Category Archives: People and Places

The great turnaround pt2

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Bible Study

Theme: The Turnaround

Text: 2King 4:1-4; Gen.1: 26-31

(Contd.)

This is a follow up of the earlier study on the above theme. In my initial write up, I tried to look at the definition of the term Turnaround and the Church’s perception of this meaning, looking at some Bible characters and incidents.

 I proffered then that turnaround means different things to different people depending on which prism of the term you are looking at it. 

However, I think the most ideal and acceptable form of turnaround should be the one knowing about Jesus Christ; His reason of coming to the world, his ministry as relating to drawing man from darkness and the brink of God’s damnation to the Light He represents; and bringing us to a new relationship with God as the chosen people.

We also look at the trend in society and how the church is unwittingly being drawn into the evils and pleasures of the world. (Rom.1:27-31)

 It is necessary now therefore that, the turnaround should start from the church by praying against this evil machination of men and turn them toward Christ.

God Expectation of Man in creation: Gen. 1:26-31

We are continuing from that point in the discourse today. I want to look at the reason of our creation in the book of Gen.1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God, created he him. Male and female created he them…28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, and SUBDUE IT: AND HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND OVER THE FOWL OF THE AIR, AND OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVETH UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH’…..31. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.”

Awesome, that is. Do you hear what I have just read? God conceived an enormous power and authority for man. He did not only conceive it, But He also did it and handed over to man such great power (Words in emphasis in the above text) to exercise over His creation.

So, what went wrong? Where did we miss the mark and got it all wrong? Why can’t we operate even the minutest power of what God has given to us? Instead, we cringe into our cell at the slightest threat of danger?

Our desire for turnaround should not deviate from this original concept of God in creation.

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The story of the Computer:

All of us reading this write up to have one type of computer system we’re reading this with. It may be your desktop computer, or a laptop, or even your smartphone. They are all a derivation of the computer invented by Charles Babbage.

 When Charles started with the Abacus to solve the arithmetic solution, he did not realize he was opening the door to a new era of IT revolution. He was merely concerned with a device to help him solve some complex calculations. Even at that, he had a reason for attempting to invent a new tool.

The Computer has since turnaround to become the greatest discovery of man. It has evolved from a mere calculating machine to military war equipment; from the mainframe gigantic machine to a minute device in our palm to solve all things: computing and logical operations.

The computer as a machine cannot function on its own; it will just be a piece of metal, plastic, rubbers, and wires. It becomes effective when sets of logical instructions are inputted into that physical configuration. These instructions are the programs that make the computer to become an effective and efficient device invented to solve all our computing, arithmetic, logical, and information needs.

The inventors and programmers invented the machine (the computer) to solve all complex human needs. When a computer system could not meet these expectations it is no more useful to the user.

When God created man from the dust of the earth, the man was just a mold of tissues without any life, or ability to function, or to execute God’s desire for someone to coordinate His creation in the world.

In Gen. Chapter 2:1-8. “…7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man becomes a living soul….”

So, we see, man becomes a living soul, and in the image of God with all power to exercise dominion over God creation after He (God) had breathed life to him and he becomes a living soul, to executive God’s desire in the world he has created.

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The Virus and computer programs.

Every computer user knows that our system can sometimes become irrational and fails to executive any instruction we input into it. It can boot off at will, change its setting from what we intended it to do and refuse to comply with us.

What causes this is the invasion of our system by Virus. These are malicious programs that invade our system and disable the operations of the original programs we have in the system and making it irrational to our instructions.

A virus is like the operation of the Devil’s influence in the life of believers, or any human being, to disobey and disregard the instructions of God; for him to work in the precepts and order of God, to have dominion in everything He had created.

Man becomes filled in his own ways and a start indulging in acts of evil as the devil becomes his main operating System, having rendered him unworthy before God to exercise his potential, due to disobedience.

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The Anti-Virus and Reformatted system:

So, how do we get a system affected by a virus to work again? We install an anti-virus; this is a program designed to search out the virus from our system, so it will become responsive to our instructions and command; once this is done, the system will come back to its normal operational capability.

However, some viruses may be very stubborn that mere anti-virus would not be able to flush them out of the system. When this happens, we have to reformat the system; this is the installation of a new operating system to remove all the programs and applications installed in the system, and re-installing new programs and applications. This will bring the computer set to its default mode.

We now have a system that will work effectively to every command and instruction we input into it. Our computer has now got a turnaround; a reversal to an efficient and effective electronic device, serving our expected function.

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God Desires for our Turnaround: Gen.1:26-31; Deu.28, Num.13:23; 14:10-12; Eze.18:4; John 3:23;

Despite this great love and expectation God has for mankind, we allow Satan to influence our soul and control our actions against the love of God. Man becomes the computer affected by a virus that has become erratic to the control and expectation of the owner; in this case, we become repulsive to God’s word and direction, rejecting every move God made to restore us to our intended state.

All through the scripture, we discovered this rebellious attitude of man to God. We moved God to the point of declaring that “the soul that sinneth it shall die.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “The wages of sin is death.” And so many terrifying condemnations and curses God placed upon man, yet man still walks under the control of a virus-infected heart.

The Great Turnaround: John 3:1:16; 2Chrol. 7:13-14; Joel 2:25; Rom.12:1-2.

But God still loves us so much, “He give His only begotten son, whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” How do we get to believe in the Son? “If I shut up Heaven that there be no rain…If my people which are called by my name…”

The first step is to understand your present situation as hopeless and points directly to God’s anger and judgment. We then humble ourselves to God and call upon his name. He is faithful then, to listen to us and turns us around to himself.

When Nicodemus visited Jesus Christ in the night, He made it clear to him that for anyone to comes into God’s kingdom and be endued in the old-time power and authority; he will be “Born Again.” 

How’s that possible? As Nicodemus asked the LORD that night, a lot of us are still asking the question today, or deceptively walking as “Born Again.”

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 It is meant to reformat our heart so that every traced of the old Adamic nature in us be flushed out, so we could regain our default setting; a new man as in the image of God with power and authority to have dominion over everything that walketh on the surface of the earth.

Paul also emphasized the point when he begged us in Rom. 12:1-2, say,”…2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

It is like saying it in another way, to reformat our thinking and thought pattern to what God expects from us, in accordance with His will. 

King David says it differently in Psalm 1:1-3. He wants us to stay away from the people that will corrupt our hearts with the virus of disobedient, but instead to “…delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth meditate day and night. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

This is the proper turnaround we need in this dispensation. And to walk in that newness, the Preacher gave us a guide in Prov. 4:23. “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Whatever thing we turn out to be; whatever people reckon us to be; whatever God sees us be, is not the façade we display in public, or in the church. God sees the content of our hearts, the motive of what we are doing. Our turnaround must start from our heard and we should guide it diligently or else it will become corrupted with a virus.

Is your heart corrupted by a virus that you are not obeying His word and keeping His commandment? Pray for a Turnaround today.

(Concluded)

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The Great turnAround

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Theme:          The Turnaround

Text:               Matt. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:19

I was to talk on something else this week but a chanced attendance in a bible study class prompted me to x-ray the above theme with all its complexity, and decided that I should look at it from my own perspective.

Def. Turnaround: What does it mean? I will try as much as is possible to stay away from the dictionary definitions of the word but to explain it from the context of how it is used in the church today.

 It means when a situation is reversed from its initial position; which natural could be a negative trend, to a more favorable and acceptable position. It could result in the change of fortune, status, financial or business breakthrough, or success in an examination, or business.

This will come about as the result of adding some inputs into the original or previous composition of the situation.

 The point I am making here is that believers, when asking for a turnaround from God, trust Him to make their situation become favorable from a perceived adverse trend they are facing.

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The Position of the Scripture: Matt. 4:16-25; John 1:1-14;

The first text had two implications; verse 16, ‘The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.’ This introduced the lesson we are dealing with here.

If I follow this up with the next text in John 1:14, the light here is pointing to Christ as the light coming to the world that was in darkness, and His coming has brought light and life into an otherwise dark world. Let’s look at from verse 4, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not…9 That was the true Light, which lighted every man that cometh into the world.’  That is a turning around for the world.

 The second implication; unfortunately, is where most believers are hinging all the hope of turnaround, that the Lord provided a large catch to Peter who had toiled throughout the night without and catch. And if we take the account from the book of Matthew 4: 17-20, Jesus asked them to follow Him to be Fishers of men (Soul Winners) and they followed Him.

But in Luke 5: 4-11, we saw the full account of what transpired; ‘Now when He had left speaking, he said unto Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.’  5. And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at the word I will let down the net. 6. And when they had this done, they in-closed a great multitude of fishes, and their net broke…10… Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men…11. And when they had brought their ship to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.’ That also was a great turnaround.

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Acceptable Turnaround: 1 Cor.15:10-23

While there is no one fixed standard turnaround for the believer, there is one that comes out clear that is needed by all. The turning around to accepting and walking with Jesus Christ is one turnaround every believer should crave and pray for.

Peter, despite the great turnaround he had with a net breaking catch, abandoned all and followed Christ. When we look to only our desires for what we need to meet our worldly desire and pleasure as a turnaround, then we are missing the mark.

Paul, re-echoing the call of Christ to follow Him, put it more directly in 1Cor. 15:19, ‘If in this world only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Doesn’t this look frightening to hear? That if our coming to Christ, trusting in Him, hoping in Him, loving him, and believing in Him is only for just about the things of this life; then we are of men, people, nation, creations most miserable, to be pitied, desolate etc.

 What is your purposing for coming to Christ and praying for all the things you are praying for? Are you paying only for a great job, finances- and I am telling you, I need these more than anyone else- breakthrough in marriage, breaking of curses, barrenness, etc. all these the Lord will do for us if we have a turnaround in our love toward God and our neighbors, living a holy life, focus on the heaven journey. These should be the things we should hope for as we pray for a great turnaround. (Phil.4 8; 1-19).

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The Sate of our world in turnaround:

We have come to a stage in our world where the love of self has become prominence over our love of God.

 We are now concerned more about our personal life-style, and self worth as against the love of God and the Kingdom.

We no longer ponder on the question ‘What will it profit a man if he gains this world and lose his soul…’ Matt.16:24-27.

How often do we stand and gaze up to heaven to say, “Lord, I thank for saving my soul.”

These days it does not matter what we do to get money or position, to be known as a man and woman of Timber and Caliber, to drive exotic cars, and have handsome men and beautiful ladies at our becks and call. Let’s look at God’s mind concerning these in the following scriptures; Jer.22:17; 17:9; Isa 59:7; Psm. 106:29-46, and Prov.1:11.

We have become brazenly distorted in our reasoning that we have decided to bring the evil into the church. We have come to an era where politician  come to the church to seek for prayer from ‘Pastors’ to go for an election where they shamelessly  scheme, plot, connive with the  all manner of characters to kill and maim fellow human beings.

They did not stop there. They come to the church with the blood of the innocents dripping in their fingers to make a thanksgiving offering wining and election; riding in the blood of their victims.

And the ‘Pastors’ gleefully indulge them this privilege and merry with them in their ‘Success.’ They are gradually taking the church into the dark abyss of God’s anger and destruction. Yet we Praise God and worship their riches.

These are things we should pray for the Lord to turnaround. We should pray against the evil that has taken over our land. Rom. 1:27-32.

(To be Contd)

Who will Turn The Wheel?

Who will turn the wheel?

Who will turn the wheel back

on course to where peace and

tranquility would once again return

to our shores?

For what I can see now is the wheel

turned on to a precipice of ruin and

and desolation, wedged on with an

impregnable rock and set on an

Autopilot

Who can turn our nation, Nigeria,

back onto our normal course where

we cherish our love to one another,

without fear and intimidation across

our ethnic and religion frontier?

I can see our land covered in a mist

and gloom shadows of hatred and

distrust; where once closely knitted

neighbors have turned bitter foes

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Who has done this to us? Who has

placed this curse on us, broken our

bond of brotherhood, and turned

us to bitter rival, where we now

pride in murder and mayhem, without

the blinking of the eye?

Our land is weeping for the blood

of the innocent killed; our nation

is bleeding with the blood of innocent

children, dripping down the gullies

and thoroughfare

Traditional houses on the Nun River in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The Niger Delta, West Africa. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Mothers are weeping for their lost

children’ and the children turned orphans

as their parents are hewed down by a

marauding fiendish apparitions gabbed

in human robe; doubling widows across

the land

The sound of weeping and wailing are

heard in every home and hamlet

Our cities are turned into theater

of a macabre dancing where no

one is sure when the dark starry

night will turn to a bloody full-moon night

Who will; who can, who is going to

turn the wheel and guide us from this

precipice of gloom to a ray of hope?

Don’t Play God on a Man

 

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You know nothing about him

You do not know the hours he spends

weeping in his lonely home barricaded behind

the dark shutters fluttering from the midnight breeze;

dripping dews bathed the tender rose garden in the courtyard

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Crying to God to lift him out of the miry clay

clinging to him and threatening to suck him

into the dark bowel of uncertainty and despair

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You never knew the hours he spends in the dark

recluse of a dimly lighted room worshiping and praising

God despite the threatening dark gloom of uncertainty;

For the wonders and precious things, the Lord hath done.

You can never tell the close-knitted fellowship and bond

he has with the Lord for everything He had done for him

 

The facade he displaces in the church, and the public,

amongst the congregation were mere expressions to maintain

The harmonious comradeship and love the church, the society

and the congregation requires of him to be in the ethics of

human cult and acceptability;

Thus, you can’t play God to a man whom

you cannot tell the composition of his heart

 

Neither can you play God to a man  that lives

in  the sphere of evil, dine with Satan, whose mouth

is full of guile outside of the church gates;

Being a representative of Evil

Yet he plays the keyboard on Sundays

Preach with oratory eloquence to the congregation,

a miracle worker, a super church worker,

and a societal symbol of philanthropists

These are all a facade of deception

to reckon on societal acceptability

 

But there is a God, who sits in a lofty

height on his throne in the Heavens

He sees through the facade we display;

He sees and acknowledges the heartfelt

Praises and Worship we render to Him

He sees our commitments and services

He felt the pains and travail we bear

for his Namesake in the world

Thus God rewards us in due season

according to our deeds, whether

they are righteous or they are not

For He is God and does not play God to Himself

He is our Love, our sustainer, and our hope;

He is our strength, and our defender, our shield,

our refuge, our healer, our savior

He is our Sanctifier; He is God

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The Sun sunk behind a diamond-clad horizon

Though it was a Sunset in Noonday, its brilliance, and touches of warmth will ever be with us. Though the clouds cover you on the 11th of June 2018, you will ever be in our memory.

The Sun Sunk Behind a Diamond Clad Horizon

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Two score years down the ages,
the day was just like the one before;
the Sun rose in a solemn brilliance
just like the day before, but with a
peculiar aura: beaming with an infectious
brilliance

Thus attracting everyone and everything
on its path with a captivating sensuality,
as it sails through space in the span of its
voyage, its brilliance sprouting hope and trust
to everyone attached to its rays

But midway on its voyage, the sun took a dip;
gliding like a meteor, blazing a trail adorned
in anguish, grief and broken expectations as it
clawed its way to the faraway earthly horizon
Stupefied populace glued unblinkingly at the
sudden display

And the sun sunk behind a diamond-clad horizon;
leaving behind, a thick, pulsating silence that seemingly,
,to envelop a riotous world

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The Conflicting Realities 2: My Guidance Angel 4

(Concluded)

scenic view of beach
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I looked back at the old man and continued. “What we need for the production of salt at the time of the war was a mere rectangular tin pot measuring about five feet long, three feet in width, and three feet depth. We then prepared a cooking stand with two big mangrove tree logs arranged side by side to make a fire.

“All the raw materials that we need were the salt water from the sea and a steady supply of firewood; the mangrove forest has an unlimited supply. One can prepare as many pots and fire as he is capable of managing.

“As the water dries up, the salt will be left behind as sediment in the pot. The more water one keeps filling the pot with, the larger the quantity of salt produced.

“On getting the desired amount of salt, it will be emptied into a large bamboo weaved baskets. The pot will then be filled with fresh water and the salt poured back into it.”

“Why do you need to do that?” He asked.

“The saltwater we got from the river carries with it a large number of residues,” I explained. “Though, we often collect the water when the river has stopped flowing in full tide or at ebb tide when all the muddy dross has settled into the depth of the river. We will still carry some along with the water to the pot; this gives the prepared salt a brownish color.

man holding pole
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“We, therefore, use the fresh water to wash off this brownish appearance to give it a somewhat brighter look.”

“This would be quiet a labor-intensive activity.”

“It was. The fire must be on, all day and all night until you have got the desired quantity of salt in the pot, and you want to remove it. You’ve got to have a regular supply of firewood to keep the fire burning and be filling the pot with the salt water.

“You would have to wake up in the middle of the night to make sure that the fire does not burn out, or the salt burnt black. There was also the additional labor of getting the fresh water from another fishing camp across the estuary where there was a bush, every time you need to clean the salt.”

“How do you sell off the product after this rigorous exercise?” he asked.

“There was a total trade blockade into the Eastern part of the country as a result of the war. This resulted in a lack, or shortage of the supply of salt, among other essential marine products.

bird s eye view of seashore during daytime
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“Though the salt we produced was not of the grade of fine refined type, it was able to compensate for the total lack of the product and the resultant health effect on the people. We will then package the salt into the baskets which we take to the border market at Akpede for sale.” I concluded

“How’s that possible?” He asked.

We both turned to look away into the far southern end of the river where a flock of parrots was descending into the groove of the giant mangrove trees: their chirping sounds filling the evening air.

“After producing the salt, do you have to shut down production until after you have done the sale then you go back and start another round of cooking?” He turned to look at me inquiringly.

“You are only asking me to say how this is possible or do you truly want to know?” I asked with a smile.

“Well, you have been explaining the process, and I truly want to know how you concluded this salt production business at a time of strife.”

“While the men and the children are involved in the main working at the camp, the wives would take the finished product to the market. It was also a period when various trading activities were also going on.

“Some traders would come from the hinterlands to buy salt and other marine products to go and sell at the market; they also brought food items and other things to sell in the camps.

“Though I would want to accept your assessment to the extent that we were not directly in the epicenter of the war to have a severe effect, we, none-the-less, felt it in different ways. We exploited the situation to stay alive. Our life patterns were also greatly displaced.”

“If you have been listening to me since I came here, you would realize that is what I have been saying,” he looked at me. And now I can see the shade of weariness in his face quite plain.

“War is a dangerous adventure for anybody, people, or nation to undertake. Even now, I can hear the sound and drums of war very loud and clear all over the world.

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“It is not the sound that you hear from a distant land and would want to dismiss as tales by moonlight. I can hear it even in your country. The general meetings and assemblies of all the world organs are not meeting on global development, but about alignment, about wars, and about the production of the weapon of wars of the destruction of the human race.

“Are you paying attention to the news of the world? There is an alarming trend of events tilting into war. I am afraid your nation and the world are in the periphery of a catastrophic cauldron. And with the advancement of technology, the wars in the last century will be mere flake compared with what you will have in your hand.”

I could feel his eyes piercing into my heart as he was talking, his voice droning like a giant bird in the distance drawing my mind into a picture sometime in the past. I can see the flashing lights in the night like a dozen touch lights.

“What’s happening?” His voice cut into my thoughts. “Why are you looking as if you’ve seen a ghost?”

“I was thinking what we suffered during the war,” I looked at him as he raised his eyes inquiringly at me. “We left the village at dusk to travel to Owukubu on our salt production business.

“We were two canoes comprising the whole members of the family and some workmen of my father. He had mapped out the route we were to take as to fit with the flow of the current. His estimation was to take us to this camp at about the time when the water was to flow downstream.

“That would have given us a smooth ride down Sibokubu-bio to Juju point, then follow the current down the St. Barbara River to the estuary at Owukubu, and we would be home and dry. We would come out from that river, are you seeing that entrance upriver from here?” I pointed to the river that comes out from the midsection before the main river curves to the left.

“That point is called Okonikiri – named after a certain man that set up a fishing camp at the point.” From the fading light of evening in the distance, I could see two or three canoes returning to the camp. I looked at the old man. He was also staring at them.

photo of a boat on a river
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