Positive declarations and prayer

Today, I feel led to speak LIFE over you:
I command every dead thing in your life to come back to life.
May your business, finances, marriage, relationship, education, etc witness a glorious facelift.
I declare that your joy is returning and out of your belly shall flow springs of living waters.
I see God writing your story anew and I see the windows of heaven open over you.
You shall not die before your time but you shall live to be celebrated.
I silence every voice of accusation against you.
You are delivered from the grave!
The hand of the devil is lifted off your business, marriage, family, children, etc!
From today onwards, your destiny is secured and God’s pillar of fire is separating your camp and that of your enemies.
No evil shall befall you and no plague shall come near your dwelling.
You are blessed, an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord.
Many shall come to enjoy your fruits, to drink of your waters.
You are victorious in life and nothing can change that;
For He that has promised is faithful and He shall perform it!!!
Amen and Amen!!

It’s a prayer to be claimed…so if you believe it, shout a big AMEN to receive it.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Pressures of young married couples

Young married couples need money to run their life. Once you marry in our part of the world, your responsibilities skyrocket because it’s never about just you and your partner. There’s so much to do and there’s so much external pressures…especially from our families. You don’t have to complain in our part of the world…you just have to cope; it’s called being “responsible“.

We’ve seen many young couples unable to survive because many fail to sit down and plan their monthly expenditure early in their marriage. When you do, you’ll actually realize you have very little to save for your future after trying so hard to satisfy “everybody”.

Everybody is trying to get money out of you in our part of the world and funny enough, they see it as their “right” to have a part in your small money. Family, friends, church, strangers, etc. Some take it as a loan and do not pay back, perhaps thinking your situation is better than theirs. Others think it is their “human right” to demand money from you just because they are your family. The Churches especially, if they have their own way, they will take all your monthly salary and tell you to go depend on God’s supply.

Many churches these days don’t care the source of your money or how their members make a living. It doesn’t matter to them how young folks make their money (genuinely or not), as long as they bring it to Church. The more you give in church, the more you’re liked and the closer you get to (or the better attention you get from) the “man of God”. The more affluent you seem, the more the Church tries to get closer to you or act as if they care about you. Minus the money, you’re on your own. Some Pastors live on Church funds (which of course keeps growing) so it doesn’t matter to them to even think about the kind of financial responsibilities their members carry outside the Church.

Out of over spirituality too, many struggling young couples themselves too don’t mind throwing money at Church even if they can’t feed their family. If their family member is in real need even, they will rather send the money to church than help the family member with it and not have anything (e.g. tithe) to give at Church.

Some churches have no clue at all what work their young members do. In fact, they know close to nothing about the people they call “members”. They care rather more about “members” bringing in money to give tithe, offertory, covenant offering and all the many others they have devised in our part of the world.

We are living in a time where many people are doing very dubious things just to make money and some feel encouraged or rather pushed by our churches and their constant demand for money and so will do just anything to “save face” in church or feel they also belong. Imagine how close you are to the “man of God” or the position you hold in Church and most times that he asks for members to sow “a seed befitting your status” you are unable to give. Some Pastors will even force you to give by calling out your name or putting you on the spot with all manner of tricks.

But the sad truth is that, most times when young married couples or “members” are even in need, family and friends offer help faster than the Churches we give all our lives to with 100% religious devotion. In fact, you even feel more comfortable going to family and friends for help than the Church. The Church mostly becomes the last resort when all avenues have been exhausted. How many churches even help their poor members? Most times, they even take longer to help. It is mostly when “members” need the Church to come through for them that the Church starts acting funny with their “are you a member in good standing” antics, but surprisingly, one’s membership never comes into question when the Church needs your money (tithes,offerings,fund raisings for projects, etc).

