Death Note

You see, people die everyday, and people will always die as long as the earth exists.

I don’t care who we choose to blame when someone dies – some blame God and give up on Him. They are of the strong opinion that, He being a good God means He shouldn’t allow people to die. Perhaps, that’s a very limited way of thinking about it.

You see, when God took away the most important person in my life, He didn’t forget to leave me the most important lesson about life and death. That lesson for me is that when He (God) takes away a loved one from us, He makes sure He leaves what’s most important about the person with us – right here in our hearts. And that’s not for us to be bitter and hateful of Him (well, He still gives us the choice to), but to still know He cares enough to give us such a heart and fond memories of them.

Perhaps, a deep mind and strong grounding in Christ is required to fully comprehend God’s ways.

So here’s catch, when I die… hahaha, don’t worry, I will definitely die one day, for it’s only a fool who thinks he will never die; I only ask of you one thing: that you should not be bitter with my God, my maker. Can u do that?
I hope and I pray thee!! 😊

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Bittersweet life…

At the most fundamental level, life is simple and basically made up of both good and bad (evil). The fact remains that everything you’re looking for in life, you’ll find both good and bad. Good and bad kind of coexist in this life and it is simply our job to find a balance. There are good people; there are bad people…and we’ll experience them all, whether we like it or not.

Similarly, there are good investments and there are bad investments. There are good Christians / Christian leaders and there are bad ones too. There are good jobs and there are bad jobs. There are good parents and there are bad parents. There are very great relationships and marriages; and there are equally very bad or toxic ones. Also, and quite importantly, there is good sex and there is bad sex. 😊

Life is superficially simple but most times gets complicated, quite frankly, because of the juggling of all these many good and bad experiences. And the more we grow and experience life in much more details, the more complicated things get. The only sure way to avoid a complicated life is to remain babies. But, grow we must!

Quite frankly, we can’t live life just wishing the bad away; at some point, we will experience bad people, bad situations and stuff that will basically try to suck the very life out of us. Whilst that is actually normal in principle, it is also a make or break situation in reality.

Perhaps, it is only when life has got you into a state of hopelessness, chronic depression, giving in to suicidal thoughts, suffering protracted health conditions or terminal illness, experiencing extreme hardship, or having to deal with loved ones in such state, etc., that you will understand the stark reality of the breaking point situation.

Our outlook on life will be largely influenced by which of the two worlds (good or bad) we mostly come into contact with. Should you find anybody with a bad outlook on life and so lost on hope, check their history of life experiences. And if you are privileged to have experienced a lot of the goodies of life, don’t be too quick to judge or write others off.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Featured image credit: https://instagram.com/curlsaunaturelkids?utm_medium=copy_link

Know Your Bible Well

A little story…😊🙈

Lady: My mother said I should not allow any man to “dis-virgin” me.
Guy: Really?? But, do you want to make it to heaven??
Lady: Yes of course. More than anything!
Guy: Then you must get “dis-virgined” first
Lady: Why???
Guy: Because the Bible emphatically said we should go into the world and multiply and God knows that cannot happen without first being “dis-virgined”
Lady: Really???…Then let’s do it!!

Hmmmm……..Know your Bible well o.

While we live…

Many die before they are appreciated.

Sadly so, will be the story of many still living. One day, when our life’s work here is ended, our place and value in the lives of many will be realized. A void will surely be left as we become nothing, but a fond memory.

Surely, a lot of good will be said also in our tribute, but they will all be words of comfort and appreciation we would have loved to hear while we lived.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Featured Image Credit: https://instagram.com/blackart365?igshid=16s8lm3gppzge

Being Holy and Horny…

The first time I saw the picture below advertising a virtual symposium to discuss a very sensitive topic which many shy away from or should I say “lie to themselves about”, was in April 2017 and I must say I was very impressed.

Maybe I was intrigued because where I come from, everything sexual is demonized and you hardly find people being open about sexual feelings. Just the feelings o, not even the act itself. The very thought of feeling sexual is demonized once you’re unmarried so we have to forcefully disconnect from whatever our bodies naturally feel.

I was married then but the first thoughts that came to my mind that I wrote on Facebook (exact words with funny emojis) and got reminded today were:

“You know your struggle is real but your Pastor told you that feeling is not natural but from the pit of hell. 😂😂
Cast out that Devil, Pray Harder, Take a cold shower! 😜
‘Wanting is not doing, but wanting is still sinful’ 😯😎
‘You can’t be holy and horny at the same time’ 😏😎 Cheers to all the Saints 🙈”

I don’t know why I wrote the above words though, neither do I know exactly why I am republishing here. But maybe it’s just an important conversation to be had with oneself at some point as a youth, or something to just draw attention to.

