“After David had done the will of God in his own generation, he DIED and was buriedActs 13:36, NLT


Actually, I just returned from a naming ceremony. And somehow, I “happened to be” (bad English) one of the officiating ministers…lol. I wasn’t the preacher. I only read the scriptures when instructed and prayed when told to do so. But, as usual, I had a crazy thought. Guess what?


If I was given the opportunity to preach, guess what I would have preached about? You kinda guessed right: DEATH! *That won’t be a nice topic at a naming ceremony, but somehow, I’m sure it would be a BLESSING to all!*


And thank God I have this platform to keep expressing myself to as many as are willing to listen. Really, THANKS FOR STOPPING OVER TO CHECK OUT THIS NOTE. I’m glad that my few thoughts and those of others that I ponder and reshare are touching lives one way or the other.


Now…to business.


Death is Real!


A friend asked me a couple of days ago (before I penned these words)“Hey, how are you doing?”And I replied “I’m cool; LIFE is getting more beautiful;and DEATH is tip-toeing nearer.”Now, I can imagine the look on your face as you read those last five words of my response—a look similar to my friend’s when he heard the same words. And he asked me “why are you thinking about death at this age?” You can guess my reply. “Why are you NOT thinking about death?”


Let’s face it, folks, life is not the only reality that is, death is as real as life! Death is actually a very real part of life!


Yeah, Life is good and we all get to be “aware” of it sometime. For me, though, by the time I knew what LIFE is, I was neck-deep in it already. I’d toddler-walked and talked in tongues only mama understood. I’d gurgled and giggled my way out of diapers and into childhood.I’d come to notice how guys aren’t gals and dogs aren’t cats and one fifty-naira note sure beats two ten-naira notes.


And then, somewhere in the midst of it all, LIFE hit me…again and again!First, when my eldest brother headed for youth service in the north. Then at my grandpa’s funeral.And again at my sister’s wedding.And again…and again…and again! I came to realize that my days are more than first-position report cards, writing poems, and praying out my first pimple. This is LIFE,and here is mine! Complete with holidays and songs and moonlight tales and tears, I have a life. I didn’t request one, but I have one. And no one else has my version.


And, don’t you think that the memory of my first day should make me ponder my final day? By the way, that’s life—a first day;a final day;and a few thousand in between.As soon as one day is lived, voilà, here comes another. Life is racing by, and if I’m not careful, death will come to me suddenly without good enough plans to meet it.But that’s too late a probability… The suddenness of death will notCANNOT—hinder my happiness…because I’m prepared for it.


How? I’ve learnt two lessons:


  1. Death is not the end
  2. This earth is not my home



Elizabeth Jennings penned these words: “Do not suppose that I do not fear death because I trust that“it is not the end.” You say it must be a great comfort to live with such a faith, but you don’t know the way I battle on this earth with faults of character . . .”

To her, death “is not the end”; rather, it’s the deliverance from the “battle on this earth”. And interestingly, she shares God’s viewpoint! From God’s viewpoint, death is not permanent. It is a necessary step for passing from this world to the next. It’s not an end; it’s a beginning. It is a small price to pay for the favour of being with Him forever.

“Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. . . . This body that can be destroyed must clothe itself with something that can never be destroyed. And this body that DIES must clothe itself with something that CAN NEVER DIE” (1 Corinthians 15:50, 53).

So, when we see death, we see tragedy. But, when God sees death, He sees deliverance.



The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves to be home on earth. As long as we are aliens, we cannot forget our true homeland. 

We all long for more than earth. There’s something in us, if we’ll be sincere with ourselves, that makes us yearn for something beyond this earth! When we see pain, when we see hunger, we yearn! Senseless deaths,endless tears, needless loss—where do they come from? Where will they lead? They all make us want to ask “Isn’t there more to life than death?”

The scripture answered with a two-sided truth coin: “you were not made for this place” and that“there is a place made just for you”.

Unhappiness on earth cultivates our hunger for heaven. By embellishing us with a mystifying discontentment, God gets and holds our attention. The only tragedy, then, is to be satisfied prematurely. To settle for this earth.To be content in a strange land.To intermarry with the Babylonians and forget Jerusalem.

We are not happy here because we are not at home here. We are not happy here because we are not supposed to be happy here (in the Godliest sense of the word). We are “like foreigners and strangers in this world” (1 Peter 2:11).

Max Lucado suggested this: Take a fish and place him on the beach. Watch his gills gasp and scales dry. Is he happy? No! How do you make him happy? Do you cover him with a mountain of cash? Do you get him a beach chair and sunglasses? Do you bring him a Playfish magazine and martini? Do you wardrobe him in double-breasted fins and people-skinned shoes?Of course not. Then how do you make him happy? You put him back in his element. You put him back in the water. He will never be happy on the beach simply because he was not made for the beach.

And you will never be completely happy on earth simply because you were not made for earth. Oh, you will have your moments of joy. You will catch glimpses of light. You will know moments or even days of peace. But they simply do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead.

Thou hast made us for thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee. 

Don’t be deceived, rest on this earth is a false rest. Beware of those who urge you to find happiness here; you won’t find it. Guard against the false physicians who promise that joy is only a diet away, a marriage away, a job away, or a transfer away. The prophet denounced people like this, “They tried to heal my people’s serious injuries as if they were small wounds. They said, ‘It’s all right, it’s all right.’ But really, it is not all right” (Jer. 6:14).And it won’t be all right until we get home.

Again, we have our moments. The newborn on our breast, the bride on our arm, the sunshine on our back. But even those moments are simply slivers of light breaking through heaven’s window. God flirts with us. He tantalizes us. He romances us. Those moments are appetizers for the dish that is to come.

“No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

What a breathtaking verse! Do you see what it says? Heaven is beyond our imagination. We cannot envision it. At our most creative moment, at our deepest thought, at our highest level, we still cannot fathom eternity.

Again, Lucado suggests: Try this. Imagine a perfect world. Whatever that means to you, imagine it. Does that mean peace? Then envision absolute tranquility. Does a perfect world imply joy? Then create your highest happiness. Will a perfect world have love? If so, ponder a place where love has no bounds. Whatever heaven means to you, imagine it. Get it firmly fixed in your mind. Delight in it. Dream about it. Long for it.

And then smile as the Father reminds you, No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

Anything you imagine is inadequate. Anything anyone imagines is inadequate. No one has come close. No one. Think of all the songs about heaven. All the artists’ portrayals.All the lessons preached, poems written, and chapters drafted.When it comes to describing heaven, we are all happy failures. It’s beyond us.

But it’s also within us. It’s that melody that our spirits keep echoing—a reminder: you were not made for this place and there is a place made just for you.

But until then, be realistic. Lower your expectations of earth. This is not heaven, so don’t expect it to be. There will never be a newscast with no bad news. There will never be a church with no gossip or competition. There will never be a new car, new wife, or new baby who can give you the joy your heart craves. Only God can.


So, how do you prepare in the mean time?

The same way you prepare to get to your destination when on a flight: TRUST THE PILOT. Just trust. Just believe. …whosoever BELIEVETH in Him should not perish. Believe the finished work of Christ. And believe the Bible that told us about Him. The Bible is the story of two gardens. Eden and Gethsemane. In the first, Adam took a fall. In the second, Jesus took a stand. In the first, God sought Adam. In the second, Jesus sought God. In Eden, Adam hid from God. In Gethsemane, Jesus emerged from the tomb. In Eden, Satan led Adam to a tree that led to his death. From Gethsemane, Jesus went to a tree that led to our life. Believe in Him and share in His life.

He has gone to prepare you a place in His paradise where you will be included. A sinless sanctuary.A haven before fear. A home before there was a human dweller. No time. No death. No hurt. A gift built by God for his ultimate creation. A gift already received by many through the vehicle of death!

So, from God’s viewpoint, death is not to be dreaded; it is to be welcomed—it is nothing more than an entrance ramp to a new highway.

And finally, Dear Believer, stop being alarmed by the unexpected summons of death of fellow believers. And in the mean time, be in the fear of the Lord all the day long…for we are in theshadows of the evening… (Jeremiah 6:4)!

D Devil I Called “MY BEST FRIEND” (Part 2)

D Devil I Called “MY BEST FRIEND”—Part 2.

…as stupid as the ostrich…

Part 1 can be gotten here: http://josephkolawole.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/d-devil-i-called-my-best-friend-part-1/

Before proceeding to tell the remaining part of this story, I think I need to chip in at this juncture to say that this story is not a true-life story. It’s just one of those fictions from the depth of my imagination, trying to illustrate a point we all should have been familiar with.
And if you have not read the first part, I’ll suggest you do so that you can flow along with this conclusion…Thanks.
So the following Saturday came and I was (as usual) left in the room alone when I heard a knock around 10 am. The knock was seconded by a feminine voice that asked—“can a lady come in?”
I was the only one in the room. I’d never heard that voice before. I stuttered to ask in return—“who are you asking after?” “Joe…Brother Joe” the voice responded. So I opened the door for the damsel to come in. She was looking so radiant and beautiful. (Did I just say that?—Anyway, it’s not far from the truth…but I think “seductive” would have been the perfect adjective for her appearance on this fateful day)
Tara came in and I offered her a seat. Then I humbly asked like a gentleman—“what can I do for you?” She adjusted her sitting posture to reveal some more stuffs—you know what that meant…don’t you? Then she said “I was the one that sent you a text message last night…about breaking a relationship and all that…” I’d even forgotten I got a text message like that. I slept very early the previous night but I actually remembered seeing the text message when I woke up around 3 am to ease myself. I never bothered myself with the text message—I actually thought it was sent to a wrong number since I never had that number on my phone. The text message was from a “confused” lady seeking counsel about relationships. She just broke up one and was about entering another. And I never knew why on earth someone will come and seek counsel from me about such a “matter”. I’m not even into a relationship myself. Just a 1st year college student.
So I told Tara to tell me her story so that I can see where to come in…and she started. Yeah! She started by coming closer to sit beside me and she began to narrate the story. She was not a good narrator…or probably because she had hidden motives for her coming, narrating a story “that never happened” wasn’t really what she came for. She came for some other reasons. I never knew I’d been set up. Set up by my supposed best-friend.
The next series of things that happened in the course of her narrating the story are not what I could put into words…perhaps because I can’t even say specifically how it all happened. All I knew was that some minutes later, Raymond came in and met Tara and I cuddling and kissing and necking and all that…we were so lost in what we were doing that we did not even know anybody entered.
By the time Raymond cleared his throat to announce his presence, I could not believe I’d fallen so “cheaply”…worse still…for a stranger that supposedly came for counselling!
The lady acted as though she was not shocked seeing Ray. She only redressed herself and briskly walked out of the room, leaving me in the room alone with Ray. I was expecting that Ray would be empathetic enough, but contrary to that, he became the accuser. He reminded me of how I’d preached to people to flee fornication. He reminded me of most of the words of Pastor Franklin in the clip we saw together the previous weekend. He reminded me of the post I occupy in my departmental Christian fellowship. He reminded me that I’d disappointed God and him. He reminded me of everything on earth that will make me feel guilty.
Now, isn’t that sounding like someone we both know?—The Devil. That’s why I call Ray my-best-friend-devil. Because that’s what the devil does. Accuses you for the sin he made you commit! Yes! That was what Ray did. I later got to know that Ray had previously met with Tara in the week and lured her into a bet—a bet that she can’t seduce me (knowing fully well that she can…and actually hoping that she will)—so the text message and the presence of Tara in my room that Saturday were all the acting out of a script my friend wrote. It gladdened him when I fell. He was like “thank God I’m not the only bad guy here”. The same way the devil feels when he tempts you and you fall. He whispers to himself “Thank God I’m not the only one going to hell!”
Do you even know that hell was not originally made for you and me? It was “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat 25:41). But now, he’s going up and down, seeking who to devour…he longs to take as many people as possible with him to the fire.
Dear Friend, but there is goodnews. If you truly are a Christian…born again…you can enjoy what I enjoyed that freed me from the guilt of Ray’s conspiracy.
I’m sure you’ve heard these words before:
Therefore, [there is] now…no adjudging guilty of wrong…for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life …the law of our new being…has freed me from the law of sin and of death.
Rom 8:1-2 MESSAGE (words in parenthesis mine):
With the arrival of Jesus (in your life), that fateful dilemma (of always feeling guilty) is resolved. Those who enter into (the provision of) “Christ’s being-here-for-us” no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death (through guilt).
Did you just see that? The devil comes and sets you up in some tempting temptations…and indeed, sometimes you fall! But the funny old thing will yet go and accuse you for a sin you perhaps won’t have committed if he weren’t at work, setting up the temptations (or better still if you’ve opened up your eyes wide enough to see the way of escape…). But “No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people (you and I) don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet…”—Proverbs 24:16 MSG
And really, in life, you will keep meeting people like Ray…but don’t let them hold you down for so long. God is forgiving. And better still, next time, search out the “way of escape” from the devil’s temptation. And remember to pray that line in The Lord’s prayer—Lead us not into temptations…
I love you.

OLA, Joseph Kolawole.




If you have not read the first part, I will suggest that you do that before you proceed. You can access it here: http://josephkolawole.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/dont-stay-speechless-part-1/
Then entered the King’s entourage…then the Prince…then the King. Everybody stood to welcome them. There was also a great orchestral that added much beauty to the welcome. I stood as well. “Where’s the Prince’s wife?” I said to myself. But no sooner had I finished soliloquising than I saw the king coming closer and closer to where I was standing. But the look on his face wasn’t appealing at all. I began to fret. Then when he was nearer than a public distance from me, some great words bellowed from his lips. I didn’t catch them at first hearing. My brain had to process an echo for me to grasp the words. The King said “Friend, how did you come in here without having a wedding garment?” Again, I heard that word “friend” coming from the king himself. But the “wedding garment”??? I can’t reconcile it. Could that be why everyone has been looking at me? Wait…wait a minute…could I have been so carried away about the food and the “spectacularity” of the whole atmosphere that I forgot to notice the fact that everybody in the room was wearing a beautiful long white royal garment? Oh! Could it be that—no. This can’t be happening. How fast thoughts can be. I began to flash back…Something told me I’d seen this scene before. Where exactly was that? A scene where there was this kind of party…and then a man…one man…who the king spotted not wearing the wedding garment…! Yes! I’m beginning to remember. I think it’s in the Bible! Yes! In that Holy Book—the portion I read a couple of days ago actually. Quickly, before giving the king an answer, I brought out my Bible, the copy I had stored in my mind. I needed to see what led that man that I read about 2 days ago to the place where there will be gnashing of teeth and crying—as the Bible puts it! In nano seconds, I’d flipped the pages of the Bible in my mind to Matthew 22…I began to scan through the verses to see this secret…so that I won’t repeat the same mistake that the man made (now that I’m in his shoes) and so that I won’t end up where he ended up.
My mind began to read through the lines of Matthew 22…even when I wasn’t holding any physical Bible…and he sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they would not come…again he sent out other servants, saying, tell those who are invited…all things are ready…come to the marriage…but not caring, they went their ways…and the rest took his servants…and killed them…but when the king heard…he sent out his armies and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city…then he said to his servants, the wedding is ready, but they who were invited were NOT WORTHY…therefore go into the exits of the highways, and as many as you shall find, invite them to the marriage…So the servants went…and gathered together as many as they found, both bad (like gluttons like me) and good….and the wedding was filled with reclining guests…and the king coming in…saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment…and he said to him, FRIEND, (the exact words this king I was standing in front of used)…HOW DID YOU COME IN HERE WITHOUT HAVING A WEDDING GARMENT?…and he was speechless…then the king said…bind him hand and foot…and cast him into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth…for many are called, but few chosen…

I had to do a rewind in my mind to really lay my hands on what landed that man in hell. I must be very careful here not to make the same mistake…so I made a rewind back to the words of the king in my mind-Bible…Friend, how did you come in here without having a wedding garment? (So what was his response?)…AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS! That’s it! Eureka! I’ve found it. So if there is one thing I should avoid so that I won’t have a repeat of what I’d read, it is speechlessness. So immediately I fell at the king’s feet and paid obeisance…I began to sob as I spoke to him…“sir…I’m so sorry I did not wear the wedding garment…I was wrong…I disrespected your providence…I didn’t know what came over me…I guess I was too eager to start eating from the table you have lavishly prepared…I was in haste to start feasting…I forgot the words of the Preacher…woe unto that land…whose princes feast in the morning…that was me…I was more after the feast than after the reason for the feast…have mercy…I don’t want to die…I know I deserve to…but I don’t want to…if it pleases thee, let me just go in peace…I don’t deserve to be here…feasting with these nobles…I’m a glutton!…food is all I know…but don’t kill me…p-l-e-a-s-e”
The king smiled and brought me up to my feet. Then he hugged me. Then he spoke to me…he said that killing me won’t give him any joy…he had always wanted me to be with him. He had always wanted me to not just be a guest at the wedding feast, but the bride alongside other guests…he said the prince was going to marry us all…that was the whole plan! That’s why the whole city was invited; so that by so-doing, the prince will identify with them all…giving the whole city an unquestionable right of access into the King’s treasures…but the invitees would not show up. This is not just a wedding between a man and a woman; it is a wedding between a man and a people…between a head and the rest of the body…between a saviour and the saved!
Then came the prince…he was looking extremely handsome. He tenderly spoke to me. “Friend…I love you…I love everybody in this city…that’s the essence of this wedding…I already prepared the table…I already bought the tickets for all of you…I already bought the wedding garments for all of you as well…and thank God you CHOOSE to come…you CHOOSE to enter the palace…you CHOOSE to enter the feast hall…you CHOOSE to sit at the prepared table and have a taste of the appetizer…but you CHOOSE NOT to exchange your garments for mine!?!…I’d forgiven you even before you asked for it…and I will abundantly pardon you…for I HAVE LOVED YOU…WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE.”
Then the servants took me to the exchange room, and exchanged my clothes for the king’s provision. Oh! You need to see me in this new apparel. I was looking more glorious than I’d ever been. And come to think of it—I didn’t have to pay to buy this! It was a gift! A FREE GIFT!
And God is offering you the same gift today…still for free! Yes! You’ve chosen to be a Christian. You’ve chosen to click on the link to read this note…but have you not avoided making the choice to exchange your garment for his? Christ wants you to exchange your garment of legalism for his garment of righteousness. Stop living by your feelings. Stop feeling like “I attend church…I’m not as bad as the adulterer next door…I tithe…I…I…I!” No. Stop justifying yourself. How can you stand before a perfect God and say you’ve been good enough? Only one thing will make Him present you blameless before God—His robe of righteousness on you! Wear it always…don’t put it off—for you are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.



Where do I start it all from? This is kind of difficult. Perhaps because remembering the whole incident chagrins me…or because it also has a humourous dimension that is too amusing to put into words.
All I knew was that I was gaping at the whole room. I couldn’t fathom why I had to be in such a well decorated room. Definitely, I could say without mincing words that I’d never been in such a gathering before. But I was kinda feeling at home in the room. There were people all around—familiar and unfamiliar faces alike most of which were staring at me.
It appeared I’d been sleeping all day. And when I woke up, I apparently woke up to a brand new city. I was home alone. Dad and Mum had travelled to our hometown. I had been fast asleep when I heard the noise. It was actually the noise that woke me up. It sounded so much like rumours of war. But we live at the outskirt of the town. So the noise sounded like it was coming from the upcountry. I decided I was going to have a look at what was happening. I recently clocked 18 so I’m old enough to see such stuffs for my self—or am I not?
As I took the bend that veiled our street from the city gate, I could see thick smoke everywhere. Waaaaao, what could have happened? Could it be that there is war?
As I took some few more steps, I saw some friends coming from the midland. “Hello guys…have you any idea what’s going on there?” I asked with a puzzled look. “Yeah. The king just gave orders for that district to be burned down…we learnt some people killed some of his servants” said Joshua. “The king sent his servants to go and tell the people that the table was set for the wedding ceremony of his only son—Prince Yeshua—but the people will not turn up for the ceremony of the king!” Shadrach added. “Aaaaah! But that was too bad. Even if they would not attend, should they now kill the innocent servants? I mean…that’s unbecoming!” I exclaimed. “How I wish I could have such an awesome opportunity to be at the wedding…I’m sure it’s gonna be a big party!” I continued. Joshua then cuts in “don’t even mention that…I learnt the King killed the fattest cows of his herd and the wine for the party was imported…” “The people that gat the heads has gat no caps…those with the caps has gat no heads!” I concluded.
But just as we turned towards our houses, we were overtaken by this pale yellow bus. It is obviously one of the buses from the palace of the king. Lo and behold, three palace-servants came down and told us to enter. We were shocked at first. Is it that we’ve been wrongly implicated in the murder of the king’s servants or what? Seeing that we were obviously frightened at the sight of the servants, one of them said to us (I later got to know that his name is Nicolas) “Do not be afraid. We have come to take you to the King’s Son’s Wedding Party. The king had ordered us to go to the outskirts and gather everybody…as many as we can find…and bring them for the wedding feast!”
I couldn’t believe my ears. But before I could say “Jack”, I was already in the bus. My friends were put in another bus. The journey to the palace was so short. I wish I could still do some more sight-seeing through the windscreen of the bus—having a closer look at those burnt houses—eavesdropping at the comments and conversations of the passers-by…and all of that. But we were already in the palace.
That was how I found myself in this lavishly decorated hall. We were meant to stop over in a big room just outside the wedding hall to have a change of clothing. The king had made provision for this awesome royal raiment for every one that will attend the feast. Somehow, I skipped branching at the room…I headed straight for the wedding hall. Why? I really don’t know.
So here am I in a party—not just any party but the Prince’s Wedding Party! Absolutely Unbelievable! A voice said up stage “Hello friends and well-wishers…”—that was what first dazed me…that royalty now calls me (and every other person present) “friend”! What an honour! The voice continued “…the King will join you shortly and the feast and the ceremony will begin…please be seated…and enjoy your appetizer”. I laughed out loud uncontrollably saying to myself “they called this one appetizer? Then what will the main course be like?” I knew I was in for a very wonderful time. I readjusted my seat again. I drew the table closer and took another bite from the stuff in front of me. I don’t even know what name they call it—but whatever names it bears, it remains the most delicious stuff I’d ever taken in a very long time. (I never knew I had this glutton in me—but it is gradually unveiling itself). I really can’t wait for the main feast to begin. I stood up and looked around for my friends but they were no where to be found. But who cares anyway. Let them miss this enjoyment for all I care…what matters is that I’m seated glued to a table filled with all sorts of stuffs—delicious and appealing stuffs!—yet all of that is but just an appetizer!
In the mean time, little did I know that I had become the centre of attraction. All eyes were on me. What’s special about me? Or is there more to my being here than I had thought? I’d had a dream weeks earlier where I got married to a King’s daughter…I woke up just when I was about to lift the veil off the bride’s face and give her my supposed first kiss…So is it that my dream is about to come to pass? But I was told we are here for the prince’s wedding—not the princess’. But why is everybody looking at me and smiling once in a while? (I will soon get to know!)
Then entered the King’s entourage…then the Prince…then the King himself. Everybody stood to welcome them. There was also a great orchestra that added much beauty to the welcome. I stood as well. “Where’s the Prince’s wife?” I said to myself. But no sooner had I finished soliloquising than I saw the king coming closer and closer to where I was standing. But the look on his face wasn’t appealing at all. I began to fret. Then when he was nearer than a public distance from me, some great words bellowed from his lips. I didn’t catch them at first hearing. My brain had to process an echo for me to grasp the words. The King said to me “Friend…