The financial pressures are just so much on young married couples…but many times too, we are our own enemies because we try to do too much to please everybody. We must learn to live within our means, always watch our finances and have good financial plans for our life. We must live with the mind that help is never coming from anywhere. It’s sad because I often see young married couples depend on alms just to get by, yet still give all they have without thought to church, family and friends…just to save face and thereafter wallow back into poverty. I don’t know what kind of mentality that is though. 🤔

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Image source: El Carna Studios

Never jump the steps

For many, their marriage story is somewhat like this: they were so consumed by love and unable to control their passions for each other and allowed it to blaze on until “unfortunately”, she got pregnant. Then, to avoid the “Christian shame” usually associated with such, they decided to get married quickly, before any of the “over-religious Christian critics” see signs of it. And then, it is only after the baby comes…perhaps with troubling symptoms, that they begin to hang their passions on the wall and do the all-important background health and family history checks, stuffs that they should have done way back! Not everybody gets so lucky to escape situations of this nature when you allow your erections and horny feelings control and determine your direction.

It is always a very difficult decision breaking things off with one’s lover of God knows how many years when hit with the inevitably ugly situation of not being “medically compatible” perhaps in your genotypes. On the other side of the coin is “family history“. Never underestimate the possibility of the one you met somewhere and fell in love with turning out to be a direct family relation. These stuffs may be rare but real; there are true stories out there of people it has happened to who had to bitterly separate because of incest. Not every culture deals kindly with incest and some have lost lives and beautiful futures. The gods in some of our African families may not be that forgiving as the God up in Heaven.

Avoidable situations of this nature in love relationships are what a good friend of mine describes as “jumping the steps”. Of course, it’s a simple principle in relationships/marriage that, when you jump the steps, you risk a great fall that either leaves perpetual damage or a big scar for the entire life of that union. The exception to the rule is only by God’s divine grace.

So, here’s the thing. When you meet someone or fall in love with someone, still try hard to not let your horny hormones take the better of you into sleeping with each other, worst case having unprotected sex, before making the all-important family background checks and medical compatibility tests. Stop fooling yourselves that love conquers everything…there’s love and there’s stupid love. That love may fly out the door at the first smell of trouble. When in doubt, ask the millions of people all over the world who have been abandoned by the ones they once thought loved them and nothing could ever separate them.

Surely, there’s a reason why God gave us brains to use even when we are deeply and madly in love. Never jump the steps!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

The right attire for Church (God’s presence)

On Sundays, we put a lot of effort into dressing to look our best for God and sometimes it appears the way we dress is what actually makes us accepted by God in His presence. Many have equated not dressing one’s best when going into God’s presence to having total disrespect for God because one wouldn’t dress just anyhow to meet a renowned worldly personality, how much more God. Most churches even put more emphasis on our looks before God on Sunday mornings than how receptive our hearts should be for God’s word coming into Church. Perhaps a clean look equals a clean heart for God.

There are rules for dressing in some churches

Here’s a little story I once read years ago (can’t remember the source) and that changed my perspective on what exactly the right attire (or attitude) should be for Church:

One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out Bible. The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories.

As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it. As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. “Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship.” The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.

The next Sunday, he showed back up for the service wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again, he was completely shunned and ignored. The preacher approached the man and said, “I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church.” “I did,” replied the old cowboy. “If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshiping in here?” asked the preacher.

“Well, sir, God told me that He didn’t have a clue what I should wear. He said He’d never been in here before.”

Well, I don’t know what you make of this story but it sure “touched my life” and perspective forever. Hope it does same for you. Do share your thoughts with us.

(PS: This may be a very sensitive topic for some. I do hope readers don’t take things out of context. The goal is not to condemn or approve of church rules on dressing).

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Believe in the concept of YOU

We’re all immeasurably awesome…just the way we are. Believe in yourself. Believe in the concept of you; not the concept of others.

People will always want to force their concepts on you, telling you at every turn the “acceptable way” of living your own life. They have made themselves “experts” in people’s personal lives and personal choices.
What they don’t like, they want you not to like. What they are not comfortable doing they want you to accept as the normal or acceptable way of doing things.

But always be reminded God never asked their permission before bringing you to this world; and their permission or validation is not needed for anything you do. It’s God’s validation that matters at the end of the day. So, stick to God and keep doing you…as long as you’re comfortable with YOU.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Sharing about our lives

Some people believe in not sharing anything about their life with others. Well, sometimes you never learn any new thing doing that and you never get to be of help or be a mentor to anyone by doing that.

