involved, watch for the signs that might point you to what category this person belongs to. How do you know? I guarantee you would know it when you see a difficult to please and unforgiving person. Plus, you have the Holy Spirit with you. 

Quite sadly, too many Christians go through their relationships without involving the one person who is out for their utmost good at all costs and at all times – The Holy Spirit. Please, be open to the Spirit of God. Let Him raise alarm or breathe peace as the case may be. 

Anyway, once you determine that your spouse is not the type who lets go, please let him go. There are things worse than being single for another year or two. Sadly, also, too many of us live in fear like the world do. “Guys are hard to come by o, if I lose this one, who knows when I’ll get another one?” or the converse “I’ve invested so much into this girl, I can’t lose all that”. If you want your relationship to work and result in a marriage that brings you peace, you better look well before you cross. It’s better to have 50 years of blissful marriage than 60 years of tension from sitting on a keg of explosives every time someone walks past with a naked flame. Let go, let God. 

Now, if you find that the guy is forgiving, don’t take it for granted and just dump on him. Assess the relationship, before you expose your skeletons. If he’s just hanging out and saying nothing, you also keep shut. You don’t need to be telling your story to every nice guy who shows interest even if they won’t spread it. 

If you think he’s getting serious, then sit him down and talk seriously. But again, don’t dump on him like “boom”! 

If you light a fire and put all your wood at once, the flame will burn so high and so hot it might burn your whole house down. Instead, put the wood into the fire in bits. Let the environment adjust to the new information. When it stabilises, bring in the next information. It’s called *systematic desensitisation*. It’s sometimes used to manage some clinical conditions. 

How it goes is that you gradually expose a person to increasing levels of the distressing factor till he adjusts to it and functions in spite of it like any other person would. It is a difficult, traumatic and time taking process but you do it because the distressing factor is unavoidable in life especially after exhausting other avenues but if managed carefully, trust is built and the patient follows you through the process. It is the same in our context. 

Say, for example, brother has a string of previous sexual partners and a child already by one of them. He shouldn’t just drop it on the proposed spouse like that. When he judges it necessary, he can start by letting her know that he has a sexually active past. Let her adjust to that first. Of course, she will press for more information right away, don’t give it; let her chew on it. “I’ll give you whatever information there is to know about me but I want you to think about this one first and decide if you wish to continue or not. If you do, I’ll be most fortunate because, I do want to be with you but if you don’t, I’ll understand and won’t hold it against you”. Prayerfully try such a line. 

It is ungodly, in my opinion, to make her swear not to walk away before you tell her what is right for her to know. That’s manipulation and guilt tripping; it’s evil. Be mature enough to know that your past life has consequences which you might have scaled over but would still be difficult for others to swallow. When Paul initially got saved, Holy Ghost filled and hunted by other persecutors, the Apostles in Jerusalem had a hard time believing and accepting him and it wasn’t because they were not filled with the Spirit themselves. 

Let’s get back to our brother. So, say Sister took it well and decided to stay, then you can let her know you had a string of girls. Again, let her chew on it. If she swallows it and seems to be doing well, then you can inform her of the complication of a son. If she takes it well and maintains her love for you, I believe you too will see the trust between you has grown, your relationship is past the stage of infatuations, obsessions and emotions and then you have the makings of a great future with her.

Most likely, she will feel obliged to open up to you at that level but please, ensure she is not doing so because she now feels she owes you and wants accounts to be balanced but because she too wants to earn your trust like you have earned hers and put everything on her plate on the table, including the burnt toast. 

Please, please, pleeeeeeeease, there is no need to detail all the locations and sexual styles you engaged with those women; that will only amount to torment as potentially everywhere you go with her and everything you do with her will bring those records to the surface each time. 

But there is still one more bridge to cross. At some point, she has to realise that you cannot abandon that child. It’s not the child’s decisions that put him in that situation but yours, so it’s not fair to make the child suffer for a wrong he didn’t commit. If she commits to caring for the child with you, then sometime before you start running family binding things like introduction, let the two of them meet, your child and intended wife, I mean; let them bond. When that’s done, you may wish to let the two women meet. That removes the threat of blackmail and such from the equation. 

Of course, it’ll be stupid to now allow the Ex, who’s the mother to your child, to become part of your family and determine what happens as regards anything that does not concern her son. It’s one thing to be part of your life, it’s quite another to be part of your family. And, remember, Sarah brought up what she once considered a good way to help her husband but later it became a source of pain for her so always be on the watch for such occasions with your wife because they will come. It doesn’t mean she has lost trust or faith in you, it just means life throws curveballs once in a while and you might miss some. It also means,  the devil is still around. In the perfect Eden, the snake was there.

If this is done successfully, you have done two things: you have defused all bombs,  and you have bought yourself the right to be trusted. 

