THE BEAUTY OF THE INNER VESSEL

Have you ever thought of how the earth would look like without nature? That is without the trees, the beautiful flowers, animals, even the sky and the seas.

Oh…how wonderful thinking on the beauty of nature. How would it look like without them?

I remember when our Creator at the beginning did something incredible. He saw how empty, how void and how ugly and uninviting the earth and also the universe at large was, and not good in anyway.

And He did His incredible work. He made the firmament, which when we look up, it’s so breathtaking. He made the seas, hmmm…so magnificent with the different species of fish in it. He made the numerous plants and flowers, which we admire and some we use for food. Then there are the different types of animals.

When our Creator was done, He saw that everything He made was Good. GOD added beauty and colour to this void world.

That’s the beauty of the inner vessel. Have you seen how it would have been like without all these the Creator set in place on earth for us? I don’t think I would like to live on earth, if that’s how it will be like. What about you?

There’s so much embedded in nature that our minds cannot fathom. It’s splendor is what still draws God’s Presence to dwell on earth in a man and with us as human beings.

And that is also the reason man has through his intellect tried in time immemorial till today to inculcate nature’s beauty into the house. They do it to add beauty and colour to the home.

Imagine a house without beautiful handcrafted sofas of different sizes and colours which are made from trees (nature), or even a house without textures and tones, or even without beautiful flowers and plants that is known to aid oxygen. Imagine a house without colour, just vague. How will it be like? How will it feel like?

Going through this adventure with my imagination, I can’t dare to think how those in the early ages lived without all these beautiful things.

Nature is so beautiful that it had to come into the house.

Every single element of nature feels good and gives a warm feeling too.

Be grateful for nature today and always. It has great benefits in our lives. It is the beauty of the inner vessel.

THE ODDNESS OF PASSION

Have you ever felt left out before? Like you just don’t belong or fit into a certain group or class. Have you felt so odd? That nothing seems to match for you or that nothing seems to come even for you?

Well… For me, it has always (well, not always per say, but most times), been so for me.

Now, here it is. You find that most times or sometimes, we find ourselves in places, families or even beliefs that contradict what our heart desires.

When I say ‘heart desires’ I mean your passion, purpose, gift or talent. So, we are forced to go into what does not give joy or brings the happiness we desire.

Like a young man who loves dancing or singing will be forced to read medicine and become a doctor, because they believe that’s what will bring the money.

Or a young lady will be asked or even forced to learn tailoring or make-up because it is what every other lady is doing and is bringing money for them.

But is that what should be? For me, I believe it is not what should be!!!

When I was coming up, I noticed one thing about myself… what’s that? You may ask. I love arranging and organizing spaces. It sounds weird right? Yes! I was and still think I am still odd. I say so because most of my contemporaries (ladies to be precise) are not into this.

When I say ‘into this’ I mean they are not mad about it the way I am.

So you see a lady that loves cooking, baking, fashion, make-up, singing or even dancing. But what?! There is hardly anyone who loves organizing or designing spaces like I do especially within! I feel like a bean among a cup of rice.

Do you know how that feels? I’m sure you’ve experienced it one way or the other.

This is so odd, especially for the African and even the Nigerian culture and beliefs.

That everything is wrong with a lady who doesn’t know how to cook, bake, sew or even make-up. Don’t get me wrong please, it’s very good, even great to learn all that and know how to do them well.

But if it’s not your passion, if it’s not what gives you joy and brings happiness, will you keep on doing it? Now, tell me, will you?

Just because it brings you money does not mean it will last. You can’t keep on doing it because you were asked or forced to do so and you want to please everyone. Everyone is happy but are you?

I took the bull by the horns and resonated to go for what I want, for what gives me joy and brings happiness.

If every lady is cooking, if every lady is baking or sewing or doing make-up, then who will keep to the organization and of the home and environment the other ladies claim to be working on?

I see that it is not only the responsibility of women to cook, to do laundry, to bake or to sew; but also their responsibility to see to the neat and arranged spaces in the home and even work places.

Today, I stand to say that I’m proud to be odd because there’s nothing wrong with that. If my Creator intended for the bird to swim like the fish, then He would have placed it in the sea and not on air.

That’s the exact same thing with you and I. We are humans but never wired to love the same thing. Though, some of us will have similar likes, our passion is not exactly the same.

I speak to you (especially ladies) dare to stand out! Wake up! Take courage and be bold to stand up. Be odd, you will be extraordinary. Do what makes you happy first, for in doing that the money will follow.

This is my story, my passion and I am not afraid to do everything no matter what it may cost me, to achieve my heart’s desire and get the happiness I want. I hope you do the same?

UNCERTAINTIES IN LIFE

Life is a sea of uncertainties.

One key thing that we must be aware of, is that living comes with alot of uncertainties.

