When You Miss God

Its 3:38 a.m; I stare at the clock and Something inside me whispers, “You should get up.” I toss, turn, and wrestle with my sleep deprived thoughts for another few minutes before I finally climb out of bed.

I walk downstairs, turn on the coffee pot and sit down in my white chair. Opening my journal I write these words… “God, I miss You.”

The reality is life has been moving at a warping speed lately. Work has been busy for both my husband and I, our 3 girls lives are full, and someone always needs something.

Truth is I would pay a lot of money for 28 hours in a day. But mostly I’m seeing how “it” happens… How people move far from God.

And I’ve seen how it’s not always intentional:

  • The kids are sick so church is missed.
  • Carpool has to start earlier the next morning.
  • Bodies need to be exercised.
  • Meals must be prepared.
  • Reports and projects have to be finished.

The list goes on and on of what can keep us from the closeness of God. I understand these struggles all to well. And I’m finding there is a great danger in these stretched seasons of life.

We can miss being with God but through that, we also can also miss the movement God is doing in our lives. Missing God {either way} is tragic and threatening to our souls that long to thrive with God.

Recognizing how much I’ve missed God, I’m taking some time for reflection of this struggle. I’m burdened but also hopeful in the words God is breathing on my soul during these soul-stretching moments. I share these things because maybe there’s just one other person as fearful as I am of unintentionally moving…too far from God.

3 things we can do to move closer to the heart of God

1.    Find our God-space.

Even if it means at 3:38 a.m. I’ve discovered in this stretching season of life I have to be intentional with scheduling time with God. Finding the moments of white space where we can fully be with God is important. But, we must also find the God-space in the clouded, busy, stretching moments. May we find our God-space…everywhere.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…” –James 48

 2. Experience the awe of God.

The sunrise on the way home from the early morning workout or drive into the office…experience it. How the warm sun feels on our skin on a chilly day…experience it. Giggles from children, the way someone we love smiles, the praise of Gods people…experience it. May these moments remind us what it’s like to be fully alive and connected to Something much bigger than ourselves. “…stand in awe of God.” –Ecclesiastes 5:7.

3.    Have ears that listen {always}.

The prompting in your heart to slow down, to breathe in the moment…listen to it. A nudge on your soul to say no when you really want to say yeslisten to it [or vice-versa.]

May we not want to just dream about the promises God has for our life, but want to live them by listening, always. “So then faith comes by hearing…” –Romans 10:17

 Above all, may today be the day each of us chooses steps closer to…Him. Amen. 

By Nicki Koziarz | Christianity.com

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Do You Make Your Husband Feel Guilty about Sex?

A lot of husbands are guilt-ridden. They go week to week, month to month, sexual encounter to sexual encounter, feeling bad about themselves and their marriage. Why? Because they want sex, even swear they need sex, but their wives aren’t engaged. What circumstances cause these guilt feelings? Here are a few:

She thinks it’s dirty. This wife was taught that sex was something bad girls do, a mere act of the flesh that godly women don’t desire or enjoy. Or maybe she experienced sex misused in her past and it’s left a bitter taste in her life; she can’t imagine sex being a truly good thing.
So when her husband craves her body and the ecstasy of lovemaking, he feels bad. He knows she doesn’t want it, doesn’t enjoy it, thinks he’s a lesser creature for even wanting such a sordid act so often. But he can’t get rid of his sex drive. He wants his beloved woman, deeply, desperately. So what can he do? How can he get past the guilt of constantly wanting to be one flesh with his wife?

She doesn’t have time for it. This wife is so busy with the demands of being a wife, household manager, mother, worker, and whatever other roles she’s balancing. Yes, she understands that sex is important, but can’t her husband see that it’s secondary to the higher purposes of her life? Perhaps she’s running a ministry, something that makes a genuine difference in others’ lives, and her husband feels guilty for taking her away from her calling.

He feels selfish for demanding her time and attention, for feeling jealous of others who get her time and attention, for not being able to go without. Yet, his body trembles with desire for her, and he simply can’t get out of his mind the longing to connect with her physically.

She rejects his advances. Most times he asks, this wife turns him down. He knows that she doesn’t want sex, not anywhere near like he does, and he can’t even fully understand that. Doesn’t she love him? Maybe the problem is with him, that he wants it too much.

Should he simply pray for God to douse his desire, leave him content with those few times she is willing? He hates to ask again, but it’s been so long and he wants to have sex — sex with her. How can he move beyond the rejection?

She doesn’t enjoy it. This wife will oblige her husband’s advances, but she doesn’t like it. Her attitude screams, This is for you only! Maybe she believes she’s being truly loving, offering her body to him for his satisfaction. And because he wants sex so very much, he partakes.

He knows he’s the only one getting satisfaction, but even that satisfaction is bittersweet. And he feels guilty that he’s using her for his own gratification, when he really desires for her to enjoy the experience like he does. He feels trapped — his only choices being to refuse the sex he wants so very much or continue to feel like a clod for having his way with her.

She downplays her enjoyment. This wife willingly engages, but she discounts her own sexual needs and desires. She doesn’t take the extra effort to figure out her body and what feels good. She won’t communicate what she likes, maybe even when asked. She skips the orgasm more often than not, perhaps proclaiming it’s not worth it. Her downplaying of enjoyment conveys that she doesn’t feel like she’s worth it.

Yet her husband yearns to bring her pleasure. He revels in those few times she goes over the top, to the peak of sexual arousal. He feels guilty when he can’t bring her there, when she doesn’t let him focus on her, when the balance of sex is mostly for him. If only he could help her understand how turned on it makes him, to turn her on.

Young Man with His Hand on His ForeheadI hear it from husbands too frequently — that they feel guilty for wanting and pursuing sex with their wives. It’s easy to misconstrue your man’s eager advances as a merely physical desire to “get his jollies.” There are plenty in the male species who approach sex just like that, especially in single life and secular culture.

But what I also hear from husbands is how much sex means to him. How it’s not just about the physical release. Of course, it is about the physical release somewhat; that body craving to be intimate with the person you love is a God-given biological desire. But sex means more than that. It’s an expression of deep love and connection. Husbands feel loved and confident and whole when they experience regular, mutual sexual satisfaction with their wives.

Sex was God’s idea. It is to be enjoyed in the confines of a covenant marriage. It should be mutually sought and satisfying. It is a good thing.

Do you make your husband feel guilty for wanting that?

Think about what messages you intentionally or unintentionally send about the meaning of sex in your relationship. Whatever obstacle prevents you from fully engaging in God’s gift of sexual intimacy, address it today. Help your husband receive what God intended him to have — the intimacy he can only receive from you, his chosen beloved.

 Culled from Hot Holy Humorous Dot Com

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How to Live with Uncommon Courage

To live with uncommon courage and stand up for Christ, you have to learn how to clarify your worldview — what you base your beliefs on. You also have to understand the non-Christian worldviews that compete for your devotion every day. Here are the four most popular anti-Christian worldviews:

Materialism: What matters most is money. Materialists measure their success by wealth, but you didn’t bring anything into the world, and you won’t take anything out of it. You were made for more than things. Luke 12:15 says, “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (NIV). The greatest things in life aren’t things.

Hedonism: Whatever feels good is good. For hedonists, pleasure is their god. Their goal in life is to be comfortable and have fun. But happiness is not the goal in life; happiness is a by-product of living out your purpose. Holiness creates happiness. “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit” (Galatians 6:8 NLT).

Individualism: What I want comes first. America was built on rugged individualism, and today that has evolved into a culture of narcissism. But God didn’t create you to live for you. If you want to follow Jesus, you have to put aside your selfish ambition. Romans 2:8 says, “For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (NIV). God opposes self-centeredness because God is love, and love is never selfish.

Socialism: Government should control everything. God is not an anarchist; everything should be done in order. I’ve spoken at most of the major, secular elite conferences, and I’ve discovered this: Politics is the religion of people who don’t know God. There is nothing wrong with politics, but it shouldn’t be your savior. “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”(Philippians 3:20). I’m to be a responsible citizen, but I do not owe government my life. My greater loyalty is to God and not to government.

What is the result of these worldviews? The crumbling of our culture, crisis in our schools, corruption in our businesses, chaos in our government, carnality in our churches, confusion in our families, and conflicts in our personal lives. Any time we don’t go by the owner’s manual, we’re the ones who get hurt. You see, we don’t really break God’s laws — they break us.

To counter these prevalent worldviews, God is calling Christians to stand up for his truth “against world opinion.” You can only do that when you have a solid foundation in God’s Word and the uncommon courage that comes from a relationship with him.

Talk It Over

  • To which of these worldviews do you relate the most? Why?
  • In what specific ways has God asked you to stand against world opinion? How have you responded?
  • What can you do to build a stronger foundation on which to base your Christian worldview?

Culled from Rick Warren Devotionals

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National Conference without National Conscience

What is the use of a Conference without a Conscience?  I hate to sound like a pessimist but Is it not simple wisdom to know that “direction, not intention ultimately leads to a destination”? If a man intends to travel to Ibadan  from Lagos but faces Badagri express way.. will  he ever get to Ibadan? even if he eventually does by some strokes of luck; I’m sure he can’t be timely.

national-conference

Much has been said about our numerous challenges as a nation (Nigeria) but will the this National Conference lead us to promise land? I don’t think so.  My pessimistic position is based on these premises:

1) First within; then without! There is  no amount of conferences and gathering that will produce fundamental  change we desire as a nation  without  change of individual Nigerian mindsets – selfish, slavery, corrupt and unpatriotic mindsets. I mean, a old wine in a new bottle will not make the wine new. It’s only a matter of time.

2) Bad national antecedents. We have a lot of issues of the past that is hindering us from creating the future we desire as a nation. So much bitterness, inter-ethnic sentiments, inter-religious intolerance, etc. Until we focus on one thing ” ‘Forgetting’ (deal with) the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” as a nation; I doubt if  our national conference will make any appreciable impact.

3) False federalism. Come to think of it; how true does this proposed representation depicts true federalism? Nigerians are still marginalized; even if not truly marginalized, they perceived to me marginalized. Nigerians have not enjoyed good governance.. Nigerians by default greet all moves by this regime with skepticism.

For me,  national  Conference without  national  Conscience is only an exercise in futility; we need  national identity, we need national values, we need paradigm shift from limiting and corrupt mind sets. I don’t think it requires a conference to initiate the change we all desire..  but a man of tested character.. a leader with unequaled passion for this country.. a man or woman that will not be carried away with ‘Power’ and fantasies of governance.. a man with genuine love for Nigeria and Nigerians.. a man not minding to pay the ultimate price, a man ready to  die for the Nigerian project… Who is this man?

Until we find this man/woman and initiate a far reaching national conscience renewal strategies.. It’s almost certain that our national conferences will only produce national conspiracies.

Thank you.

 

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I’m Back!

Wao! I cant believe it 3 months after my last post.. Kudos to professional bloggers. I thought I’ll be able to put-up articles here on monthly schedule at least;  but I was wrong.. It’s not as if I lack something to share.. Seriously, there are good excuses..(School, Job,  Family, PP, Church, etc.) but they seems not good enough. Anyway I’m back!!

Let me quickly give a big shout-out to my baby girl Darasimi, who is 4-year old today. I love you..  Mummy and Fifi love you.. You are simply the Best. (*wink*)

Just before I leave; I perceive the lines below will motivate somebody:

“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help the needy; be inventive in hospitality” (Rom 12:11-13 MSG)

Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance, you must keep moving. You may change your direction.. but keep moving. Do not quit; do not give up.

Thanks for  dropping by..

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My Statement of Excuse

“CEP 713, Strategic Management?” – he inquired, flipping through the textbook on my desk Yea I responded ,  “Meaning  you are running MBA program” - he probed further  Yea!.. my response remained the same.. “That’s cool, I really envy you…. 3 times I had enrolled for MBA, and 3 times I dropped out, this bank job will not allow me.. I’m just tired!” there was a momentary silence.. and the conversation continued……

But, long after the conversation … the statement keep coming back “3 times I had enrolled for MBA, and 3 times I dropped out, this bank job will not allow me..”   I tried relating it to my past/present experiences and excuses for not achieving my goals – my excuses for giving up on my desires- my reasons for quitting too soon.

I figured out, the same way we consciously develop Mission and Vision Statements.. we can also unconsciously develop Excuse and Failure Statements... and once we identify  with these excuses in our subconscious mind..they becomes  valid reasons for failure. A typical  statement  of excuse could take any of these forms:

“5 times, I entered into  relationships with  men and 5 times I was jilted.. Men are just the same..”

“4 times, I was pregnant and 4 times I lost it, this fibroid will not let me have a baby..” embassies will not allow me..”

“Uncountable times I  tried overcoming this bad habit, and Uncountable times I went back to it… this habit will kill me..”

7 times I  got invites for job interview, and 7 times I lost the opportunities.. this bad-luck will not allow me..

We can go on and on and on…..  We all have statements of excuse at certain points in life.. What is yours ?

excusesCome to think of it.. Life is all about challenges.. you overcome one and you are almost immediately presented with another…. the ability to overcome is in your determination to confront your Statement of Excuse head-on! To understand that greatest battles are fought and won in the ‘mind- arena’; though it may take time..its only over when you give up and accept your Statement of Excuse as your Reality.

Friends.. It may be hard.. It may be tough.. but don’t give up.. Keep on Keeping on!

Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon. (Psalm 31:24).

Thanks

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Multiplier Effect

Whatever you give to God, he multiplies.

If you give God your talent, he’ll multiply your talent. If you give God your energy, he’ll multiply your energy. If you give God your time, he will multiply your time. If you give God your money, he will multiply your money. If you give God your relationships, he will multiply your relationships. Whatever you give to God he will multiply and give it back.

(But how do I give to an Invisible God? It simply means channeling your resources to a worthy venture that gives glory to God. )

There’s a miracle in the Bible that Jesus did to teach this truth. Five thousand people followed Jesus out in the middle of the desert. He taught them all day, and at the end of the day, they were all hungry. The disciples told Jesus to send them all away. Instead, Jesus told the disciples that they needed to feed the people. I’m sure they swallowed hard on that one. What was he doing? He was testing their faith. He wanted to see if they would depend on him to provide what they needed to feed 5,000 people.

Out of that huge crowd, one little boy had brought a lunch pail, and inside were five little loaves of bread and two dried fish. The little boy brought his lunch to Jesus and said, “Lord, you can have this.”

Jesus took the bread and loaves. He prayed and broke it and blessed it and multiplied it. He tore it apart and began to feed everybody. It fed all 5,000 people! There were 5,000 witnesses to this miracle.

Not only did the small meal feed 5,000; when they picked up all of the leftovers at the end, there were 12 baskets full of leftover fish and loaves!

God always gives you more than you need, more than you anticipate, more than you can imagine. He took what the boy gave him. He broke it, he blessed it, and he used it.

That’s what God does in your life. The hard part is the breaking part. When God takes you and breaks you, he will then bless you and use you for his purpose.

  • What are you willing to give to God today?
  • Why is it important to submit yourself to God to be broken?
  • With what attitude do you think God wants you to give?

Culled from Rick Warren’s Devotionals

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… When its Difficult to Decide

Decisions and choices are  part of life; in fact the failure to decide is a ‘decision’ on its own! As long as we live, we are faced with situations that demand that we make choices.. but sometime the act of ‘decision making’ could be very tough. I understand there are decisions you make under duress; an example is what to do when you are being robbed at gun-point, or when trapped in the elevator. I’m not referring to these type of decisions where your survival instinct takes over.

Decision

I have found myself in situations where I was so confused, unsure, lost, perplexed, bewildered, disoriented worried, disturbed, fearful… (please fill in the gap.. ) that I really don’t know what to do! Recently, I was almost regretting a decision I made a while ago.. and I felt I could have made a better choice, what did I learn in my reflection..? What do you do when it’s difficult to decide?

1- Be Still  - There is  strength in Stillness; just hang in there! Stop!  Halt! Wait! Do what ever you need to do to reduce the ‘noise’ around you; you may need to take a walk, see a movie, visit a friend, go to church, etc. You may also do some positive self-talk.. talk to yourself loudly and clearly.. re-affirming yourself (make sure you don’t do this in public so that somebody will not think you are running m_d). Just take your mind off..

2- Think on Paper  - Take a pen and paper, ask  yourself questions and write down the facts. A number of times when I was really overwhelmed and disturbed, its interesting to know that after a paper thinking session.. I found out the challenge was not as bad as it looks. The brain has a way of exaggerating issues when you attempt to process a lot of them on your mind.

3- Take Responsibility  - In uncertain situations, there is high tendency to shift ‘decision-making’ responsibility to someone else, especially in the African culture.  For example, a lady will prefer to go and ask her Pastor “What God is saying about her suitor” than sitting down to think  through her options. I’m not saying its bad to seek fourth dimensional  assistance (Spiritual help), but whatever input you will get from ‘Men of God’, friends or relatives should be a ‘confirmation’ of your position; not a pivot for your decision.

BigPicture

Do you know why you need to take responsibility for your decision? Because your decision will be tested – somewhere, somehow, sometime! If you do not take responsibility for your decision, its not only likely you’ll make a wrong decision… its almost certain that you will blame somebody for your failure.

Lastly, its good to base decisions on facts but it’s also important to know that  there is  a ‘bit’ of God in all men; its important to look inward and search the soul and spirit for insights; then Decide!

Thanks.

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Can the dead die again?

About 24hrs ago; an aircraft carrying the remains of Olusegun Agagu (the former Governor of Ondo state); his close associates (family) and Ondo state government delegates crashed in Lagos! Reportedly, 22 people were on-board, 17 died and 5 survived. The social media was saturated with different versions of the story… claims and counter claims, a number of people could not hold back their views, some said  its ‘payback time: law of Kama at work – Agagu was Aviation minister and left the airspace in a mess’, a few think it’s insensitive to ‘make bad comments about the dead..’  somebody made reference to the fact that this is a trend in Ondo state where ‘incumbent governors always bury their predecessors as Adefarati buried Ajasin, Agagu buried Adefarati, and Mimiko is about to bury Agagu’. Humnnnn!……..  I remember,  someone also said its not ordinary.. ‘its likely that he belong to a cult and its part of the  burial rites’. These are just few remarks I could remember.

We all have rights to our opinions;  but I think we need to be careful in analyzing issues from a myopic perspective… These are my thoughts:

  • What makes these deaths special? May be its because it came through plane crash; few days ago over 40 students were reportedly killed by Bokoharam,  another boat mishap claimed 42 lives while 100 are still missing. Nigerians are dying every day in predictable and preventable circumstances… I remember animal farm.. All animals are equal but some are more equal than the other… we need to start placing equal and appreciable premium on Nigerian lives.
  • Do I have all the facts? Things are not always the way they seems;’ the fact that we are human places limitation on what our brains can comprehend. Lets be careful in our analysis because we do not have all the facts.
  • What can I learn from this? I thinks this is the  best question we can individually ask ourselves. If I think its the law of Kama; what seeds am i currently sowing? how have I fared in that little space I find myself? If  I find my self in a position of authority today..am I truly prepared to be the change i want to see?

It’s irrelevant if  Agagu’s corpse died again and again and again…..his game is up and the dead is dead! Only the living can learn a lesson from the ‘dead’. What am I learning?

Please follow me on Twitter @tweet_debo

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Power of Responsibility

Other people can put you in charge of things, but no one can give you responsibility. You really don’t need anyone to give you responsibility, though. It doesn’t require any credentials or experience. It is there for you to assume any time you wish to do so. You become responsible simply by deciding to be, and then by living out your commitment with your attitude and your actions.

Great achievements begin when someone decides to take responsibility for making them happen. Have you ever driven through a large city and marveled at the tall buildings? Each one of them was built with responsibility. Have you ever read an exciting thriller that kept you captivated from the first page until the last? That book was written because someone took responsibility for telling the story. What do you want to do with your life? Where would you like to go? What kinds of things would you like to own? What do you wish to avoid? How do you want to feel? What people do you want around you? Whatever it is you want, take responsibility for it. You can own your dreams. Indeed, if they’re to come true you must own them. The world is yours to the extent that you take responsibility for it.

Yes, there are always circumstances to blame. Yes, there are those who would hold you back. Yes, there are things beyond your control. Take responsibility anyway. People who achieve greatness believe that whatever happens to them, they are responsible for it. It may seem unfair, yet it is ultimately liberating. Those things for which you are responsible are the things that will propel your life forward. You have a choice. You can always find someone, or something, to blame, and thereby allow circumstances and other people to control your life. Or, you can step up and take responsibility, no matter what. That puts you firmly in control, and gives you the power to live your life the way you choose. How much responsibility can you handle? That is precisely how successful you will  likely be.

Written by a guest contributor

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