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Learned Student, Honest.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Love keeps no record of wrongs for me

Earlier this week, I thought to myself: it’s a good thing Love keeps no record of wrong because if Love kept a record of wrongs, some people would be really screwed," for lack of a better word.

As I thought about this aspect of love, certain instances and certain people I have observed came to mind.  I would easily place these people in the "fickle" category.  Apparently, whenever they are ready to return to the status quo, they will, regardless of whatever may have transpired during the last encounter. 

I wondered what could possibly be going on in their mind for them to think everything is just okay, whenever they like, without so much as a clarification, explanation, caramel apple, something.  Did they single-handedly delete that part of history? Or independently resolve any qualms the night before, while I was sleeping, no less.  I guess so.  My only justification was that: this particular section of the oft-quoted and inscribed "Love is" scripture reference must be one of their favorite passages, because they are surely taking advantage of it!

How pious of me! As if I have done not anything worthy of being recorded as wrong. As if I am not guilty of the same offense and even worse. As if.
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3
Daily I do things, to others and God, that would leave me speechless and without sensible explanation at the judgment seat.  For example, anytime I doubt the Lord’s leadership and miraculous power, it’s sin because anything done without faith is sin. See Romans 14:23.  Additionally, if all my thoughts were transcribed, well, God please have mercy.

By God’s grace, these wrongs, that would otherwise be recorded if not for love, will decrease.  Meanwhile, I need to change my perspective in my everyday analysis of what or who is really wrong.  When considering what someone else does "wrong," I must weigh my faults greater.  There’s always a plank in my eye and a speck in the other person’s eye, all the time, every time.

The "love keeps no record of wrongs" isn’t for “them,” it’s for me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friends, how many of us have them?

I had an interesting discussion with a group of friends about the term: friend.

Well, what is a friend? What point does a friend become a friend? Do you know friends from associates?

This is a topic I was evaluating in the past couple weeks and something I was seriously considering just as the conversation topic was initiated. One of those, -oh my, mums the word, but I surely won't let that happen again- moments.

I prescribe to the “choose your friends, don’t let your friends choose you” practice, or at least I try to. I’m a cross between an extroverted introvert and an ambivert, not fully satisfied with either classification, (more on that later). So, I have the potential to have the “crew” if I put a little more effort and the time and attention it takes to maintain one, but I don’t particularly care to have a crew.  I’ve never really had one either, ever.  My groupings go as far as close friend, a friend or an associate.  I can pretty much get along with anyone, but only a few people really know me. Those are the people I consider close friends.

However, a few times, just a few, an error of judgment has caused me to misplace a person.   I hold expectations for people based on the way I perceive the friendship due to my actions – the way I treat them, or their mixed actions, the way they treat me, sometimes.  In other words, I would think someone is a friend but based on a certain unexpected action, or recurring actions, I have given myself just cause to demote them.  Or on the other hand, I thought I was just an associate to someone but they really came through in a caring and loving way, as a friend should, so they get promoted.

I’m learning more and more that the term friend is a wide continuum.  Because of this, the word friend gets thrown around loosely.  Superficially, everyone is a friend.  We’ve added so many different meanings to it and in a major way, detracted from what a friend really is supposed to be, living under a guise of deception, all for what? Securing insecurites? Please.

For example, sometimes I will see a "crew" (friend-pair or group) and I’m curious to know how they became friends. Are all of them really friends or were they really close in the past so now out of obligation they tolerate each other, and a host of other questions when it just doesn’t seem right. Is it just for show? Do you really know what that person is going through? This just seems too surface for me.

And thanks to social networking we have given more leeway to the term friend. “We’re friends on facebook,” does not automatically translate to we are friends in reality.

What if we compartmentalized our friends in the following manner:
  • Friend that sticks closer than a brother – well, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and if you're married, maybe your spouse as a far second and/or if you're the type of person to have a "best" friend, then your best friend. Sidebar: if you are married, I would like to think your spouse is your best friend.
  • Family-friends – friendships formed within your family – siblings, cousins, parents, children, in-laws etc.
  • Friends of the family– friends you’ve grown up with; your families are friends, you mark birthdays together and attend each others' graduations, these are the default people always on the guest list, they do not need an invitation. You carry yourselves out to the public as relatives because you're that close.
  • All around Friends – Friends that you have depth with, understanding, history, trust, communication, love. You may have even had a disagreement a few times but you were able to move past the disagreement in value of the friendship. (Granted, an individual falling into any of the above 3 categories could very well fit in this category). You can call them anytime and talk to them about anything. They know you inside and out. You are free with them and they also hold you accountable. You have some similarities but it does not mean you are carbon copies.
  • Friends for specific purposes - These are friends that you would only call for specific reasons as opposed to anytime or for anything. These may also include the friends that are friends by title and not in deed fully. Or they used to be all around friends, but they got demoted when you noticed they only call you when they need something.
  • Pen Pal friends – These are friends you have made connections with from living in different parts of the world and now your main form of communication, primarily due to your relocation and distance, is random infrequent texts, an email here and there, skype once in a while or form of regular or irregular cyber communication. This includes liking all or most of their facebook activity and the like. Perhaps, they used to be all around friends but because of the ease of mobile phone usage and your lack of using it, they are no longer classified as All around friends- they've been demoted, replaced - eek. But both parties are okay with this or too busy to notice.
  • Cyber friends – Your relationship apart from 1 or 2 meetings by happenstance, or mutual friends is strictly over the internet, facebook, twitter, etc. Once in a while you reach out to them over the world wide web but your conversation is surface level. These friends may also have been in another group higher up at one period in your life, but lack of effort to maintain the friendship has placed the friendship in this category.
  • Associates – you have mutual friends from (common gathering ie. church) and you’re cordial in public, but that’s about as far as it goes, there is no relationship behind closed doors.
I don’t know of anyone who does this. I think that is partially OCD. I would actually like to meet you if you do.

Well back to the demotion; this can detrimental when done out of emotion.  I know in the past, I have created my own reasons for a person's actions instead of communicating with the person to understand why they did something.  For example, I'm like this happened again, [insert my reason here], well obviously they were not listening the first time, (if they were worthy of a first time). Not much seventy times seven going on there.  Or I've “let it go” but still harbor offense in my heart; the bait of Satan.  So in turn the issue is still there and I've single-handedly changed the dynamics of the friendship, causing avoidable strife in the Body and the other person may not even have a clue, even though I think they should, because from my perspective it was so blatant (so bogus).

There’s a lot of expectation but not enough communication. –Nosa Osai

I am writing this not to say that I am merely reevaluating relationships, although I am. But more so as a reminder for me to focus on the person's qualities and the foundation of the friendship, instead of separating and magnifying the issue or action that has caused discontent.  Humans will disappoint you, it is inevitable, since I'm human I cannot fault another for this.

Along with this, I am learning not to lean on my own understanding when analyzing another person's actions, especially when I do not understand how a "friend" could do that.  I've noticed, when I lean on my own understanding without giving them a chance to explain themselves, I am attempting to protect my future interests -that being "self."    Instead, I need to initiate communication on the issue, if I truly value them as a friend.  Friends should prayerfully, constructively hash and settle their issues together, if they truly value the friendship; it's a two way street.

Furthermore, I write this as a challenge to myself to be a better a friend. :) "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:12. 

What is the best vitamin for maintaining a healthy friendship? 
B1 ;-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So about that list….

