Make it Count

Happy new month! Yup. May is here. Five months into 2017 already. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday today. ūüôā

I’ve had this post in my head for almost two weeks now, but I’m convinced it’s time to finally share it. I hope it blesses you. 

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Years ago, a very interesting sermon was preached at the Teen Church I attended, Jesus Cadet by Seun Aina. I never forgot it. She began by asking everyone one present to write the epitaph we want on our gravestones. It set all of us thinking. That till date for me has to be one of the oddest ways to begin a sermon.

No one prays to die but it’s the inevitable end for each person. We can’t stay on Earth forever. My poser for you (and even me) today is this – If you by some stroke of luck got to know the day you will leave this world, would you continue to live your life the same way?

For me, a life of fulfilment is one that honours God and blesses people! What testimony do people have of you? Is your presence or impact felt at work, school, in your community?

Are you making the most of your present circumstances? Are you giving expression to the talents, gifts and abilities God put within you?

I’ve lived with this consciousness for a few years, call it a mantra if you will – No matter how short my stay might be wherever I go, my absence must be felt

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Source: Google

As much as it’s important to leave a legacy on Earth, the most important thing is living in the light of eternity. If you haven’t, it’s not too late to get it right with our Heavenly Father. He’s waiting for you with arms open wide.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Mark 8:36

It’s just one life. Make it count!

6 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Service Year

As I walked through the mall a few weeks ago, I bumped into corp memebers at almost every turn. This time last year I was also an ‘otondo’. My Primary Place of Assignment was a secondary school and I had a great time teaching and mentoring the students. I was able to do one or two projects in the school and that for me was very rewarding. I began to think on that one year experience-lessons I learnt, things I achieved and things I wish I did then. Immediately, the inspiration for this post came up.

Here are a couple of ways I feel you can maximize your experience and time in the course of the service year.

#1. Work on Developing Your Career. Right from camp different professional bodies offer their courses to corps members at highly subsidized rates. It won’t be bad to invest in at least one of these professional courses. It would sure be a good way to boost your CV. If you intend to further your education immeadiately the service year is over, you should begin filling out applications. The process for some schools especially for those who prefer to study abroad might take up to a year. The earlier you start, the better.

#2. Take Advantage of the Skill Acquisition Classes.
SAED classes on camp might seem like a bore and the perfect gisting spot. Be not deceived. It’s actually a pretty good platform to learn something that might later on become an extra stream of income for you. An extra skill learnt would come in handy one day.

#3. Start Your Business.
It doesn’t have to be on such a grand scale but it’s a good time to start off that business idea you have had in the works for so long. You have access to a market- your fellow corps members, and of course people in your host community. You can actually make money and even save up during the service year. Every CDS meeting day and General CDS can be your own market day.

#4. Meet People.
That’s plain English for networking. Lol. It’s a lovely experience interacting with people from different parts of the nation. People have met their future spouses, business partners, you name it in the course of the service year. You can never tell where life would throw you. It sure would be good to have a friend there.
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#5. Give Back to Your Host Community.
Community development is a cause I feel lots of Nigerians are not passionate about. And that’s not good enough. The service year is a time you should look to give back to the society. Most people use money as an excuse but it ought not to be so. As little as getting fellow corp members to clear the drainage system say once a month to prevent flooding, or free extra mural classes for students in the area go a long way. It doesn’t have to cost much, it’s the heart that matters.
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#6. Travel.
I don’t mean out of your state o. Biko. You don’t want NYSC wahala. Lol. Take the time though to explore the state. There would be one or two local tourist attractions where you can have a great time as well as learn about the culture and history of your host community.
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Have you gone for the mandatory NYSC? Do share your experience, the highs and lows in the comments section.

Marching Forward

Happy new month!!!! It’s the last month in the first quarter of 2017. Just like you, I feel like the year 2017 has no chill. Lol. It feels like the year began just yesterday and now, in the twinkle of an eye, we’re here! 
I hope you have gone back to the goals and resolutions you set for the year and you’re progressively working to make them a reality. Time waits for no one. 

