Wife of Bauchi State Governor Donates Foods to Christian Homes

Church, News, personality
Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar
Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar

The wife of the Bauchi State Governor,Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed, recently put smiles on the faces of Christian women at Bayara community of Bauchi when she distributed food items in the spirit of Christmas.

The gesture was done through her pet project known as the Bauchi Sustainable Women Economic Empowerment and Peace Initiative, B-SWEEEP

‘Christmas celebrations are not complete when we have not touched the lives of women who are the pillars of the family.This intervention is been carried out every festive season with the support of the state government who is mindful of the needs of the citizens at such celebrations’’

“This period calls for sober reflection on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the purpose of his birth.You should also use the season to pray for the peace of the state and nation, particularly we are approaching the general election,’’she said

She implored women to instill moral virtues in the lives of their children so that they can be responsible persons in the society and urged to acquire skills to empower thier lives and family.

In her remarks , the state Commissioner of Women Affairs, Rukaiya Ibrahim Kewat,noted that the cardinal responsibility of any government was to affect the citizens through interventions that bring radical improvement for them.

The commissioner, who said that the gesture was aimed at putting smiles on the faces of the women, urged the women associations to ensure that the food items are distributed justly to every woman beneficiary.

SUSAN EDEH- Nigeria Independent

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A Picture-Perfect Wedding in the Big Easy

Celebrity Gists, Church, News

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Danielle Levitt and Harry Eelman, both photographers of celebrities, after their wedding at the Marigny Opera House March 17 in New Orleans.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

By David Lee Simmons

You could trace the courtship of Danielle Levitt and Harry Eelman by their photo shoots.

Their first meeting? The Amy Schumer shoot. The first real flirtation? TheChris Evans shoot. The first time they felt real chemistry? The Robert Pattinson shoot. First kiss? After the Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak shoot.

That’s the way it can play out for jet-setting portraiture photographers of fashion, culture and celebrity who live on opposite coasts. Ms. Levitt, 45, hails from Los Angeles but is based in New York, while Mr. Eelman, 34, (who has often served as her top assistant on these assignments) grew up on the East Coast and is based in Los Angeles.

All those flyover states couldn’t stop the electricity between the two, who found a middle ground in New Orleans at the Marigny Opera House for their March 17 wedding, which was the confirmation of a nearly four-year whirlwind built on making others look perfect.

The bride was accompanied down the aisle by her mother, Marie France Salaun, and her brother, Alain Levitt, and his children.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

On that first assignment together, in March 2014, Mr. Eelman recalled, he and the other assistants already were setting up when Ms. Levitt blew into the room, running late, and “the air changed. She had so much energy, and she’s like this whole personality. I just went, ‘Wow, what’s going on? This is wild.’”

She was fixated on the way he carried himself. “Obviously I’m a visual person and who the hell knows what happens with attraction? But there’s this guy with this red Volvo station wagon and this mustache and this long hair and he’s driving this car and, I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know. It just like, he just seemed unexpected to me, I guess, but now as much as I know him it makes sense.”

It might help at this point in their love story to explain what their close friends describe as one of your basic “fire and ice” dynamics that can be found in their work and personalities. 

Ms. Levitt is a live wire who, while perhaps not as famous as the celebrities she has captured on film, is just as charismatic. Her vibrant portraits, often saturated with colors that pop off the page, suggest a woman of strength behind the camera. Her personality confirms it; her friends talk of manic late-night texts, rambling phone calls where she often speaks in paragraph blocks and recounts crazy experiences.

Andy Harman, an artist and friend of the couple, performed the ceremony.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

Still, friends wondered if she’d ever really find Mr. Right. Harry Eelman didn’t seem like the one when he first showed up.

In person, Mr. Eelman is calm and reserved. And, his images feature sometimes detached subjects, not apathetic so much as quietly comfortable in their own skin.

Their styles, behind the camera and away from it, contrast in such a way that for the first time in a decade, Ms. Levitt was noticing someone who could finally tip the scales in her work-life balance. (Even as they remembered their romance, Ms. Levitt was scattershot, getting details wrong, laughing at everything, while Mr. Eelman remembered every detail, rarely raising the volume of his voice in the telling of their adventures.)

“I had focused so heavily on my work,” she said, “and because I love it, and because it brings me joy, and I like telling stories, and I like to hopefully do my part and give back to the world, and influence the world and change the world in any way through representation or through storytelling. I felt like I had to work extra hard because I was self-teaching myself along the way.”

And along came Mr. Eelman, with no agenda but to be open to whom she is.

“Harry surprised me,” she said. “It surprised me. I had been single for a very long time.”

From their first meeting and onward, it was just a matter of keeping an East Coast-West Coast relationship developing. Generally, it was done through photo assignments — the more exotic, the better. Ms. Levitt got plenty of work in Los Angeles to make frequent visits and stays with Mr. Eelman at his home in Echo Park. Traveling together as a couple didn’t happen often, though.

That’s when the actor Neil Patrick Harris helped give the couple the nudge they needed. Mr. Harris had met and bonded with Ms. Levitt on a 2008 photo shoot in Alaska. He asked her if she wouldn’t mind “dropping down four pegs” to photograph his 2014 wedding to his longtime partner,David Burtka, at a rented castle in Perugia, Italy. Ms. Levitt quickly agreed.

 

Mr. Burtka and Mr. Harris couldn’t help but chuckle about a weekend that was meant to seal their own bond and wound up sealing another in the process. As they remember it, at first Ms. Levitt had said she was bringing a particular assistant, but not Mr. Eelman.

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Mr. Harman’s robe was quite obviously made for the occasion.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

“And then she said, ‘I think I’m bringing a different assistant, and I’m not sure cause it’s a guy that I kind of like, and I don’t know … We’re gonna be in the same room,’” Mr. Harris recalled.

“And we were wondering,” Mr. Burtka said, “‘Should we get another room?’ She goes, ‘Nah, it’s all right. It’s fine, it’s fine. I’m a grown-up. You know, we’ll make it happen.’ And when I checked her into the room, I came into the room, I said, ‘Is this O.K.? There’s only one bed,’ and she goes, ‘Don’t worry about it, I got it covered.”

As Ms. Levitt said, looking back, “I took a risk.”

She marvels about how incredible the weekend was. “This sort of high level of romance. Like pasta, wine and Champagne and vistas and views. Harry thinks that I don’t like vistas, but it was amazing, stereotypical-like, textbook.”

She paused, “What does it mean to be on a romantic holiday?” She had found her answer. And for Mr. Burtka and Mr. Harris, it meant the obvious.

Guests were treated to “go cups,” which in New Orleans means being able to take your adult beverage outside an establishment.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

“I really think that our wedding was the time that they fell in love,” Mr. Burtka said.

Romance blossomed into love. Trips to Los Angeles became increasingly longer stays, and, after a steady stream of photo assignments and more exotic trips, he decided it was time.

On a trip to Provence, France, in summer 2017, outside their villa and taking in another lovely vista, Mr. Eelman knelt down and proposed. She said yes, and they both cried.

“I was so elated,” Mr. Eelman said.

For Ms. Levitt, New Orleans was an ideal location between their two home bases for a wedding. She had fallen hard for the city over the years, sparked in part from friendships she had forged during a 2008 assignment on the bounce music scene in New Orleans.

Very quickly, she turned Mr. Eelman into a fan of the city.

“It’s kind of a little lawless, a little fun,” he said. “You can just have a good time and the people are great, and the food’s amazing, and it doesn’t feel like anywhere else in America.”

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Guests feasted on a menu that included cochon de lait po-boys, red beans and rice, and étouffée-spiced shrimp skewers.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

The couple turned their days leading up to the March 17 ceremony as a kind of mini-vacation for their wedding party: traditional jazz at Preservation Hall, drinks at Vaughan’s Lounge, fried chicken at Willie Mae’s, Israeli food at Shaya, sandwiches at Turkey and the Wolf, Creole food at Neyow’s Creole Café, wine at Bacchanal, lunch at Commander’s Palace, a swamp tour, a cemetery tour — as with all things Danielle Levitt, it became a blur. (The day after the wedding, there was a drag brunch at the Country Club.)

Andy Harman, a New York artist and set designer, who became a Universal Life minister, showed up in a specially designed robe for the ceremony.

Ms. Levitt, who wore a silver lamé jersey gown designed by Rick Owens, sashayed down the aisle escorted by her mother, Marie-France Salaun, and her brother, Alain Levitt; her two nieces, Ludivine and Rima, tagged along as flower girls. As a gospel choir sang “Sea of Love,” Ms. Levitt did stutter steps to and fro, as the guests hooted their approval.

As they exchanged their vows, the couple fought back their tears.

“You broke down every wall I put up,” she said. “You’re my champion. I always feel I’m my best self with you. You inspire me to be the person I dream of becoming.”

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Neil Patrick Harris, who attended with his husband, David Burtka, and their children, gave a speech after the wedding.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

“I feel like I’ve lived more in the past three and a half years than the whole of my life,” he told her. “I promise you, Danielle, to always help carry your expanding collection of luggage, I promise to support and love you, be by your side through the good and bad, to be your champion and best friend.”

And with that, the couple marched out into the spring afternoon for drinks and chatter as the opera house was reconfigured into a reception hall.

In a sea of seersuckers, satin and plaid shorts with matching jackets, and crocheted dresses, one stylish guest in particular stood out: the casting director Shay Nielsen, with her long, flowing, black-and-white Art Deco-style dress.

“What a colorful group!” Mr. Burtka said as he and Mr. Harris managed their 7-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper. “I’ve never seen so many hipsters out of Brooklyn!”

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A captured kiss during the couple’s first dance.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

Once the reception started, Ms. Levitt returned wearing a gown made of silk habotai fabrics that she codesigned with the Los Angeles-based Everybody.World. Guests feasted on a menu that included cochon de lait po’ boys, red beans and rice, and étouffée-spiced shrimp skewers.

After guests danced to the classic soul tunes played by the Essentials, and toasted for hours, the Hot 8 Brass Band showed up to lead the party out of the opera house and over to Mimi’s in the Marigny, a nearby bar, for more dancing.

As the procession made its turn from Dauphine Street onto Franklin Avenue, one bystander asked another, “Is that Neil Patrick Harris?”

“Yes.”

“I feel like such an idiot. I went up to him and said, ‘Has anyone told you you look like Neil Patrick Harris?’ And he just nodded. The woman looked back toward the procession, called the second-line in New Orleans parlance.

“So, this is a wedding and not a funeral?”

“Yup.”

“Cool.”

ON THIS DAY March 17, 2018.

New York Times

News analysis: the Royal Family and the church

Celebrity Gists, Church, News

Originally published by Premier Christianity

prince-harry-meghan-markle-engagedOn the 19th of May it will be time to wheel out the Union Jack bunting as Britain prepares to celebrate another royal wedding.

The marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, later this month will undoubtedly usher in the winds of change: Markle will become the first mixed-race member of the royal family, and the first American.

But in one respect the unconventional wedding will hark back to centuries-old tradition: it will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

So do the links between Britain’s first family and its national church remain as strong as ever?

When it was announced that Harry and Markle were engaged and would marry in a Christian ceremony, Justin Welby’s response was effusive: “Marriage is a special and joyous commitment, one that Jesus celebrated together with friends at the wedding in Cana. I am so happy that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to make their vows before God.”

Relations have not always been so cordial. During the 1930s the church and monarchy were at loggerheads over the proposed match of the then King, Edward VIII, with another divorced American, Wallis Simpson.

The Church of England, which at the time forbid re-marriage after divorce, told the King he could not remain Supreme Governor of the Church and marry Simpson, forcing him to abdicate in favour of his bride.

There will be no such confrontation this time, however, as in 2002 the rules were changed to allow divorcees with living former spouses, such as Markle, to marry in the C of E if the officiating minister has no objection.

The Archbishop clearly has no such objection and has spent plenty of time with the couple, as he prepared Markle for a service in which she was baptised and confirmed in March. Interestingly, this was Markle’s choice and not a legal requirement to receive a Church of England wedding, although Kate Middleton also was confirmed shortly before her marriage.

The American actress does have a Christian background: her father is an Episcopalian (the American branch of global Anglicanism) and she was educated at a Roman Catholic School. But reports have suggested that Markle deciding to formally join the Anglican Church through baptism and confirmation to honour the wishes of the woman who will become her grandmother-in-law.

Markle’s decision points to the true cornerstone of the royal family’s relationship with the church: the Queen. The monarch’s deep Christian faith has never been a secret but seems to have, if anything, deepened over the years.

She attends church almost every Sunday and has frequently spoken of how following Jesus is the “anchor in my life”. Catherine Butcher, who co-wrote a book on the Queen’s faith to mark her 90th birthday, said that locals at Sandringham had told her that the Queen and Prince Philip went to church faithfully: “It’s not just for the cameras or on state occasions. They want to worship.”

It is also known that there are several other practising Christians within the royal household, she said. “The light of Christ is there and being passed from one to another.”

An analysis in December by The Observer newspaper found that since 2000 the Queen’s Christmas speeches, her sole opportunity each year to speak to the nation in her own words, have become notably more infused with her faith. During 2016’s broadcast, she said: “Billions of people now follow Christ’s teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them.”

Catherine Pepinster, a commentator on religious affairs, said that in recent decades the Queen had become the UK’s leading “apologist for Christianity in the public domain”.

But some observers have concerns that despite the Queen’s deep connections to Christianity, the newer generations of royals have failed to follow in her footsteps. Some have even warned that the centuries-long bond between the monarchy and church may begin to fracture after the Queen dies.

Prince Charles famously said in 1994 that when he becomes king he may move from being Defender of the Faith – a 500-year-old Christian title granted to the monarchs of England by the Pope – to “defender of faith” more generally.

Other ties are also weakening, as people begin to see the exclusively Anglican flavour of the monarchy as anachronistic and intolerant. A modernisation of the royal succession laws in 2013 dropped the ban on the king or queen marrying a Roman Catholic, although the monarch themselves must still be an Anglican in order to carry out their role as Supreme Governor of the C of E.

The youngest generation of royals has shown less interest in Christian affairs and neither Prince William or Harry regularly attend church in the manner of their grandparents. However, it is fair to note that in this the royals are simply echoing wider trends. Church attendance has been falling in Britain for almost half a century and a report last year revealed that just 3% of young adults describe themselves as Anglican.

What is true for the Windsors is often true for many British families: the oldest generation, the grandparents, are most likely to actively practise Christianity and then interest in faith diminishes with every subsequent generation. One senior Vatican official even described the Queen to the Observer as “the last Christian monarch” in Europe, let alone Britain.

But alarmism about the loosening bonds between the royals and the church can be overstated. Prince Charles, for instance, has been the most vocal advocate in public life for persecuted Christians overseas. As recently as Good Friday, the heir to the throne spoke of how the suffering of “Our Lord” made him consider again “those Christians who are suffering for their faith in many places around the world. I want to assure them that they are not forgotten and that they are in our prayers”.

His own website reports that the Prince is a “practising Anglican” who is “profoundly attached to the traditional rites of the Church of England and to the Book of Common Prayer”.

Pepinster said that she detected a growing engagement with Christianity in the Prince as his accession to the throne has drawn nearer, pointing in particular to a “reverent” Thought for the Day he delivered in 2016.

Church and monarchy also still have deep institutional ties and it is common for staff to move between Buckingham and Lambeth Palaces; most recently when Ailsa Anderson, the former press secretary to the Queen, became the Archbishop of Canterbury’s director of communications in 2013.

The current Archbishop has also developed a friendship with the royal family: as well as baptising both Prince George and Prince Charlotte, he held an intimate and private memorial service with Prince William and Prince Harry to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of their mother, Princess Diana.

Although tight-lipped about his conversations with the current royal soon to be newly-weds, Welby did tell ITV that Markle’s baptism and confirmation service was “beautiful, sincere and very moving” and a “great privilege”.

That service perhaps best sums up the state of play. Yes, the deep personal faith of the Queen may not be well-represented any more among her children and grandchildren, but the traditional and institutional ties remain strong. No, Harry and Markle are probably not going to go to church every Sunday, but they, and the emerging monarchy they represent, clearly still believe that Christian faith plays an inescapable role in their lives of service.

Tim Wyatt:

So You Think You’ve Married the Wrong Person? – GodInterest

Church, God

5-Truths-about-Gods-Design-for-Sex-in-Marriage-1.jpg

When I saw Roger’s Facebook profile photo, my first reaction, if I’m honest, was that he wasn’t good-looking enough for me. Yet when he sent a message saying I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, I gave into his invitation for dinner, she says in regret.

“According to a new survey of more than 1,600 divorcees, 49 percent admitted they were worried on their wedding day their relationship would break down, and two-thirds considered leaving their spouse-to-be at the altar.”

“A sixth said they hoped their partner would change after the wedding, while others said they got married in the hope that it would “all work out” in the end.”

Lord, I’m sorry! I married the wrong man. Please forgive me, she cries out in agonizing prayer. 

No couple should expect bliss every day and most couples know that perfection is not on the cards. Nevertheless, there are couples who display such deep-seated incompatibility, such heightened rage and disappointment, that most people will conclude that something else is at play beyond the normal scratchiness: they appear to have married the wrong person.

How do such errors happen, in our enlightened, knowledge-rich times? To avoid becoming a “statistic,” try to internalize these 7 insights.

#1. You picked the wrong person because you expect him/her to change after you’re married.

Many Christians may assume that non-believers are more likely to marry the wrong person because they lack God’s guidance in finding their one true love. But not so fast. Unfortunately, the number of Christians divorcing is no lower than that of non-believers.

“Singles today (and most married couples too) are searching for super-spouses that simply don’t exist.”

Movie star Mickey Rooney said, “Marriage is like batting in baseball; when the right one comes along, you don’t want to let it go by.” It sounds good, until you realize that Mickey was married eight times. He must have had a lot of “good pitches” to swing at!

Mickey Rooney has what might be called the “needle in a haystack” view of picking a mate.

But you won’t find a “wrong needle” clause in the Bible that gives you an “out” if you conclude that your spouse isn’t right for you. Instead you’ll find in Malachi 2:15, “Do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”

Surprising to many, the Bible never tells us to find the one God has chosen.  It tells us how to live with the person we have chosen. It’s easy to take our thoughts to the extreme when we’re so unhappy. But lets not forget that God says in the Bible says, “Come, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). You didn’t marry a mind reader.  Don’t fault him or her for that.

#2. You picked the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than on character.

Many societies portray marriage as a temporary arrangement that can be adapted or forsaken at will.  When first looking out for a partner, the requirements we come up with are coloured by a beautiful non-specific sentimental vagueness. All of us are crazy in very particular ways. All too many people say their vows without a real commitment to their spouse or to God.

Marriage is not primarily about finding the right spouse. It’s about being the right person. In his classic work, The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm declares, “To love somebody is not just a strong feeling—it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise.

#3. You choose the wrong person because you do not share common life goals and priorities.

Biblically, a Christian should be looking to marry another believer who shares a similar commitment to following the Lord Jesus. Marriage to an unbeliever should be avoided (2 Corinthians 6:14). So, if a Christian marries a non-Christian, he or she may have indeed married the wrong person.

#4. You choose the wrong person because you got intimately involved too quickly.

“Do you know unmarried couples who attend church, have consensual sex, and may even live together? According to a recent study by the Barna Group,”

The Bible is filled with lots of info about sex, and believe it or not, God thinks it’s a great idea! And why shouldn’t He, He invented it and declared it to be “good.”

Many Christian couples also justify cohabitation with the rationalization that they are going to get married eventually. However, the Bible promotes complete abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4). Sex within marriage is pleasurable, and God designed it that way. God wants men and women to enjoy sexual activity within the confines of marriage.

If you believe Christ died on a cross for your sins and you are trusting in Christ alone for your salvation, Christ commands you to pick up your cross and follow him (Matt. 16:24). Sex outside of marriage is a sin, no matter how a person tries to interpret Scripture otherwise, and every Christian is called to obey God in this aspect of life. Jesus said.

Also consider this, if the Bible’s message on sex before marriage was obeyed, there would be far fewer sexually transmitted diseases, far fewer abortions, far fewer unwed mothers and unwanted pregnancies, and far fewer children growing up without both parents in their lives.

#5. You picked the wrong person because you didn’t put everything on the table.

Let’s start off with the big one.  TRUST!  When a spouse is persistently and relentlessly lying about dim-witted things, it causes worry and doubts to set up camp. The journey begins like this. A young man or woman identifies the person he or she wants to marry and begins the business of serious courtship. Time and money are no object. They have a worthy goal and are motivated, even if that means telling lies in the process.

“You look as beautiful today as the day I met you.” “Of course you don’t look fat in that.” “I’m not angry.” “I wasn’t looking at her, I was just noticing her boots.”

Legally, all you need for a wedding is a visit to the county clerk’s office, and whatever else your local government requires. Most weddings these days skip the garter toss; many skip the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and some even skip the flowers. But what matters most is that you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

“If you tell the truth, it becomes part of your past, however, if you tell a lie, it becomes part of your future”. ~ Author Unknown”

Wow does that quote nails it, or what??!!

#6. You picked the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness.

In many places in the world, a fantasy is promoted that marriage should meet all our needs—the emphasis being on meeting one’s own needs, not the needs of one’s spouse. However, people that are unhappy when single and expect marriage to fulfil their lives are greatly disappointed as their level of contentment will drop even lower when married. Unrealistic expectations are those demands you make of your spouse of which he or she is incapable of providing.

“When you’re single, you experience a range of contentment from low to high. However, when your married, that range becomes even wider in both directions. Greater contentment—or discontentment.”

God wants to destroy you, not the physical you, but the selfish you. Jesus taught us that if we don’t die to our selfish nature, we will never be able to experience all the blessings that God wants to bestow on us. Well, if there was ever an institution designed to kill the selfish you, it’s marriage. In fact, it is virtually impossible to succeed at marriage if you don’t learn how to let the selfish part of you die.

#7. You picked the wrong person because you did not consult with God

“I don’t think I can do any better. He or she said, It may sound cliché, but if you don’t respect and love yourself, it will be difficult to respect and love another person.”

Surely we aren’t destined to fail.  So maybe we have misunderstood the will of God. I know that sounds simplistic. Many people claim that is the problem with their marriage.  If they could go back and press rewind, if they knew back then what they know now, they would have made different decisions. But remember that God promises us that if we ask, He will give. And while asking, request that the Holy Spirit guide you as your Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).

How can a person prevent getting married to the wrong person?

The truth is, a successful marriage is not the result of marrying the “right” person, feeling the “right”emotions, thinking the “right” thoughts, or even praying the “right” prayers,

Instead, keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards,” is good advice (Poor Richard’s Almanac, June 1738), but even more helpful is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Godinterest.

THIS IS WHO YOU ARE – Reigning Daily With Christ by Jide Ogunsakin

Church, Power, Words

Tuesday April, 17

THIS IS WHO YOU ARE

MEMORY VERSE:

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (Psalms 100:3).

TEXT: Psalms 100:1-5

JIDE OGUNSAKIN

PASTOR JIDE OGUNSAKIN Senior Pastor, New Kingdom Church, Pameec Plaza, Wuye, Abuja, Nigeria +234 806 313 4845

The bible made us to understand that Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). In Hebrews 2:11, the bible says that Jesus was not ashamed to call us brethren. Moreover, in Romans 8:17, the bible calls us heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. This affirms that we are truly Jesus’ brethren. Since Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, as His brethren we are of the tribe of Judah. Now, Judah is praise so any time we engage in the lifestyle of praise, we are only exhibiting our nature.

So, if you are not praising God then you are denying your identity. Are you ashamed of who you are? If no then you must live a praiseful life. Until you live a praiseful life, you don’t know who you are yet and if you don’t know who you are you will miss out of the blessings ordained for you. May you not miss your blessings in Jesus name. Every descendant of Judah must be praiseful and until you are praiseful you can’t attract God. As you chose to praise God today, may you attract God. May you enjoy every blessing that is ordained for praiseful people in Jesus name. Remain blessed forever more.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Until you live a praiseful life you can’t attract God.

PRAYER: Father, may I not lose my identity in You. Give me the grace to live a fulfilled life in Jesus name.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 28:15-68     Luke 18:1-30     Psalms 47:1-9

Reigning Daily With Christ-Pastor Jide Ogunsakin

Church, God, personality

Friday April, 13

LET IT TAKE YOU UP

MEMORY VERSE:

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).

JIDE OGUNSAKIN

PASTOR JIDE OGUNSAKIN Senior Pastor, New Kingdom Church, Pameec Plaza, Wuye, Abuja, Nigeria +234 806 313 4845

TEXT: Joel 1:12, Isaiah 12:1-6

We live in a world of endless desires. We want the best cars to drive, best houses to live in, best jobs and best everything. Unfortunately, not many people know the right and easiest way to getting the best out of life. Praise is the ladder to greatness. Your many years of labour cannot give you what a day of praiseful life can give you. Nothing greases life like praise. Just like when a car engine lacks grease, it begins to crack noise and struggles in motion so also will any life which is void of praise struggle endlessly and you know what? If you allow that engine to continue like that, it will definitely crash. Praise is the antidote to the crashing of the engine of man’s destiny. That is why I have mentioned at some point in this devotional that if you are not praiseful you will be grounded. Praiseful people can never head for the crash because God is always there piloting all their endeavours. I pray for you today, whatever is working negatively against your destiny trying to make your life crash receives instant judgment from heaven today. You shall not crash but go forward in Jesus name.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Praiseful people can’t be stranded in life so go forward.

PRAYER:

Father, let it be well with me and all that concerns me. By virtue of Your presence with me may I go forward and not backward in Jesus name.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 19,   20     Luke 15:1-32     Psalms 45:1-9

Reigning Daily With Christ – New Kingdom Church, Wuye, Abuja

Church, Facts, God, Words

JIDE OGUNSAKIN

PASTOR JIDE OGUNSAKIN Senior Pastor, New Kingdom Church, Pameec Plaza, Wuye, Abuja, Nigeria +234 806 313 4845

Thursday April, 12

PRAISE GOD WITH YOUR ALL

MEMORY VERSE:

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name (Psalms 103:1).

TEXT: Psalms 108:1-5

Until you praise God with your all you may never get His all and until you praise Him with your all you may never be made whole. Wholeness is majorly a product of praise that is why only the one leper who returned to give God praise out of the ten was made whole (Luke 17:11-19). Until you praise God spirit, soul and body your praise is not complete. David said: “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” By the way, are your hands within you? Then praise God with them. Are your legs within you? Then praise God with them even in a dance. Is your mouth within you? Then sing songs of praise unto Him. Everything that you have is given to you by God so use them to praise this God that has done you well. The faithfulness of God in your life is enough to attract your wholehearted praises. Don’t forget that God does fearful things in praises (Exodus 15:14). This gives us the assurance that praise is profitable. It will profit you in Jesus name. I don’t care what that challenge of your life may be, as you praise God today, God who only can do fearful things will attend to it in Jesus name.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

God is interested in your praise and He deserves it. Use all you’ve got to praise Him.

PRAYER:

Father, help me to give You acceptable praises today and forever.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 16:21-22,   17,   18   Luke 14:15-35   Psalms 44:13-26

Reigning Daily With Christ- Pastor Jide Ogunsakin

Church, God

Wednesday April, 11

PRAISE CAN HANDLE THE ODDS

MEMORY VERSE:

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods (Psalms 96:4).

JIDE OGUNSAKIN

PASTOR JIDE OGUNSAKIN Senior Pastor, New Kingdom Church, Pameec Plaza, Wuye, Abuja, Nigeria +234 806 313 4845

TEXT:

Psalms 33:1-12

Obstacles are real but more real is the ability of God to put them where they belong. Praise is so powerful and effectual in subduing all obstacles of life. It will interest you to know that praise is much more effectual than the longest fast anyone can engage in. Your greatest obstacle in life will never require more than praise to become a miracle. If through the weapon of praise the wall of Jericho came down flat then through your praise every wall standing on your way to your high places must crumble for your sake. The problem of believers is not lack of solution but either ignorance or refusal to engage the force that will bring their solution their way. Praise is that force that no other force under heaven has the ability to resist. Prayer is good and potent but no matter how fervent it may be it cannot compete with the power of praise. If you want results in all you do then give God praise. If you want results cheaply, praise. If you want life to be sweet for you – you must make life sweet for God through praise. Praise is God’s delight.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Whatever God can handle is what praise can handle.

 PRAYER:

Father, I know my circumstances are not bigger than You, as I praise You today, meet me at the point of my very need in Jesus name.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 15, 16:1-20   Luke 13:31-35, 14:1-14 Psalms 44:1-12

pow

Power of Persistent by Pastor Jide Ogunsakin – +2348063134845

Reigning Daily With Christ -Pastor Jide Ogunsakin New Kingdom Church, Abuja

Church, God, local news

JIDE OGUNSAKIN

PASTOR JIDE OGUNSAKIN Senior Pastor, New Kingdom Church, Pameec Plaza, Wuye, Abuja, Nigeria +234 806 313 4845

Friday April, 6

GIVE GOD HIS DELIGHT

MEMORY VERSE:

…therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (Habakkuk 13:15).

TEXT:

Psalms 34:1-10

The only thing that keeps God on His toes is praise. God can’t see quality praise and remain seated, NEVER! Each time God sees quality praise He goes into action immediately. God is super active and most dangerous at the verge of quality praise. Remember the bible says: “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). Do you want to experience the glory of God? Do you want God to show Himself fearful in the camp of your adversaries? Do you want God to do wondrous things in your life even today? Then give Him heartfelt Praise!!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Praise is a go-getter. You can pray amiss but you can never praise amiss.

PRAYER:

Father, show Yourself fearful in my favour today.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 4:15-49,   5     Luke 11:5-32     Proverbs 8:32-36

REIGNING DAILY WITH CHRIST- Pastor Jide Ogunsakin

Church, God, local news, Words

Thursday April, 5

HUMILIATE YOUR ADVERSARIES

MEMORY VERSE:

Who art thou, O great mountain? BeforeZerubbabel thou shalt become a plain… (Zechariah 4:7).

TEXT: 1st Samuel 17:45-47

Genuine praise givers are praiseful not because they don’t have challenges, but because they know that their challenges are nothing before their God. Amazingly, the more they praise, the more their challenges are being humiliated. The devil is always trembling before praise givers because he cannot predict or understand them.

pow

Power of Persistent by Pastor Jide Ogunsakin – +2348063134845

There was a story of a man who was given a sack letter in the office. The devil thought he had succeeded in stealing his joy but surprisingly, the man rushed down home, gathered his family members and said, “let’s celebrated God I have just been promoted.” They all dance and danced praising God until they got exhausted after which he handed over the sack letter to the wife to her astonishment. Not too long after, he was called upon and was offered a better, bigger and much juicier job. Wow!!!The devil couldn’t stop the praise in his mouth so he couldn’t hinder the blessing in God’s hand from getting to him.

I pray for you today, whatever the devil has stolen from you, it shall be restored unto you hundred folds as you praise God wholeheartedly today. God has never failed, He won’t start with you! Be blessed!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

The wall of Jericho crumbled at the appearance of praise and every other wall can still fall thereby.

PRAYER:

Father, thank You for being there for me. Oh Lord, turn around my captivity today and give me a new song to sing in Jesus name.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 2:24-37, 3, 4:1-14 Luke 10:25-42,11:1-4 Psalms 41:7-13

 

POWER OF PERSISTENT PRAYER

Church, God, Words

  POWER OF PERSISTENT PRAYER-                                                                                       Pastor Jide Ogunsakin  

pow

Power of Persistent by Pastor Jide Ogunsakin – +2348063134845

 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11: 9-10)

Max Lucado told of a church in Scotland back in the 1940s that was  struggling to keep its doors open. A couple of its members were older   ladies who were invalids and couldn’t get out for worship any longer. But these ladies refused to allow their infirmities to get in the way of serving their God. They became convinced that their community needed Jesus desperately and they were going to do something about it. The resolved they were going to pray.

They determined to make their house a house of prayer. Around the clock they prayed for God to do something powerful. Then came one day, one of the ladies became convinced that God wanted a revivalist by the name of Campbell to come and hold meetings at their church. They talked to their preacher and he contacted the evangelist Campbell, but Campbell was unavailable. He was booked around the period.

IMG-20180403-WA0010#1.pngHowever, these women refused to give up on their prayers and it was not long before oddly enough some of Campbell’s other revival dates were cancelled and he eventually decided to accept the invitation of the small church. Upon arrival at the church, Campbell held 5 weeks of meetings in the areas.

The revival was so well received that hundreds showed up each night and lives were so touched that many local taverns had to close shop due to lack of patrons. One might think it was the powerful teachings by the renowned revivalist, but in reality it was due to faithfulness of two invalid old ladies who dedicated themselves to a live of prayers for the church.

Prayer simply defined is a conversation between God and man, -a kind of dialogue where both parties communicate –. In this kind of encounter, requests are made based on belief in God and He guarantees supplies. Petitions are tendered and swift and appropriate justices are dispensed. Questions are asked and answers are provided. In prayer, God is the bigger partner; the benefactor, while the person who prays, is the beneficiary.

Prayers take different forms; this is determined by the situation of the person involved and his/her circumstances. In other words, the pattern or approach to praying is predicated on the nature of a person’s situation. When a man is in a desperate need for divine intervention, persistent  praying become his natural option to succeed. He must indulge in “Pray until something happens”. Some people call this approach “Operation PUSH” an acronym for “Pray Until Something Happens”. In the words of E. M. Bounds, “He who does not push his plea does not pray at all. Cold prayers have no claim on heaven and no hearing in the courts above”. Until our prayer becomes forceful and “pushful” it might have no guarantee of  answers.

Jesus declared that “… from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heavens suffers violence, and the violence takes it by force!” (Matt.11: 12). Nothing describes persistent prayer more aptly than this statement from the lips of Jesus. In its simplest form; it implies that from the time of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven have been experiencing forceful advancement. People who believe have been doing their bits to take the things that belong to them.

 Luke quoted Jesus as saying; “ the law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God has been preached and everyone is pressing into it” (Luke 16:16). This smacks off persistence, insistence, and consistence, until what is promised by God is obtained. This is the reason for the imperative of persistence in prayers in the lives of all Christians today as it has always been in the days of the Apostles.

Why should Prayers Be Persistent?

Prayers should be persistent whenever a situation is desperate and without obvious solutions. Two examples given by our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ when He walked the face of this earth might shed more lights on our understanding of the need for persistence in our prayer lives. These two parables explain what it really means to be persistent in our prayers to God.

The first account is found in the books of Luke 11: 5-8. A man had an august visitor who arrived at past midnight hours. Can you imagine an unexpected important visitor coming to visit after midnight that you just have to entertain while you have the misfortune of having nothing in the house to set before this guest, and given the timing, almost all places to make purchases are closed. But to show his hospitality, this host must do something to save his dear guest from sleeping in hunger. Lacking many options, he remembered his old friend who was most courteous to always have extra bread in case of emergencies like this.

Without much delay he headed for his friend’s house. The situation was desperate and as they say, “Desperate situations require desperate measures”. In this instance his friend was the only person known with supply he urgently needed at that time. On his part, he was determined to do all he could to have this need met. Jesus continued, “this man went to his friend who was already fast asleep and his children well tucked in bed and began to knock at the door”.

Imagine the knocks of a man in utter desperate situation. He pounded loudly on the door until the man who was fast asleep (or so he thought), suddenly woke up and wryly inquired, “who is at the door?” This was the opportunity this desperate friend was waiting for. He longed for a response from within while he knocked unceasingly. Now when the opportunity presented itself, he seized it with both hands.

His answer to the question “who is at the door” was succinct, clear, precise and straight to the point. There was no room for ambiguities. He reeled out his need to the man who had the capacity to meet them. Here is what he said: “will you kindly lend me some loaves of bread? A friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him. Please save me from this embarrassment.”

Remember he did not go to just anyone, he knew that a friend loves at all time, hence he could get some respite from this his friend in his moment of his need. But did he get the expected answers to his request immediately? No; not without some serious persistence at his request. His rind answered him from his bed but the response was not encouraging. It was blunt: “Do not disturb me. I am already asleep and my children are also asleep. I will not be able to get up and give any bread”.

Here is a point; he had some bread right in his pantry, but the trouble was the stress to get up and give the bread to him. The friend was happy to be doubly sure that there was indeed bread to be had in the locked house, so what needed to be done was anything to compel his friend to come out of his bed and grant his request. The secret was to persist in knocking at his door.

As he refused to let off on his knocks, he succeeded in knocking sleep off the eyes of his sleep loving-friend. Eventually, the man reluctantly stood up and gave him as many bread, as he needed. Jesus maintained that: “Though he will not rise and give him bread because they were friends but because of his importunity, he rose and gave him as he needed”

The power of persistency is really unstoppable. Even people who are heartless, unloving, uncaring and wicked will normally yield to persistent requests, let alone God who is caring, loving, and righteous. He will always answer us speedily.

The second example of persistence in supplication that Jesus taught is found in Luke 18: 1-8. In this beautiful passage Jesus expressed the purpose of the parable in the very first verse: “… men ought to pray and not faint, or lose heart or give up”. Prayer is the only means by which mortal men communicate with immortal God. It is the process by which the       visible talk to the invisible; divinity answers humanity; and problems that look as if they defy normal solutions receives prompt attention and are solved. Jesus was thus emphatic on the need for unbroken prayer chain, which should never give rooms for doubt that might abort the conversation.

Jesus cited the example of a poor widow in illustrating the power of persistence in request. He noted that the poor and hapless woman was facing an impossible situation with this judge sitting over her case. The judge antecedent was indeed quite overwhelming and depressing. He was reputed to neither fear God nor regard men. She knew this judge well and was aware of what she was up against.

Determined to face all consequences squarely and banking on help of God’s providence, she prayed for a positive outcome at the end. She was optimistic that she will have a win at the end of her trial and have the last laugh. Did she really achieve this? The end of the story assured us that her prayers were not in vain, as she did won the case against her. She had gone to the judge with only one request: ”Avenge me of my adversary!” That summed it all up in a short, precise and direct request.

Her adversary was probably making life difficult for her and possibly her children. Her unfavourable condition of being a widow made her vulnerable in the society. She needed and requested protections from her adversaries who were threatening her life. This judge was the only who could meet her need, though the most callous she could find.

Jesus informs us that this judge initially paid little attention to her or to her requests. He openly despised, ignored and bluntly refused to do what she was asking him to do for her, leaving her to her fate. Yet she never quit, never give up and retreat to face her fate alone. She continued to insist on the need for the judge to answer her and avenge her of her adversary. Her need justified her continuous supplication and actions. To her desperate issues must be met with desperate measures. As afar as she was concerned, the judge was her only hope of surviving in the land, and she cared less about his personality or moods, either he was good natured or heartless, all she wanted was justice.

Her undying persistence finally wore out the judge’s resistance; he gave in. Her refusal to give up her petitions, gave him no option but to hear and accede to them. She won a hard fought battle and had the last laugh. Jesus noted that the judge did not give up without seriously rebuffing this hapless widow. He discovered to his chagrin that this widow was no push over, – a woman that cannot be ignored- His resistance was waned down by her persistence.

The judge realizing the need to achieve a win-win situation; –for him to have peace and rest of mind he must address the widow’s pleas- he was pressured to finally listen to her pleas and attend to her needs. He acceded unto her supplications and she was satisfied and     happily left him to his other duties. So both won in the end; the judge his peace of mind from the pestering widow and the widow won her case in his court.

Our attention was drawn by Jesus to a statement credited to the judge when he thought aloud: “Even though I do not fear God nor regard men but because this woman keeps troubling me, I will avenge her lest by her continuous coming she wears me out”. Jesus commented, “Hear what the unjust judge said, and shall not God avenge his own elect who cry out to him day and night even though he bear long with them? I tell you He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes shall He find faith in the earth?” The lesson Jesus was teaching us here is that God is not wicked and heartless to keep ignoring our prayers like the unjust judge did.

Jesus assured us that: “God will hear speedily, as many as cry to Him day and Night”. Persistent prayer is a powerful prayer tool that we must use consistently; and God is ever there to answer us speedily.

Another good example of persistence in prayer in the Bible was demonstrated by Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:41-45). Prophet Elijah and King Ahab needed rain after three years of continuous drought in Israel. Elijah bent down on the ground putting his face between his knees. Elijah prayed and asked his servant to go out and look towards the sea for cloud and a sign of rain as answer to his supplication. The servant returned and reported that there was no sign at all.

Elijah was not dissuaded by this setback, but kept on praying with expectation. He sent his servant again and again until he got a favourable answer to his fervent prayers. Finally, his servant looked towards the sea seven times before the rain clouds were sighted. Elijah never waivered in his prayers, he would not give up and doubt his beliefs hence he got the answer to his persistent prayers. Without doubts in his heart, his total expectation and confidence in the Almighty God provoked the desired results at the end.

I will love to close this chapter with a testimony of a sister as shared with my father in the Lord, Pastor E. A. Adeboye:

This sister and her blind mother lived in a rented apartment. One fateful day, the landlord came and threatened to throw them out of the house due to the fact that they owed him huge some of money as rent. The landlord there and then gave them an ultimatum to either pay up what they owe by 12 noon the following day or be violently thrown out of the house. The sister cried unto God in clear terms, saying, “O Lord, where will I go with my blind mother? O god, you have until 12 noon tomorrow to send us help’. She prayed fervently and later dropped off to sleep that night. She was woken the next morning by an aroma coming from the directions of the kitchen, wondering who could be cooking in her kitchen since she lived alone with her mother who was blind and could not cook in her condition.

To her utmost surprised when she made her way into the kitchen, she     discovered her mother was the person preparing their breakfast. Her blind mother has been miraculously healed during the night by God, and could now see. Their mouths were filled with joy. In that great mood, they sat down to eat with their faith renewed, strengthened and broadened. Before she started eating, he said a quick prayer: “God, if you could open the eyes of my mother, then I know that the money with which we shall pay the rent will arrive before 12noon”.

Shortly before they finished their meal, the doorbell rang, and it was the postman who had come to deliver a letter. She received the letter and when she opened it she discovered miracle number two: in the envelope was a cheque; and the amount on the cheques was not only enough to clear their backlog of rent but enough to actually buy off the house.

Things to Remember:

  • When a man is in a desperate need for divine intervention, persistent prayer becomes his natural option.
  • He who does not push his plea does not pray at all. Cold prayers have no claim on heaven and no hearing in the courts above.
  • The prayer of persistence is imperative in the life of the Christian today as it has always been.
  • The power of persistency is unstoppable. It does not take no for an answer.
  • Even a man that is heartless, unloving, uncaring and wicked will yield to persistence, let alone God who is caring, loving, and righteous.