Trust is not just a two way street. In this scenario, it’s a single rope bridge connecting two high cliffs across a river of molten lava (too much Indiana Jones… 😁). It takes some level of commitment to want to come across such a bridge when life altering risks are involved. Do your best to make that choice easy for the other person; There is no need to keep the phone numbers of all your Exes… if you want to be trusted, provide evidence of trustworthiness. 

The same thing applies to medical conditions that you might be dealing with, whether acquired as bad consequences of a bad lifestyle or inherited with the rest of your body makeup from your parents. 

So, as to whether it’s a matter of preventing future debacles or whether it’s the right thing to do, I thinks it’s both. You have a right to know but you don’t need to wave that over her head like a hammer waiting for the slightest reason to drop. Some bits of our past may be difficult for us to remember without some measure of shame or guilt and might thus be difficult to talk about, not because we are hiding it. So give her the chance to build the trust bridge to the point where it can bear the weight of this particular stuff in addition to the two of you. After all, you have decided to love her unconditionally, so why demand her pay for it. 

Of course, it becomes a whole different ball game if you think deceit is involved. I counsel this, walk in trust, not *suspicion*, until she or the Holy Spirit gives you reason not to.

Sorry for such a long post, guys.

Q&A: Baby Steps

Hi there.
I had an interesting conversation with a lady friend (I’ll refer to her as “Elly”) about her very young marriage, less than a year old in fact. She was having some sort of problem that I think is very very common and I decided to share it here.

As always, it is with permission and you will learn a thing or two.

Elly: Good afternoon sir. How is work and the family?

PD: All is well. God is good.

Elly: Good to hear that sir.

PD: How far with you?
How is your home?

Elly: I’m fine sir…I bless God sir.

PD: Hope you’re taking good care of your husband?

Elly: Yes sir.

PD: Do you submit to him in everything? Or do you struggle sometimes?

Elly: Honestly Sir, I really struggle at times. It’s not easy at all.

PD: How so? Don’t you love him?

Elly: Hmmmmm … It is well Sir…. I love him but sometimes he does what I don’t like and that makes me to get tired.

PD: Is your submission or love for him based on when he does things you do like?

Elly: Not at all sir … I submit to him and respect him but it’s not always I concur with him…there are times we disagree and he won’t admit his fault by apologizing.

PD: So, you wish you could get a cane and flog his bom bom.

Elly: Hahahhahhhahaa

PD: What if he also thinks you’re wrong and is waiting for you to apologize?

Elly: That is the problem here … I’m always the one apologizing.

PD: You think that is a problem?

Elly: He will never admits his wrong.

PD: When he admits he is wrong, will you eat the admission? Or will you forgive him and move on?

Elly: I always forgive him and move on cos he won’t feel it so I just have to forgive and move on with life.

PD: Blessed is the woman who seeks how to get a thank you from her husband more than she seeks an apology.

Elly: But the devil always has a way of hurting someone….Sir I thank God that a burden was lifted off me via the just concluded Bible School … the evil thought has seized from my mind cos initially a thought will be coming to seek for divorce and sometimes I will be saying in my next world I won’t get married … but thank God those thoughts have gone … I’m happy now.

That’s the honest truth sir.

PD: 😊

Elly: And, Sir, I’m pregnant.

PD: I’ll share something with you.

Elly: Ok sir.

PD: Your marriage is young … Very young. … And you look around at marriages around you that look beautiful. You want yours to be as sweet as theirs. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Elly: Yes Sir… I want it to be sweet sir.

PD: But most likely, all the marriages you’re admiring are many years older than yours.

Elly: Hmmmmm….that’s true sir.

PD: Do you realise that a marriage gets better as it grows? It’s called maturing. It takes patience to enjoy a marriage.

Elly: Thank you sir.

PD: It’s just like having a baby. Every woman wants to have have her first baby. She’s eager for it. Gets excited when she’s pregnant. And when she eventually gets to term she has to labour and push the baby out. And then she thinks the worst is behind her … nothing could be further from the truth.

Once the baby is outside your body, it starts to exert its own will on your life. It makes selfish embarrassing demands which you must fulfill. You can’t sleep when you want, you can’t sit quietly for any length of time. The baby becomes so demanding that you nearly forget that you love the baby. All you see now is the stress.

I’ve heard of women who abort their pregnancies just because they already have a stressful baby in the house they are still trying to deal with. You know, the easiest way to end all the stress is to throw the child away but you see that most people don’t. You know why?

Elly: No Sir …why?

PD: Its because they know it’s just a phase.

Elly: Yea that’s true.

PD: They know from watching others that after some time, this stressful baby, with time, will grow up into a helpful young man or woman and mommy will start to enjoy some rest.

Elly: Hmmmmm.

PD: Hmmmm.

Your marriage is still a baby. It’s soiling itself, messing up everything, spilling things, wasting things and so on.

