Dear Christian, Are Your Sins Any Different?

There are people in church who commit worse sins than people in the world yet they always feel they are better than the people “in the world”. They feel they should be the only beneficiaries of the grace of God. In life, it is sad that it is the one whose sins are in the open that is seen as the worse or baddest of all human creations. 

It is always surprising for me why we Christians tend to judge people so much…because just a minute’s reflection before you pass judgement on another would have shown you how much of a sinner yourself you are. I thought it is by grace that we ourselves have been saved and not because of any special privilege? I thought it’s the Church that says there’s no greater sin and that every sin is a sin, that the sin of murder is as equal as the sin of lying or even covetousness?

It’s such a shame the way we make the Gospel of Christ look these days!

Is is not Paul that said in 1 Cor 9:22 that, “…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some“? How is that even possible when today’s Christian always feels he is better that everybody else among God’s creations? 

It’s truly scary that the Gospel of Christ is becoming everything else except the Gospel of love and one that reaches out to even the worse of sinners. This is what happens when today’s men of God care so much about their reputation in society than demonstrating love to those who are seen to be “of the world”. 

Shame on us! 

Man of God, keep acquiring the wealth, keep preaching only in the comfort of your “big churches” and only to Christians…and keep giving yourselves whatever titles imaginable as men of God, and keep being happy about the death of souls that God sent you out to go and snatch from the pit of hell and keep being concerned about only your offertories in Church. 

Keep being only concerned about the monetary benefits or blessings of being a child of God. Keep being busy about preaching only in churches (or from church to church) because of the honorarium or “small envelopes” you give each other for honouring invitations amongst yourselves. Keep forsaking the souls trooping to night clubs, orgies, strip clubs, pubs, souls on the streets, etc because no “small envelopes” comes from that, except the risk to your reputation of going to such places with the Gospel. We know you intercede fervently for us your members do that no harm comes to us, but you need to do more and stand in the gap even more for the unsaved souls out there. When God gives you an opportunity for a soul that needs saving, you need to chase after them; they don’t need to chase after you, I guess? 

Do you even hold one single crusade outside of your church in a year these days? Do you even give just a small part of the monies you keep asking us to sow in church day and night to orphanages and other charities so we can also assuage our consciences of not doing anything for the less privileged in society? Except for invites for which if you are lucky one or two “worldly people” pass through the church, what else are you doing to go out there? You have left that work to campus ministries whose “Students In Church Evangelism (SICE) crusades you have even refused to support lately because to you the “mother churches”, the logistics (expenditure) is always greater than the number of souls won and churches planted from these student programs.  

I thought you believed that no amount of money can compare with the value of a single soul for whom Christ paid the ultimate price? 

Thank God your judgement would be greater as men of God. But for me, I pray God does not strike us down, especially you “men of God”. May He rather have mercy on our souls and be patient with us to change our own ways even in the house of God. It is really our souls that God should have mercy on because it will be much more regrettable if we ourselves miss the mark of the upward calling.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

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I can love him/her better than you 

Always remember that everything you are doing to or for your husband/wife or your boyfriend/girlfriend, somebody else can do it and even do it better. Don’t say it’s not possible…it is! 

If you’re giving him/her sex, somebody else can also give them that and even give them better. Maybe your stronghold is food or taking care of the home…but do you think nobody else cooks better than you or can ever manage your home or partner better than you? You think nobody else can spoil your girl/wife better than you’re doing now if they get the chance? 

Everything you do in life, somebody else can do it better than you. The only reason why you are still there and still the only one doing it is simply because that other person has not been given the CHANCE. So, never lose guard and start playing dull moves. Everybody can potentially lose their partner to the next available highest bidder. 

You’re not irreplaceable in even the most loving of all relationships. Just do something very silly, or worse case, just die now and see how soon you’ll be replaced by someone else. It’s natural for voids to be filled, just like in every working environment. 

Like Sam Casey put it: 

“It’s easy to see your position in leadership at the office as becoming more important than your job as the leader of your home. No one is indispensable. Everyone can be replaced on the job. God can raise up another leader to do what you are doing. It’s worth asking your spouse from time to time to make sure you stay on the mark” 

Never stop loving your partner, never stop doing right by them. And never stop evaluating yourself and each other. Start treating them wrong…and you will soon see. You will wonder where that highest bidder taking what belongs to you even sprung up from. Oh boy, they have always been there! They have always been secretly admiring and wishing for what you have. All it had to take was your negligence. 😜

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

You’re just different…not abnormal! 

Truth is we are all created differently and we will all live vastly different lives. If the life that I live and the choices that I make does not look anything like yours…you don’t have to be too quick to question that. 

God is so wise that He’s given us all different destinies, different callings in life, different ambitions, different passions, different careers, different backgrounds, different life experiences, different everything. In fact, even our physiques are different. 

As long as we are within the will of God, you’ve got to let us alone sometimes and give us some room to breathe! 

But of course, if we’re outside the will of God, you’ve got to correct us and we have to be humble enough to accept correction…at least God will want that for us. 

Alright, so cheers to breaking free from all the labels! You’ve got to…trust me! 😂🙏
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

3 Wedding Day Prep Tips for Men’s Mind, Body, and Spirit

They don’t call it the “bridal” industry for nothing, folks. When it comes to weddings, men are usually seen as a handsome prop rather than one half of the important union that is about to take place.

No matter what the bridal industry says about men and their weddings, getting married to “The One” is an important rite of passage that should be treated as such. You may not care about floral arrangements or choosing wedding colors, but it’s important that you take the time to prepare yourself for your wedding day. This doesn’t just mean your wedding day outfit either. Check out this list of tips and helpful tools to help you look your best on your wedding day and beyond!

Your Commitment and Communication

Now I know that you have already completed a big task by asking your partner to be your fiancée, but your duties don’t stop there. Wedding planning is typically seen as the bride’s responsibility, but she needs your help too! You’re making a big life commitment, so continue to commit to helping with the wedding all the way through the process. You probably have no idea what goes into planning a wedding and that’s okay. Do a little research and check out this groom-specific wedding planning guide from The Knot.

The best thing you can do when wedding planning begins is ask your partner what she’d like you to be responsible for. If she doesn’t know right away, that’s okay. Just make sure to keep asking how things are going and if you can help throughout the process. Sometimes just being a listening ear for her to vent is more helpful than you know. You’re in this together, right? Also, if your future bride asks for your opinion, it’s not helpful to say, “I don’t care.” It may seem like you’re doing her a favor by giving her the final say, but not giving your opinion at all isn’t what she’s looking for. Your partner is looking to you, her future life partner, for reassurances and validation, so offer it!

Find a handy list of ways a groom can help plan too. If you have strong opinions about an aspect of your wedding day, speak up in the beginning.  Communication is a two-way street and something you and your partner need to continually work on for your whole lives together.

Effective communication makes a happy bride

Your Looks

While your wedding is about your love and your commitment to each other, there’s no shame in wanting to look amazing on this day. You don’t have to completely change how you look for your wedding day, but it’s important to look your best for you partner and feel confident.

Hair

You want to make sure your hair is feeling and looking healthy. It’s advised not to try a new hairstyle that radically different from what you usually have right before the big day. Instead, work with a trusted hairstylist in the months leading up to your wedding date. You can find a look you love, and work on maintaining it. Is your hair starting to thin? Take steps to keep your scalp and hair healthy by checking for signs of baldness, taking care of your health overall and consider adding a biotin vitamin into your diet, like biotin gummies from hims, a men’s wellness company. Hims has other hair loss products that can help your hair health too. Not only will biotin help your hair grow, it’ll help your nails grow too.

 

Hims products

Nails

Paying attention to your nails probably just consists of trimming them every now and then, but think of the photos on your wedding day. Your new rings and held hands during your ceremony will be photographed! So don’t overlook this detail. Treat your bride-to-be to a manicure and ask if you can join. It’ll be a fun way to prep together! If you’re not interested in going through the entire manicure process in a salon, consider asking your partner if she’ll help you out. It’ll save  you money too!

Skin

This is another important aspect to not overlook. If you have skin issues, start to address them months in advance. Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated, so start to develop a simple routine now. A beauty routine isn’t just for the ladies! All you need is some face wash, moisturizer, and a lip balm to keep your face looking smooth. There are cool skincare products from Harry’s that you can subscribe to and have shipped right to your door. Their products are sold in Target too, so you can give your lady another reason to shop there. Additionally, eating well and drinking plenty of water does wonders for your health and your skin.