So, once again, cheers to all the saints never catching mixed feelings of being holy and horny at the same time. 😊 May we all make heaven, regardless. 🙏🏾

Some Saints though…😉

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Making Christian arguments should go beyond just being emotional

A lot of us Christians seem to just talk or argue from emotions when making a defense of our faith, which is good, but sometimes, a little bit of facts will help our arguments. We are obviously in an era when one will have to rely on a great dose of wits even as a Christian, just to win a single soul, or advance a case for Christ. It’s like this generation of unbelievers are so knowledgeable and not just ‘blindly’ stuck in their worldly ways, but they have a lot of ‘convincing facts’ to support the things they do. It’s like a facts-based generation and any Christian who attempts to witness to this generation must aside being sentimental, equally have his/her facts well laid out, such that it makes sense.

It’s like Christianity no longer makes sense to a lot of folks out there…unless we present very convincing facts. However, many a Christian will not even research just a little into the things s/he is for or against…and then falls short when an argument erupts with an unbeliever. Of course, it’s the Holy Spirit that convicts, which is the ultimate truth, but isn’t there a reason why God gave us brains too? I fear if we do not know our Bible so well, and get as much additional knowledge as possible, we will soon lose out and be ineffective in our missions because gone are the days when we were witnessing to “illiterates”.

Our tasks in recent times (in this generation) have become bigger and while we are at it being “emotionally” sentimental and discrediting our exalted faith with total disregard for basic professionalism and Christian ethics (given all the many scandalous acts or antics of our men of God), the world we must win is strategically studying, effectively planning and “falsely and enticingly dividing our word of truth”. It’s not just sentiments that will win us the battle in an era where the tables are turning and paganism (in all its forms and vices) is taking foothold and is being exalted above all that is comprehensible to the Christian mind.

I feel when you study and you know, you have a firmer grounding and cannot be easily swayed, but that’s the Christian’s problem today, because we are only looking to the “pulpit” for the very least Christian knowledge. We would rather spend our time championing our Pastors rather than studying the word for ourselves. Because our focus is only on our Pastors, we have become the kind of Christians that could be easily misled or deceived by our Pastors without even realizing it.

Perhaps, it is high time we move beyond just being over emotional as Christians anytime our faith comes into question. There is a lot at stake and being just emotional may not cut it; it’s important for a Christian to be well studied and seek knowledge so as not to fall short.

Some may rightly argue on the basis of 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 that wits doesn’t bring any man to the kingdom and it is only the Holy Spirit that truly draws a man unto Christ by His own power. The argument is also rightly made that men may begin to trust in their methods for “reaching” and “winning” souls, when in fact, all it takes is God’s own Spirit, working through a man, studied or not.

“and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Those are very good points or arguments to make. However, the thrust of this post is not to promote intellectual cunningness. I still believe though that in our day and time and just like the very learned Paul, our ministries are and will be more effectual when we are well studied, with not only knowledge from the Bible. I do not in anyway want to push the Holy Spirit to the background and assume that it is man himself who wins a soul.

But, I still think Paul was very effective in his ministry also to a large extent because of his high learning…judging from 1 Cor 9:22. I can boldly say he didn’t use illiteracy to witness to the gurus of knowledge, neither did he just go manifesting the Holy Spirit to the learned and just winning them like that. There are accounts of he using intellectual battling (plus the help of the Holy Spirit) in winning “strong learned hearts who try to defy all truths”.

Hence, there’s always a methodology we must use…Jesus had his methodology and didn’t just go manifesting Holy Spirit anyhow to win souls, I guess. Paul had his. Peter had his. Yet still, we must understand the balance, that not all will be won by mere intellectual discourse; some will have to be “only by prayer and fasting” like in Mark 9:29.

Happy Easter! Christ is risen, a victor from the dark domain and lives forever with His saints to reign! May Christ’s death and resurrection bring us wholeness and victory in every area of our lives!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Cover image credit: https://instagram.com/heirloomartco?igshid=yqm8l2oosikm

Owning up to our realities

All there is to life is facing reality. You can’t escape the realities of life; you can only live through it (facing one reality after the other) and hope to grow through it. Nobody’s life is easier; we are all facing realities, but just differently.

