Blogging on the go!

Mobile bloggingIf you were to call me an efficiency, productivity, or optimization freak, I wouldn’t be offended.  I actually think I’m one.  I like to find the fastest, smartest, and most efficient tools and systems to achieve my objectives.  This might probably be the reason behind my obsession with computers, electronic gadgets, the internet, in fact, with technology in general.

For instance, it’s been months since I wrote with a pen on a piece of paper.  The desk in my study only has a laptop and a handheld device (which serves as my modem) on it.  No pieces of paper, no pen.  I love technologies, I work with it, it’s all about efficiency, productivity, and optimization.
The bible versions I use to preach on Sundays are contained in my handheld device, and so are my sermon notes!

I find it extremely fascinating and exciting that today we can network and market online, send and receive emails, and do a hundred other tasks just with our handheld devices.  It kind of brings the entire world into the palm of your hands and makes work fun, and stress free.

Mobile blogging

For a long time now I’ve desired to be able to easily and efficiently publish to my blog, regardless of whether I’m in my study with my laptop, or not.  The idea is that I should be able to write a post, edit it, and publish it  to my blog whether I’m in the car, attending a function, or taking a walk, just as long as I have a mobile handheld device. This is because I get lots of the ideas for my posts when I’m on the move or engaged outside my study.  I get a lot of ideas when I’m driving or in an airplane, or just taking a walk.  So, I’ve always wanted to be able to just type what I’m getting in my heart into a handheld device, edit it neatly, and publish to my blog from wherever I am.

Imagine my joy then when I received this article on mobile blogging from my  friend, Kristi Hines, where she listed some helpful plugins designed to facilitate mobile blogging.  I was ecstatic!

I devoured her article,  made my pick from the list, and quickly installed the plugin of my choice, based on Kristis recommendations.  To my delight, everything worked as featured!

Now, I can blog from anywhere using just my mobile hand-held device!  I actually wrote this piece while  resting in my room, edited it, and published it using only my Nokia hand-held device…lol.  The experience is absolutely thrilling!

If you are interested in blogging on the go, here’s a link to Kristi’s very useful article:

How To Make Your WordPress Blog Smartphone Ready.

Thanks Christi for sharing. Keep up the good work.

How To Walk in Integrity

Church yesterday was beautiful.  We danced, we rejoiced, we watched dramas, listened to beautiful songs, and had a love feast too!  It was simply awesome. I preached a sermon on the subject of integrity, and I’m glad to present a summary of that sermon to you in today’s post.    

Of course, I began with a definition of integrity…

What is integrity?

Integrity is a fundamental pillar of Character.  The Psalmist speaks of a man “who keeps his oath even when it hurts.” ~ Psalm 15:4b.  In that statement, we have the basic definition of integrity, which is, standing by your words, particularly when it’s not convenient.
Integrity is a measure of the percentage of your promises that you keep.  It is easy to make promises, particularly in times of excitement and good feelings.  But most times, the circumstances under which we have to fulfill those promises might be a far cry from what they were when we made them.  When the time comes to go through with what we said, it might no longer be easy and convenient.  Integrity is your capacity to keep your promises, even when it’s not convenient.

To be a person of integrity means that you’ll rather die than break your promises. It means that you do not say things you don’t intend to do. It means that you do not speak carelessly.

To walk in integrity does not mean that you are flawless or perfect.  But it means that you admit your shortcomings. A person of integrity does not try to cover up mistakes with more results, but rather owns up to them and makes amends where necessary.”

I went on to highlight the values and benefits of integrity…

The values and benefits of integrity

Integrity is the foundation of an enduring legacy.  According to the bible, ‘A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.’(Proverbs 22:1). Also, ‘A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1).

Never build your image on your reputation, gifts, or talents. Build it rather on your character.

For instance, I do not see myself as being in the ministry, but rather as being in a love affair with God.  My personal relationship with God is more important to me than my work as a pastor.  So, my priority is to make that relationship sound and solid.  The former is the substance of my character, the later is merely the expression of that character.

Again, I do not aim at being a great speaker or writer. I do not want my gifts and talents to define me.  I rather want to be a great husband and dad, through sacrificial and exemplary godly living.  It is easy to be a Christian in church and in the public, but very difficult to be one before your spouse and kids who live with you under the same roof, and who see you every moment of every day.  I want to be a model, not for the world, but for my wife, and my kids.  I believe that goal will help me develop the quality of integrity, more than merely becoming more skillful in my work.

People of integrity enjoy great inner peace with God and with themselves.
They may not be liked, but they are trusted, and trust is the number one key to influence.
So, people of integrity have influence; people trust them, believe them, and follow them.”

I did not fail to point out the fact that walking in integrity is a very difficult choice.  We live in an imperfect world that seems to suggest that it’s foolishness to be honest and righteous.  All around us we encounter people who actually appear to be rewarded for being dishonest.  This is a real challenge for the man or woman who decides to walk in integrity.

So, I concluded the sermon by outlining 4 keys that will enable you to walk in integrity…

How to walk in integrity.

“#1. Cultivate a love for it.

Concerning Jesus Christ it was written that ‘You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions.’ ~ Psalm 45:7  He walked in impeccable integrity because He just loved the virtue of integrity! Think about that.

So, personal passion and love for integrity is the greatest motivation and drive for integrity.  In order to walk in integrity, you must love it.

#2. Meditate on the beauty and blessings of integrity.

A lot of political, business, and religious leaders abuse their positions of power to deceive their followers and constituencies.  I have been helped immensely to walk in integrity by meditating on the following verse of scripture: ‘… a poor man is better than a liar.” ~ Proverbs 19:22.  This scripture helps me strengthen my resolve to rather be poor than be a cheat and a liar.

When I meditate on the fact that ‘A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…’ ~ Proverbs 22:1, it inspires me to make the investment of time, energy, and money to leave a good name for my kids, and empowers me to make the daily choices and sacrifices that move me further along the path of integrity.

If you want to walk in integrity, you must meditate daily on the beauty and blessings of integrity from scriptures, and by learning of men who walked and influenced the world through integrity.

#3. Associate with men and women of integrity.

Your associations matter.  So, mind your company.  According to the bible, ‘He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.’ ~ Proverbs 13:20Make friends with people of impeccable integrity, righteousness, sincerity, and honesty.  Spend time with them, come under their influence.  Fellowship with men and women whose lives challenge you to pursue integrity.

#4. Seek the help of God through prayer.

Ultimately, you and I will need the help of God in order to walk in integrity, particularly in those moments that we are tempted and pressured to compromise.  David was a king that led his people with integrity, yet he faltered in many ways.  During one of his weakest moments, he cried out to God, ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.’ ~ Psalm 51:10.

When you choose to walk in integrity, you should expect to receive help from God.  In those moments that you are tempted and pressured to cave in, remember to seek the help of God through prayer.  He will strengthen you with power in your inner man by His Spirit.  But He will also give you tokens of His goodness to establish the value of integrity, and power your motivation to move on.”

At the end of the sermon, I challenged the congregation to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness in all the areas that we’ve failed to walk uprightly in integrity and sincerity of heart.  Then I spent some time praying for God’s help and strength to enable us to walk in integrity.

I extend that prayer to you today: May the Almighty God inspire you and strengthen your resolve to walk in integrity all the days of your life, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Thanks for reading, and may God bless you.

Please leave your comments below.

Home Church Reports 3

Anytime any two individual believers come together in a place (or in contact via any media) you have church.  And the best place to have church is in the warmth and comfort of our living rooms! ~ Pastor WD Favour on Understanding The Church

Enjoy this week’s home church reports!

Home Church B
Ogui Rd. Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: Discussion session]

Home Church“ We commenced with a worship session led by one of our members. At 4.35pm, our interactive session on the subject, ‘The Intangibles,’ began.

We discussed ‘intangibles’ as things whose values are difficult to describe, understand, or measure. They are x-factors which are apparently silent but have the potential to change lives. Such intangibles include happiness, wisdom, courage, etc.  We agreed that in order to draw the blessings of GOD into our lives, we must appreciate the values of the intangibles, and that we often fail because of inadequate valuation of the intangibles.

We looked at a very powerful example of an ‘intangible’ – God, the pursuit of Whom is essential to the peace and happiness of man. We encouraged each other to learn to appreciate the values of the intangibles as they translate into desirable tangibles.

At the end of the discussion, everyone had an inspiring story to tell about God’s goodness in their lives.  Afterwards, we had refreshments and rehearsed for our presentation on Sunday. It’s a drama on the need for family. Coincidentally, this is our week of celebration, so Family Gathering on Sunday is going to be a blast. We invite you to come and be a part of it. Have a lovely week!” ~ Pastor Anuli Mbakwe

Home Church C
Maryland, Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: There’s usually lots of ‘yummies’ in our home churches]

H_C_C2 “Our meeting started with greetings and chatting among ourselves,  followed by opening prayer and worship songs.  Then everyone was asked to recount their experiences with respect to last week’s assignment on ‘giving’. 

Ikenna said, “I try to impact people all the time, especially those I’m meeting for the very first time.” Interestingly one of our members, Kennedy, who was not present during the last meeting and didn’t know of the assignment, told us of 3 encounters he had during the week where he was able to help some people who couldn’t pay back – so it was nice knowing we were already practicing ‘giving’ before the assignment was given.  Marvellous, Pastor WD Favour’s daughter, also told her story of sharing her snacks with classmates who didn’t have any.

After this, I shared a message around the subjects of Pleasing God, Gratitude, and The Gift that keeps on giving, from Galatians 5:25,Ephesians 5:15-17, Psalms 50:23, John 3:16, and Genesis 1:28. My main point was that our principal duty is to please God through gratitude, and giving.

After the teaching, we rehearsed for our Sunday’s presentation; the theme of the presentation is “The Gift That Keeps on Giving”. We had refreshments (shown in photo) before closing prayers and dismissal.” ~ Dr. Chidimma Njoku

The Nixon’s Home Church
McMurray, PA, USA
Photo Clip: Sweet time of fun and laughter]

H_C_USA2 “After our opening time of worship, Don excitedly shared about a new prayer focus group for the state of Pennsylvania called the Spiritual Congress along with other national prayer groups.  Don also shared about the installation he attended for Patricia McCullough as judge for the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. A very interesting piece of information Don shared from Patricia’s installation was the discussions he heard about prophecy concerning Pittsburgh. The word continues to be spoken that revival for the nation will begin in Pittsburgh. We heard a similar prophecy about a year ago. Exciting!

From there our discussion began with the reading of Matthew 16:24, 25. We explored two questions:
1. What would it look like to you to lose yourself?
2. Have you or have you seen someone totally identify themselves with another person?

We then jumped into John 15:1-17 with a lively discussion around what it means to be attached to the vine. The branches are totally attached to the vine and seen as a whole plant. The way we say goodbye to self is to totally identify ourselves with the person of Christ like the branch is attached to the vine. That way we will bear fruit, much fruit, fruit that will last. If we don’t have to worry about ourselves, then we are free to meet the needs of others.

There was much excitement in the room as Don became passionate and quite animated. It was such a sweet time of fun and laughter. It is very much a blessing that we can come together in the name of the Lord to rejoice and have fun and laugh. It is good!

We ended our time together with sweet prayer and fellowship.” ~ Shileen Nixon

 H_C_A3Home Church A
New Haven, Enugu

[Photo Clip: After fellowship]

 “As always, our fellowship started with worship, followed by intercessory prayers.  Then we welcomed one another and moved on to our interactive Bible study session which was on the subject of praise – ‘The power of praise’.  We reflected on the following texts: Isaiah 12, Deuteronomy 10:21, Judges 5:2, Isaiah 42:10, Isaiah 38:19, Ephesians 1:6, and Habakkuk 3:3.  We understood that praise touches the heart of God, and is a mode of spiritual warfare.  We also learnt that nothing beats praise as an accelerator of miracles, noting that true testimonies are released by the power of praise.
We concluded with prayers.” ~ Udoka Enujeko

 

 

Our home churches are getting more exciting by the day.  I noticed that the meetings seem to revolve around the bible study interactive sessions.  Why is that?  I’ll figure that out soon.  There’s so much fun, but there seems to be lots of scriptures!  I’m still observing the dynamics and learning from the process as it continues to evolve, and my reporting format might soon be changing as I intend to zero in on the perception of individual experiences of these meetings.  Also, it might no longer be possible to present all home churches per week (we may be adding two home churches soon from Nashville, TN, and Tampa, FL!!).

In other to help me prepare future home church reports, I’ll like you to let me know what  kinds of information you’ll love to read from all the various home churches.

4 Simple Steps To Boost Your Productivity and Become A Happier Person.

4 Simple Steps To Boost Your Productivity and Become A Happier Person I’ve already written some piece on this blog on how to boost your productivity.  And I think you should spend some time reading that post, particularly as its still early in the year.  I believe that, if well taken, the contents of that post could well mean the difference between an ordinary year, and an extraordinary one.

In this current post, I want to show you 4 simple steps to boost your productivity and become a happier person.

Are you overwhelmed by your pile of daily chores?  Are you regularly depressed by the disorder, and chaos that characterize your life? Do you feel useless and unproductive? Do you want an easy and simple way to boost your productivity and become a happier person?

Well, here’s a simple 4-step solution for you. ENJOY! 🙂

#1.  Get a productivity coach

This can be anybody who cares enough for your productivity, happiness, and well-being as to invest the time to help you get order back into your life.
He or she could be your spouse, a friend, your boss, member of staff, colleague, pastor, sibling, and so on. The important thing is that they care genuinely and deeply about your welfare and happiness

#2. Get the clutter out chunk by chunk

Don’t try to get it all out at once! Take it bit by bit, poco a poco, day by day, a little here, and a little there. 🙂

The best way is by using a simple and very brief ‘to-do’ list.  Your productivity coach should work with you in this area and help you assign priority to your to-do list.  Both of you should endeavour to keep the list very brief.  I would encourage a list of not more than 6 items.  It is better to keep it simple and easily achievable per day, than try to make an impression only to fall short.

It is usually good to compile this list and fine tune it just before you sleep, then read it again and again before you sleep.  I don’t fully understand why looking at your to-do list just before sleeping in the night is so effective. But when you do it, you will notice a greater capacity and drive to accomplish the items on the list.

#3. Stay accountable.

Remember your productivity coach?
Good. Send him or her a daily report – of course via email, facebook, and so on –  on how you performed with respect to the list.
Include a list of your to do for the next day.

#4. Reward yourself.

Celebrate your accomplishments regardless of how ‘trivial’ they might seem when compared to that of others who are ‘changing the world.’

Buy something nice for yourself, or take yourself out. Hang out with a special friend. Just do something fun as a reward to yourself for your success.

Little things, consistently done over time, gradually accumulate into large things that can then be leveraged over and over and over again to create even bigger and more significant accomplishments.

I pray that these 4 simple steps will help you boost your productivity and become a happier and more fulfilled person.

The Principle of Personal Responsibility

Wow!  Our Church service yesterday morning was awesome.  The presentations from the various home churches were very inspiring and entertaining, just as the pastors promised in their last week’s reports.  The presentations were so good, and the service so interesting and refreshing that I decided I’ll be including reports on them in these Monday posts so you can have a feel of what happened.

We heard a beautiful special song from Home Church A, titled, “Yes you can!”  The message of the song, “you can do anything if you try,” was highly inspiring and it was beautiful to see the members of that home church dancing and rejoicing on stage as they spoke to us through their song.
Then Home Church B presented a melodrama they titled, “The Essence”, basically reminding us that God is the essence and substance of our lives.  Theirs was another exquisitely touching and moving presentation laced with heart moving background music and excellent acting by the assistant home church leader.
Home Church C presented a short drama piece to encourage us to get our hearts established in the eternal word of God.
Home Church D presented a tag team exhortation on Courage.  It was beautiful to behold.

After all of the beautiful and colorful presentations from the home churches, I delivered a message on “The Principle of Personal Responsibility.” Below are the key points:

Continue reading “The Principle of Personal Responsibility”

Home Church Reports 2

home church Nigeria (Picture clip from Home Church A, New Haven, Enugu, Nigeria)

Every Friday, as I promised in my 2010 blog posting schedule, I publish reports from our ministries, outreaches, and missions in Nigeria, USA, and other places.  Last week, I posted the reports from our first home church meeting for 2010 which was a very exciting experience for all of us here in Nigeria.  Those of you outside Enugu, Nigeria, and particularly those in the United States, have been asking about our members’ personal impressions and experiences during these home church meetings.  Well, I promise to include that in future reports.  My hope is that through these reports, you will actually participate in the love and friendship that we share in our home churches.

I appreciate those of you that left comments in last weeks report – Sarah Clark, Onyeluka Emeagwai, Chukwuma Okafor, Shileen Nixon, Nkechinyere Rosemary, and those yet to comment.  Thanks for being expressive, and for sharing your thoughts on this evolving process.  I really want to read what everyone of you think and feel about what’s going on with our home churches, whether you are participating in person, or via these reports.

Now, something very exciting happened within the week.  I got a mail from Becky Illig, Shileen Nixon, and Don Nixon, requesting that we include reports from their home church too!  Now, that makes me want to jump!  So, this week, we’ve included the Nixon’s Home Church in our reports.  Praise God! 

The Nixon’s Home Church is a part of our global missions family and have been meeting since last year at McMurray, PA, USA.  Practically all of the core members of the WD Favour International ministry team in Pennsylvania, USA, are members of the Nixon’s home church.

Hopefully, we’ll be adding reports from new home churches as quickly as we establish them, or as they join our network of home churches!
Wow!  This is really exciting!

Among other things, I pray that through these reports:

  • the concept and practice of home churches would become popularized around the world
  • home church leaders and pastors within and outside our network will receive inspiration, guidance, and resources for their home churches.

Home church pastors within our network present their reports (including pictures) to me every Thursday.  The reports are then reviewed and published on this blog every Friday morning. 

Ok, here are this week’s home church reports!

The Nixon’s Home Church
McMurray, PA, USA

home church USA “Well, here ya go.  The picture did not turn out all that great.  I lightened it up some.  It was hard the way everyone was positioned. Plus I was trying to not disturb things too much.  If you don’t like any of it .. it’s ok. No sweat … we’ll just try again next week.

The Nixon’s home church always begins with a little bit of fellowship around refreshments as everyone gathers.
This week, once everyone arrived, we began with a couple of worship songs to get our minds and hearts fixed on the Lord. Don, led us in a thought provoking discussion he entitled “So Long Self”, which was about selfishness and was prefaced with the reading of Matthew 5:38-6:4. We answered questions like, “What makes us self-absorbed?” and “What is the outcome of being self-absorbed?”
In the end we discussed that when we fit into God’s plan for our lives it kills off selfishness. We looked at Romans 2:5-8 and I Corinthians 13:5. 

Don then played a song called “So Long Self” by Mercy Me.  Afterwards, we took prayer requests, spent time in prayer together, gave announcements, and then hung out in sweet fellowship.

Next week we will continue the discussion around saying good-bye to self and finding someone new – Jesus!” ~ Shileen Nixon 

H_A_1Home Church A
New Haven, Enugu, Nigeria

“Our fellowship held at my home in New Haven.  We started with a brief praise and worship session that ended with us praying for other people’s needs.  After this opening session, we spent some time welcoming one another before moving into an interactive bible study period. Our discussion was a continuation of last week’s on the subject of wisdom and temptation. Our bible study text was James 1:14-27.  There were several contributions from our members such as, “If you scan your desires, with the Lord’s desires, there is no way you will go astray,” and “the ability to control what we say is an act of wisdom and discipline as well.”
We took some pictures afterward and had some refreshments before ending for the day. 
Thanks and see you next week!”  ~ Udoka Frances Enujeko

Continue reading “Home Church Reports 2”

You are capable of so much more!

You are capable of so much more than you are aware of.

One man who was in dire need once said to Jesus Christ, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Jesus’ response was quite interesting, He said to the man, “‘If you can?’ Everything is possible for him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]

Essentially, Jesus said to the man, “It’s not a matter of whether I can or not, but whether you can believe.  Your miracle is more a matter of your own faith, than of my ability or inability.”  This is because God’s power and life-creating force is already present within you! 
God’s will is already set for you – He wants the best for you. 
It is now your responsibility to harness this divine power within you to create your own miracles.

Unfortunately, most of us tend to underestimate and undervalue our self worth, potentials, and capabilities.  Majority of people on this planet today discard their dreams and positive desires because they think they are not capable of realizing those dreams.  Yet, God will never put dreams in your heart without the capacity and ability to translate those dreams into realities.  It doesn’t matter what you think about this, you are capable of so much more than you are aware of.

Because God is within you and has willed the best life for you, you are capable of so much more than you are aware of.  The time has come for you to awake from your spiritual and mental indolence, take possession of your inner powers and create the life of your dreams.  God has already given you the power to do this, but you must believe in yourself too.

What excuses could be holding you back from moving on into the life you can live?

Scared?  Are you scared of failing, maybe because the last time you tried you failed?  Are you scared of other’s opinion?  What fear is holding you back?  I pray that it’s hold upon you be broken right now, in Jesus name!  Don’t be scared. Because God is within you and has willed the best life for you, you are capable of so much more!
Doubtful?  Are you in doubt of your own capacity to achieve your dreams?  Are you in doubt of God’s faithfulness in your life?  Listen, He is a God of integrity.  When He promises, He never fails, if you dare to trust Him.  God never fails!  Let every demon of doubt vanish from your heart today, in Jesus name!  Don’t doubt.  Because God is within you and has willed the best life for you, you are capable of so much more!
Lack?  You probably think you lack the know-how to realize your potentials.  Well, go get the know how!  If you lack the skills, go and acquire them, or find a way to persuade or pay someone with the skills to do stuff for you.  But don’t sit down there complaining of lack of skill.  You don’t need to have the expertise of a rocket scientist to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.  As a matter of fact, as a child of God, “His divine power HAS GIVEN us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” ~ 2 Peter 1:3 So, get up and put the power within you to work!
Time?  Maybe you don’t have enough time.  Really?  Everybody has the same number of hours each day, and there are millions with more on their plate than anything you can imagine, yet they manage to get things done and achieve their dreams.  Without comparing yourself to anybody, you can take charge of your own daily allotment of 24 hours and make miracles with each hour!

Ok.  Enough of my own list.  I need to read your thoughts on this. What are the usual and unusual excuses that hold people back from moving on to the life that they desire and dream of?  Have you ever been held back from pursuing your dreams as a result of any excuses?

Open your eyes to the world around you

…not just your eyes, but your heart, your arms, and your pocket book!

Monday mornings on this blog, as I promised you in My 2010 Blog Posting Schedule, are dedicated to posting summaries of my Sunday Sermons. 
Yesterday, during the morning service, which we now call ‘Family Gathering’ I spoke on the subject of generosity.

The misfortunes of others should be an opportunity for us to show the love of God.

As I sat down on Saturday evening to put finishing touches to this sermon, my mind drifted to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti.

Haiti

Haiti The Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday’s magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti. While workers are burying some in mass graves, countless bodies remain unclaimed in the streets and the limbs of the dead protrude from crushed schools and homes. A third of Haiti’s 9 million people may be in need of aid.

In times like this, we need to remind ourselves that we live in an imperfect world.
We also need to remind ourselves that there’s more to this world than our personal needs.

In times like this, we must open our eyes, our hearts, our arms, and our pocket books, to the world around us.

Don’t blame the victims…
Rather show God’s love.

This is not a time to condemn or blame the victims. It is easy to say, “Hey, this is the judgment of God on so and so.” It is easy to say someone is going through hell because they sinned and so on…

But according to Jesus Christ, the misfortunes of others should be an opportunity for us to show the love of God.

Human suffering demands the demonstration of God’s love

John 9:1-7
1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Jesus saw a need, and rather than enter into a theological debate, He chose to meet that need. Such is the pure love of God.

We may not know all the answers as to why certain disasters and calamities occur, and while it may be beneficial for us to have those details, we can in the least do all we can in the moment to alleviate the sufferings of the afflicted.

Human suffering demands the demonstration of God’s love, not accusations and religious wrangling.

You may not be able to miraculously open a blind eye, but you can pray for the comfort of the afflicted.
You can encourage those who are giving time and efforts to help others.
You can donate some dollars too!

Loving Jesus

Jesus taught us that when we love the needy and suffering in His name, we are loving Him.

Matthew 25: 37 – 40
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

We need to open our hearts and our arms to the hungry, the naked, the shivering, little children, disabled people, sick people, afflicted people, and show them the love of Jesus. 
They many never repay you but their souls are worth it.
I believe that Jesus loves all men the same, regardless of the color of their skin, their religion, or the status of their bank account.

This is how to let our light shine before men, that they may give glory to God.

It’s time to begin to reach out in His name, in whatever ways that we can.

We can pray daily for the needs of others, and those who are sacrificing time and efforts to reach the worlds most desperate peoples.
We can write checks and send donations to help. 
We can give our own time and energy to help.

But Jesus wants to care, to demonstrate His love to an imperfect and suffering humanity.

Have a wonderful week!!

Home Church Reports

Yesterday, I received the reports from the Pastors on our very first Home Church meetings held on Wednesday.  Click here to read my vision about the Church, as well as the preview I wrote last week concerning the Home Churches.

I’m excited to present the report of our first home church meetings for 2010!
I hope you enjoy the news as much as I did.

The Pastors will give the reports in their own words…lol

Home Church A

“We had an interactive bible study session on the topic ‘Wisdom and Joy in Diverse Temptations’. We had contributions from our members showing that trials are meant to be seen as preparation for growth. Members also shared personal stories on how God’s wisdom had been given to them under challenging circumstances. (Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pictures because of inadequate lighting. We intend to make up for this next week.)
We rehearsed for our special presentation for the Sunday Family Gathering. Then we enjoyed dinner together before closing for the day.
Pastor Sharon D Favour and the kids joined us today!”
~ Udoka Enujeko

 

Home Church B

H_C_B2 “Our home church meeting started with an opening prayer and a brief worship session led by my assistant. Then we delved into an illuminating bible study session which left us wondering ‘Who Is God Really.’ One said, ‘God is everything to me.’ Another said, ‘God is a mystery’, and yet another said, ‘God is who He shows Himself to be in my life.’ At the end we concluded that regardless of our individual perceptions of God, He’s still universally, ‘the Word’ out of which all things were made, according to John 1:1
After taking our offerings, we rehearsed a drama for presentation on Sunday. The theme is on thanksgiving, and we hope it edifies the Church!
Finally we said our closing prayer, took some snap shots and said our goodbyes.
…can’t wait for our next meeting.”
~ Pastor Anuli

 

Home Church C

“Our Home Church meeting commenced with members greeting one another and exchanging stories about their experiences over the yuletide season. Then we had the opening prayer and a brief worship session. I gave an exhortation on ‘fruitfulness’ from John 5:1-7.
I took out some time to explain the goals of the home churches for 2010, and together with my assistant, answered questions raised by the other members.
Afterwards, we took photographs, had rehearsals for our special presentation on Sunday, and enjoyed some refreshments.  (I’m sorry I couldn’t present my pictures on time before the publication of the reports.  I hope to show you pictures from our home church next week.)” 
~ Pastor Chidimma

Home Church D

H_C_D1 “We started with an opening prayer/worship for about 15 minutes. Next we had the Word of God with the theme ‘ Developing The Ability To Critically Analyze Yourself.’ Essentially we concluded that we should not base our personal evaluation solely on what others say, but rather realize that ‘Only 2 people know you best, you and God.’
Then , we had our home church pictures, followed by an exhortation from my home church assistant, after which we rehearsed our special presentation for our Sunday Family Gathering.
Finally, we appointed officials for our home church, gave our offerings, and closed with prayers.”
~ Pastor Sopuru

 

 

 

Of course, there was a whole lot more that happened during these home church meetings.  I actually limited their reports to just 200 words, and one picture, but this kind of gives you an idea of what the very first home church meeting for 2010 looked like. 
Generally, I think everyone liked it and enjoyed themselves a great deal. 

We are all looking forward to the special presentations from all the home churches this Sunday, and then next weeks meetings too!

Wow!!!

Master Time

Yes, time is a gift from the Almighty.
But it’s not just a resource, it’s a force.  You either conquer this force, or it conquers you, making you it’s slave.

The future races into your present one second at a time, yet so fast you are most likely to waste it if you are not skillful, courageous, and wise.

It’s difficult to harness and manage a resource that’s pouring down at you at such a vicious and ferocious speed.

big-wave_surfingYou have to master time, to conquer it before you can use and ride it.  Until then, you remain a victim of time, trapped in the rhythm of the rising and setting of the sun

Like a horse, time must be ridden.
Like the tidal ocean waves, time must be surfed.

So, it takes skill to master time.
It takes courage and wisdom too.

But when you do, time serves you and works for you.

Time can be tamed, but only by force.
Hence, each of us is engaged in a fight, a race, against time.

Billions of people have been, are being, and will be conquered by time. They keep asking, ‘where did the time go?’
Well, it sped by why you slept, played, worked, and went through the mindless rituals of existence.
Most people come to the end of their lives wondering where all their time went.

Only the wise and courageous few conquer and master time.

The important thing is not the speed of time, but it’s quality, what is done with it.

Martin Luther King Jr. for instance used only 39 years, look what he did with it.
Moses lived 120 years, look what he did with it.
Jesus 33 and a half years, look what He did with it.

It’s not how long or how short, but how relevant, and how impactful you’ve lived – the value of your time to present and future generations.

Slow-paced, fast-paced are all matters of perception. What matters is the value of time used, to God, man, and yourself.

The future races into your present one second at a time, but you can slow it down!  And the point of slowing time down is to improve it’s use and output.  It’s this capacity to slow down time that I refer to as ‘mastery.’

It takes force to master time, because to accomplish this mastery, you’ll have to reject the hectic paradigm of 21st century living.  You must denounce the values of exploitative market forces, and resist the seducing spell of the manipulative expectations of other people.  To master time demands that you refuse to abide by the warped and perverted priorities of fallen humanity, and stay deeply rooted in God and in His word.

That way, it wouldn’t matter anymore whether you used 45 years here, or 120.

Immortality is only for those who truly master time, and only those have truly lived.

The Power of Thanksgiving

As I promised you in My 2010 Blog Posting Schedule, I’ll be posting summaries of my Sunday Sermons here every Monday mornings.

Yesterday, during the morning service, which we now call ‘Family Gathering’ I spoke on the subject of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has several benefits, but the aspect that I emphasized in yesterday’s sermon was the truth that thanksgiving establishes your blessings as permanent features of your life.

The Scriptural text for the sermon was taken from Luke 17:11 – 19.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him,
“Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

So many people were healed, but only one returned to say ‘thank you’ to Jesus. And He took note of that.
Why didn’t the other nine return to say ‘thank you’? What do you imagine our world would look like if every individual said ‘thank you’ for every blessing received, whether great or small?

My observation after several years of pastoral ministry and counseling is that most folks are focused on their misfortunes rather than on their blessings.

The frenetic race to keep up with the manipulative marketing tactics of our times has greatly diminished the capacity of many to appreciate God’s blessings. Most of us are so caught up in the frenzy of trying to get to our destinations that we fail to relish the beauty of the journey.

Today, I challenge you to take a break from your busy schedule, plans, and strategies to just say ‘thank you’ to God.

Yes, God expects you to say ‘thanks’.

He values our praise and thanksgiving, and is actually motivated by it!

Thanksgiving makes you whole!

I’ve always observed in my teachings, and I did so yesterday during the sermon, that thanksgiving makes you whole.
What does that mean?
Well, read what Jesus said to the guy that came back to say thanks,

And he said unto him, “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” ~ verse 19

The other nine were cleansed, this guy was the only one that was made ‘whole’.
What’s the difference?

Well, think about it this way, you may be healed of asthma, yet still have the possibility of getting sick again with asthma. In this case, you’ve been ‘healed’ but not made ‘whole’.
But it is possible to lose even the tendency to get asthma again, such that even if you were to be placed under circumstances favorable to asthma, you still won’t get it. In this later case, you are made ‘whole’. In other words, your freedom from asthma becomes a permanent feature of your life regardless of your circumstances.

This is why I said yesterday that, thanksgiving establishes your blessings as permanent features of your life.

Have you said thanks to the Source of your blessings today?

God is the wind beneath our wings.  He is that invisible, spiritual, and eternal brain behind our achievements.

Have you said thanks for your friends and family? Do not take the people in your life for granted. People are God’s greatest assets, and hence His greatest gifts to us. Say thanks today for friends, family, colleagues, mentors, leaders, and caring neighbors.

Have you said thanks for your talents, skills, and abilities? Do that today.

Say thanks for all of the wonderful answers you’ve received in prayers. Say thanks for the help you’ve had over the years, and all the good things that have happened to you.

Give thanks today, to God.

Church News

wd banner 2010 copy

“My dream of our Church is a family where each person would be valued and appreciated, not for what they do, but for who they are.  A place where you’ll be free and unashamed to be yourself.  I dream of a family of men, women, young and old who share the principles and values of God’s love.  I see our Church as a team that is passionate about experiencing God’s beautiful presence, and drawing others into the same;  a place where each individual would be able to discover, and express their God-given potentials.”  ~ Pastor WD Favour

A Shift in Emphasis

I was born into the church, grew up in the church, attended a seminary school for 6 years, and have been a pastor now for 12 years, ever since I was 23.   So you could say that I’ve lived most of my life in the church.

I’ve always wondered about the essence and relevance of the church to me, or anyone else for that matter , which is a reason I consistently seek to align my life and ministry more perfectly with the mind of God, so as to be better positioned and empowered to fulfill His calling on my life.

One of the outcomes of this continuous process or realignment is what’s happening in our local congregation here in Nigeria, and I intend to share them with you as they are happening! 

The idea is that through these church updates, all my regular blog readers, and visitors will experience my pastoral ministry here in Nigeria, almost as though you were a member and physically present!  I hope you enjoy the experience.

Home Churches

students_1 I believe that the essential quality of our church lies in the strength of the connectedness between our individual members.  It is not in the eloquence of the preaching, nor in the sweetness of the songs, and neither is it in the level of miracles and supernatural gifts in operation, but rather in the quality of the inter-personal relationships between us.

The glory of our church is not in the magnificence of our material cathedrals, temples, or tabernacles – although, unfortunately, most churches function as though this were so.  It is the life-quality of our members, plus our sense of family and belonging, that constitute the beauty and glory of our church.

This is why at the dawning of 2010, we decided to shift our primary emphasis away from Sunday service performances to genuine experiences of love, home, and family.  So right now, the highpoint of our church is no longer what happens on Sundays. The real deal now is what’s going on in the various homes where we’ve set up what we call the ‘home churches.’

Let me tell you all about it…I’m really excited about this!

Our Home Churches

At the moment, we have 4 of these home churches here in Enugu, each led by one of our trained pastors. 
I’m so happy to introduce these pastors to you:
07012010262

Pastor Anuli Mbakwe

She is a final year Law student at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.  She heads Home Church B, and is committed to challenging young people to a life of righteousness and holiness.  Her greatest passion is to honor God and bring glory to His name. 

Ntam Pastor Chidimma Njoku

She is a medical doctor whose love and dedication to God is extraordinarily inspiring.  She heads Home Church C.  Dr. Chidimma is so sold out to God that her sense of self-sacrifice is a tremendous challenge to many.  She desires to see each individual Christian reflect the glory of God in every aspect of their lives. 

 

Sopuru Pastor Sopuru Akandu

He is a final year student of Medicine at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.  He heads Home Church D.  A distinctive quality of Pastor Sopuru is his unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence in his personal life. He strives to motivate Christians to combine righteousness with excellence in their lives so as to draw others to God.

 

Udoka EnujekoUD_2day

She is a graduate of Public Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and currently in the final year of another degree in Political Science.  Though she hasn’t yet been fully ordained as a Pastor in the Citizens Family Church, she is the head of all non-pastoral leaders within the ministry.  Her vigorous and highly resourceful leadership has distinguished her within our Church Family.  She heads Home Church A.  Udoka’s passion is to see every saint manifest the character and success of God on earth. 

Sharon and I meet every Thursday in our home with these pastors and other leaders to train and equip them to lead the home churches.  We share from our vast wealth of experiences, and knowledge of God’s word to guide them in their efforts.  There is always a time of questions and answers where we strive to clarify complex issues for their benefit.

Each of these Pastors is responsible for a closely knit group of our members – a home church.  His or her primary duty is to facilitate a family atmosphere, and enable each family member experience and enjoy true love and friendship.

Each home church meets every Wednesday evenings at the home of their pastor, or that of any other member who desires to host it.  It’s a time of love, friendship, and mutual encouragement.  During this time, the members discuss various issues ranging from individual challenges, to those of our church family.  They brainstorm on how to help one another and often spend time praying for one another, including members that weren’t able to attend.  In every home church meeting, the pastor teaches from the bible to strengthen the faith of the members in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Principles of God’s word are extracted for the enlightenment of the members.

The next day – Thursday – the home church pastors and other leaders gather in our home to present reports on what they did.  I use this period to ask very detailed questions about what activities actually took place, who came, and if there were any serious and urgent needs that require my personal attention.  This weekly meeting in my home is very important to me; I want to know exactly what’s going on in the lives of the people I’m assigned by God to take care of.

Watch out for a detailed report of our first home church meeting in 2010!

The Rhythms of Time

time-management-clock

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of time. The more I investigate the concept of time, the more I tend towards the belief  that time is a spiritual phenomenon. I think so because it’s about the only gift from God given equally to all men.  There’s no questioning the fact that the smart use of time is vital to a life of fulfillment and impact.

I’ve already written so much on the subject of time and you can read them at the following links:

Time 1 Experience the thrilling realization that you can mould time to your advantage.
Time 2 Learn about the forces that can mould time.
Time 3 Discover time as an elastic intangible.
Time 4 Get introduced to the various time accelerators.
Time 5 More time accelerators.

In today’s post, I want to share inspiration from my New Year sermon – How To Number Your Days Aright – preached to members of my congregation here in Nigeria.

An Understanding of the times…

In 1 Chronicles 12:32, we read about the “Men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do…”  Notice the direct connection between an ‘understanding of the times’ and the ‘knowledge of what to do’.  This connection is vital to a life of success and achievements, after all, how would you know what you should do if you have no clues as to what time it is?

Solomon, the wise king of Israel writes,

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Clearly, there is a right and wrong time for every activity, in other words, there is a rhythm to time.

Failure is inevitable whenever you lack the understanding of the times, in which case your activities will be out of sync with the natural and spiritual rhythms of time.

To enjoy inner peace, fulfillment and prosperity, it is important that you understand the natural and spiritual rhythms of time and synchronize your life with them.

It is for this purpose, I believe, that the man of God, Moses, prayed the following prayer:

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” ~ Psalm 90:12

My New Year sermon, from which this post is excerpted was titled, “How to Number Your Days Aright” which was basically meant to inspire my congregation to synchronize their lives and activities more perfectly with the natural and spiritual rhythms of time.  An understanding of the rhythm of time will definitely enhance the quality of your choices and decisions in life.

Now, let’s gain this understanding from the Creator and Designer of time – God.

Your earthly time, though elastic,  is finite

In other words, you have a limited quantity of time to spend on earth.  The moment you use up this allotment, you go to ‘sleep’.  Sleep is usually used in the bible to symbolize death, as we see from the following verses:

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” ~ John 11:11 [Jesus speaking about the death of Lazarus]

Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. ~ Acts 7:60 [Referring to the death of Stephen, one of the Seven Deacons of the Early Church]

So, sleep is symbolic of death – the cessation of all earthly activities; it means ‘time up!’

Sleep (death) marks the end of all earthly activities

The following verses are quite enlightening:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10

In sleep, all earthly activities end, hence no working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” ~ Jesus Christ, John 9:4

Your quantity of time expires in death, when you ‘sleep’.

Conversely, ‘day’ represents your allotment of time

From the verses quoted above, we should understand that the ‘day’ symbolizes the time of working, planning, knowledge, wisdom; it is the time allotted to us for fulfilling the purpose of God for our lives here on earth.

In ordinary terms, your ‘day’ refers to your life-span.

So, we can divide up our life-span after the order of the divisions of the natural day.

But first of all, how much is this life-span?

The span of our earthly lives…

The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength…” ~ Psalm 90:10

There you have it – 70 to 80 years, the length of a ‘full’ life-span.  Some folks are able to live more or less than this span, but that’s just about the average of a full life-span.

In terms of life-span, therefore, a normal human day would be 70/80 years.  I’ll use the average – 75 – for my calculations in this post.

Now, let’s split up this ‘day’…

The ordinary day has 12hrs of ‘day’ and 12 hours of night.  Jesus said so, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?” in John 11:9.  Of course, we also know this to be the case.

Usually, we divide our daytime into 3 parts – morning, midday, and evening – each spanning about 4 hours.  Let’s now apply this division to a normal life-span of 75 years:

  • Morning = 1 to 25 years. I believe this is the time for laying a solid foundation for every aspect of your life.  This is the period of fundamental learning, training, and discovery of purpose.  You should have discovered your purpose on earth and mastered the basic skills for fulfilling this purpose during the morning period of life.
  • Midday = 26 to 50 years. This is the time of achievements and accomplishments.  You should have begun to translate the successful utilization of the morning period into tangible results and significant achievements.
  • Evening = 51 to 75 years.  This is the time of relaxation and rest.  This is the period when you begin to actively hand over to the next generation.

A time for everything

What time of the ‘day’ is it for you?  Are you involved in the right activities for this season of your ‘day’?  Let this post inspire you to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments that will enable you get back into sync with the rhythms of time in your own life.

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My 2010 Blog Posting Schedule

This blog is now exactly 16 months.  So far, it has over 145 posts, 828 comments, 17 series, and has pulled in over 140,000 visits from 70 nations. Four of the major keywords of this blog have hit the top three slots in Google and other major search engines several times out of hundreds of millions of entries.

I have already shared some of the amazing breakthroughs that have occurred through this blog in the articles listed below.  The stories are absolutely inspiring and you need to read them!

Today, I want to give you a clear picture of what the content and posting schedule on this blog will look like in 2010.

Focus

This year, I’m committed to writing and posting articles, audio, video, and photos that will inspire and equip you to:

  • Deepen your spiritual roots.
  • Strengthen your intimacy with God.
  • Discover yourself.
  • Take responsibility over your choices, and decisions.
  • Achieve your own personal success, that is, fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

God has honored my comparatively feeble efforts on this blog, and I intend to give back by writing and posting only contents that will inspire and equip you to live your very best life, to God’s glory and for the benefit your fellow human beings.

Content and Scheduling of blog posts

My content this year – whether they be articles, audio, video, or photos – will fall under the following three broad categories:

  1. IMG_7204 Sermon Summaries:
     
    As you know, I am a Christian Pastor and I pastor a congregation here in Nigeria. Consequently, I spend a good chunk of my time praying, researching, and studying in order to prepare and preach at least two sermons every week – usually more when I’m travelling overseas, or during special events and mission trips.

    These sermons are so rich in spiritual insight and godly wisdom that I’ve decided to make them available to you on this blog every Monday morning! I think that’s a very inspiring way to boost your spiritual powerhouse ahead of a new week.

    Initially, they will be available only in article format, but as my internet connection speed and bandwidth increase, I’ll also make the audio format available.

    So, all Monday postings will be put under the ‘Sermon Summaries’ category for easy reference.

  2. My personal inspired opinions and perspectives:
     
    I am a highly opinionated and free thinking individual!  I imagine you know that already. 
    I think for myself, I freely express myself without much inhibitions, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of my ideas or person.
     
    A greater portion of my blog posts so far have been under this category. 
    I intend to continue writing along these lines and sharing my personal opinion and perspectives about things with you

    In fact, I actually intend to be more expressive and personal in sharing my thoughts this year!  I promise you it will be extremely inspiring, empowering, and of course, entertaining too.
    So watch out for this category of blog postings every Wednesday morning.

  3. Mission Updates: 
    WD_white-10 My purpose in making ‘Mission Updates’ a regular feature of this blog is because, not only do I want you to read articles from me, I also want you to be informed about what I’m doing and, whenever possible, get involved in my global missions and outreaches! My work this year will involve a lot of the following:
  • Charitable activities, particularly with orphans and the disabled here in Nigeria.
  • Rural missions to villages here in Nigeria.
  • Overseas mission tours within the USA and Europe.
  • Citywide events here in Nigeria.
  • Radio and Television appearances, particularly in USA
  • Work with other Churches and Christian groups. 

    And I intend to stay connected with you and keep you sufficiently informed all the way!  I actually plan to post these updates as they are taking place, thanks to all the blogging technologies available to us today.
    By the way, don’t fail to connect with me on Facebook, and Twitter if you haven’t done so already.

The point of all these is that I’m deeply committed to making this blog extremely inspiring, interesting, informative, and edifying this year – just for you.

So, keep visiting this blog.
Keep bookmarking and sharing the pages and articles on this blog.
Keep reading this blog.
Keep commenting on this blog.

Also, you can have my posts delivered automatically to your email each time I publish them.  Simply enter your email in the mini-form below.  Then click the ‘Subscribe’ button and follow the very easy steps that follow.

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Finally, don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and loved ones.

Welcome to 2010 – your year of Daily Testimonies (significant blessings).

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The Reality of God

WD_white-6 Visions of the future

Welcome to the year 2010!
I’m so glad you and I made it to this year.

First of all, I want you to know that this will be an extremely challenging and difficult year.  I know that because God often reveals to me things that are yet to occur.  This has actually been happening to me – as my mom told me – right from when I was only 3!

I have been extremely careful and responsible with this gift and very rarely go public with these visions of the future.  I’d rather share the revelations that I receive in very indirect ways in order not to attract undue attention to this gift, or violate people’s right to make their own choices.

But, yes, sometimes, I do become very open and direct in sharing the visions of the future that God shows me.

For instance, about 2 years ago, I was shown a global economic recession.  I saw stock markets and banks crashing around the world.  Governments were confused and were running from place to place in search of solutions.  I saw hundreds of millions of people caught in the vicious grip of hunger and starvation.  I was told that these things were going to happen and become so terrible that even the wisest of men won’t be able to find any solutions to the problems.

I went up to my pulpit then at the Success Academy Nigeria and began to share these visions.  I told my audience that I saw a global food crisis coming, stock markets crashing, banks going bankrupt, and so on.  I told them not to purchase stocks then, even though that was right in the middle of the stock market boom here in Nigeria.  Of course, no one paid much attention until it all began to unfold. Some folks who heard the warning from my mouth actually lost lots of money that they had invested in the now useless stocks.

As you know, the world is now embroiled in a terrible economic crisis.  At the beginning of this crisis, as nation after nation began to fall under the wave, our own Central Bank Governor at that time went to press and said that our economy was immune and that the banks in Nigeria were safe.  I read his comments in the papers, and again went up to my pulpit and warned that this man was lying to the nation.  People then asked me whether I was an Economist, and how I would dare say that such an authority could be wrong.  I told them I wasn’t an Economist, but was only saying what I heard in the counsel of the holy ones, in the presence of God

Eventually, it all became clear that the man was lying.  Thousands of people are now being laid off in Nigerian banks as they try to withstand the onslaught of the global economic crisis.

Is the crisis over?

No.

The worst that was shown to me then hasn’t even happened: I won’t go into the details of that vision because they are extremely scary.

Why the crisis?

What is important, however, is to understand that there are underlying spiritual reasons why these economic upheavals will continue to ravage the nations of this earth.  The reason is that human beings have generally turned their backs to God.  We have turned to other 21st Century idols such as the human intellect, mammon, sensual pleasures, and so on.  Man’s continued rejection of the supremacy and authority of God has invoked the very peculiar economic curse that’s about to plague our world today.WD_white-20

God never designed a universe that can permanently and successfully ignore Him.  Even if humanity doesn’t recognize the supremacy and authority of God, the created universe and all of her forces do.  And every now and then, the created universe and all of her forces rise to thwart man’s purported scientific advancement and intellectual prowess, reducing humanity to mere fools.

This global economic crisis has been sent as a warning to mankind.

And it will get worse.

National economies will tumble and crumble under it’s onslaught.  Whole corporations and business empires would be wiped out in seconds in the months ahead.  Families will weep and gnash their teeth as the pangs of the famine begins to strike home.

Make no mistake about this, there’s a ferocious storm up ahead!

Yet, you don’t have to go down when others are going down; that’s actually my purpose in writing this new year post – you don’t have to partake in the pain.  As a matter of fact, you can actually turn this year into the very best year of your life!

Distinction is possible!

Yes, distinction is possible.

You don’t have to go down when everyone is going down.  While this year will be a year of troubles, trials, and difficulties for billions, it could well be a year of daily testimonies and breakthroughs for you and your loved ones.  This could be the year that you mount up on wings like the eagle and soar to greater heights of glory.

Here’s a promise to think about:

“A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the LORD, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.” ~ Psalm 91:7-9

God’s message to you through this post is that you don’t have to panic.  Really, distinction is possible – provided you do the right things.

The most important first step in escaping the storm that is about to engulf the world is to lay a solid foundation for your life.

Build your foundation on the rock

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” ~ Jesus Christ, (Matthew 7:24,25)

There you have the warnings of Jesus Christ spoken thousands of years ago that, “the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house…” That’s referring to crisis!

Yet, there was a house that didn’t fall, because it had it’s foundation on the rock.  If you build your foundation on the rock, you will experience distinction in the perilous times that lie ahead.

The best way to do this is to start this year with God

Acknowledge the reality of God in your life.
Recognize His absolute supremacy over all the Universe.
Submit to His authority in all areas of your life.

The reality of God

The reality of God – the All-Mighty, Creator of the Universe – is obvious and implicit in nature and all creation. The inability to discern and acknowledge this reality, in my opinion, consists the grossest blindness of all.

To reject the notion of God and still claim to be an intelligent and sophisticated thinker is laughable.  Every intelligent, intuitive, and enlightened student of nature arrives at the same conclusion, which is that mere chance could never have given rise to a universe of such order, complexity, beauty, and precision. There is a Being, an absolutely supreme being, that designed and made the universe.

He is God.

The realization of this truth and humble submission to it is the foundation of happiness, and the beginning of spiritual wisdom.

“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom…” ~ Proverbs 1:7

An ancient foolishness…

Some people like to imagine that the notion ‘there is no God’ is some form of sophisticated and modern thinking; you know, an advanced way of thinking.

That’s ridiculous!

A guy told me sometime ago that the concept of God is an archaic and obsolete idea that has no place in modern man’s advanced and contemporary thinking.

I asked him if he was acquainted with the bible. “Of course,” he replied with that arrogant air of so-called lofty intellectualism. “I know practically all there is to know about bible history,” he continued.

“So, you most likely know when some of the books of the bible was written?” I asked.  “Sure,” was his very confident response.

“You will agree with me then when I say that the book of Psalms was written thousand years ago?” He did.

I then referred him to the verse from the Psalms quoted below,

“The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’” ~ Psalm 14:1

“You see, my dear,” I continued, “there’s nothing modern about the ‘no God’ notion. People were already thinking that way 3000 years ago!”

Then I said to him, “there’s nothing sophisticated, modern, or advanced about the notion that ‘there is no God.’  It is nothing but an ancient foolishness!”

Blindness to the reality of God is about the oldest form of spiritual and mental foolishness known to man. Truly enlightened human spirits are amused when fools parrot their ignorance of God as ‘sophisticated thinking.’

Yet, its not just foolishness, its a killer disease. The ignorance or proud rejection of God plus the refusal to submit to His authority is a killer disease. Its the fountain of unhappiness and confusion in the human soul.

And it is this very foolishness and disease that lies at the root of the mess this planet is plunging into.

Don’t be a part of it.  Make a choice today to:

Acknowledge the reality of God in your life.
Recognize His absolute supremacy over all the Universe.
Submit to His authority in all areas of your life.

That’s the right way to begin 2010…

“In the beginning, God…” ~ Genesis 1:1

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What does love mean to you?

thing-called-love I found myself posing this question to a fellow blogger recently on Facebook.  Hardly had I asked the question when I thought, “Hey, why not pose this question to all your blog readers.”

Of course, as soon as I sat before my laptop to type the question, a whole blog post flooded my mind! 🙁  … you know, thoughts on love and all my opinion on the subject.

But, I eventually held it all back and resolved rather to make this a platform for you to express your own opinion on the subject of love.

So, what does love mean to you?

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The Essence of all Blessings

Life is an exquisitely beautiful and lovely art.
At least, that’s how I see it, particularly the human experience of it.

One reason say this is because of the way in which we are designed and equipped to learn from the very experience of living.  Our divine design as human bodies, souls, and spirits is such that we can constantly evolve into higher and better expressions of ourselves, simply by learning from our own experiences of the process of living.

But this requires continuous non-judgemental personal reflection and introspection.  I say ‘non-judgemental’ because you can’t learn much from the process of living if you constantly put yourself down for your flaws and errors; and unless you realize that everything that happens to you is a blessing – even if it means a blessing in disguise.

Let me explain.

Blessings…

When good things happen to us, we tend to get happy and excited, and this is good.   But a lot of times, we get so carried away by our excitement that we act in ways that ultimately reverse the tide of good fortune.  Its great to get excited and to rejoice in favorable circumstances.  By all means, have fun and revel in your blessings.  However, bear in mind that unless you understand the underlying causes beneath your blessings, you may not be able to sustain and multiply them.

God will not allow a blessing into your life that He does not intend to sustain. 
When He brings you into a new height of glory, He intends for you to stay there, and move from there to higher heights.

But in order for you to sustain and multiply any blessing, and leverage it to attain higher heights, you must move beyond the realm of revelry, into that of understanding – the understanding of why and how the blessing was created.

This understanding is important because, the true substance of every blessing is the lesson it’s meant to teachthat’s the essence of all blessings.  Blessings are meant to teach lessons, and it’s these lessons that empower us to duplicate these blessings at will, again and again.

It is quite interesting to note that the miracles of Jesus Christ in the New Testament were referred to as ‘signs.’  A sign is something positioned to draw attention to another.  In other words, those miracles, from the perspective of Jesus Christ, were more than mere good works, they were pointers to deeper spiritual truths.

So, if you can penetrate beyond the blessing and behold the lessons contained within it, you gain the power to sustain and multiply those blessings again and again and again.  It is your understanding of the spiritual truths embedded in life’s blessings that gives you mastery over the forces and circumstances of life.

Misfortunes…

The reverse of the above is the case with misfortunes.

When misfortunes befall us, we naturally get sad and sorrowful.  But unless this sorrow is accompanied by a clear awareness of why the misfortune happened and how it occurred, it’s wasted sorrow.

Every misfortune carries a blessing within it. That blessing is simply the lesson that you learn from the misfortune, and the lesson you learn is the essence of the blessing.

It is this lesson that empowers you to not experience the misfortune again.

For instance

David, the great king of Israel, was a conqueror who never lost a battle.  He was able to duplicate this victory in battlefield after battlefield.  First, he killed a lion, then he duplicated that result by killing a bear.  He went on from there to slay Goliath, the Philistine giant, then on and on and on from one victory to the next.

The more I studied David’s life – and I love to do it – the more it dawned on me that this man had a unique insight into the secret of winning wars.  Then one day I saw it!

David revealed this secret when he tried to sell himself as the man to kill Goliath,

“The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” ~ 1 Samuel 17:37

He understood that his victory was not primarily a function of his slinging skills, or any other physical abilities, but rather the result of the power of God acting on his behalf.  This was the insight beneath his victories, the essence of his blessings.  His psalms continue to reflect this awareness as the following verses reveal:

“No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.” ~
Psalm 33:16-19

From his preliminary experiences of victory in the wilderness of Judea, David gleaned a very important lesson, which is that victory is the result of God acting on his behalf.  His understanding of this mystery, gave him mastery in the battlefields of life!

In the same way, your understanding of the spiritual mysteries underlying your physical blessings, will give you mastery in the battlefields of life.

Real life application…

As you edge closer to the starting point of 2010, I encourage you to review your life in the light of the following questions.

What was the most significant blessing you experienced this passing year?
What lessons did you learn from this experience?
Now, which is the most significant of these lessons?

Again…

What was the most significant misfortune you experienced this passing year?
What lessons did you learn from this experience?
Now, which is the most significant of these lessons?

And finally, how can I apply this insight in the next year to multiply my blessings and eliminate misfortunes?

May God be with your mind as you contemplate these questions, and may He grant you insight and awareness into all the relevant spiritual mysteries and truths for your own life.

Unless we learn from living, our experience of living has been wasted.

I believe that every reader of this blog would be inspired by your experience and lessons, if you share them. 
Thanks

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Positioning yourself for a better year

A year

A year is a very significant chunk of time.  Normally, it equals:
31536000 seconds…
525600 minutes…
8760 hours…
365 days…
52 weeks…
12 months…
3 quarters …

Usually, your life is measured in terms of how many years you’ve spent, and the quality of your life is seen in terms of how well you’ve used those years.

Think about this, a successful man or woman is a person who has used time well.  That person has made the right choices and executed the right actions within time.  The result is a well balanced and highly fulfilled and relevant life.

We are now a few days away from the end of another year, and the beginning of a new one.  Every thinking mind should at this time be pondering the question, “Did I spend the past year well?”

Every year is good

Someone recently called me and was weeping on the phone.  She told me she was extremely depressed and needed prayers.  Then she said, “this has been the worst year of my life.” When I inquired as to why she felt so about this year, she said, “Nothing good happened to me this year.”

I thought for a while, then I told her, “Every year is good.  A year is a gift of 365 days from God, so it’s always a perfect gift.  There’s nothing wrong with the time. The make or break  issue, however, is how you use this gift.”

You see, you can make a good or bad use of your time.  Time is a gift from God, and if you use it well, you will reap positive dividends. Otherwise, you could end up blaming the ‘bad year’ like the young lady I referred to here.

So, how did you use 2009?

2009 is rapidly coming to an end; it’s the end of a decade – the decade of the 2000’s.  As you look back over the past three hundred and something days, how would you rate your usage of the year?  Do you think you made a good use of it? What if you were to spend the rest of your life the way you spent the past year, would you be able to fulfil your life’s dreams? 

Did you make each day of this year count?

Or do you have a sense that it was a bad year, that you wasted it?

Whatever the case, I think that your resolve and commitment to making better use of the gift of time in the coming year is more important than brooding over whether or not you spent the past year well.  🙂

If you used 2009 productively and profitably, congratulations!  Yet, don’t rest on your laurels. Resolve to make an even better use of 2010 than you did with 2009.

And if you think you wasted 2009, take heart.  Draw inspiration and strength from that very sense of having wasted 2009; use that as a motivation to strengthen your resolve; ultimately, make a strong commitment to make a better use of the coming year.

The power of a strong resolve…

Never underestimate the power of a strong resolve.
In fact, that’s why I’ll pause this post at this point by encouraging you to make a strong resolve and commitment to make a better use of the coming year.  

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Looking Ahead

First of all, thanks to all the regular readers of this blog!

At the WordFM Pittsburgh I want to thank all the regular readers of this blog for your support and the inspiration I’ve drawn from your participation in this blog.  I doubt that I’ll have sustained the motivation for churning out posts every week if it hadn’t been for the fact that I knew you were reading.  It is also my hope and prayer that somehow, the messages in this blog has helped you find direction and strength for your life’s journey.

On set at Cornerstone Television 2009 has been a great year for me, and I hope, for you too.  This has been the year that, thanks to what God did through this blog, the doors to the nations opened for me.  I made two mission trips to the United States to preach the gospel.  I spoke at several churches, events, as well as radio and television interviews.  And now, more invitations are pouring in from other nations too. 

It has been an overwhelming experience to see what God has done through this blog and the various online social networks that I’ve been involved in, such as Facebook, and Twitter.  If you’ve not done so already, you can join me on Facebook, and on Twitter.  They are fabulous networks for keeping in touch.  I’ve come to value these media now that I do a lot of international travelling as they help me stay in touch with family and friends during my long periods away from home.

Within the past year, well over a hundred thousand people have visited this blog!  I have received hundreds of emails of people who have been inspired, healed, and saved, all as a result of reading this blog.  Just to think of what God can do with the written media is mind boggling.  He has done fabulous things far above what I expected within the first year of this blog.

2010…

As you can imagine, the consequences of these breakthroughs and results are greater exposure and opportunities for me.  It means more international travels, more speaking engagements in seminars, conferences, retreats, churches, television, radio, and so on.

Ministering at Victory Bible Institute TulsaIn fact, we already have a major event scheduled for April 10 at the Westin Convention Centre in Pittsburgh USA.  It’s titled ‘The Ultimate Experience Summit 2010”.  The event is billed to be a revival summit, a season of reconciliation with God, healing, and refreshment for God’s children from around the United States.  I will be giving you more details about the event and how you can participate.

For the moment, if you live in the United States, you can join the ‘Awaken America’ prayer campaign immediately.  Simply become a fan of the Pastor WD Favour page on Facebook.  Something is stirring!… More on that later.

Of course, there will also be major events in my home country, Nigeria, particularly in the areas of charity and rural missions.  I will also post details and updates of these missions and projects as soon as I have them.

This blog…

Sure!  I’ll continue to blog!
Writing is my strongest medium of expression and I find a lot of fulfilment sharing God’s love and wisdom through this blog.  So, I invite you to continue visiting, reading, and commenting!  I love reading your comments, by the way.

However, I intend to make some slight adjustments to the theme, style, and content of this blog.  Don’t panic, it won’t be anything unsettling to you. It’s just that I want it to be more personal, interactive, and inspiring than it has been so far.  I think you’ll love the changes.  Suffice it to say for now that I want this blog to be a place where you can be inspired into greater intimacy with God, a place to discover yourself, and a place to be empowered to pursue and achieve your dreams. 

Like it?

You and I

WD_Hampton_2 I want to stay better in touch with you and be a blessing to you in the coming year.  You are in my thoughts and in my prayers, I promise.  I invite you to be a part of this blog regularly in 2010 for more empowering and inspiring articles, as well as updates of my missions in the USA, Africa, and other nations.  Don’t miss anything.

Within the week, I’ll be giving you some solid, wise, and biblical counsel on how to position yourself to advantage for 2010 and beyond.  Please, stay tuned for my last posts of the year 2009.

God bless you.

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Christmas and the sparkle season

We are now heading into the heart of the Christmas season, that time of the year when Christians all over the world pretend to be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, whereas, in reality, most of what we do amounts to just more selfishness and vanity.  In Western nations, it’s predominantly about shopping, Christmas  lights, trees, and that idol called Santa Claus.  Many who enjoy this season of celebration have no clues as to what it’s all about.

I don’t really celebrate Christmas for reasons that are mostly personal.  We weren’t brought up in my family to make much ado about it, anyway.  But as I grew up and reached my own conclusions about things, I decided not to make much ado about it either.  For me, it’s just another day.  It’s roots are way too pagan and idolatrous for me, and it’s practice is way to worldly and materialistic.

Of course, I do not preach against it from my pastoral pulpit, and neither do I forbid members of my congregation from celebrating it.  I also do not stop my wife and children from celebrating it and enjoying themselves that day.  My views about it are basically kept to myself.

Along the way, I decided to spend the three days that lie at the heart of Christmas as days of praying, fasting, and charity works.  I preferred to spend the 25th in the hospital chatting with the bedridden and praying for them.  It gives me great joy and inspiration to do this and I’m not suggesting that you join me at all, but that’s the way it is for me.

My suggestion to those who do make much ado about Christmas is to never forget the reason for the season, and that is Jesus Christ.  Christmas should not be about Santa Claus, or lights, or gifts, or any of those things. Let it rather be a time to reflect on the Love of God that gave up His only Son to die for the sins of the world.  Let it be a time of sharing this love through our deeds and our words.  Let this be a time to think about the helpless of this earth and take whatever steps we could to help make their burdens lighter.

And if you’ve not yet consciously and deliberately given your heart and your life to God the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ, then as you fill your stomach with food and wine, do remember that without the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there’ll be no Christmas.  You always have the choice, while there’s still breath in you, to surrender your heart and your life to God.  Simply ask Jesus Christ to come into you and take over your life.  Say it the best way you can and in the most simple terms.  He’ll hear you and he’ll come in and change your life forever.

Well, I guess it’s time to say, have yourself a merry Christmas – at least I prefer it to that stupid phrase, ‘the sparkle season.’

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