God is Not a Christian

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The construction of Hagia Sophia church with its characteristic pendative dome was completed in the year 537. The project started in the year 360. Hagia Sophia which means – Holy Wisdom in Greek was the Constantinople seat of Byzantine Orthodoxy which had severed relationship with Roman Catholicism. When the ancient city where Hagia Sophia is located was captured by the Papacy during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 the church was converted to Rome.

In 1261, the Byzantines recaptured their city and church. Constantinople was named after Constantine the Great (227-337 AD) the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However by 1453 the city became Istanbul and Hagia Sophia, a mosque under the Ottoman Turk, Mehmed the Conqueror. That was when its minarets were added and the crosses, icons removed with the images within plastered over with various Arabesque features.

In 1923, the historic edifice was converted into a secular museum by the founder of modern Turkey, General Kemal Atatürk. Most of its original imagery were then restored. The United Nations would eventually declare it as a World Heritage Site.
By July 24, 2020, Hagia Sophia would revert back to a mosque again. The Turkish presidential order has already been signed. Many in Christendom are worried, others concerned. I am neither for 2 main reasons. First,

I totally subscribe to the Solomonic axiom – “The race is not for the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to the men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” Second, I remain an acolyte of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who told the story n 1989; “of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?” The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!” The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.”

His Grace Tutu went on; “Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.” The Nobel laureate eventually rested his argument; “My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don’t know what significant fact can be drawn from this — perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.

My second point is this: not to insult the adherents of other faiths by suggesting, as sometimes has happened, that for instance when you are a Christian the adherents of other faiths are really Christians without knowing it. We must acknowledge them for who they are in all their integrity, with their conscientiously held beliefs; we must welcome them and respect them as who they are and walk reverently on what is their holy ground, taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. We must hold to our particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, not pretending that all religions are the same, for they are patently not the same. We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.”

Tutu concluded; “God is not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us”

In the 1567 year history of the existence of Hagia Sophia it has withstood massive earthquakes in years 553, 558, 869 and 1344. This UN World Heritage Site has outlived wars, famines, plagues and indeed dictators, emperors and kings including presidents. It has been a constantly recurring decimal in the politicization of religion in Constantinople, now Istanbul at that crucial junction in modern-day Turkey where Europe meets the Middle East. Simply put the issue is beyond religion, it is another chess game in the “Clash of Civilizations”
Hagia Sophia will therefore outlive President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and return to its origin status as a church one day. Whether or not it happens during our lifetime is beside the point. So why bother? As the ancients wisely put it; “Only 3 things cannot remain hidden for long, the Sun, the Moon and the Truth”

Tick, tock, tick, tock…………

Just begin

*Copied
A very inspiring tale to encourage you.

Just after I received my fee structure from Moi University for my PhD, totalling N850,000 in 2012, I met my dad, Alhaji Abubakar at Cooperative bank in Kaduna.

I explained to him that I had the admission letter and he smiled.

I told him however, “Baba, there is a problem. They need N850,000.”

He held my hands, then slowly but reassuringly, said, “Just begin, my son.”

To ensure his point went home, he got into his account and gave me N14,000 in an account that had N20,000.

I was touched.

I added N16000 and paid N30,000 into the account, and my journey to PhD began.

Today, having reached the dream, I remember the words of my father.

In everything you do, always remember, JUST BEGIN.

Just begin, no matter how difficult it seems to be.

It appeared to be difficult, but as time lapsed, I realised dad was right.

At some point after my defence, I gave up.

I still had a solid N300,000 to pay and they wouldn’t give me a chance for my final defence.

Then came a very unlikely help.

I had supported a gentleman to undertake a project evaluation two times in the year.

I received his call cautiously asking me to meet him.

He was carrying a brown envelop in his hand.

He began, “Aliyu, you will forgive me if you find my action inappropriate. For two consecutive times you have given me a job without asking for a Cent. This is very unusual with many people. I did not know how to approach you, but I am deep with gratitude. Please accept my small gift.”

I quickly peered into the envelope and saw they were two bundles, likely in hundreds.

He confirmed that it was N200,000.

I told him, “I have helped so many people, many known to me, some were my school mates who never returned a Cent. God bless you. Please don’t give it to me. Pay it straight into the university account.”