Its a phase.

E: Ok Sir…thank you very much. God bless you.

PD: If both you are genuine in your love for each other, and more importantly for God, you will weather the storm and then you will rest down the line.

Elly: God helping us. I’m really relieved this evening and I’ve also learned a lot this evening. I’m very grateful Sir… God bless you and your family.

Oh no … my ba3 is low now.

PD: I’ll leave some messages for you to read up later.

As I said earlier, Blessed is the woman who seeks how to get a thank you from her husband more than she seeks an apology.

You entered your marriage with the intention of making someone happy, not to make him sorry. Why not focus on the good you can do to him rather than the apology you so much want. Even if he apologises today, he will mess up again tomorrow so apology will never and but if for lack of apology, which is not in your power, you cut out gratitude, which you can do something about, your marriage will be a complete pain.

I learned something from a friend years ago, his name is Harry Doghor. It says, “Lord, help me seek to understand more than to be understood”.

So rather than fight to make someone understand my point, I will calm down and try to understand his point. The more I understand him, the better I can handle him and his errors in the future but in the meantime, my calming down has cancelled the present fight.

Of course, that makes you look like you lost because your rights were not respected but that is the way of the world. Instead of being denied our rights, we as sons of God are taught to give up our rights like Christ did when He became human and in the end became our saviour. You may have lost your rights but You have gained peace in the place of a fight in the now, and in the future, you get to be the saviour of your marriage.

If you can do his consistently, after some time, you will notice your husband will get the point, that you’re trying to help, not trying to fight and that is when he begins to respect you in that special way that you see in older marriages. At that point, you will be the winner for all to see but your victory starts now as you choose Gods way of winning.

Most times, when we mention submission, lesser men think it’s the excuse to oppress their wives and lesser women think it means being fools.

Those who know it for what it is know that it is the way for women to win their husband’s to their side.

1Pet 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.

You can win without fighting if you choose the way of the bible.

Elly: Thanks so much will abide by the way of the Bible so I can build my home. God bless you for meπŸ˜€

PD: If your husband were here, I would pull his ear for making my sister cry but … you be strong. Going God’s way means God is with you.

Be at peace.

Elly: Amen… Thank you sir. 

PD: πŸ‘πŸ½

Elly: Thank you Sir.

17 days later…

Elly: Good morning sir. Happy Easter to you and your family.

PD: Iyawo (means wife or, in this context, new bride). Happy easter o.

Elly: Wish you same here sir….Thank you Sir.

PD: How are things going with your hubby now?

Elly: Good afternoon sir. We are doing great sir…Thank you so much sir.

PD: πŸ‘πŸ½
Would you be willing to share your experience with other young couples to help them too?

Elly: Yes sir…I will sir
Thank you so much sir
PD: Great.

With your permission, I will share our chat with friends so they too can benefit.

Elly: No problem sir

PD: πŸ‘πŸ½

Pastoring with tact

A friend of mine read this article from my blog JOB… 5 – http://wp.me/p6rlMY-24 

You should check it out before proceeding. 

We had the following discussion shared with the friend’s permission. The identity and some personal facts have been altered to protect identity without losing the details of the discussion itself.

Enjoy.   


Q: Thank you for this piece on Job. Human nature remains the same…even today, among believers, people still think it’s your fault when calamity befalls you. They want to make sure that you know its your fault, then they want to ‘fix’ you with the word. To crown it all, they say they are speaking for God.

A: Granted, we often bring destruction upon ourselves by some bad choices but even when you’re walking the straight and narrow all the way to heaven, bad things will still happen to you because the Devil doesn’t like you. The word says “many are the afflictions of *the righteous* but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

Q: If we bring destruction on ourselves then our brethren are right to try to judge and straighten us out?

A: Yes, on such occasions. That’s what the scriptures say to do, “If you find a brother overtaken in a fault, ye that are strong, help him up, being careful yourselves lest you fall into the same error”

So, what I always do, is to ask questions first, and *help* the brother find his way through the situation.

Q: How do you help him?

A: It takes more time that way, but it gives me the opportunity to come along side the brother, identify with him, see his situation from his angle and once I’m in that place, I can *hear* God’s instructions on what to tell him. If I don’t have a specific rhema, I rely on the principles in the scriptures and just share them. Most times, folks come away better equipped to go through their time of difficulty or get back up *if* they fell.

Q: While you’re at it, do you ask the person to list their weaknesses and even add some from your own observations and put the person on a strict Bible study program? And tell the person, “if I was an unbeliever, I wouldn’t want to be a Christian when I look at your life”?

A: If need be, yes. It depends on what is needed. But, I get what you’re trying to say.

Rebuking a child of God is a valid function we owe each other as believers. Criticism is not the same as rebuke, however.

I may not use the words you have exemplified here but in the end, it’s the same thing we would have said but perhaps difference in approach will result in one person feeling helped and another feeling cut down.

