INFLUENCERS OF POSITIVE CONFESSIONS

Then he took up his oracle and said: “The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened, The utterance of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, with eyes wide open

Numbers 24:3-4

My heart has been burning with a prayer point from this text. Everything Balaam said concerning the Israelites when he was asked by Balak the king to curse them were heavily influenced by two things: what he saw (or should I say he was allowed to see) and what he heard.

Our utterances are a functions of our perspectives and hearing. May God open your eyes to see exactly how He sees, regardless of the situation. When we see things like normal men, things common to the normal man will become our reality because that’s what your mouth will confess (things are hard, life is unfair).

Kai! Help us oh Lord to see like things you do.

He didn’t hear the words of men but of God, so his utterances replicated the very words he heard. No wonder the psalmist said he heard twice what God said once (Psalm 62:11) because he knew the impact those words would have on his spirit.

Father! Open my eyes to see men and situations from your perspective.
Let your words sound so loud to my ears until my spirit align with it. Let my lips can’t help but utter it.

I pray that this scripture will draw you to the place of prayers until your mouth begins to echo the pictures of your eyes and the whispers to your ears. May God help us in Jesus name. Amen.


EZEKIEL, C. PRISCILLA
YIELDED BONES INT’L
© 2020

YOUR UNCOUTH TONGUE AND NARCISSIST MIND

I spoke at length with Nelson on the phone and listened to him narrate some things he was going through. At the end of our conversation, he asked if I had any advice for him and I said no.

I take your pieces of advice to heart you know. I remember when you said my sandals were ugly and that I had a bad sense of fashion. I never wore sandals again till date and I gave away those set of clothes you complained about. My mother was angry because those clothes were designers and she bought them from the United States.”


Father Lord,” I screamed, “when did I say that one? Please limit this fabrication“.


The day we went from Shoprite to Celebrities to see Ezinne.”

A flashback came to my mind and I vaguely remembered saying that.


To be sure, I asked again, “did you say you stopped wearing sandals on account of what I said seven years ago?” He nodded.


I slouched and heaved quietly while I entertained fifty shades of conflicting emotions. I apologized for saying what I said and the effect it had on him. He said I shouldn’t apologize because it made him mindful of what he now wears but I saw it damaged him rather than helped. It wasn’t about finding out the worth of the clothes but the insensitivity behind my actions of condemning his choice of clothes was mean.


In an angry but casual feat, my close friend, Mark, said I was self-centered two days after a conversation we had and he later ghosted me. I asked our mutual friend, Cynthia, and she revealed she used to see me as self-centered but stopped focusing on that because it was ultimately who I was.

I had an amplified emotional breakdown but most importantly, I did a self-reflection to see what about me was selfish. I didn’t see a thing but I believed them because my two best friends could not be wrong about me.

On a quest to be a better person, I told my mentor who made me narrate the situation that warranted such accusation. When I did, he said there are always two reasons for criticism; one is to put a person down and the other is for correction. He said in the context of my situation, it was to put me down and it tells more about the person than of me. I asked Cynthia to tell me specific acts that portrayed my selfishness and she couldn’t recall any.

The thing is, that an aura of not letting people walk all over you can easily be perceived as different negative things including selfishness. Sometimes, people call people they can manipulate, “kind and nice”.
We are too eager to speak without reservation and too ready to accept condemnation from others without reflection.


I should have asked Nelson, “don’t you think sandals go better with shorts or striped shirts better with plain trousers?”.

As a matter of fact, I should have resisted the urge to “shalaye” because of my snobby fashion sense and I may have been wrong. What do I know about fashion?

Mark should have said he felt I didn’t care about his welfare when we spoke a few days ago. He should have told me he was sick and I didn’t care to check up on him. Cynthia should have said, “I once thought you were selfish but I don’t think so anymore; perhaps, it’s because I understand you better now or I got close enough to know you better“.


Whose report do you believe?

ChyD
(C) 2020

NOT A WARNING SIGN

Numbers 26:10 (MSG) The Earth opened its jaw and swallowed them along with Korah’s gang who died when the fire ate them up, all 250 of them. After all these years, they’re still a warning sign.


In Numbers 16, we see people in positions of leadership use their influence wrongly to rebel and cause others to rebel which eventually cost them their lives. Until tomorrow, they will be referred to as bad eggs regardless the good they had done in the past. It takes time to build a reputation, but one day is enough for one wind of error to rubbish all that you have built.


One thing rebellion does is portray a man as a warning sign. Yes! I want to be a sign but not one that draws caution into the ears of men. I can’t afford to be a warning sign.


I am not saying we can’t make mistakes, no. But our lives should not end on the platform of error. May we still be alive to put our lives in order. I read of a man who was perceived as wicked because of his inventions but by divine orchestration, he was privileged to read his own biography thus gaining access into peoples’ thoughts about him. That encounter changed his entire life and today, even in death, he is remembered and celebrated, not for his past life, but for the turns he took in the right direction. His name is ALFRED NOBEL.


Years after you are long gone, what do you want to be remembered as; a warning sign or a worthy example? Take your pick.


EZEKIEL, C. PRISCILLA
YIELDED BONES INT’L
©2020

CHASING SHADOWS

What does “chasing shadows” mean?

How many of us have ever attempted chasing after our shadows? Pointless you would say. If you have ever done this, did you succeed in catching your shadow? Now someone is smiling. Okay, did you try stepping on your shadow when you were young? Did you succeed in doing that? Although I never did literarily chase my shadow. I remember I once attempted to step on the shadow of my leg when I was young. What a ridiculous and pointless exercise! It was futile and I thank God I did realize that on time.

As funny as this illustration is, some of us have enrolled in the rat race of chasing the shadow called happiness. In catching this grand shadow, we assume that if we can have the baits it offers, we would have succeeded in our pursuit of happiness. It is puzzling, however, that every time it appears we have caught this grand shadow via the possession of one of its baits, it suddenly develops invincible wings and flies away and we wonder how and why?

So what are the baits of the grand shadow?

The baits that we sometimes pursue to be happy refer to our heart desires and ambitions which are inherently good. I mean there is nothing wrong with desiring a good job, a new house, marriage, or whatever it may be, but when possessing such become the basis of our happiness, we rob ourselves of a joyful life. Imagine if you had to wait for days, weeks, months, or years to be happy! That’s too expensive a price to pay for what you can have now. The danger inherent in tying our happiness to these baits is that we begin to operate in the illusion that once we can catch any of these baits, the ultimate prize would be the grand shadow – happiness. Alas, once we succeed in catching whatsoever bait we are pursuing at the moment, we soon come to the painful realization that such bait could not deliver to us a lasting experience of our ultimate expectation. A feeling of disappointment soon sets in and we identify another bait we feel if acquired, will give us a permanent access to the grandmaster. Sooner or later, we find out that the same cycle of this result is the case. This can become an endless, vicious cycle if we don’t break free from it. So how do we break free from this enslaving, endless race?

We stop chasing the grand shadow!

Yes, we stop chasing happiness and instead, seek God who is the source of all good things, including happiness. We choose to be happy at the moment while pursuing our goals and desires. 1Thessalonians 5: 16 says “Rejoice always”. This is very effective as it allows us actualize our goals from a happy stance. Chasing the baits of happiness to be happy will never satisfy us for when we acquire any of these baits, we soon realize that we need another bait to be happy. Furthermore, what happens if something happens to the bait which was supposed to make us happy? Our happiness should never be dependent on something that is not assuredly permanent. Only God abides forever (1 Peter 1:25).

The same way I couldn’t catch my shadow by chasing it is the same way we can’t catch happiness by chasing the baits it offers. We choose to be happy and then chase our goals or desires from a happy stance. I didn’t need to chase my shadow because I already had an original version of myself. In the same vein, happiness is a choice and we must make a conscious decision to be happy now! When situations and life events disrupt it, we grieve as humans that we are and after that is over, we choose happiness over and over again by trusting God who knows best.

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
(C) 2020

YOU HAVE A REPUTATION; WHAT IS IT?

Numbers 22:6 (MSG) Come and curse them for me – they’re too much for me. Maybe then I can beat them; we’ll attack and drive them out of the country.

You have a reputation: those you bless stay blessed; those you curse stay cursed.