I couldn’t believe it.

The words of my father, “My son, just begin” came to mind.

Don’t worry how it will end.

Just begin.

If you are building a house, just begin.

If you are planning to buy land, just begin.

If you want to continue with your education, just begin.

If you want to pay dowry, just begin.

Nothing is more powerful than that advice.

We just need to begin.

And I have revised this philosophy.

Whenever someone is doing something, I always encourage them to just keep trying.

When things get thick, I always say, keep walking.

When things are intimidating, ignore.

Let’s keep trying.

Don’t give up on life just because your challenges appear to be insurmountable.

Do not be defeated before you begin.

Whatever looks like a mountain will soon become an anthill…but only if you begin.

Not long ago, someone asked me, “Aliyu, are we going to manage to build the office we want?”

My answer, “Let’s just begin.”

I believe in the power of starting.

No one loses a race until they respond to the sound of the gun and begin.

The secret lies in beginning.

Overtime, God has seen me through a number of projects because of this philosophy.

I have parcels of land that I acquired by simply paying N50,000…and, overtime, these have multiplied.

I persuade you this day never to allow yourself to be threatened by the size of your problem.

Begin in a small way to do something about it.

If it is lack of money do something small to get something for yourself.

If it is a marital issue, look for a way to solve it.

In whatever you face, just begin.

Even those with big debts can do something about it.

Just begin and it will shrink each day.

I was not a millionaire, but sometime ago, I wanted to have a feeling of being one.

I drew a plan of how to hold a million in my account, at least for a few days.

After some months of beginning, I discovered it was possible.

Three years and half of savings later, I got my first ever million.

Even though I used it later on investments and expenses, it felt so good.

Let’s all begin.

Let’s ignore naysayers and prophets of doom that believe we can’t do it.

JUST BEGIN!

MY SECRET SIN

Anonymous author

That Friday night, I was supposed to be in the vigil leading the worship song but there I was in Fred’s bed moaning in painful pleasure as he cuddled and caressed me.

Being the choir mistress, I was the one to take the worship songs that night but I manoeuvred my way to his home.

“Can we go another round?” Fred asked teasingly.

“You don’t get tired? Oliver Twist,” I said staring at the wall clock. It was few minutes before 1 a.m.

“I need to join them in the church,” I said uncovering myself from the bedsheets and hurriedly picked up my dress from the floor.

“It’s already late and dangerous out there. Just pass the night here again please.”

“Akuna! It’s better late than never. Don’t forget, I’m the one taking the worship.”

“Do you want to get raped out there? The one I gave you is not enough for you, right?” he asked mockingly as he sat upright on his bed placing a pillow on his laps to hide his erected stuff.

“I won’t get raped because we are going together. Dress up please.”

“Have you gone insane?” he giggled. “I just finished feasting with the devil and you expect me to go to the presence of God? Come on babe, I still have conscience.”

“What are you insinuating? Are you saying I don’t have conscience? Thank you for reminding me that I’m Jezebel.” I said trying to ease the guilt.

I hurriedly picked my Bible and my scarf from the floor and dashed out of the room.

“Onyeche, wait let me see you off,” I heard his voice from a distance.

That was not the first night I spent in his house in the name of vigil, neither was it the second nor third.

You may think that was the worst thing I have done. No, I did worse than that. I aborted two babies for Fred, the assistant prayer band leader who was always leading the prayer section.

My father who was a well thought of elder in the church was glad that her daughter was burning for God.

I was not just deceiving my father, I was deceiving the members of the church, I was deceiving the pastor whose favourite I was.

Never had he ministered without me acting as the backup singer. He trusted and believed so much in me. And above all, I was deceiving myself as my self-worth was dwindling.

When I got to the church, Agnes was still leading the praise section.

It seemed she was stylishly waiting for my arrival to take the worship section as I was considered to be the most fire-branded member of the church.

As the choir mistress, I was supposed to be seated at the front seat, but I sat behind so that my incoming would not be noticed.

I glanced through the pulpit, the pastor’s gaze was on me and I trembled within as he signaled an invitation.

“Onyeche, what happened?” he asked affectionately.

“Daddy I slept off,” I lied kneeling beside him without any iota of the fear of God.
“I wanted to rest before time but when I woke up, it was already very late. I told myself that it’s better late than never.”

“I know you ‘ll come regardless what. Thank you,” he said smiling and patting me on my shoulder. “Hope you are prepared.”
“I’m always prepared daddy.”

Right at the pulpit I was confidently lying to the man of God. Yet, unlike the days of Peter, there was no discernment, I would have fallen dead like Ananias and Sapphira but there, I was being praised.

Like the pastor’s praise was not enough, when I climbed the podium, I was welcomed with a standing ovation by the congregation. They yelled and shouted my name. Others jumped to their feet shouting and clapping. My head was becoming larger like I was sharing the glory of God with him, that’s if I did not steal it all. Had they known that I just left Delilah’s lap, or maybe I was even the Delilah. Had they known I just left the dungeon of sin, just like the lady of Magdalene, they would have picked up stone.

I struck the mic with a finger and the sound was pleasant to my hearing.

“Alleluuuuuuuia!” I shouted into the mic, stressing my word and the crowd yelled even louder.

“Can we just compose ourselves as we worship the El shaddai, the Elohim, The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the I am that I am, mandalekatushaldaba,” I burst into tongue. “The Bible says, God is a Spirit and they that must worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

As I was trying to elate the crowd, I saw Fred enter the church. Well built, muscular and light in complexion. Like the Biblical Joseph, very handsome and good to behold. I still doubt if I were the only one in the church he was having an affair with. Many of those young girls flopped around him calling him papa and M.O.G.

He was also very much adored and loved in the church because of his activeness yet, my partner in sin.

“Close your eyes and lift up your hands unto the Lord as we worship him.”

As I began to sing deeper, those emotional tears began to pour from my eyes.

Some of the people were also singing and crying while others were blasting in tongues.

I glanced at Fred, with hands akimbo, he was shaking and nodding his head in all direction as though he was translated to another realm.

His voice was louder than every other person. It seemed he was trying to tell them that he prayed in tongue more than any of them as he seldom pray in the language of men.

It may surprise you to know that Fred was not the only person I was sleeping with.

I did those abominable acts outside the church too. I was scared that my evil deeds would one day be exposed if I involve other members. So, whenever those decent boys in my church asked my out, even for a serious relationship, I will politely turn them down preaching the gospel to them. Telling them how it’s going to affect our relationship with God but there was never a no from me to the outsiders: the fallen brethren as they will never be in my church to see me pray or sing.

You see eh! You would want to blame me for this hypocrisy of the highest order. Go ahead. Judge me, condemn me. Cast the first stone but remember, you didn’t die for me. It is Christ that died. Yes, it is God that justifies.

You may think I did not feel sad for myself. You may think I loved what I was doing.

No, to me, it was also disgusting. It made me look so dirty like a pig. It made feel like I did not belong to the family of the true children of Jesus Christ.

I have judged myself enough, so you don’t have to judge me again. If there’s anything to do, it’s to pray for me because secretly, I was dying.

Just like the church of Sardis, I had the reputation of being alive but I was dead. Yes, I had the reputation of being vibrant and burning for God but I was on my way to hell.

You may think I was not born again. Well, I was genuinely born again.

I spoke in the tongues of angels, I’ve received the gift of the Holy Spirit, yet, I was swimming in sin.

On Facebook and other social media, I was an apostle of holiness as I never ceased preaching and posting scriptures on my wall. My WhatsApp status was always preaching Christ but my lifestyle was contrary to the faith.

Apostle Paul said that he’s the worst of all sinners. I don’t want to drag that position with Elder Paul but one thing is certain, nobody can drag the second slot with me.

My situation became critical when I became addicted to sex. Sex became my driving force.

I was always happy during weekly fellowship as it was the only opportunity to visit Fred before heading to church together.

After fellowship, we’d return to his home for more fun before he would see me off.

When I could not make it to Fred’s home, I resorted to masturbation.

There was no single day passed by without me masturbating as I began to find it more pleasurable than sex.

Even on Sunday morning, before service, I would masturbate at home before handling the microphone on the pulpit to lead the praise and worship.

Don’t think I ever felt comfortable at the pulpit.

I hated myself for what I was doing. I only needed a way out of my predicament.

I was always kneeling at the front of the altar for every altar call. But that same evening, I would be in my room thrusting myself with cucumber.

I have gone days without food and water in the name of fasting but to no avail.

You see! Haven’t I tried?

You that want to judge me, how many days have you gone fasting and praying for your own secret sin? Or do you want to tell me that you’re not battling with any private sin?

Man may not be watching you but God watches everything that happens even in the most secret place.

So, please don’t judge me. I understand hypocrisy already. Or have you not read that you should get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye?

Oh young minister, put yourself right with God first and then we can sit down and talk judgment.

There was this day I rounded off my seven days fasting and prayer. I made up my mind never to see Fred again, never to masturbate again and never to see any guy again.

My determination worked perfectly well for weeks but after a month, I found myself in Fred’s bed again.

Pathetic, right? Very pathetic indeed. Fred shouted at me with rage and almost hit me for keeping him for a whole month without sex.

He threatened to quit the relationship but I begged with tears. The only thing that calmed him down was when I promised to spend the night with him instead of going to the vigil.

When it was dawn, I carried my Bible and went home. I did not just return to Fred, I returned to my old way of life.

For years, I continued living such a wayward and bitter life until one particular night.

After satisfying my inordinate desire, I picked up my Bible as usual and began to flip through its pages just to fulfill all righteousness and ease the guilt I was feeling.

I read several pages randomly. The urge to study that night was stronger than the urge for masturbation, even stronger than the urge for sex.

I continued reading carelessly until I came across Psalm 145:18-19.

I read it over and over, then over and over and over and over. For more than a dozen time, I was reading just these two verses.

I read it until it sank so deeply to my innermost being.

As I continued reading, tears began to well up in my eyes.

These were not the emotional tears I used to shed at the pulpit. These were tears I even tried to control but couldn’t.

When my Bible was getting soaked, I closed it and dropped it on my bed.

The next thing that happened was mysterious. I found myself on the floor, rolling, crying and praying.
“Lord, it’s either now or never. I die here tonight.

“Tonight, I bring into captivity every thought and fleshly pleasure to the obedience of Christ.

“My strength, my ability, my will, my wisdom, everything has failed me. It’s just you now oh Lord.

“Lord, may I never see the rising of the sun again until I’m delivered from every devourer.

“Lord Jesus, except you want me to die in my sin, you will deliver me tonight.”

I knew I was disturbing my parents and probably, neighbours but my problem was bigger than one sleepless night.

I thought I was disturbing my parents, but it didn’t take much time before I heard them blasting in tongues from their room.

That night, I didn’t sleep. Even when I wanted to sleep, I could not. I prayed till dawn then slept off.

When I woke up, it was around 9 a.m. I switched on my phone and it was Fred’s message that came in.

Gud mrning lov,
D tot of U cudn’t allow
me sleep last 9t.
I mesmerized ova ur
beauty & ur magical
touch till dawn.
Wherever U ar is
exactly where I wnt 2 b
I’ve wasted too much
time already.
I dnt wnt 2 waste
anoda single day
without U & I’m ready 2
make it up 4 d lost
time.
Baby do U mind
comin ova later in d
day?
I no U wudnt mind.
I love U. Expecting U
dear, kisses.

I stared at my phone a bit confused if to reply or not. After a second thought, I pulled off my sim card and broke it into pieces.

“I’m starting afresh,” I murmured. And as if pushed by an external force, I opened my drawer. I stared at the cucumbers and the toys I bought and shame overwhelmed me. Slowly, I began to break everything. “I’m done with you,” I spoke to the toy as though it could hear. “I’m done with sin,” I continued talking to myself.

As I searched my room thoroughly for all the instruments of sin, a song came to my lips.

I’m no longer a slave
To sin (fear),
I am a child of God.

I sang only the chorus for hours reminding myself who I’ve become.

Days rolled into weeks and weeks into months, I did not go to Fred’s home neither did I do anything stupid.

I thought of Fred several times and the urge came powerfully sometimes. Of course, I’m human.

The urge was there but the power and grace to overcome was stronger.

I would stare at the mirror and applaud myself for not going back to the way it used to be.

I would use my right hand to shake my left hand in jubilation congratulating myself.

I still remember when I took myself out on a date. Funny, isn’t it? That’s what we called self-crush.

You may think I over acted. I don’t really mind.

You will never know what it is like to be free until you have found freedom in Christ Jesus. I am sure you will celebrate more than I did.

One of the mistakes the devil made was that he still allowed me to fellowship with the brethren even in my sin.

He still allowed me to pray and study even after committing those evil acts.

If he was wise, he would have cut me off from the gathering of the brethren.

Had he known, he would have sealed my lips from praying to God who was actually waiting for me to call upon Him.

And because he was not all knowing, he couldn’t stop me from praying and he couldn’t have ever stopped God from answering my prayer.

After three months, I found myself in Fred’s house again.

I was surprised too because I thought I’d never go there again but it’s like I was compelled.

No! It’s not what you are thinking. Haba na! I did not go alone. I went with the Most High. I went to offer him Christ.

I stood at the door feeling reluctant to knock. After a while, I did.

He opened the door and was surprised to see me. He stood at the door confused whether to let me in or not. We stood in total silence staring at each other.

After awhile, I broke the silence, “Fred, I’m….”

“No! No! No!” he cut in. “You don’t need to be sorry,” he said emphatically. I should be the one apologising.

“Onyeche, I’m sorry, it’s over between us.”
“Over?” I asked faking the surprise just to hear more.

“Please forgive me Onyeche, you’re now my past.”

“Fred, what happened? Did I do anything wrong?” The woman in me wouldn’t tell him the reason I visited. I wanted to feed my curiosity.

“No Onye, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that I have found true love.”

“Fred will never change,” I chuckled. “Is that why you couldn’t even welcome me in? Is she inside?”

“Nobody is in,” he said paving the curtain to give me a better view of the room.

“You mean your love for me was never true? Where did I get it wrong Fred?” I enquired just to hear his opinion because from onset, I knew we were into an illicit love affair that will lead to nowhere except hell.

“Onyeche, I must confess, you were not my first love. I left my first love for you. I thought I could hold on to both of you at a time but it’s never possible. I’ve decided to return and start all over again with my first love.”

“Hmm! Who could that be Fred? You told me you love me and promised never to let me go.”

“This love is different from what I felt for you then,” he said confidently exuding great joy.

“This love is genuine. This love is pure. This love doesn’t fail. This love has covered my past and given a future. This love is shed abroad in my heart.” He was nodding his head as he spoke with total peace.

“Onyeche,” he called placing his hands on my shoulders. “I HAVE FOUND TRUE LOVE IN CHRIST JESUS. I have returned to my first love. Onyeche, there is no better love than the love of Christ. There is no love outside Christ. What have we gained from the sin we called love? What has fornication added to our lives? Why not give this love a chance to find its expression in your life?”

The joy I felt in my spirit knew no bounds when I heard those words from Fred.

“Fred, this love is what brought me here. This love found me some months back. I came here just to offer you this love but I’m overwhelmed with joy to know that this love has found you too. This is miraculous.”

“It is the Lord’s doing,” he said. “Do you mind coming in?” he added leading the way.

“No, I don’t mind,” I replied as I followed from behind.

This time around, I was not on his bed. We knelt beside his bed in prayer thanking God for His unfailing love, amazing grace and His undeserved mercy.

I was dead, and now alive again; I was lost, and found.

I am Onyeche, I only exist in
#Adogasimagination.

DEDICATION
To all those in the church of God but still struggling with one sin or the other.

Don’t just relax in that sin. Hold on to Christ for a little while.

He is more interested in helping you than you are interested in helpinghelping yourself. Just one more prayer and you will see the handiwork of God.

Remain blessed. See a good follow up to that choir mistress story. Thank God that she repented, anyway.

We can speak in tongues and miss heaven.
We can win souls and miss heaven.
We can see vision and miss heaven.
We can prophesy and still miss heaven.
We can cast out devil and miss heaven.
We can perform miracles and still miss heaven.
We can read the whole Bible and miss heaven.
We can attend all church services, fellowship activities and camp meetings and miss heaven.
We can have anointing and miss heaven.
We can have all spiritual gifts and miss heaven.
We can be rich, prosperous and wealthy and still miss heaven.
We can give and sow seeds and still miss heaven.
We can wield power and be influential and still miss heaven.
We can have a powerful voice to sing and miss heaven.
we can also have fame and popularity and miss heaven.
•••But we cannot LIVE A HOLY LIFE and miss heaven•••
HOLINESS IS THE REAL DEAL!
Without holiness through salvation in Christ, one will not make heaven.

