A Prayer in this time of global distress 🙏🏾

May the Lord answer us in this time of global distress;

May the name of the God of Jacob protect us.

May He send us help from the sanctuary and grant us support from Zion.

May His banner of love cover us and keep us safe from every plague.

May He remember all our sacrifices
and accept our burnt offerings.

May He give us the desires of our heart and make all our collective efforts succeed.

Surely, we will shout for joy and offer praise when we are victorious, and will lift up our banners in the name of our God!

May the Lord grant all our humble requests in our time of distress.

AMEN and AMEN!!!!

How Church is Church Now?

In the wake of Corona Virus, everything has changed across the globe, including Church services, doctrines and the likes. These few random thoughts have been crossing my own mind lately.

They used to castigate those who worship from home via TV and online platforms as not being Christians after all. Christians are only those planted in a Church and never miss Church, blah, blah, blah. Hope we are asking ourselves how Christian we all are now being at home and doing Church online?

They used to take pride in preaching in or to huge congregations. See how awkward it is now to be preaching to empty chairs and nobody standing up to clap for you or give you needless fans? Hope those your many body guards who don’t want anybody nearing their revered men of God are still at post protecting you in an empty Church? Hope some men of God have started learning again how to carry their own Bibles to the pulpit? Hope some wives of men of God can now have some true happiness and not have to fake in Church pretending to be happy with their husbands never sitting at home in the name of doing God’s work?

Oh how they used to take for granted church members who leave everything they have to come sit and listen to the word of God preached. Then, there are those haughty ushers who think they are the best of human beings God has created just because they are privileged to direct people to their sit. Will you now go and direct empty seats or you will direct people online? Hope we’re all learning now that everybody matters.

And oh, now that it is communion service, I hope it is okay now and acceptable to use shortbread, pie, fruit juices, just anything we find in our fridges to represent the communion bread or wafer and communion wine? Should it matter now, or should we still argue about which Church is doing it the right way or not?

Hope a lot of our ‘stupid’ doctrines, practices and attitudes in Church are giving way in these few days and we can enjoy some sanity from the confines of our rooms, as we all pray, read the Bible ourselves and build our personal relationship with God?

May God help us all come out of this global storm and be better people and believers.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Hope… in the midst of Corona Virus

Hope always finds a way.

Lose it and you may lose your way.

Life’s of little meaning without hope.

For our very survival depends on hope.

Hope keeps us going.

Even when the storm keeps raging.

Hope keeps us rising.

Hope for an end in sight.

Hope for a better life.

Hope in a better tomorrow.

Keep hope alive.

You’ll stay alive.

You’ll keep afloat.

In all of life’s boat.

A world without hope is a battle already lost.

So, share a bit of hope with all that’s feeling lost.

And together we shall win.

A dying world, life to receive again!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work

​Marriage preparations do not end at the altar

You are allowed a temporary sigh of relief and accomplishment at the altar…but almost immediately begins real work; a new reality. Dating is easy…Marriage is hard work. 

When in doubt, remember all the billion people who couldn’t keep it together even at the easy dating stage. If dating could not last…marriage could not too. You may not like that reality but it’s just the simple truth. 

God meant marriage to be forever, of course your Pastor told you that; but it’s not always forever if you don’t put in the works. And who says your Pastor’s marriage is all rosy and a heavenly Jerusalem 24/7; don’t believe that lie, they just want you to see it that way. They go through every thing every normal marriage goes through; are they Jesus? How will you feel if your Pastor comes to say on the pulpit “things are not going too well with my marriage but we’re still working things out”. You think it’s not a possibility? The Pastor’s marriage has good times and bad times just like every other marriage. 

There are no perfect marriages; yours wouldn’t be either. So, chin up and let go of all the fantasies! 

Always remember; never forget

Here are some things to always remember…and one thing to never forget.

Your presence is a present to the world.
You’re unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You’ll make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Don’t put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal, and your prize.

Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets.
Don’t take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot . . . goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life’s treasures are people . . . together.

Realize that it’s never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have health and hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a star.

And don’t ever forget . . .
For even a day . . .
How very special you are.

The two visitors 

Two visitors came to see me, both at the same time,

Both were trying to win control of my body, heart, and mind

One was dressed quite plainly, one dressed fit to kill,

I couldn’t see the battle they were waging for my will.

One promised to give fame, friends and riches beyond compare,

Anything I wanted, it seemed, and while I was standing there,

He showed me how life could be, for a little while at least,

I couldn’t see beneath the clothes, to recognize the beast.

The other told of hard times, of sacrifice and pain,

Ridicule and persecution, nothing much to gain,

But there was something deep in this visitor’s eyes

That made me feel to choose Him, somehow would be wise.

I guess you know the outcome…..

Watch your associations

Some people don’t want us to become better than them so they always find a way to discourage you or create doubts in your mind about your plans.

It’s important that you never become comfortable with your associations or where you have reached in life. Sometimes your vision is bigger than that of your associates and you need to always realize that so you don’t settle with their mediocrity.

One of my favorite quotes is by Steve Maraboli. He says:

“People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. When you change for the better, the people around you will be inspired to change also….but only after doing their best to make you stop. Live your truth and don’t ever stop.

You must get to a point in life when you can tell yourself you’ve got no time for negative energies. Life is too short to entertain, court or waste time on negative judgmental assumptions of people or the attitude of people who constantly try to make you feel bad or doubt yourself.

This year, resolve to live your best life and be your best self.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Your righteousness can be sinful…

Your righteousness can be sinful and your salvation questionable…if it blinds you to the gospel of grace, when it makes you feel exalted above all, when it gives you no patience for the sinner, when it makes you feel it is for you that Christ came and not the worst of sinners, when it makes you forget that it is God himself who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure and that of our own we can do no good thing.

The posture of some Christians on social media is sometimes worrisome as a lot of people’s activities or contents are loaded with unnecessary arguments, labelling and putting people down. I do feel mostly that nobody gets saved by what seems like insults, judgments and castigations on social media, especially when people express opposing views to our Christian posts or messages. In many cases, it perhaps makes us no different from the people throwing stones at the biblical woman caught in adultery.

It is not here (social media) that we are coming to differentiate between what is morally wrong and morally right…it is mostly common knowledge. Nonetheless, if that has to be done, it must be done with a lot of tactfulness. To the best of my knowledge, people don’t become good when all you do is constantly hammer their wrongs in their face; they become worse. If you like, try that approach on your child and see how they turn out.

It doesn’t mean a Christian should never point out people’s wrongs, but there’s always a good way to do that; the approach matters sometimes more than the message. It is always important to remember that it is by grace that some of us even turned out good. We must always acknowledge the grace of God in our lives because sitting on social media, loading our timelines with Bible verses and acting all clean and righteous is not what is at stake. Fact is, when someone’s sin or actions bothers you more than your own and instead of working on you, you will rather judge and castigate them, you have a problem! It’s like today’s Christians are more interested in pointing out sinners than even praying for them so God does His own work in them. We just like to let people see they are the bad nuts and we are the good ones, I guess.

I may be right or wrong but I never maintain that I speak truth; I speak my mind on issues. It’s the recipients of what I say, write, publish, etc. that are the judge of whether it is truth (makes sense) for them or not. That’s why I don’t go about forcing my opinion on others for them to accept it as the truth, and if they don’t, they become the enemy. No, God alone is true and I’m not a Pastor so I don’t lay claim to “speaking the mind of God” and forcing His will on people. I’m focusing on living my Christian life the way I know best.

Social media is a great place to evangelize and spread the message of the gospel but we must never lose sight of our approach and conduct in achieving that aim so we don’t look self-righteous. We surely can build each other up, but we can’t force our truth on people and make enemies out of the very people we are sending the gospel to. And we can’t be hypocritical either, keeping our timelines flooded with scriptures just to look good outside while our real lives are questionable.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

The rise of women and the struggles of men living in a woman’s shadow

Perhaps, many men out there are very insecure and so used to a male dominated world that they want things to stay just as it has always been, to their advantage. It seems difficult for them to live in the shadow of a woman, especially in this modern day progressively feminine world. Men are born leaders and their ego worries them a lot, especially when they are not able to function in their natural role of providing and fully leading, or just being in total control of things. It worries many a man when his woman begins to rise above him and call the shots in the union and he appears to gradually lose his voice as a man. Many men will worry about having to adjust their life to tag along their woman’s lead.

It appears society is more accepting of a woman building her life around her man’s dreams rather than the opposite. Majority of men are yet to get used to such a life of being the “follower” in a relationship. Perhaps, that concept is a huge paradigm shift for a man or perhaps, it is rather the way some women handle their rise above men that freaks men out. Truth be told, some very successful women can really rub it in their man’s face with their kind of attitude.