I personally do not place people on a scripture diet but in my discussion with people, I will refer to the scriptures a lot to show the basis of my words and actions. And if I think the person is not aware of certain scriptural things, I can direct him to those scriptures to read and come back for further discussion as our relationship develops.

I have also been in a situation where I met a child of God who knew next to nothing in the scriptures but looked up to me. So I got him interested in studying the word but knowing the tendency for a beginner to stop if left to himself, I set up a schedule of feedback.

And it helped.

Q: I’m just wondering if that’s the best approach. Cos someone tried it with me after I told her I was very upset with my husband over something to do with his ex a few days before I lost my baby. I got so upset I shut it down.

A: OK. I see.

Well, I don’t know the context so I cannot say whether I agree or not but if the person is someone you have always known and trusted in times past, you should calm down and reconsider his comments.

Instructions can sound like obnoxious criticism when you’re already upset.

Q: No, she’s just a Church member who is much older than me, we work in the same department and I decided to tell her because she’s been watching out for the baby ever since she gave me the word she got from God.

Q: She said it was my fault I lost the baby cos God had given her a word for me that it will be well ever before I got pregnant, on and on, and started giving me daily assignments with deadlines. I told her I have thought about all she said and I already have a scripture I’m meditating on, but she wouldn’t have any of it and insisted I do her assignment and meet the deadline, that I’m very stubborn and proud and I should ask my pastors and they will confirm it. So I got annoyed and told her I’m not doing again.

A: Granted, you are a stubborn chick. Always have been, always will be …

Q: Sir?

A: … but the issue is not what she told you to do but perhaps how she told you and if there has ever been any such relationship based on “a word from the Lord” in the past.

Q: No, there hasn’t been any relationship, this is the one and only word from the Lord she has shared with me.

Q: I’m asking this because when I was in out of town for my masters, a sister in church got pregnant out of wedlock. She already KNEW that she had messed up, she didn’t need anyone to tell her that. But she felt God had abandoned her and wanted nothing more to do with her. So I got closer to her and just kept chipping in that God still loves her and the door is wide open for her to return to Him. Today she’s married to someone else and has more children … And she’s still in The Lord.

A: It’s quite common for one who bears a word of God to another to try troubleshooting when it looks like the word did not come to pass, just as we would if we prayed for a sick person to be healed and the person still died, or we asked God for something in prayer and it seems not to have been granted.
Quite naturally, we believe the fault is from the other person. We try to explain it one way or another but most times, however we explain it, we don’t find ourselves at fault; it must be the receiver’s fault for not receiving with Faith, or we blame God for it with statements like, “maybe it wasn’t his will”.

My thought is, why not ask him his will in the first place and pray for that.

Q: Very true. So how should we handle it when the word doesn’t seem to happen?
Many times when we go back to God after a failed word all we hear is silence, especially if the word is not directly for us.

So I’m wondering, is there a right way and a wrong way to go about this thing? Is the method more important than the results or is the result more important than the method?

A: My dear sister, the method is critical in the kingdom o. The end does not justify the means. There is God’s way and there is man’s way. However, I must state that God’s way doesn’t mean it will always be mushy mushy and cuddly cuddly. Sometimes, God will rebuke sharply too. Scriptures say God chastises us just as parents chastise the kids for love sake. Though they do it sometimes perhaps after their own interest but God is always after our highest good.

God’s way is not all rebuke either. Sometimes, he’ll cuddle and hug and all that. Whatever approach he chooses, the end is to restore the relationship to what it’s meant to be.

How do we know which method to choose? We don’t ever know. That’s why it’s imperative that we be led by the spirit of God because only they that are led by the spirit of God are the sons (manifest representation and representative of the intent and interest of the father, duly empowered to execute the father’s business in his stead and with results matching what the father would produce by his direct involvement so that considering results only, no clear distinction can be made between father and son) of God. [my paraphrase]

If he says rebuke, rebuke.
If he says encourage, encourage.
If he says nothing, you too say nothing.

Many of these mistakes can be avoided if we learn to admit and state as appropriate “I don’t know why this happened or I don’t understand what’s going on” rather than trying to always appear confident and “in the know” all the time.

Jesus warned, “If you had said you could not see, then you would have been given sight but because you insist that you do see, then your blindness (to which you are blind) remains. [my paraphrase]

Q: True

A: Sometimes too, people are on their journey to better things and so make rookie mistakes along the way. We are eager to be like the big names we know in Christian circles who have a reputation of hearing clearly from God and so are always spot on in terms of “a word from God” or any other matter which is a fallacy because we know in part and prophesy in part. The man of God who does not make mistakes is the only one who always, always, always, hear God clearly on every subject and does exactly as instructed.

