200 Posts Milestone

I just received the notification from WordPress that I have reached the 200 posts milestone on this blog. So I decided to share the good news with you.

Good news because it brought 200 shades of smiles to my face. And the fact that I have you reading the posts is very heart-warming.

I would have let it pass unheralded but I don’t want to miss this opportunity to say:

Thank you 200 times for reading and following this blog.

reaching the 200 posts mark

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Searching for Love

Looking for love? Receive God’s love…

Many people are looking for love, but are unwilling to embrace God’s love for them. They are missing…

Valentine's Day

Remembering the Enduring Love of a Couple-Friend

Victorscorner

I just stumbled on this personal picture featured here and it brought back wonderful memories that precipitated this post.

I remember the day I snapped it exactly 3 years ago. It was at the church wedding of a very close friend.

The wedding took place at a location far away from my Lagos base. But I had to be there, irrespective of the distance.

The friend deserved the love and support I had to give, even more.

We are friends. We have been friends. We have come along way with each other and for each other as well.

There was a lot of significance to that wedding. The enduring love of the couple for instance: They loved each other against all odds. Believed in each other. Courted each other for several years. Planned being with each other for life…for better or worse.

But there were pockets of challenges here and there before the wedding – all through the courtship period – chief of which was that their families opposed the marriage.

However, in the end, the patience and the love of the couple paid off; they eventually got parental blessing for the wedding and the marriage was allowed to take place.

I was glad I was there to witness it all. I was glad that their love triumphed over all obstacles, giving all glory to God who made all things possible.

In more ways than one, I had a personal sense of fulfilment over that wedding. Mission accomplished for the couple; joy for all of us friends and family.

Even in times of doubts before the marriage, I stood with my friend and his love. Though a long tedious journey, it came to a beautiful climax: united in holy matrimony, against all odds.

I saw it coming. I prayed with them. It seemed impossible at first but it still took place in the end – happily.

Uyanwanne V.
Going for the Wedding

When I was setting out for that wedding event, I took two days off work to enable me arrive the location ahead of time. The traditional wedding was for a Friday afternoon while the white wedding was to take place the following Saturday.

I was well prepared for the wedding. I bought a brand new pair of suit for the occasion, along side the accompanying accessories.

I was happy… I was longing to see my friend walk the aisle with his bride. A big day, it would turn out be!

On a Thursday, the day to the Friday of the traditional wedding ceremony, I arrived at the inter state bus terminal not too far from my Lagos home to begin this important journey I had looked forward to for at least three months prior.

It was midday, so I had said to my self, “In the next 5-6 hours on the road, I should be with my friend ready to cheer him on as he bade goodbye to bachelorhood.”

You know that feeling you have when someone you love is celebrating! I felt it and I felt good about it…

My close friend from way back was getting married. I had to be there in flesh and blood, with all pleasure.

Some years ago when I got married, he was with me all the way. He flew in to Abuja into my waiting arms. And then together we flew further to Sokoto where he joined me to pick my beautiful bride.

I still remember how we felt when the plane touched down at the Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport.

“So Victor you are getting married?” he had asked me. You see what I mean when I say we have come along way?

“Yes” was my heartfelt response to him. “It is my turn now, it will be yours soon,” sounding very sure of the future.

As we stepped out from the air-plane then, we were both greeted by the dry very winds of the North West and the scorching Sun of the seat of the Caliphate, with temperatures measure reaching the 40″C mark.

I had never felt so much heat before my life. But it was all well and good: I got married in Church as planned without any hitches, whatsoever!

Now it’s this friend’s own wedding, and my mind was already made up  about being there. “I have to be there by all means,” I had promised myself.

And the day finally came!

There were no direct flights to the local town venue of the wedding; no airport there in the first place. So the journey had to be done by road. And I was ready to take it on, joyfully and wholeheartedly!

There was the option for me to fly to the nearest airport located at the State Capital, some kilometres away from the place, and taxi inwards to the venue. But my budget was very tight, so that idea flew away from my head as quickly as it had come.

In the end, I had to travel by road. I didn’t even see it as a sacrifice even though I had to travel several rough miles to attend the marriage ceremony. Like I said earlier, I was still happy doing it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get there until the Friday of the traditional marriage ceremony proper. In fact I arrived in the middle of the ceremony, with friends and family already seated,  appropriately dressed in colourful attires.

The event was peaceful and successful. And on the following Saturday, my friend and his bride were joined in holy matrimony to begin their life together as man and wife. I thank God, I witnessed it all.

Rewind a day backwards

As you might have observed, I arrived a day later than I had planned to. The late show up was due to a setback in transportation the day before.

That Thursday when I got to the bus park, I bought my fare ticket and sat down on the public bus waiting for the journey to begin. The waiting turned from minutes to hours, and we were still there. Not enough passengers for the bus to depart the terminal.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t continue the journey same day, else I would have to get there at very late hours. And that’s not good enough, for security reasons.

I departed from the bus park for home, forfeiting my fares – as they insisted there would be no refunds.

But I had still had to make that journey. So I shifted it to the following Friday morning. This time, I switched Inter State bus terminal.

Thankfully I didn’t have to wait for too long. So the journey began and to the glory of God, I arrived safely for the wedding, stayed with my friend as he took his bride to the altar. And together we all savoured the joy of the couple that had the enduring love that conquered all odds.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Prejudice Comes in Different Forms – A Reader’s Perspective

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity –Wikipedia.

The post you are about to read is the contribution of one of my readers to this blog’s discourse on racism and other forms of discrimination and prejudices around the world.

It was a comment by Bruce, author of the blog, Reasoned Cases for Christ, in response to a Misggrace’s true life experiences of racial prejudices in Southern Africa, as published on this blog. I have his permission to publish his comment as a full-length post.

Prejudice

In Bruce’s Words

...Being prejudiced comes in many forms and it isn’t just restricted to those who have a different skin colour although that is one of the more obvious forms.

I’ve often wondered why it is that we almost automatically zoom in on those who are different from us, be it a mannerism they have, or a defect of any kind.

Recent studies in DNA show that all of us can trace our ancestry back to Africa, which I think, is kind of ironic, when you stop to think about it. I have a gut feeling that a lot of our prejudice stems from a feeling of superiority, where we think we are better than someone else.

And it should be noted that being prejudiced is not restricted to only those who have a lighter or white skin colour. I’ve seen and experienced prejudice flow both ways.

Prejudice
Bruce – Reasoned Case for Christ

I actually think that all of us are prejudiced in some ways, it could be education, upbringing, intelligence, success or failure and a host of other “particulars”.

Short story is that it is all wrong, because regardless of what colour we are, we all are sinners and there is no “coloured section” at the feet of Jesus. Nor is there a section for the “educated” or a section for those who have been “successful”.

God is no respecter of persons, He looks at the heart and the last time I checked, we all have hearts.

It is sad that prejudice exists, in all of it’s various forms but I fear is a condition of the human heart that has not come to understand how we all are alike, regardless of our skin colour, regardless of our education or upbringing or success or failure.

We all are creations of our Creator, made in His image and we [are in] error if we think otherwise. And most importantly, we all need the saving Grace that God in His wisdom holds our to us, namely the acceptance and saving shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us new.


Thanks to Bruce for this wonderful contribution.

I agree that prejudice or discrimination exists in many forms other than racism based on skin colour. But it has to be reiterated that such prejudice or discrimination is bad, irrespective of the form it is presented.

You should feel free to lend your voice to the conversation by leaving a comment below👇

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Racial Discrimination in Southern Africa: A True Life Experience

Racial Discrimination in South Africa

I recently published a post that took a look at racism in the US and tribalism in Nigeria. One of the readers who responded to that article was Misggrace, the author of the blog, Forgotten Empathy.

Misggrace has been a victim of racism herself. Although my post which she responded to examined the issues of racial discrimination and prejudices with specific references to America and Nigeria, she expanded the discussion by sharing her personal experience of racism as a black foreigner living in Southern Africa.

I have her kind permission to share the story here so we can all see things for ourselves:

In Misggrace’s words

…Discrimination is something that really pricks me because I have experienced it. For the life of me, I just cannot understand why people choose to look down on other people because of intangible attributes/features.

The funny thing is that you don’t have to go as far as America to witness and feel the effect of racism. Come down to the southern part of Africa, you would see and feel it yourself. It’s more transparent in South Africa and Namibia than in other Southern African countries.

You can google some of the stories of how whites treat Black workers in South Africa, you would be disappointed. I must say that there are good white folks out there that don’t belittle other people.

Racial discrimination
Misggrace: Forgotten Empathy

The first time I visited South Africa, we stayed in a neighbourhood at Randsburg and due to the condescending attitude of white folks towards us, it dawn on me that we were in a predominantly white neighbourhood. There were police cars patrolling the area more often and if you are black, you automatically become a suspicious character. 

Most of the black people you see around the area were cleaners and gardeners and if you were not wearing the attire for this domestic duties, the police patrolling will ask for ID’s. I was so disappointed.

We rented a house for one week in Ransburg because we came to SA to do our Nigerian passport from Botswana. When we first arrived, I just couldn’t understand why the white old lady was acting rudely towards my family (I, my parents and 2 younger brothers).

My Dad being who he is paid no attention to the woman but I and my immediate younger brother did. I kept quiet because I was dumbfounded plus I was 8 years younger than I am now.

After this woman finally gave us the keys to the house we had rented, we had to walk about 200 meters to the house. Our last born was about 2 years and we pretty much had to carry him alongside all our luggage.

One of the domestic workers quickly volunteered to help us and he told us that they would usually drop their white clients to their houses but they could have at least pitied us since we had a small child and heavy bags. I was initially just annoyed that we had to walk a long distance to the house but knowing that it was because we were blacks, I was boiling in me.

It made me observant throughout our stay in SA and in deed, anytime I visit, I am observant. I tell you that it is painful to witness black people being belittled just because of their skin colour. Its was as if white people were afraid of black people in their neighbourhoods or work buildings.

Seeing a black person in a predominantly white area signals thief, beggars, cleaners unless of course you’re a black person with a known professional reputation.

———–

Thank you Misggrace for sharing this story. I felt touched by it in no small measures. How I wish the human race did not have to experience racism anywhere around the world!

Do you have any personal experience of racial discrimination in any part of the world? Feel free to share your story in the comment section.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Racism in America Vs Tribalism in Nigeria

Learn love, unlearn racism
Source: WisdomToInspire.com

First words first

I was born here in Nigeria and it is where I have lived all my life. I have never had the privilege of travelling outside the country. (I hope that would soon change!). So consider the views expressed in this article as one from an interested distant observer…

If there is any destination I would love to visit first outside my country, it would definitely be the US – yes, the United States of America. And that’s understandable for so many reasons – some of which are outside the scope of this piece.

As the Land of Promise, America remains a beckoning place to many of us from the so-called Third World countries. The people from our backyards who have visited the US or who live there have shared with us stories that are good enough to act as veritable attractions to that country.

I love the level of development in that country. The right infrastructures exist in the right places. The schools. The technology…Hope you got my drift?

Now let’s delve into the heart of the post…

Racism in the freeworld

As someone that views America from far across many seas and oceans, there is something I often ‘see’ or hear about America and Americans that I would say I can’t so much relate to. It is the disheartening issue of racism in that country.

But that I cannot properly relate to it now does not mean I want to underestimate its reality. More than many people are willing to admit, racism (that “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”) is still an in issue being grapled with in 21st Century America!

While I was making the draft of this post, I came across the following confession by a blogger, an American citizen, who was wondering if racism also plays out in other parts of the world as it does in America. Hear her:

As an American I often wonder does the racism here play out the same in different parts of the world? What does racism look like other places? I also often wonder of the races within each country, The world is so big there has to infinite potential of races and mixed races living in different countries. Are they accepted in there own country or are there still barriers and such around? — TruthsOfaLostKid

Well, I’m glad to offer a little  insight as it pans out here in my native country Nigeria. But first, let us put the question in a more direct way:

Does racism exist in many other places around the world?

Yes, it does exists – even in the so-called freeworld countries!

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that it is wrong, neither is everyone actively engaged in fighting against it.

Is racism right?

No, it is not! And it cannot be. As Linda Lee remarked in the post What Colour Am I?,

What is wrong with people, that anyone would think racism is right? We are all human beings, we have all been created by the same Almighty God, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US was made in His image.

I would agree that, black or white and everything in between, we were all created in the image of God. Unfortunately, not everyone would agree with that position.

While some people may deny that racism exists in the US, even at institutional levels, many people agree that it does exist.

Racism in the world

From the way I have read about it in prints, watched it on the news and seen in movies, I can conclude that the issue of racism in America (especially as it affects black Americans) is real. If this were not so, why do we have such outspoken movements as “Black Lives Matter,” and not “All Lives Matter”?

The black people in the US claim they are the victims of most racial prejudices in that country. But there are some reports which also claim that white people suffer some discriminations too.

Like I pointed out earlier, I speak as a far-flong observer from another side of the world. So feel free to enlighten me more on the issue if you have firsthand experiences on racial issues. I may not know so much where the shoe pinches, because I am not wearing it.

You already know I am not living in America. So I do not have any firsthand experience of racism in that country. But that does not mean that I am looking forward to being discriminated upon or being subjected to an unwholesome treatment on the basis of my race like several people have been reported to have experienced (or still experiencing).

I am simply saying that due to my limited exposure, I am unable to comprehend the full  breadth and depth of the issue of racism as it affects non-white Americans – the black Americans – in America.

The Toga of Racism in Nigeria 

Does that mean we do not face the challenge of racism here in Nigeria, my country of birth and residence? Probably not!

But I do not want to pretend and say all is well with the way we the citizens relate with one another and with non-citizens around here. In fact, what you refer to as racism in America, takes a different hegemonic form here in Nigeria.

It is called tribalism, which, just like corruption, manifests itself in all aspects of our collective existence. But unlike racism, tribalism has nothing to do with the colour of one’s skin.

So you can imagine how odd it felt to be referred to as “people of colour” when you know that everyone else around you has the same skin colour as you.

People of Colour? No way!

I was taken aback a few years ago when a popular Hollywood celebrity actress who visited Nigeria during a movie award event referred to her audience (predominantly Nigerians) as “people of colour.”

Watching her on primetime television, I was like “hello, hold it…this is Nigeria, not America; we do not see ourselves as “people of colour” around here.

My point is that racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America.

In the words of Chimamanda Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, “In Nigeria race is not a conscious and present means of self-identification. Ethnicity is. Religion is. But not race.”

This response she gave in a Goodreads interview as far back as 2013 aptly captures the differences between race issues in America when compared with same in Nigeria.

Unlike the experiences often reported amongst blacks in the US, no one in Nigeria is identified or should I say discriminated upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.

All of us are black! Instead of race, we talk of our ethic origins, religious affiliations and regional bases.

  • Ethnicity – the question around here is often, are you Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa? (Those are the three major tribes that constitute the vast population of the country);
  • Religion – Christian or Moslem? (These are the two hegemonic religious groupings but there are some insignificant others in between);
  • Region – Northerner or Southerner (broadly speaking) or (in terms of the six geographical regions), South West, South East, South South, North West, North East, North Central).

To our undoing, political decisions most often than not, are made on sentiments contrived along those three lines of ethic origin, religious affiliation and regional heritage. Unfortunately, the story is not so different in some other institutions such such as schools, labour market, and even in some churches!

While racism is the issue in America, tribalism it is in Nigeria. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

5 Things That Do Not Make You A Disciple Of Christ

Many people claim to be Christians but they are not. And if one is not a Christian, he or she cannot be  called a disciple of Christ.

Without a personal faith in the finished work of Christ, one could not be called a Christian.

Things that don't make you are ChristianIn this post, we will examine 5 things that though they may appear good in themselves, they are not sufficient to qualify one as a Christian or a disciple of Christ.

1. Having Christian parents.

Yes, you are not a Christian simply because your parents are Christians.

Anyone can become a disciple of Christ irrespective of whether their parents know Christ or not. It is a personal decision. This is where those who see themselves as cultural Christians miss the point.

You are privileged if you have Christian parents. But that does not automatically make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.

To become a Christian, you will have to enter into a personal relationship with God by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Your parents cannot do it on your behalf; it has to be a personal, conscious decision only you can take for yourself.

 2. Being a member of a local church

Christians go to Church, but truly speaking, not everyone who goes to Church are Christians or disciples of Christ.

Being a registered member of a local Church is good, but it is not the ultimate. Many people are members of the physical church, but they are not members of the spiritual one. Such people are not disciples of Christ.

The Church is the spiritual body of all believers in Christ on Earth irrespective of where he or she lives.

Despite being a member of a local church, you are not a disciple of Christ if you do not belong to the spiritual church, which salvation in Christ offers automatic membership to.

Church
Source: Pinterest

3. Giving a part of your income to God.

Some people feel that because they regularly give the tithe, donations or other forms of giving to the church they have earned their rights to be Christians or children of God. Far from it!

Irrespective of your level of financial support to a local church, you still have to get to the point of having to have personally committed your life to Christ in faith before Heavens can recognise you as a bonafide child of God.

Unfortunately, so many people there are that give money in church every Sunday who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. And as such, they are not disciples of Christ.

4. Fasting and praying.

You can engage regularly in prayer and fasting but that doesn’t make you a disciple of Christ.  A good Christian should fast and pray as the needs arise, but fasting and prayer doesn’t make you a good Christian.

For your prayer and fasting to be meaningful, you have to have a personal relationship with the Lord to whom the prayers are directed.

Without complete trust in the finished work of the Cross, prayer and fasting profits little or nothing.

5. Doing good

Anyone can do good to people; even atheists do some form of good deeds.

You do not have to be a disciple of Christ to do some form of good to other people. But you cannot earn being a child of God or a follower of Jesus Christ by doing good. It is however expected that the disciples of Christ should do good.

In summary, having Christian parents, belonging to a local church, praying and fasting, doing good deeds are good in themselves but they are not what make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.

To be a christian truly, you will have to have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. In other words, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Quote: Religious Legalism Vs The Holy Spirit

Unless you can let go of what you think you know, and fully submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit – abandoning religious legalism wherever necessary – you would definitely be unable to realize your full Christ[ian] potential in this life regardless of your best efforts. –Rev. Wildfire

Religion, christianity and the Holy Spirit

Looking Beyond The Face Value

As shining as somethings are.
They are definitely not all a star

Not everything that glitters is gold.
That you may have already been told.

Surely, nothing is as it ever appears
So do not be deceived by the tears.

Life isn’t like a computer; don’t forget
What you see isn’t always what you get.

Real value is found beneath the dirt
So you have to dig deeper in the earth.

If you have to see the picture that’s true
Try looking beyond the face value.

Not all that glitters is gold

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

It’s a New Year…Just have Faith

It is  a new year, just have faith…

Have faith that your life will be better than it had been in the previous years.

Have faith that you will set goals and achieve them.

Have faith that no matter what you face during the year, you will overcome.

Have faith that you will experience happiness, joy and peace in the new year.

Have faith that you have what it takes to succeed in whatever task you set your hands on in the year.

Happy new year

Have faith that no matter the prevailing darkness, you will have the courage to step into the light ahead.

Believe that things will work out well for you.

Have faith that your health will be at its best in the new year.

Have faith in your vision, to pursue them with fervour and to realise them.

Have faith that your dreams will come through.

Have faith that you will experience love from family and friends and in all your relationships.

Have faith that your enemies will not overcome you, rather that they will bow at your feet.

Have faith that you will have sufficient finances to meet your needs and be a blessing to other people.

Have faith that your life will shine better…

Have faith that it is well with your soul.

Whatever you do this year… Just have faith!

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

2017 in Review: Top 10 Posts on this Blog

10 best posts in 2017

Based on the posts with the highest number of likes, here are the summaries of the top 10 posts on this blog in 2017:

#10. Communication in Marriage: 4 Super Lessons in a Surprising Way

As much as possible, you should endeavour to maintain a good communication flow with your spouse. That means you have to promptly take care of anything trying to impede appropriate communications with your spouse. Failure to do so may later lead to sad moments or other unpleasant consequences which you would not like.

Need for healthy communication in marriage

  1. In a thorny situation, your spouse is not the thorn.
  2. If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
  3. If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him or her.
  4. Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him or her that you are there for him or her.

#09. Share A Smile With Me

This was a post for my birthday. I went poetic saying:

Birthday party picture

…I was born for a purpose
There is no doubt about it.
No matter what life & time propose.
I will never ever quit…

#08. How You can Know God At The Friendship Level

There are “three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.” To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her. 

Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.

#07. Finding The Friend That Sticks Closer Than A Brother 

We can always find a friend in the Lord Jesus,
Who has promised He’ll always be there for us.
Whatever we go through in this time and space,
We can get succour by looking unto His face.

Best friends forever

#06. Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem. 

Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem in your marriage. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.

A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges between you and your spouse is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner.

You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse. A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

#05. 16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know

I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself. So if you are an atheist, here are some sobering truths I wish you to know:

What are you if you say there is no God?

  • Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
  • You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
  • The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
  • There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
  • Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
  • Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
  • God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
  • If you die today, where would you spend eternity?

#04. A Broken Piece of Heart

Shattered piece of heart

… For many years, I went about my life
With a broken piece of heart, bleeding.
No one could fill the great void I felt
Or mend the awfully shattered part of me.

But then I met the greatest Friend and Lover
Who truly loved me as I am, unconditionally.
The One who gave up His life for me
And gave me a brand new heart too.

#03. Jesus: 8 Special Things About The Baby That Changed The World.

In His birth, divinity became humanity. It was the beginning of the unfolding of the grandest heavenly agenda in bringing salvation to mankind. Here are some of the things that proved Jesus was not an ordinary person:

Unique things about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

  1. Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
  2. His conception by a virgin and birth were undeniable fulfillment of Prophecies.
  3. Jesus got His name several centuries before He was born.
  4. He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
  5. The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
  6. Jesus was born to die.
  7. Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
  8. He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.

#02. 6 Simple Reasons To Forgive Offences

Everyone needs forgiveness.  On the other hand, everyone needs to offer forgiveness too. Here are 6 simple reasons you should learn to forgive others:

Benefits of forgiveness

  1. God has forgiven your offences and He expects you to forgive others too.
  2. Unforgiveness is a big weight, free yourself from it.
  3. Don’t you expect others to forgive you too?
  4. Happiness and unforgiveness don’t mix.
  5. You have the capacity to forgive, no need pretending otherwise.
  6. Forgive yourself so you can forgive others.

#01. 8 Simple Reasons I Do Not Follow Your Blog

Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, then you have to check out the post.

Based on my own experience, the post was used to highlight 8 possible reasons, just like some other people, I have not been following your blog:

Why people follow your blog

  1. I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
  2. You are not following my blog.
  3. I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
  4. The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
  5. Your picture is not on your profile.
  6. You did not join any blogging community.
  7. Your blog language is totally different from mine.
  8. No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free leave A comment and share the post.

What If Christians Stop Celebrating Christmas?

What if we stopped celebrating Christmas?

Christmas is celebrated in most parts of the world every year in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour.

Yes, Jesus was born to save the world from sin. By all means, this ought to be the reason for the season of Christmas. But it is hardly so in some places.

Many people celebrate Christmas without having acknowledged Christ as their Saviour. To them Christmas is just a holiday. They eat. They drink. They party. They buy and sell.

They do everything else but they do not care about having a personal relationship with the Person they are celebrating His birthday.

On the other hand, some people have argued that:

  • The celebration of Christmas has a heathen origin;
  • It was not commanded by Jesus to be celebrated;
  • It has been fully commercialised;
  • Materialism takes a better hold of people during Christmas…

The above observations may be correct. But do you know that even if all Christians stopped celebrating Christmas today, Heaven will not fall?

Please don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas, I have been celebrating it since I was a child and I will continue to celebrate it for the rest of my life.

But I’m just saying that as significant as the celebration of Christmas is in Christianity, it doesn’t mean that our true essence as Christians would be lost if we stopped celebrating it.

What if Christians stopped celebrating Christmas?

  • It will not change the fact that a Saviour, Jesus was born at a point in time in history;
  • Celebration of Christmas is not a criteria to enter the kingdom of God;
  • We can still spread the gospel of the kingdom without Christmas;
  • Not celebrating it will not reduce the power of the gospel to save;
  • Sinners will still be won to Christ;
  • We will not be offending God by not celebrating.

I could go on and on with the list but I believe you’ve got my point already. So what do you think would happen if as Christians we should stop celebrating Christians?

Be an Atheist if You Want

Atheists are people who say there is no God. I mean, that is what they say! But it doesn’t mean their position is correct.

It couldn’t be, because we know better: God exists. But do you know what, it doesn’t really matter; whether people believe that God exists or not, it does not invalidate who He is.

Being an atheist does not reduce who God is

Be an atheist if you want. Remain one if you have been. But know that it is in your better interest to believe in God than to believe that He doesn’t even exist.

For the records. God is God all by Himself, and He will continue to be God all by Himself till eternity.

Neither you who do not believe in God nor I who does believe in Him have anything to add to who God is. He is the all-sufficient One.

I believe in God at my own risk. You disbelief in Him at your own risk as well. So what’s all this argument about whether God exists or not?

I am convinced that God exists and I try to live my life to please Him. So it is understandable if I am filled with God-consciousness  every time. In fact that is what is expected from me.

How about you? It should be a different thing all together, but it isn’t.

You are convinced God doesn’t exist. Right? Why then don’t you get on with your life and forget about all this diatribe on the notion of God’s existence? Can you do you that? May be, you can’t after all!

Honestly, I don’t even understand you! Why do you get yourself so worked-up trying to prove that the non-existent God does not exist? It doesn’t sound logical… Are you even sure of what you claim?

I say that God exists, you get displeased. Why? Should you be annoyed about Someone who is non-existent?

You have said with your own mouth that God doesn’t exist yet all your discussions and writings are not complete except there is a reference to God. Why should you be bothered so much to talk about God if you truly believe He doesn’t exist?

Somehow, I believe that even though you call yourself an atheist, you know in your innermost heart that God exists, but you just don’t want to acknowledge it. As usual, you will deny that you know… But I am hardly surprised.

May be we should settle it this way: I believe in God through Jesus Christ, leave me to enjoy the benefits of it here on earth and in the world to come. You deny that God exists, feel free to savour the ‘benefits’ of that here on earth and in the world to come.

One day, both of us, individually, will stand before the God whom you deny…

Are you all right with that? So continue to be an atheist if you want. Don’t give it up!

Did I just say that you can remain in your atheism? Oh please pardon me! What I really mean is for you to come out from atheism to God and out of foolishness into truth.

  • Foolishness, because atheism is foolishness. According to the Bible, only a fool can say that God doesn’t exist. (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). It is deception to think that it is wisdom to deny the existence of God.
  • Truth, because God exists and it is something you will get to acknowledge one day – either willingly on your own while you are still alive on earth or by default (force) after the breath of life is gone from you. By then, it would have been too late.

 

Every one must confess there is God - Victor Uyanwanne
Billy Graham. Source: Billygraham.org

For those who arrogantly declare that God does not exist and rail against any mention of His Name, the Scriptures declare all people everywhere will one day confess that indeed there is a God… Until then, we must understand that all men—atheist, agnostic, secularist, humanist, moral and immoral, educated and uneducated—are under God’s judgment apart from saving faith in Christ… Billy Graham

Perhaps I should say this as a parting shot:

The God that you say doesn’t exist loves you unconditionally. All He wants from you is a relationship with Him by faith through His Son Jesus Christ.

What do you say?

©Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

Remembering The Purpose Of Christmas

Every year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Some people say we are not sure of His date of birth. “Definitely not 25 December” they say.

It is true we can’t be sure about the date. But there is something we can be sure about: A Saviour was born at a point in time in history.

This is no fiction. No fabrication. No figment of man’s imagination as some people suggest. It was a recorded historical event orchestrated by the finger of God.

Jesus was born. And He was born with a purpose. His purpose was announced before He was born. An angel of God had announced to Joseph,

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

That is it! The purpose of Christ’s birth was to save us from our sins. That’s the reason we celebrate His Birth. That is the reason for Christmas!

That tells me that if your sins have not been forgiven – or better still, if you have not received the forgiveness of your sins – by giving your life to Jesus Christ, the purpose of Christmas has not been fulfilled in your life.

As the saying goes, “If the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable.” That seems to be the case with Christmas; many people are celebrating without knowing the essence of it. As a result, they end up abusing it.

I used to be like that. For many years, I looked forward to Christmas for some other reasons other than the birth of a Saviour. But once I got born again, I began to understand the real essence of Christmas. Christmas picture

The real essence of Christmas is not the beautiful carol we hear or sing, not the ambience, the special shoppings, the fanfare, the feasting, and all other kinds of activities we enjoy during the season. The real essence of Christmas is found in the original purpose: Jesus was born to save the world.

Christmas is a celebration of love. The love of God to the world in sending a Saviour to die for us. That popular Bible verse says,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

So as you celebrate, do not forget the real purpose of Christmas.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Now that the Year is Ending…Be Thankful

Be grateful

Now that the year is ending…You might have had many unfulfilled goals. But you have to be grateful for the ones you were able to achieve.

You might have had many unanswered prayers. But the thankful for the ones that were answered.

Even if you still have many questions on your mind, do not give in to despair. Keep searching, answers will come.

At least you are alive. That means your hope is not dead yet. Think about that, and you will have a good reason to be thankful.

You may not be where you wish to be yet, but remember that you are no longer where you used to be.

As you take stock for the passing year, do yourself a favour: Find a reason to be thankful.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

When You Find Yourself Answering Questions on an Atheist’s Blog

Victor Uyanwanne

Recently, I commented on a post appearing on the blog The Closet Atheist. Following that comment, I found myself also responding to other comments clearly directed at me by some readers of that blog whom I perceived to be atheists.

Amongst other issues raised, the author while relating his experience in a so-called secular university in defence of the purported claims of an unnamed professor from an unidentified Christian college, ostensibly suggested that Christians think that atheists must be savages – brutal and vicious, lacking in morality – because they have rejected the notion of God…

My initial response to that post and part of the conversations that later ensued between other readers and I form the bulk of the texts presented in this post:

My initial response…

The point of being a Christian is not on the basis of simple morality… It is about having a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian if that understanding is not there, including the so-called Christians cited in your statistics.

Even if someone rejects the notion that God exists, that doesn’t automatically make such one a ruthless savage, contrary to the picture painted in the post. That much is clear to me and to most other true believers in God.

Besides, there are already enough laws in the civilised world to hold people accountable for their behaviours.

What should bother one is the eternal consequence of a disposition that rejects God. And it would be laughable to suggest that the Creator will have no way of holding His creatures accountable.

Let me add that the whole notion of God is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented: Misunderstood by those who don’t believe in His existence and sometimes misrepresented by those who do.

God loves everybody

For the records, God loves everyone -whether they believe in Him or not. And contrary to the picture you painted, He loves gay people too – although the gay lifestyle is what He doesn’t approve of – according to Biblical guidelines which clearly show that heterogeneous relationship is God’s perfect plan for mankind.

God gave us a special gift called freewill. Unfortunately some of us are using it against Him. But we can never outsmart Him. In any case, we make our choices and our choices make us.

The aftermath…

God’s love and hellfire?

One of the readers took the reference to God’s love out of context by bringing in the issue of hellfire, saying:

“So, he (God) loves us so much he invented Hell to reinforce that fact? Sheol wasn’t good enough, so he had to up the ante? Misunderstanding is not the sole province of unbelievers. Believers seem to believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.”

Well, I was obliged to respond to that as well:

God loves us so much He has made a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Hell wasn’t originally meant for human beings. It was meant for the devil and his demons. Unfortunately, anyone who rejects God has sided with the devil. As a result, such people will end up where the devil himself will end up.

Believers in God don’t believe what they want to believe as you suggested. What they believe about God is what God’s book, the Bible, says about Him. It is another thing if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible.

Talking about Freewill

The reference to freewill in my initial comment appeared to have been misunderstood by some of the readers of that blog who commented.

One of them questioned, “…People rape, murder, abuse, rob and torture because YHWH has given them free will? So, his sovereignty allows their heinous crimes to happen?…”

“…Yes God is responsible for giving humans the freewill,” I replied, “but He is not responsible for what we do with it…

We would be mere robots if God took away our freewill. That’s why it is important He left it with us. He gave us the CHOICE…”

Along the same line, another reader scoffed the idea that we have freewill saying, “Some guy is raping a woman and he says, “But officer, free will!”. Would that fly in court? lol.”

To that I responded:

That was never implied in my comment. But I did say that everyone would be held accountable for whatever he or she did with their freewill.

Of course, freewill as an excuse to commit rape (or any other  crime at that) will not fly in court. The rapist will be judged according to the law.

In the same way, God will eventually judge everyone who rejects Him based on their freewill.

The moral compass inside every man

Speaking further, another reader opined, “The moral argument for God’s existence just shows an ignorance of the field of ethics in general. There are many accounts of morality without God, but apologists won’t even address them. Most of the time they pretend that they don’t exist.”

To that claim, I simply pointed out that:

God is the original Source of morality. Inside every man is a moral compass called the conscience. And whether we agree or not, it was God who put it there.

Feel free to lend your voice to the discourse.

Echoes From My Heart 3

Inspiration

1. There is a message in the mess you might have found yourself in. Do not miss it.

2. Visit the past to learn from it. But do not settle there.

3. You need to throw up some expectations in order to catch some manifestations. You know what they, “expectation precedes manifestation.”

4. It is no use trying to please everybody. You will never be perfect at doing it.

5. Whatever you do, always try to focus well. By so doing, you will not even notice some distractions.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Remembering my Childhood Memories of the Essence of Christmas

Going back to my roots!

I have lived most of my life here in Lagos, Nigeria. But I was born in Owerre Olubor, a peaceful town in the present day Ika N. E. Local Government of Delta State.

There were many wonderful memories I had growing up in that predominantly agrarian village where a sizeable portion of the population, with a few exceptions,  professed to be Christians.

One of such memories is that of various celebrations which took place in the community on an annual basis. Apart from the universal Easter, Christmas and New Year celebrations, there were other big festivals that were equally engaged in.

The New Yam Festival, Iwaji, is celebrated in the third quarter of the year to mark the beginning of farm harvests and then followed closely with a festival of dance and music, known as Ogbanigbe. Both festivals which attracted visitors from far and near, were ‘traditional’ in nature and were celebrated by almost everyone in that serene community.

Ogbanigbe Festival
Crowd celebrating the Ogbanigbe Festival in 2010. Photo credits – CF Monye

However, many ‘serious’ Christians in the land, especially those from amongst the Pentecostal circle, did not join in the Ogbanigbe celebration for fear of being ‘contaminated’. Their sentiment for not participating in the festivals was that such ceremonies were rooted in idolatory and ancestral worship, giving glory to demons and not to the true God.

And they were right – because of some reasons outside the scope of this post.

In those early days, my siblings and I saw ourselves as Christians, having been following our mum to church. But our personal convinctions were not very deep. So we were passive participants in the festivals until we  became fully detached from their celebrations.

Personally, I can still recall previously having some pleasures in the festivals during my pre-teen years, especially as far as the family feasting aspect of the celebrations was concerned. This was due mainly to the influence of my father in the home, making provisions for special meals to be prepared during those festivals.

Unlike my mother, my father – although a very morally upright man – wasn’t a christian and so he had a longstanding belief in those festivals. But he never forced any member of the family to participate in them.

By virtue of his status as as an ‘elder’ in the village at the time, he was given special recognition which required that the festival’s dance-parties visited our house to pay the traditional ceremonial homage to him during their main street ogbanigbe carnivals.

The beginning of Change

As time went on, I gave up whatever pleasures I might have had in those festivals. This happened after I became born again in my early teens and began to be taught the living word of God which empowered me spiritually and also enabled me to make decisions that were in line with my new found love and passion for the only true God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

While it is true that becoming born again helped in realigning my values and focus with respect to the annual festivities of those years, it was not an over-night change. I gradually refrained from having anything whatsoever to do with the ceremonies. The rest is history!

Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. 2 Corrinthians 6:17.

Cerebration by all

Christmas, though popularly known as a Christian festival, was celebrated by everyone around me, irrespective of religious background. But in those days the real essence of it was lost to me and, I believe, to majority of the celebrants as well.

Growing up then, it didn’t matter if one was a Christian or not, Christmas was a feast for all to celebrate; everyone one around, whether they went to church or not, or were involved in the so-called traditional worship, all of us participated in Christmas celebrations.

The only exception I can remember was a girl two years my senior in secondary school, a member of the Jehovah Witnesses. Including Christmas, she never joined in the celebration of ‘anything’ at all. She even refused to join in reciting the national anthem and other songs we sang on the assembly ground every morning.


Before the essense of Christmas hit me

Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. But while we all celebrated it, most often than not, not all of us remembered or even cared about the real purpose of it.

We all focused on the fanfare rather than on why Jesus was born in the first place. Sadly that mistake is still observable in many places around the world today.

In my pre-teen years, Christmas time for me meant that we were approaching the time for the longest school holiday in the academic year. That meant I would have more time to play street football with my friends from school and around the neighbourhoods.

Christmas also meant that I  was going to get a new set of clothes, a new pair of shoes, a wrist watch and a pair of sunglasses to match. It was particularly fun wearing those pair of eye-classes; once you had them on, the grounds appeared to be shifting and un-levelled. Still we managed to move around in them and then returned home to mama, safely.

At Christmas, relations who lived in cities would return home for family reunions, a once in a year ritual. We also visited relations and family friends around town, especially on the boxing day. We would be lavishly served with rice and chicken and in some cases soft drinks.

And once we stood up to go back home, we would be given some money which the giver would often say, “This is for all of you.” That announcement was necessary to avoid a situation were the direct recipient would think the money was meant for only him or her.

Reports were rampant then of children or teenagers fighting over such money… But fortunately for me, my ‘visitation’ groups were always cooperative, so at the end of day, we always amicably shared all the accumulated moneys from such visits.

You can say Christmas was another way of getting money from people you knew, as it appeared everyone was more generous during that time.

Rice and stew very plenty

Back at home from Christmas day service in church, there would be plenty of food to eat. Some people would prefer specially made local delicacies on this day. But the children (including yours truly) would relish the specially made Christmas rice and stew.

Rice and stew
Photo Credits: Seekers Match

Our parents made sure they ‘killed’ chicken to serve it along. If anybody’s mum failed to prepare rice and chicken in special stew, especially on the boxing day, he or she would have the feeling that the Christmas for that year was not fantastic.

So basically, our Christmas then like in many other places was full of eating and drinking (mostly soft drinks, no alcohol) visiting families in new outfits and other forms of celebrations. Not many people remembered or even knew the real essence of Christmas.

Understanding the real essense of Christmas

After I got born again, I began to understand the true meaning of Christmas. A Saviour was born to save the world. The slogan Christ is the reason for the season became a living reality.

I still wore new clothes at Christmas. I still ate specially prepared meals. But those were no longer my main focus: Christ was and still is.

We became challenged to share the love of God in more active ways – reaching out to people with the true meaning of Christmas.

Yes, we went out for evangelism, sharing the love of Christ in any way we deemed fit. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to tell people the Saviour was born to save them from their sins?

As we celebrate ‘Christmas’, let us remember the ‘Christ’ in it!

What’s your own childhood Christmas story?

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Faded Dreams

To have and to hold unto you
Till our dreams come through.

To cling to you, inseparably tight
Whether it be morn, noon or night.

To be truly there for each other
Waxing strong together, forever.

Those were the ample dreams
That flooded my heart like streams.

But like life’s disappearing steams
They were all but faded dreams.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Atheists Know There is a God, But…

Atheists know there is a God even though they wouldn’t admit it. And it seems to me that the more their hearts condemn them, the harder they try to put up the front that denies the existence of God.

If atheists truly believe that God does not exist, why does it bother them so much when we say He does? I believe their conscience is working them up!

There is no excuse good enough to justify a disbelief in the existence of God.

The Scriptures tell us that the things in us and outside us bear evidence that God exists. So one must have suppressed this knowledge of God over time to reach the point where one can willfully and deliberately assert that there is no God.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:20-22.

Professing to be wise, they became foolish

That statement aptly describes the situation of atheists. Their so-called wisdom in denying the existence of God is at the same time their foolishness.

Just like every human being born into this world, they were not born without an inkling of the knowledge of God. Rather, out of their own sheer volition, they gradually stifled the voices in their hearts which tell them that there is a God.

And in “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” I could say I have observed that firsthand more than a few times…

In the last one and half years, I have written some posts specifically targeting atheists or those who say there is no God. Following those posts, I have also been involved with series of online conversations with some atheists, both on this blog and across my Twitter handle.

Atheists

During our discussions, I could see that many of them tend to assume an air of superiority in knowledge. They seem to want to show that they have read so many books, and have known much about the universe, life and existence to know that God does not exist. And nothing could be farther from the truth!

We know who the foolish one is

Granted, some of the atheists I have encountered are quite knowledgeable! To that extent, they appear to think that we believers must be foolish to believe that God exists. But any form of knowledge that denies the existence of God is not a correct knowledge.

Atheists may be wise in their own eyes, calling us, believers, uninformed. But between they and us, the Bible is very clear about who the foolish one is:

The fool says in his heart that there is no God… Psalm 14:1

Those words were spoken over two thousand years ago and they still hold as true today as they have always done. According to the Bible, it is the person that says God doesn’t exist that qualifies to be called a fool, not the one that believes in His existence.

Another thing I observed from my conversations with atheists is that they are not absolutely sure that God doesn’t exist as they would want to claim. In their unguarded moments they do make claims or raise objections that presuppose that there must be a God. Yet they are reluctant to admit it.

In other words, I could surmise that many atheists are living in self-denial when they say that God doesn’t exist, because deep in their hearts they know that they are wrong.

A wicked, loveless non-existent God, Really?

On one occasion, a self-professed atheist got carried away during our conversations and he kept saying, God is wicked, God doesn’t love humans, God enjoys to see people suffer, etc. Really?

I couldn’t hold back asking him, “How can the God you say doesn’t exist be wicked and loveless? How can He even enjoy the suffering in the world except He exists in the first place?”

You see, that atheist knows there is God. May be what he doesn’t understand is the nature or character of God.

It is one thing to doubt the goodness; of God and another to claim His non-existence. I think that so-called atheist got it completely mixed up…

No matter how hard they try, atheists would never be able to prove that there is no God. (We know He does exist!). The more they try to do so, the more of their folly they put on display.

All atheist know there is God

God exists, and anyone who seeks Him with all his or her heart will find Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:13.

When a Princeton educated atheist cried out to God

It is a hard truth, but it still has to be said again: Deep in their hearts, atheists know there is a God, but they just don’t want to admit it.

In his book, The War Is Over,  Andrew Wommack expressed it better when he wrote that:

(Atheists) know that there is a God. It is just a lie (when they say there is no God). You don’t have to try and convince people of their need for God. Everybody in their heart already knows it. Every body!

For emphasis sake, let’s echoe it again: everybody, including atheists, already know in their hearts that there is a God… They may deny it or suppress the knowledge, but they still know!

To further illustrate his point, Wommack tells of an experience with an educated atheist who cried out to God to save him when he faced enemy-attacks during the Vietnamese-American war:

While I was an American soldier in Vietnam, many told me they were atheists. I remember one guy, a Princeton educated atheist, made me look like an absolute fool because he was a better talker than I was. But when the bombs started dropping and the bullets began to fly, this guy cried out to the God he said he didn’t believe in… saying “Oh God save me!” It’s all just a mind game let them get into a life-and-death situation and they will say, Oh God help me!”

The question is, if the atheist Andrew refered to truly believed there was no God, why did he cry out to Him for help when his life was in danger?

Your comments are welcome.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Raising Questions on Apostle Paul’s Calling to the Gentiles

Not too long ago, I published a post that explored reasons proving that Apostle Paul was not an eloquent speaker. That piece was however, concluded on the following note:

…Paul’s speeches were not at the highest levels as he wasn’t outstandingly eloquent as some other speakers in his time might have been. But in no way did the gospel suffer as a result of this perceived lack of oratorial skills. Rather it made it more obvious that the power of Christ was at work in Him

While commenting on the post, one of my readers took the post further by overtly questioning Apostle Paul’s frequent claim of being called to reach the Gentiles. His argument was that even before Paul came on the block, other Apostles such as Peter have had ministry to people other than the Jews.

At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. Acts 15:7, NLT

While that position is correct, as the scripture above shows, it is not enough to discredit Apostle Paul’s claim of being specially called to be a minister to the Gentiles; the argument became overextended when the reader tried to deny that Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles. Apostle Paul, a polished speaker or not - by Victor Uyanwanne

In this post, I present to you that reader’s comment and my response to it then.

The Comment

..I doubt his [Paul’s] claims towards call for the gentiles as other Apostles too spent their life time spreading the gospels to gentiles all the way to India, much farther than Greece or Syria reached by Paul. Paul’s claim of him being a minister for the gentiles and Peter for Jews again is a complete mess as Paul goes out of context.

Jesus had said to Peter and other 10 apostles to go and preach to whole creations, nations… Peter has preached to the gentile Cornelius and baptised him with the Holy Spirit even before Paul ever preached gospel to gentiles…and Yes Peter and other apostles had a possible church for gentile in Antioch even before Paul was somehow converted. I feel sorry for Paul’s misunderstanding and his claims…

My response

Hello, your comment on the post is appreciated…

…That Paul was an Apostle to gentiles is a very known fact. So you would not have sufficient basis to disprove that!

Even from the beginning of his calling, the Lord himself defined who Paul (previously known as Saul) was being called to reach. Perhaps you will need to read Acts 4:9 again, which clearly says:

But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.

No one can doubt that Paul was sent to the gentiles after reading that passage, except of course the person doesn’t esteem the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Time will fail me to begin to comment on each of the other issues you brought in. Suffice to say that Paul was a great Apostle any how you look at it. Thank you.

You can join in the conversation.

Still ahead: Reasons That Confirms Apostle Paul Was Called to Reach The Gentiles.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Echoes From My Heart 2

1. If what you hold so dear to your heart is taken away from you, will your centre still hold?

2. If you have not made peace with your Creator, nothing on earth will truly satisfy you.

3. You may not know what is in someone’s heart until you hear him or her speak.

4. Good counsel can sometimes come from unexpected sources.

Getting your hope back

5. Understand that sometimes, your friends may not give you the best advice.

6. My life is not floating. It is anchored on God.

7. Without God, life doesn’t make a complete sense.

8. The prosperity in the church of God is a welcome development. The devil and his cohorts can continue to be pained.

9. If you have lost hope in life, please get it back.

10. God is bigger than all your problems. Focus on Him and not on your problems.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Being A Cultural Christian Is Not Enough

I’m A Christian Atheist.” How Possible?

Recently, I heard something on an international news channel that I consider worth talking about here. An aged author and ostensibly an intellectual man who was being interviewed about a book he wrote (amongst other things) was asked:

“You are an atheist and a Christian. How is that possible?”

“I’m a cultural Christian: I’m a Christian by my culture, but not one by my belief,” he replied.

Really? An atheist and Christian in the same breadth?

Can someone be a Christian who does not believe in God?

The answer is obvious!

Unfortunately, this man in question is not the only one making this type of “cultural” mistake. There are people around the world who think that they are Christians simply because of the home or geographical location they were born into.

Those things as factors may exert some influences on who you become but they are not what will make you a Christian. And of course, being a Christian goes beyond being born into, or living in, any of the so-called christian nations.

I would like to further explore this topic in subsequent posts, but here it suffices to say that being a Christian is not about the culture you were born into or the one you live in. It is about you having a personal relationship with God through faith in His son Jesus Christ.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12

Unlike the man mentioned above, it is not enough to to see yourself as a cultural Christian; you should be a Christian by heart as well.

In the first place, being a Christian presupposes that you believe in God. And in fact, a Christian does not only believe in God, he or she also believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

It is therefore a mistaken identity to be called a Christian if you don’t believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.

What do you think?

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

12 Promises For Your Health

There is hope for your health.

Healing is for you as the Lord has promised. God is not only interested in your spiritual well-being, He also cares about your body being in sound health.

Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. 3 John 2.

This is a post highlighting some of God’s assurances of physical health for you as a follower of His. Through the written word of God, you have been given concrete proofs that good health, either in form of divine health or healing are God’s will for us.

Through His word, the healing power is delivered to you. “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave” Psalm 107:20.

Promises for your healing

I present to you the following 12 scriptures on healing to encourage and inspire faith in you:

1. He sent out His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:20

2. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2

3. The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health. Psalm 41:3

4. The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt.  Deuteronomy 7:15

5. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

6. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17

7. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Luke 5:17

8. “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52

9. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. James 5:14-15.

10. “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you. Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52

11. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Rom. 8:11

12. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Matt. 8:16-17.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

So You Love Your Spouse?

If any one should ask if you love your spouse or not, I’m very sure your answer would be “yes.” Well, I would agree with you because I’m not in a good position to question that assertion.

However, saying that you love your spouse is much deeper that just saying so with your mouth. You should know that if you truly love your spouse, it will definitely show in what you do or don’t do towards him or her.

In this post, we will attempt to (re)examine whether or not you love your spouse in meaningful ways as much as you would claim. Our purpose is not to criticise you but rather to help you take an objective assessment of your position right now with a view to helping you love your spouse more in ways that truly matter – and most importantly, in ways that meet heavenly requirements.

The 5 love languages
Dr Gary Chapman (Source: Wikipedia)

Before we delve into unfolding the Biblical foundation for this post, I will like to refresh your memory a little with something I read in a book at the peak of my undergraduate days, several years ago; it is about the love languages.

Chapman’s 5 Love Languages

In the book, The 5 Languages of Love, Dr Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor with reported experience spanning over three decades, believes that “unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root-cause: we speak different love languages” from our spouse’s.

In other words, it is not enough to say that you are doing your best at loving your spouse. You must actively show that you love him or her in a way that he or she understands or appreciates. That is, in a way that is most meaningful to him or her.

One pertinent question therefore is, are you speaking your spouse’s primary love language? It is important you begin to do so if you have not started.

As identified by Dr Chapman, there are five love languages you should know:

1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Receiving Gifts
4) Acts of Service, and
5) Physical Touch.

The idea behind the 5 love languages is that spouses appreciate or understand love in one or a combination of two of the 5 areas as stated on the list.

It is therefore your responsibility to find out which one of these languages your spouse understands more so you can relate more with him or her on that plane. If you don’t do that, your spouse may not understand the love you are communicating to him or her, no matter how hard you think you may be trying.

Love shows in attitude

Love is the operating word here. And again, I want to assume you love your spouse. Don’t you? If yes, then we can go on…

Having said that, let us push the bar a bit higher.

How can you ‘prove’ that you love your spouse?

When we talk about love, many people understand it in many different ways. But in the context of this post, the beautiful picture of love as painted in the book of First Corinthians shall be our standard measure.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

1 Corrinthians 13:4-8

From this passage, you can see that there are things love can do and there are ones it cannot do. Therefore, if you love your spouse, there are things you should do and there are things you should not do towards him or her.

It is these things you do or fail to do towards your spouse that prove whether or not you love your spouse. As earlier said, if you love your spouse, it will show in your attitude towards him or her.

Husband and wife
Picture source: The bridal box

The Bible passage quoted above is hugely about the operations of love in general, but we can be a bit more specific by applying it to spousal love. Let us therefore consider the specific components of the love-list and extend it to how you love your spouse:

Love is patient and kind. If you love your spouse, you should be patient with, and kind towards him or her.

Love does not envy or boast. If you love your spouse, you should not be discontented towards him or her, neither will you “talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about your achievements, possessions, or abilities.”

Love is not arrogant or rude. If you love your spouse, you should relate with him or her in humility and never take pleasure in being rude to him or her, either in your words or in your actions.

Love does not insist on its’ own way. If you love your spouse, it’s not every time you would insist on having your way with him or her. You should sometimes also allow them to have their ways too.

Love is not irritable or resentful. So you love your spouse? Then do not be easily annoyed with him or her; neither should you ever become bitter towards him or her – irrespective of how you are treated.

Love does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in truth. There may be some spouses that lie to their partners and take pleasure in cheating on them. But that should not be you, because you love your spouse.

Love bears all things, hopes all things, bears all and endures all things. If you love your spouse, then bear with his or her inadequacies, endure difficult times with each other, hope and believe for the best between you both.

Love never ends. So you love your spouse? Don’t give up on him or her!

Feel free to like, share or leave a comment on this article.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

5  Questions To Resolve To Improve On Your Personal Blogging Experience

How would you describe your personal blogging experience? Has it been somewhat frustrating or you are enjoying the ride all the way?

How about doing some little things that will improve the blogging experience for both you and your readers? In this post, I will like to explore 5 questions you should resolve if you want a better personal blogging experience.

1. Is your blog mobile device friendly?

I’m writing this post with my smartphone. And chances are that you might be reading it on a portable device as well.

That confirms the report that a rising percentage of internet users access blogs via their mobile devices as against the traditional desktop computers. The implication of that is that the readers of your blog will have a frustrating experience navigating your blog if it is not well optimised for mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.

One way to optimise your WordPress blog for mobile devices is to use a theme that is mobile device friendly. Another is to use a suitable plugin that serves that purpose. Any of the two options is capable of improving the site loading time and navigation.

2. Are you reaching out to other bloggers?

Blogging is not a solo business, neither is it a one-way express. Just like you, many other people are involved in it. You shouldn’t stay in one corner of WordPress unnoticed when there are millions of bloggers out there you could reach out to and interact with on a regular basis.

Except your blog is a private one, you will have to reach out to other bloggers if you want other bloggers to reach out to you.

You can reach out to other people’s blog by following the ones you like, reading and commenting on their posts, hitting the like buttons, sharing and reblogging their posts and even sending them direct emails. There is a  great chance that when you reach out to these people, they too will also reach out to you, and the cycle will continue.

5 Tips to improve your personal blogging experience

3. Do you follow your own blog?

People follow your blog through their WordPress accounts or through email subscriptions. That way, anytime you hit the publish button, they get notified in their email boxes or through their WordPress Readers, giving them easier access to exploring your new posts.

How does your post notification look like in an email message? You can find out about it by simply subscribing to your own blog with your email address.

This way, you will receive notifications for all your posts, just like any of your followers. It is a simple step but one capable of improving your personal blogging experience.

4. Do you promote your posts on social media?

Do you want many people to read your posts? If your answer is yes, then you will have to do some forms of promotions so that as many people as possible can find your posts to read them.

I am not talking about very aggressive marketing campaign here. You can go for that if that appeals to you. But as a personal blogger, I am actually talking about using your personal social media such as your Facebook or Twitter handles to promote the posts you publish on your blog. This costs you nothing more than a little of your time and effort.

If your blog is indexed as ‘public’ and is search-engine optimised well enough, people can find the blog through Google searches without much inducement from you. But beyond that mechanism, there has to be some deliberate efforts on your part towards getting people to read your blog.

For instance, my blog analytics show that I receive the largest traffic to my site through Google referrals, which is good for me. But I do also receive traffic via my social media handles, especially through Facebook.

As you are on WordPress, you may as well be active on social media. (Facebook and Twitter are my favourites. You can stay with the one that works best for you). This will give you more channels to promote your blog – at no direct financial cost.

You can link your posts through the sharing apparatus on your blog settings such that each time you publish a post on WordPress, it will automatically appear on your social media handles. This will make it easy for all your readers to see, click on and be directed to your blog to read the full article.

5. Do you use good pictures in your posts?

Your post should not be a block of texts that only a serious researcher can commit to read through. Make the reading experience feel better for your followers by adding appropriate pictures in appropriate places in the posts.

I have learnt to use at least one picture (the feature image) in every of my posts. And as the text counts increase, I increase the picture counts as well – one picture per every 400-500 words on a page.

Besides improving the general appearance of the post, embedding pictures in a post also helps search engines to discover your blog. But you will have to ensure that the pictures are properly labelled as you saved them in your gallery before inserting them in your posts.

What did you do to improve your personal blogging experience? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

No More Stalling The Calling

Now have I reached the fervid juncture
Where I have seen the bigger picture.
So I am going to have to say goodbye
To things that wouldn’t let me go by.

Before you begin to ask me how
At His throne my knees I bow.
And I know you want to ask me why
But no questions; he is the Most-high.

From Him have I received a greater calling
There isn’t going to be any more stalling.
The time to start the eternal race is now
It is not in your place to fathom ‘how.’

Hear it: It is not in me that wills
But it is all about Him that calls.
This is the time to answer, “Yes Lord”
No more rooms to doubt His sure Word.

Yea, there have been many wasted years
But now, I’m rising above all my fears.
Because His power is at work in me
As His sure promise says it should be.

It is not going to be an easy race
Many troubles I know I will face.
But on my side is the Omniscient
His grace for me is ever sufficient.

Come along with me if you want
Being together with you won’t hurt.
We all belong to the same Father
So we can do it better together.

 

Photo Credits: Dreamstine

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne