LET’S MAKE MAMMA PROUD

The one; who sat and watched my infant head?
While I slept in your beautiful cradled arms.
The one who held me dearly, like a craft, never to be broken.
Pain is driven off in her arms, arms of love that never harms.
She cast away my fears and with loving warmth dries away my tears.
Her eyes are like stars to behold, they give me hope beyond despair.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Touches from you made me smile.
I was nurtured like a plant to flourish,
Was polished carefully till I looked pretty and beautiful.
Guilty she felt when I had not gotten plenty,
Yet with care she made “this little” satisfy my every need.

Who taught my infant lips to pray?
Who trained me in the way of God and His word?
Told me I would have life less without having the Life of Christ.
Her love is incomprehensible, she calls it agape.
She encouraged me to be loving too because love never fails.
Never look back, heaven is before you. That is her greatest story.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
I will be your strength, your fulfillment and comfort.
Your smile I will make as I feel your heart with joy everyday.
And one day emerge the man you are proud to call son.
I will take you to church even when you rest in peace.
But till then this is my piece for you;
MY MOTHER.

Adethatwrites
© 2019

C. H. Spurgeon – A Biography

C.H. Spurgeon, in full, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born on the 19th of June, 1834 in Kelvedon, Essex, England as the first of seventeen children to John and Eliza Spurgeon.

He was raised a congregationalist and became a baptist in 1850 at the age of sixteen. He preached his first sermon the same year and the way it happened would not be out of place if it was described as “he was tricked”. An older man asked him to go to the little village of Teversham the next evening

“…for a young man was to preach there who was not much used to services and very likely would be glad of company.”

It was only the next day that he realized the young man was himself.

In two years, he became a minister at Water beach, Cambridgeshire. Two years you say? Yes. Two years at age eighteen. The year was 1852.

He had no formal theological training yet was probably the most read preacher in England. He went on preaching up to thirteen times a week and could make himself heard in a crowd of 23,000 (He had an amplifier vocal chord). He had preached over 600 times before he was twenty years old. It was in that same year, 1854, that he became the minister at New Park Street Chapel in Southwark, London.

Within a year, there was need for a new structure due to the population of his congregation and from the opening in 1861 of the new tabernacle which held 6000 until his death, he continued to draw large congregations. However, in 1856, two years after he became the minister of the chapel in Southwark, he founded a ministerial college and a year later, an orphanage.

He founded sixty-five other organisations. When the organisations were listed on his 50th birthday, Lord Shaftesbury who was present said, “This list…were more than enough to occupy the minds and hearts of fifty ordinary men”.

He was married to Susannah Spurgeon and they had twins; Charles and Thomas Spurgeon.

Whilst Charles Spurgeon wasn’t known as a theologian, he was deeply theologian in thinking and his sermons were rich in doctrine. He believed doctrine was what made the Puritan age glorious than the “whipped creams and pastries which are in vogue”. He had a cross-centered and cross-shaped theology and believed that preaching the crucified Christ was the only reason why such crowds were drawn to his church for years.

He was an ardent fundamentalist and distrusted the scientific methods and philological approach of modern biblical criticism. Remember, Puritan? Unadulterated. Because of this, he was involved in many controversial theological discussions especially within the Baptist circle. In fact, the increase in the liberality of the Baptist Union was the reason he left the association in the year, 1887.

C. H. Spurgeon liked to refer to himself as a Calvinist and described the school of thought (Calvinism) as “placing the eternal God at the head of all things”.

He authored many sermons, commentaries, books on prayer, service and soul winning, magazines, poetry, hymns and more. Some of his book titles were Jesus came to save sinners, the golden alphabet, Life in Christ Vol. 1 and 2 and so many others. His sermons which were often laced with humor were widely translated and extremely successful in sales. He was influential across various denominations and if you have a little knowledge about this servant of Christ, you would have expected me to earlier introduce him with a name he was and is famously known as, ‘The Prince of preachers‘.

The source of the truth in all Spurgeon’s preaching was the God-breathed, inerrant Christian scriptures. He once held up the Bible and said,

“These words are God’s… It is pure unalloyed, perfect truth. Why? Because God wrote it”.

