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Love

Growing up from a very humble Christian home, with contented down-to-earth parents who did not have everything yet ensured we had everything we NEEDED, I understood the word LOVE differently. It meant making sure theres always enough drinking water to serve every passerby that requests for, because our house, which is close to the street has a beautiful umbrella tree that people always found shelter  to rest whenever they got tired. They were welcomed to sit, drink some water and sometimes eat what was available. Sometimes I got tired of going out to answer a the door just to provide drinking water, but I did it. This little act translated into so many lessons in my life. It meant there were no strangers in our home, as they come today to sit to rest, they left as family members and should they return another day, introductions were needless. I grew to admire the commendations people give of my parents, and their love has continually opened many doors for me. ” Ah! you father did this for me.. “,  ..do you mean the lecturer? oh he’s a very kind man”, “you don’t have an idea how your mum blessed me..”….

I grew up with an open heart, open mind and an eye for detail which helps me see the needs of others and fathom how to assist. All these I consider  gifts from God. He blessed me with a wonderful father whose heart is totally out for humanity. A giver, a problem solver and a humble man with a very supportive and equally caring wife. Yet, I have not learnt all there is to know about loving humanity as it should be.

Love is a ministry and the world needs Love. At every stage in life, I have learnt the world does not always understand love from my perspective. From high school through the university up to work environment, cross-culturally and internationally, love means different things to different people. Love is suspicious. Love is strange. Love is an opportunity to be taken advantage of. Love bears many negative qualities NOT because people don’t know how to love, but because most people have not experienced it the same way as we do.  Our perspectives are different, therefore good intentions are misinterpreted. You see someone falling and you try to lift them but the think you’re the reason they are falling. The church I attend here in the UK tried to pay for peoples’ groceries as an Easter gift but many shied away because to them, it was a very strange act. They may have never freely been given without a price to pay.

Some people are always violent, not because they love to be, but in their whole lives they have never experienced nor received love. Some have been victims of sexual abuse, bully, broken homes and these happened from their young age and they grew knowing the world from the dark side. And some have never even received a compliment for their efforts, or appearance.

The question is, do we blame people for repaying love with unkindness and hate? Do we stop loving because people do not understand or appreciate?  I will say NO, we must keep loving. Love is a ministry, it is a gift that should be used for the purpose it is given for. We are called to love. 1 Cor 13:4-7 describes love as being patient, kind, persevering and so on. Love is a barrier breaker and must always win over very drop of hatred.

Recently I had a conversation with my father and he said to me “my daughter if you see a generous and caring human being in life who has changed and become unkind, you don’t necessarily have to judge them, they may have been hurt out of that act of  generosity and love”. While this is deep and true, I will urge that we never give up on humanity. The love I speak of today, is love for the human race and quitting on doing good deeds to others means quitting on humanity. 

When we open our arms and hearts to receive and love people without judging them, we are able to build a community like the one in my neighbourhood, which stands up for each other. Love is a ministry and when we know how to love and yet deliberately fail to love, we are failing not only man, but God who has called us into that ministry. Let us give people an opportunity to see some positive the brighter side of life that they may also learn and together, we can light the world.

 

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GOD’S GIFT – 3

THE GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP 

…all my days are gifts from you, i pray I’ld use them as you want me to, use them for you…”

“Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there”, goes a wise saying. A good friend reveals God’s presence and makes his word came alive (I will never leave thee nor forsake thee). Most of us have that one special person we strike a cord with. The one who is willing to take the rough road with us, to laugh at our dry jokes, to confront us with the truth and is ready to take the bullet for us.

That one special person who is your biggest fan even when you are failing until you actually win describes a friend.Friendship is something everyone has a unique definition of, however not everyone is blessed with one. The gift of a genuine friend does not come in a day. It takes time, commitment, love, trust, patience and a lot to build. It takes failing and raising together.

How to use this gift as He (God) would wants me to:  Like with every gift, I  first of all know that it is out of God’s mercy that I have a good genuine friend. God found us worthy to entrust us with each other. I must therefor dedicate time to daily build it, nurture it with trust and faith knowing that in all I am doing it unto God for it pleases Him when brothers/sisters dwell together in harmony and fellowship.

Lord I thank you for the gift of great friends. Today I renew my commitment to be a friend not for a reason, nor in season, but to be a friend for a life time for by so doing, I will be using the gift of friendship as God would want me to. May you also be reminded that your friends are a special gift and you must also treat them as such.

 


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GOD’S GIFT – 2

THE GIFT OF A FATHER

…all my days are gifts from you, i pray I’ld use them as you want me to, use them for you…”

I recall  today, just like yesterday the discussions around my parents choice of a secondary school for me. It was not only centred around one of the best girls’ boarding schools, but around distance and cultural diversity. ” I want her to learn about other cultures, and mostly to learn how to speak Hausa when she’s on holiday because its good to learn languages” said my Dad. And yes he followed up by engaging me in Hausa and French once I was home from  my one year at FGGC Jalingo. My point is this, parents make lots of sacrifices to open doors for their children that they never had the privilege of seeing. I am sure you have your own cherished memories around this.

As I identify the gift of a father today,  I am reminded of God’s instruction to them; “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord Eph 6:4. In love my parents brought five of us up taking a leap (I may say) from this scripture. Dad never spared the rod. At 8 he gave me 10 lashes on my buttocks for punching my elder brother in the stomach, but it was done in love, to correct, and I learnt respect and order. A father represents the number one provider. Selfless, loving and so much more. Until you grow, begin to work and earn, you will never know that the best mathematicians are parents. How they are able to manage resources to cover every little need is better imagined.