Sadly, there is no such person, living or dead. At one point or another, we act out of selfish interest, or out of zeal for the Lord. But zeal *for* the Lord is not always zeal *of* the Lord and so we might do something in a bid to honour him but we did it without his say so and end up dishonouring him.

Q: Hmmmm, eez not easy to be a good man of God then🤔.

A: Ha ha ha ha ha
I think so too o. Which would explain the vastly overwhelming proportion of titled ministers who make the rest look bad, so much so that now mentioning a man of God in your discussion with many Christians nowadays turns them against you. Maybe it’s out of courtesy they haven’t said some nasty things about me to my face.

Then again, it’s my opinion that we generally commit “man of God abuse”.
If you look at Romans 12, you will see that their are differences in graces that we each are given and we are instructed to serve in that capacity and stick to that.

Rom 12:5 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;
Rom 12:7 Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Not everyone has the grace to exhort (or encourage, advise or counsel) but we all get involved in it. Making mistakes in this area should be no more surprising to us than when someone who is not graced to be a prophet tries to prophecy or one not graced to be a teacher gets into teaching, and so on.

Taking the time to counsel people into the mind of God without damaging the person is something that pastors do with graced ease. A prophet is not interested in the condition of who is receiving it but in the authenticity of the message and the one giving it. An Evangelist has no time for sheep that are confused, only lost ones. You should expect a teacher to pour scriptures on you and even give you assignments but may not be able to walk you through your pain as relates to what he is teaching you.

If you look at it well, many of the people we call pastors are based on the offices they occupy in our church settings and denominations but not based on the role they play by divine enablement.

It is more common, in my view, to find pastors more popular with church members but less spectacular on the podium because most of the impact that they make is by connecting with people in the house outside church service time.

We usually consider others as being more powerful than the actual pastors are because those others have flair naturally incorporated into their service. I am not here insinuating that those ones are just into the show but it’s quite natural for us to respond that way to the authoritative and dramatic display of the power of God in church service that way.

You catch my drift?

Q: Yes I do.
But many times we don’t take the time to ask ourselves what is our ministry and ensure that we stick with it.

A: Yeah.

Q: Hmmmm… mentorship is another matter!

A: How do you mean?

Q: It takes the Grace of God to both be a good mentor and to find a patient Mentee.

A: 😆 Where in the world did this word called Mentee come from? Soon it will enter dictionaries.

As for your comment, I quite agree with you. Perhaps it’s even responsible for the creation of the word “Mentee” as an escape from the real deal which would be ProtΓ©gΓ© ( a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person
synonyms: pupil, student, trainee, apprentice) or disciple.

In these days of motivational themes of self realisation, who wants to be introduced as a pupil or disciple when you can be a boss of yourself with little or no training. Why stay in someone else’s shadow when you can take the stage and be celebrated right away?

We don’t want to sit still anymore. It seems to be washing out of our genetic make up generation after generation.
And I feel it’s unfortunate because there are things that are being lost to the human race rather than getting stronger with each passing generation.

My wife and I have met several people who perhaps heard us speak at a programme or something and they run to us and say they want us to be their mentors. Initially, we were excited at the prospect only to be disappointed by the vast majority because we found out that they were merely fans and not interested in being students cos when learning opportunities come, they either avoid us or are unwilling to do what we instruct them.

Q: Very true. I once told a Christian Brother who came to our area to start his ministry that he should find an Elijah whose hands he could wash, and at the right time, he would be given the mantle of a double portion. The guy got mad, I had to apologise to him. But till now, he hasn’t started his church.

A: πŸ˜•

Q: Sometimes I wonder whether it’s not the same God we are all working for.

A: There is also the harsh reality of the fear of being exploited which is becoming more and more rampant.

Q: The protΓ©gΓ© is afraid of being exploited?

A: I think it’s an unfortunate vicious cycle.
Mr A doesn’t want to be mentored because he feels he has the skills needed to make it on his own only to discover down the line that it takes more than skills but he’s already a big shot so becoming a protΓ©gΓ© all over again doesn’t look good so he hunts for people who have the skills to cover up his weaknesses and exploits them; Uses their raw untapped potential to further himself.

Of course, the students of Mr A discover what’s going on and take off with little or no training to start off on their own and the cycle continues.

My sister, the fear of exploitation is what always comes up once you mention Men of God, submission, seed sowing, even tithing. Our generation has an unhealthy dose of distrust and it affects everything we do.

Q: But who can blame them? The true shepherds are very few. The hirelings and the wolves are easier to come by.

A: The Labourers have ever been few.

Q: Thank God Jesus Christ is coming soon cos I don’t see this vicious cycle breaking anytime soon.

A: There are many parables Jesus told of the end time or his return that indicate he has always known these things would happen.
He’s not shocked, We are.
He knows what to do.

Q: True…we just need to have more faith.

