Monday, 25 December 2017

Edge of Glory

Merry Christmas Lafunkites. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with any long sermon or post, even though it’s our last post for 2017. I’m sure that’s the last thing you’d want, when you should be roasting turkey and cooking jollof rice. Cheers to my shortest post ever! I tagged this post the edge of glory because we find ourselves at exactly that point as we prepare to crossover into a new year. 

When I set out to write this post, it was intended as a review of 2017, but the Holy Spirit kept hammering this into my heart. So instead of doing my will, I must obey, after all, I am a bond-servant of God (Rom. 1:1). 

A lot of lessons were learnt in 2017 but the most important of all is that God is forever faithful (II Tim. 2:13). Even when you don’t stay with God, God stays with you (Denzel Washington said so, and if he did, it must be true; Denzel never lies 😁).


As we prepare for 2018, prepare for the manifestation of the glory of God in your life in Jesus' name. No weapon formed or fashioned against you shall prosper, that is my prayer for you. So, look back on 2017 with your eyes on 2018. In my final post for 2017, I leave you with one final charge, BE INTENTIONAL! Be intentional in your prayer life! Be intentional spiritually! Be intentional in your love! Be intentional in your slaying! Be intentional in what you give your attention to! Be intentional in your finances! As you live intentionally, you will move from the edge of glory into the glorious life God has planned for you in 2018 (Is. 40:8). Have a glorious 2018! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sage

Happy Holidays

Dear Readers and Followers,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Myss Lafunky's Blog.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Lovey Dovey

When the Kokomaster falls in love you know say water don pass garri, don’t get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing (D,banj, Fall in love: 2008)

Love is one emotion that makes you question if you really know yourself. Why? Because you do things that even your conscience has a hard time rationalising the action or in some cases reaction. In my young life, I have done some things because of love that till tomorrow, I can’t believe it when I think back. I won’t bore you with any of my stories, I’ll save them for my grandchildren 😁.

As the year come to an end, there are a lot of weddings going on, people getting engaged while some take the first step towards a new relationship. This past weekend, I witnessed two of my friends exchange their wedding vows and get married. Nigeria is probably the only country in which a couple have three different marriages. Nigerian weddings typically follow this timeline: Thursday: married by law (registry); Friday: married by culture (traditional marriage); Saturday: married in the presence of God (white wedding). Not looking forward to the wedding stress at all lol. Despite the heartbreaks and disappointments, love never goes out of fashion.

Love is an action, a conscious decision to always look for the best in your partner even when they’ve let you down or annoyed you. It isn’t that butterfly fluttering in your tummy, that’s your hormones. It isn’t that weird "kumbaya beautiful rainbowy" outlook that you have at the beginning of a new relationship. It is the conscious decision you make even when your partner is acting the exact opposite of what you expected or of the illusion they painted for you at the beginning. How do I know that love is an action? It's because of the person (can I call Him a person?) that set the standard.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV).

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." (I John 3:16, NIV).

This is the standard God set for us when it comes to love. He loved us so much that He took the action of sacrificing His one and only son so we can have eternal life. A conscious decision, an action! The action was so great that it baffled the great Apostle Paul in Romans 5 (read it yourself) as he tried to understand the magnitude of God’s love for us. 


As we enter the final week to Christmas, the charge for each and everyone of us is to go out into the world and spread the love of God. Christmas is such a beautiful period because it is a period in which people go around spreading love through gifts and cards. So, in the spirit of Christmas, show love to the unlovable, the needy and helpless, the broken and down-trodden. Show love to your partner, family and friends. Be intentional in your love. Merry Christmas!

Sage

P.S. Fall in love by D’banj was on repeat as I wrote this post lol.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Taste & See

Christmas is almost here! I hope you’ve gotten out your decorations 😊. Christmas is that time of the year when you get to dust off the recipe book and try out another way to cook turkey before you return to the tried and tested method that guarantees that you won’t go hungry on Christmas day. I remember back then in Birmingham, on the day before Christmas, I’d go out to buy turkey, plantain, mashed potatoes, gravy, cake, drinks, mixed vegetables and everything else that ensured Christmas day would be a memorable day. Christmas in Nigeria just isn’t the same, we’ll see this time around sha.

My Birmingham Christmas Meal
Isn’t it strange that as human beings when we see good food, the saying: seeing is believing doesn’t apply. What applies is taste and see 😂. Until you taste the food, you don’t believe that it’s good. That why the bible in Ps. 34: 8 says:

Taste and See that the Lord is Good… (NIV)

But the question we should be asking when we read a verse like this, is why does the bible say we should taste and see and not just see? This is because taste is an action that involves you taking the step to find out for yourself. When you taste, two things are involved: 
  1. Hope, which is the foundation of faith and 
  2. Faith that God will respond to you. 

