In the first JAMB I wrote -I’ve written three in one lifetime, it’s safe to say I was their regular customer for a while. But that’s gist for another day- so I was saying about the first JAMB I wrote, among the physics questions there were about three on gravitational effect. Calculations on gravitational effect would easily have been a cinch for me, I knew the formula, I had practiced questions. Alright Goodness, let’s do this.
Hol’ up. I couldn’t. Why? They didn’t provide the constant. But they always do. In every physics examination and past question I had seen hitherto they always provided the constant. In that anxious moment my mind whirred with such questions as Oluwa wetin dey gravitate?
I tried to recall the value of the formula but 6.67 X 10-11 m3 kg -1 s-2 totally eluded me that evening. I was in sifia…
Hawking is a commonplace on the streets of Nigeria. It serve as a means of livelihood especially among the low-income level citizens. It is the desire of every hawker to sell all his goods as soon as possible. He moves round the street with the hope of reducing the heavy load on his head. I’ve been there before. I still remember how I go about the street selling palmoil in bottles. I want to get the damn red thing off my head in the shortest possible time especially because I don’t want my “wives” in school to see me. Lols!
But my concern today is about the many hawkers in our streets with lousy advertisement who claim not to be selling. How is this possible? How can you be hawking without selling? Why advertise what you are not ready to let go. I’m so sure you came across so many of them today. They are not selling bread neither are they selling oranges. They don’t hawk clothes or shoes. You wonder what they hawk? Their bodies!
You definately know about those who sell their bodies. They are found in the brothels, hotels and red spots. We are not suprised when we see them. We know they are hawking because they want to sell. Infact, some fight for customers. But what shall we say about these barrage of body hawkers on our streets and campuses who claim not to be selling? How can you be hawking without selling? What do you want to achieve? What if you come across a consumer who is in dire need of what you’re flaunting all around? Will you say you are only hawking?
Unfortunately, many of these body hawkers have been victims of hungry consumers. Most incidence of rape is a case of one who wants to die meeting the one who wants to kill. While we condemn rape, we should also remember that rape most times is a reaction to an action; a chemical reaction catalysed by pounds of flesh being fragrantly displayed. Worst still is the fact that, more rape goes on in the hearts of men than those in act. I wonder how many men have slept with you without your consent. Like Jezebel, God’ll definately judge you for seducing men to commit fornication with you in their hearts.
They are not just hawkers; they are hawks with long and sharp claws waiting to pierce through the soul of men at the slightest opportunity. You will never remain the same. It will cost you your very life.
“Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.”
I fear men who claim to be “dead to sin.” They are so anointed and Holy Spirit filled they could watch anything. They could touch anything in the name of conducting deliverance for ladies. They seems to have forgotten the Holy Writ which commands “Flee also youthful lusts.” Flee it says. Don’t even try to resist it. Flee!!! I’ve had to literary turn my eyes and plead the blood on my heart on meeting a lady “with the attire of a harlot” in the cab. If the dress is not skimpy, its scanty. If its not skinny, its a see-through. The ladies of my generation do not know the demacation between beauty and nudity. They have lost a sense of courtesy and right judgement. The cliché is now, the tighter, the better or the shorter, the smarter. Like Dinah, they want to see and belong with the daughters of the land. Daughters of Zion also want to be sexy. What a strange language! No wonder, many have been deflowered before the wedding night.
I am not an advocate of shabiness as you may be thinking. I am only asking you to save us of your curves and cleavages. Your butt and boob should be the exclusive reserve of your husband. Don’t hawk what you won’t sell. Only God looks on the heart, men still look on the outward appearance. Stop this advert! Stop increasing the temperature and the blood pressure of men. Stop distracting men in the name of attracting them.
You should be your brother’s keeper. Hear what someone said, “if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother” (1 Cor 8:13). Why will you be a cause of trouble to your brother by your dressing? Matthew 18:6 says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Your body is God’s temple; His vehicle that carries Him around for divine assignment. You have been bought with a price, you should glorify God in your body which is the Lord’s. You are not a sex machine. You are not an object to be flaunted. Every valuable gift is properly wrapped only to be unwrapped after it has been presented. You don’t want the receiver to know what’s inside. You want to put him in suspence. If you are a valuable gift, you should always dress in the best “wrapper” only to be unwrapped by your husband on your wedding night. Keep him in suspence. Give him something to look forward to.
I want to tell you four things that should give you a dress sense;
THE SCRIPTURE: There is a Scriptural standard for dressing. For example, 1 Peter 3:3-5 says,
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful…”
In addition, 1Timothy 2:9-10 says, “I also want the women to be modest and sensible about their clothes and to dress properly; not with fancy hair styles or with gold ornaments or pearls or expensive dresses, but with good deeds, as is proper for women who claim to be religious.”
I believe these Scriptures talk about abuse not disuse unlike many have interpreted. It’s talking about the attitude that should guide your dressing – simplicity and modesty! You should be sensible and dress properly. It’s talking about what your priority should be as a woman – your inner beauty. It says outward adornment should not be the source of your beauty but a supplement to it. What is the use of a lady using the most expensive perfume with a stinking character? Who cares about the light skinned home coming queen who lacks courtesy? Why spend money on gold, hairdos and clothes for beauty when your heart is not beautiful? Real men are not looking for charm but character. This is the Scriptural standard!
“Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all (including your dressing) to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 emphasis mine).
YOUR FUTURE: You should dress with your future in view. When Joseph’s brother saw him afar off, they saw a man with a dream; his cloth of many colours distinguished him. He had a colourful future. The way you dress can give men a glimpse into your future. Virtually every young girl I knew, when I was young, who gives too much attention to her appearance did not mean much eventually. Someone of them got pragnant before they got married; others ended up as mere mediocres with many secret wounds. You cannot hope to be the next first lady and be flaunting your boobs and butts; that’s a porn star in the making. There was a clear prescription as to how the priests must dress in the Scriptures, you can easily recognise them just by the way they dress. We know a nurse, a lawyer, policeman, an athlete, a banker, etc by the way they dress. Let people begin to guess your future by your dressing. Dress for your future!
OUR CULTURE: Although there are occasional excesses in our different cultures however there are excellent standards for dressing that is in complete consonance with the Scripture. Our culture, especially as Africans, condemns nudity, seduction and extravagancy in dressing. My mother taught my sisters how to tie their “iro” in such a way that it can stay on their bodies for a long time. She taught them how to sit with their kness covered. Their undies was not meant for men to see. Today we see undies everyday except you are not sincere. It’s become the norm! But you don’t have to be easily adapted to what is in vogue; you are not a rogue.
THENATURE: Anatomically, men are different from women just as they are in many other ways. That’s the natural design! Men come mostly in figure 1, everything is simply straight. Women however comes in different shapes and sizes, sometimes its figure 8, 3, 6 or 9. God made them male and female. They are significantly different. This difference automatically brings a difference to how a man dresses to how a woman will. I have found that almost every part of a woman’s body is electrifying i.e. sensitive. When she exposes too much flesh or displays her shape, the electromagnetic fields in the opposite sex will be activated. This implies that a woman cannot dress the way a man will do. They are different! Paul speaking concerning this difference said, “Doth not even nature itself teach you…” (1 Corinthians 11:14 KJV). This is the question God is asking every female today. The Amplified version says, “Does not the native sense of propriety (experience, common sense, reason) itself teach you…” Lady, you cannot open your chest the way a man will do; you cannot sit down the way a man will do. Nature should teach you! Its common sense! Stop insulting our sensibility! Stop trying to alter nature. You are different “or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (2 Corinthians 6:19-20 MSG).
Recently, a number of questions have been bothering my mind. I have been thinking about the essence of this life. What is it that gives substance, value or meaning to life? What parameters define the life of man? What are the components of a quality life?
I am still a youth and it is my hope to live a meaningful life. I want to be part of those whose life can be reckoned with on the earth. I want to be a force in my field and a voice in my generation. I want to defy all odds and be the best I could. I want to break the barriers of mediocrity and poverty to get to the peak.
In my quest, men and women who are making waves in my world began to trickle into my mind. I remember Lionel Messi and Cristiano Renaldo they have been the world best in football. I also remember Bill Gates; he’s been acclaimed to be the world’s richest. Barack Obama is the first black president of the world’s most powerful nation, the United States of America.
Coming home to my own country, I remember the current Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; Wole Soyinka, the African to be honoured with Nobel Lauret; Agbani Darego, the 2001 Miss World and Folorunsho Alakija, the acclaimed richest black women on the planet. Time and space will not permit me to mention many more that have made a mark on the earth.
Thinking about these people and how they rose from grass to grace, I gained momentum and was inspired to be the best possible. Then I began to gather myself along the line that my life can only be meaningful if I am the most beautiful or the most famous. I must be the best, the wealthiest, the fastest or the richest if my life will make any difference. I inferred that life is defined by having something so much in abundance than every other person and so far ahead of them.