A: Faith is key. But then, Jesus asked a serious question, “When the son of man returns, shall he find faith in the earth”
Faith in God is scarce now, and faith in fellow men is all but non-existent these days.

Q: Lol…faith in fellow men…never heard of that before
Always thought that my responsibility is to ensure that I can be trusted, never thought I had a responsibility to trust others.

A: Trust is a two way Street, dear sister.
Also, there is the trust that can be earned but before that can get a chance, there must be opportunities provided by the Trust that is freely given.
You have developed a level of trust in me over the years based on how I have conducted myself with you. That I have earned and perhaps deserve. But it would not have been possible if you did not open your heart to me at our first point of contact. That is a gift; I could never have earned that.
It is the chance you took on me that gave me the opportunity to earn more of your trust.

Q: True word👍🏼
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions.

Friend CentrednessΒ 

Hello friends. I was involved in discussion with some friends a few days ago and thought to share it with you. 

As usual, the identities of the participants are protected and as always, I trust you will have fun while learning a few things. 

Enjoy! 

Lee: Hi all, I have a question. How would you know true friendship?

Tee: Good question

Lee: Oya oh!
Answers please.
Before I start calling us out.

Tee: Been thinking about this for sometime now.

Lee: Ok Na.
After thinking, what do you think?

Tee: Ha, me too I need answers o.

Tammy: I also want to know o. You just said my mind.

Lee: 😂💦😂💦😂💦

Ok naa, where PD (the rescuer of the brethren), PL, Sis G etal?

PL: We are all busy 😁

Lee: 😁

PL: A true friend is one who loves you unconditionally (i.e. regarding the true meaning of love), Will stand with you, tell you the truth @ all times, celebrate with you when you do, support you when you need it but will not stand with you when you are wrong.

Knowing true friendship only takes time for you to prove it. True friendship involves looking out for each other’s interest, helping each other become better and achieve your goals and dreams.

True friendship is not only when the other person is treating you well but when you also treat the person well and not take advantage of the person.

Lee: Thank you for your wisdom.

PD: What PL said, That’s what we think.

Lee: Athink you see am na?
What do you think PD?

PD: I just told you naa. She typed out what we both think.

Lee: Does it include regular visits to each other?

Bee: Not necessarily.

PD: Regular visits? No, that’s a job not a relationship. You visit as part of your fun not because you have a schedule to maintain. Or sometimes, if emergencies call for it and you’re available.

Lee: Thank you.

PL: You do not have the time to visit the person everyday, don’t expect it from the person too. When you have the time, do it. If you don’t, use other avenues to connect with the person.

Lee: Can friendship not run @ its pace? Must I visit my friends?
As talkative as I am, I really don’t like visiting.

PD: Then in this regard, you have to adjust. Care and love for each other are not virtual reality concepts. You must show it. Folks can’t read your mind so they won’t know until you display it.
I recommend you set up a routine for yourself to visit one friend or another per month, no rush when you do. I mean, make that your activity for that day. It would be easier if that friend is a family friend so your spouse can support you.
Same thing with making calls to friends and family.

Tammy: 📖🖊📝📝

Tee: Ok

Lee: Merci beaucoup.
PD: He hasn’t called? Why don’t you pick up your phone and call him and say, “Hey, bro, whatsup? You haven’t called for a while like you usually do. Is everything alright?”
By that one action, you have done two things.
1. You have shown that his calls were actually valuable to you and you enjoy them.
2. You have shown that you’re not just sitting down waiting for him to come and pay homage. You also care but perhaps you are not as great at making calls as he is.
You just might find out that,  like our Brother Will, his phone was stolen and he is still trying to get another one or like Sister Tammy, her phone is doing skoin skoin (i.e. has a problem) and she has to borrow a relative’s phone to stay in touch and so on and so forth.
The principle can be applied to visits, gifts, and so on.

Lee: Life would be easier if we did this.

PD: I get amused when I call someone who I haven’t heard from for some time and they spend the time complaining, “Eheeeeeeen, you have forgotten me, abi? You refused to call me. It’s not good o. I thought we were friends”. 😒😒😒 And I’m thinking, “You are using my call credit to tell me that I don’t call you?” For some, I just tell them straight to do that on their own call credit and not waste mine, cos in case you haven’t noticed friend, I’m the one calling now“.

On the other hand, I have had to tell a lot of friends, when I do call them and they are all over the place apologising for not calling… I tell them something like “Hey, our friendship didn’t start because of a phone call and it won’t end because of a lack of one, so let’s pick up where we left off and keep going”. They are usually grateful. Some of them are, perhaps, here on this platform. 

See, I’ve told myself that even if I am perfect, life isn’t. Things happen as part of life that makes people’s best intentions and efforts to still come up short. Give them a break, cut them some slack, they are people living in the same imperfect world as you.

Tee: What about when it’s only you dat does all the calling? 