On the other hand, seeing doesn’t involve you trying it out and therefore hinders your ability to ever convince anyone about what you are talking about. This therefore means that our ability to witness (Matt. 24:14) would be severely affected. If hearsay isn’t admissible in the court of law, why should it be admissible in the kingdom of God? God wants each and everyone of us to try Him out for ourselves and not rely on what the pastor or our parents or anyone else tell us about who He is or who He should be. That would be limiting a limitless God to the perspective of the person who told you about Him. To some, He is Jehovah Rapha, to others He is the Jehovah Elohim, but you will not know what He is to you until you taste and see for yourself. That is why when Moses asked God, who should I tell them sent me, He replied with what would forever be the greatest reply ever: I am that I am (Ex. 3:13-14). Meaning that whoever you see God as is who sent Moses. Isn’t that epic?


Just like that good meal that you’ll eat on Christmas day, the charge is for you to taste and see for yourself that the Lord is good and in doing so you will be an effective witness unto the world. When next you hear someone tell you seeing is believing, tell them no, seeing is not believing. Tasting and seeing is believing lol.

Sage

Monday, 4 December 2017

A Reflection | Wanting More and Living Within Your Means

Hello Readers & Followers

How are you doing today? It's December, the month that we have chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Have you started feeling "Christmassy"? I have attended at least two Christmas parties so far that have set my mood in preparation for Christmas. Another thing that has also helped set my mood for Christmas is the culture of giving and shopping during the Christmas period. Here in England, there is a culture of sharing gifts with one another during Christmas, therefore, a lot of us shop for various items during the Christmas period. What better way to start this month by writing about spending within our means.  Keep reading...

"Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer (food/manna) for each person you have in your tent" (Exodus 16:16 NIV)

Reading the story in Exodus 16:1-31, God gave specific instructions to Moses, He said He was going to bless the Israelites with food from heaven. However, there was a clause to this. God said that everyone would go out each day and gather as much food as he needs and God would test them in this, to see whether they will follow His instructions.  

So what were the instructions?

Firstly, God instructed them to gather an omer for each person they had in their household and they were not to leave the food overnight. Guess what? Some of them did not listen to the instruction, some gathered more and left the omer over night. Something terrible happened in the morning; when they looked, the food was full of maggots and had a terrible odour.

The second instruction came that on the sixth day, as the seventh day was going to be a day of rest, the Israelites were to gather what they would need for two days and they should keep what was left for the next day. Now, remember that for the first six days, God told them not to keep the food until the next day and when they didn't listen to the instruction, the whole food ended up with maggots? God is indeed a God of principles and order. 
Back to the second instruction, God now told them to keep the food until the next day. Guess what?  When they checked the food the next morning, the food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odour.  Do you know why? Because they kept to the instruction to the letter.

Are you thinking that it may have been wise for the Israelites to gather extra food and save it when the first instruction was given? A lesson God wants us to learn from this is that while we are spending and planning smartly, God wants us to trust Him with our needs both now and in the future. He also wants us to be guided by Him when it comes to our spending. 

Let me tell you another story that I recently read...

"An elderly couple was looking for a piece of property in a neighbourhood dotted with brand-new, expensive homes. Through careful planning and spending, the elderly couple had paid off their first home and put their children through university. Now they wanted to build their dream home in which to retire.
As they drove around the neighbourhood, the husband was impressed with the number of young families living in the neighbourhood. He noticed they all had nice expensive cars. He was curious because the local economy was suffering. He asked the estate agent that was showing them around: 'How can these young people afford such nice houses and cars?'
The estate agent responded: 'Many of them can't, they live on debts and loans, they are funding their lifestyle through loans, debts and credit cards. A lot of them grew up in nice homes and with nice cars, they think they deserve everything their parents have even though their parents worked for years to get those things.'"



The question for you this morning is, are you living and spending within your means? While it's okay to borrow for necessities, you should always pay for luxuries.
  • Work hard, spend within your means, pay cash for your items, if you can't afford some things that are not necessities, it clearly means you do not need those items at this present time
  • Be clear about your wants and your needs
  • Also, understand that God's blessings aren't necessarily monetary
  • Don't be in a hurry to accumulate unnecessary things in debts and loans
  • Recognise that there's a time for everything. You may not own that brand new car and brand new house at the same time with everyone else
  • Be aware of peer pressure and society pressure. Some may question why you are living in a particular house or driving a particular car and you may end up putting pressure on yourself to accumulate debts that are unnecessary.

Finally, remember that the borrower is always a servant to the lender. A borrower cannot rule over the rich (Proverbs 22:7). 

The charge for you this week is to spend and live within your means. Avoid spending on credit.

Have a lovely week! Sage will be writing for the next three weeks. Make sure you watch out for his write-ups.

Mysses Lafunky

Monday, 27 November 2017

What Did You Hear? | What God's voice is NOT


Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John‬ ‭8:47‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

  1. God's voice will not tell you that you are hopeless - Jer 29:11
  2. God's voice will not tell you to lie - Jas 1:13
  3. God's voice will not tell you to cut corners - Pro 28:20
  4. God's voice will not tell you that you are worthless - Rom 8:1-2
  5. God's voice will not tell you NOT to serve and worship Him - Luk 4:8
  6. God's voice will not tell you to judge an issue without understanding from both perspectives - Pro 18:13, Pro 18:17
  7. God's voice will not place fears in your heart - 2Tim 1:7
Above all, God's voice will not tell you to sin. The Word of God says in Romans 6:14 that “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 6 verse 12-13 says: "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
‭‭
Finally, if it is not the voice from God, be assured it is from Satan.



Build your relationship with God, accept to follow Him and desire to hear His voice by reading your bible everyday and also by talking to God everyday, tell God about your plans for the day and have a regular conversation with God.

Have a lovely week!

See you next Monday for another post.

Mysses Lafunky

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Dilemma! Dilemma! What would you advise Jemimah?

Meet Jemimah (Pseudonym), a beautiful 25 year old single lady who was brought up with a silver spoon. Right from her childhood, she had various opportunities to travel to different countries in the world for holidays. She attended one of the Ivy League schools where she obtained a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. As she was rounding off her PhD, she obtained a good job and she is doing well financially. 

Jemimah is perceived to be a spoilt brat and privileged young lady. Hence, she is envied by her friends. Infact, it is presumed by a lot of people that she has a lot of friends due to being educated and being from a wealthy background. However, Jemimah has no close friends.

Are you wondering why I am writing about Jemimah? There are some things that I love about her but she is in a bit of predicaments. Let's go back to the things that I love about Jemimah: 
  • Jemimah a lover of Jesus Christ
  • Jemimah gave her life to Christ at a young age, the age of 12
  • Jemimah does not believe in sex before marriage or kissing before marriage, she is waiting to marry her Prince Charming before she engages in any sexual activities
  • Jemimah is a giver
  • Jemimah does not compromise the truth
  • Jemimah stands for righteousness 
  • Jemimah does not allow peer pressure or things that are happening around the world or in her society affects her decision making
  • Jemimah regularly volunteers at her local church as a cleaner, and she also volunteers as a kitchen staff at her local homeless charity
  • I also love her elegant royalty dressing, Jeremiah dresses like a royalty in Christ, she never exposes herself and she is conscious of the style of clothes that she wears


****Despite all the beautiful things that I have written about Jemimah, she is in a predicament.****


****Jemimah has a lot on her mind*****


She would like to know your view about the following:

  • Jemimah met Femi (Pseudonym) at a party that she recently attended, Femi would like them to embark on a relationship, with the hope of getting married. What's not to like about Femi? Jemimah loves the fact that Femi is a good Christian man, from a good Christian background. He is well mannered and caring. He is also very intelligent. So, why does Jemimah have a lot on her mind about Femi? 

Jemimah's concerns are . . .

  • Femi is turning 45 next month, he is 20 years older than her and she is quite worried about the age difference. 
  • Femi is a Nurse and Jemimah does not believe Femi will be able to provide financially on a Nurse's salary and she has no intention of taking the financial responsibilities of providing for her home after marriage. Jemimah's wish is to marry a man that is about 1-5 years older than her and a man that is earning six figure salary.

Jemimah is seriously considering declining Femi's proposal due to his age and career. She has prayed to God about it but God has not given her a Yes or a No.

  1. Should Jemimah continue to pray to God for direction?
  2. Should she decline or accept Femi's proposal? 
  3. Should age difference and career be major factors to consider in a life partner? 
Photo Credit: www.viewbug.com

Monday, 20 November 2017

A Life Full of Riches

Hello Readers & Followers,

How was your weekend? Hope you had a lovely weekend. What's the weather like in the country that you reside? Here in England, the weather is pretty cold and it's getting dark very early in the evening. By 5pm, everywhere is dark, so we have to maximise our day time to get a lot of things done. 

This week's post is an opportunity for us to reflect on the life that we are living and to ask ourselves whether the life that we are living is meaningful and purposeful or whether we are getting carried away with vain things of life.

The Life of Papa and Mama Petéru

Petéru and his wife who are of blessed memories were lovers of God, blessed with 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Petéru and his wife lived a life that was said to be worthy of emulation. Their children narrated the following accounts about their parents: 
  • Their lives were sold out to Christ.
  • As a family, they travelled to a new country once a year to preach the gospel and to share bibles; they believed in financing the gospel.
  • They did not take any decisions without being directed by the Holy Spirit.
  • They taught all their children the importance of knowing the Lord and building a relationship with the Holy Spirit from a young age.
  • They were both givers, they helped the poor in every country they visited.
  • Despite being professionals in their respective careers, they had no cars or their own house during their life time on earth. They believed in building treasures in heaven and they shared the view that the most important inheritance to leave for their children was for them to know and live for Christ.

When Papa and Mama Petéru died, all the people they had blessed around the world were sad to find out about their death. After their death, both their children and grandchildren were blessed with numerous material gifts ranging from brand new houses, cars, cash gifts, investment opportunities, life time savings. Above all, beautiful things were said about the rich lives that Papa and Mama Petéru lived for Christ and how their characters and their lifestyles drew people to the Lord.


Jesus said in the book of Matthew 6:19-21 that we should not store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. God advised us to store our treasures in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves and if our profits are in heaven, our heart will be there too.

What kind of life are you living? Are you fixated by earthly and material riches and gains? What legacy are you going to live behind? Think on this throughout this week.

See you next Monday for another post. Actually, see you tomorrow as we have a question that I would like to know your views about it.

Mysses Lafunky

Monday, 13 November 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | 5th Mile: Redemption


"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:1, NKJV

Final mile on the journey through Sage’s mind and no better place to come out of the taxi than at Redemption bus-stop. It’s been 5 weeks since we started the journey at depression and now we end at redemption. Such a sweet word, redemption. For this final journey, I felt it would be best to keep it short and to the point. So that as you read the post, you can reflect on your life before you accepted the gift of redemption, if you have, and to accept it if you haven’t. The above verse says that the absence of condemnation (which is the presence of redemption) is for those who are in Christ Jesus. What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? It simply means to accept Jesus as our Lord and personal Saviour. The moment we do this, we are in Christ Jesus. We are redeemed. Isn’t that beautiful?

For something to be redeemed, a price must be paid, right? Right! Herein lies the beauty. Unlike earthly things which we must pay a price for, God through His son Jesus Christ, paid the price for our sins. How? By giving His only begotten son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 1st John 3:16). What was the price? The blood of Jesus which was shed on Calvary. Blood is a very expensive mode of payment. By the shedding of blood, God made covenants with the heroes in the bible. By the shedding of blood, the children of Israel were protected when the angel of death went into Egypt. These references are all animal blood, but they were so powerful that it bound God and man into an agreement. Now, imagine the blood of Jesus, that is how expensive you and I are. That is how much value God placed on every one of us.


Young King, God paid the premium price for you without negotiating. Young Queen, God paid the premium price for you without negotiating, no questions asked. No debate on your actual value based on the number of sins committed. God looked at you with all the love He has for you and paid the premium price to redeem you from sin and the power of the devil. To redeem you from the law of the flesh and place you under grace, to redeem you from hell and relocate you to a beautiful place called heaven. The price for your redemption was so great that Paul the great Apostle had an argument with himself to understand what would make a Sovereign God pay such a premium price on each of us (Rom. 5:7 – 9). Why did He pay the premium price? Because He loves us.

"knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19. but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Pet. 1:18-19, NKJV).

The charge therefore young King and Queen is to not neglect this gift of redemption that leads us unto salvation. A redemption so costly that only God through His son Christ Jesus could afford to pay for it. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. By faith, I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. By faith you are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. There is no depression, disappointment, insecurity or condemnation for you are in Christ Jesus. Go out there and slay. Go out there and be purposeful. Go out there and enjoy the gift of redemption unto salvation. You are brand new!! 😊

P.S. I leave you with this final nugget:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2nd Cor. 5:17, NKJV).

Sage

Photo Credit: http://authorjodiwoody.com

Monday, 6 November 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | The 4th Mile: Condemnation


First post of the month of November, I feel so excited…wooooo. So, I’m here chilling in Akure (in South Western Nigeria), enjoying the rest that comes from been free from Lagos "Las Gidi" traffic and moist weather in a lovely hotel room. Sage likes enjoyment no be small lol 😁. If you see the Akure airport, oh boy na die. It is basically a small bungalow that sits only departures while those on arrival pick their box by the side of the road lol (Aketi please do something oh). When I look back at the year, all I can say is that God has indeed been faithful and will continue to be faithful till the very end. Greater is the end of a matter than the beginning thereof. In the journey through my mind, we’ve discussed issues that both people all over the world and I have dealt with. We’ve discussed depression, disappointment, insecurity and now we’re looking at condemnation.

Condemnation is a very tricky emotion because it is basically a state in which you constantly judge yourself, quite harshly in a lot of cases, about the things that you’ve done or said or because you expect yourself to be perfect now that you’re a child of God. Ironically, we do it for ourselves and to others, especially when they act in a way that goes against what you expect to be normal or common sense. You become the judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one; this is not what God intended. Yet our conscience is at times our worst enemy because it acts as our judge for actions we take. Imagine this: what would your conscience do when you go back to a life of sex and alcohol just days after giving your life to God or just days after you’ve completed a 40 day fast? It would be a very brutal judgement. Another scenario would be when you have a hidden addiction that you’ve struggled to overcome for years and despite all the prayers and books and bible verses, the addiction seems to be getting worse instead of getting better.
I believe this paints to an extent a picture of what some of us face when we condemn ourselves and begin to believe that we will never get better. Therein lies the trick, the more we condemn ourselves, the harder it is to become a better person, a better Christian and become all God has called us to become. 

What Leads to Condemnation?


"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" (Rom. 7:21-24, NIV)

I’m sure you must be thinking, nah bruv, this can’t be Paul. But it is! The great apostle Paul having to deal with condemnation. This is what happens when we try to live by the law (the 10 commandments) and try to be saved by the works of our flesh. It ultimately ends in what he said in vs. 24: "what a wretched man I am." In five words, Oga Paul had condemned himself; considering all he had experienced for the sake of the gospel, wouldn’t you say its rather harsh? Wouldn’t you say he should know more about the grace of God and salvation by faith? But yeah, that is what happens when we live according to the law, which goes against what God intended for us (Eph. 2:8 – 9).


How do we Overcome Condemnation?

After Paul had finished his morose conversation and called himself a wretched man, he suddenly realised something, I would imagine that he jumped up and screamed Eureka! 😤:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:1, NIV).

Remember this verse? It’s one of the earliest verses we learn upon giving our lives to Christ. That we are no longer condemned because we are in Christ. Meaning the habit of living according to the law is now dead and we are to no longer try to work our salvation but accept it by faith (Eph. 2:8). This basically means that even when we fall back to our old selves (Rom. 7:15-19), we need to pick ourselves, repent and by faith accept the grace God has given us unto salvation. 
The charge as we go into this week is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and to live by faith and not by works. We can never earn the gift of salvation. If you try to do so, you will be living outside God’s plan and will never be all that God has called you to be. See you next week for our 5th and final mile.

Sage

Photo Credit: godsgracegodsglory.com

Monday, 30 October 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | 3rd Mile: Insecurity


Welcome to the beginning of a great week. October is finally at its end… Christmas is here!! I hope we’ve all enjoyed the journey through Sage’s mind and have learnt some valuable lessons along the way. It’s now time to make a pit-stop at the 3rd Mile, insecurity.

I was watching a comedy movie recently that focused on four different women and the theme of friendship and the journey friends go through as they got older and priorities changed. One of the stand-out moments was when one of the characters, had to constantly reassure herself that she was beautiful, strong and all. This was a woman that had written a bestseller titled: “You can have it all’’ but wasn’t actually having it all and had to deal with a cheating husband and infertility issues. Imagine how her world came crumbling down when, as is always the case, the mistress got pregnant, imagine the insecurities she would have felt. 

At different points in life, people have had to deal with various levels of insecurity. It could be either physical (I’m not beautiful enough; I’m too fat) to emotional (my parents think I’m worthless; if I don’t have sex with him, he’ll leave me). Do any of these statements sound familiar? One of the things that have struck me the most in my journey through life is the number of beautiful girls I’ve met and finding out the number of insecurities they deal with. Don’t get me wrong, guys also deal with insecurities. That’s why you see guys going to extreme lengths to please their partner, believing that without money, they can’t satisfy their partner and have a happy and strong marriage. 

I have also dealt with insecurities at different points in my life. Growing up as an only child, my major fear which then became an insecurity of mine was the feeling of been alone. Believing that I needed multiple relationships to be able to be happy and have a sense of belonging, a sense of being needed by someone. Even when it was to my own detriment, I would make myself available for my partner and take emotional abuses I had no business with. So yes, I have had my share of insecurity. I just got so good at covering it up with a mask of self-assuredness and over-confidence until one day, the mask fell off.
By allowing these feelings of insecurity take over our mind, we give the devil a foothold (Eph. 4:27) in our lives from which he can begin his mission to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Before long, he builds a stronghold in our mind (II Cor. 10:4-5) and from there begins to wage war against our lives and attack our identity in order that we may not be all God has called us to be. But rest assured, you are stronger than those insecurities (I Cor. 10:13) and if you are facing them, it is because God already knows that you can defeat them. So, what do you do when dealing with insecurity?

Overcoming Insecurity

  • Know your worth (Gen. 1:27)
  • Know your identity (I John 3:1)
  • Constantly remind yourself of who you are in Christ: a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (I Pet. 2:9)
  • Believe that eventually you shall overcome (Rom 8:18, 8:37)
  • Remind yourself that you have the strength (Phil 4:13)
  • Remind yourself, that all you need is God (II Peter 1:3-8)

Let us hear the conclusion of the matter (like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 😊): 
  1. Young King, know your worth. God created you with a purpose in mind. You are fearfully and wonderfully created.
  2. Young Queen, know your worth. No one can make you feel less than you are! No one has the power to make you feel worthless. 

As we go into this new week, the charge is to not be conformed to this world but to transform our mind by constantly renewing it (Romans 12:2) and in doing so, equip ourselves with the armour of God in order to stand (Eph. 6:11-17) and let God pull down the strongholds in our minds. How? Feed on the word of God every single day and night. Search for the word that speaks to that insecurity that you are experiencing. Trust me, you are not the first to experience it and there is a word for that insecurity.
Stay strong. Stay beautiful. Stay slaying. Stay purposeful. Stay secure in the knowledge of who you are: sons and daughters of God!

Sage

Photo Credit: https://pics.me.me

Monday, 23 October 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | 2nd Mile: Bad News, Disappointment & Failure


Welcome to a new week! Nothing like a new week, right? It represents the opportunity to do things afresh, set new targets, make up for the past week and more. My own is that Christmas is already here. Last week, we dealt with a very sensitive topic called Depression, still didn’t send it to my mum lol. You won’t believe the back to back experiences that have happened to me over the last couple of weeks but as the bible says: tomorrow never dies (Romans 8:18) lol. On to the issue for the week: Bad news, disappointment and failure.

This 2nd Mile is actually a very important mile because it reminds me of a popular place in Lagos, Mile 2 (Mile 2, Mile 2, Orile!). Bad news, disappointment and failure are one of those things in life that seem to come like a triple combo and they tend to come when you least expect them. Ever heard that saying that good things come in three's? Well bad things also come in three's. So, there you are living life at a relaxed place, telling yourself that it’ll be alright eventually, the breakthrough is near. That life isn’t that bad, and your luck is about to turn and BAM! life knocks you flat down.

