#ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday

Hello. Thanks for stopping by. It’s Thursday and I’ve come to share some of the things I’m thankful for this week.

image

I’m thankful for great people around me. People that don’t let me get too comfy and allow complacency set into my life. At times I switch over to lazy mode *covers face*  but I thank God for ‘my tribe’ that  won’t let me stay there.

I thank God for divine provision!!! News headlines have it that the Nigerian economy is in recession. But mehn! My Jehovah is the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills and He has been faithful! Hallelujah!

Lastly, I thank God for my father who turns a year older tomorrow. My dear Baba Ayo. My man of peace. Happy birthday daddy!

What are you thankful for? Pray, share!

Advertisements

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?

***************************

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. 

**************************

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? 

#ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday

Hellooooo. 😀 I hope you had a terrific Thursday! It’s the last day of the first half of 2016! Another #ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday is here. I’m sure like me, you have tons to be grateful for!

I’m super grateful to God for seeing me through the first half of the year! To the glory of God, 2016 got off to a great start. I’m assured that God who started the work is faithful to complete it. I’m sooo excited about the latter that would be greater than the rest! Hallelujah!

I also want to appreciate God for His faithfulness. Abba is faithful o! The fellowship I attend organized a concert and to the glory of God it was a success! The devil tried so much to mess things up but God gave us the victory! He was with us through it all. At the very last minute almost all our invited ministers cancelled for one reason or the other. It was beyond my comprehension. I have planned programs before and I understand that people decline invitations, but never have I seen almost everyone decline a few hours to the program! Chai! But God turned it around for good. It was a success, all to His glory. 

Last and definitely not the least, I’m grateful for my brother who is a year older today! Oluwafeyidarafunmi! You definitely are for signs and wonders to the glory of God. 

  
What are you thankful for? Pray, share!

#ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday

Happy half of the month everyone! Lol 😀 It’s June and I’m sure like me you’re beginning to realize that 2016 is flying mehn! But of course in everything we give thanks!!! 

It’s another #ThankfulThursday #TestimonyThursday!!! I’m so pumped and excited. Guess you can already tell with all the exclamation marks I’ve used. *covers face* Well, I’m here to testify of Abba’s goodness; declare His goodness in the land of the living. Here goes…

First up, I’m thankful for life! So many times I’ve taken that prayer point of thanking God for life for granted, but never again. It is by His mercies and grace that we’re still standing. 

I’m thankful for my NYSC experience. That alone is another blog post. To say God has been good is to put it lightly. Things were pretty rough at the beginning and at some point I wondered if it’ll ever be great again. Ah! I remember the tears and phone calls. Plenty drama and despair. Abba showed up and turned it around. Thank you Jesus!!! What can I do without you Lord? Nothing. Absolutely nothing!

 I’m thankful for my walk with The Lord. He’s been patiently teaching me and leading me on this journey. See as I highlighted patiently ehn. Thank God for His mercies. For not giving up on me even when I would have given up on me. Like my B-Syd brethren would say, “Osama”. God is good!I’m thankful for my friends and family. Truly no man is an island. I know lots of people see me as Miss Independent ehn but like the Yorubas say, ” Eniyan l’aso Eniyan”. Everybody needs somebody. Thank you all for having my back. Thank God for bringing you all into my life. 🙂

What are you grateful for? Pray, share!

Thoughts to Share…

Hello there. I hope your day got off to a great start. I just thought to share some thoughts that the Holy Spirit dropped on my heart as I read this scripture today.

********************

6 So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. 7 Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. 8 And the Lord  hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. 9 So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord . 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there  were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it  would  have  been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord , which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord , when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to  the  one, and it gave light by night to  the  other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were  a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. 25 And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord  fights for them against the Egyptians.”
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord  overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
30 So the Lord  saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord , and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.
Exodus 14:6-31 NKJV

V. 15
Go forward!
Regardless of the challenges life throws at you, don’t stand or sit and cry and mourn forever. Move on.
Go forward!
God is with you!
He is not blind to your situation and circumstances. He is well aware. He knows. Yet God insists, go forward!

V.16
The children of Israel walked through the midst of the Red Sea. God didn’t cause the Red Sea to disappear. God doesn’t always make the problem go away. At times you have to stand and go through that situation. Be rest assured though, you will definitely come out of it victorious, just as the Israelites did.

V. 20, 26
Why? Why are you assured of victory? The Lord is fighting for you! God of the Angel Armies is on your side. No need to fret. Hallelujah! Instead rejoice. When the enemy realizes that you have God on your side, it will be too late to flee. Even the enemy knows he cannot do battle against God and win! NEVER!

V. 27
Notice how the battle was fought at night? By morning victory had come! Move through the night. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. The morning will appear!

V. 6-8, 28
The chariots and the horsemen, 600 of them hand picked by Pharaoh for battle against the Israelites… When God was done, not one of them remained!!! It feels like you’re being hit on every side. From one challenge to another. Plans, schemes and devices of the enemy rearing their ugly heads from different quarters… Relax. When God is done fighting, not one will remain. The Yorubas call God ‘Oba Alasepe’- the God who does things completely. Hallelujah!

V. 31
People will yet testify that you and I serve a living God! Amen.

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!

***********************

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 10 #12DaysOfThanksgiving

                ITS OKAY TO BE GRATEFUL

 

So I once heard that gratitude is expressed when something is done for you that is not earned. Hmmmmmm

Lets do a quick revision of our lives;

Make a list of five things you are likely to be grateful for;

*God’s protection

*God’s provision

*The breathe of life

* The air we breathe

And maybe the last one will be for blessing you with Boo/Bae.

All of these are wonderful things to be grateful for but trust me,

There is more.

Remember that beautiful baptist hymnal that says, “Count your blessings and name them one by one.”? We really should learn to count every blessing God has done. It is just a great way of showing gratitude.

It also shows that you acknowledge God enough to remember ALL he has done for you.

2015 has been a very unique year for me; So many high moments and a few low moments…

It was a different kind of growth phase for me and trust me this phase comes with its dark moments when you just want to cave in and quit! 

But you know what I did? I didn’t QUIT, I tried another day, I kept following, and God won’t just let me quit this thing called LIFE.

During that phase, I realized that its usually darkest before dawn. In the midst of the darkest skies, God is still God.

It might be really dark right now, all you need is a little flicker of light from the SUN.

When the Light of the world reveals himself to you, even the dark night would take to their heels.

Going back to making that Gratitude list, this would be mine…

*Grateful because God is unchanging. He has never changed and he won’t start now.

*Grateful for his constant show of Love. Be grateful for his love, his love is unfailing.

*Grateful for the low moments. A very few number of people remember God in their low moments. Remember that its in being grateful for low moments that you get Bigger… And wider.

*Grateful because God is unfailing. He doesn’t have it in himself to fail.. God is God and he remains faithful. Thank him.. Give him praise because he is worthy.

If its not working now, its not a failure on your part.

Fact is:God never fails.

2016 is just a few blocks away. And if I were you, I will enter his gates with Thanksgiving.

Its a more beautiful year ahead and I would possess the gates of 2016 with gratitude and Thanksgiving.

Listen, Life will happen, only the dates will change but God is God and he wont fail you..

Its Okay to be GRATEFUL!

He isnt thirsty. He just deserves all our GRATITUDE and all our praise and attention..

Say Thank You because It’s Okay to be GRATEFUL
******************************
Olanrewaju Olayode is a teacher and school administrator who discovered her passion for children and has worked very hard since then to bring smiles to the face of less privileged kids around her. ‘Aunty Lanre’ as she is fondly called is the founder of the Aunty Lanre Initiative, a charity foundation that specializes in reaching out to kids in poor neighbourhoods and orphanages.

Day 9 #12DaysOfThanksgiving

Hello people,

I have a feeling I am the most blessed in 2015, as God was always in a hurry to show himself on my behalf, I always have something to look forward to. Every time I triumph, so I’m always full of joy in my heart.

One of God’s promises for me was to enlarge my territory, so God helped me as I dived into different areas of my field‎s and God established me in all the fields. 

From one event planning to another, even when I thought I would run out of business, people kept remembering and referring me to friends and family, this amazed me a lot, because I know I am not the best in the field but God favoured me.

I also started rentals business of ushering dresses and event instruments this year. God opened my eyes to investing in that aspect and till now, I do not have any regret whatsoever. I also was able to buy and start a cocktail business, which has opened more doors of publicity‎ to me.

I was referred to train people at a training school‎, specifically on event management. At first I felt inadequate to the extent that I messed up in my first class with so much stammering but the owner of the school kept encouraging me. I knew it was God that favoured me entirely because the owner had sent one or two lecturers away for not delivering. I thank God for establishing me in the school. Now I have been there for five sets and I’m still there. It could only have been God.

I got a job that allowed me time to do my business! I t doesn’t happen in any organisation for a boss to permit a person one day in the week off to do another business but I found favour with God and men.

My eyes are opened to many truths of God’s words lately and I’m glad I belong to God. I give him the glory for always keeping me from accidents or evil. This year I travelled a lot and moved about so much and God kept me and for this I’m glad.

Join me in praising him for his goodness and mercies endure. He has been too good to be true in every life, he amazed us over and over again and I will yet praise him. I look forward to a joyous new year 2016.

Thank you Lord.

***********************

Day 8 #12DaysOfThanksgiving

January started with me being a bit sick. Got back to Benin after the clearance exercise was over. But God raised one guy, named Tayo, my CDS president at the time, with whom I didn’t have a prior relationship, who fought for and made sure I got it done.

February: Travelled home to surprise the mother. Dad showed how wonderful he was by coming to get me where I was stranded. Before, Apostle Shedrack Gentle had come to give some deep rhema about the women in Jesus’ life that was going to change the course of my life. A loved one passed on.

March: Election period. So many scary news. Benin is the headquarters of kidnapping. “Ha Tito don’t walk alone (me that I’m a loner) Tito don’t take a taxi with only men inside(ehehn so there are no women ritualists) But God kept me and many other corpers.

April: I travelled home the next day Buhari finally won. That was a miracle. And then so was my aunty’s 50th. And then Dunamis and then the journey back to Benin.

May: Some firsts. A proper photoshoot. That I didn’t pay one naira for. Healing testimonies. First flight that I didn’t pay for. To and fro. Yes. It was indeed my birthday month.

June: I’d already stopped teaching. POP was in a month. 2015 was getting better. Some person took it upon himself to plan surprise movie nights, trips and even just evening walks to make sure I didn’t stay home all day. One weekend: 3 states(Oyo, Lagos and Edo). Breakfast with the Adeyemis.

July: POP. NYSC over! Some painful goodbyes. HOTR Benin, Pastors Iyke and Lisa and Wale (I thought). Home. What next? A close friend’s mum passed on

August: Two of my dearest friends decide to leave the country. In a space of a week. Then Makeup business and work starts.

September, October: These months! I do not even know how I survived. If you follow my posts, you’d know something was happening. People rallied round but the “P” in problem is Personal. The only Person I could really talk to was HS and he had already talked to me about these months. It was the learning curve for me. The conception process. It was as though every sermon was preached for me. Especially in October.

November: It was as though the cloud wasn’t going to lift until I agreed. I had to seek an Elizabeth. I had to keep going. Once I did, everything returned to better. It was as though those months never happened. Birth of ArikeWrites, ArikeCards and Arike! *winks*

December: He crowns the year with His goodness and His paths drops fatness.

2015. My Year of Taking Me Deeper.

2016: See you soon!

Arike!

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!

************************

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).

*************************

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