Book Review: The Shepherd, The Overseer, and The Soul

Author: Funmi Adebayo
Pages: 150
Publisher: The Christ A Poet Concepts, Nigeria.
Reviewer: Adeleye Olaoye, Ubamara Ezenobi, Zoe Ziva, Ebubechi, Clement Victor

Funmi Adebayo, the author of this book, gives us this gem of a book through the light of the Spirit of God penetrating into 1 Peter 2:25 and Ezekiel 18:4. The Shepherd, Overseer and the Soul is a book aimed at building foundational knowledge on the role that the soul of a man plays in the life of a believer. The Author has broken this book down into 7 Chapters to help relate his message.

The author started by making clear that the human soul is eternal. It cannot be dissolved by death, unlike the human physical body. The soul is the representation of a man in the spirit realm. Therefore, what becomes of the soul of man is the reality of that man

He then further compared the mind as a signal analyzer. An example of a signal analyzer is an Oscilloscope,  it’s a device that analyzes signals of different forms and has a wide application in different fields and professions today. From the author’s analysis, the mind acts as the signal analyzer while the heart takes the final decision.

If man wasn’t already dead spiritually then God wouldn’t have bothered about giving him a new spirit and a new heart.

Funmi presents a compelling argument by clearly stating that it is not enough to just claim you believe in Jesus Christ. You must also prove that by obediently following Him. If you truly believe in Him, you will hear Him and do His sayings. God’s desire for His children to be tamable and coachable just like the sheep because hardly deviate from the path channeled by the shepherd and are much sensitive of intruders or strangers.

We are not of the world. Yet at the same, that does not mean we are not meant to be in charge. This is quite a salient point made in the book reminding us that we are the light of the world and while we remain here we are to be in charge by and for our Lord Jesus Christ and make known the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers among the celestial ones.

Talking about God as Shepherd, Funmi posits that God is completely charismatic in his leadership; strong communicator, empathetic and relatable, confident, motivational. This in return gives us joy, loveliness and makes resources available. His final words were “As we have returned to the Shepherd of our soul, let us trust Him for the best in life. Remember He is the good Shepherd, Who gave His life, His soul, for us His sheep. (John 10:11.)”

SPIRIT SCHOOL

Swallow your pride, tonight, and come to the spirit school
There is a spirit in man, God’s breath gives it understanding
Mortal man, do not drown in ignorance, do not be a fool
If your intellect is tested by fire, can it remain standing?

Swallow your pride, come to the spirit school, tonight
Break free from the shackles of conformity to deception
Do not resuscitate the days of babel, and forsake the light
For the spirit of wisdom already forsook them at its conception.

Swallow your pride, come to the school of the spirit
Abandon to the whirlwinds your theories of existentialism
Let Yahweh give your foolishness a limit
Exfoliate the banality of all this your redundant idealism.

Swallow your pride, tonight, and come to the spirit school
Shed the tattered garment of human knowledge you cherish
Let the Holy Spirit; God’s Sceptre, make you a new tool
To save your brotherhood of brethren, before they perish.

– El Ebovel
(c) 2021

THE YEAR


It started from January
Without a salary
We ate from hand to mouth
Our Landlord sent us out

We spent a lot during Christmas
Now I can’t buy ordinary slippers
My children had to go to school
So I had to sell my working tool

Next month, I lost my job
I was attacked by a mob
I lost my only car
And was constantly in a bar

Next month, my house got burnt
I went to the village and began to hunt
Because of pain and shame, I cried
I lost hope and my spirit died

Until the fourth month
From the grave we came forth
I and a man familiar with suffering
He wasn’t rich but he was so caring

He said, “I’ve taken away your sorrow
Don’t bother yourself about tomorrow
I was crushed for your iniquity
I’ve taken up your infirmity”

He taught me joy in suffering
With hope as his last offering
Now my life has totally changed
The way I see things have also changed
Now my new house is completed
All my children have graduated
I have brand new cars
And I no longer visit bars

I began to act different
Now I don’t need to pay rent
My house is very charming
And I still indulge in farming

I had nothing
Yet I possess everything
To the world I was a fool
But in him was my wisdom full

All because I believed
I definitely achieved
I was also faithful
And that was fruit full

From January to December
There’s a lot of disaster
From January to December
It’s not easy, you grow stronger

Charles Young
©2021

The Lord Is My Shepherd


The Lord is my shepherd all my days on this earth,
There’s no room for want, lack, fear, nor death;
Walking through the valley with death shadows,
All I feel is peace, faith and strength in my bones and marrows;

The storms of life are colliding in my head like steroids in the space,
Temptations and trials roaring like a lion to my face,
Pressures of life heating up like a nuclear reactor,
All I do is to look up to God my creator,
Because every other device from the devil is not a factor.