First, comes the bad news: "we regret to inform you that your application" (if you’ve been in the labour market, you’ll understand this line); next comes the disappointment; this was your tenth rejection from many applications; then comes failure or the creeping sense of failure, whispering to you that there is no hope. Or to use another example, heart break, which is something a lot of people have experienced. You just settled into the routine, comfort and security of the relationship when your partner calls (that’s if they’re even nice enough and not just move on or send a text) at night to say: "I’m sorry, I can’t continue in this relationship" after you have given it your all and you saw that relationship as the last bus stop. These are familiar examples I believe we can relate to in one way or the other.
Even our famous heroes in the bible have in one way or the other dealt with these emotions; from Abraham to David all the way to John the Baptist and many other apostles. You think because John the Baptist baptised Jesus, he didn’t feel these emotions? 

John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ (Luke 7:18-20, NIV).

What do you think John would have been feeling when he sent his disciples to ask the person whom he baptised and heard a voice from heaven say: this is the one (Matt. 3:13-17)? What was his bad news? He was to be imprisoned. His disappointment? How can I have anointed the promised King and be in prison and go through this persecution. His sense of failure? That his life and works had no meaning and was for nothing. In trying to understand this, someone may have convinced him (“Bros J, it go make sense if one of your boys waka go meet Oga J to confirm say na Him be the one wey dem prophets dey yarn about”) or maybe he himself must have decided, let me send people to confirm that my life was not actually a failure. Which he did, as the bible points out. It shows us that even though he was the one that baptised Jesus, he still experienced these emotions.



This tells me that as human beings, there is nothing wrong in experiencing these emotions. One thing we must not do, which John did is to begin to doubt. Begin to allow fear (F- False, E- Evidence, A- Appearing, R- Real) to creep in to make us feel like failures and begin to allow ourselves to feel crushed by the circumstances. What we are meant to do as children of God is to adopt the attitude of Job in Job 13:15 and say ODESHI! (though he slay me, still I stand!). So, when we experience these emotions, suit up in the full armour of God, stand (Eph. 6:13), and have hope in Him who never fails or causes us to be crushed by our circumstances (II Cor. 4:8-9).

As we begin this new week, the charge is to suit up (Avengers Assemble, Iron man things), face all those situations (the bad news, disappointments, failures) and stand. Stand in faith and in the knowledge of who you are in Christ Jesus. See you next week as we journey on to the 3rd Mile; Insecurity.

Sage

P.S. Tried writing in the dark but oh boy, I needed the light and fan to cool my head after a long day.

Photo Credit: www.theodysseyonline.com

Monday, 16 October 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | 1st Mile: Depression


It’s been a while guys, just realised that it’s been almost a month since my last post. Don’t worry, I didn’t miss any of you. Mysses Lafunky has been so busy with her new life that she doesn’t have our time anymore but fear not, God has our time. Wa wa alright! So, for the last few days so many things have happened, that I barely had time to seek God’s face on what to write about. Then one day I was driving and the first rays of inspiration dropped on me. Took some extra days for the full expression of the inspiration. I was so excited that I jumped out of the bathroom to message Lafunky. So here we are by God’s special grace, a bond servant of His, sharing what I believe He has laid in my heart, a 5 Mile journey through the mind of Sage, starting with DEPRESSSION!

Have you ever felt depressed before? Like your life had no meaning or purpose to it? Ever heard the phrase: "Tears of a clown?" When taken literally, it means that even clowns are sad but hide their sadness behind the mask of a clown. Depression is a serious mental issue that unfortunately, a lot of people don’t take seriously and tell those going through it to pull themselves together. But it’s more serious than that and has ended up in the death of so many people around the world, celebrities and regular guys alike. One thing we must all know is that your status in life doesn’t exclude you from depression. The most dangerous part of it is that a lot of people don’t know that a family member or spouse of theirs is currently dealing or has dealt with depression. It’s at this point that I’ll get personal.

First of all, sorry Mama, you had to find out about this at the same time as the rest of the world. Just this year, it occurred to me that almost two decades ago, as a young boy, at different points in my young life, I contemplated the thought of suicide because I felt depressed. I even went as far as going into the kitchen, getting a knife to stab myself but somehow, I was never able to follow through it and neither did I ever tell a single person until almost two decades later when the memory sprang into my mind from nowhere. It was such a painful memory that I had subconsciously buried it in my mind and comfortably forgotten about it.
Even in the last two years, I contemplated suicide for various reasons as a result of my failure in different things that I held so dear to my heart.

There I was, a born again Christian thinking of different ways to kill myself, all because I felt depressed at something that I’d failed at. Therein lies the danger of depression. It isolates you and even when you are surrounded by people, you still feel like nobody gets you and that your life has no purpose. 



