Monday, March 17, 2008

He Yet Speaks!

I tried being interested in everything zipping past my window view from the speeding car. My vision however was through tear smudged lens. My mind was in a spin, searching for a logical explanation fruitlessly.

I just thought, “well, uh, well, it must be because eh…” I gave up! Every attempted explanation sounded hollower than the previous.

His words like a harmless insect stung painfully. The tone they came in was normal but it in no way diminished the impact. My lips parted to give a reply but silence remained intact.

Something about the human spirit being able to pick up things unsaid. He must have sensed my unspoken reaction because as the silence created deepened he reached out his hand to the music player to fill it with music.

A series of familiar Gospel tracks sucked up the charge in the air. Yet, I didn’t listen. I only heard them as from a distance. Track followed track until one for no discernible reason pulled back my spirit.
The singer sang the words in a very sober tone. Almost melancholic: It caught my attention. It was just a match to my state of mind.

The lyrics spoke to disappointed hearts. It told them not to be surprised when they are let down by not just anyone but people who are supposed to be on the same side as them. It told them that even the Heavens and the Earth will fail.
Whoever gets anxious about whether the sun will rise or fall or that the seasons will change. These are nature’s constants but they will fail sometime except for one. The changeless one: Jesus.

Here I was wrestling with hurt feelings from a brother’s remark. Surely, I felt let down and my inside was bleeding.

All this as we drove to Sonday school. I guess we were already learning a Sonday school lesson an hour early. Life!

The eye opening song was sung by brother Korley. I think (not sure) he titled it “Jesus Never Fails”

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Preacher's Cross

When Satan launches an offensive, he leaves you in no doubt as to whom the author of your trouble is. Co-incidence will not pass as a satisfactory explanation for the ugly incidences that follow. This is especially so when he is on a mission to intimidate a man whose life poses a threat to him. A man whose business it is to turn on God's revealing light on his dark nature.

To hear the story of Brother Seyi Adelodun, a young message preacher, at a time when people, religious and non religious are superstitious about what experience they have because anything unpleasant is deemed as boding a bad omen for a year about to be birthed, any spiritual mind would have no difficulty discerning that this young man must have stepped hard on Satan's dark toes and Satan is calling for his pound of flesh.

Having worshipped God into the late hours of the night at his humble church, he snapped back to consciousness, realizing that he couldn't make it back home to his wife and suckling boy. So he decided to spend the night there.

It was just five days before Christmas. The mood was festive.
Brother Seyi set out for home just as the Sun was making its cheery climb up the morning sky.
As he pushed his way down the street with a head-load of thoughts, suddenly he noticed movement too quick for the lazy morning:Two men on motorbike rushing at him.

When they got close enough, they pulled out a gun and demanded that he hand over the small leather bag slung on his shoulder. In a matter of seconds the bag had gotten into wrong hands and the robbers may well be said to have dematerialized as they faded out of view in an instant.

Two days later, he went to his parents’ to narrate his ordeal. His dad also being a preacher.He told them about the important documents he had lost to that experience: International passport, driver's license, Identity card, cell phone, his sermon books, tracts and Gospel CDs among other things.

Just as they were giving him their sympathy, consolation and encouragement some men came asking for him. They had with them his Identity card. It turned out that they were policemen. They said a lady was robbed and that the robbers in their hasty getaway had left behind that ID.

It is common knowledge around Nigeria that time spent going to the police to report a crime is not just time wasted but also possibly an opportunity given to them to victimize the innocent, who will not be let out until they have been parted from their money. So it's easy to understand why the young preacher chose save to his breath and look to God for justice.

Like a joke without a funny edge, he was told that he was a suspect. Even though the lady who claimed the robbers left the ID denied that the servant of God was one of them, it made no difference with the police. They weren't going to let him go without parting him from his money ( bail money as it is called: Illegal too because only a court grants bail.)

After close to a week in detention (illegal too because the law says a suspect should not be held beyond a day or so without prosecution) by the crooked law officers the young preacher walked away from his captors hoping to meet a relieved wife and baby happy to be carried again by the strong hands of daddy but that wasn't to be. Satan's hurt had not yet been placated.Instead of a relieved wife, a distressed one was waiting for him. She had in her arms a baby writhing in pain, scalded by hot water!Tender curly baby hair and facial skin badly peeled, lips parted by unending groans and stiffened eye lids.

For a thinking man, the presence of the shadow of death is proof positive that there is a substance of life.
Saints, we are traveling on the right road or satan won’t fight so hard!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A wedding and An Unexpected Gift

Bro. Korley above is a household name amongst believers of the endtime message. Where in the past we had to rely on the internet or brethren living overseas to help us get message songs in audio tapes or CD's now we can have those songs from closer home and in an accent similar to ours because of this gift of God to us.

On the 22nd of September, Ibadan Road got busy as it saw hordes of message believers driving to the venue of Bro. Tokunboh and Sis. Chinwe’s wedding. It was a massive crowd but the couple was well prepared: judging from the huge air conditioned hall to the skilful and colorful interior décor, especially the neon light hanging on the wall.

Bro. Korley (R) and Bro. Michael(L)

There was beauty everywhere to please the eyes, food and drinks for the palate and then unexpectedly a specialty for the ears!

I am in preparation for a wedding myself, so naturally, my mind was more than passively observing, it was soaking up tidbits of info on how to set up a wedding venue.

It was somewhere in between when my eyes,swiveling in it's socket at every angle like a closed circuit camera, remarking to my fiancée about this and that and making little “to do” notes that the singer’s voice broke into my attention. After a hard work rummaging in my memory I suddenly fished out the identity of the golden voice.I made a remark to my fiancée that it was ingenious for someone to think of playing Bro. Korley's CD here knowing his unmatched reputation for provoking a sing along session. But something didn't quite add up: it was the fact that the tracks being sung were not those in his released CD. So this couldn't have been a recording at play! But it was unmistakably his voice. A plausible explanation would be that a clever imitation was going on. Not satisfied with my mental explanation, I decided to do a little investigation; after all, there was a little lull now and then in between the items on the programme, so my movement would be of no consequence.

From the next table, we asked and got confirmation that we were hearing no imitation but the real deal. The programme writer had done his fans an injustice by simply referring to his slot as "special number by an INVITED ARTIST". Perhaps it was a deliberate act meant to keep attention on the couple.

The man himself was doing what he does best: strumming feverishly on his guitar and singing classic songs of Zion.The picture was of him singing into a microphone held up by a stand, a guitar hanging from his neck and sweat rolling off his face like little rocks down a mountain. The air somehow became charged. When he paused to allow the master of ceremony address the sitting crowd, it seemed like time had run in record speed like an Olympic athlete.

Glancing toward the platform, I saw a small crowd of people who had figured out earlier what I had just figured out . They all wanted an image of the man so they pointed Camera devices at him. White Light kept flashing off like lightening before rain and the man being self conscious wore a smile that stretched his facial skin like slackened rubber. It was simply awesome to behold!The light in his soul was shining full strength in his eyes. Those eyes spoke humility.

In no time, I had found me a space and froze some of his images in the icebox of my camera. My hands were very unsteady at first as I fumbled my way to the camera feature of my phone. My mind seemed to be screaming to me to grab a slice of history but my limb was as unco-ordinated as a mind tearing off the cobweb of sleep.

The lighting in the hall wasn't too good cos they let the place be semi dark to heighten the effect of the blinking bulbs. So my images weren't of the highest

But by God's grace I got another chance when the ceremony was ended and he was out of the hall.

(L-R)Pastor Niyi, Sis. Frances(My fiancee'), Bro. Korley, Me and Sis.Morenike

The brother couldn't walk two steps without encountering a forest of hands wanting to make contact. Imagine being in a place where everybody knew you but you had no idea who anyone was but for a few people.

Fresh in our mind is the story a missionary brought us of when he went to see off a group of visiting Canadian brethren and in a flash of inspiration he started plucking at his guitar and singing a farewell song. It was reported that the departure hall of the Airport went hush and movements were stilled as a crowd formed around him. When he was done singing, not many could hold back tears.
Such is the gift of this man. And here he was here, Live!

BFT online would be hard pressed to find reasons not to make a story out of it all.
I convinced him to do a photo session with me and my company by telling him that he couldn't deny his fans a chance to pose with him. He seemed to see reason in that cos he managed to drag his tired frame out of the car he was in into the vengeful afternoon sun and once again switched on his trademark smile.

(L-R)Pastor Niyi, Sis.Frances,Bro.Korley, Bro.Femi and Sis.Morenike

Hey, as soon I was focusing the camera to snap, people started edging in from left, right and center.

(L-R)Bro.Paul,Sis. Toyin,Bro. Sola, Bro.Korley, A minister,Sis.Morenike,Bro.From Benin

It was awesome! Everybody wanted to identify with this gift!

(L-R) Sis.Toyin, Sis.Folake, Pastor Niyi, Sis.Frances, Bro.Korley, Bro.Femi, Sis. Morenike,Pastor's Wife and Sis.Tolu
Bro. Korley didn't come alone. There was also his back up singer, Brother Michael and another brother whom I was unable to make contact with. The larger than life image trailing this gifted Ghanaian musical star somehow overshadowed them both.
Imagine if the gift can be as intoxicating how much more the Giver. The Great Jehovah!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A fourth child has been born into the family of Bro Femi and sis Bisi Adelodun. Many would say there are never any odds against the masculine gender in making predictions about their reproduction.
Brother Femi's love for boys has so far remained undiluted. Baby Abraham is the latest proof!

An interesting fact about this baby's birth is that the father wished for his delivery to co-incide with his birthday so they can both share it and it did it happen?
The Bible leaves us in no doubt about the power that the prayer of the saints pack with God.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Anything ....But God!

Big brains are out now…schooled or fooled?
They have big mouths…so they go talking real loud!
They believe in anything:Evolution, Big Bang, UFOs, ET, Martian life, Prehistoric life, Harry Potter…
Anything …but God!

In The Holy Land Of Israel

Visiting and meeting in the Holy Land of Israel.
From Left to Right:
Sis. Eseosa Imarhiagbe, Bro. Dele Adelodun, Bro. George Smith, Bro. Zacchaeus and Bro. Laja Are

Friday, July 06, 2007

God's Power In The Odd Hour!

Having finished her last assignment for the day, she tried to get a bus home from the financial hub of the Lagos metropolis called Marina street.

The hour was late and dark and the usually crowded street was becoming deserted. There was no bus in sight. Everything seemed to be as still as the imposing high rise buildings lining the street: except time.

Every time a pair of headlights lit the road or the far off screeching sound of tires drifted to her hearing, hope welled up: only to experience a swift deflation.This happened repeatedly until hope became as faded as the light of the moon hanging overhead.

It had been a rainy day. Heavy rains as it was on this day usually overwhelmed the drains causing flooded roads and bottle neck traffic.
She dared not look at her time piece so as not to get a scare from it. Also,it was useless having a wad of bills in her handbag because there would be no bus fare to pay. Anxiety steadily grew to stark fear.
Then suddenly an unusual thing happened. Sis Frances saw one of her company's staff buses driving toward her direction. It was a hope that hadn't once flickered in her mind amongst the other hopes she had entertained. If it did, it would create a more serious worry in her mind about the possibility of the situation tampering with her sanity.

Two odd things about this sight were the time and the route it was happening.
Regarding the time, the bus was three solid hours behind schedule. Concerning the route, it was not the usual.
The driver thought that something was wrong with the wheels so he thought to go to the nearest branch of the Bank to check it out. On getting there,he found everything intact.
As they entered the expressway heading toward Festac, Only one person amongst the occupants of the bus could make sense out of the situation and that was sister Frances. With relief flooding her heart she realized that nothing can go out of kilter with a God who is able to keep bigger things like the stars from spinning out of their orbit.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Under God’s Sky and His watchful Eye

While draining my teacup of its milky content, I noticed the morning light dimming. The cloud was brooding. Instead of its clean look, it looked dark and dirty.
Out of the door, I broke into an even paced jog. My stomach sloshing with undigested semi solid breakfast: the road to the bus stop stretched endlessly before me. Soon out of air I slowed down to a walk when I heard my ankles begin to talk.
Before long the morning looked like it was evening. Headlights were turned on to illuminate the darkening road. Frantic movements, adults hurrying, kids scurrying, folks nowhere near origin or destination doing the jumps over gutters in their for search shelters, road side traders spreading nylon covers over their wares, lightweight materials gaining buoyancy as they get picked up in the excited wind, competing winds locking horns making frightened dust particles flee into eyeballs for cover, umbrellas growing from prepared people’s heads like mushrooms.

Observing all this brought a thought to my mind. I remembered that Heavenly daddy is the sole controller of the universe, he schedules the seasons, rainy and dry as we have it here. It didn’t seem implausible that I could gain favor from Him by asking the time for the downpour to be delayed long enough for me to get to my bus stop. I still had a lot of ground to cover. The sky was barely holding. Drops were already cascading lightly but I had no doubt that I could pull strings with Heavenly daddy. But this didn’t mean that I walked like my need to stay dry meant more to Heavenly Daddy than His duty to feed the mouths of millions of His other creatures. No, this wasn’t the case.
Because of delayed rains, such staples like corn, pear, oranges, have been in short supply. The farmers blame it to a baked earth untouched by rains.

Just a few meters to the bus stop, the sky broke at it’s seams. Slanting silver drops pierced the air, fast and furious, filling up gutters in the bat of an eyelid.
I got soaked to the skin but my bones managed to stay dry.

I got to the office, leaking water on the tiled floor like a watering can in a nursery garden . Without a change of clothes to slip into the heat from my laptop helped to warm my fingers while a waiting mail from my fiancée brought some warmth to my heart.

Once upon a time in history, Heavenly Daddy was willing to freeze the Sun and the Moon in their tracks because elder brother Josh had some scores to settle with obstructing infidels. Elder Brother Elijah was once given supernatural strength to outrun the wind in a bid to escape a vengeful weather.

Heavenly Daddy is well known for His fairness, goodness, tenderness and soft tissue heart although He can be firm even stern. He uses the rod to make His kids sit up straight but experience has shown that He also has a waiting balm to massage into the welts drawn across our stubborn posterior.
For many, the rain pounded and attempted to dissolve them but Heavenly Daddy made it fall soft and gentle on me as well as sending a non frigid wind to bring dryness.

Heavenly Daddy loves His Children equally but is moved more by those of His kids who give Him a chance at helping them in circumstances beyond their control. To them He sends help that refreshes their soul.