As we share part of our lives with others, we impart knowledge, life experiences, and we learn both ways. A word from someone can reorient your life, make you do some re-evaluation and put you back in line with your goals.

But that does not also mean you should welcome or entertain every voice, else you get confused because people always have something they want to say and are just looking for who to say it to. You need to know what you want and work with that.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

On secular leadership…

How do I know or find a good leader?

Good leaders are hard to find! They are also hard to gather into a team and they are also hard to keep cos they are always thinking what to do next and where to go next and where to make the next big impact. They don’t have time to listen to everybody and every opinion.

Non-leaders are everywhere; they are all over the place making noise! You can always find those and even if they don’t understand your dream/vision, they will keep making noise about it as if they know.

Don’t worry, in your personal space, you have a lot of non-leaders as friends…especially those friends who will never stay put but want to hang around you always…who can never spend time with themselves with the excuse of always being lonely or feeling bored…those friends who can never tell you to your face that even though we love you, we will criticize you when you are clearly in the wrong. Those are just some of the traits.

Never make them leaders of that company you want to build because what will make that company stand is not people with unwavering or religious allegiance to your “personality” but people who can be very objective and sincere to you no matter the odds. You don’t need people who will sing your praises every time…that’s very dangerous.

Of most priority to me, and what I have realized in recent days is to never make a person (be it friend or family) who cannot draw the line between Christian Leadership and Secular Leadership as a leader of the company I want to build. Such people always muddy the waters every morning, noon and night with religion…what doesn’t concern religion too will be “married” with religion. Even in the business world, anybody whose views differ from their entrenched religiosity will be tagged “son of the devil”. That’s just the reality in our part of the world that stifles development.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Realities of life

When I was very young, I had a favorite “motivational” song. I could sing it all day. I didn’t know who owned the song but it has stayed with me ever since.

It was the best perspective I had on the realities of life even before I began experiencing much of it as an adult myself.

The lyrics of the song goes like:

“WHEN I WAS POOR, NOBODY CARED FOR ME. WHEN I WAS NOTHING, NO ONE KNEW MY WAY. THEY SAID I WAS UGLY, TOO UGLY TO BE LOVED. THEY SAID I WAS TOO POOR, TOO POOR TO BE A FRIEND. BUT NOW THAT I’M RICH, EVERYBODY WANTS ME. NOW THAT I’M RICH, ALL THE GIRLS COME TO ME. IT’S SO EASY TO SEE, IT’S MY MONEY THEY LOVE. IT’S MY MONEY THEY WANT. LOOKING FOR A FRIEND AND A LOVER FOR LIFE, LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO WILL LOVE ME FOR REAL; IN THIS CRAZY WORLD, NOBODY CARES FOR ME”

We all have moments like that when we come to people and they just don’t want anything to do with us. They mock us, treat us like dirt or nonentities just because of our present circumstances. They feel “better” than us so they don’t want to be seen with us.

But we know, one day God will bless our hustle and we too will become somebody they will wish they had never pushed away. Thankfully, only God knows a man’s future from his today and only God decides who wins or loses in the end, not our fellow human beings.

The beautiful thing about circumstances is that they do change!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

MAKE THE DEVIL TAKE HIS BAGS

When you get out of a bad relationship because it was bad but you are still resentful, and angry….you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you say “I forgive you” but you can’t seem to let it go and have peace with that person…you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you break off your relationship with that hurtful and abusive person but you are still suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet…you let the devil leave his bags!!

When you decide to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable family environment, yet you still believe you are unworthy of love from others and so refuse to get attached to anyone…you let the devil leave his bags!!

So the next time you put the devil out, MAKE SURE HE TAKES HIS BAGS TOO!!!!!

Dear God…

Dear God,
Today you blessed me with just little when I was expecting much.
And because I had hoped and trusted You for a fat blessing,
I complained more than I should have thanked you.
I complained because I compared my blessings with that of others.
And I couldn’t understand why you blessed them more than I.
And I couldn’t stop asking the usual “why, why” questions,
And making little jokes out of the situation just to make me feel good.
Now I realized I have behaved childishly.
So teach me as I onward bound…
To accept even the least of your blessings with the greatest of gratitude!!
Sorry Lord…and thank you!
For always being THE BEST!!!