But just before my conclusion, the words of one of the world’s renowned hit me like rocks. In his days, he was the world’s wealthiest and wisest. He was also the most famous. He was so rich such that his street was made with silver. He set records on the earth that are difficult to break.
Apart from these, he remains the only man who married the largest number of wives and had the highest number of concubines. His passion for acquiring so much was to “find out what was best for us during the short time we have on this earth” (Ecclesiastes 2:3CEV). He wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. He wanted to know what gives meaning or value to life. He was looking for purpose in all his experiments and expeditions.
These were his adventures in his own words, “I did some great things. I built houses and planted vineyards. I had flower gardens and orchards full of fruit trees. And I had pools where I could get water for the trees. I owned slaves, and their sons and daughters became my slaves. I had more sheep and goats than anyone who had ever lived in Jerusalem. Foreign rulers brought me silver, gold, and precious treasures. Men and women sang for me, and I had many wives who gave me great pleasure. I was the most famous person who had ever lived in Jerusalem, and I was very wise. I got whatever I wanted and did whatever made me happy. But most of all, I enjoyed my work.”
Despite all that Solomon got, he wasn’t fulfilled. There remained a vacuum in his heart. Everything he got through his enterprise seemed not to add value to his life. Therefore he concluded, “… I looked on all that my hands had done and the labor I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it, and there was no profit under the sun.”
He didn’t find fulfillment in being the world’s richest, the most famous and the one who had the highest number of wives. He felt empty after all and I was personally disappointed. I also became weak. I lost my fervor and passion for all my ambition. I told myself, “You do not need to learn by experience since Solomon already told you. All is vanity!”
But meanwhile I knew I’ve not yet come to the peak of my curiosity.
If being the wealthiest, the most famous or the most beautiful do not add value to life, what then makes life meaningful? What is/are the constituent(s) of a fulfilled life? It was at this point that one of the enigmatic statements of my Lord flashed into my mind.
He warned, “Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs (AMP).
Even though at first I couldn’t find what consist a man’s life, I was however able to deduce what it does not consist in. If I know what life does not consist in, it might guide me to know what makes up a life. Jesus didn’t say we shouldn’t have possessions, what he said was a man’s life is not defined, derived or measured by it.
Consequently, the life of a man and his possessions are mutually exclusive. There is no connection or intersection between a man’s life and what he has. The statement of Jesus can be represented as follows; if the life of a man is represented by L and his possession by p. Jesus said, p Ɇ L (i.e. A man’s possession, p is not an element of his life, L). Your life is not a derivative of your possession.
Now, Jesus told me what life is not made up of but I have not been able to clearly highlight what defines the life of a man. So I thought that if the life of a man consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses then the life of a man consists in the abundance of the things he does not possess. He has possessions but he is not possessed by them.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong in having possessions. What’s bad is being possessed by what we ought to possess. It’s this attitude that Jesus warned us against when He said, “Beware of avarice!”
Our lives become valuable and meaningful when we learn not to be driven by getting but by giving. We are not acquiring to store but to invest. We see our harvests as seeds to be sown, not fruits to be eaten. I later discovered that my thoughts align with that of Jesus.
In the verses that followed Luke 12:15, Jesus told the parable of the rich fool whose land brought forth a lot of harvest instead of reinvesting, he thought of storing. His plan was to break down his barn and build a bigger one where he could store his goods.
Unfortunately, his soul was required from him that same night. Then a question followed, “Who then will be the owner of all the things which you have got together?”Friends, unless we invest the resources that God has given to us in the form of time, energy, money, influence and opportunities, they will rot and add no value to our lives. We live when we invest what we get.
Unfortunately, the world is driven by how much you can get above others but Jesus brought a paradigm shift to the definition of what it means to live a meaningful life.
Instead of living to get something, He said,” What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”(Luke 12:29-34MSG).
Someone might say but the world also gives. Truth! They give so they can get. They deal in profit and loss. Moreover, God’s kind of giving is different from world’s kind of giving. You can’t understand God’s kind of giving except you understand God’s gift. You can’t understand God’s gift until you have received it. God is a giver. He gives generously to all without finding fault. He is the epitome of true giving.
While we were yet sinners, He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV). He didn’t feel like giving because of our sins yet He gave.
Today millions of other sons and daughters have been brought to glory. After over two thousand years, His life continues to give life to several lives. He died so others can live. He became poor so that through His poverty, we might become rich.
We can’t understand giving except in Him. Jesus had requested a drink from the woman of Samaria at Sychar but the woman refused to give Him. Jesus replied, “If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 AMP). The woman didn’t know nor recognize God’s gift and so she couldn’t give.
Only in Christ can we find a life that gives and only in Him can we find a meaningful life. After the woman understood God’s gift, she became a giver. She became the channel through which the Samaritans will see light.
May I ask you friend, what are you living for? What informs all your actions and inactions? Why are you looking for greener pastures, higher degrees and better life? Is it a desire to give to your world or to get something out of it? Why do you want to travel out? I just hope you are not travelling out of God’s jurisdiction for your life. Being in UK doesn’t mean you are ok. You can be in the US and not be useful. You can be abroad and not have a broad life.
There is nothing bad in travelling the world if it will facilitate God’s purpose for your life. I also want to but what I’m trying to say is life is not defined by those. Success is not in properties and places but in the fulfillment of God’s purposes. It’s living out the contents of our destinies. You are here not to get but to give something to your world. You are here to donate you gifts, time, energy, resources, and talents to make this place better for the glory of God.
The life of a man consists not in the abundance of what he can get but in the abundance of what he has to give to his world. May we deliver to our world what He sent us to give. May our eyes be opened today to needs around us and may we be inspired to fill these gaps and meet these needs. May we not just count our lives but rather may our lives count for the glory of God and the blessing of humanity. Amen!
I’m in a dilemma. It’s a dilemma of love. I’ve decided to come to the public maybe someone will help me out. Let me start by asking the guys out there. Have you ever been in a case in which you keep “toasting” a girl but she kept rejecting you? How does it seeing the girl you love going out with another guy? She’ll insult you each time you tell her how much you love her but there is something about her you couldn’t ignore.
May be I should ask the ladies. How does it feel when you keep eyeing a guy who gives you no attention? You have given him all signals but he seems not to see. Something within you longs to be around him and cuddle in his arms. You dream of him, think of him and you are almost loosing it because of him. All your appeals did not appeal to him. He seems not to see or understand how you are feeling.
You have rejected all other proposals and advances from other guys because of him. “Will he talk about love today? Will he make the proposal?” were your thoughts each time he calls. You always talk and chat but he would never talk about having a relationship with you. The only ameliorative balm is the time spent with him. “At least I spoke with him today” you’ll console yourself comically.
Sometimes, he gives you an impression that he is going through the same chemistry that goes on within you. Your heart sinks each time you see other girls around him especially if he moves closer to a particular one often. Something within you screams, “Boy-friend snatcher!”
Now, you have waited endlessly for him and it seems there is no hope for you. So you decided to settle with another guy even though he is not as handsome, elegant and cute as him. He is not the man of your dream. He has become the “oobe” since the “adan” gave you no face. Even though you are now in a relationship something in your heart keeps saying, “This is not my first love.”
This is my dilemma too. There is someone I love for whom I have been waiting and also hunting but who has never given me a chance. I have done everything possible to convince her but she’ll never give me a place in her heart. I have received insults, disgrace and all forms of assault simply because of love. She often denies me her audience. She tells me I am calling a wrong person when I call but I never want to live my life without her. I do not want to miss her for any other in this world. I’ve got this gut feeling that she’s the one.
My Father has been suggesting that I marry someone else since I have so many lovers around me but I have told him that I cannot do without her. She has never believed all my sweet and sincere words and promises. She’ll simply disregard them. “All men are liars,” she’ll say. I am indeed in a dilemma. What can I do to convince her? Do I just forget about her and settle with someone else?
Friends, I have specially written this to you to tell you that you are that girl and that guy I have been waiting for. I, Jesus left the glory of my Father in heaven just for you. I came to make you my bride and my queen. I suffered terribly on the cross just for you. I was beaten, scourged, pierced, disgraced, and killed so that by my death I can win your love but until now you have never given me a consideration. I have been proposing love to you but you have been refusing and rejecting me. You’ve been giving excuses. You have allowed the usurper, the devil to snatch you away from me. He jilted me by deceiving you.
My Father in heaven has told me times to get married with my several lovers around the world but I have told Him and begged Him that I need some time more to get you convinced of my love because I do not want you to miss the marriage supper of the Lamb. I do not want you to miss the bliss and the blessing of that great wedding day when I will be permanently joined with my Bride, The Church.
