Tag Archives: Love

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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The Gift, Part 1, Short Story.

 

‘This looks so good on you,’ Uche said admiring the necklace on her friend’s neck.
Shade smiled. ‘And it is real gold,’ she said with some pride.
Uche examined the pendant that swung from the chain. She had a concerned look on her face. ‘Shade, this looks like a mermaid. Why are you wearing it?’
Shade caressed the pendant. ‘This was a Christmas gift from deacon Soleye in church. It came with a matching bracelet.’
Uche sat back in her chair. ‘Deacon Soleye gave you a necklace and bracelet as a Christmas gift? That doesn’t sound right. Why would he give you such a gift when he knows that you are already taken by another man? What did Kola your fiancé say about this?’
Shade’s eyes fell like a child who was caught lying. ‘I didn’t tell him about this.’ She lifted her head. ‘And I will really appreciate it if you kept this between us.’
Uche regarded her friend with suspicion. ‘You mean a man gave you such an expensive gift and you didn’t tell the man you are going to marry? What is going on here?’
Shade was silent for a moment, then she turned to Uche. ‘Kola is my fiancé and not my husband. We are not yet married. Should I tell him everything that goes on in my life? Shouldn’t I have some privacy?’ she asked.
Uche’s mouth hung open as she regarded her friend in shock. ‘I don’t understand. Are you telling me that the introduction and wine carrying ceremony you did in Osogbo counted for nothing? Remember that Kola was ready to go ahead with the whole wedding formalities but you said he should wait until April. Why you did that I have no idea. That guy was ready to marry you but you said he should wait and now you are saying that you want some privacy in your life? Are you really sure you want to get married? Uche asked her friend.

‘This is not what you think it is. You are taking everything out of context,’ Shade said.
‘What context? Isn’t Kola your fiancé anymore?’
‘He is but this gift has nothing to do with our…’ Shade stopped talking mid-sentence. She tilted her head away from Uche as if she was trying hard to hear something. Uche noticed the far away look she had in her eyes.
‘Shade, are you okay?’ Uche asked her.
Shade dropped the glass of orange juice she was drinking on the table. ‘I have to leave.’ She began to look around to put her things inside her bag.
Uche gave her a look. ‘Why are you leaving? You haven’t spent thirty minutes in this house.’ Shade said nothing. She was still looking around her to make sure she took all her items with her.
Uche regarded her closely. ‘Where are you going at this hour of the night? This was supposed to be a sleep over. Is it your mother?’
Shade nodded, her eyes not really focused on anything. ‘Yes, it is my mother. She needs me now,’ she stood up. Uche got up with her and held her hand.
‘Shade,’ Uche looked into her eyes. ‘It is almost 11pm at night. You told Kola you would sleep over at my place. Why are you changing your mind? It seems so sudden.’ Uche noticed that Shade’s hand was growing cold. She dropped it and stepped back. ‘Shade, I don’t think you should go anywhere tonight. Wait until tomorrow morning and I promise you that I will go with you to go see your mother.’
‘It will be too late by then. I have to leave now.’ She reached for the door and opened it.
Uche watched her leave with trepidation. Continue reading

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Money: Fear and Lies.

 

Every dictator knows that the way to wield absolute power over people is to instil enough fear in them and use it to manipulate, control and enslave them.
Someone said that fear is at the core of power.
If you want to have power over people, all you have to do is make them fearful and they will do anything for you.
Unfortunately such techniques are not only used in the secular world but are also employed by some preachers who are wolves in clever disguise, pretending to be shepherds in the Church.

Fear is used by these impostors to manipulate whole congregations to obey them and do whatever crazy thing they ask them to do without thinking. Fear is used to enslave people to their organisations.
Fear is the principal tool of extortion used by these power hungry wolves to steal from the ignorant and enrich themselves.

A leader who uses fear to manipulate people to follow him does not deserve to be followed, neither does he deserve a leadership position.

Human beings are plagued by various fears. These include the fear of failure, fear of poverty, fear of ill health, fear of shame, fear of loss and the fear of death. These fears plague everyone in different degrees. What the wolves in the church do is to stir up fears in your soul then turn around to tell you that they have the solution to those fears.

Take the fear of poverty for instance.
Poverty is not a spiritual problem. It is an economic issue. You overcome poverty when you offer value to the market place. It is not a spiritual disease or condition like some preachers say. You don’t need to be spiritual in any form or manner to make money. All you need is to understand and apply some economic laws and the situation of poverty will be reversed.