While thinking of this article, I kept searching for an example of someone in the bible that at some point would have felt depressed and one person came to mind. If I tell you, you won’t believe it. His name was Elijah. Yup! That Elijah! Mighty prophet Elijah! That had just won a great victory for God and then got threatened by a woman (truly, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned). Baba picked up his bags and baggage and ran like hell (I Kings 19:2-3). But wait, Elijah, didn’t you just win a great victory for God? (I Kings 18:22-40). Read it as your homework 😁. Immediately after that chapter, in the next chapter, this same man that had just won a great victory for God was asking God to kill him:

"But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'" I Kings‬ 19:4‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬

If you go back to Chapter 18 of the same book and also in Chapter 19, he kept saying the same thing, I’m the only one left! Sound familiar? Despite the fact that the nation had just given their lives to God. That is what happens when people experience depression, it paints the belief that you are the only one left; the only one that understands what’s going on and no one can help you. Then you begin to contemplate death as a solution, just like Elijah did. Just like I did. But we thank God that just like Elijah, I was rescued and countless others have been rescued (celebrities and regular people alike). 

How Do you Spot Depression?

  1. Things that used to matter, no longer matter. 
  2. Continuous state of sadness. 
  3. Continually feeling alone in the world. 
  4. Hopelessness. 
  5. Believing that no one can help you get out of the situation, even God! 
  6. Death is seen as the only rescue from the state of things. 




How To Overcome Depression 


  1. Refuse to allow yourself wallow in sadness and self-pity. 
  2. Reach out to a trusted loved one or counsellor. 
  3. Be optimistic regardless of the circumstance. 
  4. Surround yourself with love and care and allow them to penetrate your heart. Join a group or seek counselling from the right places e.g psychiatrists, Christian counselling groups etc. 
  5. Have a lifestyle change in order to put an end to activities such as drugs and alcohol that promote the feeling of depression. Be active and open your heart to the beauty of the world and the people. 
  6. Find a purpose in everything you do or set your mind to. 
  7. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and continue to remind yourself that God loves you exactly the way you are (Rom. 5:8, John 3:16). If you’re already a born again Christian, continually remind yourself that God loves you. 
  8. Wake up everyday and remind yourself that you are a member of the chosen generation, a holy people (I Pet. 2:9) and that before you were formed, your almighty Father knew you (Jer. 1:5). 


As we go into this week, the charge is to wake up everyday thanking God for the gift of life and go out with a mission to accomplish, no matter how small or irrelevant you may feel it is in the grand scheme of things. R.I.P Robin Williams (your movies made people all over the world laugh till their ribs cracked) and Chester Bennington (your songs helped a lot of us during our times of depression, yet we couldn’t help you overcome yours). 

See you next week as we journey ahead to the 2nd Mile, Disappointments. 

Sage

P.S. You can add or remove from the list. This is based on my experience and as such may not be as exhaustive as you would like. 

P.P.S. Nigeria recently celebrated 57 year’s of independence and also qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

P.P.P.S I may not send this post to my mum. She go dey alright lol 😄 

Photo Credit: http://villanuevam.ism-online.org and pintrest.co.uk

Monday, 11 September 2017

An Open Letter to those Nonchalant about Lying


Dear friend,

Greetings!

Are you indifferent about lying? Does it not bother you when you tell lies or "white lies or little lies"? Do you know that one of God's plans for you is to be truthful in your speech and in your heart?

When was the last time you told a lie?

Lying is more dangerous than it appears as it violates God's holiness and righteousness. Most of us think that lying is a minor character flaw that no one is exempted from. No doubt, we have all lied and we have all lied without being caught. While we may not have been caught, God is very much aware of every single thing that we do; no single thing is hidden from Him.

I have noticed that lying is so apparent and is becoming an issue for many people, including Christians, and people are becoming nonchalant about it.  Are you aware of God's commandment that says "You shall not lie"? God also said that all liars shall not make it into heaven. How disheartening would it be if you miss heaven because of your lies. Read Acts 5:1-11 in the bible, a story of a couple that died because they told lies.

Did you know that lying is attributed to Satan? Jesus Christ referred to Satan as a liar and the father of lies and when he lies, it is perfectly normal for he is the father of liars (John 8:44) while Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the truth (John14:6). Take a moment and reflect on who you are, are you truthful in your speech and thought? How would Jesus Christ describe you?

What does God say about Lying?

A]  God does not want you to minimise the treachery of lying neither does He want you to tell white lies and small lies.

B] God does not want you to say things that are not true neither does God want you to taint the truth.

C] God said that one of the things that He detests is lying (Proverbs 6:16-19). Detest means to have a strong dislike for something.

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV)

God said that worthless and wicked people are the ones that go around telling lies (Proverbs 6:12). You probably wouldn't associate a wicked person to someone that tells lies, right?.

What if I do not say something is wrong, I just keep quiet about the truth. The Bible says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NKJV)  Not standing up for what you know is right, is still considered lying, but lying in “omission.” “Telling the truth”, includes telling “the whole” truth.

God's Words For You...

Firstly, know that your Heavenly Father cares about you and He loves you. He is very much aware that you are prone to lying and He wants you to consciously forsake all lies. God said there are things that may cause you to lie, such as; when you speak too much, when you believe that saying the truth will either get you into trouble or when you feel the individual that you need to speak to or the organisation is not ready to hear the truth. God wants you to think of creative ways of speaking the truth.

Secondly, God wants you to know that there are no justifiable excuses in His sight for lying neither does God want you to think of positive reasons for lying. There are no positive reasons to lie in the sight of God.

Thirdly, you are created in the image of a God that is truthful, therefore, the ability to speak and live in truth is in you.