PD: I will say this to you. How many times have you forgiven God of his transgressions? How many times have you sat down to listen to God’s prayers and answer them? How many times has God taken you for granted and forgot to connect with you on a daily basis? Answer is zero.

So, since you were made in the image and likeness of God, more so, you are the new creation the whole of eternity has been excited to see, you can do better than getting tired of being the one calling all the time.

Tee: Yes sir. 

PD: It is this same principle in every other relationship, including marriage, that God taught me years ago and I have been applying ever since: Love others as I have loved you. 

His love is unconditional, never tiring, never waning, consistent. Predictable. I’ve come to learn recently… Well not so recently sha… that God is the most predictable person there is. You know exactly what He would do in every situation. His predictability is sure. In fact, another word for predictable would be faithful.

When we read 1 Corinthians 13 and get to the point that says “Love never fails”, we usually read it in our contemporary English language and conclude that it means love always succeeds or love always wins but that is not what it means. The word fail there actually means to finish or get exhausted. So, what we are actually looking at there is “Love no dey finish”. 

I know I am right because it goes on to say “Now abideth Faith, Hope and Love”. What that means is that at the end of all things, three things abide forever, three things *remain* and they are faith, hope and love.

So love doesn’t finish. Keep calling.

However, I must draw your attention to something else. Why are you calling? Are you calling so that they would also call you back? If that’s it then you are not loving, you’re simply trading. And in trade, sometimes you gain and sometimes you lose. Besides, Jesus said if you do good only to folks who can return the favour, you ain’t doing anything awesome. The worst hypocrites can match you on that level.

Tee: That’s true. 

PD: Of course, if I am managing a relationship, I will tell the other person too to do better than just receiving all the time because love gives. If you love, you give. And if you return a favour, you water a seed and a beautiful harvest is in view.

But if your reason for reaching out is because of love (Agape o), then whether the person responds or not, you always win.

Tammy: Hmmm! 👍

PD: You know the funny thing? I have stopped looking for true friendship a long time ago. I don’t need to look for it. It takes time to recognise it but will I now hold back loving and keep running tests till I am convinced that this person is a true friend? Meanwhile, even if the person was a true friend, he might have perceived me an untrue friend because I was not reciprocating.

Tee: True Sir. 

PD: Instead, I just go on loving and giving. If you’re a true friend, with time I will know but meanwhile, in the same time you too will know I am a true friend. But if it turns out you’re not, well, you’ll eventually show yourself and the disconnection would be automatic, probably you would even run away on your own. 

Would I get hurt? Would I feel taken advantage of? Would I feel used and abused? Of course, I would. But why is He Jehovah Rapha if not for healing my broken heart?

Did Jesus not say we are blessed when men use and abuse us for his sake? Did he not say to bless those who curse us and pray for those who spitefully use us? 

You know why he said that? Its because he wants us to know ahead that folks would do that to us and we shouldn’t sit down and mourn over it. We should man up, get over it, and move on. One verse of scripture says “quit you like men, be strong.” That’s 1 Corinthians 16:13.
We are soldiers, not feel good groupies.

Angelo: Nice one PD 👍

PD: I think a major part of our problem is that we forget to use the parameters of our homeland to assess things. We use earthly tools and we end up feeling dumped on just like “earthlings” tend to do and which makes them look out for “Number 1”. The word says, if in this world only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable. If our basis for life is only what we can see here, no wonder we are miserable. 

You know you tend to feel worse when something feels wrong and you know that you’re better than this yet you’re feeling bad? That’s exactly how of all men most miserable we are.

Lee: Thank you PD.

I enjoy a friendship where I am not pressured. 

A friend comes to visit and tells me, “If you don’t visit me, I will not visit you again.”  

PD: Your “friend” should not attempt to guilt you into doing anything. That’s exactly what I was describing earlier… doing good to folks because you want them to return the favour later is trading. If a person cannot see that you’re in a phase where your time is stretched thin, then, at the moment, he is being self-centred rather than friend-centered. Do what you can at your pace because you want to. Use your phone if you can’t be physically available. If the person now decides not to pick your calls, well then, sadly, let him go.Hey, our friendship didn’t start because of a phone call and it won’t end because of a lack of one, so let’s pick up where we left off and keep going”. They are usually grateful. Some of them are, perhaps, here on this platform.

See, I’ve told myself that even if I am perfect, life isn’t. Things happen as part of life that makes people’s best intentions and efforts to still come up short. Give them a break, cut them some slack, they are people living in the same imperfect world as you.

Tee: What about when it’s only you dat does all the calling?

PD: I will say this to you. How many times have you forgiven God of his transgressions? How many times have you sat down to listen to God’s prayers and answer them? How many times has God taken you for granted and forgot to connect with you on a daily basis? Answer is zero.

So, since you were made in the image and likeness of God, more so, you are the new creation the whole of eternity has been excited to see, you can do better than getting tired of being the one calling all the time.