Men’s grooming essentials

Your Health

Mental Health

This shouldn’t be limited to wedding prep, but it’s a good time to mention it anyway. If you’re struggling with your mental health, there’s no better time to address it than the present. See a therapist or speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling. If you’re unable to see a medical professional, seek out your pastor or other trusted friend or family member. Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to and share with. There are apps like Headspace that can help you learn how to meditate too. Taking care of your physical health can have enormous benefits on your mental health too.

Physical Health

Again, this doesn’t have to be limited to wedding prep, but having your wedding date on a calendar is a perfect goal to help motivate you to make changes for the better. If you don’t already have a gym routine, start to establish one now. It can be at home or in a gym with a trainer – whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re not a gym person or don’t feel comfortable going to one, start simple! You can simply start going for power walks or runs around your neighborhood or download an app like Nike+ Training Club and many more. Buy yourself (and your future bride) a Fitbit and start challenging each other and tracking your steps, calories burned, and sleep.

Working out brings out the best in you

So there you have it… Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts with us. We’ll love to hear them. 😊

Beauty and makeups…

Dear Woman,

Beneath thy excessive makeup, are you really that beautiful?

Is thy character as beautiful and appealing as thy face?

Is it only for the sex appeal, to create sexual desires in men?

That sure can land any man, but will it be enough to keep him?

Is that a sure bet to keep him from moving to the next beautifully painted face?

Well, it’s your call where to keep the focus and where to invest the most time.

 

 

Our child Arya shall survive your fears

Of all the children in the world whose beautiful pictures get shared on the internet or social media or even make it onto invitation cards and dps, it is my own that you fear for that something bad or evil will happen to? I don’t care whoever you are, but you must be ashamed of yourselves to even think that of any child anywhere in the world. 

It’s unsettling to start with that you are even thinking the worse will happen to an innocent child and not rather praying that she will live and succeed in life irrespective of your supposed “wrong and immature decisions” of the parents. What has bewitched our brains in this part of the world to always be so backward thinking and so superstitious? And the way we go about it (the approach) as if it is our exclusive right as media or moral watchdogs to tell people what to do or not to do is so disgusting to say the least sometimes (please you won’t go to Hell for your failure to do certain things if that’s your push 😂). This is not a personal attack but I’ve had far too many “morally upright” folks trying to force their way into my personal life and business and I feel it’s right to share a few sentiments of my own. 

Truth is that we don’t assume everyone feels the same way about social media and what gets on it — and you don’t approach this sometimes very sensitive issue as if your rules are better than those of others because the honest truth is that it all comes down to personal preferences or choices. 

I have always maintained that life is freedom and it is plain stupid sometimes to want people to live their life the way you live yours. The fact that you are uncomfortable with something does not mean everybody should be uncomfortable with it. The fact that you decide as your personal lifestyle to do or not do something does not mean it should become the universally accepted rule of life or yardstick for judging moral conduct. 

Always do what makes you happy

You see eh, this year 2018 eh, I don’t want to take any nonsense from anybody. You see, we are not dumb not to know that we’re not the first to be parents and neither will we be the last. It was not you that told us whether it was right or wrong to get married at whatever age we decided to…it was not you that made the choice of a partner for us, neither was it you that financed it even at the time that we both had no gainful employment. It was not you that made the decision for us about not having a child whilst married and still in school and rather wait until now. And if God has blessed us now with a child, we are accountable only to Him. 

Having this child has been entirely our personal decision and every decision we make regarding this child throughout her life on earth will be our sole prerogative or responsibility. In this part of our world, we talk too much and want to express opinions about everything that involves the life of another…whatever we think gives us that right to, I don’t know. What’s even more sad is that we appear only more interested in killing people’s joy or pushing negativities.

You see, everybody in my family or life that has known me very well knows that it is not today that I am going to play very nice to uninvited opinions that don’t have any grounded basis but are merely sentimental and based on individual preferences. Say I’m proud or whatever, I have never cared and won’t start to care now. There are boundaries and we need to always respect them – I don’t know why people don’t know that. 

Whatever anybody decides to do with their child is none of my business; so, I don’t go about telling people whether they are treating their child right or wrong…when it borders on documented legal or cultural violations, the laws of the land will take action. So, you can put him/her in a dustbin I don’t care and you can wait until they are 18 years to be able to give you their legal consent before you feed them, bath them, clothe them, allow them to shit on you, take them out to public places, beg them to take a picture of them or show them to the world, I don’t care. It’s your problem if you want to get your child to consent before you do anything that relates to that child – you might as well keep them in your womb until they attain the legal age of 18 or get them talking the minute they are born. 

It’s entirely your problem if you want to hide your child from the whole world because there are too many evil eyes – you might as well keep them only within the four walls of your room and not take them to the hospital, school, market square, city centre, and even church (because there are evil people in church too that will want to sap the life out of your child 😂). It’s your problem if you are too afraid that because the internet never forgets and your child didn’t give his/her consent before you posted a beautiful picture of them or news of their birth, they will grow up to chance upon it and probably hate you for life or sue you. Need I ask here also, what’s the difference between not using or sharing a picture of a newborn on social media and waiting until they are 1 year or above…what consent does a 1 year or 5 years child give or waiting until they are that age means the enemies out there can’t kill them anymore? You see why your preference is simply your preference? 

You don’t have to rub your personal fears on anybody and try to make it the morally upright rule or “matured way of doing things”. Let me remain immature in my personal decisions and life choices – as long as you’re not the one feeding me, I don’t care about your “maturity titles”.

Everything you decide to do in life as an adult is your personal choice and based on your fears or experiences of life. I agree not everybody has had a positive experience in life based on their background and the families they are coming from (or the spirits that are chasing them in life) but there are no rules in life that says that your personal fears has to be my fears or your personal choices should be mine as well and that it’s wrong if I do not do what you do

We decided exclusively whether it was right or wrong to inform anybody we were expecting a child and when exactly we should, that we had put to bed, that we were naming and dedicating the child, that you are welcome to visit or not…and by extension only we will ultimately decide whether you have any part to play in the life of the child or not. When we don’t give you that exclusive right, you don’t take it because you are whoever…at best, you play a spectator role. 😂 As for being happy for us or not, we have no control over it…it’s entirely your choice. 😜

(PS: These are just personal rumblings)

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Break yourself free from people’s judgement 

This new year, do yourself a big favour and decide to break yourself free from negative energies…one of those is people’s judgement.

It’s never strange to find people (“know it alls”) ​expressing uninvited opinions and passing judgements about your married life and how you should conduct yourself. Forget marriage, it happens in almost every aspect of our daily lives…people telling you what to do and not to do; passing uninvited comments or opinions at any given opportunity. You must be an angel to not have experienced it. 😂

Nonetheless, what I need you to know is that, the weight of other people’s opinions and judgement is a very heavy load. You need to break yourself and your marriage free from it…until freedom comes, you will not know how much weight and burden you carried. That freedom comes in not paying attention to it, turning a deaf ear or what I usually say “multiply them by zero” 😂

There’s just this one simple truth in life: whatever you do, people will judge as right or wrong. And before you finish seeking people’s validation, you will die from mental exhaustion. 

So, just be yourself and do you! You’re the only best judge of your choices and actions. BE YOU…not them. We’re all on separate journeys and separate assignments or life purpose. 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

It’s Christmas; not just one of those festivals 

It’s Christmas ​and for some, it’s just one of those festivals.

A time for drinking, boozing and all the fun stuff.

Fun is healthy and good for the soul; that’s undisputed!

And it’s worth remembering family and friends.

But just don’t get caught up in the merry making.

Take a moment…and remember the man of the season

His name is Jesus Christ; the freshest kid that’s ever been born. 😊

Think about His love…and the fact that He wasn’t only born.

He died too…

Then, think about His place in your life. Is He of any value to you? And why??

People don’t remember, let alone celebrate something of no value…that’s an undisputed fact.

He’s the Most Valuable Person (MVP) the world has ever known.

He takes glory in our joyful celebrations…but, 

He would rather we lift Him high like a banner that flies across every land.

So all men will see and know that He alone is Christ the Saviour , the risen Lord, the soon coming King, and the way to heaven!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Hope your celebration glorifies God. 

Cheers!!!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Promises and Realities

​At the beginning, love is based on the promise of a life together; later, it is built on the reality of a life shared.

That’s a very profound truth. But not only that; it also presents us with two extremes or opposites: Promises vs Realities.

The problem is that people are not very accepting of realities. They always and constantly wish the stark realities away. They want to forever live in a bubble…never planning ahead what they will do when the bubbles burst. They act as if it’s impossible for bubbles to even burst. 

We pray for all the good things to happen to us…but never for the wisdom to know what to do when good things don’t happen to us, knowing very well the reality that good things will not always happen to us in life. 

Life is a bit of good here…a bit of bad here; a bit of success here…a bit of failure here; a bit of happiness here…a bit of sadness here; a bit of right choices here…a bit of wrong choices here; a bit of life here…and a bit of death on the side.

How long will you last in any venture (relationship, marriage, business, etc) when the winds of realities test you? How prepared will you be? How often do you pause in life to assess your situations? Is your assessment of the fortunes of your relationship blinded by love? Will you accept the realities of your shortcomings or lack of foresight which probably caused you that relationship, marriage, or business? 

 

A letter to my wife…

Dearest Juliana, 

Your birthday is here again today! Not only that, but it’s also our traditional marriage anniversary. Tomorrow will be our wedding anniversary. You know all this, and you might have heard it before, but it’s still important that you hear it again…that, 

you’re the best of life’s blessings to me and I am eternally grateful 

I have been grateful every single day since we set out on this journey less traveled by many for fear of many unknowns and heartbreaks. I don’t have to say it every single day for you to know I am, right? I know you’ll agree because even though I know your ears are so sweet and always wanting to hear something (news, gossips, sweet nothings), hearing the same thing everyday will bore you to death. See? I know you too well 😜.

Typical of me, I always lose some sleep on occasions like this watching you sleep soundly and also lost in thought over how far we’ve come and how grateful we should be for God’s divine providence that has kept us. I usually sing in my head a few lines from that our favorite song that goes like… 

“Your Grace and Mercy brought us through.

We living this moment because of You. 

We want to thank You and praise You too. 

For Your Grace and Mercy brought us through”

Sometimes I shed a few emotional tears that you never see, for a man must never be seen crying, even if they are tears of joy or gratitude for divine providence, right? 😂🙈


We were younger than most folks when we started out and still younger when we got married. I know how we always laugh when we remember how that “our very young members are getting married” announcement was made in Church and I know how that makes you feel 😜. I think laughing is one of our good perks because we always someway somehow find something to laugh about. I love that a lot…please don’t ever stop laughing with me? Aww! 😂

It feels like a lot of years have passed and we are still young and still stuck in our lovely twenties (we just can’t wait to get out of it huh? 😂). But the good thing about us being young is that we had a tremendous amount of zeal, faith and belief in what we had as true undying love that’s willing to go the extra mile. And surely the extra mile we went. I still see that zeal, faith and belief in you and it’s simply beautiful to behold, you never know…I see a lot of things. If you like call me “the seer” like we used to secretly call someone back in our school days. 😂🙈

Truth is we know our own love story and life story…nobody can tell it better than us. At best, they can only misrepresent it, even they that have been the closest to us. We know better all the things we have been through…the good, bad and ugly. I know you will laugh here because you know a lot of our folks think we’ve never seen ugly days 😂.

But all in all, the best part about you and I on this beautiful adventure has been God…how He keeps orchestrating things in our favour. 

With Him, our relationship has been one heaven of an adventure; one I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s all been worth it…all the love, all the sacrifices. May we never take God for granted. 

Two years of distance marriage gave us academic laurels plus some beautiful life lessons and adorable memories of living apart. That was amazing, let’s try it again 😜.

One year living together has given us it’s own share of amazing memories topped with a beautiful bundle of joy that only you gets the privilege of naming “Sweet Face“. Such an adorable product of our secret antics in the night must surely have a sweet face 😂. I know you wished she came in your birth month December so you can boss over me but sorry she couldn’t wait to see me 😜.

Three years of marriage and we can finally say “me + you = three“. Trinity is good. 

Now we can go back to achieving some more academic laurels, or better still stay put and make more cuties and sweet faces? 😜

Truly, on this occasion of your birthday, I’m just thankful for how God has made it all work out so well for you and I’m proud to have you in my life. 

Now let the celebrations begin! Happy Birthday Dear! Savour every moment!

Yours truly,

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017