It was Adolf Hitler who said ‘People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.’

Many American and African preachers have copied from Hitler’s play book on the manipulation and control of the masses and they employ his evil techniques on their gullible followers. They have come up with a lie so big that even some of the smartest people amongst us are deceived by their narrative. The lie is simple. They say if you give them money you will become rich, you will also retain the riches you already have, avoid financial disasters and generally do well in life. However if you don’t bring your money to them you will suffer and be visited with various calamities and unfathomable evil. They package success stories associated with people who apparently gave them money and became rich overnight. They conclude that if you don’t give them your money you will struggle financially.

I have heard a popular Nigerian preacher tell his congregation that ‘giving makes you rich.’ He goes on to tell his listeners that it is because they don’t give to him and his church that they struggle financially. This is a wicked lie deployed from hell against the Saints. This celebrity preacher has ridden on the back of this lie for decades and is now surrounded by material things which apparently proves that his heretic theories on money are correct. But a lie is a lie no matter how many people believe it to be true. A lie still remains a lie no matter how many private jets, buildings, businesses the proponents of this lie have acquired. Millions of people who don’t subscribe to Christian values are rich by applying basic economic principles to their work and life situation. They never had to ‘give to get rich’.

Like flies breed worms so ignorance breeds fear.
Where great fear exists, great ignorance sustains it. The fear of poverty is fuelled by ignorance. It is fuelled by the ignorance of economic laws which can be applied to break its vicious cycle. It is fuelled by the ignorance of how money works. Preachers capitalise on the ignorance of their gullible listeners and infuse their minds with lies. When you have no idea what the bible says, when you don’t understand the nature of God, you will become a victim of fear. What we don’t know, we mystify and when we mystify something it scares the living day lights out of us. Dubious preachers mystify money. It is a deliberate deceit to make people associate money with mystery and spirituality. I have heard some preachers say that ‘money is spiritual.’ This is also a lie designed to mystify money and make it look like the only way to make money is to follow some ‘spiritual process,’ and that process is always somehow connected to giving money to the preacher. But money is no way spiritual. Money is as natural, as earthly as it gets. Money is simply a reward for the value we bring to the market place. It is not a reward for some spiritual activity we engage in.

People driven by fear and superstition give to a church not because they love the Lord, but because they are ignorant and think it is the surest way to overcome poverty. They give because they want to either get rich or protect what they’ve got. They give not out of love for the cause of Jesus Christ, but because they want to secure material, financial and other temporal blessings in their lives. They give because their pastors threaten that if they don’t, they will be haunted by curses, beset by evil omens, be attacked by devourers and experience bad luck.

But is this true? Is this what Jesus Christ taught? Is this scripturally correct?

Jesus did not teach this. this is not scripturally correct. It is a well conceived lie designed to steal from the ignorant, the superstitious and the gullible. It is manipulation at its most insidious form.
It is quite shameful because the leaders who preach such lies should know better.
Giving in the New Testament is done willingly by the giver, without coercion of any kind. Giving is primarily an act of worship, not a means to secure temporal blessings. There are people who don’t subscribe to Christian values, yet they are very rich. Having money is not a function of your spirituality or your giving. It is a function of bringing value to the market place. The fallacy of the ‘give to get’ narrative is clearly seen by the fact that people who don’t subscribe to Christian beliefs are the richest on the planet. If the ‘give to get’ lie were true, Christians should be the wealthiest on the planet. But we are not. The kingdom of Christ is not in meat and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Church of Christ should not be motivated by fear, but by love. Jesus said: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.’ John 14:15. The keeping of his commandment should be done out of love for him, not because we are afraid of something bad happening to us if we don’t comply. Love for The Lord is a more powerful motivating force than fear.
Love is the reason why we serve The Lord Jesus Christ, not fear. John says : ‘We love him because he first loved us.’ 1John 4:19.
Love is the reason why we obey him and do the things that please him.
Love is the reason why we lay down our lives for the cause of Christ and for the brethren.
It is the love of Christ that compels us, motivates us, moves us to action. Not fear.
It is the love of Christ that stirs us up to give our money, time and energy in service.
Without love being at the core of what we do, we would have wasted our lives at end of our journey. 1Corinthians 13. We shouldn’t desecrate the offerings of God turning our love gifts into bargaining tools or gambling chips by which we expect to win a jackpot. We should honour The Lord with our offerings from a heart of gratitude, knowing that there is nothing we can give to deserve God’s mercy, favour and goodness in our lives. It is when our free will offerings are given in love that they are acceptable, pleasing, received and rewarded by The Lord.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

If you are compelled by fear to give to a church or charity, you are in bondage. Each time you give under the influence of fear you will become more enslaved by it. Fear brings great torment to your soul. This is not how God operates. He never uses coercion, manipulation, intimidation or fear as motivation for us to do His will. If you are scared that if you don’t give ‘bad things will happen to you,’ you should resist the urge to give until that feeling of fear goes away. Never give under the influence of fear.

If you serve or give your time, energy and resources to a Christian organisation, let it be out of a heart motivated by love to serve and obey The Lord Jesus Christ. Let it never be because of fear.

1Timothy 4:8 says, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind.

The Lord doesn’t reward offerings given in fear or motivated by covetousness. The Lord only rewards our free will offerings given in love.

Blessings.

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The Interview.

The elevator doors opened on the 7th floor.
A pretty brunette in a grey business suit stepped out holding a cup of double mocha in her right hand and carrying a black designer bag in her left.
“Hi, Sally,” a new intern she had never seen before greeted her.
She acknowledged the greeting with a slight nod of her head and a curt smile. She walked briskly to her office. Two ladies and two men sat in the reception area waiting to be interviewed.
She entered her office, kicked off her shoes under her desk and drank from the paper cup in her hands. From her desk, she saw the cloudy sky and the traffic in central London moving like soldier ants.

“Can they come in?” her secretary asked.
“Yes.”
She quickly did away with the first three candidates. Although they had good scores on the written tests, they didn’t give satisfactory answers to her questions. These were not the kind of people she wanted to work with her. She was barely two promotions away from becoming the CFO of COSO Oil. She needed someone to work with her who understood and could manage complex financial details.
The last candidate entered the office and stood before her.
He was tall and handsome. He had blue eyes. Sally looked at his details on her laptop. He had high scores in the first interviews. He had the body of a martial artist, not an accountant. She could see his biceps bulging out of the well cut Italian suit he wore. She had to admit that he had a good sense of style. She waved him to a seat.
He sat down and carefully placed a tablet encased in a black case on the table. On top of it he put a green notepad and beside it he dropped an unusually large green marble. She had seen all sorts of things while conducting interviews. People carried all kinds of objects for luck. This was new. She ignored it.
She read his name from a list on her table.
“Michael Legna?”
“Actually it’s Greek, but it has been modified through the years,” he smiled.
“I see,” Sally said, but she didn’t see, neither did she care. She wanted to conduct the interview as quickly as possible and see Jim Blaswell before he left to see his ugly wife and three children who looked exactly like her.
Sally asked him some questions. She liked his answers.
“Michael could you tell me a story in five minutes?”Sally asked, still reading his bio on her laptop.
“What kind of story?” he asked.
“Anything you like.”

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How To Discern A Relationship From Hell

How To Discern A Relationship From Hell.

1. You regularly wake up in the middle of the night, or in the morning and ask yourself, with a nagging ache in your soul, ‘Why am I in this relationship?’ You are probably in a relationship from hell.

2. You are frustrated and confused. It seems as if you’ve lost your way. You feel out of sync with life and this person. You have this sinking feeling in your stomach that you are being drawn into something terrible, something bad. It is a feeling like walking in a desert when what you want to do is walk beside a beautiful ocean or lake. Continue reading

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Don’t Cast Your Pearls Before Swine.

Don’t cast your pearls before swine.

1. A relationship should not be forced, coerced or manipulated into existence. If you force yourself into a relationship, you will regret it. Love should be freely given. It should never be based on certain conditions. Demanding that your partner fulfil certain conditions before you ‘love’ him or her is NOT love. True love is freely given, unconditionally.

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Gold Digger 5

Gold Digger 5

Tina entered the hotel room, threw her handbag on the bed and ran into the bathroom. She came out minutes later and sat on the bed. She brought out the money Dayo gave her and threw the bundles of Naira notes on the bed.
She got up and stood before the mirror and looked at her reflection. She rubbed her stomach in slow round motions.
Her phone rang. She answered it.
It was her childhood friend Shade.
“Yes, you can come up to my room.”
Moments later Shade joined her in the hotel room. Shade had forced her wide hips into a very tight pair of jeans and wore a large top. Tina wondered how her body could breathe in those jeans.
“What did he do when you told him?” Shade asked before she sat down.
“I couldn’t say anything. The first time his stupid sister was there.”
“You could have pulled him into a room,” Shade said.
“I wanted to have his full attention.”

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