We are brought into this world unsure about what may happen to us. We are not clear of what will take place and also of what will not take place.

Every single moment we have lived and still live is by faith.

One is born, everyone celebrates the birth of the new born, but no one has a clear knowledge of the future of that child. No one knows what may happen next and no one is certain if that child will make it or not. It’s the faith in conjunction with the uncertainty of life that amazes me.

I don’t know if you understand what I’m saying?

We are 100% unsure about what may take place the next moment, we are unsure about our future, we are unsure if we are ever going to be successful, we are unsure about the day we will leave this world… But yet, we keep living, we keep working, we keep moving.

Numerous events in life are uncertain but yet we live life unaware of one single secret full of power and that is ‘faith’.

Know that it’s our knowledge of this secret that makes us become certain in this unsure life and world.

We all don’t have a clue of our future, we are all unaware of what may or may not happen next and if we will be successful or not. But what makes us different is our belief.

Have you realised that power in you? Have you activated faith in your life??🤔🤔🤔

What do you believe in?🤔🤔🤔

Life comes with alot of doubts, yes! We cannot deny that. It’s just an information. The fact, the truth and what makes you different and powerful are your beliefs.

It’s your belief that makes you step out and move on to carry about the day’s activities… It’s your belief that makes you begin school and finish well… It’s your belief that makes you start that business and then you become a success… It’s your belief that makes you take the next step without falling and it’s your belief that causes you to lie down and sleep knowing that you will wake up the next day.

The uncertainties in life has forced man to have faith that he is not even aware of it’s potency.

Begin to live life with certainty, with confidence in what you have-faith.

It’s the only force that will make you a winner against uncertainties in this world.

And because we desire to become successful and great people, we must be aware of what we carry and begin to put it to work.

It is only through faith that we can be certain that we will defeat the uncertainties in life.

Reactivate your faith!!!

REVIEW

It’s A New Month!!!

Happy New Month!!! The joy that comes with a new month. It’s just like that of a new year.

But this time around, it’s the second half of 2021. Have you achieved alot you set to do for this year? Or you are lagging behind?

Remember I started the summary of “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. I stopped at chapter thirty, right? Yeah I did.

I will not continue with the remaining ten chapters for now. All I need you to do is go through the chapters and work on the part you haven’t worked on. Do all you can to put everything to work. It’s worth it.

Let’s work hard to achieve our goals for the year. There’s a different kind of joy and happiness that comes with fulfilling a set goal or objective. Work, and fill your life with fulfillment.

GOD finds satisfaction in our satisfaction, so take action. Put that idea to work and you will become a wonder to your world.

Review, write, plan and work out your written plan.

Have the most fulfilling second half of the year.

STILL IN STORMS AND TURBULENCE

Have you been in the midst of storms before?

Have you been in the midst of turbulence?

“When your faith and allegiance to GOD still stands in the midst of the turbulence, then you are counted worthy to be strong.” -Helen Yahaya.

Life is a series of storms. The journey of life has turbulence as obstacles.

Everyone in one way or another, at different times and places has gone through storms, has been through turbulence. Well, I don’t know and I can’t tell what your storm may be or what turbulence you may have gone through.

Some have gone through the storm of the grieve of loosing a loved one. Others have gone through the turbulence of lack and want. Others may be the storm of sickness and diseases. Some also the turbulence of depression and confusion.

What storm have you experienced?

What was your reaction to the storm, what is your reaction to the turbulence of life?

I felt I was strong and I had courage to be still in the storm and face the turbulence without fear. Until I was in it, real. I saw pain but I couldn’t feel it, I was in confusion but didn’t find peace, I was frustrated and weary but I was out of solutions.

Oh…I was perplexed and I really wanted to be still.

The tears, the wailing didn’t do it at all. I really wanted to be still.

Then I knew that it was beyond all that. It takes knowing and finding GOD to be still in the midst of the storm and turbulence.

I looked and I found Him. And then I was still.

Have you known Him? Have you looked for Him? Have you found Him. Your stillness and peace in the midst of your storms or turbulence is only guaranteed when you find Him, when you see Him.

And sometimes I wonder, why do we have to go through storms? Why do we have to face turbulence?

It’s so we could see and find GOD. Yes! Alot of things take our attention that it is only when it becomes a storm that we begin to look for Him. So that’s why we have to go through storms, because we would find Him there.

When we do find Him, He calms the storms and eases the turbulence.

For me, I will keep praising Him in the storm so I don’t miss Him again. For in that I know I will be still forever!

Have you found Him? Then keep praising Him and you will be forever still.

CHAPTER THIRTY: SHAPED FOR SERVING GOD

You were shaped to serve GOD.

Each of us was uniquely designed, or “shaped” ‘to do certain things.’

Before God created you, He decided what role He wanted you to play on earth. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry. You are a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind original masterpiece. God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve Him in a way that makes your ministry unique.

“GOD doesn’t make junk.” – Ethel Waters.

God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interest, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless He intended to use them for his glory. By identifying and understanding these factors you can discover God’s will for your life.

Simple Acrostic: SHAPE.

HOW GOD SHAPES YOU FOR YOUR MINISTRY.

  • S-Spiritual gifts.
  • H-Heart.
  • A-Abilities.
  • P-Personality.
  • E-Experience.
  • SHAPE: UNWRAPPING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS. GOD gives every believer spiritual gifts to be used in ministry. Have you taken time to discover your spiritual gifts. An unopened gift is worthless. Your gifts reveal one key to discovering GOD’S will for your ministry, but your spiritual gifts are not the total picture. GOD has shaped you in four other ways too.
  • SHAPE: LISTENING TO YOUR HEART. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations- What you love to do and what you care about most. In the same way, GOD has given each of us a unique emotional ‘heartbeat’ that races when we think about the subject, activities, or circumstances that interest us. We instinctively care about some things and not about others.

These are clues to where you should be serving. Another word for ‘heart’ is ‘passion’.

There are certain subjects you feel passionate about and others you couldn’t care less about. Some experiences turn you off or bore you to tears. These reveal the nature of your heart.

Your emotional heartbeat is the second key to understanding your shape for service. Don’t ignore your interest. Consider how they might be used for GOD’S Glory.

There’s a reason that you love to do those things. GOD wants you to serve Him passionately, not dutifully. GOD wants you to serve Him and others.

Listening for inner promptings can point to the ministry GOD intends for you to have. How do you know when you are serving GOD from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you.

The second characteristic of serving GOD from your heart is effectiveness. Whenever you do what GOD wired you to do, you get good at it.

Perfection drives perfection.

Remember, the greatest things in life are not things. Meaning is far more important than money. Aim instead for “the better life”-serving GOD in a way that expresses your heart. Figure out what you love to do- what GOD gave you a heart to do- and then do it, for His Glory.

DAY THIRTY… THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE. POINT TO PONDER: You were shaped for serving GOD. VERSE TO REMEMBER: 1st Corinthians 12:6. QUESTION TO CONSIDER: In what way can you see yourself passionately serving others and loving it?🤔🤔🤔

PURPOSE FOUR: YOU WERE SHAPED FOR SERVING GOD.

CHAPTER TWENTY NINE: ACCEPTING YOUR ASSIGNMENT.

“You were put on earth to make a contribution.”

GOD designed you to make a difference with your life.

You were created to add life on earth, not just take from it. God wants you to give something back.

  • YOU WERE CREATED TO SERVE GOD. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your purposes. Jeremiah 1:5.

You were saved to serve GOD. In God’s Kingdom you have a place, a purpose, a role and a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance and value.

Through salvation our past has been forgiven, our present is given meaning, and our future is secured. If you are a Christian, you are a minister and when you are serving, you’re ministring. Once you are saved, GOD intends to use you for his goals. GOD has a ministry for you in his church and a mission for you in the world. You were called to serve GOD.

Your call to salvation included your call to service. They are the same. Anytime you use your GOD-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling.

  • YOU ARE COMMANDED TO SERVE GOD. Serving and giving sum up God’s fourth purpose for your life. Maturity is for ministry! We grow up in order to give out. It is not enough to keep learning more and more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe.

“Impression without expression causes depression.”

Study without service needs to spiritual stagnation.

Preparing for Eternity.

At the end of your life on earth, we will stand before GOD and He is going to evaluate how well we served others with our life. We are only fully alive when we are helping others.

Service and Significance.

You are going to give your life for something. Service is a part way to real significance. It is through ministry that we discovered the meaning of our lives. God wants to use you to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters most is not the duration of your life but the donation. Not how long you lived but how you lived.

God will use you too, if you stop making excuses.

DAY TWENTY NINE… THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE. POINT TO PONDER: Service is not optional. VERSE TO REMEMBER: Ephesians 2:10. QUESTION TO CONSIDER: What is holding you back from accepting God’s call to serve him? 🤔🤔🤔

CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT: IT TAKES TIME

“There are no shortcuts to maturity.”

The development of Christ-like character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth like physical growth takes time. While we worry about how fast we grow GOD is concerned about how strong we grow. GOD views our lives from and for eternity, so He is never in a hurry.

Discipleship is the process of conforming to Christ. Christlikeness is your eventual destination, but your journey will last a lifetime.

Today, we are obsessed with speed, but God is more interested in strength and stability than swiftness. But real maturity is never the result of a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving.

Growth is gradual.

WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO CHANGE OR GROW UP.

  • We are slow learners, we need repeated exposure. There is no growth without change no change Without Fear or loss and no loss without pain.
  • We have alot to unlearn. It requires hardwork of removal and replacement.
  • We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves. You cannot grow without a humble, teachable attitude.
  • Growth is often painful and scary. You must let go of old ways in order to experience the new.
  • Habits take time to develop. Your character is the sum total of your habits. Your habits define your character. There is only one way to develop the habits of Christ-like character: you must practice them and that takes time! They are no instant habits. Repetition is the mother of character and skill.

DON’T GET IN A HURRY.

As you grow to spiritual maturity there are several ways to cooperate with God in the process:

  • Believe God is working in your life even when you don’t feel it. Expect gradual movement. There are seasons in your spiritual life too.
  • Keep a notebook or journal of lessons learned. Write down the insights and life lessons GOD teaches you about Him, about yourself, about life, relationships and everything else. Reviewing your spiritual journey regularly can spare you a lot of unnecessary pain and heart ache.
  • Patient with God and with yourself. One of life’s frustrations is that GOD’S time table is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God is not. Remember that GOD is never in a hurry, but He’s always on time. Who He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity. When GOD wants to make a mushroom, He does it overnight, but when He wants to make a giant oak, He takes hundred years. Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process.
  • Don’t be discouraged. Habakkuk 2:1-3. A delay is not a denial from God. Remember how far you have come, not just how far you have to go. PBPGINFWYY- “Please Be Patient, GOD Is Not Finished With You Yet.” Say that to yourself over and over again.

DAY TWENTY EIGHT… THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE. POINT TO PONDER: There are no shortcuts to maturity. VERSE TO REMEMBER: Philippians 1:6. QUESTION TO CONSIDER: In what area of your spiritual growth do you need to be more patient and persistent? 🤔🤔🤔

CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN: DEFEATING TEMPTATION

There is always a way out.

GOD has promised never to allow more than lie puts within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome.

However, you must do your part too by practicing four biblical keys to defending temptation.

The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you.

  • Refocus your attention on something else. Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize it’s allure is to turn your attention to something else. Don’t fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea. Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. You defeat bad thoughts by thinking of something else. Philippians 4:8.

The truth is, whatever you can’t talk about is already out of control in your life.

  • Resist the devil. After we have humbled ourselves and submitted to GOD, we are then told to defy the devil. James 4:7. Remember this: If you are a believer, satan cannot force you to do anything. He can only suggest. Use the word of GOD as your weapon against satan.
  • Realise your vulnerability. You must never let down your guard and think you are beyond temptation. Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situations. Avoid them. Remember that it is easier to stay out of temptation than get out of it.

DAY TWENTY SEVEN… THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE. POINT TO PONDER There is always a way out. VERSE TO REMEMBER: 1st Corinthians 10:13b. QUESTION TO CONSIDER: Who could you ask to be a spiritual partner to help you defeat a persistent temptation by praying for you? 🤔🤔🤔

CHAPTER TWENTY SIX: GROWING THROUGH TEMPTATION

“My temptations have been my masters in divinity.” -Martin Luther.

Everytime you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of CHRIST. Galatians 5:22. To have the fruit of the spirit is to be like CHRIST.

GOD develops the fruit of the spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality!

Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity.

Happiness depends on external circumstances but joy is based on your relationship to GOD.

We learn real peace by choosing to trust GOD in circumstances in which we are tempted to worry or be afraid.

Humility grows when you refuse to be prideful. Everytime you defeat a temptation, you become more like JESUS!

HOW TEMPTATION WORKS

From the Bible, we learn that temptation follows a four step process, which satan used both on Adam and Eve and on JESUS.

  1. Satan identifies a desire inside of you (always beware of shortcuts. They are often temptations).
  2. Doubt.
  3. Deception. We think temptation lies around us, but GOD says it begins within us.
  4. Disobedience.

OVERCOMING TEMPTATION

  • Refuse to be intimidated. You will never outgrow temptation. Temptation is a sign that satan hates you, not a sign of weakness or worldliness. Actually, the closer you grow to GOD, the more satan will try to tempt you.
  • Recognize your pattern of temptation and be prepared for it. Ask yourself, “When am I most tempted? What day of the week? What time of day? Where am I most tempted? Friends? When I’m alone? How do I usually feel when I am most tempted?”
  • Request GOD’S help. Heaven has 24 hour emergency hot line. GOD wants you to ask Him for assistance in overcoming temptation. Hebrews 4:16.

Temptations keep us dependent on GOD.

Just as the roots grow stronger when wind blows against a tree, so everytime you stand up to temptation you become more like JESUS.

DAY TWENTY SIX… THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE. POINT TO PONDER: Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. VERSE TO REMEMBER: James 1:12. QUESTION TO CONSIDER: What Christ like character quality can you develop by defeating the most common temptation? 🤔🤔🤔