Reality is always staring us in the face but we always try to look the other way. Many times, we truly just don’t want to face reality. Perhaps, it’s a much bitter pill to swallow; so, we keep trying to run away from it…forgetting that we may only be plunging ourselves into another reality in a different form.

If you think somebody’s life is rosier than yours, think again. If you think somebody’s relationship/marriage is better, happier and shinier than yours, think again. Accept yours as it is and invest in it. If you think those who are married are better and more fulfilled than you, think again, my dear. If you think those living in cosier houses, environment and own expensive cars are way much better and happier than you, think again. If you think those who are academically more accomplished than you are better than you, spare yourself a moment and think through again.

Perhaps, you also think those who have never experienced a relationship failure (“broken heart”) are better than you? Think again. Do you know what they might have lost in life? Well, maybe you might also be thinking those who married young are better than you who married late? Think again, for in this life, nothing is ever a sure guarantee.

No permutation is ever a sure bet in this life, trust me. We’ve seen young people die in their prime. We’ve seen young marriages collapse. We’ve seen far too many young people becoming widows and widowers. We’ve seen people’s fortunes turn upside down just overnight. We’ve seen and heard all the unthinkable happen! Why then do we place so much confidence in this life and worry ourselves to death, thinking we are perhaps the only ones experiencing the harsh realities of life, and trying to wish it away? You may be surprised that life is fucking everybody up!

It’s important you enjoy your own little life and be thankful for it, for the day you hear people’s full stories, you would wish you were never them. If life could be traded or exchanged, many will regret purchasing other people’s lives. People only show you what they want to show you, and trust me, there’s so much gabbage in people’s lives that you wouldn’t want to buy or even envy, if only you knew the full story. People are fighting hidden battles we are never privileged to see.

Sometimes, it is only when God opens our eyes to see what is going on in other people’s lives that we become thankful and accepting of our own realities. In such moments we realize after all, that our own lives and realities are perhaps better off than we thought or imagined.

We should make the best of our time here on earth for life in itself is not promised (guaranteed). Here today, gone tomorrow. That’s the life we’re truly living. Grace is the only differentiator.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

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Every man wants something in a woman

Know your man, then you’ll know his needs and how you fit in with meeting those needs.

Then, know yourself also, if you really are the one you think he really needs.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Cover Image Credit: https://instagram.com/alfred_darling_art_gallery?igshid=1mxpv9n1rmnv4

The Domestic Violence and Divorce Conundrum…

I have always maintained that we must be alive, first of all, to make our marriages or relationships work. That stance I do not think will ever change.

It is therefore absolutely important that people are encouraged to run from toxic and abusive unions and not waste anytime trying to save it, especially with physical abuse. Chances are that, the more minutes one wastes to stay and save an abusive marriage / relationship from collapse, the more opportunities one loses to even save themselves.

Sometimes, we put undue focus on preserving the sanctity of the marriage institution than safeguarding the sanity of the people in it, who are affected the most from any fallout, and who should at all cost be protected from abuse of all kinds. Jesus loves the individuals just as much as the institution of marriage; does He not? It would be difficult to wrap ones head around any religion or culture that wouldn’t value human life more than doctrines or practices.

Maybe part of the problem is that good people wait forever for bad situations to change, and that’s how they get played by bad people or their abusers who overtime get convinced and emboldened by the victim’s own decision of clinging on to a false hope that things would eventually change. Indeed, some choose to stay because of the kids, but in the end still die at the hands of their abusers, leaving the kids.

And how on earth a large part of society, including some churches still encourages people to stay, fast and pray away abuse in marriage and it will somehow disappear miraculously sometimes beats imagination. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer but I do not believe it is the solution to everything. I can never understand why in our part of the world, every problem we face must be attributed to some fact that we are either not prayerful or praying hard enough, or might have sinned against God.

Maybe we erroneously interpret the “for better for worse” marriage vow to simply mean people should die in their marriage irrespective of whether they are being physically abused or not. It always comes down to the sad conclusions that after all, “God hates divorce“, “what He has put together, no man should put asunder“, “infidelity is the only grounds for divorce“, etc. Then, there are often other statements that suggest that the victims perhaps did not pray enough or sought well the face of God in choosing their partners, hence the situation they find themselves in. Really? Godly people don’t change? We’ve not seen enough examples of very spiritual people who are intoxicated by the Holy Spirit himself acting like beasts? What’s even the guarantee that somebody being spiritual and approved by God today cannot change tomorrow or when it comes to God revealing marriage partners, that kind of revelation no longer comes in part but in full? I shudder to ask because anytime revelations / prophesies come from God, we are always told they come in part and not in full; and that is sometimes used to explain away why some revelations or prophesies fail, or?