Yesterday, I had a meeting with my Pastor. As a young woman meeting with my Pastor, people automatically assumed I was telling him my prince has found me. *screams* :-)

After the nth time of being asked subtly and overtly, I played along and acquiesced with a smile.  If everyone keeps asking, they must know something that I am yet to know, might as well claim it. *shrug*

While waiting for my meeting, another Pastor on the leadership team, asked me “well what kind of things are you looking for in your mate?

Of course I have this written down, so I busted out my laptop and opened “the list” for her.

I haven’t revisited the list in a while.  I mentally revisited the list over the summer when I learned the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle is what the King is looking for in His Son’s bride.  Likewise, I should also possess those characteristics and desire these characteristics in my "life partner" as my grandma commonly calls it, (almost every time she asks me, almost every time she sees me, and subsequently every time she prays for me……God bless the intercessory grandma's!)

Apart from that, I hadn’t really considered my list since the soul mate (woman’s perspective, man’s perspectivewrap-up) blog posts and the subsequent discussions that flowed from those posts about 6 months ago.

Going back to my particular list, which may or may not have been posted, the lists are anonymous ;-) she began to go over it with me.  I couldn’t help but to laugh, as we went down the list.

Christina, does this person exist?.... He does not have to..... Is he a clown!.... What…! Why....? What does this even mean?” [insert chuckles here and there]

Granted, I'm not "married" to this list and wouldn't use it as the end all be all check list, as that would be unreasonable. However, listening to my list being verbally processed by another was humorous.

Some of my characteristics were taken from Godly matrimony's that I have witnessed and a combination of teachings.  Undoubtedly, many married couples with the admirable Godly relationships did not have their current relationships, pre-marriage (aka courting or dating) and possibly for some time post-nuptials (aka "the ceremony").  So one should not necessarily expect all the desired characteristics from the get-go.

I realized my previous list, was more so a list of desired characteristics in my husband, after years of growing together, learning and knowing each other.

My list now consists of 4 main things of equal importance:
  1. Friend
  2. Faithful
  3. God-loving
  4. Prayerful

I have two more preferences but they are certainly not deal breakers.

Given that we do not have a soul mate, that is until we have chosen our life partner, we do have our Sovereign Lord.  He knows my whole story from beginning to eternity.

So until that part of my story comes along, I know He knows the desires of my heart.  I’ll pray that He would conform my desires, to His desires for me.

And rest assured His will, will be done.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

LIFE: abortion is a death penalty too.

Last month one man was judicially tried, convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection also known as the death penalty.  The death penalty has been outlawed in several states including Illinois.  However, Troy Davis was tried in Georgia, a state which still allows capital punishment.  People were outraged using various avenues and sites to speak out against the death penalty, all the way to the front steps of the courts even.

Last month about 108,333 innocent children were murdered by abortion.

Some of the people who were so adamantly opposed to the Troy Davis sentence are pro-choice.  In other words, there are people opposed to the death penalty and in support of abortion.  This philosophy just does not align logically.  I would imagine as a  principle, if you are against the death penalty for an adult, you would also be against the death penalty for a child, moreover a child who is not suspected of committing any crime at all, whatsoever.

This is a short post calling for more agreement in prayer to end abortion.  I pray that all who believe that our Sovereign Lord is God alone, and anyone with morals for that matter, will see the congruency between the death penalty and abortion.  I pray that all believers will see that abortion is 21st century genocide, especially targeted to the minority populations. Additionally, I pray that believers of Christ will speak out against abortion and make informed decisions when voting.  I also pray that pregnant women/parents will choose LIFE.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. 
Proverbs 31:8

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I knew you were...!

I went to a small grammar (elementary) school; roughly 30 students in each grade from Kindergarten to 8th grade. A majority of the people I graduated with, I’ve known since we started Kindergarten together, 9 years earlier.

With a group this small, it was almost a given that several characteristics about your identity were unique. For example, I was the only Nigerian that most of my classmates probably knew for a while. Some of my classmates probably did not have close encounters with another Nigerian until high school or college.

In grammar school, I had (and still have) a Greek friend named Madeline and she influenced my understanding of the Hellenic culture. As I was introduced to more Hellenic people, over the years, she would often come to mind and facts (and possibly stereotypes) that I knew about the culture through her.

For example, this past week I made a new Greek friend. We exchanged some introductory questions when we both identified and related with each other as being first generation.
Me: Are you Greek Orthodox?
John: Yeah. About 98% of Greeks are Greek Orthodox.
Me: Does your last name end in "o-u-s"? (oulos)
John: No, it’s _____ it’s like the "Smith" of Greek, but many names do end in o-u-s.
Just the same, some of the questions he had for me were based on what he knew of the Nigerian culture, probably from his first encounter with a Nigerian.

The power of a first (or only) impression; it really lasts. It was then that I realized, everyone one I went to school with learned about the Nigerian culture, based on what I represented, intentionally, through conversations and International nights and inadvertently, through my actions, word choice, attire and just everyday living and habits.

At the African Christian Fellowship young adults conference, last summer in Chicago, themed “Salt of the Earth,” a comment a friend made during a small group discussion stuck with me. “People know I’m Nigerian right away by my name. That’s one of the first things they know.

Automatically, as a “foreigner” you typically do not blend in, unless you’re trying really hard to. I often get the “...I thought you were [something other than the norm!]” "I could tell...." or "I knew you were…!" What they’re basically articulating is “I knew you were different!

One of the first things people should know about us is that we are Christians. As a Christian, you are a citizen of a future city.  This is not our permanent residence, we are foreigners. Someone should be able to say “I knew you were Christian” or “I could tell you were Christian” “you’re different!all the time, because as the salt we’re not made to blend in. It should go without saying, but I really have to emphasize all the time, as in everywhere, all day, everyday.

Also, as John and I were able to detect ourselves, foreigners can usually detect themselves. As a Christian, another Christian should be able to detect that you also are not a citizen of this world, all the time. You are a foreigner. Further, some foreigners have the desire, deep inside of them, to relocate or retire "back home" to their native land. Just the same, we are longing for our home, so we cannot get too comfortable here.

We were not made to blend in, during our life journey to our future home. What we do, as professing Christians, gives off a fragrance representing Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16:

14) But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15) Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16) To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
Unbelievers and the undiscipled will remember everything about the culture of Christ, by what we, as believers, teach them intentionally and inadvertently, whether accurate or inaccurate.

Which culture are you representing, all the time?
Jesus: who do you say I am?
Your Answer: [Insert the way you live your life here.] 
 The culture of the Kingdom is the culture of the King! If you’re not representing the culture of the Kingdom, which culture or kingdom are you representing? - Pastor Billy Humphrey

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is an appeal to ask you to pray for Caleb Graves, his fiancée Victoria, and his family and the family they will be starting next year.

Caleb is a missionary and drummer at the International House of Prayer in Atlanta. Sunday evening, while helping a stranded driver, he was hit by a stolen car and the driver fled the scene. He was immediately rushed to the ICU, and his left leg below the knee had to be amputated. Thankfully, since then, he has been moved out of the ICU, however he is still in a lot of pain. This is obviously an attack of the enemy, as anyone can clearly see the anointing on this young man’s life. But after all is said and done, even the enemy will regret what he's attempting to do. Touch not My anointed and do My prophets no harm!

Please pray for physical and emotional healing, increased strength and resources for the medical and supplemental expenses. Also, pray that the LORD will be glorified through all of this. Also, pray that the person who hit him will turn himself in and/or be brought to justice. Pray for the International House of Prayer Atlanta community also, as they link arms to help him through this, in the best way.