If you noticed, I’ve been AWOL. I sort of took a break from blogging. I must confess I got bored at some point. *covers face* It had become monotonous for me and well, to be honest I hadn’t put much work into developing new content to make things fun again. I had to ask myself some hard questions, like why I started blogging in the first place and the things I hoped to achieve with the blog. 

Here’s me telling you to get ready! There will be some changes on the blog and I sincerely hope you love it. Seat back, relax and enjoy the ride!
P.S. Is there something you’ll love to see on here? Please share in the comments section. Thanks. 

#ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday

Hello there. I hope you are having a fab day and getting set for the weekend and of course the Yuletide celebrations. Odun a bawa layo o.

Another seven days have gone by and I’m here again to proclaim the goodness of Yahweh! Do join me and give Him thanks too!

I’m thankful today for the reminder God gave me at the start of this week of the fact that a heart of thanksgiving is first a choice. You see, like every human being, I have a tendency to forget the benefits of the Lord and dwell instead on that long list of prayer points, hopes, dreams and what have you that haven’t materialised. In doing that it’s easy to lose sight of what God has done. That reminder was much needed!

Bless the Lord O Damilola’s soul and forget not His benefits.

On to one of the wonderful things God did this week, at the very last minute, my husband and I got VIP seats to the DayStar Carol onSunday! It was an awesome experience!!! We had tried to register online but all the halls were fully booked. And this was an event I had looked forward to. One of my dear uncles was meant to help us get seats but even that seemed like mission impossible at a point. I had lost hope and decided worst case scenario we watch it on TV. But God came through!We had a great time and danced till our bodies ached! The Fuji after partttttyyy! Nothing like a great time in the presence of Abba.

I also thank God for divine provision. God has been faithful. He is in the business of meeting me at the very point of my need.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken , nor his seed begging bread.
Psalm 37:25

I’m also grateful for someone so special today. Our relationship has evolved from colleague to friend to sister. She has been a wonderful pillar of support, gist partner, prayer partner, worship partner, cinema buddy, you name it! And on Saturday by God’s grace she’s going to walk down the aisle and join the Mrs club! I’m so glad at what God is doing through you Ibukun and I have no doubt that your home is blessed. Happy married life hun.

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What are you thankful for? Pray, share!

Let’s Play Catch-Up

Hello! Happy new month! I trust God that this month will bring new mercies and it would bring pleasant beginnings as well in Jesus name. 

I was AWOL the whole of July, but thank God I’m back and as you can see, I have turned a new leaf. So help me God! Five posts were written (in my head) but none ever made it to the keyboard, talk less of getting published *covers face* So here’s my attempt at making it up to you, a pot pourri of sorts, sharing tit bits of what would have been those posts. Let’s play catch-up, shall we?

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I remember clearly that July started on a ‘funny’ note for me… I thanked God for life and His mercies, making it into the second half of the year but I was down with malaria. I was pretty upset in my spirit and all. Praise God for speedy recovery. A couple of days later, I was up and about again. 

Mid way into the month, my fellow otondos and I were in the neighborhood, organizing a rally as part of the publicity for an upcoming event at the RCCF Family house. It was lots of fun! All of a sudden, Nollywood style, the unexpected happened. I got hit by a bus! It was like film trick! Just as you see in the movies mehn! I remeber I came back home that day pretty beat up cos it had been a long day. Asides the event at the Family House that weekend, I was also planning a program of my own at my Place of Primary Assignment(PPA) so it had been a wakabout kinda day. So, back to the gist…As we were distributing handbills, singing, dancing and talking to people, one of the brothers across the street asked for some handbills. As I made to cross the street, I saw a keke (tricycle) speeding towards me. I jumped back just in time to be saved from being hit. I heaved a sigh of thanksgiving to God for that close shave and for saving me. I made to cross the street again just a few seconds after the keke incident. I turned last minute again and this time it was a bus! I jumped back but it was too late. GBOA! The metal against my right arm. I spinned as I lost balance from the impact of the hit. You know what? My God is awesome! I was wearing my khaki uniform and that minimized the impact of the hit. The arm was fine. Just as we often declare, nothing missing, nothing broken! Praise God!

I did mention earlier that I was preparing for a program at my PPA. The day I found out I was posted by NYSC to a girls only school to teach, I knew God had lots of things in store. It gave me a platform to interact with and speak to the girls regularly, as well as mentor some of them. This is something I had been doing for a while before my service year but had somehow gone low key on. I knew this was an opportunity to reignite that passion. Towards the end of the academic session I organized a seminar for the girls. Before getting to that point I was freaked out by a lot of things. This is a ‘strange land’. Where do I go to for help? Will people buy into the vision? Who will help with this? Will the girls even attend the seminar? Money nko? But as usual, God showed me in ways beyond any iota of doubt that He is still God and He is ever faithful! It was favor galore. God sent help and glorified His name. The feedback from the girls was a-ma-zing! I just bless God!

The seminar for the girls was on Friday. It was the start of a long but wonderful weekend. The program that we were publicizing when I got hit by the bus was on Saturday and Sunday. Brothers’ and Sisters’ Weekend 2016. We had games in the morning on Saturday, dinner in the evening  and then thanksgiving service on Sunday Morning. That program was testimony filled! From having to raise extra funds at the last minute so our guest minister could come from Lagos to Benin, to praying that the flight would not be cancelled or delayed so our program would not be messed up, to the bus incident, life transforming revelations on Saturday and Sunday, the list is endless… God yet again surprised us at the RCCF Family House. 

Then one fine evening we’re having devotion at the Family House and the brother that spoke talked about seeds and fruits and all of a sudden it was as if I had never read Galatians 5:22-23 before! Interestingly though lots of us want to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit but we forget that there’s a process to everything. The Bible says in John 15:2b that “and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” Cleansing and pruning are painful. A tuck here, a nip there; its not a pretty process. It’s a messy one. Going thought the refiner’s fire. The beauty is that we come out on the other side purified as gold… Vessels fit for the masters use. May God help us to submit to the process that unearths our true selves and brings out the best in us. Amen. 

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Whew! That has to be the longest post I’ve ever put up on here. What did I miss out on with you in the last month? Let’s play catch-up, shall we? 

March On…Press On!

Happy New Month dear people! It’s the third month of the year already! The month of March. The month was ushered in with a heavy downpour overnight. Like you might have guessed, it was a tug of¬† war to get out of bed. Lol *covers face* Thank God for the relief after all the unnecessary doses of Vitamin D and sun tans we got in the last couple of weeks. *whew*

Away from all the small talk. I do pray that this blesses you. Enjoy!

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Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I  do,  forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

There’s been a tug in my heart for a while now. A call to a deeper level with God…to come up higher. I’ve been excited to see that God has said the same thing to quite a number of other believers as well.

As I prayed and meditated on my own personal theme for this month, the phrase that came to my heart was “March on… Press on!”

The Bible likens our relationship with God to a marriage. This is the highest and most intimate level of relationship. I attended a couples dinner recently and I was challenged by the intimacy that was shared by a particular couple. A game was played and each contestant was to give a personal answer as well as answer for their spouse. This couple did not only answer all questions correctly both ways, they also answered with similar phrases. Their minds were so much in sync that they thought, wrote and spoke alike!

It’s very easy to admire intimate relationships and even aspire to have them. But truth be told… Are we ready to pay the price? Like my B-side brethren would say, “no be beans”.

Lots of times we feel the tug and nudge to come up higher and move to a deeper level of intimacy with God. But you’re like that boy you once had a crush on who never asked you out cause he was scared of commitment. Or you’re just plain stuck on the last high. My brother, my sister, forget the past and press on! Let’s dig deeper.

Yes, a part of us must die and be crucified if this will happen. I don’t know about you, but I’ll rather lose myself so that the real me can be found in Him. The me He knew before I was formed in my mother’s womb. Besides, I am nothing without Him, that much is certain…

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP

Day 7 #12DaysOfThanksgiving

Hello dear people! I’m sorry for the break on the #12DaysOfThanksgiving series. One or two challenges came up. Thankfully, they’ve been resolved. I do pray that today’s post blesses you.  Happy new year in advance. By God’s grace 2016 is going to be wonderful. Get ready to testify!

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What have I learnt the most this year? I have learnt to trust God completely because He is always faithful, I have learnt I can do anything through Christ and I have learnt to give thanks, ALWAYS!

I started the year with serious fire (as we all do). I had plans! I wanted to do a Broadway show, I wanted a short film out, I wanted to go to a film school, I wanted to lose weight and many other things. Most importantly, I wanted to develop the gratitude culture.

Basically, 2015 was supposed to be an awesome year in every area of my life. It was my year of ‘thanksliving’, a year that I wanted to be grateful,always grateful! I even had a diary ready, to count my victories of the year.¬†

Of course, the first month was easy. I wrote everyday without fail but as the months went by, it became increasingly difficult. Life started to happen.

Very quickly, the year started going by very fast and I had achieved almost nothing except that I had added a few more pounds. I started getting very bored, all the greatness I saw was fast fading. 

It’s easy to be grateful when things go well, it might even be possible to find something to be grateful for when you experience not-so-pleasant situations but the days when life is boring and just seems to be passing you by, the days when you actually forget to be grateful are the real struggle.¬†I have learnt that being grateful is a state of mind.

I was given a scholarship to a film school in August, and we had to do a short film competition at the end of our projects. My story was hands down the best story and in classwork, I was always the best. Everyone just expected that my short film would win the competition. My story was about two sisters and at the last minute, I decided to take up a challenge one of my teachers threw at me. He told me to cast one person as the two sisters, make her identical twins. The challenge was preposterous! How can a student filmmaker shoot something so technical? It’s impossible! And because it’s impossible, I took on the challenge. The result of the challenge was that my film was messed up and I didn’t win the award for the best film. I won for the best screenplay though, but I didn’t win the ultimate prize.¬†

Now, I had two options. The first option was to cry, blame everybody (especially my teacher) and be ungrateful. The second one was to give thanks, do an appraisal and move on. I decided to take the second option and redo the film. I became grateful for the opportunity to undertake what veteran directors would run away from. The doors that opened up to me because of that action were amazing!

At the beginning of the year, I wanted to do a Broadway show in Ibadan. I wanted it to be grand. But months kept going by and I couldn’t even write a word on the script. I was suffering from the worst case of writer’s block I had ever experienced in all my years. And once again, I had two options; to be grateful or to be frustrated. I chose to be grateful for the opportunity to even have writer’s block in the first place. Shebi it is because I am a writer that I can claim writer’s block.¬†

At the time when I started proclaiming to everyone that I wanted to do a stage play, I had nothing! And during the planning of the stage play, I was constantly faced with two options; to give up or be grateful for God’s faithfulness. Somehow, through no strength of mine, I chose to be grateful. Everytime I have been grateful, I have seen God move.¬†

Looking back now, it’s just one day to the end of the year and I am grateful. I don’t have as much money as I was hoping I would by the end of the year, I’ve gained more weight than when the year started and I have been duped and betrayed this same year…but for everything that I might think is a negative thing going on in my life,I have so many positives to make up for it.¬†

I am grateful for life, grateful for landslide achievements, grateful for beautiful family and friends, grateful that at this time in my life, I have achieved so much and more importantly, I am grateful that I still have so much to look forward to. 2016 is the year of serious THANKSLIVING and the my year of size 10(I pray).

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 Omolola Lamikanra is the creative director at Shift7 Media. She is also a passionate filmmaker and storyteller.

Day 5 #12DaysOfThanksgiving

It was a beautiful Friday morning, just a few days into the new year. People were still basking in the newness of the year and the stickers of various slogans of the newly born year from different churches shone brightly behind cars. Every step I took was very motivated. My plans for the year glittered¬†in my mind under the rays of renewed hope. I had called in at work to say I would be late because I needed to dash down to the market on a quick ‘life-saving’ errand. It was my friends wedding day and I had been an integral part of the planning and it was my last duty. Moreso, I needed to compensate her for not being able to attend the ceremony because I had a long meeting scheduled for the time she would walk down the aisle and all. So, I breezed into the market which still wore the face of the festive season and was scanty since many traders were yet to return from their villages where they had travelled long distances to spend the holidays. I didn’t have the luxury of time to stop by every store and ‘price market’ so I quickly cut to the chase and bought what I needed to. Just outside the market was the parking lot where another friend of mine waited to collect what I bought so she could dash down to deliver the things to the bride in good time. I stepped into the parking lot to meet up with this friend of mine when something happened. I was dialing her phone number as I walked beside an abandoned truck when a drunk driver of a truck swerved off the road and knocked me down. In a split second, I was under a moving truck and right on the tracks of its huge tyres ready to be crushed like minced meat. Contrary to what people say when they have near-death experiences, my life didn’t flash before me. All I could hear was the voice of my pastor saying “It’s our year of Triumph”, and like a stunt woman in an action movie, I swiftly rolled away from under the moving truck and into safety under the abandoned truck. People screamed ” She don die o!” but I came out with my handbag still sitting pretty on my shoulder, my phone in my hand and the carrier bag of things I bought intact and without a scratch! Hehe.

I called my mother to share my adventure to which news she swung into her prayer warrior mode. I will never forget the discussion we had over the phone that day because it was one of the last we had as because she passed on a few weeks after that incident which swung me into another phase of my life; a phase I embraced bravely but was never prepared for. I would look at her peaceful face on days when we visited the morgue just before she was buried and reminisce about her beautiful smile which now turned into a straight face. I never imagined that she wouldn’t sit on her favorite chair this Christmas to plan the children’s¬†Christmas party in our neighborhood or direct how food portions were distributed so they could get to everyone that lived around and needed the food the most. I missdefinitely ¬†her every day.¬†

I tried relationships in 2015 and they were not without their share of heartbreaks. What is wrong with all you Lagos guys? Haha! I’m now accepting proposals from Rich French men and I don’t mean West African French speaking men but the original ones who live very close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Hehe. Career wise, 2015 was miraculous for me. I quit my old job , reconstructed my CV and ‘mistakenly’ took it to church for a convention where it literally disappeared. (My God is always full of surprises) After searching for the paper¬†all over the church like one on an expedition, I got tired and in my moment of calm heard the Holy spirit clearly tell me” Why are you so concerned about a missing paper? Trust that He who has begun ¬†a good thing is faithful to bring it to perfection” That just warmed my heart such that when He told me to take the next step of faith, I didn’t hesitate. He asked me to dress up every morning like I was going to the office I had in mind and when it was 8am, pray fervently mostly thanking God for a new job and confessing that I can never be jobless. I did that for a week and the following Monday, I was doing my laundry when I got a phone call from the MD of the company where I work today offering me a job on my own terms and conditions. (Housefly will soon enter that mouth you left ajar. hehe)

This is just a tip of the iceberg of my year in review but ¬†is safe to say I had a colorful year. When I was high, I was up high and when it rained challenges, it poured. However, one thing remained constatnt, God remained Faithful. My faith was strenghtened , I conquered some of my fears with many more to go as I grow in the knowledge of God. I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m Miles away from where I used to be. As 2016 approaches, I’m back on the drawing table of my life as I restrategize so that I can start conquering the year early and strongly too. There’s so much more to be done and achieved. Chai! when I hear somethings my mates in Hollywood are doing, I feel like burying my head in my grandmother’s laps. lol. But hey, God’s plan for us are good and not evil and we have an expected end in Him. Yes o! the future is still bright, you can’t see it? Biko put on the torchlight of of God’s word on it. ehen, you can now see it abi?

Go and win everyday simply because YOU CAN! Impossible is nothing with our God. Write the resolutions, pursue them, if you fall you will stand up , dust yourself and keep running even if your leg is in a caste. No time! 2016, here we come!

 All the best!

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I‚Äôm AnuOluwapo Adelakun and I love to write; I really do. I believe everyone should not only think but live outside the box… why punish yourself? I’ve got a million and one questions I try to answer or just throw at your face through my pieces http://www.davinadiaries.com is where my pen gets busy everyday – after all, what’s life if one can’t follow ones passion?

#ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday

Hellooooooo. It’s been a minute. Hope your week has been great so far. I can almost catch a whiff of the scent of le weekend. ūüėČ can you? Lol. 
Well, today’s post kicks off with a reprimand. I came across this post by Heather Lindsey on Instagram and it was just the word in season for me!

  

 

I realized that for about two weeks, it had been kind of a struggle for me to see reason to be thankful and grateful to God. I did a whole lot of whining, more than I would normally do. Then I saw that post! It put a lot of things in perspective for me and I hope it would for you too. 

Today, I’m grateful for the wonderful people around me. The people that see my flaws and imperfections and still stick it out. The Yorubas have a saying “eyan l’aso eyan”. It literarily means no man is an island. I’m thankful for and deeply value the people around me. You hear motivational speakers say “your network is your net worth”. It ain’t no joke! Without people, purpose will not make sense!

What (or who) are you thankful for? Pray share! 

Introducing #ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday

Hello people! Hope you had a great day. It’s the middle of the month…time flies mehn! 24 hours feels like the blink of an eye at times.

Anyways, a while ago, I decided to take my writing more seriously and be on here more often. To do that, I realized that consistency was the only key to making that happen. To that end, I decided to start off one or two segments on here that would require me to write every week. (So help me God!) 
The first thing that came to my mind was a testimony column. Nothing boosts your faith more than hearing what mighty things God has done in the life of someone. Knowing that awesome things happen in our days, not just in Bible times is really very encouraging. He’s the same God! Hasn’t changed. 

I wrote the bulk of this post two days ago and was just going to leave it as an introduction without necessarily sharing anything I’m grateful for or giving a testimony, but trust God to give me a testimony I cannot but share today! More than one sef. 

I just want to thank God for safety and protection. I’ve had car issues for a while. Fix this one today, fix that one tomorrow. Been annoying at times! Anyways, I was meant to take my immediate younger brother shopping for sewing supplies. We set off and the journey was not so bad at first. Along the way, the car stopped getting into gear right there in the middle of the road! I managed to maneuver it to the side of the road to try and figure out a way to make it work. Trust Nigerians. Hehehe. Raining all sorts of abuses. Chai! In the hot sun again. But I thank God. I was able to at least get it to gear one and take it to the mechanics. They did some first aid, identified what was wrong, but there wasn’t much they could do to fix it on the spot. Talk about reorganizing my day for me! Thankfully, the market was just a stone throw from the mechanics. My brother and I did some quick shopping. Thank God the trip wasn’t wasted eventually. Dad decided we should bring the car home. Here is where the testimony lies for me… I drove for almost 1 hour 45 minutes at a speed of less than 20kmph on the main road!!! This was on traffic free roads, so you can imagine the distance from the market home. I’m so thankful that throughout the ordeal, I didn’t hit anyone and no one hit me. God brought us home safe! Somebody praise The Lord!!!!!

So, I’m inviting you all to head on here every Thursday. Let’s declare and proclaim the goodness of The Lord our God to the ends of the Earth. 

P.S. I’ll like you to listen to Tye Tribbet’s Same God. I can’t do downloads from this device so I don’t think I can share a download link but please be kind enough to drop the link in the comments section if you can. Thanks.