How to use this gift as He (God) would wants me to:  I am commanded to honour our father and mother. The first command tied to a  blessing. I must see discipline as corrections meant to mould us into perfect shape. I must never stop loving and when I love, I must give no matter how little. God loves parental giving. Above all, I must know that it is a privilege to have a father/father figure and not a right. Finally I must wake everyday thanking God for this precious gift and cherish every moment of using this gift to Gods glory as He would want me to.

May God bless all fathers (biological and nonbiological) today and always.

 

 

 


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GOD’S GIFTS TO ME- 1

cropped-dsc_10691.jpgFew months ago, while enjoying hot water run down my body, caressing off goose bumps from the -2 degree Bradford temperature, I hummed to several tunes repeatedly until my consciouness was drawn to the Hillsong lines I couldn’t go past; “…all my days are gifts from you I pray I’ld use them as you want me to, use them for you..”. I repeatedly sang these lines from the album You are my world  until I began to view life from it.

The weight of these words brought me to tears, I was reminded of my emptiness, of how much i am nothing without God, my creator and father. It made me realise how much I owe it all to Him for the many gifts I have in the past taken for granted.

God found me worthy to enjoy salvation through the gift of His son Jesus Christ (John 3:16). This is my first and greatest gifts of all. Was I to go by the sung writer’s lyrics, all my days are gifts from you…, I would never allow the sun rise and fall without giving thanks to my source of being. A day is simply not enough for me to count my blessings. God’s gifts to me are numerous. However, it is my duty to identify these gifts one by one in appreciation and total surrender.

If I pray I’ld use them as He (you) would want me to, then I must be conscious to take care of these gifts, treat them with love and respect as He would want. Not as unto man, or out of compulsion but as unto God with love.

From that day, I began identifying God’s gifts to me and how to use them as He would want me to. The practice has been very uplifting such that I can no longer keep to self.

Consequently, I hope to share daily one gift God has given me, and how I am using it as He would want me to.

THE GIFT OF A MOTHER

Today, 25th February, 2016 being my mother’s birthday explains why I will start with this gift. I’m not better than many that grew up without the warmth and love of a mother, but God choose me to be brought forth and loved by a very special woman,  Mrs. Esther Kamimi Kpurkpur. She sacrificed (and still does) her comfort, self and benefits, physically and spiritually for the five that ceased her flow. I have watched her support my Dad in love and affection to the admiration of many. She has been my tutor, mentor, inspiration, source of encouragement and a friend to lean on. She is that wife of noble character in Proverbs 31:10-30. She is worth far more than rubies. She is an amazing gift.

How to use this gift as God wants me to:  I will continually love and respect my mother. I will arise and call her blessed Prov. 30:28. I will honour her, Exodus 20:12. I will obey her, for it is right Eph.6:1. I may be grown, I may have gained some level of independence but my mother remains God’s precious gift to me, to be loved and cherished. I will always respect and never disobey her. When I have a contrary opinion, I will share it in love and respect. This is what God would have me do and He will be glorified. If i fail to use this gift to His glory, I will have God to answer to. I pray NEVER to fail.

Happy Birthday Sweet Mother. I love you.

 


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I AM NOT DETERRED – LOVING HER MORE AT 54

Celebrating Nigeria  imageimageimage

I grew up loving 1st October, not only because it begins the month of my birth, or because my country gained independence from Britain, no. I loved it because it availed me the opportunity to shine. Smartly dressed in a blue and white-check dress, with beautiful princess collar  which was the uniform  of Collage a Practicing School, Katsina-Ala where I had my primary education, ready to perform the match past in nice Vaseline-polished brown sandal and a pair of white socks.

It was a day I looked forward to, because I was cute, and I knew it.More so, this day availed me the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of a serving Local Government Chairman as I participated in a match past at the Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina-Ala.

Cultural dance and performances by different schools, organizations and government agencies followed suit to celebrate Nigeria’s anniversary. The Katsina-Ala case wasn’t in isolation. People gathered in thousands at different Local Government Areas, State Capitals and a grand celebration ensued in Nigeria’s Capital city, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with the President as the host.

This was how Nigeria celebrated her independence. No one feared crowd for security or health reasons.The more the crowd, the more the fun. Awesome memories!

This year, as Nigeria again celebrated her independence, the jollification was different, not only because I have out grown the polished-sandal-and-uniform-match-past,  nor that my organization was unable to organize and celebrate, but that the recent security challenges have gradually taken our right to express how we feel, when we feel and where we feel we should express.

Notwithstanding, the present challenges have not made us less patriotic. Many Nigerians, like myself are undeterred. We are pushed to hide, but we can’t be silenced. In our secret corners the unspoken words are louder. With our minds  we dream big dreams, with our hands we creat a big picture of what we see of Nigeria. We believe in our country Nigeria. The patriotic blood is immune to whatever circumstance that may try to infect us.

I love Nigeria and so I made the love-shaped Nigerian meal to eat and celebrate her because I am not deterred.

NIGERIA-MY COUNTRY, MY HEARTBEAT

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She’s nature personified
Well endowed for bountiful harvest
She’s my country,
She’s called Nigeria
I call her NATURE
My heart beats for her daily
And this way I cry

Oh Nature
Though they know not
You accommodate them all
Charity is your name
Hospitality your priority
Endurance your virtue

On your bare back they toil
Hoes, cutlasses and diggers
A bountiful harvest you gave them

Now with arrows and machetes
Rifles and bombs the red bitter liquid flows
Our rivers, now red like scarlet
Our soils, soaked with ceaseless tears of your inhabitants

Wailings of early and untimely departures
Oh NATURE,Our NIGERIA
For you my heart beats
That you be cleansed again.