Dear God (Hephzibah)

Dear God
I don’t even know where to start from. I need your help. I need your helping hand in my life and my family. It’s not being easy at all and I know you’ve seen this already. You’ve seen the tears I shed on the inside, you see the way I worry till I fall asleep.
It’s hard for our fees to be paid, for us to be given pocket money.
I love my dad so much, I know how bad he wants to provide all our needs. It pains him that he can’t do that. And my mum, God bless her everyday. She is truly the woman described in Proverbs 31. She will give her life for our sakes.
I think about the things I could have, the nice things I want to have. But then compared to the things we’re struggling with, they are trivial things.
Above all Lord, I am still grateful for life. And I know you’ll still show your hand on our lives. And that our testimonies will come in your time.

Your daughter
Hephzibah

Dear God ( Ore. M)

Dear God,

Before I say much, I want to thank you for everything you are to me. You are my friend, my father, my comforter and peace, my joy and my strength. You’re the song on my lips and the Rock I cling to. You really are everything to me.

I know my recent neglect breaks your heart as it does mine. I am sorry. As you know, I’m back home for summer and honestly, it’s been one struggle after another. Countless times my flesh has overpowered my spirit and I know it is as a result of not feeding my spirit. I must admit, my spirit is malnourished and weak. I haven’t been eating and digesting your word which is life to me. I’ve merely tasted it on some days and on other days, I’ve had no appetite whatsoever. I’ve let myself be deprived of my joy, strength and peace that comes from you and created space for anger, worry, pride and the idea of self-reliance to creep in.

When I look at my shortcomings, I want to run and hide like Adam and Eve did in Genesis. But you show me day in day out that you’re having none of that. That you love me too much to let me go. YOUR LOVE AND GRACE SURROUNDS ME ALL AROUND. When I think I’m running away, I find myself eventually running into your always open arms. This holiday our relationship has been one sided and the fault lies with me. I’ve been too silent but I hear you always. You still choose to speak to me, you still use me, you still protect me and shower me with numerous blessings. You’re so beautiful in all your ways.

Oh God, I actually want to just shout to the world how GREAT you are. This holiday has been a sober one for me. I’ve been learning, you are teaching me yourself and sending many of your children to share the knowledge you’ve given them. You’re teaching me that I am a soldier in your army therefore, I’ll always have work to do. A message to deliver, people to help, intercessory prayers to raise and your word to impart. I think what holds me back is the belief that I’m not even there yet so what right do I have to open my mouth. Hearing you tell me over and over again that while I’m working for you, you’re working in me so that my light can shine brighter before men who will in turn give you glory is very comforting. Thank you dear Father.

Relationships have different phases and regardless of how rocky ours may get, you’re still God and you do not change. You’ll never give up on us and you’ll give me the strength to fight for us when I entirely depend on you. Another important lesson you’re teaching me in this period of my walk with you. I forget this so many times and really all I should do when I doubt is to look back and see how good and faithful you are.

Lastly Yahweh, I want to say thank you for changing my circle of friends. Thank you for moving in the lives of people around me and drawing them closer to you. I see you changing hearts and you alone deserves the glory. Thank you for building young men and women who call upon your name day and night and make a daily effort to live for you. I ask that you keep them on your path and you give them everything they need to continually shine for Christ and Christ alone all the days of their lives. I ask that you help us all live for you, to be totally sold out to spreading LOVE (YOU) to the ends of this world so all men may be saved. Thank you for your Spirit in me. I’m hearing your voice louder than ever and fellowship with you is sweet! Oh yeah, thanks for lifting my writer’s block and helping me with the talent you’ve given me.
 

Thanks for always being there. You are my King. I love you Abba.

Ore.

If You Do Good

Before I begin this post, let me just say this. I love the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I love how He works. And I love how He uses little things around us to signal us sometimes.
I was just stepping out of my room, when I heard some of my housemates reminiscing on an old song we used to sing when we were younger. I don’t know if you know it, but it goes like this:

If you do good, Kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, Kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, Kingdom waiting for you! 

If you do bad, no more kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, no more kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, no more kingdom waiting for you!

It brought a smile to my face. But somehow, I was convicted to listen to the words of the song again. And I realised how wrong the song is.
Christianity has been perceived to be about doing good, about being a good person, about doing the right thing, about following all the rules, about being a charitable person and all of the works.
But permit me to challenge that thought system? Permit me to say that Christianity is not about being a “good” person, it’s about being a “God” person.
This is reflected time and time again in the Bible. The world’s standards of “good” is not always God’s standard.

Remember Rahab? The prostitute? She saved the Israelite spies. You remember how she did that? By lying.

Joshua 2:3 – 6
Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.”
But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.
And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.”
But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof.

Shouldn’t lying be punished? Shouldn’t Rahab be considered sinful? Isn’t she a bad person, going about lying like that?
Here’s what the Bible has to say.

Hebrews 11:31
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

When Jericho and it’s inhabitants were being destroyed, Rahab and her family were not destroyed with them.
And do you see what the Bible credits it to? It credits it to her faith!
According to normal standards, Rahab lied. She was a bad person. According to God’s standards, Rahab obeyed.

Let me tell you about another woman I love so much. The woman with the alabaster box who poured expensive oil on Jesus’ feet.
She was immediately rebuked by the disciples.
Why would you waste such expensive oil? Doesn’t being a good person demand that you be charitable and that you sell the oil and give it to the poor?
I love the fact that Jesus Himself rebuked them.

Matthew 26:7 — 9
A woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.
And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?
For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”
But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.

He showed us how true Christianity is not about being a good person, it is about being a God person.

A God person is ready to obey God at all times.
A God person is led by the Holy Spirit in all that he does.
A God person is focused on pleasing God, and not on appearing good in the eyes of the world.

Your good deeds can not please God. Several times, I’ve heard people say “because it’s Sunday, I’m not going to insult you” or something along those lines.
Someone also once told me that when you do one good act, it cancels out two bad acts you’ve done in heaven.
But that’s not how the Kingdom of God works.
Instead, focus on being led by the Spirit of God, rather being a good person.
Because there will be good people, who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And there will be supposedly bad people, who will inherit the Kingdom of God.

You can always email me with your questions, somtoudeke@gmail.com

Stay blessed!

Dear God, I’m trying my best.

Dear God,
I’m trying my best.

I saw this tweet on my timeline, and I had to pause.
Can you relate?
The 300 and something retweets it got indicates that a lot of people can.

But you know what? We’re trying our best in the wrong ways.
We’re trying our best to step out of living lukewarm lives. 
We’re trying our best to break free from all kinds of addictions.
We’re trying our best to be better Christians.
We’re trying our best to stop sinning.
We’re trying, and trying, and trying, yet we keep failing and failing and failing.

Want to know why? Christianity is not about trying. Your relationship with God is not about your efforts. It’s not about your willpower to overcome temptation. It’s not about your strength to break free from that addiction.

Zechariah 4:6 NIV
So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

It is about The Spirit of God. It’s about recognising that you are a weak and infallible vessel, with absolutely no strength of your own. It is about surrendering; about admitting that you cannot handle your affairs on your own. You cannot live a holy life on your own. You cannot break free from addictions on your own.

You know what happens when you try to do it on your own? You fail. You get fed up. You get exhausted. Because you’re relying on your own strength.

A relationship with God happens when you stop trying. That’s the beauty of surrendering. That’s why it’s a relationship, and not mere “religion”.
God is not waiting for you to “fix yourself” before coming to Him. He’s not waiting for you to get your stuff together before going to Him.
He wants you just as you are. Just as you are, go to God. Let Him take your every worry, and every burden away. And watch Him prune you into the masterpiece He has destined you to be.

Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I’m tired of trying. I’m tired of trying and never getting anywhere. I’m tired of depending on my own strength.
I am a weak and fallible vessel, and I ask that you empower me. I ask that you teach me to depend on You alone for my strength.
And I ask that you mold me into the vessel of honour you have destined me to be in. I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Dear God (Eche)

Dear God,
My King, my Friend. I’ve been so lost these days. I’m back home from school and it’s like your so far away in school where I left fellowship, serving mass and SU fellowship. I need your grace to feel Your presence here at home. To show my friends how much I fell in love with you in the past months. How strong I stood by you. I found happiness unending, I felt peace, but right now, I don’t feel so strong. I find it hard to pray and I honestly don’t feel that essence anymore. You know there’s just this disconnect, this void when I pray. Emptiness. I rebuke this work of the devil, amen. More so, my sister has a serious temper and her communication skills are awful (or could it be mine?) And shes so controlling.
You know my every intentions are for the best, teach me to handle her and her excesses. Again I need you.
Also, my mum’s away for business again, Faddy I need your hand of protection around her because she showed me your love and I want you to open doors for her. My brother seems to be okay, I thank you for his life. Keep him from bad friends too (he loses it sometimes). 
There’s so much I can say but I’m worried I’ll take up so much space. Nevertheless, (I’ll go on still) I pray my siblings would be as good and even better than I am so I wouldn’t be that guy that ‘knows it all’ or feels too proud when ever I say something.
I feel the gift of wisdom you gave me is now used against me by my siblings because of my good grades. Make them better for me Lord so we can all share in your magnanimous grace of heavenly wisdom and understanding. 
Lastly, I thank your for this blog. For Somtos life because I can see your glory in her and it gives me the courage to identify with you. I know I am better than I was when I could not recognise your great presence. 

Yours ever 
Eche.

Dear God (Oluseyi)

Dear God, 

I am in need of direction.  I am not sure if I have lost my way but I feel if I haven’t then I am certainly close to losing it. 
Please guide me.
I am also worried about a lot of things. My heart is heavy. The load of family issues,  school issues and life issues in general is stressing my heart muscles.
I am tired of acting like I am happy and everything is well. I want to genuinely smile because everything is indeed okay.
Thank you for all you have done, all You are doing and all that You are yet to do.

Seyi.

God and You: The Love Story

I never realised how much of a love story Hosea is, until now. It’s so beautiful and I want to share it with you.
I pray that my words shall carry the convicting power of the Holy Ghost, and the words I type shall be of God. I pray that it speaks to you in a special and unique way. I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Hosea; A faithful servant of God. Imagine his surprise when God asked Him to marry a prostitute. Imagine him saying “God, seriously? Are you sure?” I myself was filled with righteous indignation on His behalf.
He obeyed. He married her, and she bore him three children. Life was good.
And then she left him. She left him for another lover. She picked her former slavery, over her God given husband. She left him with three children to raise, and was content to go back to her former life of harlotry.

Hosea, heartbroken would probably have said something like “God, I’ve done what I can. She’s gone and now there’s nothing else I can do”.
But God said to Hosea:

Hosea 3:1 NIV
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress.

And so Hosea went back for his wife.

Now, imagine the thoughts running through Gomer’s (Hosea’s wife) mind. “How can this man come back for me? How can I hurt him so deeply and yet still he forgives me? Yet still, he wants me back. How can he love me despite my harlotry?”

This kind of love is hard to comprehend. But that is the love that God has for us, His children.
In the book of Hosea, God said the prostitute Gomer is Israel. And so the prostitute Gomer is you. You and I.
And like Gomer, we have flirted with the things of the world. We have made other gods (- social media, boyfriends, money, fashion, education and the list goes on) our number one.
God, who Hosea represents has called us to Himself and loved us with an everlasting love. Yet we run back to our former lovers – our old gods, thinking that the love of God will run out for us.

Dear friend, God loves you deeply, completely and unconditionally. He loves you despite your past, and despite your mistakes.
Like Hosea went searching and calling back Gomer, God is calling you back. He wants you. Answer to Him today.

Romans 8:38-39 NIV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear God (Nini)

Dear God,
FAT
I don’t know when FAT started to mean the same thing as ugly. I don’t know when it started to mean disgusting. I don’t know.
Am I really that horrible in people’s eyes? but You say I am beautiful. You love every part of me even the whiskers on my face and the fat lumps on my back. You say my body is your creation. I am a piece of Your art.
So why am I so FAT?
I think I’m beautiful too. I just don’t understand why your other creations don’t think the way You do.

Yours forever,
Nini.

Nini, email me. Somto@somtoudeke.com, somtoudeke@gmail.com. I would love to speak to you❤️

Dear God (Nihinola)

Dear God,

Well Daddy, is it okay if I call you that? I just want to say thank you. Anytime i say thank you, tears well up in my eyes! Why? Simply because You keep doing marvellous things in my life. I look back and wonder why am I soo soo blessed? Definitely not by my power or might, But by your Grace Daddy , I’m thankful

Woooow! Thank you for 2015, yet another Year. Thank you for emotions. The tingling sensation I feel when I try to imagine what you’ve planned for me. Do i even have the brain capacity to imagine it?

Wonderful Daddy, I can only pray your will be done on Heaven and on earth. I commit myself unto thee. Help Help Help me to stand firm in Christ. Please please please Do not leave or forsake me. Thank you again Daddy Lord.

Your daughter,
Nihinola

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

The Apology You Will Never Get

by Doyin Adeyemi

Mr Nkama Okafor: Now it is time for the second poetry recital by one of our top students – Kelechi Achebe. She will be reciting a free verse poem that is titled “The apology you will never get.”

*As Kelechi makes her way to the front of the hall, several students turn to look at each other and whisper within themselves. They are surprised because Kelechi is known as a shy girl, one who seems to lack confidence to speak in front of a lot of people.*

Kelechi: *shaking nervously she begins to speak.*

Why are you pushing me down?
I’m trying to get up
Up up there, I’m trying to go higher

Why are you pushing me down?
I need to be up there
There’s this thing I need from up there

*someone in the crowd laughs. In the quiet room, it is easy to pinpoint the person out. Kelechi glances quickly at Adesua and continues to read*

Why are you pushing me down?
I have been searching and now I have found
I know I need to be up there

*she hesitates to keep going, but she hears a voice in her head tell her she can do it, so she increases her voice*

Down here I am apologizing
And it is continuous
The continuity is weighing me down
I can not continue to apologize
Why are you weighing me down?
I desperately need to be up there

*the room goes silent*

You want me to apologize one last time?

Okay. I apologize.

I’m sorry that I have become this person
This person that is dissatisfied with just anything
This person that is willing to say no to what she feels is wrong
This person that does not have to practice a smile in the mirror anymore
This person that loves herself
This person that loves what’s inside of her

I’m sorry,
I’m sorry I make you uncomfortable
I’m sorry you feel guilt around me
I’m sorry you feel shame

This girl knows what it’s like
To feel guilt and shame
And what it’s like to not
And she’ll pick to not feel it every single time ——
She has a choice

You’re not willing to let go and I am
I am moving upward
Why are you pushing me down?

Why are you pushing me down?
I have had a peek of this love that is up there
This love that erases guilt, that erases shame
This love that erases past mistakes
This love that brings out continuous growth and not continuous apology

I need it all But — it is not down here

This love is what separates down here from up there I need to be up there

This apologizing needs to go
So I will apologize no more
I am not who you want me to be
I am who I am – a product of THE I AM THAT I AM
And I am not sorry

I need this love

*she pauses, when she starts again – her tone is calm*

It’s a different story if I just want it
But you see
This love – the love of God – demands to be felt – I need it

This love molds and remakes
And in the process erases unnecessary baggage
So don’t weigh me down
Down here is dark and ugly
And it’s been comfortable because I have known nothing better
But now I know, and it’s never too late to know
So I know and I will go
I will keep going, I will keep climbing, I will keep feeling- this love- that’s all consuming. I will yield to its demand.

I will yield to it, oh yes I will,
And I am absolutely not sorry.
This is the apology you will never get.

*she leaves the hall without looking at anyone’s face. she is out now and she is smiling and she is laughing and she is crying at the same time. she is free.*

You can visit Doyin’s blog here
You can reach her on Twitter @Doyiinn