Friday, August 31, 2012

Standing in the Place of Prayer For '72 Babies - August

August has come to an end so rapidly. The vacation is over and for many, there have been new beginnings. We give thanks to God for His numerous blessing showered on all of us. During the month, more praise reports came in from some of the 1972 babies listed below:
- success in a challenging professional examination
- open doors for professional development
- physical manifestation of healing in the life of a loved one.

It is joy to see the Hands of God working on behalf of those we are praying for. All praise be to God. Let's continue to stand in the gap for these precious children of God being fully persuaded that faithful is He Who has promised. God has created them for good works which He had planned ahead of time for them to do.

Let us pray that at every cross road of decision-making they will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit directing them in the way to go. Let us pray that favor will make a way for them and cause doors to be opened to them. Also ask that they will have an increasing revelation of the knowledge of the will of God.

For background information, please read the following blog post:
The Year I Stopped Playing With Dolls - May 23rd, 2012
Standing in the Place of Prayer for 1972 Babies - May 31st, 2012
I encourage you to enlist others around you to join us to pray. Do find below names of those born in 1972 shared with me. I ask you also to keep sending the names. I will update the list as new information becomes available.
·        Dotun
·        Subomi
·        Kemi
·        Bola
·        Folabi
·        Yemisi
·        Gbenga
·        Bola
·        Sarah
·        Tokunbo
·        Mary
·        Funmi
·        Simon
·        Grace
·        Au Huen
·        Taiwo and Kehinde
·        Kayode
·        Rosemary
·        Femi
·        Ehi
·        Erik

Please share with us the testimony of what God is doing in your life if you are a 1972 or in the life of your 1972 sibling, family and friend in the comments box below and if the Lord has put a specific prayer point in your heart, please share it too. Grace be multiplied to you.
Now, let us pray

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cartwheels Of Joy

A cartwheel of joy

An overflow of hope

Walking and leaping
            Praising God

Waving and swaying
            Glorifying God

Twisting and Turning
            Adoring God

Dancing and Pirouetting
            Magnifying God

I employed the graceful routine of a rhythmic gymnast
Added the intricate moves of a figure skater
I called my soul to action
It is time to put praise in motion

My soul lifted me out of my bed in a swift
Spun me around the floor like a top
In unison, we spiraled and jumped
Lifted high the praise of our King
In melodious harmony
This is praise in motion.

Assured God has a plan for me
It is for peace and joy.

This is not a dream
I am fully awake
I laid back on my bed
Just for this moment

Arise, daughter of Zion
Behold it is the dawn of a new day
And my strength springs for speedily.

Hannah is my shining example. She took it to the Lord in prayer (1Sam 1:10-19). In the bitterness and great distress of her soul , she prayed and poured out her heart before the Lord.

"...Look upon the affliction of Your handmaiden ..." she cried.

She continued praying out of great complaint and bitter provocation. When she heard the words of encouragement from Eli, her heart was at peace because she was assured that the God she prayed to heard her prayers.

She left it with the Lord. She trusted that the Lord heard her

Evidence: her countenance was lifted up and she was no longer sad or downcast.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge - Ps 62:8

She was filled with joy and peace because she trusted in the Lord. The God of her hope filled her with joy and peace as she trusted in Him.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Our great God is the God of hope. He fills us with joy and peace out of His limitless stores until we overflow with hope by the power of His Holy Spirit when we trust in Him. This verse jumped out of the page and latched itself to my heart a couple of weeks ago and has stayed there ever since.

God is the source and the giver of hope. We are filled with continual peace and joy because we trust in Him which brings abundant and overflowing hope!

Overflowing with hope! YAY!

Bubbling over.
Boiling over
It is visible
It touches others
It can not be hidden

The resultant effect:

It is the cartwheel of joy
It is praise in motion.

The peace and joy we receive from God is contingent on our trust in Him. God holds my heart in perfect peace trusting in Him, come what may, even when the billows rage. I have a guarantee. I have an assurance. I have a hope that will not disappoint me. I trust God to act on my behalf. The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in me to cause me to overflow with hope.

A copious and superabundant flow of hope from within me to the extent that like a cascade of water in a fountain, it spurts and splashes on everyone who comes near me.

The crippled beggar at the gate called Beautiful taught me how to put praise in motion. He received perfect soundness in his body at the name of Jesus Christ. He walked and leaped into the temple praising God.

See my praise in motion.
Watch me do my cartwheels of joy.
I am alive with hope!

