Her Faith Just Like Ours

DEBORAH, RUTH, ESTHER, ABIGAIL..., PICK YOUR PERSONALITY.

Jul 9, 2013

...neither do I condemn you

The depiction of the Adulterous Woman
The adulterous woman fascinates me
Not because I am planning to commit adultery when I am married
But because of Jesus' response to the woman.

When I got born again, every little thing made me feel condemned
I was raped/harassed; not quite sure how to qualify it.
Christians were the first to turn against me, then followed the unbelievers
I didn't quite fit anywhere again.

With the Christians I wasn't a good girl anymore
With the unbelievers, I wasn't a bad girl either, it was pretty obvious
So I was always confused, didn't know how to behave especially when all I wanted
to do was bury my head in the sand.

So I kind of identify with the adulterous woman. Mind you, they never said she was a prostitute, she was a woman who was sleeping with another man. I can imagine the elders dragging her and pulling off her clothes, gathering the stones they would use to stone her.

They were not wrong to want to stone her because according to Jewish religion, you better stone that woman before God puts the entire Israel under a curse. Where they went wrong is imagining that people would believe that the woman was sleeping with herself.

Where was the man?
Why was he let off the hook?
Why should this pretty woman be the only one stoned?
Wouldn't the guy bring a curse on Israel also?

Well I thank God they brought her to Jesus because Jesus always has the answers. He did not leave the woman to the law to deal with. Instead he offered her grace even though he hadn't been to the cross yet, he had the ability to forgive her and he did.

What amazes me is that the elder to the younger of the Pharisees by not stoning the adulterous woman admitted to their guilt but did not stay to receive forgiveness from Jesus, they were just too eager to either be right or wrong.

What am I saying writing?

Don't be so hasty to meet with Jesus that all you want to do is prove a point; receive His grace and forgiveness, it is available for you. You are qualified for the blessing because Jesus died on the cross.

Righteousness: His right standing in us qualifies us to stand before God justified. Jesus has declared me not guilty, he can do the same for you.

Apr 1, 2013

A Woman Consumed


Mary Magdalene was a woman possessed by seven demons the Bible says but none of that mattered after she had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Do you hear that? This is what I come to share here today. Like her, your past does not matter. She might have done all manner of nonsense and been consumed by all manner of evil torment, the moment she met Jesus Christ, the only thing that consumed this woman was her total and complete devotion and love for him.

Today, God told me to forget what's behind. He told me to forget what I did, what they did, what he did , what she did or didn't do! He told me to stop being consumed by all that. I believe he has the same message for you too. That is why you stopped by here today. Please stop crying over spilt milk. Stop going back to your garbage. Stop being consumed by your shame, pain and regret! Ask Jesus Christ to touch you and deliver you. Ask for a fresh encounter with him so that the only thing that will consume you, from now on,  will be your love for God.

You see, I thought I knew all there was to know about Mary Magdalene but as I read God's word today, intent on hearing 'my word', I realised I had missed much about her. I am just grateful God opened my eyes and heart to see deeper into this woman. As I read about her in the days after Jesus Christ died, I sensed that God wants me to be like Mary Magdalene after she met Jesus Christ. Yes, He wants me. He wants you to become a woman consumed.  

How? Let me share it as I heard it:

As a woman consumed, once you have an encounter with Jesus Christ, your life cannot be the same as it used to be. You leave your old self and your past behind. Scripture never really tells us much about Mary Magdalene's life before she met Christ. Why? Cos her past did not matter to God anymore. If my past does not matter to God, why let it bug me or drag me down? Today, step over that line and leave the old you behind!

As a woman consumed, Jesus Christ has delivered you and given you  a new life of peace and wholeness just like he did for Mary Magdalene. If you don't feel it, ask him for it now. He loves you and is just waiting for you to ask him! That, my dear, is the whole point of this  wonderful Easter season we are celebrating. So please, go to him today and just off load it all. Give him all your junk and pick up all the blessings he bought for you on the Cross! 

As a woman consumed, you will provide for God's work out of your personal substance. The Bible says that Mary Magdalene was 'among many others who provided for Him for their substance'. We too must begin to give more of our personal resources in support of God's work. Ask God to show you how and when he does, obey cheerfully. And remember, your resources is not just about money. Your time, your talents, your gifts....these are all part of your 'personal resources' my dear one.

As a woman consumed, you follow Jesus Christ closely. all the days of your life. Go read it up. Mary Magdalene was one of the women who followed Christ almost as closely as the disciples back then. Even after he died, she was right there waiting to take care of the One she loved so much, waiting to honour him by anointing his body with oils and spices. In the end, she is the one that is honoured as she makes history by being the first person to see the risen Christ!  How awesome is that for a former demon-possessed woman?

Do you see it now? When you are consumed by God, God elevates you and takes you to places you never thought possible. And the best part is that he does this regardless of  how murky the waters of your past look like. So what are you waiting for? Refuse to be shackled by your past! Break free! Free to be consumed by just one thing: Your love for Jesus Christ and his work here on earth!

Happy Easter fine women (and men) of God.

Remember, because Jesus lives, you can


Sep 18, 2012

Introducing..., THE SCENT OF WATER by Sinmisola Ogunyinka



Please check out some reviews on Amazon.

Introducing Sinmisola Ogunyinka, an Inspirational Author. To get her books and many more of Sinmisola Ogunyinka's books, please visit Amazon or her website

The Scent of Water is a dreamy book that will leave you with a goody-goody feeling after you turn last page. A well-written, well-thought out  Nigerian Inspirational romance, pretty much like a blast of cool fresh water on a hot sunny day. 

The story: Scent of Water, set in Calabar and Lagos, captured the life of a single young lady and an inmate in a federal prison. What started as a dream and a deep conviction to follow through with the dream, after she saw a physical manifestation of it, turned into a pursuit of love and destiny. Unlike most romance novels that set up an eligible or available bachelor with a Spinster, what sets this novel apart from the norm is that we cannot immediately romanticize the idea of a God-loving beautiful woman and a thin, underfed scraggly looking criminal. He unfortunately is our hero and that debunks the idea of the gooey goody feeling inside. Nobody wants a prisoner as a romantic hero.

 That exactly is what will draw you in. You will be hungry to see the transformation of this condemned criminal; physically, morally and spiritually. How would he change and would we accept the change? Would it be believable enough for us? Would he eventually fit into the romantic stereotype? Then the question of how he got into the prison and why the heroine, Esam, had the dream the way she did would be uppermost in our minds. 

Esam had a dream about a condemned prisoner. It was so vivid it startled her out of sleep. She dismissed it as just a dream until she saw a replay of the same dream, the same person she saw in the dream, the hero, Mike Dabi, on network television. There and then she knew it was no ordinary dream. She was on a quest to find the meaning of her dream and how it became connected with this stranger in the prison. That conviction was what drove her to meet with Mike Dabi, the prisoner and our eventual tall, dark and handsome hero.

What you will love about the plot is the uncertainties in the beginning, several cliffhangers in the middle and of course an amicable end. The twists and turns came with Mike's past as a chronic unbeliever, a convicted murderer, drunk-driver and a one-time millionaire with a gold-digging wife. Esam's past as a faithful child of God full of zeal, a widow who was traded off in marriage to a man twice her age, raped several times by her step-son and unable to bear children. Sinmisola brought these two characters together in a clever way.

There's nothing in the snippet below to set off a romantic rendezvous:

“You are in God’s agenda. I know; that’s why he sent me to you. He wants to deliver you…”

“Who do you think you are?” He stood up slowly, glaring at her.

“I saw you in my dream. God revealed you to me. He wants to help you. He loves you… ,” she said, pleadingly looking at him.

“Stop it!” he screamed, covering his ears. “I don’t want to hear about your God.”

“Sit down, 1106.” The warden stood up and started toward them.

“Get out of here before I kill you, and don’t ever come back!” Mike banged on the table. The warden reached him and slapped handcuffs on his wrists, pushing him away.

“Please, please give God a chance.” Esam broke down and wept as the prisoner was led away.

As you can see, there can be no sparks, physical contact or candle-lit dinners. So what exactly can bring these two together? A dream. That's what. Sinmisola cleverly crafted scenarios upon scenarios where we are unable to tell the outcome of the story. The intrigue of money laundering, the Nigerian justice system, betrayals, lusts, greed, men and women who preyed on their spouses and family for the sake of money; against a godly family who live daily by faith, who believe in the power of prayer, who are full of integrity, hope and love for their fellow mankind.

The only issue with the plot was the information dump in the middle when Esam's twin sister was on an investigative mission to Ilesa. It was good geography of the western parts of the country but it was a tad long and felt it was not absolutely necessary to the plot nor did it move the plot forward in any way.

The Style/Voice: This is where we believe Sinmisola will be set apart from many contemporary African Inspirational writers. She has this uncanny ability to delve deep into the emotions of her characters, skillfully connect with her readers and reveal them to us. She has used her writing skill to opt out of the Authorial intrusion and engage us scene after scene rather than narrate the story in a lifeless way. Her delivery of the scenes are apt and remarkable. 

As she moved slowly from Mike and Esam's first tense meeting, as showcased above, to the softening of their hearts towards each other, we are carried along every step of the way. She employed the right words and body language to convey their emotions and really, you will feel every emotion the characters felt. Her command of the English language is commendable. 

She has a unique voice in not shying away from the good, the bad and the downright gory episodes in the life of her characters. She is bold and assertive in her writing and presentation. She made a clear distinction between the way she presented the hero and heroine through their dialogue, attitude and body language.

Her prowess lies in creating a dreamy but realistic romantic atmosphere, with the sensitivity of our Christian faith, without being graphic. She knew where to put a full stop to suggestive scenes. That is the challenge a lot of Christian Inspirational writers face; how to write romance without being too explicit in the love scenes that would make you squirm. It also was not full of verbose language or adverbs, common to most romance novel, that merely force you to feel the emotions. And my most favorite part of it is when the emotional walls broke down between the two of them. The Epilogue was apt and fitting.

The Message: The message of hope, grace, forgiveness, love and redemption is at the core of this book. How does a condemned prisoner end up not just regaining his freedom but getting back all he lost, acquitted from a life sentence for a crime he did not consciously commit, being forgiven by God and accepted into God's intimate circle. Plus, falling in love with a virtuous and godly woman. The answer is GRACE. There is nobody that God cannot redeem, no matter your past. You are not gone past redemption.

Please grab a copy of her book from Amazon and Debonair bookstore, Lagos.

You can get her books from Amazon or visit her website to learn more about her.

Aug 1, 2012

DIARY of a DESPERATE NAIJA WOMAN in the year 2011 by Bola Essien-Nelson

The latest 'DIARY OF A DESPERATE NAIJA WOMAN' by Bola Essien-Nelson is out and on sale at Laterna Bookstore and Terra Kulture.



Hurry, go get your copy of this special, photo-laden and last edition of the DDNW. Please support a sister and get a copy. It's just N3,500.

Visit her blog: DDNW




Jul 22, 2012

Respecting Jael (Judges 4:17-23 & 5:24-27)


I don’t know about you but I never really thought much of Jael. I did not hate her but I was not crazy about her either. I am not sure why but I just was unable to wrap my mind around how a woman could drive a tent peg through another human being’s skull. I mean, enemy or no enemy, was that not a tad ‘too gory’? Could she not have accomplished the same goal in a more ‘humane’ manner, I would always ask God each time I read that part of Judges 4. But yesterday, at the Return of the Helper (‘ROTH’) 2012 Conference, I stopped questionning what Jael did and why.

And I began to respect her.

I now respect Jael because I realise that she is a woman to be reckoned with even if we never hear of her again after Judges 5. As you and I know, she was pivotal to Deborah and Barak’s success and Israel’s victory as it was by her hand that Sisera met his waterloo so to speak. As awesome a feat as that was, that is not what now draws me to her. It is the fact that for Jael to have done what she did, she must have been on top of what was going on around her. The Message bible refers to her as a ‘home-making woman’ so this tells me she was a stay at home mom yet she was not oblivious to the happenings around her. She did not spend all day watching E News and the Food Channel (like me). She also watched SkyNews and read the daily papers. If for nothing else, to guide her prayers.  And on this day when she prayed God must have told her he had an assignment for her. And when the time came for her to act, she acted. She did not waste time thinking “Who me? Little old, plain old, insignificant, stay-at-home mom that I am, can I possibly do this great thing for my nation?

Like many of us think today. I am too young, too old, too poor, too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, don’t have enough of this or have too much of that, not smart enough, not cool enough, not fine enough. not enough connections and on and on our list goes. 

But the truth I believe Jael is showing us that is that we are ‘just enough’ for God to do whatever he has called us to do right there where we are. All that we need to do for God is already inside of us.  All we have been through is part of God’s ordained plan to equip us to do for him. I don’t know for sure but I am guessing this was not the first time Jael was using a tent peg and a hammer.  It takes some measure of skill I would think to drive a tent peg through someone’s skull like that. I want to believe that it was something she did often and I am sure she thought it was boring some days. Perhaps she felt it was just a mundane skill. But that mundane, ‘ordinary’ skill is what led to her being immortalised in Bible history today. How many other women do you know have their names written into a bible hit song? Check out the lyrics of the track that Deborah and Barak released to celebrate Israel’s victory (Judges 5:24-27) and you will see how come I now respect Jael.

Let us put skill and talent apart in this matter. I still find it difficult to believe that Jael could have done what she did in her own strength. The human skull was not designed to be easily cracked. This woman must have had some ‘higher power’ coursing through her arm to drive that peg right through Sisera's head and into the ground! That power, as I see it, could be no other than the power of God. What am I saying? If God sends you on an assignment, HE will empower you to do it.  So we need to stop second-guessing ourselves and just go and do as God as sent us to do.It's not about you. It's about the God in you.

Jael was a woman living ready to fulfill her assignment. Are you? How many ‘Siseras’ have you let get away because you felt you did not have the skills to ‘kill’ them? Or worse still, how many ‘little foxes, little enemies’ are you still allowing to sleep in your life when you should be ‘driving the tent peg down’ on them? Why are you still refusing to be decisive about that situation in your life? So you have been nice to him/her, given him/her milk to drink. That’s nice but the enemy is still the enemy. Deal with the situation! Or it will deal with you.

Can you imagine if Jael had lightly tapped that tent peg on Sisera’s temple? Hmm, the man would have woken up and strangled her dead! Yet, we go around trying to handle the devil and his vices with kid’s gloves. We need to be decisive about this walk of ours. We need to be like Jael and drive the tent peg down hard and kill off anything keeping us from living our lives as authentic, purpose-driven and fulfilling, Christian women.

I did not stay for the entire ROTH 2012 conference as I had to leave early but I am so glad for the thirty minutes I was able to spend there. It was well worth it and I brag on God for its organisers for now I not only like and understand Jael...

I respect her deeply.
 
(c) the dnw

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