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A New Kind of ‘Sexy’

It was Sunday evening. 21:35 GMT, maybe.

OkikiOluwa was in my arms trying to struggle with me over who should be using the laptop while OdodoOluwa was behind us, sitting on the carpet in the living room and watching his favourite ‘dinosaur song’ on TV—with uninterruptible attention, I should add.

Anu was in the kitchen doing the dishes after quite some cooking.

The weather has been unusually windy and rainy for the past couple of days. It gets so windy at times that the wind speaks in tongues with its whistles and all. Hence, I didn’t know what to think of the sound that seemed to be coming from the kitchen area. Was it even coming from the kitchen area, or the noisy wind is playing games with my mind?

The sound didn’t stop, and the more I leaned in to make sense of it, the more it felt like a conversation was going on in the kitchen. I know my wife; she doesn’t talk to herself, normally—occasionally, perhaps—and to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any other person with her in the kitchen.

To assuage my curiosity, OkikiOluwa and I decided to check on his mum in the kitchen and solve the mystery once and for all. We could tell she was a bit shocked when we stealthily bumped into the kitchen uninvited and unannounced. She was slightly startled but she kept her cool.

“Eku ise o” (Well done), I greeted her.

“Thanks”, she responded.

“Are you okay? I thought I was hearing a conversation or something. Were you talking to yourself?”

“No”, she replied without looking away from the dishes she was doing. Then after a slight pause, she added “I was praying.”

“Ah! I see. Makes sense.”

Okiki and I hurried away so we don’t interrupt her flow for too long. But the Holy Spirit says to compliment her for what she was doing—doing the dishes AND praying simultaneously. I thought of the most honest compliment I could give her at that instance; I eventually found it so I went back to tell her:

“That’s sexy, you know?”

“Pardon?” She said with a raised voice as I was already on my way back to the living room to continue what I was trying to do on the laptop.

“I said praying, conversation style, while being ‘alone’ in the kitchen, is VERY SEXY.” I shouted back.

“Oh, Really? Thanks!”

And she went back to her conversation, this time, with reckless abandon.

I meant the compliment. At that instance when she admitted to what she had been doing in the kitchen alongside doing the dishes, I really felt romantically attracted to her afresh. There was a that’s-my-babe-in-whom-my-soul-delights feeling that enveloped me at that instance. I felt proud of her anew. I felt satisfied that I’m married to her. I felt honoured to have such a lady—who is so in tune with Jesus that they could have a verbal conversation while she’s doing the dishes—as my wife.

And the Holy Spirit gave me a perfect compliment for that moment. ‘SEXY.’ It’s a new kind of sexy.

Dear young lady, perhaps you thought being sexy is being able to sway your waist in rhythmic fashion as you walk the streets? Or being able to carve your eyebrow till it looks like Barbie’s, Rihanna’s or Beyonce’s? Or painting your face and lips in fifty shades of red? Or sounding like a transposed key on the piano? Or wearing that low dress that shows us your cleavage, your shape, and some skin from the slit that reaches up to your waist?

Well, that may get the attention of some shallow young men. It may be a head-turner for some sensual guys out there. But what profits a lady who dots her i’s and crosses her t’s in the school of being ‘sexy’ only to win the attention of a shallow, sensual heartbreaker?

Well, there is a new kind of ‘sexy’—the original kind of sexy. Given the fact that sex was originally God’s idea, and being sexy—being sexually attractive—was also God’s making (which was expressed for the first time when Adam laid his eyes on Eve and screamed “Wow! Man!” from whence came ‘woman’ . . . LOL), then it only makes sense to think that being sexy is supposed to be linked to being in God’s presence.

Being sexy is more than being sensual, seductive, sultry, slinky or shapely; it transcends being voluptuous, luscious, flirtatious, or bootylicious. More than being beddable, being sexy is being a God worshipper to the core. Being sexy is being able to be able to go on your knees or lie flat on your face, melted into the embrace of your Abba Father. Being sexy is being able to prioritise talking to God over talking to folks. Being sexy is being able to stay behind the scene while you beautify the location where you and your folks gather to worship this one true God. Being sexy is being able to be immersed in a load of tasks on your to-do-list and still stay connected to your dad.

If you miss this kind of sexy, any other kind, I suspect, will catch you a heartbreaker at best. The Yorubas will say

“Ìyàwó tí a gbé lójú ijó, onílù ni yó bàá lọ” 

— in other words, the wife you met at a dance will eventually elope with the musician at the party. Of course, the proverb connotes a deeper message, viz: “People cannot shed their innate habits”, however, the comparative deduction of the analogy is striking. How you ‘find’ your spouse says a lot about what your marriage will look like.

As a lady, if you allow your devotion to God—your worshipfulness kind of sexy—to shape the other ‘physical’ kind of sexy generic to all females, you will be a modern version of the kind of woman King Lemuel describes in Proverbs 31 (as taught by his mum).

“There are some—indeed many—women who do well in every way, but of all of them only you are truly excellent.” Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last, but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others.” (Proverbs 31:29-30 The Voice)

You want to be the heartthrob of a man that fears God? This, right here, is the password. Explorative King Solomon gave an insight about his choice of his Beloved out of the many options he had:

“I could have chosen any from among the vast multitude of royal ones who follow me. But ONE is my beloved dove—unrivaled in beauty, without equal, beyond compare, the perfect one, the favorite one. Others see your beauty and sing of your joy. Brides and queens chant your praise: “How blessed is she!”” (Song of Songs 6:8-9 The Passion Translation)

Dear young woman, I guess here is the sum of what I’m saying: Bury your heart so deeply into God’s that it will take a man ardent in his pursuit of God to find it.

And dear young man, BE THAT MAN! Be the kind of man that grows past sizing up ladies by the physical indices of shapes, shades, and shakes.

Again, the Yorubas will say

“Ọmoge ńrelé ọkọ pèlú-u májèlé, alárẹnàa rè-é mú apó dání, ọkọ ìyàwó di èbìtì síle; ká wá wo irú ọmọ tí wọn ó bìí.” 

In other words, “A young woman leaves for her groom’s home carrying poisons; her intermediary carries a quiver, and the husband awaits them with a snare; let us see what sort of children they will produce.” The point is clear: Some things are predictable simply by considering the surrounding facts. As a young man or young woman, one can predict what your marital life will look like simply by looking at how you go about ‘finding’ your ‘one’.

As a young man, if you busy yourself with a passionate pursuit of God’s purpose for your life, you cannot but find the one intended for you as you keep digging the treasure mine in God to which you have been called.

You don’t find this kind of wife by SEARCHING for THEM (after all, you are clueless as to where to begin your search); you find such by SEARCHING for GOD and His plans for you! If you will focus solely on pursuing God’s assignment for your life and keep digging deeper into that, you will find the ‘helpmeet’ that God intends for you, undoubtedly—and that may be a wife, or for those called into celibacy, some other kind of ‘help’ that will foster the fulfilment of God’s call upon your life.