What about you? Do you trust the Lord to take care of that challenging situation? Then like Hannah did, leave it with the Lord. As you trust in Him, you will experience the peace and joy, He only can give and the overflow of hope His Holy Spirit will work out in you. How would you put your praise in motion?

Share your story and encourage someone today.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Landmarks on My Heart

This is my 50th post since I started blogging in November 2011. It is timely. My first son left for the University in US last Sunday. This blog is therefore dedicated to him.

Many thanks to all of you who have been here since I started the blog. I appreciate the time you spend here and the words of encouragement you share with me. God bless you richly.

The journey to the university started in 2004, when at the end of his primary school, I began to ponder on the plans for our son's future education. I invested in The Good Schools Guide - the Parents' Guide to the top schools in UK. Armed with the information from the book, still on my bookshelf, I tried to convince my son to consider going to school in UK.

I lost that battle. His mind was made up even at that time, he was heading for US and basketball was going to play a huge part in his selection of university.

The process—selection, application, essay writing, examinations, and decision-making— was intense. It is beyond the scope of this post to describe. We prayed and asked God to guide and direct us to the place where He had prepared ahead of time for our son, the place where he would thrive, remain rooted in the Lord, and fulfil his God-given purpose.

How do you find that one place among tens of thousands of schools in a country?
We prayed some more.

His desired course of study and basketball were strong determinants. A summer camp in 2011 and he knew beyond doubt what he wanted to do. We made a list of about 20 universities to apply to. He visited five of them. He applied to 11 universities and got accepted by three of them including one of those he visited.

It was roller-coasting with emotions, his joy when he got his first letter of acceptance and his painful disappointment when he was rejected by his first choice of university. His second choice offered him admission in a smaller campus—my husband and I had peace in our heart about this place. We knew we have found that one place God has prepared for him. He struggled to accept where he knew God was leading him when it became obvious that the remaining two offers he had did not fit into his vision and dream for his life.

We prayed some more. We wanted him to be happy and excited about the decision he made and not to feel compelled to go there. As he shared the news with friends, he began to lighten up when he got positive feedback—the small campus would be a great starting point for him after all. It would also provide him with the opportunity to play basketball.

A few days to go, he started packing and the reality set in. He was really packing, he was excited about going to school and I had to be happy for him. So why the nostalgia? I guess every mom goes through this. My friends called it, the bittersweet feeling. I wished he was not going so far away.

I planned the week before his departure to give us the opportunity to spend time together. It was two days before his departure and nothing I had planned for the week turned out as planned. He came into my room that afternoon and sat on my bed.

"Do you read my blog?"

After a period of silence, he replied, "Sometimes"

We had this conversation before. I got the sense that what I write here does not address the concerns of a college-bound teenager or the truth might be that, he simply did not have the patience for the "long" articles.

"Find time to stop-by once in a while, there might be some messages for you."

"Yes, Mom."

"You know I had so much planned for us to do together this week?"

"It's all right, Mom." He shifted his frame sprawled over my bed and continued to play his game on my Ipad.

I had a choice: to cry over the plans that have not gone right or grab this moment and make them special. I chose the latter.

"How do you get excited and worked up about something that is not real?" I asked.

That began the discussion about  the choices he had to make to keep him winning in the car racing game. He told me about the mistakes he made at the beginning buying cars he did not need and how he learnt to be strategic about his choices so he could save money for what he needed.

Needless to say, I did not miss the opportunity to drop in a word or two about how this could play out in real life. We did not go for the outings I planned for the week but the memories of the time we shared together that afternoon will remain special in my heart for a long time to come.

There are times we are visited by the vicissitudes of life and all our best laid out plans are thrown in total disarray. We can make a choice to make memories with the moments we have or miss that opportunity as well, which will be a double tragedy.

With God's help, we have done our best to train him up in the way he should go and I am persuaded that he would not depart from the path of truth. I know God has gone ahead of him already to make the crooked path straight before him and to raise up help for him every step of the way. My heart is at peace trusting in the Lord.

To my dear son, if you are reading this, I was moved when I read the introduction to your autobiography- My Flight to Success, which you wrote for your university application essay. As you begin the first leg of your flight, remember to stay focussed on your goals and pursue your dream without relenting. Much love, Mom.

Landmarks etched on my heart
Like billboards along my path
Reminding me of the moments we shared
Making memories together.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Strong in Faith

But Abraham was strong in faith. He did not stagger at the promise of God - Roman 4:20.

He was not moved. He was not agitated but he firmly believed the promise.

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God - 1Sam 30:6. He did not give in under the weight of distress.

In the last few days, I felt overwhelmed with distress to the extent that I needed the truth of these words to sink deep into my spirit. I needed to learn a lesson or two from these witnesses who were "strong in faith" through their challenges.

Physically fatigued struggling to hold breath down, the muscles in my upper body cried out for relief. My mind was bombarded with suggestions which needed the truth of the word of God to prevent them from taking root.

"Be strong in faith" - my Pastor's words echoed in my spirit. I wondered if he knew how often he used that phrase whenever he spoke with me.

"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me" - I quoted and spoke this verse to myself several times in the course of a day.

"He restores and renews my strength."

These promises of God are not mere words, they are authentic, true and backed by the faithfulness of our covenant-keeping God Who exalted His Word above His name.

God is worthy of our confidence and trust—I know that to be true.

God's faithfulness is engaged to perform His promises—This I know too.

So I called my soul to order and asked, "what does it mean to you to be strong in faith?"

Abraham refused to let his far-gone circumstances discourage him. He had every human reason to be discouraged—he was impotent and his wife's womb was dead! He hoped when it didn’t make any sense to hope.  

Against the reality of his situation, he was absolutely convinced that God Who had promised is able to perform it.  I believe in my heart that against the reality of my situation God is able to fulfil His promise concerning me.

God's ability to perform what He has promised supersedes the facts presented by the challenges we face.

Our reality—challenging and difficult circumstances— are subject to change. God does not change and His Word does not change. If there is a promise in His Word upon which I can anchor my desire based on His will for me, then the truth of that Word supersedes the reality of my current circumstances.

Abraham waited for 25 years for the promise to be fulfilled. He waited in hope and in expectation. He did not waver. But he was empowered by faith as he gave glory to God.

David was greatly distressed but he strengthen himself in the Lord - he encouraged himself with his previous experience of God's faithfulness and he resolved not to give in to the despair which greatly weighed upon his soul.

What then is our fear? Is it that God will not do what He has promised to do?

That is unbelief and distrust.

"Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggering at God's promises."

Will it come to pass as He has promised?

Will He do what He says He will do?

When? How?

The questions are endless. And when we don’t refute them with the word of God, they take root and make us question God's ability and faithfulness.

"The strength of faith appears in its victory over our fears."

I love the song - He's Able by Dietrick Haddon. The French version - Il est capable, conveyed the message of the song in a profound way which latched to my spirit and gave me a much needed boost.

Dieu est capable de faire
Tout ce qu'il dit. Il l'fera
Il accomplira
Toutes ses promesses envers toi.

Garde ta foi en Dieu
Il ne t'abandonnera pas

Translated literarily:

God is able to do what He say. He's able.
He will accomplish all His promises to you.
Guard your faith in God
He will not abandon you
He's able.

What great assurance this gave me. He will not abandon or leave me alone.

Guard my faith in God? Yes I can do that.

I guard my faith by taking God's word and using it to refute every lie and suggestion of the enemy. As I do this, my faith becomes stronger. The more I meditate on the word of God, the more I was recharged with the life in the word and strength was restored to my inner mind. The word of God kept within my heart is life to me and health to my whole body - Prov. 4:22.

"Faith honors God and God honors faith."

When I stand strong in faith, I express my confidence and trust in the truth and promises of God. By faith, I lean and depend on the strength of God's hands to keep me and carry my fatigued body..

To be strong in faith is to be assured that I am not praying in vain. I have an expectation of not only the fulfillment of the promises, but also of every degree of help, light, life and comfort which God might at anytime see necessary for me. And the exercise of my faith will draw multitude to God.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with the challenges you are faced with? How do you guard your faith and stay strong in faith? Share your story and encourage someone today.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Faced with a situation which presented itself like a tightly knotted cord.
For many years we tugged at this knot,
We did all we knew to do to unravel this knot—it would not bulge;

Many hours spent agonizing in prayers,
It appeared one loop was loosening a little, then in a swift,
It twisted itself into an even tighter knot,
Defying understanding or solution.
No human hand could unravel this knot.

Tired, almost in despair,
My soul cried out to the Lord:

Is there anything too difficult for You to do, Lord?
Can a heart be so hard, You can not touch and soften?
Is there any issue too knotty for You to unravel?

At that time when it looked so bleak—You visited me;
Early in the morning, at the dawn of a new day,
Your warm breath brushed my temple like the touch of soft down feathers, 
You whispered my name and called me out of a deep dark place.