You are the reason for the delay of my second coming. You break my heart each time you steal, lie and fornicate, abort, cheat, and all other vices you commit. You have deliberately closed your heart to me. You have seen me as a nuisance. You get nauseated each time you hear my name.
I have written this to you just to tell you that I still love you despite all you have done to reject me. I do not want to spend eternity without you. I do not want to live the rest of my life without you. Life is full of uncertainties and death is inevitable, won’t you give me at least one day of love? Why don’t you just try me and see if all the lies you have heard about Jesus are actually lies? All I ask for is just a place in your heart. Let me tell you about myself once more.
I am the Prince of peace, it’s only in me you can have peace. No religion, no man or any other thing on the earth can give you peace of mind.
I am the Living waters and Bread of life. I am ready to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger with Bread.
In the world, you will have trials and troubles, but I have overcome the world. I am with you when you pass through any challenge of life.
If you marry me, in my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I wouldn’t have told you.
This could be my last proposal to you. You may never have another opportunity to receive a proposal from me. Love is like life. It must be cherished, appreciated, reciprocated, nurtured and grown. It must be fed, if not it dies. I may have to consider my marriage without you if you keep rejecting my love. I may have to consider an eternity without you if you continue in your sins.
You have put Me in a dilemma- a love dilemma. I love the one who doesn’t love me. Should I wait for you or do without you? Will it take eternity to make your decision? Do you want to take time to think about it again like you’ve always been doing without taking any decision?
Love, I still love you! Sincerely, I love you more!
The wedding day finally dawned after eight years of courtship. It was indeed a long and anxious wait. James had traveled abroad five years earlier to pursue a Master’s degree and doctorate in Neurochemistry, while Juliet remained in Nigeria, studying for a Master’s degree in Economics. The church service had begun. The charming groom and his best man were at the altar already, and then the gorgeously-dressed bride walked down the aisle with her Dad. She had at several times dreamt of this splendid moment.
Then came the moment for the new couple to slot in rings. James was just about inserting the golden ring into his bride’s fourth finger, when he noticed her engagement ring wasn’t there. “Juliet, your ring?” he asked gently, nonetheless, resolutely. Juliet sought words to mutter—she found none. She burst into solemn, but scorching tears. How could she explain this? About eleven months ago, she’d visited Charles—her class representative-to solve Professor Dimba’s advanced econometrics daunting tutorial questions. Charles was obviously interested in her. However, Juliet in her naiveté had thought he was just kidding. She’d thought Charles would be mindful of the ring always clasped on her fourth finger. “Charlie! Can’t you see I’m engaged?” She’ll announce comically, anytime Charles attempted cuddling her. There on that fateful day, in Charles’ simple, yet, cosy room, Juliet felt relaxed and eventually dozed off. As soon as Charles noticed she’d slumbered, he gently removed the ring from Juliet’s finger. “The hallowed ring…O yeahhhh I gat the hallowed ring!” Charles crooned to himself, smirking, as he flushed the ring down the drain.
With tears in her eyes and his, James had slid this very silvery ring on her finger five years ago, before he left for the United States. There and then, she promised never to take off the ring. Of course, this ornament was the emblem of their union. She’d vowed in her heart never to allow any soul, except her beloved James touch her ring. It’s gone. The insignia of loyalty for her much-loved groom is gone. How could she have been so careless?
Just like Juliet’s instance, many will be found wanting at the great wedding feast of the Lamb. Their engagement ring would be missing. Many will be thrown out just like the man without a wedding garment that Jesus spoke about. “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:11-14).
The wedding ring is a token of the marriage covenant. No bride-to-be is contented with the engagement ring because the promise is not sealed until the second ring is received. What if the groom changes his mind? What if he finds another? The bride’s ultimate joy comes when the groom finally furnishes her with the second ring. Unfortunately, not all who have received the first ring shall receive the second. Many would have removed the first by themselves. Many would have found another lover, while some would have carelessly misplaced it. Many will present fake rings which the groom will reject. He will accept and delight only in those who are able to keep the original ring. You will not be qualified to receive the second ring except the first is in place.
There is no controversy: Jesus is coming back again. However, the pertinent question is “where is your first ring?” Is your salvation in the Lord Jesus still intact? Are you saved at all? Are you part of His Bride—the Church? You can be engaged to Him today and have your first ring, the salvation of your soul. He loves you to the extent that He died for you. He’s gone to prepare a place for you and He’ll soon be back.