As I type this, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to today’s date at the bottom right corner of the laptop. 10/02/2020. I’m immediately reminded of what the date stands for in my life’s journey. 10th February 2012 was the day my wife agreed to my marriage proposal. It was the day a WhatsApp message of three words (“I am ready.”) would change the trajectory of my life for good. It was the day Valentine came four days early for me. It was the day my life’s purpose was reborn. It was the day that hope came alive about fulfilling God’s purpose in life.

And as I remember all these, I also remember that I didn’t go out there searching for a wife when I found her. I was just busy serving God and digging deeper into pursuing His plans for my life. I wake up each day now without regrets in this area of my life. Sure, we have our moments and quibbles, but they never diminish the certainty that we have both found in one another, a match-making adventure only God can pull off. I sometimes wish above all things that God can reproduce the bliss we enjoy maritally with every young unmarried man and woman in our sphere of influence. But the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart that it’s up to each individual. The best we can do is to be generous with this principle that is working for us.

And that is what I have done in this post.

May the Holy Spirit breathe upon the words and saturate them with His grace—grace for marital bliss.

Amen.

I hope this helps someone today.

PS: #iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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An Epistle to a Younger Sister

#iRemember | Episode 321
 
I had a chat with one of you last night—one of those that I know quite well outside of being a group member. She wanted to discuss about the guy-pressure that was going on in her life. The conversation ended up with me writing an epistle to a ‘younger sister I never had’. I thought the points I raised in the epistle will help a handful of you in your first or second year in Uni and within the age range of 18 and 21. Below is a reproduction of the epistle but with an anonymised identity of the sister in question.
 
And yes, brothers will learn from this as well.
 
After my sister had told me about the 7 brothers disturbing her 19-year-old beautiful self and asking of my opinion, I thought to digress and ask her a question as well:
 
“Is there a young married woman that you look up to and really admire and hope that you will grow up to become like?”
 
After a little clarification about what I meant by my question, she answered: “Your wife, Anu.”
 
What follows below is the epistle I sent to her afterwards:
 
_____________________________________________________________
 
I will tell you why I asked you that question…
 
If someone had asked me the same question as a guy back in my first or second year in Uni, I also have a few young men that I could think of at the time—people that I really admire and hope to grow up to become like. And I spent my University days trying to follow in their footsteps.
It’s good to have such people in our lives that we can use what we know of their story to assess or interpret our current phase—not with the intention of becoming photocopies but simply because they’ve been there. They’ve gone through the phase we are now going through and they made decisions at that stage that got them to the enviable status that they now occupy. If we could learn from the decisions they made back when they were at the stage we are in, we could also go on to become fulfilled in our individual pursuits by making similar decisions.
 
My wife is not perfect. Neither is any other person you may think of. But if there’s one thing I know about Aanu (and few other people that I can think of in that category on your behalf), it’s the fact that they didn’t give themselves to ‘guys wahala’ while they were in University.
 
That didn’t mean that they didn’t have friends that were guys. It simply meant that they didn’t make being someone’s girlfriend part of their University agenda.
 
They knew that their focus at that stage of their life was to grow and develop as much as they could SPIRITUALLY and ACADEMICALLY.
 
They knew that if they could get those two right at that stage of their lives, when it’s really time to get a husband, God will bring the right young man their way.
 
You’ll be 20 this year.
 
I honestly think you shouldn’t even bother yourself about taking ANY guy seriously at this point. If a guy is running after you and saying all sort of sweet nonsense to you now, it’s just what it is. A pretty young lady like you will definitely have many suitors. It is absolutely NORMAL. But you must be able to stand your ground and say no to them. They are nothing but DISTRACTIONS.
 
There’s a stage you get to as a Christian lady in the University when you know that you are ready for a marriage-bound relationship (that is, a relationship with a guy that is not just asking to date you but to actually marry you because he believes you are God’s choice for him). Most sound Christian ladies I’ve met get to that stage in their final or penultimate year in Uni. At that stage, they know they have laid a solid foundation for their academics. They are beginning to see a beautiful prospect of a good career. And when that brother comes and says whatever he wants to say, they know that it is time—and can discern if he’s the one for them or not…
 
If what I know of you is anything close to reality, then you are still far from getting to that stage—and that’s okay. Don’t rush yourself. But whatever you do now, endeavour to release yourself to serve in the fellowship you are attending in your Uni and in your church back at home. Take on responsibilities that will strengthen you internally. Take your academics very seriously and deal with the challenges that arise in your academic life as they appear. As you do these things, you are making eternal investment into your worth in life. At the end of the day, you will be glad you did.
 
Back to the example you cited—my wife. Like I earlier said, she’s not perfect and neither am I. But our wedding ended up going viral on the internet basically because of two things:
 
1. The fact that she got married on the same day she’s graduating with a First Class in Law.
 
2. The fact that we are both Christians who chose to have a very simple unexpensive wedding.
 
It takes a lady that has set her priorities right to get to that point. Our wedding was supposed to be a very quiet one—so quiet that I didn’t even inform members of the Alive Group till a day or two before the wedding. But God himself decided to publicise it as a testimony to many other Youths out there that it pays to be virtuous and to wait and be diligent.
 
I see you as my sister from another mother—a younger sister I never had—and I desire the very best for you. So take this is a brotherly advise from your big brother.
 
If you commit yourself to any relationship now, you will jeopardise your academics. It’s as simple as that. There are no two ways about it. But if you could let guys be for a couple more years while you work on developing yourself in various other ways, you will be eternally grateful to yourself that you did.
 
I’ll be at your wedding, God willing. And we will both remember this long post that I sent to you on a night in January in 2018 and we will thank God for His faithfulness together.
 
I love you so much, my sister.
 
Hope to talk to you soon.
 
Sweet dreams.
 
Your brother.
 
_______________________________________________________________
 
A final word:
 
Guys, you too should help these sisters. Stop running up and down after these pretty ladies when you are yet to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Give yourself to a discovery of your purpose and your mission here on earth—and in my understanding, if you take the pursuit of purpose discovery very seriously, it takes a good part of your University life if not all of it.
 
So get to work. Yes, the sisters are looking irresistibly beautiful and you want to have the prettiest for keeps as early as you can, but guess what, your definition of ‘pretty’ is warped until your purpose is in clear view. You are in your first year and you are running after a girl, is that what you came to Uni to find?
 
Okay. I’ll stop there. I’m beginning to switch to a mode that will get on the wrong side of the superficial reader…lol
 
Love you all.
 
May the Lord order our steps—guys and ladies alike—in the fullness of His will for us in Jesus name.
 
Amen.
 
I hope that helps one or two of us today.
 
josephkolawoleola
 
#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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His Word and His Voice

The other day, I saw a video message on YouTube of a sermon by an African-American preacher, Robert Madu. The message was titled “Can You Hear Me Now”
It’s a message about hearing God and I liked a particular illustration he used in driving home the point that a believer must know both THE WORD and THE VOICE of God! To know His Word without knowing His voice is to be another Pharisee…while to know “His Voice” without knowing His Word is to be another spooky Christian that’s always going about telling people “The Lord told me to tell you this and that” (when in fact, hardly is it ever The Lord Who really told you anything).
He illustrated the point thus:
God’s Word is like a road map; God’s Voice is like a GPS (God’s Positioning System).
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to use Google Maps to navigate your way from one point to another either by walking or driving. There’s always a voice coming from your device telling you which turn to take and on which lane to stay. (If you haven’t, you can give it a try. Even before I traveled to the UK last year, I was able to use it in Nigeria).
While a road map (God’s Word) shows you the entire map including roads and routes that are not even your concern for the particular trip you are on, the GPS concerns itself basically with moving you from your current location to your specific destination.
How does this represent how God’s voice leads us? (I got points 1 and 3 from the message but came up with points 2, 4, 5 and 6 from my personal meditation on the subject).
1. The GPS never tells you all the turns and details of your trip at once. It tells you in bits.
Likewise God! He reveals His counsel to you as He orders your steps bit by bit.
“At the roundabout, take the first exit… After 100 meters, turn right… Your destination is on the left… You have reached your destination” … That’s what it sounds like. Bit by bit. One instruction per time.
2. The GPS respects your personal choices. You absolutely can choose to ignore the voice of the GPS and go in your preferred route rather than follow the prescribed route from the GPS.
Isn’t that what many of us do with God’s voice a times? We ignore…and that’s okay. Why?
3. The GPS incorporates our choices into its program such that at the end of the day, it’s still going to talk us into reaching our intended destination. When you make a wrong turn, the GPS immediately starts recalculating to get you new sets of instructions for an alternative route (based on your wrong choice) that will still get you to your destination.
Isn’t that like God? Our mistakes are never fatal as long as we are alive and Christ is still on the throne. God will still guide you to His intended destination for your life if you will submit to the leading of His voice.
4. The GPS never condemns you for your wrong turns. I remember sometimes in 2015 when I first came to the UK, my wife (then, my fiancée) came to visit over the weekend while I was still at my brother’s place in London. On the day she was to return, my brother decided to drive us to the train station. While trying to meet up with her departure time, we missed our turn following the sat-nav GPS on two different occasions. The GPS never for once condemned the driver, rather it paused in silence immediately after the wrong turn. Then reroutes and gets you back on track with an alternative. Eventually we met the train just at the nick of time.
All that to say this: God’s voice never condemns! He simply guides you from that point onwards to still reach your destination. So GUILT or CONDEMNATION is not the voice of God!
5. The silence of the GPS doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. I drove with my pastor from Cheltenham to Liverpool and back sometimes in July 2016. For a long time while we were on the motorway, the GPS said nothing. It said nothing because we were on the right track and there was no need for a new set of instructions. When we approached our destination and had to branch off the motorway, it resumed dishing out its instructions…
Very much like God! It’s not every time you will feel like You are hearing Him—and that’s okay. As long as you’re still connected, that’s absolutely fine. You only miss the people you love, right? Same thing! You miss His voice because you love Him and that alone should keep you going . (Of course, there are other times when He’s silent because you have been repeatedly disobedient. Come clean with Him and let the journey continue…)
6. For your GPS to keep functioning, you need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY in some areas. You endeavour to charge your device. You download and install all Google Maps updates to have the latest maps with all the most current details (e.g. of ongoing road construction , accidents , one-ways etc) with which the GPS plans your best routes.
Likewise, to keep hearing the voice of God, you need to also TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your spirit man. You want to make sure you “guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the rivers of life!” (Proverbs 4:23).
I hope that reaches out to one or two of us today.
Here’s today’s #askJesus2day question:
“Jesus, what’s Your next instruction to me ” (He just told me mine and it’s very funny )
PRAYER
Lord, may I never be out of the reach of Your voice IJN.
Amen!
josephkolawoleola
 
#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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The Dichotomy of ‘Normal’ & ‘Weird’

 
#iRemember | Episode 322
 
I’ve been seeing a TV show since Monday titled Greenleaf. It’s the story of a Megachurch Pastor in Memphis, USA and his problematic family. On Wednesday evening, when my eldest niece came back from school and saw me watching the movie, she kept asking questions to fill in the bits from the episodes she had missed while she was away. At some point, I said to her in response to one of her questions, “The major thing about this movie is that every single character therein is messed up” Immediately I said that, something snapped in my understanding of reality.
 
To be honest, looking back to the movies and TV shows I’ve seen of late, one thing that kept me glued is the fact that there is a twist that is ‘not normal’. It’s either the fact that someone is so exceptionally bad that you keep watching to see how (s)he will end up or someone good is being treated unfairly and you keep watching to see how the person will be vindicated. That’s an important ingredient of a good work of fiction. Writers call it TENSION. The more thrilling the tension in a work of fiction is and the longer the writer can sustain the tension, the more we remain glued to see how the events will unfold…
 
And true to reality, we are all ‘messed up.’ There is none of us whose story just flows smoothly from the beginning of his/her existence till date. No. All of us are living out stories of tensions…stories of an undulations between what is NORMAL and what is WEIRD.
 
But then, it occurred to me as I pondered that point that while reality in life is not always a story of continuous normalcy, the human race has gradually lost the sense of normalcy and traded it for weirdness. Gradually, we’re trading our ability to be ‘normal’ for a perpetual expression of weirdness. We are beginning to think (as our lifestyles show) that WEIRD IS THE NEW NORMAL.
 
I’ll explain.
 
The same night that I said that statement to my niece, I went to Nando’s together with my eldest brother to pick up an online order he made. While we were waiting for our order to be fully processed and handed over to us, my brother called my attention to a guy in front of us whose trousers were sagging. His ragged jeans was belted midway between his waist and his knees such that two-third of his (unclean) boxers became public knowledge. When he walked, you would pity him because he was practically uncomfortable. But he, like many of us, had bought the lie that to be WEIRD is the new NORMAL. I was also concerned for the kind of lady that came with him to the restaurant. For a guy that sags to be deemed as ‘being cool’ by a lady transcends what my mind could comprehend.
 
The night before, my wife was telling me about a computer game that my nieces told her about. Basically, the game enables you to tell your own story as a lady and the way you win in the game is for you (the lady player) to attract the attention of a guy and do all you can to ensure he gets you pregnant. What a crazy idea! And it becomes even more scary when you discover that the game is being played by pre-teenage girls. Out of curiousity to understand how all these play out, my wife downloaded the game on her phone to see what’s up. To her amazement, when she went for being a ‘normal’ girl and dress like one in her narrative in the story, even the ‘computer’ was telling her she can’t get a guy’s attention like that. She needed to be ‘more scandalous’ in her choice of dressing and bla bla bla…
 
He reminded me of the other day I was served at the till in an Aldi store by a lady that I almost couldn’t believe was ‘real’. The way her face was painted and her eye brows were arched, you could easily have thought that she was a 3D image photoshopped and edited. She looked soooo unreal! Yet, the guy ahead of me on the queue flirted with her because he found that attractive.
 
Where am I getting with all this?
 
Simple. I’m tired of seeing guys with weird hair styles that makes you wonder if everything is alright ‘upstairs’. I’m tired of seeing ladies that are willing to be scandalous in their outlook in other to be accepted. I’m tired of seeing ‘Christians’ go to any extent to be weird in order to fit in. I’m tired of seeing ladies mutate their voice to sound like some transposed piano in order to get some guy’s attention.
 
To say it in 7 words: IT’S OKAY TO BE YOUR NORMAL SELF!
 
If as a lady, you really can’t feel confident to dress without using any make-up, you’ve bought that lie. Of course, I’m not saying it’s a sin to use make-ups, but your beauty most assuredly doesn’t lie in those pancakes and foundation or in how well you could be artistic with the shape of your eye-brow, or how creative you could be in exposing some little skin and still try to look decent. Your NORMAL self is okay!

 
It’s okay to be normal. It’s okay if your voice is husky. It’s okay if your gait doesn’t advertise your curves enough. It’s okay if your hair is not as long as my wife’s. It’s okay if you don’t have 6 packs. It’s okay to wear your trousers at waist level and belt them like a reasonable young man. It’s okay if your friends think you are weird for being yourself. But whatever you do, stay original. It’s okay to be normal! Presentable, yes, but NORMAL, please!
 
As you dress up this morning or when next you have the opportunity, bear that in mind.
 
Imagine a world that is free of the pressure to be attractive simply in acknowledging that our normal selves is appealing enough… Imagine a world where you don’t have to be crazy to be human… Imagine it. And then take a step in the direction of making that imagination a reality.
 
I’ll pause it all here.
 
I hope it helps someone.
 
PS: #iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of my past drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Platform. The platform is basically for teenagers and young adults (25 and below) that, by God’s grace, my wife and I are trying to pour into. If you will like to be a part, just click here.
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Disappointed by God?

#iRemember | Episode 325
 
Author’s Note: This post was first published in May 2013 shortly after the UTME results for prospective University students in Nigeria were released. At least three of the young chaps whose stories were told in this post are presently members of the AMG family. Happy Reading!
 
I looked at all of them-all 7 of them. They were full of questions. A good number of them saw their UTME results right in my presence. 189. 154. 160. 148. 128. 053. Woeful scores. Only one of them had above 200-he had 226. I knew they were full of questions-anyone could tell. And since I spoke with them a night before their examination, I thought it wise to gather them together again and speak with them now that the results have been released.
 
“Before we progress, does any of you have questions-for God-for me-or for us?”
 
I’d hardly asked when their hands shot up in quick successions.
 
“Pastor Kola, before the exam, God told me to work for Him as I prepare for the examination. That was why I joined the Ushering Unit. And just before the exam, He gave me a reassuring word from 2 Corinthians 1:20 that His promises are ‘yea and amen’. So how do I explain the 128/400 score?” Sincere questions from Sister Ruth.
 
“My own question is this: ‘why must I score 154?'” Who has an answer for Brother Faith?
 
“Pastor, see, that night when you spoke to us about maintaining our integrity in the exam hall, I went to the examination hall the next day and did just that. Cheating in my hall was ‘free’, yet, I maintained my integrity, faced my work and got out when I was done. So is 160 the reward of my faithfulness?” I felt for Brother Gideon.
 
And what about Sister Mary? She was at a ministration the night before the exam, and according to her, the Pastor’s wife of the church where she ministered had even called her out and prophesied success into her life after the ministration since she sacrificed her time for God. And what was the end-result? 053. (Only her English result was released).
 
They were all full of questions. Understandably so. (I know my Western friends would find this absurd. Whatever scores they got is what their efforts amounted to. If they had prepared a bit more, then they would have had better results True. I absolutely believe so and in my estimation, these guys didn’t prepare well enough. But in my country, what translates into a good result goes beyond your preparation. There seemed to be a spiritual dimension as well to these things. There must be.)
 
Before I proceeded, I asked a question, too.
 
“How many of you think that deep down inside of you, there is perhaps something that you did or didn’t do that could have led to this undesirable result?” And my! How they all had one such thing or the other. Fear and Doubt topped their list. And that became my starting point . . .
 
I’m not writing to those that failed UTME, or at least, didn’t get satisfactory grades. No. I’m writing for people who felt they deserved something better than what they currently have or are going through. I’m writing to anyone that has ever felt disappointed by God like these teenagers that I Pastor.
 
If you cheated and failed, congratulations! If you cheated and you passed, watch how your life will be fast-forwarded in your very eyes only to enter an automatic rewind at some junction in the nearest future. And your latter end shall be worse than your beginning. But if you are God’s child and you’ve felt cheated by God (or still feel so), to you I write, UTME or no UTME.
 
The qualification that earned me the boldness to speak with such people is because I’ve been there.
 
Was it not God that gave a nod of consent to the trip I embarked upon with some colleagues in 2009? A trip to a wedding turned out to be a trip to the bush, to the hospital, to the police station, and to the cemetry-to bury a dear brother.
 
Was it not God that spoke to my church through a prophetical message years back that one of our Elders that was sick and hospitalized will be restored only to hear later that night that the man is late?
 
Where was God when BCH 304 results were being compiled and in a curios series of events, my name was tagged with the grade 32F? (after the Course Coordinator had generously buffered every student’s score with an additional 5 marks)
 
Truth is, we’ve all been there-where our questions are more than the answers we get. But these few things I know:
 
1. I ACTUALLY DON’T “DESERVE” ANYTHING FROM GOD.
On what basis do I deserve an ‘A’? On what basis do I deserve to go on a trip and return safely? On what basis do I deserve to have my prayers answered? . . . but for His Grace and Mercy-both neither merited nor deserved!
 
But maybe you quite agree that you don’t deserve anything from God and you’re already a customer of His Grace, then you might be asking, why didn’t His Grace and Mercy speak on your behalf? Why was the grade so poor when you are a candidate of His Grace? Why did you have to lose that beloved relative or friend despite your prayers of mercy and grace? Then I have a second reminder:
 
2. I CAN ONLY RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM GOD ON THE BASIS OF FAITH!
James 1:5-7 comes to mind.
 
James 1:5-6 KJV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Verse 7 says “A person who has doubts shouldn’t expect to receive ANYTHING from the Lord” (God’s Word Translation).
 
Someone said it this way: “Feed your doubts and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your doubts will”.
 
Have you truly received His grace by FAITH? Have you prayed for that desired result WITHOUT DOUBTS? Have you decreed your desire in FAITH? If your answer is “YES”, then I can’t help but wonder what you understand by FAITH . . . and that leads us to the next point . . .
 
3. FAITH IS NOT THE BELIEF THAT GOD WILL DO WHAT YOU WANT. IT IS THE BELIEF THAT GOD WILL DO WHAT IS RIGHT.
Faith is not the believe that you will pass because you want to pass; faith is the believe that God has got your life in His hands and is free to use any tool He desires (even failures) to shape it into the best life it can be. Faith is the believe that ALL THINGS indeed work together for the good of God-Lovers!
 
And when the limits of faith seems exceeded, just TRUST! While faith believes that God can do a thing and hopes that He does it, Trust believes that He can do it, hopes that He does it and also understands that EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, HE IS STILL GOD! (Daniel 3:17).
 
In conclusion, I may not have an answer to the questions of my teenage friends that I spoke with in my office yesterday . . . but I’m sure of the fact that God does not disappoint. Anyways, life is life. Earth is earth. Heaven is heaven. And I’ve learnt to lower my expectations of earth. This isn’t Heaven, so I don’t expect it to be.
 
And I’m sure, anyways, that you weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman. You are the only you God made … God made you and broke the mold. You are unique! So the past does not have to be your prison. You may have written UTME 5 times, but you still have a voice in your destiny. You have a say in your life. You have a choice in the path you take. And you can sit with God and plan out the next 1 year of your life. Or the rest of it altogether. Affliction shall not arise a second time.
 
Remember, God loves you just the way you are. With your 053 or 226, he loves you. He loves each one of us like there is only one of us to love . . . but He refuses to leave us that way. He wants us to be just like Jesus. And He goes to any extent to get that done. He uses any tool to make that happen. Failures, successes, delays, speed, good news, bad news, and JAMB. Yes, JAMB.
 
Why not let go . . . and let God!
 
And who says that low score of yours can’t get you an admission this year?
Who says that genotype can’t change before tomorrow morning?
Who says that sack letter can’t be revoked tomorrow by another letter calling you back with promotion?
Never you forget; IMPOSSIBLE is one of God’s favourite words!
 
I celebrate your New Found Hope!
 
Amen.
 
Author’s End Notes:
1. UTME is UNIFIED TERTIARY MATRICULATION EXAMINATION which is the examination that Nigerian Students write in order to gain admission into an institution of Higher Learning. It is anchored by JAMB-Joint Admissions Matriculation Board
2. I found it interesting that about two years after this post was published, all the guys whose stories were told had gained admission into one tertiary institution or the other-except the guy that scored more than 200. Indeed, the race is not to the swift…
 
#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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On Repeated Academic Failures

#iRemember | Episode 326
 
“Disappointed by God” came at the right time for a good number of you. As a result, a number of you sent me personal messages to share about a personal ‘disappointment in God’ scenario that you are going through. Interestingly, a good number of them are academic.
 
As such I thought to reshare my answer to two of you for the benefit of many more…
 
Case 1: The sister had just seen virtually all her first semester results for her first year in Uni and the results are really bad. Besides failing one course, she’s got quite a number of ‘let my people go’ grades that would put her GPA at a low 2-2 or even worse. Apparently, a lecturer had mentioned to her class that your GPA at the end of your first semester may end up being your final CGPA at the end of your studies.
Below are my thoughts to her…
 
Hi Beloved.
Apologies for waiting this long before responding to your message.
 
I know what it’s like to start off in Uni on the “wrong foot” in terms of grade, but I am persuaded that with a better understanding of what works best for you in terms of study times, study patterns, and a general awareness of your limitations shaping your preparation, you will be alright.
 
You are still finding your footing. That’s what these scores are about. I also started off in OAU on a 2-2 GPA but I ended with a 2-1 CGPA so don’t believe that this is how it will always be.
 
However, there might be certain changes you’ll have to make. You may have to do some try-and-error first but at some point you will breakthrough into what works for you. Possible areas to reexamine would include:
 
1. Reading times.
2. Reading venues.
3. Reading partners.
4. Note taking in lectures.
5. Getting more helpful materials and handouts.
6. Enrolling in tutorials.
7. Shedding off some responsibilities.
 
To expatiate on the 7th point, I noticed you mentioned holding a position of responsibility in your introduction. Is that a departmental or fellowship role? In any case, I think taking up such extra-academic responsibility in your first year isn’t a wise decision. If it’s something you can shed off (and any other unnecessary commitments, too), please, do. It’s not laziness or irresponsibility; it is wisdom in preparing for a stronger future academically and otherwise.
 
In summary, the major point to make is that this is just the beginning and you still have over 75% of the time you will spend on campus right ahead of you. The past is past; the future beckons. Accept the invitation and go for it.
 
I wish you the very best.
 
And you will be in our prayers.
 
Case 2: A brother who has been out of Secondary school 6 years ago has attempted UTME countless times without being able to gain admission each of those times. That can be really perplexing and wearying. He wants to know my ‘verdict’ on this and to find out if faith is enough to bring about a miracle (since he’s released his faith again and again believing that the admission will come through but always coming short).
Below are the thoughts I shared with him…
 
Hi Beloved.
Apologies for just responding to your message.
 
Who am I to give you a verdict on this? ?
 
But let’s reason together on a few points:
 
1. Is Faith enough to bring about a miracle?
I think we both know the answer to that. Jesus did miracles where there was no faith involved (eg the man at the pool of Bethesda who when asked what he wanted kept telling stories), but again, there are miracles that did not become complete until the beneficiary had to do something (like the blind man who Jesus sent to wash his face in the pool of Siloam). So, yeah, miracles happen on either side of faith.
 
But…
 
2. What makes you think that it is a miracle that you need for your admission to come through?
I understand how desperately you’ve sought for this and worked for it in previous years without any headway but it still sounds to me like something that will happen when adequate preparation meets God’s favour. This is not to undermine your previous attempts but to charge you to refire harder at your next attempt. Great biographies are shaped in such crucibles as what you are going through.
3. What makes you think that you even need an admission/University education to become all that God intends for you to become?
I am a big proponent for getting educated to whatever level you can afford (or opportuned to). But again, I’m aware that God delights in making different melodies and painting different arts with the stories of our lives. Perhaps, there’s something else God wants to use this repeated rejection to point you to, but you’ll need to explore and process that under God. It’s not for me or anyone to say to you emphatically, but I thought to open up your horizon to that possibility.
 
In any case, your future is secure in Christ. The good thing is that you know Him already and He’s the one ordering your steps in His Will. Let Him do what He does best.
 
I understand that waiting can be painful especially when you practically see your colleagues leaving you behind (so to say), but you are not working by their clock.
 
At the end of the day, our times are in God’s hands and He makes all things beautiful in His own time.
 
It is well, my brother.
 
God’s got your back.
 
I shared these so we could find further convergence points in processing our respective disappointments in God. For example, the brother in Case 2 would do anything to be where the sister in Case 1 is. But they are both where God wants them to be.
 
Whatever may be your story, just remember that God’s not done with you, and the end of your story is glorious. That’s how He writes His stories. He can’t help it. It will always end in GLORY. Hang on.
 
I also found an old post which I will post next to further address the issue of repeated academic failures. I hope it helps.
 
May God revive His work in our lives. Amen.
 
#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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When I failed…

#iRemember | Episode 269
 
In this post, I’ll touch on two things:
 
1. When you trusted God that you will pass…and still failed.
2. When you seem to keep failing repeatedly.
 
So one of us sent me a message the other day (barely two weeks ago) after she saw the result of one of her courses in her Masters Programme. In her very own words:
“…the lecturer has been really strict…in all the three sets of [continuous assessments] which amounted to 30%…I tried all I could…and ended up with 14/30. I PRAYED “EARNESTLY” BELIEVING IN GOD FOR A BETTER GRADE IN THE REMAINING 70% [exams]. I studied hard…he repeated past questions; they were easy and God was faithful to bring all I read to my remembrance… I checked my grade today and I “failed the course”. I just can’t believe it… I just can’t fail! I trust God so much—like without doubt…”
 
Sounds like what a good number of us could have written. Here’s what I had to say to that…
 
1. That you trust God so much without a doubt doesn’t exclude failing from your possibilities. In fact, it most certainly adds failing to your options.
 
FAITH is believing that God CAN do something and hoping unwaveringly that He WILL do it. On a higher plane, TRUST is believing that God CAN do it, absolutely hoping He WILL…and understanding that EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, He’s still got everything in His charge!
 
2. While writing this paper next year can be disheartening (not to mention the N30,000 you’ll have to pay to register the course next year), it’s not as shameful as you think! Failing is part of life. It happens to even the very best of us. I’m also on a Masters’ Programme currently in the UK and I’d failed one of my modules because I had 49% and the pass mark for all my courses was 50%. That was painful and disheartening. But no, it wasn’t shameful as it turned out that more than half of the class were in my shoes. (Even if it was only me, it still wouldn’t have been a thing of shame).
 
While others were furious with the lecturer, I went to him (because he had given us the liberty to come and see him in the feedback he sent to all of us so that he can advise us on where we need improvement). I went to him and he pointed out my flaws. I learnt and did better in the Reassessment. (Here, you are permitted to retake a coursework you fail almost immediately afterwards). I had 66% in the re-sit but the programme policy is that no matter what you score in a re-sit (even if you score 100%) as long as you pass it, your overall score for that module is capped at 50%.
 
So in essence, I went through all that re-sit just to earn an extra 1% to add to my former score. But I wasn’t bitter about it.
 
So if nothing could be done about this score you have, it’s absolutely not shameful to take it again whenever.
 
Now to those who are failing repeatedly…
 
Again, here are a few thoughts:
 
1. I don’t think that’s normal. You need to ask yourself some hard questions and be sincere with yourself in your response. For instance:
 
a. Do I really have the capacity to pursue this course that I’m studying?
You don’t bite more than you can chew and expect God to force it down your throat. At best, He will pull off the excess from your mouth and leave you with just that which He had gifted you with a capacity to handle.
b. (Or even more fundamentally) Why am I studying this course?
Why? Because you (or worse still, your parents/guardian) think that this is the only/best course that will guarantee you a bright future? Or because you are sincerely passionate about the course? Or because that’s what ‘the school offered you when you couldn’t meet the cut-off mark for the course of your choice? These reasons aren’t bad in themselves but they have the common element of setting you up for a journey you may not have been equipped to pursue.
 
If only many can be like my best friend—Daniel. We both gained admission into OAU in 2005. We both didn’t get the course we wanted. I found myself studying Microbiology and he, Zoology. While he had the boldness to take another UTME and eventually got admitted to the course of his dreams—and had to start all over—I didn’t have the same courage. (I wasn’t even sure if I had any ‘course of my dreams…lol)
 
c. You can’t do it the same way you did it before and expect a different result.
That’s simple but profound!
Before, you were always getting late to the class and you hardly had a good note for the course and this time you hardly even went to class. Tell me, what miracle were you expecting? Before, you did it in fear. Before the results were out, you were scared it wouldn’t speak good. You were right then. If you maintain the same disposition now, chances are high you’ll get the same response.
 
d. Have I learnt from the previous failure?
If you don’t learn the lesson your failure seeks to teach you, you will make the same mistake again and again!
 
e. Finally, who is Your King and what is He saying to you about your failures?
The book of Judges in the Bible is a book of an unpleasant cycle that the Israelites kept going through, viz:
They will desert God. God will send an enemy to terrorize them. God will raise a Judge to deliver them from that enemy. They will serve God for a while. Then they will return to deserting God… and the cycle continues! But the book gave us a clue at the beginning and the end of the book—the very last verse in fact. It says ”In those days, THERE WAS NO KING IN ISRAEL AND EVERYONE DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN THEIR OWN EYES.”
 
When you live life on your own terms and by your own wisdom, that’s what you get! But when you are led by The King, He surely must have something to say to you for every failure you encounter—IF YOU ASK HIM.
 
Maybe tomorrow, I will share with you the testimony of a course I took in my second year where I had the highest score throughout my 4 years at OAU and how that came about.
 
I speak into your life as one that is privileged to have a voice in your destiny that if there be any yoke of failure that has held any of you bound, such yoke is broken permanently by the anointing today.
 
Here’s a question to #askJesus2day:
“Jesus, can we dance a victory dance together this morning as I celebrate the end of my cycles of failure” [I can hear His yes already—what are you waiting for?]
 
PRAYER
Lord, thank You for opening a new page of victory for me IJN.
 
Amen!
 
josephkolawoleola
 
#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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A Collage of 7 Lessons

7 LESSONS I LEARNT FROM MY MASTER’S DEGREE EXPERIENCE
#iRemember | Episode 329
 
It’s no more news that I graduated from my MA in Biblical and Pastoral Theology last Friday. On the morning of the graduation, I picked up my phone almost after I woke up and scribbled down six lessons I learnt in the experience. This morning, I revisit my jottings to edit them and add one more point.
 
1. The Bible is infallible and inerrant.
Whether we like it or not, the world (especially the Western world) is becoming increasingly secularised and post-Christian. We are surrounded by a worldly secular system in which all truth is relative and in which there are no absolutes. As such, the Bible is both openly and subtly undermined or attacked. Many are beginning to accept it as one more way to look at the world without giving it an adequate acknowledgement regarding its divine authority which is “simply passed over, ignored, flippantly popularized or dismissed with a tolerant smile” (to use John MacArthur’s words).
 
The Biblical side of my MA programme got me questioning many things I’d assumed as being true (eg, that Paul wrote all the epistles we traditionally ascribe to him) but landed me back at the shores of the age-worn truth: God’s Word is infallible and inerrant!
 
Infallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters. Similarly, Inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.
 
That is not to say that there couldn’t/wouldn’t have been errors in copying and recopying the original manuscripts, but the original manuscripts are inerrant and what we have today in whichever language is capable of preserving and delivering unto us the whole counsel of God.
 
All that to say this: You can trust your Bible as God’s inspired words to you.
 
2. Failure is a part of life.
I already shared with you in previous posts how I failed a particular module by 1 mark and had to do a reassessment. The lesson here is that failure is not shameful. There are life lessons which only failure can teach you in such a way that you will get it. Don’t despise your failures; celebrate them!
 
3. Start early.
It is a wise counsel to start whatever it is you are venturing into as early as you can as much as it lies in your power. Why linger when you know you’re going to do it anyway?
 
For reasons beyond my control, I started my MA 5 weeks after others have resumed and within that 5 weeks they’ve completed the course that would be the foundation for the MA (called MA Thinking Skills). That gap kept reflecting on my assessments. It took a few assessments to be able to come to the point of thinking critically enough at the level expected of Masters students in the field of my study.
 
In another sense, there was only one assessment that I could remember submitting before the deadline; every other one, I submitted ON the deadline date. The reason is the same: I just never start writing my essays on time (in the name of having so many things on my plate). It is a good practice to embrace this counsel as a life principle: the earlier you start, the better.
 
4. Just Start.
This is different than the previous point. We all have stuff we desire to do but are simply humanly beyond our comprehension of possibilities, but we must never allow anything whatsoever to stop us from venturing into what God has in store for us.
 
When I was going to begin this programme, I had no idea of where I would raise £10,800. It’s just unthinkable. At some point, the school finance invited me for a discussion in which if nothing happened in 2 days, I’ll be reported to the Home Office and deported, but even in the heat of that, God proved to me yet again that ‘impossible’ is still His favourite word.’
 
5. Give your best and leave the rest to God.
My first degree was in Microbiology, and so there is already a gap in venturing into a Masters degree in a field in which my only previous knowledge is largely personal studies and the experience I had at the 9-month Bible College program I did in Bradford. But the gap notwithstanding, I gave my best. I didn’t finish with a distinction (no one did in my class), but rather with a Merit. Yet, in the light of the research I undertook for my MA Dissertation, the school invited me to join a bunch of Professors and Doctors to design the curriculum for a new Masters Degree programme the University is about to commence (an MA in African Christianity). It was such a great honour meeting a good number of the scholars whose works I’d only read and cited from electronic sources in a real-time scenario, brainstorming together to shape a curriculum that will shape another generation of scholars. That experience is opening doors within doors for which I’m grateful to God.
 
All that to say do your best, and leave God to honour your efforts in the ways that He deems best fitting.
 
6. There is a huge task lying upon the shoulders of African Christianity.
My MA dissertation explored the journey of Christianity from the West to Africa (and the global South generally) through the efforts of missionaries and how many Africans are returning to the West bringing back the Christianity they brought to us (as they are now so secularised that Christianity is practically dying in their sphere with more and more people claiming to have no religion in countries that used to be heavily Christian). However, looking at how many Africans are doing church here in the UK (for instance), if care is not taken, we will not fulfil God’s mandate to us to become an agent of re-evangelisation of the West. African ministers in the diaspora will need to be intentional about learning how to do cross-cultural mission if their church plants in the West will last beyond 2-3 generations.
(It’s okay if that point doesn’t make sense to you. But if you are an African Christian, understand that you are part of the fastest-growing Christian movement in the world and God is counting on us to be actively involved in the end-time harvest of souls into His kingdom).
 
7. Let God’s Glory be your motivation.
Whatever you set out to do, if your motivation isn’t in alignment with being able to glorify God, you are definitely in the wrong.
 
My motivation for doing a Masters transcends an opportunity to stay a little longer in the UK. Surely it goes beyond just wanting to add that to my ‘achievements’. The sincere truth is that at the very base of this pursuit is the desire to be able to better understand the scriptures through the eyes of different worldviews, and as such be able to think clearer thoughts and write/speak clearer words to a wider range of people so that my circumference of reaching people with God’s truth can be wider and more people can be blessed. Besides, there were specific modules that taught me better Pastoral skills and different avenues for development so that at the end of the day, I’m more equipped to equip others with that which I gleaned in my journey through this phase.
 
I hope this helps someone.
 
josephkolawoleola.
 
#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
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EURO 2016 BONUS

Monday, July 11
EURO 2016 BONUS
#yesterdaydaily | Episode 085
 
Yesterday, I joined the rest of the world to watch the Euro 2016 final match between Portugal and host country, France. (Well, to be honest, I only saw the last 25 minutes of the extra time…when the game was already very tense).
 
I’m not a ‘football person’ in that sense, but the few times I watch important matches like that, I keep looking out for lessons to learn. So I thought to share a few with you. They are quite obvious, but it’s good we remind ourselves of the obvious once in a while…
 
1. If I heard the analysts on BBC sports correctly, going by the previous rules that governed this tournament in previous years, Portugal won’t even go beyond the group stage of the competition because they came 3rd in their group. But UEFA introduced a new law just before this tournament to qualify the best losers at the group stage to proceed to the second round of the competition. And that new policy became Portugal’s visa to the finals.
Prayer Tangent: May the Lord permit policy changes at different levels that will usher you into your greatness in Jesus name!
 
2. Building on that first point, the new policy favoured Portugal at the group stage solely because they were, in fact, the *best loser!* In other words, wherever you find yourself, just do your best and leave the rest! They did their best (which ordinarily wasn’t good enough, but the policy-change intervention became their leverage because even in their being unqualified, they gave their best!)
 
3. I learnt that since 1975, for 10 times consecutively that France and Portugal had met, Portugal never won. But last night, that history was changed! The tide turned in the favour of Portugal.
Prayer Tangent: May the Lord turn the tides in your favour in the course of the last half of this year in Jesus name!
 
4. The most important player in the Portugal team (C. Ronaldo) couldn’t make it beyond half of the first half. He got an unbearable injury and had to be carried off the pitch in tears on a stretcher. Ordinarily, that would have been a great loss for the Portugese team (and it was!) but it turned out to me to be God’s way of saying “the race is not always to the swift and the battle is not always to the strong…” It became obvious that God is capable of using the weak things to confound the mighty…
Prayer Tangent: May He express Himself s such in your life in the name of Jesus.
 
5. In my own estimation, the referee’s mistake in awarding a free-kick for a misjudged hand-ball and even booking the wrong player a yellow card a couple of minutes to the winning goal contributed to the winning goal. It is only reasonable that the French defenders were being too careful in attacking Eder before he took that winning shot lest someone gets a second yellow card and gets sent off the pitch. That’s so not fair…like God’s grace! But, yeah, as much as it’s not fair, sometimes, God permits the errors of man to make way for His counsel to stand. That’s why He is God, init? Prayer tangent: May He turn other’s mistakes to your opportunities in the name of Jesus!
 
Bonus: Why did many of us stay up late to see the match to the very end? Broader still, why do so many of us get so interested in sports? There are many answers to that but a fundamental one is this: SEEING PEOPLE WIN APPEALS TO THE WINNER IN US!
 
There’s a part of you that feels like “that should have been me in Serena William’s shoes” or “I should be the next C. Ronaldo” (for the records, I have a personal disinterest in the guy ?). We all want to be winners. And guess what? If you live a fruitful life as a believer, maximising every opportunity you have to be secretly incredible, when you get to heaven, you will not only have made it to God’s eternal presence, but He will personally award you with the reward of your labour in the flesh!
 
To put it another way, not everyone of us will be “First Class graduates” let alone “Best Graduating Student” (or what have you), but in heaven, the economy of rewards will include you!
 
Paul wrote to Timothy and made it clear that heavenly rewards aren’t limited to a chosen few; rather, “ALL those who have waited with love for him to come again will receive a crown.” (2 Timothy 4:8) The three-letter word ALL says it all!
all not some
 
So if you’ve never won much on this side of eternity, that’s okay. You can start looking forward to that magical heavenly-reward-moment…but in the mean time, remain a secretly incredible ambassador of Christ.
 
I hope that reaches out to one or two of us today.
 
Here’s today’s #askJesus2day question:
“Jesus, which of these 6 points above is for me❓”
 
PRAYER
Lord, make my life a testimony of Your limitless abilities IJN.
 
Amen!
 
Joseph Kolawole Ola
 
PS: #yesterdayDAILY is a daily mentoring retrospective look at the day before which I share exclusively to members of the Alive Mentorship Platform (a whatsapp group). The platform is basically for teenagers and young adults (25 and below) that, by God’s grace, I’m trying to pour into. (That’s why I’ve not been active on facebook in recent times; I’d been focusing more on these upcoming change agents which I feel led to spend this season of my life pouring myself into them). If you will like to be a part, just send a whatsapp message to my whatsapp number: +447752398481 or send me a mail at hello@josephkolawole.org.
Cheers!
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DISC Test | DISCovering Your Purpose

Ed. note: This post is originally featured on #yesterdaydaily series which is a daily mentoring retrospective look at the day before; exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Platform (only on whatsapp). The platform is basically for teenagers and young adults (25 and below) that, by God’s grace, I’m trying to pour into. If you will like to be a part, just send a whatsapp message to my whatsapp number: +447752398481 | hello@josephkolawole.org 

You can watch the slide below (designed by Kristen Culliton) navigating through the arrow buttons below the slide. But the transcript of the Personality Type test is below the slide in the post from Alive Mentorship Platform.

DISCOVERING YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE
#yesterdaydaily | Episode 033

Yesterday, I attended the Young Adults Movement fellowship of my Bradford church in the evening and they were on a series called Growth Track. In yesterday’s episode, they treated DISCOVERING YOUR PURPOSE and everybody present was given a 16-page document full of questionnaires and answers which we all filled and checked the answers to draw inferences that helped us understand our personalities. I found both tests very helpful!

The first is called a *DISCovery Test* (D, I, S, and C stands for something) and the second is a Spiritual Gifts test.

Today, I want to help you with the DISCovery test. I’ve put it in a way that will be easy for you. Just follow the instructions.

?You have to answer quickly and honestly. Not “how you think you should answer.”
?Take the test, post your answer here and I will post the meaning of your answer to help you know yourself better.
?There are NO WRONG ANSWERS. Just be yourself when you answer!

*THIS CAN BE A GREAT FUN AND DISCOVERY DAY FOR ALL OF US IF WE COULD ACTUALLY TAKE THE TEST. It takes less than 5 minutes!*

Here is the DISCovery Test.

Instructions:
?Grab a piece of paper and a pen.
?You’re going to score yourself 1 through 5
1⃣ = NEVER
2⃣ = RARELY
3⃣ = SOMETIMES
4⃣ = OFTEN
5⃣ = ALWAYS
?DO NOT THINK TOO HARD – Go with your gut/first instinct and try your very hardest to do this test in 3 minutes or less!!

*Section #1*
1.) I am assertive, demanding, and decisive.
2.) I enjoy doing multiple tasks at once.
3.) I thrive in a challenge-based environment.
4.) I think about tasks above others and myself.
5.) I am motivated by accomplishments and authority.

*Section # 2*
1.) I enjoy influencing and inspiring others.
2.) I am optimistic about others.
3.) I tend to be the life of the party.
4.) I think about motivating people.
5.) I am motivated by recognition and approval.

*Section # 3*
1.) I thrive in consistent environments over changing ones.
2.) I prefer specifics over generalizations.
3.) I enjoy small groups of people.
4.) I prefer being a member of a team over leading a team.
5.) I am motivated by stability and support.

*Section # 4*
1.) I typically do not take big risks.
2.) I love tasks, order and details.
3.) I am right most of the time.
4.) I comply with clearly defined rules.
5.) I am motivated by quality and correctness.

ALL DONE!✔

?Now, add up your total number scored 1-5 FOR EACH SECTION.
?The section that has the *LARGEST TOTAL* is your Personality Type. And you should have a close second! (After all, we all have a little of all of these in us!)

Section #1 = D
Section #2 = I
Section #3 = S
Section # 4 = C

?You’ll put your two letters together, with the first letter being what you scored highest and the second being what you scored second highest. (e.g. you can be DI or DS or DC or IC or IS or SC etc)
?Post your result below, and I’ll tell you what your personality type combination means. It’s gonna be fun!

*Here’s today’s #askJesus2day question:*

“God, Who are YOU❓”

*PRAYER*
I pray for us all that God will open our eyes to see how He has designed us and how we can leverage on that design to make a difference in our world IJN.

Amen.

Have a great Saturday ahead!

josephkolawoleola

PS: #yesterdayDAILY is a daily mentoring retrospective look at the day before; exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Platform (only on whatsapp). The platform is basically for teenagers and young adults (25 and below) that, by God’s grace, I’m trying to pour into. If you will like to be a part, just send a whatsapp message to my whatsapp number: +447752398481 | hello@josephkolawole.org

*PS: I have a Spiritual Gifts Test you could also take on my website here: http://josephkolawole.org/2016/01/spiritual-gifts-test/