At that moment, voices resounding like those of a throng of angels floated into my spirit,
A song arose from within my heart,
"How great is Our God."

Yes, how great is Our God.

"Is that a question or an affirmation?"

He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
He holds the universe in the span of His hands- Is 40:12
What is too difficult for Him?
What knotty situation can He not unravel?

He is the God Who caused water to flow from flinty rocks
Whose heart is too hard for Him to touch?

My mind tried to phantom the picture created here;
My imagination failed me.

A span is the distance between the thumb and the pinkie (the little finger).

The farthest reaches of the infinite universe is measurable by the span of God's hand—the space between His finger and His thumb holds the entire universe estimated to be around 28 billion light years in diameter and I am told a light year is 5,878,630,000,000 miles1.

Ha! the estimated size of the universe is 28,000,000,000 X 5,878,630,000,000 miles wide at it's diameter!

Awesome God! How great is Our God!

This same God hears us when we call out to Him. He harkens to our cry. Nothing escapes His notice. Nothing catches Him unawares.

He measured the waters in the hollow of His hands,
He knows the exact weight of the earth - Is 40:12.
He knows the precise number of hair on our heads - Lk 12:7.
He called the stars by their names and knows the number of them - Ps 147:4
He is the Almighty God
All might and All power belongs to Him

"How Great is Our God."

What challenging situation can defy the might of this great God?

His mighty hands can unravel every tight, complex or convoluted knot.
He has the final say.

Can a hard heart be softened and made sensitive?
Can a deteriorated relationship be restored to vibrancy?

He is the God Who restored the decaying body of Lazarus to life,
He can restore dead relationships to life.
He caused dry bones to live again,
He can restore life to every area of deadness and dryness in any sphere of our lives.

I know You are good.
I know Your plans are perfect.
Even when I don't understand,
I know You Who knows it all, knows it best.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing is too difficult for You.

You can unravel this knot,
I wait in hope.
I wait with patience.
I trust in Your goodness and faithfulness.

You reveal to redeem.
You will not leave Your servants in the dark.
In the glorious light of Your presence,
The eye of our understanding is illuminated.

I hear the shout of victory.
                             But distinct.
And I know a triumphant possession is coming my way.

I don't know how. I don't know when.
but I have this one guarantee,
this blessed assurance,
this hope which does not disappoint…
…He will unravel this knot in His own way and in His own time.
…He will work it together for our good.

Our God is great. He will take care of all that concerns you.
Will you trust Him with your knotty situation?

1. Our God is Big. Thoughtful Christian Insights

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thanks-living: A Sacrifice and Catalogue of Praise.

"At His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy! I will sing and make music to the Lord!" - Ps 27:6.

Last week, I shared with you Thanks-living: A Lifestyle of Thanksgiving and Praise. As promised, I will conclude with a focus on offering a sacrifice of praise and share my catalogue of praise.

The Bible speaks of a continual sacrifice of praise! "The fruit of lips" should be our daily thanksgiving like the morning and evening sacrifices in the temple of Israel thousands of years ago and a thankful way of living will follow. God honors and blesses the lips of a true worshiper.

Greatly afflicted and at the brink of death, David trusted in God for deliverance. He called upon the name of the Lord in his hour of need. And the Lord heard and delivered him. God kept his soul in life and broke his bonds. He offered to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving - Ps 116. He publicly declared his gratitude to God.

"A sacrifice of praise is the fruit of lips that confess God's name and it is offered continually through Christ Jesus" - Heb 13:15.

It is wonderful to consider that our praise - the fruit of our lips giving thanks to God - is a sacrifice acceptable to God.

"To sacrifice is to surrender, to give-up, and to offer something of value that we would rather hold on to."

- Abraham surrendered Isaac when God asked him to sacrifice his son.
- A woman sacrificed an alabaster of costly perfume to anoint Jesus.
- Jesus gave His life for us on the cross at Calvary.

A sacrifice is at a cost. It requires a yielding and letting go of something.

We offer a  sacrifice of praise when we can "joyfully sing unto the Lord" at a time when the world around us thinks we have no reason to, this will capture us an audience.

Singing joyfully to God:
On the mountain, or in the valley.
In the patchy desert, or in land that is plentiful.
In the wilderness, or in the pastures
When darkness closes in or when sun is shining brightly on me.

"The sacrifice of praise is the fruit of lips, it is sounds coming out of our mouths—singing in some sort of vocal praise. You have to use your lips if you want the blessings of offering the sacrifice of praise" - isaiah5432.

Singing stirs up our affection and emotion. It helps to lift us into the presence of God. Since God inhabits the praises of His people, praise, worship and thanksgiving takes us into the presence of God where there is fullness of joy.

"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" - Eph. 5:19-20.

It is easy to sing and praise God on the good days when the lines have fallen for us in pleasant places. The challenge is to praise and worship God when we can not physically see what we are asking for and when all we have is the faith that God is faithful to keep His word.

It is through Jesus Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit indwelling us that we can offer a sacrifice of praise that is acceptable to God.

"The enemy loves to silence the tongue of a true worshiper. His sole purpose is to silence your voice from praising God" - Khandielese Reyes1.

"Praise and worship is one of the greatest tools every believer has in blessing the Lord and defeating the enemy."

Can you joyfully sing to God in the midst of your troubles?

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" - 1Thess 5:18

We can give thanks to God for His most precious, inexpressible and free Gift - the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and an assurance of a home in heaven. God wants us to continually thank Him. He wants us to live a life of thankfulness.

Thanks-living is…Living life in thanks, awe and joy.

Offering praise and thanks to God should not be reserved for a particular time of the year alone, or for Sundays or when things are going great for us, it is what we ought to do as often as possible throughout the day as we cultivate a lifestyle of thanks-living.

"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God. Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…He who sacrifices thanks offering honors God and he prepares the way so that God may show him His salvation" - Ps 50:14, 22.

Conscious thanks-living makes you spontaneous at showing appreciation for every gift. It fuels your ability to raise a spontaneous praise to God in private worship time and it helps to ignite an atmosphere of praise and worship when you gather together with other children of God.

It consciously looks for reasons to give thanks in every situation. It is an anecdote to grumbling and complaining.

We have abundant reasons each day to give thanks to God if we focus our attention on it. Thanks-living helps us to focus on what is already in the cup—what God has done and is doing in our lives.

Being deliberate in our thanksgiving helps us to cultivate a lifestyle of thanks-living. Like Darnly suggested, I am writing them down through the day in a notebook. Take a peep:

My Catalogue of Praise for July:

1. I am blessed with a kind, loving, selfless and caring husband who fears, honors and serves God with all his heart. I am grateful for his relentless love which has stayed strong and true through the thick and the thin. I can not tell you often enough how much you mean to me. I love you loads.

2. They make me proud, they make me smile and they make me lift up my hands in praise to God. My two strong young men—unique and distinct in character and expression, they pursue similar interests with same passion and serve each other in love. I promise to play Xbox and chill out with you!

3. Rn & Ge: two 4 years old boys who made me laugh when my heart was heavy. They came to visit and stayed quietly, as if sensitive to the ambiance in the house. Rn cautiously approached me and before I knew it I was sitting on the floor playing Xbox, which I had never played before, and laughing. After they left, I gave thanks to God for using these toddlers to lift up my spirit.

4. Inspiration for my first novel (WIP-02) started flowing again after being dormant for almost 8 months (!). It was jumpstarted after participating in a webinar by Scribes Forge, a package I won during the Bookshelf Muse RAOK Blitz held last May. I have reconnected with the main characters and reworked the timelines. I am grateful to God for this.

5. Thankful for the assurance we have that God will perfect all that concerns every member of our families. He will not fail to intervene on our behalf. He will not abandon or forsake us.

6. The assurance that God hears and answers our prayers, and is in control of every knotty issue in every sphere of our lives.

7. So grateful for all the precious hands that prepared and brought to me many delightful delicacies—a pot full of Gambas, Amala and Banga soup, Grilled chicken and fish with Mango-Ginger sauce, tapioca and potato coated prawn dim sum, chin chin and more—at a time I needed the extras to spike my appetite.

8. The opportunity to be a vessel in the hands of God and the privilege to be used of Him to touch the lives for good.

9. The many doors God opened to me through which I am able to reach out to others.

10. They thought of me and prayed, they picked up the phone and called, and they made themselves available to encourage me. I bless God for each of them.

11. They were displaced from the comfort of their homes, they altered their routines, and put themselves at my service—I thank God for Irene and Faith.

12. Too many to be listed out, but willingly their hands ministered to me and  their feet ran many errands on my behalf—my God shall richly reward them.

13. They put themselves at my disposal to drive me to all the places where I needed to be—I thank God for them.

14. Grateful for the weight (1kg) I gained in the first week of my "Regain 4kg in 4 weeks" challengeJ

The pages of this blog post are insufficient to contain the numberless blessings for which I am thankful…

What about you? How are you doing with your Catalogue of Praise?