It appears that it is not enough at the dating stage for a man to say he has no problem with his woman rising above him, say earning more than him, being more educated than him, being more vocal and wanting to be heard more than him, etc. Many women fall for that only for reality to hit home later when the same man who said he has no problems with stuff like that suddenly begins to struggle to come to terms with it when that reality manifests. See below one woman’s sad agony:

Even though it shouldn’t be, in our part of the world, a woman’s rise above her man sometimes hurts the man’s very nature and gradually develops into a life of insecurity and if not managed, depression could set in. In such instances, nothing the woman does going forward seems to satisfy the man. He may sometimes be successful in his own field but he still feels his woman is now competition…especially because many such women too don’t learn to shut up sometimes. They begin to feel bossy and act like they don’t need the man for anything as she is now self-made and anything she needs she can get…she may only need the man for sex.

Before her rise, the man probably feels he has 70% voice in the decisions of the house or decisions about their life. After her rise and the fact that the home has to perhaps adjust to her schedules to run effectively, he naturally feels he’s only got 30% voice or control in matters of their life/family and that “kills” most men silently. It’s perhaps not an inferiority complex but the fact that the natural course of nature/society as men have been used to is changing faster than they can handle. It takes very few exceptional men today with great understanding, to see their women rise above or be more successful than them and not complain, want to “kill” themselves or move to take a woman at a lower level that they can more easily control or command.

Somehow, it appears many men just can’t stand women calling the shots in any setting. However, women also appear to have grown tired of sacrificing their dreams and passions to simply follow a man’s bidding or vision for life and becoming reduced to mere housewives taking orders from their men.

It’s a difficult decision for today’s woman who wants to be independent of her man, achieve her own dreams and build a life of her own, to now have to tag along her man’s dreams or leadership. Unfortunately as it becomes, many women find themselves in a seemingly bitter place of either choosing her own rise and risking it all, or sacrificing her rise and focusing only or more on becoming a man’s home builder.

That kind of sucks because today’s woman kind of hates the tag “home builder” or “housewife”. They didn’t ask to be called by that and feel it’s a stereotype society/religion (at the time) has put on them. They now feel their purpose in life is way beyond just building a home. They are or want to be commanding leaders too and want that to sink into every man’s head. Whatever she chooses to sacrifice in the end (her own rise in the corporate world as against building a home) is her choice. It’s a difficult one but it’s a personal choice that she does not want to be resented for.

After all, life is all about choices and perhaps, it should be okay for homes to run on two separate visions, the woman’s and that of the man’s? Some say many marriages or homes are breaking today because it is increasingly difficult to find homes running on a common vision and united front; rather, you find the woman pushing her own separate dreams and the man likewise. Building a stable home has become secondary to our careers and dreams and nobody is willing to make the bigger sacrifice, it seems. Perhaps, the greatest losers are the children born in such homes as they become often lost in the mix as daddy and mummy are left exhausted daily after chasing their personal dreams and have little time to spare building a home.

Perhaps, it may be best for couples to strive for a good balance in their personal interests and dreams. Nonetheless, the kind of life we want to live is always our personal choice and whatever we choose in the end, we must be ready to live with the consequences. But we hope and pray our choices turn out right and work for us. For good or bad, society’s wellbeing depends on our choices.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Cover image source: John Ritter |theatlantic.com

Accommodate people’s personal choices 

Tell me why you feel my life choices offend you or are wrong to you?“. This is the question I mostly ask “nosy, know it all people” who enjoy prying into my personal life. And on a countless number of times, I realize they don’t always have any good reason for their disapprovals; it’s just something they themselves are uncomfortable with, their own fears, their self-created rules (dos and don’ts) for life.

In the end, those who are wise enough realize one simple truth: their fears do not have to be my fears; their life choices do not have to be my life choices. Their mission in life is completely different from mine!

The kind of man we will become in the future is entirely based on our life choices. So, sometimes you have to allow us to make our own mistakes and learn from them. We just need to know that we are answerable to our own choices. You need to allow us room to be men; to own up our choices and accept responsibility for the outcome…whether good or bad.

So, as difficult as it is, can we try this new year not to be quick to judge people? When you fear for someone’s personal choices, just pray for them that their choices, no matter how uncomfortable you are with them, turns out good for them.

It’s true we have to learn from other people’s mistakes and take caution every now and then. But it’s also true that what killed my mother is not necessarily what will kill your mother.

Simply, let’s make room to accommodate other people’s life choices. There’s a reason why God made us all different in the same human skin.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2020