Tee: Yes sir.

PD: It is this same principle in every other relationship, including marriage, that God taught me years ago and I have been applying ever since: Love others as I have loved you.

His love is unconditional, never tiring, never waning, consistent. Predictable. I’ve come to learn recently… Well not so recently sha… that God is the most predictable person there is. You know exactly what He would do in every situation. His predictability is sure. In fact, another word for predictable would be faithful.

When we read 1 Corinthians 13 and get to the point that says “Love never fails”, we usually read it in our contemporary English language and conclude that it means love always succeeds or love always wins but that is not what it means. The word fail there actually means to finish or get exhausted. So, what we are actually looking at there is “Love no dey finish”.

I know I am right because it goes on to say “Now abideth Faith, Hope and Love”. What that means is that at the end of all things, three things abide forever, three things *remain* and they are faith, hope and love.

So love doesn’t finish. Keep calling.

However, I must draw your attention to something else. Why are you calling? Are you calling so that they would also call you back? If that’s it then you are not loving, you’re simply trading. And in trade, sometimes you gain and sometimes you lose. Besides, Jesus said if you do good only to folks who can return the favour, you ain’t doing anything awesome. The worst hypocrites can match you on that level.

Tee: That’s true.

PD: Of course, if I am managing a relationship, I will tell the other person too to do better than just receiving all the time because love gives. If you love, you give. And if you return a favour, you water a seed and a beautiful harvest is in view.

But if your reason for reaching out is because of love (Agape o), then whether the person responds or not, you always win.

Tammy: Hmmm! 👍

PD: You know the funny thing? I have stopped looking for true friendship a long time ago. I don’t need to look for it. It takes time to recognise it but will I now hold back loving and keep running tests till I am convinced that this person is a true friend? Meanwhile, even if the person was a true friend, he might have perceived me an untrue friend because I was not reciprocating.

Tee: True Sir.

PD: Instead, I just go on loving and giving. If you’re a true friend, with time I will know but meanwhile, in the same time you too will know I am a true friend. But if it turn out you’re not, well, you’ll eventually show yourself and the disconnection would be automatic, probably you would even run away on your own.
Would I get hurt? Would I feel taken advantage of? Would I feel used and abused? Of course, I would. But why is He Jehovah Rapha of not for healing my broken heart?

Did Jesus not say we are blessed when men use and abuse us for his sake? Did he not say to bless those who curse us and pray for those who spitefully use us?
You know why he said that? Its because he wants is to know ahead that folks would do that to us and we shouldn’t sit down and mourn over it. We should man up, get over it, and move on. One verse of scripture says “quit you like men, be strong.” That’s 1 Corinthians 16:13.

We are soldiers, not feel good groupies.

Angelo: Nice one PD 👍

PD: I think a major part of our problem is that we forget to use the parameters of our homeland to assess things. We use earthly tools and we end up feeling dumped on just like “earthlings” tend to do and which makes them look out for “Number 1”. The word says, if in this world only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable. If our basis for life is only what we can see here, no wonder we are miserable.
You know you tend to feel worse when something feels wrong and you know that you’re better than this yet you’re feeling bad? That’s exactly how of all men most miserable we are.

Lee: Thank you PD.
I enjoy a friendship were I am not pressured.
A friend comes to visit and tells me, if you don’t visit me, I will not visit you again.

PD: Your “friend” should not attempt to guilt you into doing anything. That’s exactly what I was describing earlier… doing good to folks because you want them to return the favour later is trading. If a person cannot see that you’re in a phase where your time is stretched thing, then, at the moment, he is being self-centred rather than friend-entered. Do what you can at your pace because you want to. Use your phone if you can’t be physically available. If the person now decides not to pick your calls, well then, sadly, let him go.

Lee: Fine, maybe I should still try. But, I have an honestly very tight schedule.

Two old and sick mothers to take care of, I stay pretty far, children and a baby too.

I have enjoyed pressure-free friendship in the past. I visit and visit, because I know my friend is busy, and I never threaten them about not visiting. And of course, I know they appreciate it, then when they find the time, they visit too.

Tee: This is the best group to belong.

PD: I’ll end with this, “Greater love has no man than this, than that a man lay down his life for his friends”. When Jesus made this statement, he wasn’t dead yet. The drive of the statement is not about literally dying to keep your friends alive. Although it includes that but what it really implies is that there is no love greater than when a man lives his life for the benefit of his friends.

Just live for others as God lives for you and you’ll be fine. One of my Pastors said, “Christianity is not about what others are supposed to do but what I am supposed to do”.

Ash: Great words PD! Truly blessed by them and thanks for sharing.

MJ: :mrgreen: God. Bless you Dr Lee for that thought. God bless you PDeeee awesome.. all contributors God bless you tooooooos.