I already see the LORD being glorified through this and know that He will continue to be glorified. The body of Christ has been coming together from all over the nation to support him and his family. So many people from across the nation are praying for him and his family, so many people who may not have been praying otherwise. And just interacting with Caleb, Victoria or anyone from their family, even for the shortest amount of time, you will understand why people are eagerly rising to the call of prayer and other means of support on their behalf because of how they’ve touched people with love and kindness. Many more testimonies will come out of this, I’m certain.

Please visit for more information on how you can help this family and updates on Caleb's progress.

Friends rally around good Samaritan injured helping driver - News Story - WSB Atlanta

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've never seen a gang, in action

Photo by Strannick45
until Sunday.

At the corner of Wilson and Sheridan, stands a gray stone brick building, which is the home of the Uptown Baptist Church and several other church-co-tenants of the property. We also meet there for African Christian Fellowship meetings, as we have been for as long as I can remember; decades even.

Sunday evening we had our annual African Christian Fellowship picnic at Montrose beach. After the picnic, about 6 of us took some things back to the church to lock up.

As soon as we get out the car, commotion surrounds us. There are adults engaged in some dispute; all types of foul language is being exchanged and it’s two seconds from getting physical. Before we can even realize what's going on, one guy suddenly secures himself in the center of our midst. He starts mumbling out the side of his mouth, with his hand on his belt buckle, under his shirt and he looks slightly, just slightly, intoxicated. We make out what he is saying with an accent: “these guys; they want to jump me, they are in a gang, call the cops, I don’t want any trouble.

Someone from the group pursuing him speaks up and says something to the effect of “don’t shoot or leave him alone, we’ll get him.” I’ve been following some of the violence events in Uptown that have been taking place right on this same block lately. Seeing as though I had no desire to be part of the 10 o’clock news, I say to one of my friends, “I think we should get back in the car,” especially since the entrance we plan to enter through is locked.

Soon we get the church opened and minutes later they were beating the guy who initially solicited our help as he fled into the McDonald’s across the street for safety. Why are they pursuing him? Because he threw up the wrong sign. Really? Really!

We finish taking the last of the things back into the church and we are waiting for everyone to get back outside so we can leave at the same time. The man being pursued has now been taken away by an unmarked SUV police car. And now, this “gang” is sitting and standing on the steps of the church entrance, using the same foul language, rousing themselves up, and plotting about how they will kill him the next time they see him.

Over a hand gesture; this cannot be real. I'm somewhat shocked that they are really "gang banging" just out in the open and I am really witnessing the preliminary stages of the caught in cross gang violence news stories. It is 8pm on a Sunday night, this cannot be their life, and they all must be in their 30s. I’m tempted to talk to them but advised not to, so we all get back into the cars.

As we drive off, I notice the sign in the window of the women’s shelter, yards from where they were congregated: “Stop Killing People.”

The presence of the Church had no effect on these people.

Our presence almost had no effect on these people.

This is not the Uptown I remember.

Pray for Uptown. Pray for Chicago. Pray for the Church in Chicago.
…you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” – A.J. Gordon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You are marked!

You, yes you specifically reading this, are marked! Psalm 139

Nothing else really needs to be said on this post; the video below says it all. Please listen!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Praying for the souls of Muslims

Monday, August 1st, was the first day of the August 2011 Global Bridegroom Fast (‘GBF’). This is a fast where believers fast 3 days a month, beginning with the first Monday of the month, and the first 7 days in December making a total of 40 days a year.
“This fast is a worldwide concert of prayer when believers unite to seek the Lord’s face—at the same time, with the same burdens, and in the same Spirit.”
And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. Matthew 9:15
During the 4pm GBF intercession we prayed primarily for the souls of Muslims. Monday also marked the beginning of Ramadan this year. This means 1 billion people are praying and fasting to a god who cannot hear them or answer their prayers.

“Jesus, You are worthy of praise, even from Mecca!” “Make Your Son’s name great over Allah”– Intercession Choruses via Tolu Akande.

Please keep Muslims in your prayers unto the only true living God, the LORD. Pray that they would know the truth, that there is only one true living uncreated God, the same yesterday, today and forevermore and Jesus is His Son, the visible image of the Father, not merely a prophet. Also, pray for the yet-to-be discipled nations, where Islam is the dominant religion and that the word of the LORD would run swiftly in their lands and in their hearts.

By the way, you don’t have to be Muslim to pray 5 times a day (or more). Every Christian needs to be a an individual house of prayer. Jesus is not going to come back for a bride that doesn't want to talk to Him. {Make us ready LORD}

Please listen to this series called Cultivating a Culture of Prayer especially part 3 from IHOP Atlanta. This was a 7-part series that covered a good portion of the Sunday sermons during my internship. It is also available on iTunes for free. The dates are from May 29, 2011 to July 10, 2011.

Be blessed, in other words, please receive this revelation friends! 

Ephesians 1:17-19.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Don't get your theology from a movie."

For years, as far as I knew, I believed the rapture would occur before the seven years of tribulation. Around my second week of the internship, I discovered my rapture paradigm is largely based on the movie "Left Behind" and very few supplemental teachings, also stemming from the pre-tribulation rapture ideology.

Well, don’t get your End Times theology from a movie!

Generally speaking, “End Times” is not a commonly preached sermon in the church, yet there are over 150 chapters in the Bible that discuss the End Times; our future. Merely reading through the chapters certainly will not give the revelation we need. In order to get a deeper understanding of the End Times, it is essential for one to ask the Holy Spirit for grace to guide us through a study of the Scriptures that give us the blueprint for the End Times.

During The Pursuit, we’ve had in-depth teachings on the End Times during various classes such as End Times Group, Gatekeeper School of Ministry classes and various Foundational teachings. We also attend the End Times Service, every Friday, as part of our internship schedule. We are currently six weeks into the study of The Book of Revelation.

All of the End Times Services are open to the public. The past teachings are online at with the notes to help guide you as you listen. This way you are able to lock in and study along as well, from wherever you reside, whenever you want.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You made a way for me to enter the Holy place.

During my Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit class, one of our instructors told us to use Revelation chapter four to aid us in envisioning ourselves before the Throne of Grace, (the Throne in Heaven) while praying. Revelation four gives us John’s description of what he sees when he is pulled from Patmos island into Heaven.

Under the Mosaic covenant, before the days of Christ’s crucifixion, in order to bring requests before the LORD, people brought animals to the priests as sacrificial atonement for their sins. The priests would slaughter the sacrifices. But sacrifices by the blood of animals could never completely atone for their sins. The primary way into the sanctuary of God’s presence was through the high priest. Only the high priest went before the Ark; the Holy of Holies.

Under the new covenant, the perfect priest, Jesus, has offered the perfect sacrifice. Through the sacrifice of His blood, on the cross, He completely atones for all of our sins. Now, we have the privilege to come boldly before the Throne of Grace, all the time. We have confidence to stand directly before the LORD, with Jesus seated the right hand of the Throne, when we pray.
Hebrews 10:19-21. 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God.”
What a privilege it is to carry everything directly to God in prayer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Year of Jubilee!!!!

Happy July 15th world! What a lovely day! Oh happy day! Today is the day I entered this world, 26 years ago, whew. Praise the LORD with me somebody!

Something you probably don’t know about me: I was due on July 7th. The Lord and I just decided to wait a week and a day longer. It would just be best for all interested parties. Thanks for the extended stay, rent free, mom!

I remember every single birthday since I was 4, maybe even my 3rd, if I see a picture. Actually, as I’m typing I’m really trying to remember July 15th, 1988. It will come to me, I’m sure. :)

Summer birthdays are unique in that, although they are typically not celebrated with school mates, since we’re usually not in school, at the time. However, we summer birth-daters have more freedom to celebrate as we want and where we want as we get more seasoned. ;-) For the most part, I've grown accustomed to marking it with family and my Nigerian community, which is basically: family.

Over the years, when I could make my own decisions, I was not the plan-a-big-celebration every year kind of girl.  Oddly enough, I’ve happened to plan something for my birthday the last three years. I definitely cherish those memories, which still seem very recent. Life really is a vapor. (I'll eventually create a scrapbook of the pictures, one of these days.)

Because of that trend, it could seem logical that an even grander celebration is expected (or not). This year, I have nothing birthday-party-wise planned. Nonetheless, I’m sure this one will be quite memorable too, just in a different way.

Why? Because: This is my Year of Jubilee!!!!!! This is my season of Jubilee!!!!!!!!!

I took it old school with the homie Ron. But, I will have a new song, a new dance. Amen!

Sing with me. Dance with me. ohhhh-ohhhhhh-oohhhhh...ooohhhhh

"Let a new song arise before the Holy, before the Beauty."  I was there, by the way: Onething 2010 – fabulous.

If you would be so kind, please pray this for and with me:
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come." Luke 4:18-19. Liberty. Restoration. Justice.

These are the words of Christ and I believe that because the Son of Man says we will do "greater works than these,” [the Son’s works - John 14:12] this prophecy also applies to me and you, as the speaker and the recipient.

Happy July 15th to me and to you! Happy Jubilee!

This is my season of Jubilee. Praise the LORD!!!!!!!!!! Bless the LORD with me, friends.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Monday marked 235 years of America’s independence from Britain. Many Americans celebrate this federal holiday with barbeques and firecrackers. I didn’t really partake in the celebrations this year or celebrate with firecrackers per se.

However, there are a couple new people I crossed paths with this 4th of July. I recently met a teenager and the first word that comes to mind when attempting to describe her is firecracker.

What do you think of when you hear the word FIRECRACKER? Danger, Explosive, Bright, Shining, Appropriately Loud?

By firecracker, I mean the blaze on her heart is visible in her actions and audible in her prayers and the way she speaks at a mere 16 years of life. She is on fire for the LORD. She is a danger sign to any plan of the enemy as she stands in the gap, interceding over several injustices.

Seeing young people so grounded and unshaken in their faith and truly on fire for the LORD is so beautiful to me. What a firm foundation!

Back in my day, we thought “Meet Me at the Flagpole” was something, and at the time and place, it might very well have been. Yet I’ve heard testimonies of revivals going on around the same time at other locations and I can’t help but to think, “what was I doing? I could’ve been doing a lot more.” In just seeing what they are capable of doing now, as teenagers and in their early twenties, I can only imagine what type of exploits they will be doing in 5 or 10 years.

I was thinking of the song Shine Jesus Shine. I don’t recall the first place I heard and learned the song. Moreover, while singing, I don’t believe I grasped the meaning of the words or really understood what I was asking of the LORD.
Shine Jesus shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your word
Lord and let there be light.
Somewhere after learning the words, the singing has the tendency to become habitual and part of the normal order of our Christian gatherings; service, fellowship, youth group and the likes.

Although we may not fully process the meaning, 100% of the time, at the young ages that we sing songs such as these, I believe it still counts for something. I now believe they were and still are prayers to the Lord. And at whatever time the LORD chooses, He will turn those worship lyrics to answered prayers for every child who sings it.

I want the upcoming generation to have awesome testimonies of revivals in their high schools and on their college campuses. I want them to look comparatively upon the state of high schools and college campuses back then and even now and completely shake things up.

As a duty to this upcoming generation, I pray that every child I have a relationship with would be characterized as a firecracker. I want the Spirit to blaze, setting their hearts on fire at young ages. This is very important to me especially for children raised Christian. It’s dangerously easy to neglect spiritual growth, over the years, under the guise of religion, masking the dangers of repetition and stagnancy. Meanwhile, one would fail to realize that their spiritual entrée for several years was just various forms of Milk.

Come fan the flame!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What do you mean blessed?

When “good things” happen: the world attributes them to luck, hard work, self-effort, and/or good vibes, while some Christians will call it favor or being blessed by God.

I took luck out of my vocabulary a long time ago and replaced it with "God’s blessings" or "all the best." I’m finding it harder to voice certain usages of the word blessed, without analysis, because of the meaning we’ve attached to it. I feel like it may be used improperly; either too liberally or not enough.

Think about when you've heard or seen the following phrases and how they were used:

  • Be blessed
  • Bless you.
  • God bless you
  • God bless Country
  • Blessings.
  • I’m Blessed!
  • You’re Blessed!
  • Favor!

Notwithstanding that I am not the Judge, I get a check in my spirit when I hear people say
I got a new car – I’m blessed!
Favor ain’t fair!
I love my life, I’m blessed.
I internally question the usage.

So, if you:
a) Didn’t get a new car
b) Felt you should have been chosen and therefore were disfavored, or
c) didn’t love your life on a certain day or after a particular instance
Would you still feel that you were blessed?

According to Zondervan, being blessed is the ultimate well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the Kingdom of God.

Paul illustrates it best in Philippians 4.“I can abase, I can abound, but I do all things through Christ.

If I’m blessed I’m always blessed; I do all things through Christ.

It Could Be Me

I’m racing home during my break to get something. On the way there, I'm thinking of how grateful I am to have a car, so that I can just up and go somewhere. I arrive home, get in, get out and a few minutes later I turn around to head back to IHOP, the same way I came. I couldn’t help but notice this huge accident that was at the intersection that I was just at! Fire trucks, airbags, cars off to the ditch, the whole nine.

The first song that comes to mind: “It Could’ve Been Me
“It could’ve been me, with no clothes, no shoes and no food to eat.”

In the same vein, I think “but it’s her;” it’s that elderly woman, and this middle-aged woman, and that guy, and their cars. None of them planned this, they are children of God. They may be saved too. I’d like to think the middle-aged woman was praying, post-accident, otherwise she was actively engaging with an invisible person, hand motions pointing and all.

Are they more deserving of this accident than I am? Are other cities and nations more deserving of judgment than me in my comfortable square footage in the city I call home?

Not at all.

I feel this way with several of the intercession topics.

Sometimes we pray for the persecuted church in China or the end to sex trafficking and child exploitation.

Then I just remember how that could be me, a 25-year-old woman that cannot practice religion without physical persecution; persecution that many of us in the West have barely even smelled. I could be a 25-year-old woman and all I’ve ever known in life is oppression and sexual exploitation. At any given time, a man can and will enter my cage and rape me!

But, it’s not me, for God’s reason, but through the enemy, yet under God’s sovereignty, it is someone else. So we pray, we intercede for these children and women, halfway across the globe and in this very city, Atlanta, as the nation’s sex trafficking capital. We intercede for these people who will likely never know we are praying for them. That’s okay, no one needs to know.

That’s praying what’s on the Father’s heart. Feeling what He feels towards these injustices. Hating what He hates, and loving what He loves. Praying for what He would have us pray about, not just about what we want and what will satisfy our present desires.

It could've been me, yet it is someone else, so we pray. That’s intercession. You feel bad – for the injustices, You feel good – as in feeling His presence. You feel God.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Temporary Abode

I’ve witnessed some "interesting" things in my current setting. Some have the potential to be offensive and some actually are offensive. But the way I deal with it is by telling myself:
"This is only a temporary abode. I’m only here for a few more weeks. I won’t let something so insignificant in the grand scheme of things affect me. I’m a sojourner, 'a pilgrim just passing through.'"

Role Play Ideally
A Child of God/bride of Christ with different strokes: Offensive statement or action. 
Same Child of God/bride of Christ: Silence or Apology 
Me: Silence or correction.
Me: Forgiven.

It’s just that simple.

I’m trying to transfer the temporary abode mentality I've adopted here, to the way I approach every day, since this earth is our temporary abode. Any offense I experience from anyone is truly insignificant in the grand scheme of things; the ages to come.

You’ve probably seen that high school senior/college freshman facebook philosophy: "Forgive but never forget," usually after they’ve been hurt, oftentimes by a repeat offender. If you’re like me you remember almost (~99.9%) everything. It comes in handy in an organizational setting, but when trying to be Christ-like mmm not so much – I’m working on it ;-)

Still, for the most part, the most part being my entire existence, anything that anyone has accused me of or offended me with cannot be as offensive or more offensive than what I could be guilty of at the judgment seat; including my thoughts, for as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

But God’s mercies, makes it so simple.

At any time, I can come boldly before the Throne of Grace and ask for His mercy and, I’m forgiven. It’s just that simple.

  • "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
  • "Forgive us our trespasses while or to the same extent, we forgive those who trespass against us." (yikes!)

That simple sentence is embedded in the prayer teaching us how to pray. It is a prayer some of us have prayed before we could read. This very sentence, in this very prayer, needs to become my reality, all the time. And I will admit, it's not my reality, all the time. With the temporary abode mentality it ought to be just that simple. These offenses will not matter in eternity, but the way I respond to it now will matter.
"This is only a temporary abode. I’m only here for X years. I won’t let something so insignificant in the grand scheme of things affect me. I’m a sojourner, 'a pilgrim just passing through.'" Olorun s'anu mi (and help me).
 "We now confess, that we are just pilgrims,
just passing through, seeking a homeland, 
come from above, a heavenly country, 
Not made with hands, whose builder is the LORD." - Tolu Akande

What does it mean to be successful?

In this day and age, our Western society has painted the picture that you’re not successful until . . .

Until you finish school.

It doesn’t stop there; you must go past undergraduate; go to graduate school, get your doctorate too; the more letters, the better.

Then, once you graduate, you must pass your board exams . . .

And then, you must get a really good job with a six figure salary, (But if you’re making six figures, you may be too busy to enjoy it, that’s okay, just make the money anyway)

Then are you successful yet? Not yet.

You must also get married, right away, (because you can just go to the market and pick out a good one, like strawberries - yum). Apparently, the quality of the marriage is not given as much value.

Then you must have kids, many kids, like 9 months after the wedding day, both genders too.
Then, are you successful?

Not yet, you must climb up the socio-economic ladder.

In order to fulfill that, all you have to do is own your own house, one to four cars, and live at or above your means; because even if you aren’t “successful” you will look “successful.”

Then, your kids must be healthy and well mannered, accomplishing several achievements and accolades.
And then will you be successful?

Almost, you’re children must go to school, get married, and so on and so on; keep pressing repeat.

Hmmm, so, sounds like you’re successful once your last grandchild graduates, gets married and if the LORD gives you more years, your grandchildren have children too = People over 75 are successful.

This might sound a little cynical or a tad bit facetious, and thankfully does not represent my family's views or pressures. But it's unfortunately the reality and therefore aspiration for several people that view the world through this lens and the get rich or die trying mentality.

How about this:

I am a lover of the Lord, I am loved by the Lord, and therefore, I am successful.

In other words, I love the Lord, He loves me; I’m successful. #TRUTH

Friday, June 10, 2011

Youthful loyalty: ride or die love.

Sunday morning, three couples were called up to the pulpit for an announcement. I asked my cousin which couple she thought was the most recently wedded of the three. She selected the young couple on the right. Jokingly, I indicated it was actually the elder couple, standing in the middle. I actually lacked knowledge of the accuracy of this information. Based on our brief visual observation, we settled on the same couple.

Of the three couples, the couple we selected was joined at the hip. They held hands throughout the announcement and their hands were interlocked. Also, the wife had a huge smile on her face and the husband looked happy as well.

Another couple was seated near us and my cousin said: “they’re newlyweds” and I immediately agreed.

One thing I usually pray for newlyweds is that their love for each other would continue to grow stronger than the day before. I don’t believe the honeymoon phase should apply to Christ-centered marriages.

The honeymoon phase is part of a Psychology theory identifying different stages of love. The honeymoon phase lasts for X amount of time and once the honeymoon phase wears off, your love begins to fade, beginning a cycle of weaker stages and some sprouts of rekindled love.

I admire families where the spouses have been married for years and their love is so strong that it also transfers to their children. For example, there is a particular family I have in mind, if you just watch for a few seconds you will see what cannot really be expressed in words; from the infant daughter to the eldest son. After listening to the father speak a couple times, I understood how they make it work.
When you’re really in love no one has to tell you how to act; it just comes naturally.” ¬-JBP
Take these two popular love song statements: “Don’t you remember you told me you loved me, baby?” and “I will always love you.” Try to imagine your spouse saying that to you after years of marriage. Try to imagine the LORD saying that to you.

During the 4pm intercession, Wednesday, the director ministered from Jeremiah 2:2-3 for communion.
“I remember your youthful loyalty, our love as newlyweds. You stayed with me through the wilderness years, stuck with me through all the hard places. Israel was God's holy choice, the pick of the crop. Anyone who laid a hand on her would soon wish he hadn't!'" God's Decree. (The Message)
Everyone has an individual Book of Remembrance that is currently being transcribed as we live out our lives with our free will and voluntary obedience. There are days that the LORD is going to mark, remembering our loyal devotion to Him. The days where we loved him loyally in our wilderness, like the love newlyweds have for each other. The days where we were “ride or die” with Him.

Ride or die is urban vernacular referring to a lover, usually of your youth, who was with you through it all, before you attained any level of success. Likewise, if you lost everything they would still be with you, faithfully.

There are some people who may be going through a wilderness season, but as long as they are faithful in their love, loyalty and devotion, the Lord sees it all. It is during some of your seasons in the wilderness where the LORD remembers the way you loved Him just as He marked the way the Israelites loved Him in the wilderness.

I don’t want to be a compromise Christian, when it comes to the perceived seasons of wilderness or uncertainty. I don’t want my love to be dull or my loyalty to fade. I don’t want to be a borderline Christian, a borderline lover of Christ. The border is too close to unbelief, doubt and wickedness. The borderline is lukewarm.

I want my love to be stronger than the day before. I want my loyalty to be God-fearing like that of Job, knowing that I am not my own, and without Him I can do nothing. I want my devotion to be steadfast like David constantly searching after my Father’s heart. I want my Father to remember my love for Him, similar to the way the Israelites loved Him in the wilderness. I want to possess a youthful loyalty worthy of being marked in my Book of Remembrance.
“I want to love You well, in this betrothal, until we meet again, may I spend my time wisely.” – Caleb Andrews

It’s not just about Proverbs 31:

Stop the press! (or just add this addendum)

About two months ago, I surveyed some of my Christian young adult friends about what they desired in a spouse; what they valued in a future life partner. (See Value System: a woman's perspective and  Value System: a man's perspective).

In general conversation, men will usually say they value the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman. Likewise, women will say "I want to embody Proverbs 31" (or if they are bold enough they will even say "I am a Proverbs 31 woman.") The children and husband of a Proverbs 31 woman arise and call her blessed. (Proverbs 31:28)


Blessed: the ultimate well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. (Zondervan Study Bible)

Our Foundations class today was an Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5 and 6. (All my Foundations classes have been excellent! I wish I could bring everyone to class with me. I wouldn’t just say that about any class.)

The Sermon on the Mount is "Jesus’ first public proclamation of the value system of His Kingdom." Matthew 5 contains the 8 core values, (5:3-10). Here, "Jesus is expressing His heart and revealing what is important to Him."

The values are followed by 6 vices that would prevent one from inheriting the Kingdom (5:21-47). Then, Matthew 6 has 7 virtues that release God’s grace upon us as we live out the core values. (6:1-34)

The eight core values are the Beatitudes:
  1. Poor in Spirit – realizing that we can do nothing without Him
  2. Mourning
  3. Meekness – thinking of others before thinking of yourself
  4. Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness -
  5. Showing Mercy
  6. Purity in Heart – not just sexual impurity but thoughts and actions
  7. Making Peace – a peacemaker not merely a peacekeeper i.e passive aggressive – non-confrontational.
  8. Persecution
Oftentimes, we recite the beatitudes, without much insight, as they sound great – who wouldn’t want to be blessed and inherit the Kingdom? However, these qualities are not inherent characteristics that we are born with, or personality traits that can developed by our own strength, in the flesh. We need to ask our live-in teacher, the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, to give us more insight into their worth and teach us how to embody these values.

Proverbs 31 is good and dandy (and heavily referenced). It provides a good illustration of the “perfect virtuous woman,” which assumingly many women strive to become. However, I would like to place more emphasis on Matthew 5 and 6 as the continuous goal. These are the values Jesus will be looking for in each of us, men and women, and how we ought to live our lives daily.
“These values are to define us as we walk the narrow path in this life. . . Our hearts are liberated and our souls fulfilled when we give ourselves to 100% obedience to the value system of the Kingdom of God.” –Jamie Burns Pridgen

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.

This is amazing. This is necessary.

Texas Governor, Rick Perry, has called a Joel 2, Solemn Assembly, on Saturday, August 6th, for America, called The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.

Joel 2:15:
Blow the trumpet in [America], sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: King James Version
Blow the trumpet in [America]; set apart a fast [a day of restraint and humility]; call a solemn assembly. Amplified
Blow the ram's horn trumpet in [America]! Declare a day of repentance, a holy fast day. Call a public meeting. Get everyone there. Consecrate the congregation. Make sure the elders come, but bring in the children, too, even the nursing babies, Even men and women on their honeymoon— interrupt them and get them there. Between Sanctuary entrance and altar,let the priests, God's servants, weep tears of repentance. Let them intercede: "Have mercy, God, on your people! Don't abandon your heritage to contempt. Don't let the pagans take over and rule them and sneer, 'And so where is this God of theirs?'" Message (15-17)

This Solemn Assembly is being called for the purposes of praying for “a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.” He asks the entire country to call upon the name of Jesus, not the political, commonly accepted, ultra ambiguous “god.” There will be no mistake about who we are praying to, the only uncreated God, the only One who can save us.

Perry also invited the other 49 governors to join him. So far one governor, Nathan Deal, the governor of Georgia! accepted his invitation. Pray for Illinois! Pray for all the other 48 governors.

I would like to see every church, in every city, across America, take part in the Solemn Assembly in some form, be it prayer meeting or house fellowship.

He says, if my people who are called by name would humble themselves and cry out to me, then I will heal their land. Logically, the inverse of this conditional statement will also hold true: if we do not humble ourselves and cry out to Him, then He will not heal our land, which He has the power to do.

Let us humble ourselves and cry out to Him. Pray for August 6th, this solemn assembly, the days leading up to it and the preparations for it. Pray for our leaders and our nation. Pray for unity in the church. Pray for the pastors of every church, of every denomination, to join together and bring their congregations on that day. "Then all of [us] can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:6.
I've posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem. Day and night [we] keep at it, praying, calling out, reminding God to remember. [We] are to give him no peace until he does what he said, until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise. Isaiah 62:6-7 The Message

Rick Perry's letter to America via The Response.

Fellow Americans,

Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.

I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.

Rick Perry

The Response Promo from The Response USA on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June is...

June is the president-instituted (Clinton and Obama) designated month for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride and celebration.

The Friday before I hit the road to drive down here, May 13th, a few friends and I were having a discussion. One friend brought to our attention that, the once thought of as conservative sect of Christianity: Presbyterian Church United States of America (PCUSA) is now the fourth Protestant denomination to allow the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy as of May 10th.

I am guilty of this: tip toeing around the subject. I worked with and went to school with people who are very open about this and therefore struggling with this bondage.Whenever I learn that someone is committing themselves to that lifestyle, I accept them but I do not question them about it. Moreover, I don’t necessarily commit them to prayer for the Lord to take them out of it. I pretty much tip toe around that and the elephant in the room eventually becomes a painting on the wall.

Organizations would promote Days of Silence and pass out rainbow ribbons. Of course, I don't support hate crimes but my stance was not taking the rainbow ribbon or in anyway promoting the rainbow symbol. The symbol intended for Noah, I was now refusing to wear.

Some Christians condemn this specific sin with a self-righteous or judgmental spirit. It is as if one sin is greater than another, as if a person identifying themselves by that orientation is living in greater sin than the next person.

During the intercession sets on Tuesday, we prayed for the LGBT community.

In the morning, we prayed that they would be released from their captivity and experience the freedom that the LORD brings.

During the All-Staff intercession the prayer leader called a Rapid Fire on this point of intercession. Rapid Fire is when the prayer leader calls asks for people to come up to say a prayer, at the altar, on the microphone for about 10 to 30 seconds. The prayer is related to the topic of intercession.

Then the worship leader of the all-staff intercession set asked us all to break off into small groups to lift this in prayer.

We prayed all across the board on this issue. We prayed for people who believe they are born that way and therefore must engage in this practice. There are people in lifestyle only because of hurt and pain from past relationships from parental figures or former significant others. There is homosexuality in the church and it’s being covered up. There are people who are dealing with this issue silently as well with few or no one to turn to. We must cry out to our Judge for this must end.

The room became really hot really soon.

We need to continue praying for them or start if we have not. Pray that they would know the Father’s love, and that in Him they would find their true identity. Pray that they would be directed to loving Christians holding steadfast to the second commandment; to love one another as the Lord loves us.
Pray that they would come into the Lords house with open arms. Pray that they would have joy in his House.

We take back the rainbow as the reminder of the Noahic covenant:
 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set MY RAINBOW in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. So God said to Noah, “THIS is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Genesis 9:8-17

What a powerful intercession! Keep praying. Testimonies have come, testimonies are coming, I know of another one already!

"How’s The Pursuit?"

"How’s the internship?" "How’s the Pursuit?" "How's it going?"

We’ve received some form of the above mentioned questions from almost everyone – that’s a good thing to know people genuinely care. And we’ll usually get some people to receive our responses by imparting their wisdom from their experience.

Well: It is good! A week ago, I would’ve answered “mostly good” but now my answer is unequivocal.

One thing to note, although I am learning a lot daily, this Pursuit is not an academic pursuit. It is a spiritual pursuit to pursue the unsearchable God and have Him reveal Himself. It is the beginning of an ongoing process; it is not an attainment or destination.

We added two new courses; one called Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit and one called Thirst.

The LORD has already told me some things in the prayer room and I look forward to more edification from Him, as I continue to pursue the knowledge of Him. During the first couple weeks, people kept saying "the Lord will tell you some things" " or the Lord will show you some things" so I just internally nod thinking, okay, I wonder how and what He’ll tell and show me.

On Friday nights, we have our end times teaching. This past Friday, the pastor began teaching on the Book of Revelation; a much needed teaching for me. There are a lot of details that I previously glossed over. Now, things are starting to make more sense and come to life.

I also started my helps (department) this past week. I will be working in the marketing department. We are developing with the intentions to execute innovative ways to market the internships.

"It is a short season, so make the most of it" - Pursuit Director so, I will!

Thanks for reading. Send me your prayer requests and subsequent testimonies!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking the "Saul out of David"

So I’ve been asking for wisdom and revelation . . .

Last summer, I was placed in a living situation, for my internship, and I realized I could have handled the situation better towards the end of the summer, a little too late. This summer, I’ve been placed in another living situation, similar in some respects and very different in other respects.

During the first week, we had a class called Encountering Jesus. The pastor preached on an issue he experienced, which in hindsight prepared him for a coming controversy. Before he could progress though, the Lord had to take the “Saul out of David.” The Lord intentionally allowed David to go through his different trials with Saul to prepare David for leadership with a character that was absent all the character traits of Saul. We learned that God used the earlier occurrence to prepare him for the second occurrence. This later bigger issue would be his time to execute sound leadership in a way he learned through overcoming the first issue.

I had an interesting first half of my second week apart from the prayer room and classes. In short, in my biased opinion, I feel like I was the “most different” amongst the Pursuit interns. I reminded myself of my agenda and purposes for coming to the internship. Highlighting my differences, comparatively, in a group was not one of my initial purposes, on its face. Yet learning to love better unconditionally is something I asked the Lord for last summer, that could always be improved, and I’m still learning it.

I shared my interesting experience, in confidence, with a few others, outside of the internship, that I could relate to. By vocalizing my experience, with my justifications, I was able to reflect on what I said as well as the responses I was given.

I was in the prayer room on Thursday afternoon and I was reminded of last summer. I realized I was basically resorting to handle the current situation similar to the manner which I handled my living situation towards the end of last summer; do my own thing and keep out of harm’s way to prevent any conflict and subsequently reduce interaction.

I immediately saw the trap I could be falling into once again. Meanwhile, I feel the Lord is teaching me to be a better Christina through even this. It is a lesson and preparation on adaptability and adjusting to new environments where it is likely that I may be, once again, the “most different.”

It’d be less convincing to a stranger that I’m adaptable and flexible if I didn’t have recent and relevant references of me venturing out of my comfort zone. Moreover, I don’t generally believe we were made to be comfortable. If I always gravitate towards people who accept me, I’m in effect, making myself comfortable. By staying in my comfort zone, I would not see the areas the Lord is trying to work on in me to prepare me for what is to come.

As I pray Ephesians 1:17-19, I perceive three dangers of maintaining dim eyes to this understanding. One, the Lord may determine that I currently lack the qualifications to be placed in a new setting. Two, I could remain stagnant, missing my kairos opportunity due to my own disobedience. Or three, I would end up learning and realizing that in later less appropriate setting because I decided to do things the comfortable way.

As long as change is constant, it is foreseeable that I will be in these situations in the months and years to come as I enter new beginnings. I would have no excuse not to improve that ("that" essentially being: unconditional love, humility, and meekness) in this setting, not only because one of the safest environments to do so in but it is a test of what I began learning last summer.

I’ve been divinely checked; revelation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

prayer for African youth and young adults

Yesterday, at the all-staff intercession, we prayed for the gift of spiritual hunger with Psalm 42 verses 1, 2 and 7 as our reference.
(1) As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
(2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
(7) Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
I specifically prayed for my African Christian Fellowship brethren and called them out by name. I also prayed this prayer for relatives, friends, and the youth and young adult groups at Jesus House Chicago and within the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Please pray this prayer with me, as often as you remember:

LORD please awaken our hearts, the hearts of African youth and young adults. Give us the desire to want to know You more. Give us the gift of spiritual hunger. Stir up a spiritual hunger within us, a longing, a thirst in our hearts. Just as the deer pants for the water brook, let us thirst and long for the Living Water and hunger for the Bread of Life. Lord give us the thirst and hunger that only You can satisfy. Deep calls out to deep.

“You are the Lover, You never run dry. You are the Lover, only You can satisfy.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Prayer Room

“To have faith, by definition, is to pray and keep on praying and never lose heart in prayer”

In the prayer room, at the International House of Prayer-Atlanta, the fire is kept burning on the altar 24/7.

Leviticus 6:13: "The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out."

The perpetual fire in Moses’ day represented uninterrupted offering to and appeal to God on behalf of Israel. (Zondervan Study Bible)

For two hour sets, around the clock, the intercessory missionaries keep the fire burning in the form of worship with the word, devotions and intercession. So if you walk into the prayer room at 3am or 3pm you will find people in there, praying and worshiping. During the services, the prayer room moves to the building next door.

During intercession, there is worship and then there are intervals whereby people to come to ask the others in the room to agree with them on prayers that have been placed on their heart. After the person or people pray on the microphone, the worship set sings parts of the prayer and parts of the scripture used in the prayer as a chorus. Many of the scriptures used are prayers that Paul wrote the churches in the New Testament; apostolic prayers. Meanwhile, other people are pacing the room back and forth or sitting in place, it all depends on your style or how you’re being moved at the time.

On Tuesdays at 4pm everyone who is on staff or an intern at IHOP-Atlanta is required to come to the all-staff intercession. This past Tuesday was the second all-staff intercession I attended. I went to one in October too, when I came to visit. They’ve both been live; worship and intercession sets; sometimes you feel like dancing.

At this past all staff intercession, there was a focus on interceding for the churches in Egypt, Muslims, and the word of the Lord to spread rapidly throughout the nations from 2 Thessalonians 3.

The Pastor (director) called the new interns up so that we could be prayed upon and blessed as we begin this season. I don’t recall there ever being a time in my life when so many people came and prayerfully laid hands on me. We also heard from missionaries who have setup a house of prayer in Uganda.

At the end of the intercession sets, the leader will ask people to indicate whether they need a form of healing. Then he will ask for the believers nearby to lay hands on the people who seek healing. So in a sense, if you’re not being prayed for, you’re laying your hands on people to pray for them.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: 

“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' For some time he refused. 

But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'

And the LORD said, “Listen to what the unjust judge said. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you He will see that they get justice and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? Luke 18:1-8.
 We have to be like the persistent widow.

Faith always prays, unbelief stops praying.”

The IHOP World – Lawrenceville

It’s funny because right after high school, I used to tell some of my classmates/teammates from high school, that I tried out for the MTV reality show: The Real World and I would be on the next season. Meanwhile, I was taking my Gen Eds & Psych classes in Champaign at U of I.

In all actuality, I never tried out for the Real World. I’m Nigerian; we can’t bring shame to our parents in that manner. The thought of it crossed my mind though: living with 6 strangers for 2.5 months in a different city.  

Well, what I said post-high school came to pass with a twist.

All The Pursuit interns are housed together by gender. We have guidelines that are intended to foster the consecrated environment. I’m living in a townhouse with 7 other women, one of the women is the core leader/RA from IHOP staff but she is also a young adult. There are two male interns in another house. This definitely was not one of my motivating factors in my decision to do The Pursuit.

I share a room with one other intern. I haven’t shared a room (as opposed to house or apartment) with anyone since 2004, as a resident in the dorms, in undergrad. And at 25, I am the oldest in the house with the others ranging from 18-24.

Living communally with 7 others, 6 who will share my same daily schedule, for the duration of this season, can at times be overwhelming. Sometimes, I desire a little privacy.

At times, it feels like I’m in a bubble but I’m also on the outside of the bubble, observing. This is an interesting group and at second glance, a diverse group of Christians, indeed.

Of course, here, there are no cameras, we’re not being filmed, but transparency is foreseeable. As it happens whenever you’re placed in a new environment, you’re bound to learn several things. I’m sure I will learn things I didn’t even expect from this experience.

So welcome to The IHOP World – Lawrenceville.

Thank you for your support!

Before deciding to come to The Pursuit officially, I told my close friends that, I knew that if God wants me to do The Pursuit, He will provide every cent. Jehovah Jireh!

I started raising support earlier this month, and the LORD is providing for me through friends and family. I really really really appreciate the love and support from my family and friends; it really encourages me. I am so grateful to have wonderful people in my life. Thank you!

I’m still raising support (prayers and financial). It surely increases your faith in Him, not knowing how He will provide, but trusting Him enough to know that He will provide for you; total abandonment in Him.

My main expenses will be groceries and gas. One of my goals is not to buy anything I already have at home or can do without. This will mean little to no fast food and unnecessary spending.

I would like to one day support missionaries in some capacity and go on missions trips overseas too. I learned that many of the missionaries here are living below poverty. Everyone from the pastor (director) to the IT director, to the worship leaders and full time intercessors raise their own support, they do not receive a salary. Some live on as little as $500 a month.  All of this, combined with other occurrences, really provokes my missionary mentality. I have thoughts about that topic that I’ll write about in an upcoming post.

If you would like to support me prayerfully or financially please contact me at IHOP Email for more information.

Thank you and God bless you.

And so it begins, The Pursuit.

The Pursuit – a three month season, May 15th to August 4th, of intense consecration, prayer, worship and pursuit of Jesus tailored to young adults who have an ache in their soul to know the deep emotions of the Living God. The three months will include spending time in IHOP-Atlanta's prayer room where the worship, music and intercession continues 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are also on a media fast consisting of no television, movies, or radio; not even watching the playoffs.

Although I miss my community (friends, family) back home, I am glad to be here in this community for this 3 month season.

I have a lot to say and update so I’ll break up the posts by topic beginning with this one as a general overview.

My first week is complete, and it’s a pretty busy schedule. This week included orientation, move-in, classes, prayer room - praying, classes, goal-setting, reading, classes, service, prophecy, and classes. I like the classes. And to think, I told my friends, I was done with school. We will forever be students in some way; forever learning. I’ve also been applying for positions, that I will begin after this internship, and continuing to raise support.

There are eight interns taking part in The Pursuit, two in the Night: The Watch and Nitro and a family doing Intro. More information on each internship has been hyper-linked for your convenience. Perusing the website, you will see there are few more internships as well.

We have had several classes thus far which will continue throughout The Pursuit, and a few more which will begin next week.
  1. Foundations
  2. Understanding the Old Testament
  3. Encountering Jesus*
  4. Song of Solomon
  5. The Millennial Kingdom
  6. End Times
*This class was just during the first week. The schedule is pretty full from 10 to 8 and 10 to 10 on Friday.

We have also received several books to read during this season.
  1. Apostolic Foundations – Art Katz
  2. The Final Quest – Rick Joyner
  3. Unrelenting Prayer – Bob Sorge
  4. The Culture of the Kingdom - Billy Humphrey
  5. Until He Comes - Billy Humphrey
  6. The Heavenly Man – Brother Yun
  7. The Pleasures of the Loving God – Mike Bickle
I will spend many hours in the prayer room this summer and I would like to pray for you. It’s always good to have specific prayer points to agree with people on and join our faith to see what we say and request come to pass. Please send your requests to me at IHOP Email

I hope you do because my inbox is really empty right now. :)

For the prayer requests I’ve already received, thank you. Let’s keep praying and keep me updated on the progress.


I want wisdom; the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and the knowledge of (not just about) Him. And for Him to know me.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ in, the glorious Father, may give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which he has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength. Ephesians 1:17-19

Now my heart's desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and known as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Knowing You Jesus, knowing You; there is no greater thing.

It will be a continuous process.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Testimony - called to the bar.

In November, I gave a testimony at my home church, Jesus House Chicago, and at the end of the testimony, I said I would be back to tell the second part. Thankfully what was said came to pass and I gave the second part of my testimony at church yesterday. “Say what you heard, so you can see what you said.

Immediately after graduation in December, without a break, I began the bar prep course for the Illinois Bar exam. My “holiday break” was spent studying so that I could go to a short conference, although I was studying there too, and it was worth it!

This was a faith tester which subsequently resulted in a faith-booster. I was fearful of this test. It is a very hyped test. I put “The Bar Exam” into prayer probably as soon as I got into law school and increasingly so, last year as the reality of the test approaching quickly, sunk in. I cried out to Him and He heard my cry.

I had to change my fear and doubts, to faith. I had to change my attitude regarding the test and what God is capable of doing in every situation. I don’t know why I began to doubt and start giving credit to all the “what-ifs” that could possibly happen. Had the LORD not seen me through the past 7.5 years, the past 25+ years, even? Did I not trust Him enough to take me through this exam?

I was dreading this experience based on some things I've heard. There was a point when I considered postponing the exam due to unforeseen circumstances. Notwithstanding unexpected occurrences, this bar prep and exam experience was an answered prayer from God. First, the course was miraculously paid for - part 1 of the testimony. And although many attorneys have told me it was the worst time of their life, in hindsight it really wasn’t for me because I was seriously surrounded by support, love and prayers. If that was supposed to be “the worst time in my life,” then I am even more excited about what is next and I just praise the LORD for his mercy and grace.

When the LORD opens a door, no one can shut it. When the LORD decrees a thing, no one can change it, at all. He is faithful!

I am so grateful for the prayers and support of my wonderful family and great friends, who I’ve taken as family as well! I am really thankful for the community I am in.

This includes my amazing brethren from ACF who cooked for me (I seriously saved so much time because of that) and prayed with me, and over me, kept me calm, focused, sane and so much more. So much thanks, so much love.

This also includes my pastors and network from Jesus House Chicago, Kings Assembly (and the Illinois Zone 1 of RCCG), especially my JHC House Fellowship group. They are a great group of people who were and are very supportive, and always so positive. My RCCG family laced every comment or inquiry with a prayer.

This also includes people I’ve taken as mentors who started this process earlier than me from the UI College of Law, the Nigerian community, and people from along the way. Some of them took time out of their schedules at random moments on my account.

All glory and honor to the LORD on Thursday, May 5, 2011 I was admitted to the Illinois Bar. If I boast, I boast only in the LORD because it was only by and through Him and the people He has blessed me with that I was able to receive this license.

I would be remiss if I did not give an additional public thanks to (in no particular order) my mom and family, Tosin Ogunnaike, Omolola Adegoke and family, Jerry Bwanhot, Henry Bwanhot, Kelly Bwanhot, Andrew Poswal, Laolu Oladosu, Sam Esan, Yinka Owolabi, Lolade Moustapha, Ebony Reid, James Desir, Emi Aprekuma, and Sheri Fadeyi.

Thank you to everyone who gave me studying advice, an encouraging word, checked-in, everyone who joined with me in prayer and of course you ;-)

Thank You LORD! Praise the LORD with me!
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