The Real Feel

Nigerian flag

It’s about 3pm now and the temperature in Lagos according to AccuWeather is 30°C. The temperature in Abuja is 27°C. I also noticed there is another temperature reading called the Realfeel® temperature which is 35°C and 32°C for Lagos and Abuja respectively. The Realfeel® temperature reading is what the temperature really feels like on the skin. It can be warmer or colder than the actual temperature depending on the weather conditions. The Realfeel® temperature is determined using a number of factors including the temperature, humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity and wind. A lot of people prefer to use the Realfeel® temperature because it gives a sense of how they really feel.

Relating this to our economy, there is the report on the state of the economy based on certain key performance indicators, which the government of the day can churn out every now and then but there is also the real feel of the economy which the average man or woman on the street senses and which defines his or her perception of how well or poorly the economy is doing. The government can look at its KPIs and adjudge itself to be performing. It could talk about the increasing foreign reserves, the stable Naira exchange rate, the improvement in ranking for ease of doing business in the country. The government could boast of several arrests bordering on corruption charges. It could talk about the savings made in spite of the lower oil prices, the GPD growth or the addition of more power generation capacity.

But the real feel is what the man on the street perceives. It appears to gauge his survival chances. It is the perception of the woman who is hawking by the street corner to be able to provide a meal for her babies. It is about the experiences of the businessman or woman who considers himself or herself to be a fundamental part of the micro-economy of the nation. It is about the payment or non-payment of salaries, the availability of stable power when a loved one has to undergo a surgical procedure. It is about our hospitals, schools and businesses staying open or closed. It is about being able to move around freely or sleep soundly without fear of having an unwanted intrusion in your space. It is about having the assurance that your life as a citizen of the nation is as valued as you think you deserve. It is knowing that the benefits of your sweat-laced labour will be available to you when you need it. It is our primordial understanding of the economy based on other connected indices like security, justice reforms, the corruption index, international relations, etc.

Leadership and government in general must be relational. It must be sincere. It must help define the right perception of the economy for all. It must encourage the development of the right narratives for its most important stakeholder – the vulnerable citizen of Nigeria. It must be concerned about how the thoughts that weave the fabric of the future of the country are strung together. It must offer genuine hope and be actively seen to be committed to the peace and stability of the nation.

At this time in our nation when we remember our latest transition from military rule to the democratic form of government, our reflections would naturally centre around evaluating the gains of democracy. We would think about the dividends of democracy and once again look to the promises of a better future. Like a lady being courted, the citizens of Nigeria need the assurance that the best days are not just ahead but are here in our time. Happy Democracy Day!

©Godreigns Amedari

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THIS WILL MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT LIFE

Tank_hose

At one time or the other, we have had to use tanks or hoses. For example, in places where water supply is not always guaranteed, it generally makes sense to get a tank or some form of container to store water when it is available so that there would be water to use when it is no longer available from the usual source. We have also used hoses to water our lawns, wash our cars or even siphon fuel (sorry to remind you of the dark and frightful days of petrol scarcity). In life, the tank versus hose analogy might apply to the human experience and may categorize us.

A tank usually has a fixed capacity while the capacity a hose can produce is dependent on the source it is connected to. You cannot put more into a tank than it is built to hold but a hose can have an unending flow through it as long as it stays connected to its source and it has its other end open. The hose never has to bother about how much content it can hold. It never has to bother about having content for itself. As long as it is willing to serve as a hose, it would always have content for itself and for its recipients. Not a bad lifestyle. I heard someone say, Givers never lack.

A tank is usually stationary but a hose moves around. The hose has the opportunity to see more of the world as it serves its purpose. I can imagine a conversation between it and a tank at the end of the day. The hose would have several stories to tell of the places it has been while the tank has a lamentation on how boring life has been looking through the same window. Wow, the life of a hose seems more exciting than that of the tank. Who wouldn’t want a fun-filled life?

The content of a tank can quickly become stale because it is the same of the same! But a hose would always have new content flowing through it. So while a tank is stuck with the same content, a hose gets to have something different flowing through it per time.

A tank can easily retain residue, requiring it to be emptied to be cleaned. The hose always has fresh content flowing through it. It is cleaned by the same process as its use. That is, as liquid flows through it, it is also cleaned. When we live our lives as tanks, we can easily collect unwanted residue and become unnecessarily burdened. In fact, the residue and filth could get so much that our capacity for what we were meant to carry becomes reduced. The hose doesn’t have to bother about such accumulation of residue. For the tank, to get it cleaned, you would usually have to have it drained of its content. Then you can clean it out. At such points, the tank is out of season. Maybe sometimes we feel like that. We feel worthless because we have to be cleaned out. If we were hoses, we might not have such low moments.

A tank could be on its own but a hose is most useful connected to a source. If a tank is filled up, its source could be disconnected but for a hose, it must stay connected to its source to be of any use. The moment, it is disconnected from its source, it is drained of whatever was in it. Hmm, could this be a bad thing or a good thing? One might think that it is good because the tank can be independent. But from another perspective, the hose’s predicament reinforces the need to stay connected to the source. For us, that means staying connected to the source of life, God himself. This cannot be a bad thing. After all, what are we without God? We are alive and breathing because of Him. When we are connected, we can always be assured of fresh content, we can be guided to where we need to offload our contents, we can be sure that we would always stay relevant and we can be sure we would always remain wet. Blessed is the man who delights in the Lord… He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3). So my question to you today is, “Are you functioning as a hose or a tank?”

THE FEAST

chuttersnap-461238-unsplashWhat makes you tick? What starts you off? What revs your engine? What triggers the right hormones? What fires your imagination? What propels you? What excites you? What motivates you? A morning ritual, a song, a hug, a special breakfast, memories of a special moment…? How about a reminder of God’s promises? How about the excitement of eating from the Lord’s table every morning? Yes, it is a feast of fat things. There is a plate of God’s joy for you. Yes, the joy of the Lord is your strength. There is a sufficient serving of His mercies. Yes, His mercies are new every morning. There is a satisfying dish of His grace. Yes, God is able to make His grace abound towards you. There is a refreshing chalice of His goodness. Yes, surely goodness and mercies shall follow us. There is a garrison of His favour around you.  Yes, He surrounds us with His favour like a shield. There is the assurance of His power. Yes, we are kept by His power. Soak in the freshness of His precious lovingkindness. He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies. There is also a supply of the sweet Spirit of Jesus Christ. Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits. Hallelujah!

Psa. 23:5; Isa. 25:6; Neh 8:10; Lam 3:22-23; 2 Cor 9:8; Psa 23:6; Psa 5:12; I Pet 1:3-5; Psa 103:4; Phil 1:19; Psa 68:19

MUST THAT WITCH DIE?

Blog pictureAs I drove to church one Sunday morning, I saw a billboard for a church program. The bold headline was ‘That witch must die’! I gritted my teeth, my fingernails almost digging into the steering wheel as I tightened my grip. I was terribly upset. I did a quick mental scan, wondering where in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles we could find a precedent for this? How did we descend so low? How did the people of the light lose their focus and get involved in daylight witchcraft? I had thought witches and witchcraft were usually associated with nocturnal activities. More seriously, I wondered why some in the church had decided to exchange their glory for the base life. This appeared to be the other gospel Paul was referring to. He marvelled that people were turning from the grace of God to some other gospel which was different from the one they had received. (Gal 1:6-10)

We have a received a gospel that tells the good news that Christ has defeated the enemy and raised us to sit with Him in heavenly places far above all other powers including those attributed to witches. So now, our focus should not be on killing witches in the villages or the cities. On the contrary, what we need is an experiential knowledge of the victory Jesus has given us in Him.

Do you know you are seated in heavenly places far above principalities and powers? Do you know that God can prepare a table before you and give you the victory while the witches are still breathing? Do you know that Jesus came to give life to all who would receive Him including witches? The church was not sent to kill witches but to preach the good news and the full gospel.

Sadly, we have an unfortunate situation on our hands. Rather than stimulating an atmosphere of love, some are busy stoking the flames of hated, selfishness and ungodly suspicion in the body. Or what would you say about this? Two people who are children of the stock of Abraham and who were previously friends, praying to God for the death of each other’s enemy. Which of them will God kill?

Our more important business is to bring the order and domain of the kingdom of heaven to earth. The order of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. An order that demonstrates the realities of victory over sin, sickness and death. An order that lights up the world with the love of Christ and the favour of God. Church leaders must redirect the body of Christ to its mission on earth. Rather than instil fear, they must build faith.  Rather than dignify the law, they should amplify the message of God’s grace.

Christians must discern the body. They must search the scriptures themselves to be sure the things they are told and sold are true. I must say, that we have become quite a lazy and powerless bunch, almost losing our godly influence in our communities. We must continually emphasize the finished work of Christ. We must seek to understand the victory Jesus has already procured. We should pray that the eyes of our understanding are open so that we may know the extravagance of the work He has done for us and the immensity of the glory He has given us.

Christians who know their place would fear no witch. They know their lives are hid with Christ in God!

 

Healing Scriptures

Lifelines (1)

Give attention to my words. Incline your ear to my sayings… they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. The Word of God is His ultimate prescription for health and healing.

How about having God’s word read in your ears while you are awake or asleep. I have compiled a collections of verses from the Word of God that speak about God’s thoughts on our healing, health and wholeness. The compilation is strictly God’s word and has been specially arranged by the help of the Spirit of God. You can listen to it over and over as it ministers to your spirit, soul and body. Typically, we do our best to follow the doctor’s prescription for medications given. In addition, I now encourage you to take the prescription of God’s word day and night.