Sometimes we just use our own interpretations and the ones we’ve grown up to be taught to limit the wisdom of God. And sometimes, we do it so much to suggest that we the interpreters of the Bible are ourselves wiser than God. We really try so hard to put God in a box, our own little boxes, outside of which He has no room to operate.

Marriage is great but sometimes we make marriage look and feel more like a bait for some, allowing many evil and unthinkable things to happen in the marriage, and people cannot break free as long as the issues does not involve infidelity. We have continuously pushed the rhetorics of infidelity at the expense of things that are sometimes worse than infidelity, such as physical abuse or domestic violence and maltreatment. Perhaps we forget that some people in a marital union are more accepting of infidelity and can live with it but can never stand violence, maltreatment and physical abuse. There are spouses who will never commit infidelity and yet are so wicked and abusive that continuing to live with them is more than signing ones own death warrant.

Apparently, the kind of rhetorics we push, even in our churches, makes God look like someone who approves of every kind of vice in marriage, except infidelity. We are happy as a people for women (who are mostly victims of physical abuse) to continue to hide behind makeups and concealers to paint beautiful faces that hides the scars of abuse, saving face in public and deceiving themselves and younger generations that they are enjoying a “God ordained marriage”.

God must be happy too, right?

As for me, I only tell people one thing: don’t buy anybody’s idea of “God hates divorce” and die in your abusive marriage. God does hate divorce, and neither is divorce a thrill for many right thinking couples because nobody enters happily into marriage to just get up and divorce. Context is very critical in the evaluation of every issue to which a rule or law applies. I have always asked extremists who lean on the rhetorics of “infidelity is the only grounds for divorce and that is final” this simple questions that I never get answers to: To whose benefit is it when people endure physical abuse and die in their marriage? God? Are the victims given a crown for that in Heaven for staying and dying? You think it’s enough to just preach “God hates divorce” and life goes on? Do you know how many Christians are perpetuating so much evil within the walls of marriage but will not even cheat for their spouse to as it may have at least that “one ground” to seek divorce?

You must be just a religious fanatic to think that far worse things do not happen in marriage than infidelity and people feel trapped just because God has only given one ground for divorce in the Bible. Just like any enterprise, if a marriage won’t work after you have put in your everything, including prayers, it just won’t work. Accept that and move on. Run even when it involves physical abuse.

In any case, even though marriage is an institution of God and a spiritual union, aside it being physical, no marriage will ever exist without the willingness of two individuals committing to the journey. Christian marriage is not a union solemnized at gun point or with knife to the throat. Two consenting adults find each other, express love for each other and decide to live together, seek approval of parents, bring the marriage to be covenanted before God in a Church (which then makes it a Christian marriage, as legally, the laws only see the Church as a venue for holding marriage), then a certificate from the state (not church) is given to them and they go on to live as married couples. So, at any point where one partner, irrespective of the circumstance, becomes unwilling to go on, and all effort to solve the issue fails, the union is as good as dead and no amount of not allowing them to go their separate ways because “God hates divorce” can ever make that marriage a happy one. The ability of a marriage to stand is always premised on the two consenting individuals who must be committed at all times, with a great dose of God’s grace to make it work.

In any case, even if the Church does not consent to divorce under any circumstance, except infidelity, have you ever seen married couples dissolve their marriage in Church instead of the law court before? The Church may play a big spiritual role in instituting the marriage and helping it last with godly counseling but when it comes to dissolution of marriage, it is a matter solely for the courts (the body that certified the marriage). Well, if you think that marriage certificates belong to the Churches that issue them, then think again.

Yes, God hates divorce and would be unhappy with couples divorcing not on the ground of infidelity (perhaps they may miss heaven, which I don’t even think is the case as context matters as much as rules), but it is more a matter of faith than legality.

Truly, may God grant grace where it is needed and may all parties to a lasting marriage play their part because the wellbeing of society depends on happy marriages and happy homes. And if we all raise our voices against domestic violence and physical abuse as much as we advocate against divorce, we would all achieve the same thing and we would not have to constantly fall on the “God hates divorce” rhetoric to cower people to stay and die in abusive unions.

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

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