Monday 29 April 2013

Myss Lafunky Reader Writes: Love Spurned.

Some people live for just one purpose; they fight with all their might to accomplish their life’s one single goal.  Mrs Leah Jacob was the perfect example of that. Her sole lifelong ambition was to win the heart of her husband. She knew that Jacob’s heart was never hers to begin with, and that her rival had done nothing to prevent him from loving her. 

Jacob’s heart simply clung to Rebecca like a new-born to breast milk. He had been irresistibly attracted to her since the very day he set his eyes on her, and for him there was no other love.

Jacob was probably still hurting from the fact that Leah had acted so cheaply by conniving with her father to rob him of the succinct pleasure of sharing his wedding night with his sweetheart- the one for whom he had laboured under intense conditions for 7 good years. Instead, he woke up to find Leah in his arms. What an unprecedented robbery! Jacob would never forgive her.  Though he still got Rebecca- two wives, double pleasure after accepting to serve his father-in-law for seven extra years, he made it clear that Leah was the extra baggage that could only be tolerated, never fully accepted.

Leah wished she could make him understand that it was never her fault. Her father gave her the orders, and who was she, a common female, to defy him? It was unheard of. Besides, her scheming father had scared her to death when he had threatened that no man would ever woo her once he got to know that her younger sister had got married ahead of her. It was even a taboo- it meant that she was cursed and mangled with bad luck. He showed her what he thought was the best possible alternative, and she had no choice.

Jacob, however, was a one woman man, his heart was meant for only Rebecca; he would take care of Leah, fulfil his husbandly obligations to her and give her all she needed to meet her basic needs- but nothing more than that.

Fortune smiled on Leah early enough, she gave birth to her first child very fast- a male. She was thrilled. Now, maybe, just maybe Jacob’s heart would soften towards her and she would become more than an obligatory bed mate.  She wanted to show off to her husband and the rest of her haters that she could produce. What man would not love a woman who could give him sons? Sons were the sure proof of a man’s strength.  The boy was given the name ‘Reuben’ (See, a son).  

Well, Jacob saw the son, but his attitude towards her was unchanged. She was so delighted when her next child turned out to be another son, whom she named ‘Simon’ (for God has heard me), the next boy she rolled out was given the name ‘Levi’ (God will now attach my husband to me), and then the next Judah (God be praised). Yet in all this, amazingly, Jacob was unmoved. He must have been happy with the sons, of course they were HIS sons, but that did not increase his affection toward Leah one inch.

Her younger sister, her rival was barren and could only look on amidst this drama; she had her husband’s love, but nothing more. Leah eventually gave birth to six sons and a daughter, yet she showed through it all that she was continuously discontent because she could not win her husband’s heart.

She even knew how to fight dirty when the need arose. There was an incident in which Reuben (Leah’s son) got some mandrakes (a kind of herb that enhances sexual activity) from his trip to the woods. Rebecca asked him to give her some of the mandrakes, and this got Leah enraged, “Isn’t it enough that you have stolen my husband’s heart, must you rob me of my son’s mandrakes too?”

Leah would only sell the mandrakes to her sister for her night in their husband’s bed. Now, that was harsh- even disgusting! One cannot but wonder what was going through Leah’s mind in all this. It’s easy to want to be sympathetic with her, we all know many a woman who has been subjected to a life of emptiness and depression because their husbands did not give them the love they deserved, but come on, how low could she sink, simply because she wanted a man’s heart?

Did her desperation come as a result of those ancient traditions? Maybe her prominence in the community was diminished because of her husband’s lack of regard for her. Maybe he took only Rachel out to functions, or was always boasting about his love for Rachel to his friends. Maybe Leah felt so boxed out, so irrelevant. Maybe people saw her as the shameless woman who wanted to snatch away her own sister’s husband on their wedding night, because she was not woman enough to win a man’s love.

Maybe Leah felt that she had to take matters to her hands, had to prove to everyone that she still had something enviable- she could produce sons! And this became the driving force for all her actions. Even when a frustrated Rachel decided to give her maid servant to her husband, so that the maid could produce the sons that she could not, and the maid servant produced two sons in rapid succession, Leah saw it as another whistle for a competition. She also handed over her poor maid servant to Jacob (who it seems had such an insatiable appetite for sex with other women!), and the girl produced two sons for Jacob.

Leah was too enveloped in her ‘husband – love’ seeking world that she forgot something very crucial- the more important role of being a mother who would raise her children in the way of the Lord. Come to think of it, her children would also have been wide-eyed spectators in this fiasco; they could see where their mother’s concern was directed, definitely not at them.

She deprived them of the motherly affection she should have shown them, and left them to grow up without the right, sound counsel, and they were all the worse for it. The facts speak for themselves; consider for instance Reuben, the first son, his father’s pride, who was caught in bed with Bilhah, Rebecca’s maid servant, his father’s third wife, and Dinah, her daughter got into an illicit sexual affair with a foreigner.

Simon and Levi were the orchestrators of the killing escapade unleashed on the city of the man who slept with their sister, when men from the city courted Jacob to make an alliance with them. Two of her grandsons were struck down by the Lord because of their wickedness and Leah’s sons connived with the rest of their step brothers to sell of their own blood- Joseph and give their father a false report that would have drowned him in misery till his dying day. In fact, it was Judah, who suggested the sale.

How did these children get to be so wicked?  It is obvious that they hardly had any training in godly principles; of course Jacob also has a share in their coarse upbringing, but the blame I believe, must majorly be attributed to Leah.  What did she gain at the end of the day? Where did all her love seeking efforts get her? Nothing! The Bible has nothing more to say about her, save that she gave rise to children, and sought the love of a man who would never love her back, the energy of a lifetime gone to waste.

-Tolulope Fapojuwo

About the writer: Tolu is a graduate of Biochemical Engineering; she is currently training to be a Mathematics Teacher.  Tolu loves singing; she uses her talent for God by being a member of the Choir at her local Church.  In her spare time, she likes to read Christian books; she particularly loves listening to audio Christian messages. 

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Kindly advice! Straight from the heart...Are we not destined to be together?

My name is Seun, I'm 32 years old; I got married to the love of my life, Kenny, in 2010.  I courted and dated my husband for six years; we both attended the same university for our undergraduate and Masters. 
Within six months of our marriage, my Kenny moved to a country in Europe, he said, he wanted us to be more than an average family, hence the reason why he travelled.  His plan for us was for us to have our children in Europe.  After one year that my husband had travelled, I kept bothering him with numerous phone calls, I later informed  him that I wanted to move to Europe as I felt that, I was not enjoying my marriage and almost all my friends continue to ask me the big question: “When are you joining your husband?”  A question that I am avoiding as I have no answer.
In 2011, the news that I had never imagined, I never knew my Kenny would ever engage in such act. The action that he took doesn't depict a Born Again Christian.  Kenny informed me that, in order for me to move to Europe to live with him, he married an European woman so as to obtain citizenship, with the aim of joining my husband in Europe.
Last year November 2012, I contacted my husband via his land-line  his European wife picked up, and there was baby noise in the background.  The European wife passed the phone to my husband, I asked my husband about the baby.  Kenny just said it unexpectedly; he stated that, “it is our baby”. The European woman and I decided to have a baby together; it is for our future, as I will be able to invite you to Europe.
After the phone call, I wept bitterly.  I became tired of everything; I have no children not to talk of having one child for my husband.  I'm still in shocked; I'm not sure what to think of his act, did he cheat? Has he committed adultery?  Is it love? As his main purpose of marrying the European woman was to enable me to come to Europe.
Last week, my male best friend, whom we grew up together asked to go on a date with him.  I'm terrified to go on a date with him, as I feel that it will constitute cheating.  However, I'm thinking of leaving my husband, I want to marry somebody else as age is not on my side, but I don’t think I have the courage to do that.
I plan to move to the North, where nobody would recognise me.  I'm still confused on what to do. 
Please help me!

Note: The name of the couple have been changed.

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Monday 22 April 2013

Choose Your Friends Wisely...

One of the ways God speaks to us is through other people.

Dr Cloud and Dr John (2005) wrote in their book, that people who rise to the top seldom get there alone. They seek help from others.

The Book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states that, “Two are better than one.  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

When one is going through challenges, I would encourage you to ask God to send the right friends and right companions that will support you, not a friend that just want to be invasive and share your problems with other people for mockery and to gossip.

When you pray to God to send the right friends, God will send people that will show up in your life just at the right time. They will support you, pray with you and pray for you at all times.

Here are some key qualities to look for when you select your companions;

Wisdom: Acknowledge that you do not have all the knowledge in the world and there are people through whom God can speak to you. These people will listen to you thoroughly with the aim to understand you and not just to offer advice based on assumptions. They should also be people that have good character, people that will be able to discern the truth and people that hear from God.  The bible says that, “whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20 ESV version).

Experience: Look out for people that have been through the problem that you are going through or know someone that has gone through what you are going through.

Values:  Seek out for people that share similar values with you, morally, spiritually and culturally.  Avoid those people who ignore God’s Word!  Shares values that will improve your Christian walk,  Proverbs 27:17 states that “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Honest People:  Seek out for honest people who are not afraid to correct you in love when you are wrong and wouldn't leave out also praising you when you are right. Proverbs 27:5-6, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Supportive People:  Look out for people that will encourage you when you are down, someone that will build your courage and some one that will love you when you do not feel you are loved. Proverbs 17:17 says “ A friend always loveth always”.  Someone that will ask you direct questions about your challenges and problems, and someone that will also ask about the help that you need.

Do you have above people within your circle of friends?  Do you as an individual have the above qualities to support your friends when they are going through challenges and difficulties? Or do you have the below traits that our companions should not have?

These are the traits that we must avoid in our lives and in our friends’ lives;

A Gossip: God does not want us to gossip. The scripture says in Proverbs 11:13 – “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret”  (NIV) .  Also in 1 Timothy 5:13 – “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (NIV) .

Comfortable with Evil:  The scripture says in Ephesians 5:11 that, we should have nothing to do with the useless works that darkness produces. Instead, expose them for what they are.

Worldy: Comfortable in participating in things that are against God’s instructions.  The bible says that whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4).  We however have the option of choosing Christian friends that will enhance our faith in God, people with good qualities.

Anger Problems: The book of Proverbs 22:24-25 reminds us not to be angry and it also states that “Don’t make friends with quick-tempered people or spend time with those who have bad tempers.If you do, you will be like them. Then you will be in real danger”.

Choose Your Friends Wisely, pray to God for direction in choosing the right friends. Tell God to divinely direct you to the right people not the wrong people.  Engaging with the wrong people is likely to be detrimental to your progression in life and it may also impact on your emotional well-being.

-Myss Lafunky

Enjoy your week!

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My week . . .

Have you noticed that I update my blog every Sunday or Monday? 

How was your weekend?  Want to discuss about your weekend? What was the best highlight of your week? What are you looking forward to in this new week?

My weekend was exhausting! I attended a church programme on Friday, and the programme was a church vigil (Where Christians gathered to worship God).  I was extremely blessed; I was particularly blessed by wondrous testimonies that were shared. A couple shared about how long they had been waiting for God to bless them with children after 12 years of marriage, and eventually God blessed them with a beautiful baby.  There was also a testimony about a lady who was healed of Sickle Cell Anaemia; she actually brought the medical report as evidence of her healing.    

I’m currently reading a book titled: What to Do, When You Don’t Know What to Do, Sex and Intimacy by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend. I’ve learnt tremendously from the book, I can’t wait to share my learning with you.

Also, this week, I've battled with the bible scripture, Hebrews 12:14, which states that, “I am to follow Peace with all human beings and if I do not follow Peace with all men, I won’t see God” (Good News Translation-Paraphrased). When you’re upset by the action of an individual, how do you handle it? Do you go on to avoid and ignore the person so that you don’t get hurt in the future? Would that be following peace as the scripture said? 

During the week, I watched a movie titled “Why did I get Married” by Tyler Perry.  There was a song that kept playing in the background, the lyrics of the song inspired my Facebook post, which received over 80 comments, the title of the post was:  “As Christians, marrying a man without consulting God is a sin or without getting permission from God is a sin

There was a wide range of views and the comments have blessed a lot of people, so I have decided to share it.  Contributors to the post, Ope Akinola, Tolu Fapojuwo, Tolu Oyewale, Adebola Ogunoiki, Israel Popoola, Soji Alayo, Sade Lijadu Nowoola, Ife Adebara, Ruth Odumeso. I'm extremely grateful guys. You guys are fantastic.

