The Gift, Part 4. Short Story.

 

‘Do you want to tell me where you were on Friday night?’ Kola asked.
Shade looked at her hands in silencel.
‘We can’t go on like this. If you are not willing to tell me where you were maybe you are not ready for this wedding.’
‘I don’t remember what happened,’ she said. ‘I spaced out and  remember waking up on my bed.’ This was not completely accurate, but she wasn’t going to tell Kola about Soleye until she had some solid evidence to show him. If she told Kola a part of the story he may take matters into his own hands. She loved Kola and she didn’t want to see him rot away in prison for attempted murder. She wished she could tell him what Soleye did to her and allow him beat the living daylights out of that evil man. But she didn’t have any proof. But today at the luncheon she hoped to get some proof.

Kola regarded her with concern. ‘This has never happened before. Do you think you should see a doctor?’
Shade nodded her head from side to side. ‘No. That won’t be necessary. It was probably some hormonal imbalance caused by my monthly flow.’
‘Are you sure about this?’ Kola asked.
‘Yes, I am. I didn’t want to alarm you yesterday that was why I didn’t tell you what happened.’ She reached out and touched his hand, looking into his eyes. ‘I know how much you love me and would do anything to protect me.’
‘I still think you should see a doctor,’ Kola insisted.

There was a knock on the window of the car. It was Uche Okpara. ‘Shade please come with me. The pastor wants to see you.’
‘I will see you at your place tomorrow after work,’ Shade leaned over, gave Kola a kiss and got out of the car. She and Uche walked towards the church were people gathered in small groups chatting after the church service.
‘What did you tell him?’ Uche asked.
‘I told him that I must have slept off at home.’
‘Do you think he believed you?’
‘With Kola you can never be sure what is going on in his mind. He keeps thinking about a matter long after it is over just to make sure he didn’t miss anything. Of all the people I met it was the one with the inquisitive mind that I decided to marry,’ Shade said.
‘God works in mysterious ways,’ Uche said. ‘This man is good for you. He will make sure you don’t get carried away by strange gifts of jewellery from strange men,’ Uche chastised her friend.
‘Talk of the devil,’Shade said looking beyond Uche.
‘Good morning, ladies. Are you ready for the love feast at my house?’
Uche turned around. It was deacon Soleye.
A frown creased Uche’s face like a white man eating bitter leaf soup for the first time.

********

Soleye brought out the blue bed sheets that the cult leader had given him. The leader assured him that these sheets were special. He had immersed them in charms for weeks. Soleye removed the old sheets and spread the blue one on the bed. His wife was returning from China on Tuesday afternoon. By then he should have completed his assignment.
The leader had promised him that the blue sheets would get the job done.
‘What will happen to the sacrifice?’ he asked.
‘You don’t have to bother yourself about that. Your business is to make sure the woman lies with you on the bed. The rest is mine to worry about,’ the man said.
He opened the first door of the wardrobe and it led to a secret room. Inside were various charms, amulets and effigies scattered around the room. He picked an amulet, wore it under his clothes. He muttered some incantations, opened the black pot on the floor and brought out a small tortoise tied with seven cowries and red pieces of cloth. He lifted the tortoise and looked at it to make sure it was still alive. The charm would be useless if the creature was not alive. He returned to the bedroom, lifted the bed and kept the tortoise under the mattress. He looked around the room with some satisfaction on his face. ‘Now to make sure I bring the sacrifice to the altar.’ He rubbed his hands together and left the room. Continue reading

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Breaking Out Of The House Of Pharaoh, Part 3

Breaking Out Of The House Of Pharaoh. Part 3

Exodus 3:19-20
And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof:and after that he will let you go.

The house of Pharaoh does not want you to be free. It doesn’t want you to live your own life, pursue your vision and fulfil your assignment. Even when it pretends to give you liberty in one area of your life, it will still keep you bound in other areas.

The kingdom of Pharaoh was built by slaves. It was built by sacrificing the dreams of thousands of men and women so that he could build an empire. It was built on the blood, dreams and lives of men. This very same thing is happening today in the houses of Pharaoh scattered across the earth. Many have been seduced by The house of Pharaoh and abandoned their divine assignment for money, they have given up their vision in exchange for high sounding but worthless titles and positions in the house of Pharaoh. Continue reading

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The Gift, Part 3. Short Story.

‘You have to let Kola know what is going on. You shouldn’t keep this to yourself. If he finds out on his own it may destroy your relationship.’
Shade regarded her friend for a moment. ‘You want me to tell my fiancé that I spent the night in the home of a cultist but nothing happened? Kola will never believe me. This is the end of my marriage plans,’ Shade sobbed.
Uche placed a hand on her shoulder. ‘I know this is hard for you but the best thing for you to do would be to come clean, be totally honest with him.’
Shade looked at her friend. ‘Honesty cannot work in this matter. If I tell Kola that I was in that man’s house, I cannot predict his reaction. He may drive down to his house and confront him.’
‘That wouldn’t be a bad idea,’ Uche said. ‘That short man should get his butt kicked for what he attempted last night. I can see him running away from Kola, totally scared out of his evil mind,’ Uche said.
Both women burst out laughing.
Shade wiped the tears from her eyes as she laughed. ‘Uche, you have such a dark sense of humour. I can imagine Kola using him as a punching bag.’
‘At least I made you laugh,’ Uche said.
‘I love Kola very much. I don’t want anything to come between us. He has not called me since he dropped me off at my place. I am afraid that this situation is irredeemable.’

Uche’s phone rang. She looked at the caller. It was pastor Cornelius Akanbi.
She covered the mouthpiece and whispered ‘pastor’ to Shade.
‘How are you doing?’ the pastor began.
‘I am fine sir. Thank God.’
‘All the group leaders in the church have been invited to a love feast at Deacon Soleye’s place tomorrow after the church service,’ her pastor said.
Uche had always suspected that her pastor was spiritually immature. Now he had succeeded in eliminating all remaining doubt from her mind. Inviting all the heads of department of the church to a luncheon at Soleye’s home was the height of spiritual irresponsibility. How could a man who called himself a pastor be so blind that he couldn’t see that the man organising the luncheon was the enemy of Christ? It bothered her deeply that a pastor who was supposed to watch over the sheep was sending them all to the slaughter in the house of their mortal enemy.
‘Uche, are you there?’ the pastor asked. Continue reading

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Breaking Out Of The House Of Pharaoh, Part 2

Breaking Out Of The House Of Pharaoh, Part 2

Until you are free from the bondage of the house of Pharaoh you will not be able to pursue and accomplish your life’s calling and assignment.

Moses had an assignment to liberate about two million Jews from bondage. There was a powerful calling on his life to liberate a nation. But first the liberator had to liberate himself, the saviour had to set himself free. The house of Pharaoh realised that as long as it kept Moses busy with feel good activities which had no bearing or connection whatsoever with his life’s assignment, he would remain in bondage and never bring himself to focus on and pursue God’s will for his life.

You may work for a huge ministry, church or organisation and you occupy a high level position in it and you think you have arrived at the highest point of your calling, career or endeavour in life. But you may be wrong. Moses probably thought the same thing. What else could be bigger and better than being a member of the house of Pharaoh? The answer? God’s assignment for your life is bigger, better than anything that the house of Pharaoh can offer you. Moses had a nation waiting for his prophetic leadership but he was held down by the chains of the house of Pharaoh.

So that you know, the forces of darkness will never willingly allow you to leave the house of Pharaoh. The enemy wants to keep you bound to that house, bound to that location, bound to that organisation, to that entity. The game plan of the enemy is to enslave you to the house of Pharaoh forever if he can. To break out of the house of Pharaoh it must be by force. You must invoke the power of the Almighty God to fight against every enemy of your freedom, calling and assignment. Continue reading

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Breaking Out Of The House Of Pharaoh.

 

As a child Moses was discovered and delivered from genocide by Pharaoh’s daughter. He was raised up in the palace and became known as a prince in Egypt. Moses enjoyed the life and privileges of royalty for many decades. He lived as he liked. He did whatsoever pleased him. He had power and influence in Egypt and he wielded it whichever way it pleased him. As a prince he answered to nobody but himself.

However there came a day that there was a tug at the reigns of his heart. As God continued to systematically work on him, the scales fell from his eyes. He realised that what he thought was a palace was in reality the biggest prison in Egypt, keeping him locked away from the assignment and divine calling on his life. He discovered that although he was known as a prince, in reality he was a prisoner of Pharaoh. He was in a gulag made up of Pharaoh’s riches and power. Although surrounded by all this power, wealth and influence, he felt his soul shackled like a slave to the house of Pharaoh. He felt as powerless as the slaves whose blood Pharaoh used to build the pyramids and the great architectural works of ancient Egypt.

Moses should have been contented with his lot in life. He should have been happy with what he had been blessed with. But he wasn’t. He was completely dissatisfied. After all he was a prince, probably the number three man in the kingdom. What else could a man wish for or desire? However when God began to reveal who he really was to him, when God unveiled his assignment, Moses began to see the greatness, riches and power of Egypt not as a blessing but a curse, a curse which held him back from pursuing and fulfilling the assignment on his life.

What was once the greatest blessing in his life became his greatest curse. What once helped him rise in life became a hindrance to his assignment.  What once gave him wings to fly became the chains which held him down in captivity,  in obscurity and kept him from soaring in God’s assignment for his life. Continue reading

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From Where You Are

From Where You Are.

Genesis 13:14-15
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;
For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever.

Lot had a fallout with Abram his uncle. When the Lord commanded Abram to leave his country, he took Lot his nephew with him. As Lot journeyed with his uncle he began to prosper. Lot prospered so much that his herdsmen began making trouble with Abram’s herdsmen creating strife in their camp. Abram was a man of peace. He wanted there to be peace between him and with Lot so he asked him to choose an area of the territory in which they grazed their cattle.

Genesis 13:9
Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me:if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Abram was a man of integrity so he asked Lot to choose first. He asked him to choose any area of the territory that he liked. This was risky because Lot could have chosen the area of the territory that had streams and rivers. Lot chose the very best part of the territory, land which was well watered and moved away from his uncle Abram.

Apparently all that was left to Abram was the ‘bad’ area of the territory in which they lived and grazed their cattle. But Abram was unperturbed by the state of things. His nephew had chosen the best part of the land leaving Abram with ‘nothing’. However, Abram had a covenant relationship with God. God was the reason why he had left his father’s house, left his people, left his country and embarked on a journey of faith not knowing where he was going but trusting that God knew what He was doing and He was going to deliver on His promises.

God waited for Lot to depart before He appeared to Abram because Lot wasn’t going to be a part of the supernatural event that was about to happen in Abram’s life. God will re-assign, relocate, remove some people from your life before He takes you to the next level in your walk with Him. Some relationships will have to be terminated if you want the Lord to move supernaturally in your life. After Lot left, God asked Abram to lift up his eyes and look ‘from where you are.’

God wasn’t interested in what had happened in Abram’s past or even his present situation. God was interested in what He had purposed for Abram and his descendants. He was focused on bringing Abram into the blessing assigned to him and his lineage.
God said: ‘Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward.’
This was going to be a supernatural demonstration of God’s power. Continue reading

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The Gift, Part 2, Short Story

Shade felt the warm rays of the sun caress her face and her eyes flickered open. She turned her head away from the sun and saw the picture of Kola her fiancé smiling at her. Next to that picture was the picture they took on a boat in Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the background. She had fond memories of that weekend in Dubai. She tried to smile but was rewarded with a headache.

She sat up in bed and noticed that she was still wearing the clothes from yesterday. One thing she never did was wear her work clothes to bed. She got out of the clothes, rushed into the bathroom and took a shower. Minutes later she emerged from the bathroom, did her beauty routine and put on some new clothes.

She entered the kitchen and made herself a cup of mint tea. The heat of the brew helped to clear her head. The clock on the microwave oven read 9:23am. A frown creased her face as she looked at the time. She never slept this late on a Saturday. She was supposed to be at the gym at 7:00 am, but she had missed today’s session by two hours. She pushed aside the cup of tea as concern rose up in her mind. She remembered going to Uche’s apartment. She couldn’t remember leaving it or what happened afterwards. As hard as she tried she couldn’t remember where she had been last night.

Her phone beeped and rescued her from the agony of trying to figure out where the last eight hours of her life went. It was a text from Kola, her fiancé. He was on his way to her apartment and wanted to know if she was back from the gym. She evaded the question. Yes, she was in, she ended the conversation. He had requested for a key to her apartment but she had refused. They were not yet married and until then he had no right to barge into her apartment whenever he wanted. She needed her own space where she could think her own thoughts, process freely and do as she pleased. She felt some sadness as she looked around her apartment. She would miss this apartment when she moved into Kola’s house in Magodo after they returned from their honeymoon. She had so many fond memories, secrets locked in the walls of this house. After living here for seven years, the environment, the people, sights of Surulere had become a part of her life. She wished she could keep the apartment and return to it when she needed some alone time. But society wouldn’t allow her do that. It would be regarded as an act of rebellion for a young bride to retain her former apartment. Her mother would see it as resistance to marriage or the fear of moving into an uncertain future with her husband. She stood up and touched the leaves of the plant that grew in a pot by the window. She liked the scent of the flowers when they blossomed. There were other flowers pots on the balcony but this one was special. She even gave it a name. Cher. Its flamboyant colours reminded her of the ageless, iconic rock artist.

*******

‘Where were you last night?’ Kola asked her as he drove.
‘I was at Uche’s place then I came back home to sleep,’ Shade avoided his eyes.
Kola gave her a curious look. ‘I called your phone over ten times but it was switched off. When did you start turning off your phone? We had an agreement that our phones should always be on in case of an emergency.’
‘I must have forgotten,’ Shade said without conviction.
Suddenly Kola veered off the road and entered a gas station. He found a spot and parked the car. Shade looked at his face and feared for what was about to happen. This could very well be the end of her intended marriage to him.
Kola held the steering wheel tightly. Shade watched him.
He turned to her. ‘Shade, I am going to ask you one more time. Tell me the truth. I know you weren’t with Uche last night. I called her at 11:25pm. She said you had left her apartment and you said you were going to your mother’s place. I called your mother and she said you were not at her place.’ Kola paused and rubbed his palms together. Shade said nothing.
He continued. ‘I was tempted to call your pastor and let him know what was going on but it crossed my mind that if I brought him into the matter, there were questions I wouldn’t be able to answer. He could also tell us to call off our wedding. I didn’t want that to happen, so I didn’t call him. but if you don’t start talking to me, I will call your pastor and tell him what is going on.’
Tears came to Shade’s eyes as she listened to Kola. She saw the end of her relationship with him. She saw the wedding cancelled. She saw herself shamed out of the church. She saw herself mocked by fake and false friends who would rejoice about her break-up with Kola Owolabi. Her face would be splattered on social media platforms and people would call her mean names. Continue reading

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