We plug our ears with the latest music beats and sometimes sleep off in the process. How about having God’s word read in your ears, even as you doze off. Think about having God’s word imprinted in your subconscious. While you work, while you cook, while you exercise, let God’s word get into you.

Download this scripture compilation here and share with family and friends. This is an invaluable gift you can give to anyone.

Like this post, share it, get this to as many people as you love. It is God’s unadulterated Word!

You can also listen to it here, again and again!

Or here:

#SOIREES #HANGOUTS #JESUS

#SOIREE

Sometime ago, I got a message from a friend inviting me to his home for a chat over drinks. Coincidentally, about that period I had been thinking about how difficult staying physically connected to family and friends was becoming. Gone are the days when people in the neighbourhood gather together in the evening after work to chat and laugh together. Before mobile phones came, it was not unusual to show up at the door of your friend’s house for a quick hello and get the warmest welcome possible. Weekends used to be great opportunities to bond with loved ones over meals or just under the beautiful skies. This still happens but I am sure you can testify that it is not as frequent these days as it used to be years back. Nowadays, we are caught up in so many activities, a lot of them related to chasing the loot, so that sometimes even phone calls are at a premium. Yeah, we use social media to keep in touch but it is quite on a superficial level. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I got that message for one of such rare soirees. I saved the date everywhere possible and got to my friend’s house as scheduled. Sure enough, we had drinks and we bantered along. I also noticed that there were a couple of other people around, known to my host but not familiar to me as at that moment. Then, someone spoke about some presentation to be made on the flat screen TV in the living room which we all patiently watched and listened to. I found out that this was a presentation about a multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunity. The speaker was quite articulate and convincing and the mood had been perfectly set for the presentation. I guarantee you that enough had been done and said to make you give more than a second thought to what was being spoken about that evening.

As I drove home that night I thought about the events of the evening and the extent we could go to sell our ideas or drive a vision. I realized that I had just been at an outreach or evangelistic campaign, although not one to preach Jesus but one to preach wealth creation. I got to know that several of such meet-ups happen around and the ‘harvest’ is usually worth it. But before MLM, there was the great commission, an instruction from our Saviour shortly before He ascended to heaven, to go and make disciples in all nations. So how about having a soiree, inviting friends over, having mocktails and sharing testimonies about different salvation experiences or showing a movie like War room or The Case for Christ, for example? What about just having unchurched friends over for Suya and asking to pray for any pressing needs or healing requests.

The message of salvation has not changed and will not change but our presentation of the gospel should be relevant to the generation we connect with. The dynamics of relationships are more complex nowadays, technology is advancing at the speed of light and there are more activities competing for the 24-hour time quota we all have. Do not forget too that the devil is quite busy on his tasks, maybe busier than he has ever been. Thus our methods of reach out must be persuasive and able to get the required attention of the people we connect with. These days, a lot of time is spent online in the cyber world. Our social media platforms provide the perfect space to preach the gospel. In a way, our life stories are told on the various platforms we interact with. When people read these stories, what do they perceive? When we surf the net and cruise along the internet highway, what scent do we leave behind? Facebook, for example, would ask you, ‘What’s on your mind?’ What response do we drop before heading to the next hangout? Some people see this as an opportunity express the frustration they feel about a certain situation or vent their anger at someone. But it can also be a great platform to consistently share the good news and the impact it has made in our lives. So while we continue our traditional methods of reaching out, we must know that we have an equally powerful opportunity in the cyber space to preach the good news, either by organizing online hangouts, tweeting about God’s faithfulness or blogging about the pleasures of our walk with God. The harvest is ripe, be a willing labourer (Luke 10:2).

Feeling guilty?

Are there times you feel far from God? You feel you have fallen short? You don’t feel like a Christian? I have felt like that a couple of times too. Sometime ago, I heard a Christian leader I respect a lot say he had felt that way a number of times too. Phew! I felt better knowing I was not alone, knowing I was not the only Christian who felt that way.
Sometimes we feel disconnected from God. Maybe we have deviated from our communion program, Bible study regimen, been unfaithful in an area, missed a step or fallen flat on our faces. It could be something different for you. You just know that it’s not what it used to be.
What has helped me in such moments is that I have not hesitated to go back to my Heavenly Father as soon as I realize the situation. The solution is never to stay away or keep running but to go back home. You might feel dirty or unworthy but that is when God’s love is best known. One of the biggest lies the devil tries to drum into our ears is that God is mad at us or that God hates us. This is not true at all. God’s love for us never depreciates. God says, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you (Jeremiah 31:3). God has not moved from where He first met us. We are the ones who keep moving. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea (Psalm 46:1-2).

116h.jpgLike dirty hands would always need some hand wash or soap bar to get clean, we will always need the immaculate One to pick us up, clean us up and put us on our feet again. His arms are always wide open to hold you and cuddle you because you are His dear child. Dear friend, Love would never turn you away.