Fourthly, God does not want you to develop a habit of lying.


How Should Christians Speak? 

  • David in the Bible said, “I hate and abhor lying but I love your law” (Psalms 119:163 NKJV).
  • You should not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:9 NIV).
  • Put away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his or her neighbour,’ for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25 NKJV). Instead of lying you are to be truthful.
  • The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
  • God wants you to be truthful in all you do, say and think.

Conclusion

I recognise that in order to be truthful about some things, it may cost you and you may even face various consequences for speaking the truth. From God's perspective, saying the truth in such circumstance is an act of faith that is righteous before God and is an act that shows that you love God. He will certainly reward you for it at the right time.

As you go into this week, carefully examine your life, ask God to forgive you for the things that you have lied about and the things that you are still lying about. Remember that once you have confessed those sins of lying, it is also time to forsake those lies. You may require further counselling to forsake some lies that you have told due to the severity of the lies. Ask God to help you.

May the Lord help you to live a truthful life in Jesus' name. May you be truthful in your speech and in your heart in Jesus' name.

Have a lovely week! 

- Mysses Lafunky

Reference and photo credit: freeimages.co.uk and kidsbibleinfo.com

Monday, 4 September 2017

Prison Break | Unmerited Favour

Happy new month y’all. Welcome to the beginning of the ember months. Hope you’ve started drawing up your Christmas shopping list. I need to work on mine asap because the way 2017 is moving, blink and you’ll be in 2019. Just yesterday, I was wishing people Happy New Year in church. Did you enjoy last week’s prison break? We talked about Paul and Silas and how they praised their way out of prison. Don’t get why Scoffield and the River Fox gang didn’t try praising God when they were trying to break out of jail. Anyways, this week’s prison break focuses on another means of breaking out of prison. In the game of monopoly, you’d call it "get outta jail free card," in Christianity, we call it unmerited favour. You can call it another name, one word, GRACE! That is what grace is, an unmerited favour of God over our lives. Just as an aid, R.Kelly’s song: Storm is over, is playing in the background. What a song! Ehen, where were we? The bible, yeah. So it doesn’t seem like I’m telling a fictional story of what it means to have unmerited favour, let’s look into the Christian manual for how to live our lives (the bible). 

There’s a book in the bible known as Nehemiah, I know right lol. Anyways, in Nehemiah 2:1-8, it gives us a history of how a King gave a slave the opportunity to make a request (Neh. 2:2) just because he was looking sad. How many times have you gone to work with a sad face and your MD didn’t even notice? But a King noticed that his servant was sad. He even addressed the servant to understand why he was sad. In some companies, the MD will tell you that is the job of HR but in this case, the MD himself handled the issue. If you know anything about organisations, you'll know that when it comes from the MD, "dem no born monkey mama to not execute the directive." ðŸ˜‚ To show how unexpected the situation was, the servant was even afraid to answer the King. Anyways, he finally did:

"Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.' " Nehemiah‬ 2:4-5‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

When you have favour, whatever you request for will be granted. What is so key about this scripture isn’t just the fact that the King took notice of the servant’s countenance or even asked him what the issue was but that he didn’t even do anything to make the King ask him any question. That is what it means to have unmerited favour. None of your actions or decisions had anything to do with getting the favour. 
There are situations in life in which we get favour based on our merit but have you ever been promoted without even having the qualification or applying? Have you ever had a request for a loan approved without even meeting the required criteria? When things like that happen, it is compulsory that you realise that you had absolutely nothing to do with it. I recently experienced this unmerited favour of God and up till today, I’m still in shock. A breakthrough from a place I wasn’t expecting it and from a source that I had only met once. 

In Nehemiah’s case, the unmerited favour he got gave him the following things:
  1. Permission to go on leave and return when he wanted.
  2. Permission to leave his employment and do what he wanted.
  3. Authority to act with the King’s name and supersede those on a higher level than him.
  4. Provision to complete the tasks he wanted to carry out. 
  5. Armed escorts to ensure nobody interfered with his mission.

He basically went from a servant to an ambassador of the King, something close to what Nigerian politicians call "ambassador-at-large😂. Imagine that kind of elevation. However, it’s not enough to know that there is something called unmerited favour. We also need to know how to access it because even though it is unmerited, God laid down a principle in Matt. 7:7 and Heb. 4:16;  a principle that Nehemiah followed. 



How Do You Access This Unmerited Favour

What is this principle?
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew‬ 7:7‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬

"Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]." Heb‬ 4:16‬ AMP‬‬‬‬

What did Nehemiah do before he responded to the king?
"Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.' "
Nehemiah‬ 2:4-5‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

What are we meant to do to access this unmerited favour? Do like Nehemiah did, approach the throne from which flows all unmerited favour and ask for it, Shikena! Nothing else. Very simple right?
The charge therefore as we go into this new week and this new month, is to take advantage of this unmerited favour by approaching this throne of grace and asking for it. Whatever situation you’re facing, you will receive breakthrough just like I did in Jesus name. Amen. 

Sage

P.S. Please let us all pray for those affected by floods in different parts of the world and if you’re in a position to help, please do so. God will reward you richly for it in Jesus name. 

Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/freedomminpins/gods-unmerited-favor/