Every man born on earth has something he is designed to be known for and you are not an exemption. Yes! You too have a message for your generation. And your relevance is tied to your reputation. It is your reputation that will attract kings to you. There is a work every man is called to do, find your message and build your reputation around it. Your reputation is your actual life and a determinant of the level of goodness and calibre of people that come to you. They call it personal branding. I call it LIFE POSITIONING. Arise and shine!


I don’t know about you, but I want to have a reputation for being a contagious influence on every female folk I come in contact with. I want to be one who spits fire and puts an end to marital dysfunctions; from making the wrong choice of spouse, to addressing issues that hinder couples from experiencing Christ daily. I have found my message and I am set on building my reputation around it. Have you found yours? What exactly is it? May God reveal deep secrets to you in Jesus name.


EZEKIEL, C. PRISCILLA
©2020
YIELDED BONES INT’L
…Raising a generation of Influence.

STEWARDING OVER AN IDEA

Isn’t it exciting when an idea pops into your head unplanned like an unexpected lighting flash? You are excited, you feel so pumped up and ready to go only to realize in few days that you don’t really know how to go about it. Excitement dwindles, frustration sets in, and the next thing on your mind is giving it time. Sometimes, weeks, months, and years go by with you still deliberating or totally forgetting all about it. Imagine the unpleasant feeling you would have when you see someone else executing the exact idea you had a few months back. I am guessing the flashback wouldn’t be as exciting as it was when the idea dropped. You can liken an idea to a crayon – colourful, beautiful, but static on one spot – if you don’t get a hold of it and paint the picture you see, of what good is it?

An idea is many things. One thing is, it definitely is unfinished. It speaks to a possibility, but in itself, it is just a promise. It does not look like much, may not feel like much but an idea is worth a lot because it is the birthplace of tomorrow. It is kind of a paradox because although it may seem inconsequential today, it has potential to be indispensable tomorrow. As exciting as this may seem, an idea comes with it a very important note of responsibility. Like a baby, an idea is fragile, loose and full of mystery, but it is precious and anyone who is lucky to get one is supposed to take care of it and nurture it into something that is strong, definite and distinct in expression. Just like conception, an idea is not always expected but every parent knows that “not being prepared” is no excuse to not “do the right thing” and be responsible. So, do you have an idea? Well, you need to do the right thing.

Just like money, I can bet we’ve lost a couple of ideas every now and then, some you can’t even recall, some you still have regrets about. You are not alone. It is not a function of you not being good or skilled enough for the execution of the idea, but a human struggle we must all deal with. It is not something to beat yourself up about, but rather, choose to brew on your ideas a little more, trusting each step even when you can’t see the full picture. You don’t have to sulk or stay in the confusion of not knowing how. There will be more ideas to come and some you might still not follow through. A good thing to do now is to have a resolve not to let your next idea slip through your fingers.

This is the reality – the end of an idea is the best part of every idea. When you get to reap the benefits that come with stewarding over an idea, I hope you realize that results come at a cost. It is not always a straight forward path, but it is one you must take to get to where you want to be. First, you need to acknowledge the presence of that idea; write it down, ponder over it intentionally, brainstorm. Then you need to carefully cultivate a space for it; share it with people who can possibly expand it and work with you on delivering it successfully – truth is, rarely does it take one man to do all of this. Now that you have created an enabling environment for your established idea (this might take a while) you need to give it time and capacity to grow. This means you MUST grow and let the idea metamorphose as you go. There are many specific steps that go under this over-generalized schematic, but you can bet that the key to all of this is RESPONSIBILITY. You need to watch over your idea like a mother does over her children and give it all it takes to grow, and mature, and take on a life of its own. At the end of it all, you get to sit back and be grateful that what was once a figment of your imagination is now existing before your very eyes.

Godswill Ezeonyeka
Imani Dokubo

(C) 2020

ONE SECRET CHRIST LIVED BY

Sometimes I wonder why I experience highs and lows in my walk with God. During my highs, I’m unmindful of the lows, rather, I revel in an ecstatic feeling of sailing into a permanent, victorious, Christian Life. Eventually, the lows creep in and I feel God is hiding His face from me. I begin to feel a void; my bible studies slowly become uninteresting, my prayer life drops to the point where all I can whisper is ‘help me Lord’.
Currently, I’m in a spiritual high and I’m using this opportunity to understand the pathway to my spiritual low so I can avoid it by every means. I’ll go ahead and share it with you.
John 5:30
[30]I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord–but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me. (Amplified Bible)
Things you can deduce from here:

  • Jesus, while on earth, was a full-blooded man who had the potential of sinning if He chose to. Let me show you something;
    Romans 8:3
    [3]For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], [Lev. 7:37.]
  • Jesus never did anything throughout His work on earth without asking for directions from God.
  • He relied on the still small voice for every thing.
    So how did this help me?
    Let me show you something else:
    Psalm 32:8-9
    [8]I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
    [9]Be not like the horse or the mule, which lack understanding, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you.

God speaks to His children by His Holy Spirit. God is constantly speaking through the still small voice. He’s always telling you what to do and how to do it. He’s interested in you, your kitchen, your laundry and even when you’re in front of your computer.
He wants a willing obedience for every single thing He lays in your heart. Being a mule or a horse grieves the Holy Spirit.
In my case, I realize when I leave out the Holy Spirit in some areas of my life, I limit Him and when I do things my way, I grieve Him. When I hurt Him consistently, I’m ruining our relationship. My physical impulses would begin to call more shots and I die gradually.
The good news is that I have the right to choose who calls the shots in my life.
Romans 8:12-13
[12]So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.
[13]For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.
Ask the Holy Spirit to explain these passages to you. It will make more sense.
I’m not saying I’ve not grieved the Holy Spirit in the course of this High but I can tell you that I genuinely repent and obey that exact instruction. God is looking for a person who’ll have no will or opinion outside of His, a person who will yield as Christ yielded.
I believe you are that person.
Shalom.

Favour Omeje

(C) 2020

THE GAY MISCONCEPTION

It is routine for the ‘boys’ to take turns in getting the bill after each hang out. Today, Ugonna got the bill and after the jabs and hearty humorous perks, it was time to go home. As they got up to leave, Arinze with a smirk placed his hands on Ugonna’s shoulder and said, ‘Thanks dear’.
‘God punish you there’, said Ugonna violently shrugging off his hand.
The rest of the group exploded in hysterical laughter including Arinze. Ugonna joined in almost immediately. There was a silent understanding of what just transpired.

Something similar happened some time ago at work. My colleague and I noticed two guys holding hands. We fixated on their hands waiting for them to unlock their grip in time for us to conclude it is usual but they didn’t indulge our expectation.

‘I thought guys don’t hold hands for too long’, my colleague whispered. ‘Perhaps they are gay’. On another thought, I added ‘it may
be a normal thing’
. We went about our business and forgot all about it.

And yes! I should mention a particular encounter that I am still mad at myself over. Women hardly give me lifts (no, that’s not what I am mad at). I may be wrong to presume men give women lifts more than women give women lifts but that has been my experience. On this particular day however, a pretty lady gave me a lift. She seemed a bit older so when she asked if I was going her way, I said ‘yes ma’ and hopped in. ‘Please use your seat belt’. I fastened it instantly. ‘Are we supposed to wear these leg chains on the right or left leg? I noticed you are wearing yours on the right. I usually wear mine on the left leg’. I then relaxed, I giggled and told
her I didn’t think there are any rules to how it should be worn. We got into discussion on people’s perception of it as a trend and her perception of people’s perception. We talked about self-consciousness. By the time I got to where I was going to drop, I had already decided I like her and wanted her to be my friend. What do I do? Collect her number? I thought that may be
weird or overstepping of boundaries. I knew I should collect it but before I made up my mind on how to go about it, I had already said ‘thank you and have a nice day’. I watched her drive away wishing she asked for my number and only then realising we didn’t even ask each other’s names.

I wonder if this way of thought we have is as a result of societal conditioning. I bet it would have been easier to ask a guy for his number. Ugonna would have thought it cool if a girl called him ‘dear’ with a hand on his shoulder and there shouldn’t be anything gay about two guys holding hands or lingering in a hug. At a point in life however, there is usually a self-awakening for the open minded when he decides to live in accordance to his convictions irrespective of how unconventional it is.

The beauty of our individuality is masked by societal construct. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the damaging effects of living in accordance to societal expectation. Today let’s focus on not letting its rigidity infiltrate our minds with perversion.

– ChyD
(c) 2020