He was not just a Bible-based preacher but a Bible-saturated preacher speaking thus, “Oh that you and I might get into the very heart of the word of God and get that word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf and consume it, so ought we to do with the word of the Lord. Not crawl over its surface but eat right into it till we have taken it into our innermost parts…but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible, until, at last, you come to talk in scriptural language and your very style is fashioned upon scripture models and what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the word of the Lord.”

He was consumed with God’s glory and the salvation of men, embodying Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:15, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” and stood as a witness to what happens when love for God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated truth feeds the flame of love for people; An explosion of zeal and energy, all aiming to glorify God and bring sinners into the fullness of joy with Him.

C. H. Spurgeon died at the age of 57 on the 31st of January, 1892 in Menton, France.

 – Buzhoo (2019)

BOOK REVIEW: EXPLORING WORSHIP, by Bob Sorge

Author: Bob Sorge 

Pages: 262

Edition: 22nd

Publisher: GCEE BRUNO CONCEPT LIMITED, Lagos, Nigeria. 

Reviewer: PHILIPA ORAEGBU
 
 
 
God seeketh worshipers not worship. Why then do I need to worship if he seeks it not?
 
Bob Sorge, an ardent writer of thought provoking practical books, ignites hearts yet again with this piece, Exploring Worship: A Practical Guide to Worship . Bob, a former music director, expresses his belief and desire to see leaders and worshipers equipped in the spiritual and practical aspects of worship. His writing is not just theoretical; it retells real life experiences and contains bible references. With these, he is able to show the importance of spiritual sensitivity in the art and act of worship emphasizing the place of the Holy spirit and a worshiper’s ability to discern.
 
“Worship”, though a common term in the faith and commonly regarded as just the act of singing slow songs, is beautifully exposited in this book. Exploring Worship clarifies the diverse misconceptions of the term while expounding its simplicity, essence and exclusivity. 
 
The book is divided into two sections: The Heart of Praise and Worship, and The Leading of Praise and Worship. The first section of the book comprises 7 chapters and dwells on worship and praise as expressions unto God, while the latter has 3 chapters and relates the practical aspect of worship. 
 
The first chapter discusses praise and its distinctive extroverted nature. Its essence, and how it’s perfunctory on will and not emotion. Bob proceeds to explain when, where and how one should praise. Praise, being extroverted expression, is done in varying ways. Some of these are common; others are not very widely practised. 
 
The second chapter addresses our approach to God’s presence: an individual approach and congregational approach. Worship as a Christian communal experience is described as an excercise which requires both on the worship leader and worshippers to bring to life. The author makes it clear that there are sacrifices to be made by all involved, in order to actualize worship. 
 
Chapter three emphasizes the use of praise as a weapon of spiritual warfare. The scriptural basis of its use is not without explanation, likewise the exposition on the use of the forms of expression of praise as spiritual weaponry.
 
Chapter four explores the term ‘worship’, its distinction from praise, its essence, and how the Holy Spirit is an integral part of worship. Worship as revealed is not bound by time or place but rather is dependent on “spirit” and truth. 
 
Who really are worshipers? How does one become a worshiper? What does it mean to worship without guilt and what are the attitudes that could hinder an acceptable worship? These questions are answered in detail in the fifth chapter of the book. 
 
Worship has three aspects to itself as written by Bob, the vertical aspect where the worshipes communicates with the Lord; the horizontal aspect, in which the worshiper communicates with the congregation; and the inward aspect of worshiper’s internal communication. All of these are found in chapter six. 
 
Chapter seven talks about the link between prophecy and music, the difference between psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and how they should be incorporated into today’s congregational worship. There’s also some discussion about walking in prophetic worship by faith. 
 
Chapter eight delves into the art of leading worship. The author wants us to understand that proper worship leadership is learned. Worship leaders don’t just spring up; they grow by learning. Further explained are the qualifications a leader should possess: musical expertise which is of great necessity; the leaders preparation both musically and spiritually; and the leaders leading– and not controlling -worship. 
 