Summary of Face book Discussion:

1.   It is UNWISE not to consult God about marriage.

2.   Going with God’s choice gives an individual a good foundation and starting point.

3.   SUCCESSFUL marriage DEMANDS much more WORK.

4.   Those that are LED by the Spirit of God are the Sons of God, if you are not LED by God, then you are NOT a Son.

5.   Permission from God does not necessarily equate a prosperous marriage.

6.   Seeking God’s will is like a platform that gives you a surety, which keeps you going even when the challenges come.

7.   If God gives you a clear instruction on who to marry and you refuse to listen, it is disobedience.

8.   It is imperative to ensure that, when you pray to God about your future spouse and you saw a sign after you consulted God, be sure that it is not a counterfeit from Satan, and ensure you ask God for permission to be with the person and for God to confirm it with others.

9.   If we allow God to rule every aspect pertaining to our lives then the issue of marriage will be sorted out, both in the finding and life after marriage.

10.  How you choose a marriage partner may determine where you spend eternity and how your vision for your life is implemented on earth.

Next week, (if rapture has not taken place), I shall be publishing an article by someone I regard as my big sister in Christ.

Enjoy your week!

-          Myss Lafunky

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Sunday 14 April 2013

From Rags to Riches: A Testimony of God's faithfulness

Ifeoluwanimi is one of my very good friends whom I have lots of things in common with. We both love to eat and cook, we love engaging in discussions about God, we both stand for the truth even if it means losing friends, and our surnames sound and look very similar.

Ife created time to write an article for my blog. Thank you so much Ife.

Be blessed as you read.  Below is the post:

From Rags to Riches: A Testimony of God's faithfulness

Singing...'I never knew you could honour me this way 3xce
Honour me this way thank you Jesus'.

It has been three years since I made the decision to burn the bridges behind me and walk in absolute trust and surrender to the instructions of my Saviour.

Though I had called Him my Saviour since I was 10, I never really gave him room to be my Saviour and Lord. I still had control of my life, until I came to total surrender.

I really wanted to love God but I also wanted to have fun. After all, I was young and ached for the fun and exuberance of my youth. I soon got carried away. I started with sweet valley, then M&Bs, Harlequin, Silhouette, hints, hearts.

Everybody was reading them, they are fiction anyway I told myself but I failed to remember God's word that tells us to guard our hearts diligently. 

My mind soon became polluted with romantic thoughts that warped my imagination. Sexual urges had to be controlled through masturbation, then later sex... but only with my fiancé I thought.

I went far from the mark. The wave of guilt each time I had sex or masturbated gradually waned. I couldn't control myself any more.  I began to avoid church activities and fellowships. It seemed everybody in fellowship was all out to condemn me although nobody knew what I was doing. I quickly reduced fellowship attendance, I thought it would make me feel better. I thought I felt better, but no, my conscience was dying.

I have come to realise that the devil tends to isolate a believer in order to destroy the soul of that believer. The devil's ultimate aim is to see you in hell so he won't relent until he takes you out of touch with your maker. I lost touch with the things of the spirit. I became carnally minded, gratifying every wimp of my carnal desires, not only sexual, I tried to get my joy and happiness.Brethren, remember that the scripture tells us that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). 

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians.5:11). We can't have fun the world's way; there is fun, joy and peace in waiting on the Lord and letting Him have full control of our lives.  Like the prodigal son, I somehow found my way back to my maker. I found it difficult to believe that he was waiting for me to come back home all the while. I had read Isaiah 1:18 several times, but I didn't really understand how loving God really is and how he is ever willing to have us come back to fellowship with Him.

No matter how far you may have gone, you can lay aside every weight, burden, baggage and RAGS situations and circumstances have formed for you. He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of Joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the RICHES of His grace.

- Ifeoluwanimi Adebara

About the writer: Ife is a graduate of Computer Science.  She is selfless and loves helping others.  Ife has a passion for baking and cooking.  Ife loves eating. Ife’s life totally depicts a life that is dedicated to please God, in her character and conduct.

Note: This story is not about Ife, but it was inspired by true-life events.

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Thursday 11 April 2013

20 WAYS to show you love somebody (without having sex)

I have been told that there are so many “what not to do within a Christian courtship” and some people have stated that they do not actually know what they are to do in a Christian courtship without engaging in THKS.
There are things to do without having sex.  Waiting can be fun... Here are some ideas on how you can let your special guy/lady know that you love them.

This list is not exhaustive, feel free to add to the list or share your ideas

1)      Make sure the other person feels important and respected.

2)      Be there when they need a friend.

3)      Tell the other person you love them.   Practice love by being: (Kind, patient, not to be jealous of each other, not to get upset easily,  not to keep record of wrongs, not being selfish, trust each other).

4)      Spend time together/Go  for a meal/Go shopping/Share your interests and participate in both of your interests

5)      Talk on the telephone, use modern technology to communicate.

6)      Read a book and discuss it

7)      Meet each other’s friends

8)      Laugh at something funny together/Share jokes/Watch movies

9)      Be faithful

10)   Go sightseeing/visit places together

11)   Meet each other’s family

12)   Tell the person that you care

13)   Find out what makes each other happy

14)   Find out what makes the other sad

15)   Have your picture taken together

16)   Go to a concert

17)   Give compliments

18)   Listen to each other’s worries and help each other

19)   Exchange gifts

20)   Be best friends

-Myss Lafunky

This post can be discussed with teenagers, people that do not want to have sex before marriage, amongst others.

Feel free to add to the list or share your ideas

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Tuesday 9 April 2013

Series on Relationship with God. Five Essentials of Christian Living

                   5 Essentials of Christian Living

Since the day I gave my life to Christ, I continue to strive daily to live a life that is pleasing and acceptable to God.   I am aware that the ultimate person to please is God, and I can only please Him through accepting the WHOLE TRUTH of the Bible.  

Below points summarise what I strive to put into practice on a daily basis.  Encourage yourself by following the 5 essentials of Christian living, or do you have your own essentials of Christian living?

   Loving Out Loud (LOL)
) Love one another and do not love the things of this world. 

Things not to love: stealing, gossiping, making assumptions . . .
1 John 2 vs 15-17 explains why we are not to love the things of the world.  I have decided to quote Good News Translation due to its lucidity.

"Don’t love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don’t have the Father’s love in them. 
 Not everything that the world offers—physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles—comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and the world and its evil desires are passing away. But the person who does what God wants lives forever" (1 John 2 vs 15-17)

2)  Worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4 vs. 19-23). God is looking out for those people that will worship Him out of their true selves, out of their being, without compulsion, those who would worship Him in every aspect of their lives and those who are honest in their worship.

Prayer: the direct telephone number to Jesus Christ is 333.  I don’t literally mean the number 333, I mean Jeremiah 33:3. This scripture reminds us that, we can call upon God at any time, and He will show us great and mighty things we do not know.
We as Christians must talk to God every day.  To illustrate: If you are married or in a relationship or have a close friend, I'm sure your desire would be to communicate with such individual on a daily basis; with daily communication, your knowledge of such person increases, you start trusting them and before you know it, you would feel odd if you have not spoken to your loved ones.

Jesus Christ wants His children to discuss everything with Him; He wants you to be open with Him. He wants you to share your secrets, your worries, strengths and weaknesses with him.

When was the last time that you discussed your worries with God?

4)   Humble Heart: God wants us to continue to recognise that we are spiritually helpless without Him regardless of the position we attain on earth, be it at work, school or in church.  The bible says that for those who recognise they are spiritually helpless, the kingdom of Heaven belongs to them (Matthew 5:3).

5)         Giving: Why should Christians give? Why should I give as a Christian?  Is giving optional for me?  Absolutely not! While it is sometimes difficult to give, we have to be reminded that, it is a commandment from God.  Our giving/gifts is not needed by God but rather they are needed in order for us to support God’s work on earth and to bless others.  Giving activates blessings of God for us.
The scripture says that, the earth is the Lord’s and its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1).  Since God owns everything, it therefore suggests that, we own nothing; we are simply stewards of God’s possessions.  God expects us to give from what He has given us.

       The general rule is that, before money can multiply, there must be a time of investing the money into something.  The same principle applies to giving, before we can yield more harvest, we must give.  Thinking from it from your own mindset, it may sound irrational.  However, this is God’s promise; He stated that, whatever we sow we will reap (Galatians 6:7-8).

For giving to yield an effective outcome, our mind must be fashioned in such a way that we do not expect to be blessed back from the person that we gave to.

Put the law of harvest to work and see how it will yield results for you.  I can assure you that, you won’t struggle in life.

Do you give offerings in church? Do you pay your tithe regularly?  How often do you support others that are in need? 

Do you have an experience to share about essentials Christian living? 

Share your thoughts!

-Myss Lafunky

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