Forwarding this is Evangelism.
Let us win a soul for Christ.

*COPIED*

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIONS

*Copied from a whatsapp post

A young man saw his primary school teacher on a wedding.
He went to greet him with all the respect and admiration.
He said to him:
“Do you remember me, Teacher?”
The teacher said: “No, introduce yourself.”
The student said: “I was your student in the 3rd Grade, I am the one who stole the watch of a child in the classroom. I will remind you but I am sure you remember the story.”

One of the boys in my class had a beautiful watch, so I decided to steal it.
He came to you crying that someone had stolen his watch.
You asked us to stand so as to search our pockets.
I realized that my action would be exposed in front of the Students and Teachers.
I will be called a thief, a liar and my character will be shattered forever.

You asked us to stand and face the wall and close our eyes completely.
You went searching from pocket to pocket, and when you reached my pocket you pulled the watch out of my pocket, and you continued until you searched the last student.

After you finished you asked us to open our eyes and to sit on our chairs.
I was afraid you will expose me in front of the students.

You showed the watch to the class, and gave it back to the boy, and you never mentioned the name of the one who stole the watch.
You never said a word to me, and you never mentioned the story to anyone.

Throughout my school life, none of the teachers nor the students talked about me stealing the watch.
I thought to myself you saved my dignity that day.

Do you remember me?
How can you not remember me, Teacher?
I was your student and I am sure you remember the story, that I stole the watch and you did not want to embarrass me. This story is unforgettable.

The teacher said: “I can’t remember who stole the watch that day, because I searched the pockets of all of you while my eyes were also closed.”

Education needs wisdom. We should be able to be such Teachers, such Parents, such Leaders and be able to be for people in such circumstances.
We should always calculate the consequences of our actions.

☺💙Have a pleasant day

An Economic Sermon

By Kalu Aja

In the Bible, we read an interesting story of Spiritualism, Economics and Trade.

God speaks to Egyptian President by giving him a strange dream of lean cows eating fat cows.

Alarmed the Egyptian President summoned his Intelligence Agencies, his Cabinet and Special Assistants on Religious Affairs, all his top Advisers, but noone could decipher the message in the dream.

Then an Adviser previously in EFCC custody remembered a former inmate who was very good in analysis of data. He tells Mr President who summons Joseph. Joseph shaves, wears a nice suit and goes before the President. Joseph hears the data from the President, & responds;

A. There will be an oil boom that will increase the wealth of the Egyptian Government. The Government will make a lot of money for 7 years.

B. Then after 7 years, the oil boom will end and the world will enter a recession.

At this point, Joseph is now giving his own advise to the President.

Joseph tells the President;

“Set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund, save 25% of the oil wealth for those 7 boom years. Look for a man, discrete & wise to act as Chief Economic Adviser to implement the plan”

What Joseph did here was to identify the problem, give a solution, and then offer himself a pathway to becoming a man “discrete and wise” to implement the solution he advised.

Pharaoh agreed, made Joseph Chief Economic Adviser of the Federation. As recession swept across the world, Egypt became the center of the world, all nations came to Egypt to trade, Egypt became richer, Joseph became a Super Minister

The End

What is the lesson of this story?

1. President: You’re only as good as the Advisers your surround yourself with.

2. Pastors, its not enough to give prophesies, if God revels something to you, He will also give you an interpretation with clear dates & solutions, Prophecy without direction is useless.

3. Entrepreneur, referrals will make or break your business. Joseph was referred to the President by a client he “traded” with when he just a startup, treat your early customers like kings.

4. As a Person, Educate yourself. Joseph gave the “Spiritual”, but then followed up with the “Economic”. keep learning.

5. The Economy; every economic boom is followed by a recession, every recession creates opportunities for people that prepared during the recession.

In the Universe; there is no such thing as luck in wealth generation. it’s always planned. noone is lucky.

Egypt became wealthy because they stored grain for 7 years and became a trading post.

Dubai, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Singapore are today’s Egypt.

x

@FinPlanKaluAja1

Girls at War: A Review

This a personal & non-academic review of Chinua Achebe’s Short story ‘Girls at War’. Originally done for a Whatsapp book discussion group but which I’ve been encouraged to share far & wide. The Short Story ‘Girls at War’ is from the collection of Nigerian civil war time short stories of the same title by Chinua Achebe.

Let’s start with the title, I have always had thing for titles.

Have you ever seen teenage girls fight? Well, if you have then simply multiply the confused, abusive, scratchy, revealing spectacle a few times over & you have ‘Girls at War’. Girls play dirty & fight crazy. Maturity & civility goes out the window. Fairness remains a distant past, order is lost completely, wisdom a mirage & a ‘strip tease’ a strong possibility, very much expected by amused bystanders, who watch with keen selfish interest.

Even those who step in to separate the Waring ladies will have their motives questioned, especially if they are male. (And in these modern days, even female ‘referees’ get their sexual preferences scrutinized also).

Who to grab, where to hold, what to say, to laugh or not, how to behave, self preservation, (dangerously essential for guys with their two very fragile natural passengers to worry about).

Now if you’re the poor fellow the warring girls are in battle over, you’re not on your own for nobody minds their business anymore. Everyone is in your face nowadays. Blaming everyone & you, for the ‘hurt’ girl is always right by default these days.

‘Who rules the world?’, don’t ask Beyonce, just read the tabloids. “That time done pass. Now everybody want (their say). They call it (free speech). You put your number six; I put my number six.
Everything (is) all right.”

Nigeria was at war with Biafra, is the setting of the story & Biafra was doing quite badly. War is the art of survival. Which of the the two sexes is most dexterous in the practicalities of survival? Girls are at War, perpetually.

The manipulation in daily living is survival, one that is sired in us from that maiden race down a ‘penish’ tube, as we aim to win the fertilization laurel & indirectly cause the demise of millions of our first ‘spermy’ peers.

This a story of changing priorities, of changing times & changing people surprising themselves & but not really altering stereotypes & established perceptions.

The first hint of romance is carried through, ’till death do them part’. The young Gladys clad in khaki, searching cars at a roadblock in the early days of the war, changed into a reluctant battle field for troops to ‘not march in’. The privileged intellectualism of Reginald Nwankwo of the Biafran Ministry of Justice is reduced to the pettiness of the pursuit of luxuries everywhere, that will end with ‘drilling his troops’ in Gladys’ ‘battle field’.

The war efforts had commenced with enthusiast children ‘who marched up and down the streets at the time drilling with sticks and wearing their mothers’ soup bowls for steel helmets.’ Alongside them was the jest of the likes of ‘the contingent of girls from a local secondary school marching behind a banner: WE ARE IMPREGNABLE!’

By the time Gladys & Reginald crossed paths for a third & final time, eighteen months of ‘Death and starvation’ had long
chased out the headiness of the early days.’

Amidst the lackness in
blank suicidal resignation of multitudes, Reginald towed Gladys along to a party with the better-off few feeding off the war. Those ‘who had no other desire than whatever good things were still going and to enjoy themselves to the limit. ‘But unlike these strange lot, normalcy had not returned to the rest of the world. ‘Girls became girls once more and boys boys,’ only in the parties of these priviledges few, as the world around them ‘was a tight, blockaded and desperate world.’

Living in these war days made
heads of stockfish & tinned meat a very privileged luxury and the likes of ‘the dreadful American stuff called Formula Two’ heaped on the populace by international relief bringers. Reginald’s contacts kept him within easy reach of a variety of relief stuffs like ‘rice, beans and that excellent cereal commonly called Gabon gari.’ He has an official car & a driver to ferry him through the land & a bomb shelter within reach of his home to weather the horrific fear of air-raids.

Reginald Nwankwo is fortunate and not one of ‘the starved scarecrow crowd of rags and floating ribs’, reduced ‘by the independent accusation of their wasted bodies and sunken eyes’ as they perpetually hung around relief centres, making crude, ungracious remarks like “War Can Continue!”

Reginald did the best he could to keep the clutches of kwashiokor out of the reach of his driver’s (Johnson) home by making sure that whenever he got sizeable supplies he gave some to Johnson, for his wife and six or
seven kids.

At one pound per cigarette cup in the market, Gari might as well be caviar for most ordinary folks. Something has to give & always did. Priorities changed & things like respect & sympathy lowered in standard, so much that only pretty girls get rides in staff cars, not begging old women.

When gentleman say to a pretty girl, ‘I broke my rule today to give you a lift. I never give lifts these
days”, it’s not love or fondness, it is good old sweaty panting lust. When a girl braves bomb raids on the road to a major city during a war & tells you ;“I am going to visit my girlfriend,” it’s good old fashioned survival hunting.

Gladys got the bush meat she came out for in a comfy bed, party fun, good food & scarce money. Reginald got the ‘match’ he wanted to win for a looooooooong time.

“But your family is not there with you?” “No,” he said. “Nobody has his family there. We like to say it is because of air-raids but I can assure you there is more to it. Owerri is a real swinging town and we live the life of gay bachelors.” “That is what I have heard.” Gladys heard the hunting is good in the Owerri metropolitan bush and she came to get lucky.

In a real swinging party hosted by a Lieutenant-Colonel, in the real fun of the moment, she saw someone better than Reginald and fell in-love with what she saw in a man for the first time in Owerri & as it turned out, for the last time. While Reginald was ashamed of himself, hating the parties and frivolities to which his friends clung like drowning men, Gladys found her mojo.

Still it was always about taking a girl home for the classy dude & Reginald was always a classic guy who wants to get the babe. ‘And this particular girl too, who had once had such beautiful faith in the struggle and was betrayed (no doubt about it) by some man like him out for a good time.’

This personified the entire story for me. Gladys is the ‘Girl at War’ with the circumstances she has found herself in & setting out to make the best of it. Just like a young controversial nation at war with the circumstances it found itselt & making a whole mess of it. And five decades later, that region of the nation is still making a mess of the politics of it, playing the blame game still.

Their last morning together, Reginald felt better as he saw Gladys as ‘a mirror reflecting a society that had gone completely rotten and maggoty at the centre. The mirror itself was intact; a lot of smudge but no more. All that was needed was a clean duster.’ One that is still being awaited over fifty years later. And like the bold Biafran experience, Gladys ventured to be bold & heroic at the moment that called for it. Like Biafra, she ended her in a monumental crash of her world in a charred, smoking and entangled remains of the girl and that didn’t what ‘troops to match’ in her insides.

Sadly, the story is a comical but romantic take on how wrong it could be when it feels so right, like fighting a war to regain the peace the war shattered.

Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

Sculptor of God

By an Anonymous Writer

Enjoy & meditate on it….

“A German once visited a temple under
construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God.

Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?”
“No,” said the sculptor
without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”

The gentleman
examined the idol and found no apparent damage.
“Where is the damage?” he asked.
“There is a scratch on the nose of the idol,” said the sculptor, still
busy with his work.

“Where are you going to install the idol?”
The sculptor replied that it would be
installed on a
pillar twenty feet high.

“If the idol is that far who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” The gentleman asked.

The sculptor stopped work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not.

“Excellence” is a
drive from inside, not outside. Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and efficiency.

Don’t Climb a Mountain with an Intention that the World Should See You,
Climb the Mountain with the Intention to See the World.

CELESTIAL ASS

Copied from facebook

The Pastor entered his donkey in a race and
it won.
The Pastor was so pleased with the donkey
that he entered it in the race again and it won again.
The local paper read:
PASTOR’S ASS OUT FRONT.

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of
publicity that he ordered the Pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.
The next day the local paper headline read:
BISHOP SCRATCHES
PASTOR’S ASS.

This was too much for the Bishop so he
ordered the Pastor to get
rid of the donkey.
The Pastor decided to give it to a Nun in a
nearby convent.
The local paper, hearing of the news, posted
the following headline the next day:
NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN.

The Bishop fainted.
He informed the Nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey so she sold it to a farm for $10.
The next day the paper read:
NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10

This was too much for the Bishop so he
ordered the Nun to buy back
the donkey and lead it to the plains where
it could run wild.
The next day the headlines read:
NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

The Bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is . . . being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery . . . even shorten your life.
So be yourself and enjoy life.
Stop worrying about everyone else’s ass
and just cover your own !!!
You’ll be a lot happier and live longer!

Have a great week guys & dolls ♥️