Chapter nine exposits the importance of a worship leading team in a church, the role of the pastor and worship leader in congregational worship, the various members of the worship leading team and their place in the church. 
 
And finally, chapter ten makes known the need for planning worship services, the need for sensitivity, preparation and balance as regards worship services, creativity in providing good variety in worship services, and practical steps to writing songs and teaching new songs.
 
If you are desiring insight into the world of worship, the art of worship and leading worship, you will find this book useful. It demonstrates, among other things, that worship is not about the subject (worshiper) but the object (God) . And this, in the end, is the key message we all need to internalize.

I = LIFE

It came in a flash like some Allen knew exactly what was on my mind.

In the midst of 2 strangers in a BRT bus, one looked like another normal guy, and the other like a boss.

*Lagos my location, but I had thoughts in heaven.
So I felt heaven on earth, well that’s what you get for being in Him.

Have you ever wondered how lovely it would be to spend a whole day without bad mouthing anything, anywhere or even anyone?

Like No…
Bastard; playfully said
or
Fool; with a lovely pat on the head

No…
‘You will never amount to anything’ from a mother to a child and perhaps;

No pastor would lead a congregation of well meaning followers to a battle ground that makes a post of ‘deaths to whoever’ and then tag God in prayers like he was a supporting cast in this horror movie on a steady loop in their mind.

But they don’t see it,
We don’t see it,
I mean how black can a heart get before truth can no longer wash it?

I wish we can all set a day apart;
A day when we will all agree to rather trade punches than hurt with our words

A day when we will be focused enough to not let any slippery dark word go unapologized.
A day when we stop using these black knights to bat men, but rather;

Step into the light and use white to bathe them.

A day, when we master love
Then We try a week,
Then a month;

And soon it becomes abnormal and weigh a thousand tons on our lips whenever we try to muster the courage to plant a word that will grow into a scary tree from these our mustard seeds.

So I decide daily, surely, purposely;
I choose to believe differently
To fight differently
To speak differently
See differently

And actually stop playing the devil’s hate game with him.

Since we are buddies, let me play a little with God;
For I am in Him
And He is in me
Heaven in *Lagos;
LIFE!

I will be that one drop of oil that will float above stormy waters.
I will fight alongside anyone I can, till my heart goes silent with its beats.

It’s who I am, it’s what I give,
LIFE!

 

*Lagos is a major city in Nigeria.

THE LORD’S CHURCH-BY STEVE FINNELL

What are the things that do not make you a member of the body of Christ?

What are the requirements for membership in the Lord’s church?

THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE LORD’S CHURCH.
1. Simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God does not grant you membership in the Lord’s church.
Mark 5:1-12 …..7…“What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?….12 The demons implored Him….
Demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, however, that does not give them membership in the Lord’s church. Legion was not part of the body of Christ.
2. Sprinkling infants with water does not make them part of the body of Christ. Sprinkling unbelieving babies is not an act that adds them to the Lord’s church.

Continue reading

THE FINAL WHISTLE

So you had the awesome opportunity to get a front row seat to a game you have no interest in?

Let me guess, possibly because she looked so good that no excuse could find its way through your lips as you cowered under her overpowering presence when she said “Would you be a darling and go to the game with me?”

Sure, I do understand you were trying to be polite (and be a darling too) but I can predict one or two things about how this date or whatever she tells you will be like. First, you meet at a scheduled place or possibly you were such a gentleman (or totally bent on impressing her) that you picked her up from home with your ride and then when you get there, you walk into the arena, hand-in-hand, smiling and chatting meanwhile somewhere in your head you continue to recall all the reasons why you hate this game and you shouldn’t be here obviously but no bother you’ll just be a man (more like, things we do for love).

Now the players are on the pitch, the ever rising roar of cheers and laughter wouldn’t have been much of a bother if you had any clue as to why this amount of people would actually enjoy this game or if they could at least pipe low enough so you could manage a discussion with this beauty by your side. The announcer does a good job of further increasing the noise whilst observing various sport traditions towards commencing the game and then out of nowhere this guy who is supposedly the referee/umpire blows a whistle.

