Monday, 16 January 2017

A Generous Giver but Rejected by God

Let's meet Liz. Liz was a chronic giver, she was liberal in giving and sharing. She was always ready to help those less fortunate than her and those in need. Liz is still a generous giver. Friends, colleagues and family were inspired by her generosity. Liz was inspired to give as she learned this from her parents; both her parents were known to be very generous in giving to everyone irrespective of their own low income. Liz strategically planned how her monthly salary was spent such as giving to her local church as well as to different people in need around her.

Are you inspired by Liz's lifestyle of giving? Something happened to Liz that she will never forget. In the year 2015, Liz had an encounter with God through a dream. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her that while her giving was commendable and that she would receive the rewards of reaping and sowing (the law of harvest) but her giving was not acceptable to God. Liz was indignant and questioned the angel as she believed she was following the word of God in respects of giving to others and giving in the house of God.

The angel told her that she holds offences, holds grudges, she does not forgive people when they offend her; the angel of the Lord reminded her of different people that she is yet to forgive. The angel of the Lord also reminded her of the scripture in Matthew 5:23-24 which says:

“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV.

In addition,  the angel of the Lord also reminded her of the scripture in the same book of Matthew 5:44-48 which says:

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Liz became very tearful, she told the angel of the Lord that she does not know why she struggles to forgive those that offend her. She said even when her family and church family offend her, she takes everything to heart including when her children offend her. The angel of the Lord told Liz that she had to forgive other people in order to receive God's forgiveness for any wrong she does as in the story of the unforgiving servant that Jesus Christ told Peter in Matthew 18:21-35

Jesus Christ also said: "Blessed (content, sheltered by God's promises) are the people that are merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7).



Are you a giver but struggles to let go of offences? Or are you someone that easily let go of offences but struggles to give? Ask God to help you. Are you thinking this post does not apply to you at all? Can I kindly suggest that you ask God to show you the area of your life where you need to improve.

Have a great week ahead. See you next week Monday for another post from us.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Calling All Christian Authors | Publicise Your Christian Books for free

There's a new initiative on the blog. Myss Lafunky has noticed that there are limited avenues for Christian authors to freely promote their Christian books. With 1,500 viewers that view Myss Lafunky's blogspot on a monthly basis, Myss Lafunky would like you to take this free offer to publicise your Christian book(s) to our audience and to those that arrive on our blog via various search engines.  



What do you have to do to ensure your books are publicised on the blog? See below:  

1) Notify us of your interest by sending an email to trulymakingadifference@gmail.com

2) A member of Myss Lafunky's blogspot will interview you about your book(s) and to know more about you

3) The interview will be published on our blog site including details of where your book(s) can be purchased

4) You will be notified of the date when the interview will be published on the blog site.

Please share with friends, families, Christian authors and your church family. Let's help one another. Sharing is caring.

Please don't forget to contact us via our email for further questions: trulymakingadifference@gmail.com 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Give Thanks

For those of us that grew up in the 90’s, I’m sure we’ll all be familiar with one of the greatest gospel musicians the world has ever known; Don Moen. His songs are still evergreen so many years after. One of my favourites of his songs goes thus:
Give thanks, with a grateful heart
Give thanks, to the Holy one
Give thanks because He’s given, Jesus Christ His son
Last week we read about hope and the importance of been prisoners of hope in 2017. In this second week of 2017, it's time to give thanks. I remember those days as a young child, I doubt I ever saw any of my friends say thank you to their parents for making them eat something they didn’t like, in my case; fish. But when they brought home "Mr. Biggs" (still the best eatery in Nigeria by the way; don’t ask me why) or Gala (the most famous sausage roll in Nigeria) or Chupa Chups, we would be overflowing with thanks for the gifts. But God doesn’t want us to give thanks only when He gives us gifts but also when we’re going through situations that make it seem like the world is collapsing around us.
Why is it important to give thanks to God in all situations? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that it is the will of God. He wants us to thank Him even when we don’t feel like it. Are you going through a heartbreak? Thank Him! Are you going through a job loss? Thank Him! Are you going through a sickness like cancer? Thank Him! Why? Because it is the will of God for us to be thankful in every situation.
But as we all know, it isn’t exactly easy to say: "God I thank you" just after losing that pregnancy or after losing a job you’ve worked so hard to get and to maintain. So how then do we go about doing what the bible says is the will of God?

Practical Steps to Give Thanks

  • Thank Him for the little things. Remember that time you woke up and your lungs filled with oxygen? No? For those of us in Nigeria or places similar, remember that time you walked into your house and turned the light switch and the light came on? No? Or that morning you woke and the beautiful rays of the Sun greeted you? These are little things that happen in our daily lives. Thank God for them! I remember once upon a time, I went to withdraw money at the ATM and suddenly as the cash came out of the machine I said: "Thank you God." Weird? If you haven’t had to chase a bank to refund your money or racing to the bank first thing in the morning so they don’t destroy the card, you won’t understand the stress levels. The point is this, thank God no matter how little the situation is.

  • Thank Him in faith. Are you expecting a miracle or a door to open in your life? Thank Him! Why? Because you’re letting God know that you have absolute trust in His ability to deliver as He promised in Philippians 4:19; that verse says all your needs, keyword is all. Remember the incident of the five loaves of bread and two fishes? 
Mark 6:41 (NIV): Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Jesus didn’t call down fire and brimstone. He didn’t summon the angels in the higher places. He simply said, father, thank you and that was it.
There’s a lot of power in giving thanks to God and do not let any situation stop you from giving thanks no matter how tough or discouraging it may be. The charge to each and everyone of us as we continue in 2017 is to give thanks with a grateful heart; start with the little things. Thank God for the gift of breath. When you see the Sun rise, thank God for the ability to see such a beautiful scene. Little by little, you will be able to cultivate the habit of giving thanks and before you know it, you’ll be thanking him for walking or like I do for withdrawal from the ATM.
Stay blessed and look out for our post next week from the wonderful Mysses Lafunky
- Sage
Photo credit: https://lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com & http://urbanmommyinc.com/

Monday, 2 January 2017

Happy New Year | Starting with Hope

Happy New Year to our dear Readers and Followers! We made it… Phew. How was 2016? 
Great? The deal on climate change was signed, Iran nuclear deal was signed, I was promoted from guest writer to full time writer; next stop… Reverend Sage :)
Rough? Brexit? Lost the opportunity of a first female American president? Petrol going to N145/l in Nigeria?
Well it doesn’t matter because we have a chance of a New Year and much to look forward to with hope of greater things to come.
But let’s take a second to pause and ask ourselves, what is so special about starting afresh? What is so special about been able to say "right, I made a mess of things but that was so last year?" Or the most popular: New Year New Me; does a New Year really make us new? I would say what makes a New Year so special is the hope of things to come. The belief that we've learnt our lessons and are going to make good use of those experiences to make better decisions.
Now let’s dissect hope. What is hope? The dictionary on my phone defines hope as: "to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence." (I remember those days when I had to go around with a big oxford dictionary). Hope is the happy anticipation that something good is going to happen. According to a great man: hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
Hope is so strong that Obama, coolest President the world has ever had :), wrote a whole book on the Audacity of Hope (please read it … awesome book). Hope is so strong that it forms the foundation of faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 (KJV)

No matter how bad our circumstances are, as humans, one of the most powerful emotions we have is hope. Move into 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (KJV) and you will realise that we are told to put on the helmet of the hope of salvation.


Practical Steps for a Great 2017

So as we move into 2017, regardless of the circumstance this is the charge to each and everyone of us, myself included:
  • Step out of the tent (circumstance): Abraham had to do this in order to see the promise of God (Gen. 15:5, KJV).
  • Put on the helmet of the hope of salvation to protect your mind: the devil will do his best to attack your mind in order to bring hopelessness into your life (IThess. 5:8, KJV). Once you lose hope, how can you have faith? Don’t let the devil cause you to lose hope and in turn lose faith. Hope costs nothing but hopelessness costs a lot.
  • Hold onto your anchor of hope (Hebrews 6:18 – 19) and
  • Become a prisoner of hope: Abraham and all the great men and women in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 were prisoners of hope. They never gave up despite the fact their circumstances stated otherwise. Zechariah 9:12, NIV states: Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.


Get up and with hope, write out your goals and aspirations for 2017 and don’t let the devil or his agents allow you to feel hopeless. Happy New Year from Sage.

Watch out for the next blog post next Monday!

Photo Credit: www.searchquotes.com and www.nascar.com

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Happy Holidays!

As the year draws close to an end, Myss Lafunky's Blog is grateful for all our committed readers, audience and writers. Thank you for your commitment to the vision of this blog. Next year, the posts will be more frequent than how it was in the last quarter of this year.
Revisit some of our popular blog posts from 2016 and you'll find helpful primers on subjects like:

Freedom, How to Take Revenge When Someone Offends You, Waiting on the Lord, Ways to boost your confidence in the Lord, Things you should do in the morning as a Christian, Shaped by adversity, Having faith in God, What it means to fear God and Joy to the World



Connect with Us! 
Be the first to read our articles by adding your email address on the top right side of the blog where it says "Follow by Email"; then click submit.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Joy to the World: Christmas in Kiri-Kiri Prison Nigeria

I’ve been honoured to be part of a great group of people that want to make a difference in this world. The name of this group is called the Destiny Trust and part of their plans for 2016 was to have what we tagged an unlikely Christmas for children behind bars. When I say children behind bars, I’m not referring to juvenile offenders but to children that are either too young to be separated from their mother or were given birth to by mothers serving time in prison as at the time of their birth. As such, when Sage heard of such a project, nothing was going to stop him from spending time with these young ones. Ps. 127: 3 – 6 paints a picture of how God sees children.

                    3. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him 


On the D-day, 11th of December 2016 I found myself at Kiri-Kiri. For those that haven’t been there, let me paint a picture. Kiri-Kiri is a town located in Apapa, Lagos and within that town lays the famous Kiri-Kiri prison. The prison has different blocks for male, female and maximum prisoners; each of these prisons feature high fences and imposing gates that are properly guarded. It is not the kind of place one can break out from; forget prison break and the escapades of Scofield, T.Bag and co. With a lot of anxiety, I drove into the Kiri-Kiri compound and the first thing I did was to get into trouble with a guard for making a U-turn at the gates of the maximum prison. A huge dose of humility, an explanation that it was an innocent mistake and apologies was what rescued me. Eventually I arrived at the gates of the female prison and right there on the fence I was greeted with the following words:

A home away from home.
Don’t be frightened.
Just walk into an atmosphere of love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness, self-control and abundance of God’s grace upon your life.

This was the strangest place to find such words written at the gates. These words belonged at the gates of a church or at the gates of a rehab centre, so I thought. If you read carefully, you will recognize the fruits of the spirit listed out in Gal. 5:22-23:

22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Eventually, we got in, observed all the necessary security checks, dropped the gifts with warden for distribution later and were taken straight to the church where the Sunday service was on-going. When we got in, the sermon was about how we should accept whatever situation we’re facing and accept God’s will. Not such an easy thing to do when you’re in a prison cell. Despite the situation, these women sang praises to God of His greatness and how God is the biggest. Service ended, we were introduced and the women were asked to bring their children to join them in the chapel. Just as inscribed on the fence of the prison, there was joy as these women praised God, danced to His greatness and partook in singing the Christmas song ‘Joy to the world’ (even though we all forgot the lines at different points in time; who forgets the lyrics to Joy to the World?). There was so much joy that one of the ladies, to the loud cheers of the others, boldly said to us:
"Don’t see us as prisoners but as students."
There was also an interesting remix to Joy to the world sang by one of the women; such a lovely voice and so many talented women. One of the women played the drums while the other played the talking drum. The little babies weren’t left out of the fun as we took turns carrying them and playing with each of them. For some reason they kept rejecting the sun-shades of one of the volunteers. 

Joy is the essence of Christmas. Joy that our Saviour, Jesus Christ was born. Joy that we get to celebrate God’s love for us (Rom. 5: 7 – 8). Love so great that He sent His only begotten son down to earth to be born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. As we left, I watched as a mother left the chapel with tears in her eyes while another had tears in her voice as she prayed for us and felt saddened that these children would spend their first Christmas in prison with their mothers. It was a blessing to be able to spread joy and the amount of thanks and the heartfelt prayers from the ladies were the best gift I could ever receive. It was indeed an unlikely Christmas! As we celebrate Christmas in our different locations, let us spread joy, love and speak life into the lives of the people around us, friends and strangers alike. Please remember these children and their mothers in your prayers.

Find out more about the Destiny Trust on:

http://destinytrust.org
https://www.facebook.com/thedestinytrust/
https://www.instagram.com/thedestinytrust/
http://destinytrust.org/get-involved/

Merry Christmas from Sage

Monday, 5 December 2016

Should I fear God?

It's December...woop woop! I usually love December, a month where the birth of Jesus Christ is remembered by the whole world. A month where some people show the love of Jesus Christ by sharing gifts with their friends and families. Another thing that I like about December is the beautiful decoration at shopping centres and at various houses. What do you like about December?

Back to this week's post, it's about fears. When you think of the word fears, what comes to your mind? Keep reading for the article that I wrote below...

Prior to getting married, my husband (who was then my fiancé) encouraged me to learn swimming as he believed it was a life skill to have. I took on board his advice and I attended swimming lessons once a week. So, after we got married, we went on honeymoon and I had our swim wears packed because I was ready to display my newly learnt swimming skills.

As the days of the honeymoon went, there were various opportunities for us to swim but I was scared to enter the pool even though I had attended swimming lessons. With hubby's encouragement and seeing how he was showing me different acrobatic moves inside the pool, I became audacious and entered the pool. But guess what? I was still terrified, I didn't float properly and I was scared and I feared for my life, I thought I would drown. When you think about the word 'fear', we don't usually have a happy thought, we have a terrifying feeling in our minds. 

When we think of our relationship with God, some of us have questioned why we need to fear God if He is a loving God. Check out the biblical stories below: 

- Think of the story of Adam and Eve, when God appeared to them, they became terrified because they knew they had sinned against God. What does that tell us? Sometimes we become fearful when we are afraid of the consequences of our actions.

- Think of the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Joseph shun evil, he refused to engage in any sexual activities with his master's wife because of his fear of God. This fear was not because he was scared of the consequences or he was afraid of God but rather, this fear was a profound reverence for God, he carefully thought about how his actions may offend God or discredit the name of God.

From the story of Joseph, can you see how fear is not always a bad thing but rather it can be a good thing to stop us from doing the wrong thing.

 A few bible scriptures for you to think about: 

- The Bible says God has put his fears in us to stop us from doing wrong things. Exodus 20: 20 says: "Moses said to the people, "Do not be scared, for God has come to test you, that the fear (profound reverence) of him may be before you, that you may not sin." The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:20).

- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalms 111:10 ESV). 

- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 ESV).

When Jesus Christ came, He changed the fears we had for God. Jesus Christ demonstrated the love of God to us and told His disciples and several people not to be afraid. In fact, He said, there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out all fears. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:8). 

Jesus Christ however told us about the type of fear that He wants us to have, He said in His absence, He wants us to work out (actively pursues spiritual maturity) our salvation with fear and trembling (using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Jesus Christ). This can be found in Philippians 2:12 (Amplified Version).  

Jesus Christ wants us to fear God but the fear is to respect and do things out of love for Him and avoid anything that will discredit the name of Jesus Christ.

 Finally, the scriptures say that the conclusion of our Christian journey is to:

Fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 AMP).

- Myss Lafunky