He raised me from the valley to stand on mountains;
Filled me with the spirit of wisdom,
Elevated to the right hand to blossom,
This one is excess love from the father of fathers,
Right now, that is all that matters.

Now in him I have too much freedom,
Fulfilling my priestly ministry in His kingdom,
Sleeping like a baby because I rest assured of the future,
You know what, it’s made up of the necessary mixture,
Purposefully planted by God as a perfect fixture.

Behold, I am a new creature,
With newness of life, being renewed like the eagle,
Going about soul winning like atom revolving round it’s orbit,
Never lonely because I’m always alone with the Holy spirit;
I am never lost because I know who I am.

Lady Nancy
© 2020

The Fig-Leaves Issue

And as they ate it, suddenly they became aware of their nakedness, and were embarrassed. So they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.

Genesis 3:7 (TLB)

As a creative, I get to “over-think” many otherwise simple things. Maybe it is a curse in another’s eyes but in mine, it is clarity. The innate ability to really analyse events that are as heavy as world crises to lightweight issues like the response I wish I said two minutes earlier, has really helped me see what is underplaying our everyday experiences. It doesn’t make me right, I guess it just helps me to build stronger structures around what it is I believe.

As I grow older and experience more interesting versions of reality and life as we know it, I am ever more convinced on the authority and the authenticity of the bible and its teachings. One that really stands out for me it the way we tend to try and fail constantly at providing solutions to seemingly every problem that has ever occurred to the human race. Bogus claim? Yeah, I get it sounds as such but this is a conclusion I have come to through almost every thought excavation I have set my mind on. You can try it too. Ask “why” enough times and you will almost surely find yourself at a helpless human with a problem and solutions that only create more problems. This is so perfectly represented in the verse quoted initially but before we talk about that, let’s bite a little deeper into this.

Psychoanalysts, philosophers and sociologists have come to a dismal conclusion that all philosophy and modes of agreed upon human existence has its flaws. The highest medical research has provided us with solutions that are not 100% and drugs with side-effects. Engineers agree that every solution provided comes with a new problem in its suitcase. So we hold in high esteem the concept of maintenance and constant innovation. I would argue that this is growth in a sense but if you dig deeper you find, this is all a melting pot of ideas by humans trying to save themselves and failing terribly at it. Socialism and communism failed, capitalism exposed our wickedness and democracy is a hot mess. We are killing the planet by “developing” it and humanity grows dumber by consuming more and more information.

Obviously we are running ourselves to the ground and that is not a surprise at least for us Christians. The bible does prophecy it. Basically the day man thought he could decide between right and wrong, he doomed himself to death. So we are all just living a self-fulfilling prophecy but God provided us an out and that is what that verse in Genesis serves as a prequel to.

Adam and Eve had just made the dumbest decision ever (much like we do daily) and the implications of their choice showed up almost immediately. A problem. With the ability to decide for themselves, they did what we all do and tried to solve the problem. The hilarious thing is with all the “knowledge” to be like God according to what the devil promised, these two humans could figure out that there was a problem of nakedness but “they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.” Now in retrospect, that was really dumb because even though you are not naked, you are not covered either. Only one winter breeze would show that “fig leaves” are not a sustainable clothing option. Funny thing is, Adam knew this because after adorning original “eden brand” fig leaves, he still had to hide behind bushes and here was his reason…

That evening they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and they hid themselves among the trees.  The Lord God called to Adam, “Why are you hiding?” And Adam replied, “I heard you coming and didn’t want you to see me naked. So I hid.”

Genesis 3:8-10 (TLB)

But this story is not all bad news at least at that point in the story. Look at verse 21 with me…

and the Lord God clothed Adam and his wife with garments made from skins of animals.

Genesis 3:21

God stepped in and provided Adam with a better solution. One that solved this problem for literally generations. I like this part of the story because it doesn’t leave man hopeless. Even more glorious is that before this verse, God had addressed the main problem with the promise of a solution. Right there in that garden, Jesus was promised; but that is a story for another day. In this article we realise quite clear as day, that even though man can choose from right and wrong, that knowledge does not guarantee him wisdom and his only hope is to give that baton to God where it rightly belongs in the first place.

What does that look like in the 21st century? Quite simple. Listen, trust and obey. We need to know what God is saying about every problem and every decision. Then we need to trust that he has our best interest at heart and then give in by obeying his instructions. Now if you want to know why we should do this, here is a reason for you; he created it all! Too obvious? Okay what about him choosing to be like us, feel what we feel and die worse than we could die just so we could have an opportunity to get back what we intentionally lost at Eden. He loves us as a whole and individually too. So maybe we might want to listen to him more.

Let’s get practical.

Before you choose to hold on to a grudge because you are genuinely hurt (fig leaves) maybe you might want to try forgiveness and give yourself peace. Instead of making yourself into a sex junkie in a bid to satisfy your cravings (fig leaves) you could let the one who gave you those cravings tell you how he intended for them to be used. PRAY! Pray as much as you can. Especially to know what to do per time and with the little and big stuff the bible doesn’t mention. Most importantly, let God lead your life by accepting the life he laid down for you at the cross. That way you get access to God in man: The Holy Spirit!

I will end with an interesting story that is not so much in the past. The film, Selma, chronicles one of the most pivotal moments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story. One of the scenes shows MLK leading a huge multitude in a peaceful protest and for a moment it seemed as though their enemies would let them carry on but MLK stopped and took a knee. This made everyone in the protest do the same, and after a moment he stood up and went back and the crowd followed. The leaders at the time were so furious with MLK. From the perspective of the film we were able to see what transpired behind closed doors that MLK and his comrades were not privy to. This was meant to be an ambush but a lot of lives were saved because MLK stopped and prayed.

I guess I have expressed this point as much as I can for now. I hope you realise that the fig-leaves solutions you have cannot stand the test of time so you need to let God help you. I hope our leaders learn to pray and truly listen to God and then trust and obey him. In the end, this world will definitely come to ruin but at least most of us can be saved if we do differently, let God heal us and provide us with better solutions.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2020

These Knees

On these knees,
My plans and pleas are placed on the infallible Rock of ages
Unswayed like trees in a tropical breeze
For I have insight and wisdom beyond the sages.

On these knees, by this night stand
I gain the strength to stand tough ordeals
Or deal with life when seemingly dealt a bad hand
For the deck is in my favor even when it’s not ideal.

On these knees, worries fall and faith rise
As the prayer call is heard and heed in the hidden.
Situations change faster than light meet the eyes
As angels rush to do my bidding.

On these knees, with these ears
His voice and will are made plain
There are no worries, there are no fears
For the lord risen from the cross he was slain.

Ini Brown
© 2020

It Makes No Difference 2

It makes no difference
That we project ourselves
As believers
But we so much
Believe in the blatant Lies
Of Deceivers

Again, they call their preacher
Maniacs
Yes! the maggot mouth
Of Covid 19
May turn the world
To a Morbid Canteen
But the Word of God stands still…
…Still enough to be a
Statue of Liberty to those
That will die living in it

It makes no difference
If you believe not the Word
Because your disbelief
Will not alter the plans of Divinity
Believe it or not
We still have Mortals
Possessed with the Spirit
Of Immortality
Those whose time will not end
Till they see the end of time

It makes no difference
Living in the natural
And beefing the Supernatural
Because Life is not all about
What you’ve seen
It’s all about
What you’ve not seen

In the Labour room
Of this Lockdown
Is a Primigravida in Labour pains
Pushing to give birth to the likes
Of Meshach’s and Shedrach’s
Sons that will pledge their lives for the Word
Sons that will grow like Abraham
To become Fathers of Faith

In a time
Where the Wisdom of the wit fails
And Fear Factor is the Main Actor
It makes no difference
If we(believers) are not different
Because if we die is the Word,
We live is the Word
IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE

King Uwe
© 2020

Oh God!

God in these times when there is fear,
Fear even to move from here to there,
The news are becoming too much to bear,
Lord we know that you still care.

The world at large is afraid of the virus,
And the news O Lord is getting serious,
There seems to be no one to trust,
But we know that you are with us.

So Lord we proclaim peace not fear,
We know that you are forever near,
Forgive our sins and heal our Land,
By your mighty power and stretched out hand.

Lord give us the wisdom to wash and pray,
As thou grants us the grace to watch and pray,
And in thy power keep us safe and near.
For we speak peace and not fear.

Lekesax
(c) 2020