For the split second its shrill sound pierces through the noise, there is stillness in the crowd just before a resounding uproar to indicate the game has begun with the atmosphere gauged with intense anticipation and excitement. Now, for you my friend, you stare at the event unraveling before you; fruitlessly trying to make sense of it though constantly aware of the female presence by your side whilst drilling your mind for a good comment to kick-start a cool discussion.

In this very interesting mix of events that characterizes every big sport event around the globe, one thing remains true for all and that is the power of the whistle (or buzzer, or any media of control the referee/umpire uses). In every case we watch as this little instrument in the hands of one man could demand the attention of every single person in that arena at any time during the play of this game. They pay attention because for every instance the whistle is blown, there is sure to be a change in the game of play. This change can be positive or negative depending on what side of the field you’re playing from but regardless of that when that whistle is blown the game must begin or stop (either momentarily or permanently).

However, as a player in this game, you are trained in the art of playing it well and certain skills you possess have set you aside, qualifying you to represent your team to whatever degree but this same whistle means much more to you than a switch to stop or begin the game. It is to you, the law of the game. It signifies when your time in the game begins and from then you are awarded a chance to bring victory to your team by doing your very best in your designated area of play whilst maintaining sportsmanship but a single blast of the whistle could change all that. It could be to you a simple caution or the outright punishment for a foul play, it could be justice for a wrong done, it could be the end of your time on the field or it could just be the end of the game.

You see, this scenario painted right in front of your eyes is no different from what we’ve come to know and call living on this world stage. Life is a game we all are players in with the earth as our playing field and whether we accept it or not we do have a whistle locked somewhere in the lips of the referee. We may be oblivious of it but it is to us for caution, reproof, and justice and sometimes it may be the final whistle we hear as it marks the end of the game either individually or for the whole living population of the world.
I know it is easier to live a carefree life, doing what you want when you want but even in our limited understanding as humans, we know that there’s need for order, hence we set up a justice system, a moral system to caution or punish wrong doings or brings justice to the hurt. However, we run our seemingly orderly lives unaware of the most important function of the whistle

IT DETERMINES THE END OF THE GAME

The game could go on forever if that whistle is not blown and no player would leave the field up until that whistle is blown and it finally is blown to that respect it could mean the end of the game for one or all players. It’s quite simpler than you think; if the final whistle is blown you have to get off the field. In this Life, the final whistle varies and for you it may be the sound of a gun, the last beep of the monitor as your heart stops, the thud of your body fall, the sound of screeching tires or the sound of a trump. Whatever way it happens you will have to leave this earth because your time is up.

Now no player wants to leave the field feeling like he would have done more, hence while on the field, he pours in his very best but somehow in the real game we choose to call life playing before our very own eyes, we seem to think we would never have regrets when we have to leave the playing field even when we just wasted our time of game play. We seem to think we have no coach in the cloakroom ready to analyze how well we did our part, no consequences for the way we played this game that we have only one chance at.

The greatest lie our adversary made us believe is that we are the onlookers, the cheerleaders of this game. So because we ain’t the players, when the whistle goes, the game simply ends and that’s it. We can just go ahead and just have a good time, no caution as to how short your time is. He fools you to think that you’re going to last till the last whistle so while waiting you disregard the cautions that come as the blaring of the referee’s whistle just like this very piece you’re reading, ignorant of the fact that the very next whistle could be your last.

THIS IS A WARNING!

It may not sound much like a whistle but nevertheless, it is for you and even though I sincerely pray it is not your last, it may just be.

You can’t afford to worry about the opponents devices, he is just running his game plan so you can’t afford to play against the master’s game plan, you cannot afford to not fulfill the reason why the coach put you in play because sooner than later the end of the game will come upon you even though the game has not yet ended.

So PLAY ON!

No matter how bad you’ve played so far if you turn a new leaf you still have a chance at victory. Unlike every other game, the winner can only defined after the final whistle and though it is a team play the victory is individual and when the final whistle is blown you would forever be bound to what the scoreboard says.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill