Posted in christian

The Head Boy

Photo by Terricks Noah on Unsplash

Year 1

Ekene walked into the school with his head bent slightly to the right. A shy 10-year-old boy, who couldn’t look down like he wanted, or he would hit something or someone head-on. He needed to focus on the path to the assembly hall for registration. He stopped and turned back, hoping his mother was done parking her car and would be behind him. She wasn’t.

He turned back to continue on his path and bumped into somebody. Ekene fell to the ground on his hands as he heard laughter. He checked his hands, which stung where they contacted the harsh concrete floor, and turned to look at the boy in front of him. The boy stepped forward and bent towards him.

“Watch where you are going, stupid, or next time, more than your hands will hurt.” He said and walked over Ekene and away.

Ekene’s mother hurried towards him and helped him up, upset at his clumsiness. Ekene didn’t tell her the truth. He agreed he had been clumsy and blamed himself. However, the accidents with the boy, Emem, didn’t stop there. Emem happened to be his classmate and continued picking on Ekene until their teacher stepped into the matter that year.

Year 2

“Ekene, what happened to your face?” His mother asked one afternoon after he returned home from school.

“Nothing, Mama, I fell,” Ekene said.

“What a fall that must have been. Come here, let me take a closer look.”

Ekene shuffled to where she stood and stopped, waiting for her to speak. She didn’t for a while but turned around and reached for the First Aid box in the kitchen drawer.

“Do you want me to speak to your teacher about this?” She asked.

“No, Mummy, please don’t. They will call me a Mummy’s boy, which would be worse. You said when we are weak, God shows up, I waited, and God didn’t show up today. I promise to tell my teacher myself if it gets worse, and don’t tell Daddy too, please, God may show up another day.”

His mother nodded. Her inner struggle angry, almost unforgiving. She decided on a course of action and visited the school to see the boy’s teacher the next day, without Ekene’s knowledge. The following week, Emem called him Mummy’s boy and made his friends laugh at Ekene for a while.

Year 3

Ekene watched his mother rush into the Principal’s office. The pain that gripped him at the look on her face far exceeded the suffering he experienced from the injuries he suffered. He bent his head and refused to look at her any further.

“Welcome, Mrs. Okoro. I am sorry we are meeting again on this note, but we need to deal with this issue.” The Principal said, gesturing to the seat before him.

“Hello sir, what’s the problem? Who beat my son this way, what’s happening here? Ekene’s mother asked, flustered and upset, unable to sit.

“Ekene fought a student in his class; however, the boy invited his friends to join him and the beat Ekene together. I have sanctioned the boy and his friends, and I must do the same to Ekene, to be fair.”

The mother looked at her son. “Ekene, is it the same boy who bullied you last year?”

Ekene remained quiet.

“I asked you a question, young man?” His mother said, in a tone, Ekene knew well.

“Yes, mum.”

She turned to the Principal. “How is a gang of boys beating my son, fair? This boy has been bullying Ekene since last year, and the school did nothing. Now, you want to sanction my son? How is that fair?”

“I know you are upset, but please believe that we cannot punish one without punishing the other. I am also unaware of any bullying, and I will get to the root of that matter later.”

Ekene’s mother walked out of the Principal’s office, holding her son’s hand.

Year 4

“I trusted God for years, but He didn’t lift a finger to help me, so I tried to fight for myself last year, and that didn’t turn out well either,” Ekene said to his friends.

“So, because they beat you up, it means God didn’t help you?” Chiazo asked.

“Chiazo, if God helped him, would he have been beaten up?” Donald, another friend, asked, shaking his head.

“So, God didn’t help Joseph, Moses, and His son, Jesus?” Chiazo asked again.

“Those people are different, and that was another time. We are talking about help for now.” Donald said.

Chiazo looked at Ekene, who was looking at him. The look said all Chiazo wanted to know, Ekene had caught on. So he turned to Donald.

“Sometimes, God allows things for a reason. It’s left to us to ask, understand, and believe, that regardless of what we go through, He is working all things out for our good. Our Sunday school teacher taught this last Sunday. You should join us there.”

Donald hissed. “Church talk. Our guy needs serious help. If we hadn’t arrived on time, Emem and his friends would have beaten him brown and black.”

“Exactly,” Ekene said, smiling, “God showed up on time.”

Year 5

Ekene shook with fear as he faced Emem. The hateful look on the boy’s face disturbed him more than the rope they tied around his body. This time, he didn’t know how far Emem would go.

Emem turned and walked to the only table in the abandoned building they brought Ekene to, to teach him a lesson. He chose a long and sturdy whip with thistles, and turned back to their captive with a smile.

“I have hated you since day one. You used your weak demeanor to gain favor with teachers. I am tired of tolerating your nonsense. I warned you that if you passed into Year 6 with us, I would deal with you. Not only did you pass, but you did in rainbow colors, to taunt me. You will never raise your head again when I walk past after this lesson.”

They stuffed Ekene’s mouth with dirty socks so that he couldn’t shout and once he saw Emem raise the stick, hot liquid passed out of his body.

“Stop there!” Someone shouted from outside the room.

All the boys ran, and some jumped out of the windowless holes in the wall.

“Emem, I know you are the one with the stick. If you run, your punishment will be worse.”

Emem still ran and jumped. Whoever it was couldn’t prove he was the culprit, and if the school made too much noise, his parents knew how to silence them.

The Principal walked into the building and saved the day, or did he? He helped Ekene to the dispensary and asked the boy to lie down until his parents came.

The next day, the school authorities expelled Emem and all the boys in his group. The Principal had proof to substantiate all the stories he heard about the gang. Ekene sailed into his sixth year as Head Boy, unharmed.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

Agreeing with God

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The piece of paper stuck to his hand, held in place by shock. The tears flowed, blotting the paper and forming pools of transparent material, unnoticed by the mourner. Ronald couldn’t perceive the stench of urine, which littered the toilet cubicle’s floor or hear people’s movement in and out of the men’s toilet. His gaze fixed on the paper, by now unseeing, his mind far, far away.

His baby girl gained admission into a primary school, and his wife needed money to resume business after the pandemic. After three months of remote work and half-pay, he started working again, firing to go, ready to put in his all, and grateful for an opportunity most lost. Ronald didn’t see it coming.

His manager, Lola, called him into her office, and it surprised him to find the H.R. Manager there as well, seated. When she asked him to sit, Lola’s tone made him look at her again, forgetting the invitation offered.

“Ronald, sit.” The H.R. manager, Paul said.

Ronald did, looking at Lola, what he expected to find on her face, he didn’t know. Lola looked at Paul, a pleading look on her face. Paul delivered the blow, efficient in his strategy, mastered over time. He sounded professional and empathetic, but firm in his wish for Ronald’s best in his future endeavors, elsewhere.

Ronald turned back to Lola, and she turned away to check her computer, not before he saw the tears swimming at the back of her eyes.

“But Lola, we discussed this. You said Management stopped the staff reductions, and you told me we were safe.” Ronald said, his voice louder than usual.

Lola turned back to him, the love of a sister in her eyes. Paul kept quiet, knowing Lola had to deal from that point onward.

“The decision was made this morning, Ronald. I wasn’t at the Management meeting and didn’t know. I am so sorry. It is well, though. The company will give you excellent recommendation, and I will send your C.V. to all my friends. It is well, please believe it.” She said, holding his hand.

Paul moved two sheets of paper on the table to Ronald. “Please sign these. You can read them, and ask me questions. I am here for you.”

Ronald moved them closer and picked the pen lying on Lola’s table. He signed both documents, and handed one back to Paul, silent, the weight of his circumstances crashing on him in stages. He hit stage two at that point.

“I am sorry, Ronald, but you have 20 minutes to pack your personal belongings, drop the company assets in your care, and leave the building,” Paul said, standing to leave. He took Ronald’s hand from where it hung limp and shook him with strength.

“You are not alone, my friend. We are with you and will do our best to see you established in another place. Lola, please collect the items from him. I will send someone for them later.” Paul said, looking at Ronald’s bent head before he walked out.

“Ronald, be strong. Remember the verses of scripture we discussed this morning?” Lola asked, looking at him, hoping to find light in her friend’s eyes.

Ronald nodded, unable to look at her. “Give me ten minutes, and I will be back with all you need.” He said, his voice shaking.

Ten minutes later, he was still in the toilet cubicle, and the tears had not stopped. He didn’t know who to talk to, so he spoke to the only one who knew and understood everything he felt.

“Father, I can’t believe it. I thought I was safe, my future secure. Everything has crumbled before me, and I am assailed by worry for Tina and Ebiere. What do I tell them? Will I have enough money for Ebiere’s school fees before she resumes? How will we survive this, and for how long? I lay my life before you, father. Help me overcome. I need your strength now.”

He lay before God in His heart and worshipped when something he said hit him. Had his job become his security? Did he agree with that false statement? Didn’t the word of God say that the word of God formed worlds? Would he stay down in depression, allowing the devil to build strongholds in his mind?

Ronald shook himself awake, then stood up straight. The odor of the toilet penetrated his consciousness, and he unlocked the door fast and fled. He walked to his table, not noticing the stares from his colleagues, and packed as people patted him on the back and wished him well. Ronald smiled at them while meditating on the word God had given from the beginning of the week. The more he thought about them, piecing them together, he could see a map in his mind leading him from start to finish, showing him how God prepared him for the event of that day.

God’s peace settled in his mind. God’s wisdom and understanding ushered light into his darkness. He picked his things and walked to Lola’s office, and hugged her with a smile.

“I cried o; it was such a shock.” He said with a short burst of laughter. “God has been preparing me for this, but I didn’t know. I am alright, Lola. He is my strength, now more than ever. Shouldn’t we rejoice in times such as this when his strength can be manifest in our weakness? Thank you for everything, greet Tunde, and kiss the kids for me. We will talk soon; my twenty minutes are up.” He said, smiling as Lola’s head continued to bob up and down at his words, the tears shimmering in her eyes, and her smile wide. He turned and left, but she called his name at the door.

“God bless you, my brother, and friend. God’s strength is showing in your weakness. I bless God for your life.” She said.

He nodded, with a smile and walked out, head held high.

Till next time, be transformed!!!

Posted in christian

The Identity Error

Photo by Max Chen on Unsplash

The Pastor stopped speaking mid-sentence again, a frown on his face as he looked up at the door to his office. He turned back to the man seating before him, a smile in place.
“Forgive me; I need to call my assistant.”
“Please do, Pastor.”
The Pastor picked up the intercom and pressed three buttons and waited.
“Sandra, what’s the commotion outside my office about?” He asked and listened for a bit. “Let her come in next. Apologize to the next in line, and I’ll take care of it.” He said and hung up.
The Pastor continued his counseling session, and in five minutes, the man was out of his office. Someone knocked twice.
A smart young woman dressed in a business suit walked in with a smile and went straight to sit. The Pastor noted all that, smiling as well.
“Good afternoon, Pastor.”
“Hello, what’s your name?”
“Kate Gilbert, Pastor.”
“Tell me about yourself. May I call you Kate?”
She nodded. “I’m single, and I work in an Oil company as their Legal representative. I’m supposed to be at work in two hours, so I had to hurry through the queue.”
The Pastor smiled. “Did my assistant inform you that you can schedule another time for this meeting since you are in a hurry?”
“She did, but I decided it’s best to get it over with fast. I don’t know when next I will be in Church for a service, with all the workload I have piled up. However, it doesn’t mean my tithes and offerings won’t hit the account on time.” She said, smiling at him.
The Pastor smiled again at her response, and looked downward, rubbing his forehead with three fingers. He looked up again, and this time the smile was gone.
“Kate, here, we work on building the internal, the spirit-man. We are not after your tithes and offerings. They are just bonuses from God. We are aiming at letting the person of the spirit live and thrive.” He said, nodding as he spoke. “Do you understand?”
“I understand. Man has a spirit, and we communicate with God as spirits.”
“Yes, we want to work with you to help you grow to the point where you can stand before God for yourself, anytime and anywhere. We want people to miss service, not because of their workload, but because they have cleared it with God first. I want you to give your tithes and offerings, not according to laws you have known but on God’s instructions. Our prayers are for members to grow in Christ and become joints that provide straight from the throne of grace.”
“Pastor, is this what you say to every new member?”
“Everyone without fail. I want to ask you a question, how long ago did you give your life to God?”
“Well, it’s been about four or five years.”
“When you gave your life to God, you became a new man, correct?”
“Have you tried to find out about the new person you have become in Christ? What this person looks like and should be?”
Kate laughed, shaking her head. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this. My friend told me you pray, and it works, and things happen here. I don’t know why you are asking all these questions? Do I seem like a pagan because I work?” She got up and picked her bag, turning to leave.
“Before you go, I have a question. What picture comes to mind when you think about life in Christ?”
She turned back to him. “God is our father and loves us. So I think about a loving and merciful father, who wants me to be happy.”
“Yes, but what were you created in Christ to become for God’s kingdom? God couldn’t have created everybody on the earth to soak in love and happiness forever. There is a reason for your creation, and joy comes in that state of enlightenment. Tell me, are you happy all the time?”
“That’s why you are here, Pastor. I work and bring in the money, while you pray and ensure I keep my job, which benefits the Church, making me happy.”
The Pastor laughed; he couldn’t help himself.
“Kate, that’s not what Christ died to achieve. We are all to stand before God, as parts of Christ’s body. You have a gift, I have mine, and we are all supposed to tend them and bear fruit for the kingdom. All you have to talk about is what God has seen fit to add to your life. Please don’t get me wrong, the additions are good, but that’s all they are. If one dies today, someone else will provide as God leads. However, your identity in God is of utmost importance, not your status here on earth or what it provides. Seek first, Kate, seek first.”
Kate looked down and clutched her bag tight. “Can we talk again, I’m running late?”
The Pastor smiled at her bent head. “Of course, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here. Please schedule another meeting with my assistant. I want to talk to you again.
Kate looked up at him and nodded, then turned and left the office.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

What If?


What if there is a place
Beyond this space
Where a feast of courses awaits
The Father invites us by grace

Our eyes are veiled,
The enemy holds us down in straits
Though the Father beckons,
We cannot look up and partake

Here the pall of doom hangs over us
The shadow of darkness intimidates us
The place is higher than eyes can see
Where he conquered death, all voices raised in glee

Our Father has wiped our tears
He removed our disgrace and eased our fears
How can we find it and be saved?
The Son died and saved us rooms in God’s enclave

Isaiah 25:6-10

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

On Becoming…More like Him

Photo by Lina Volkmann on Unsplash

She strode to the exit; the doorman knew his job. He saw her coming, and at her expression, ran to open her car door once she made it past the automatic doors. Natalie slid into the back of her S560 without a word, her red Louboutins, the last thing the man saw before closing the door. The engine purred to life, and her driver maneuvered the machine away from the building.

The car rolled away, moving without bumps on the roads made for the wealthy, in their part of the city. Natalie had attended an introductory meeting to meet the hotel owner, the Chairman of the estate, where she wanted to live. When such an invitation was issued, you would be required to explain yourself, and Natalie prepared for the meeting like she was going to meet with God.

Over time, she learned what she needed to stay in the limelight. The right clothes, bags, shoes, other accessories in their season, and the right events. The right neighborhood, neighbors, and friends. It got her some attention, but not the one she wanted, and sought. Anyone could be affluent, but not every rich person could join the MVPs.

She sat up, unable to relax in the car’s plush leather seat, scowling as she remembered the Chairman’s office. Nothing unexpected there. The light husky scent, the high-backed leather chairs and the rug that looked torn from the back of an animal. She also noticed the view from the glass walls and the wooden table and chair set, covered with stretched leather. It was all the same, the look of incomparable wealth, but if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

The man did not smile an iota, unimpressed by her as she had been by him. Nothing differentiated him from others, except the wealth he inherited from his forebears. What gave him the right to look down at her with his bull-dog nose, hunched over fleshy lips?

She smiled in disbelief at herself, settling into the seat’s cold embrace as the car sped past the junction, which marked the end of the estate, and immediately ran a gallop. The smile turned into a hiss.

“Sorry, madam.” The driver said, trying his best not to look at the rear-view mirror.

“If my mind is not on the road, does that permit your mind to wander, Ben? Don’t stop there, drive off the bridge when you get there. I know how busy you are in your dream world.” She said, with another hiss.

The meeting left a sour note in her mind, and she would have cleaned the event off the annals of history if she could. How could people sit and judge others by their pedigree and the schools they attended? Who judged them? When she remembered how Otunba glanced with absolute boredom at her credentials and had the nerve to look at her and ask, “anything else?” she wanted to die.

She built those credentials over time. In pain, in sickness, sacrificing everything to be one of them. He made it look like nothing because her father wasn’t rich enough, and she attended local schools. Natalie clenched her teeth and swore never to put herself out there like that again. To be humiliated by another human being, one so blind, he couldn’t see her power in her struggle, was an insult. Not from him, she insulted herself.

“Never again.” She said.

Once at the office, she took the back elevator, not wanting to see anyone. Chioma, her business partner, and a close friend sat cross-legged on the settee in her office when she got there.

Natalie smiled, grateful.”Have you been waiting?”

Chioma sat up with a smile as she looked at Natalie’s face. “No, there was a problem with the financier in Switzerland, I stayed back to deal with it. You have to do something about that guy; his rates keep hiking. Anyway, how did it go?”

Natalie sat behind her table, quiet for a while. Everything she achieved seemed insignificant to someone else.

“One man’s meat.” She said, looking at Chioma, her half-smile sad.

Chioma rose from the chair and took a seat before her friend at the table. “I’m sorry, babe. Is there anything I can do?”

“Chioma, I can’t believe he didn’t even look at my work. The man glossed over the proposal I put forward for the estate. Imagine the insult, because I want to live there? I can never be enough for these people, and they will never accept me for who I have become.”

“I’m sorry he made you feel that way.”

“Why can’t I be like you, huh, why?” Natalie said, in a mock-cry of frustration.

Chioma laughed. “To be honest, babe, that’s the problem.”

Natalie drew her chair forward, wanting to hear more.

“All your life, you’ve been set on becoming the picture of success the world presents. You wanted to look like the people you saw in pictures, movies, high-powered meetings, and even our high-powered clients. When will we see Natalie, the real you?”

Natalie’s eyes narrowed, and she sat back in her chair. “If you’ve not seen her, those glasses of yours are fake.”

Chioma smiled. “What are you going to do now?”

“Nothing, I’m staying in my house. I don’t need anybody else to insult me.”

Chioma rose and went around the table to hug her friend from behind. “You know God loves you just the way you are, right? I love you second.” She said as she gave Natalie a peck.

“Lies, politician. You love your guy and twins more than life itself. Go home and take care of them.”

Chioma smiled, knowing when to excuse herself. “I’m off.” She said, and left.

Natalie turned her chair round to the view of the city behind her. The truth of Chioma’s words sinking past skin, and bones. The need to appear bourgie left her feeling tired, old age perhaps. Today, the meeting taught her a lesson about wanting to be in another person’s crowd when she could create her own. All her life, she tried to fit into a mold that kept spitting her out, and for what?

“Why not? Why can’t I have my people? The ones who love and accept me the way I am?” She asked.

Natalie imagined wearing jeans and a tee-shirt to work and laughed. She didn’t think she could be like Chioma. However, being herself wasn’t a physical thing; it was more internal. She started thinking about who God created her to be. How would that person look? How would she think, dress, talk, and behave?

The relief she felt about leaning away from the obsession to be like, and better than others, staggered her. Natalie knew she would still stick her head up at the new deals her stylist presented, but knowing she was much more, made her smile. She was more than her clothes, accessories, and toned body. She was a spirit, and the time had come to let that person live.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian


Photo by Ruel Calitis on Unsplash

Estelle walked through the gate, and the world changed. She stepped into another realm, one bursting with color. It brought a smile so bright, the joy of it filled her heart. Her colorless clothes before the gate had changed. The white of her shirt dazzled her eyes, and she had never seen the blueish hue of her jeans before. The greenish color of the grass emitted life, and one could see the trees’ sturdiness from the brownish shades of their barks. The whites from the clouds formed enough light with their bluish undertones that there seemed to be no need for the sun. Flowers in reds, golden yellows, brilliant purples, and baby pinks filled the panoramic view, as Estelle walked on a path created, as if for sight-seeing.

She continued forward, savoring every sight, smell, and even the air filled her lungs with clean, clear, life. She laughed, filled with the new life inside her. Estelle followed the path in this joyous state, till she turned into a bend and stopped dead. The black and white world replaced the picturesque view behind her. A market bustled before her, people walked here and there, going about their businesses. Life progressed in the dull world, and it seemed odd to her that people overlooked the domain popping with color right before them.

She made to turn back, when she heard her name. Estelle turned to see a man dressed in white all-through, standing right before her. She stepped back fast, wondering at his speed when he smiled. This man looked ordinary, nothing differentiated him from others, but the smile he gave her spoke volumes. It spoke of peace, security, and trustworthiness, all for her.

“Walk with me.” He said, stretching out his hand to her.

She laid her hand in his, agreeing to believe in the comfort his smile provided. He drew her into the drab world of the market and turned back to her.

“Follow me.”

The difference between them and the market place became apparent as she followed. Both of them retained the bright colors of the world she left behind, while the world they walked in, had none. She followed the man, moving past people who saw her, but not what made her different. She mulled over this, not noticing the man had stopped until he held out a hand to stop her approach.

“Watch, be alert.” He said, and she nodded.

“You will encounter certain things on your way, but do not be afraid, they will not harm you, and I will be with you.”

“If you are with me, and you know these things will happen, why let them?”

“Trust me. Watch and see.”

He smiled as he turned back and continued moving. Estelle followed, and once she stepped on the path, a wheelbarrow carrying sand hit her, knocking her off her feet. She didn’t feel the blow or the sand on her body, and before people gathered, the man smiled as he bent to her, giving her his hand. She stood and calmed the bystanders, showing them she was okay. The man held her hand and walked her through the crowd, and they were on their way again.

“What did you notice?” He said, letting go of her as they walked.

“The wheelbarrow came at me with force, but I neither felt the blow, nor the sand stain on my clothes. I just dusted them off. How is that possible?”

“You are not alive in this world.” He said, looking at her.

“What does that mean, am I dead?”

“Yes, in a sense. Dead to one world and alive in another.”

Estelle let out a deep breath. “And it’s just the two of us?”

“No, there are others. I am walking you through this, teaching you how to live again.”

“Am I dead?”

“Not as the world understands it. Walk with me, and I will show you more as we go.”

He stretched out his hand again, and she took it, but this time, there was a hesitation. He smiled.

Estelle fell into a ditch, which she walked out of without a scratch and was accosted by pickpockets, whom she allowed until they went their way. Through these tests, the man stood by her side, smiling. Estelle had to smile back at the ease with which she scaled through her problems.

They walked to the market gate and stopped, and the man turned back to her.

“Conqueror.” He said, smiling.

Estelle smiled, too, not thinking beyond the present use of the word.

“We are going somewhere else. Follow me.”

The man stepped out of the market gate and took a right. Something about the road looked familiar, but Estelle couldn’t place where she had seen it before. He stopped in front of a hospital, looked at her, and smiled, then walked in. They walked past patients, nurses, and doctors, two flights up the stairs, and then they stood in front of a room.

“When we get in there, ask any questions you want because the people there can’t hear us.”

She nodded, and he gave her a look with such compassion, it almost made her cry. He looked at her like he knew something about her she didn’t know and was trying to relay without words that he loved her, and she would be okay. He held the doorknob when she blurted out the first question in her mind.

“Who are you?”

“The lover of your soul. The shepherd who will leave his 99 to save only you.”

He didn’t wait for her response; he opened the door and walked into the room. She stood there, piecing the information together, ingesting, but not understanding. She walked into the room and halted at the door. Her mother slept in a chair, next to someone lying on the bed, hooked to different machines. Estelle walked towards her mother to discover why she was there when she stopped as she saw the patient’s face. She was looking at her self.

“Ask.” The shepherd said.

“Why am I here?” She said, not knowing which version of here she referred to in her confusion.

“Your body is hooked to the machines. Your spirit is with me.”

She looked at him, as the truth about his identity dawned on her. She nodded to herself in understanding.

“I am still alive.”


“Why the tour?”

“To show you what abiding in me is like.”

“I didn’t feel a thing because my spirit lived through those experiences, not my body,” she said, looking at him, enlightened.

“Yes, and so it should be. In this world, tribulations will come, but I have shown you that with me, you can get up, dust them off, and keep going.”

“So, I can dust this experience off?” She said, pointing at her body on the bed.

“What do you think?”

She could hear the smile in his voice, he did that a lot. She smiled back.

“I think I can, knowing you are by my side.”

He beamed at her, his smile a promise, and disappeared. Once he left, Estelle lost consciousness, and the next time she opened her eyes, her body was attached to machines.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. ‘ Colossians 3:3

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

Today: A Story of Joy

My waking up process is slow. A song of praise plays in my heart, as I start to devote myself to God. It’s a habit for my mind to shift from dreams and nothingness into my Father’s presence. I worship, though my body is still at rest, between sleep and full awareness. The peace from being in His presence keeps me positioned in place, though not unwilling to face the day, no longer afraid of what it might bring.

I have two children, an absent husband and next to nothing in the bank, but the day dawns, and the sun shines in its glory. I rise from my position, and I start my morning routine: I have children to feed and care for, a house to manage and washing to do for my customers.

In another time, with another mindset, I would be in a state of panic. How will we survive? Today, I walk into the bathroom, thankful the house is small, almost cramped so that I can move around fast. I brush my teeth and nod my head to the songs I downloaded into my phone, worship songs that position my heart. I hurry through my bath routine, so I can be ready for the children when they wake up.

I meditate on a scripture verse at the back of my mind, somewhere in Matthew, 6 or 7, as I go about my day. I make breakfast and get the children ready, still enveloped in the peace only God gives. I ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom while I meditate. A while later, the children are doing homework, and I turn to the job that pays some bills.

The verse starts with, “do not worry about tomorrow…”

I haven’t lived very long, but my experiences, good and bad, shine bright with the scarlet color of the grace of God. My life is full of snapshots of His salvation, from the smallest of situations to grand events, all pointing to one truth; God is with me. He has taught me grace, a speck of it, but enough to learn to wait on Him. I look up from my task outside the house, and I give thanks as understanding dawns.

I have today. His grace and mercies are new today. In my weakness, He is my strength today. There is no need to worry about tomorrow. Since God has not revealed tomorrow’s ways or events, I will only look to today.

I feel grace puts me in an out-of-body experience. My body is on the earth, but I am above, looking down at myself. My body may be sick, and I may have nothing in the bank with a future that seems bleak, while the person looking down (my spirit) is thriving. My spirit rejoices in the grace available, the mercies, God’s kindness, and strength working together for my good. Joy seeps through the barriers and shields of questions and lies told by what I see, hear and feel, permeating to the physical.

Today, I chose to rejoice and be glad in the circumstances in which I find myself because my light has come, and the glory of the Lord will arise.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian


Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

The heat beat their sweat-drenched backs as if as a punishment from the sun. Used to the scorching rays, they continued weeding in their father-in-law’s farm. In unity, the women worked together, understanding the starting point and when to end work for the day. To watch them work, one would believe they were of one mind, but the painting their bodies depicted was different from their thought processes.

Ada worked on the farm, and weeded out problems from her mind, casting them down like strongholds. Ure planned on weeding her problems out with the help of Ugo, the local truck driver. On closer inspection, one would notice that though occupied, Ada worked with a system in mind, and the weeded out grassland showed her result. Not so for Ure, who could taste and feel her freedom, disregarding the task before her.

Ure stood and looked around, breathing in the fresh air. She longed for the day to come when she would never have to smell the soil. She looked at the land she worked on with Ada, and smiled on all the fruit and crops they worked hard to harvest over time, and how it helped their husbands’ family survive. She frowned, remembering culture laid the family’s survival on their backs. Two young, naive girls, married into a family of generational drunks, taught from birth to seek the easy life. Well, no more. She had reached the end of the line.

She looked over at Ada, who still worked on her side and shook her head. Did the girl have no plans, no ambitions? She bent down and continued working, an idea forming in her mind.

“What was Nne saying about looking up, during bible study today?” Ure asked.

Ada didn’t stop working. “We should look up to God for everything. We need His help.”

“I wonder why she doesn’t drum that into her sons’ ears. They need Him more than most.”

Ada remained silent.

“Don’t you ever get tired of it all? From morning till night, the endless work, even to the bedroom’s demands, when one is tired out? We make the family prosper while they grow fat on the crops we harvest, cook, and pass before them to eat. Doesn’t it seem unfair to you?”

Ada stopped working, and grabbed the water bottle she hitched to the side of her torn jeans, with the cloth tied around her. She closed her eyes as the freshwater sated her dry tongue and prayed for wisdom. Finished, she closed the bottle, and tied it to her jeans again.

“Ure, look around you. Stop and look around this farm.” Ada said, looking at her sister-in-law. The request, a demand.

Ure stood, looked around, and back at Ada.

“We did this together. When we started working on this farm, it seemed barren, and you know how long it took before it yielded fruit. God made it happen for us by His grace. Some families don’t have this testimony. Some don’t have food on the table, not to talk of what to sell in the market. Why don’t you look at life like that and praise God? He has sustained our family, does it matter how He did it, or through whom?” Ada asked.

They stood looking at each other for a while, the rhythmic pacing of their drawn breaths different, one faster than the other. The quick breather looked around again; the truth of the words spoken was evident; however, the distance from her present to freedom was too small to consider such inconsequential facts. Ure dulled her mind just before they heard someone calling her name.

They turned, not answering, looking out to the tarred road, broken in places due to erosion. Ugo huffed and puffed as he walked up the road, muttering to himself. They watched him stop, shout Ure’s name, hiss, and continue on his way up.

Ada looked at Ure. “Why are you not answering?”

Ure’s hoe fell from her hand. Freedom had come for her. She didn’t know how to feel or what to do. She rushed to her clothes, picked them up, stuffed them into the bag she brought her farm clothes in, and did not bother to change. She wore her sandals and raced back to Ada.

“Come with me. Ugo has come to take me away from here. We will look after you till you find a man who will love and care for you the way Ugo loves me. Please, come now.” Ure said, pleading as she held Ada’s hand, almost tugging her.

Ada disengaged her hand, her mouth widening. “You mean you are leaving the village? With Ugo? This one?”

The disdain apparent in Ada’s estimation of Ugo angered Ure.

“Yes, he loves me and buys me things. He tells me I am beautiful and that he will take care of me if we live together in the city, far away.”

Ada held Ure’s hand tight and looked into her eyes. “What about your husband, your ailing mother? You can’t just leave.”

“I have been shouting your name from Akporo junction to this place,” Ugo said, stopping to catch his breath. “Why are you not answering, my wife?”

Ure snatched her hand away from Ada and moved to stand in front of Ugo, touching his chest.

“Forgive me, my husband. I was saying goodbye to my sister.”

Ugo looked at Ada, a smile forming on his wide face. His appreciation of her visible in the way his eyes slid over her.

“Well done, sister. How are you?” He asked his eyes on her chest.

“I am fine, but how is it that another man’s wife has become yours without any dowry returned to her husband or paid to her family? Is that how to marry?” Ada said, her hands on her hips.

Ure hissed at her and turned to Ugo, whose face darkened like clouds before a rainstorm.

“Don’t mind her, my husband. I am ready.” She said, taking his hand and walking away, pulling him as she went.

“Ure,” Ada said, following them. “To look up is to understand that though life can happen, the way we interpret and live shows the difference between those who thrive and those who survive. Life is not greener anywhere, my sister; rather, it is God’s grace that enriches our lives and nourishes our daily existence. Without Him, I would have been like you, looking for an escape from one life, only to jump into a worse one. Remember, to look up, when the going gets hard because it will.” She said to Ure, who neither seemed to hear nor care.

Tears fell on Ada’s cheeks, splashing on her top, as she realized her sister and friend was leaving. She bent her head and wept for Ure as the two lovers continued on their way.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

No Expectations by Bridget A. Thomas

Choose Joy!

Christians Read

As a child, when my birthday was approaching, I was often focused on what gifts I might receive. I remember my father telling me two things: (1) That they were going to cancel my birthday that year 😉 and (2) That I should not expect anything. My birthday was never cancelled and I always received presents. But my father was right about having no expectations. However, I don’t believe this just pertains to gifts or birthdays. I believe this is good advice every day of our lives.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Ann Voskamp: What messes our life up most is this expectation of what our life is supposed to look like. This is so very true, in big things and in small things.

Imagine someone who wanted to get a college degree, but life took them down a different path and they never accomplished…

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Posted in christian

The State of Grace

Photo by Morgan Winston on Unsplash

In the Pastures

Uzo held his brother’s hand as they walked. The wind blew and ruffled his hair as it did the green, lush grass, and he chuckled. The ten-year-old was joyful that his brother walked with him in such a beautiful place.

Their mother agreed to let Onyeoma, his brother, take him hunting, and Uzo walked out of the house proud, a big boy. Onyeoma didn’t seem to want to hunt and kept strolling with him through the green pastures. He prepared a picnic near an odorless, and clear stream, under a towering fruit tree, and they ate. All this beauty wasn’t enough, Uzo wanted action. He sought to hunt down a small animal for his mother and be called a hero.

They walked on bare feet, enjoying the way the grass tickled the soles of their feet. There was no clear path, but his brother seemed to know the area and walked with confidence.

“When do we start to hunt? The day is almost over.” Uzo asked, looking up at his brother.

“Soon, Uzo, be patient. I want to show you the land today so that you can know it. Remember all the places we passed through. You will need the knowledge when you start to hunt on your own.”

“But I want to hunt today. I want to take something back to mama.” Uzo cried distressed.

Onyeoma knelt and held his brother’s shoulders. “Trust me to teach you to hunt the right way, okay.”

Uzo nodded, looking away so his brother wouldn’t see the errant tears.

After that conversation, Uzo lost his appreciation for the beauty and peace of the land. He found no pleasure in the mundane and sought action over wisdom. A while later, the evening almost upon them, Uzo wanted to ease himself.

“I want to go the tall bush to ease myself,” Uzo said, pointing at the dense vegetation on the left.

“Are you sure? I don’t think it’s safe. Since it’s just us, do it nearby.” Onyeoma said with a smile.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine; I’m a big boy now.”

“Okay, go, do your thing. I will wait for you.”

In the Valley

Uzo went towards the area he chose, and before his brother could see, disappeared. He smiled as he walked, removing the little knife he stole from the kitchen before leaving the house, from his pocket. He would take a dead animal home.

He didn’t go far before he heard Onyeoma calling out to him. Uzo walked faster, his mind filled with getting away from his brother and finding a baby rabbit to hunt. After a few minutes, Onyeoma’s calls seemed far away, and Uzo relaxed. He would try his luck before his brother found him.

When he focused on hunting, he noticed the tall grass appeared to hover over him, closing him in. Uzo couldn’t see past it, and fear like a dark smoky hand held his heart tight. The boy turned and headed back to where he thought he last heard his brother’s cries.

“Onyeoma, I’m here, Onyeoma,” Uzo called.

“Uzo, stay where you are, I am coming to find you.”

The grass seemed to have gained life and was moving in on him. He kept going forward in a panic, almost out of breath, until the grass cleared, and he stood on barren ground. He looked back to the green vegetation, relieved to be out of its clutches, but surprised such a desert could be close to it.

“Onyeoma, Onyeoma, I’m here.”

There was no response, but Uzo heard movement behind him. He turned with a smile to see his brother and screamed. Three hyenae circled him, with their fangs widening. The animal in front bent his head at his cry and moved forward, faster.

The hungry beast hurled itself at Uzo, eyes red, with glistening sharp teeth, when a rod struck its head on the side with force.

Uzo, who had fallen in fear, looked up at his brother’s face before losing consciousness.

He woke on his bed, with a big ache in his head. He turned to see Onyeoma seating by him.

“Onyeoma.” He said, calling to his savior.

Onyeoma woke up, looked at him, and smiled.

“You are awake, Uzo. You’ve been through a lot.”

“I’m sorry I should have listened to you.”

“It’s okay. Next time, walk with me and learn from me. You cannot do this alone. There are wild beasts, dark places, and traps everywhere.”

Uzo beamed. “There will be a next time?”

Onyeoma ruffled his hair. “Of course, I will make a great hunter out of you.”

Uzo lay back on his pillow, grateful for his brother’s love, forgiveness, and protection.

Till next time, be transformed!!