So much hurt; too afraid to hope again

​IT’S NOT LOVE…when it trifles with your soft heart and piece by piece tears it apart and having won dumps you in a grave of pain, scarring your life with grief and bequeathing to you debts of regret!

Many people today are afraid to hope because they have been hurt so much in life. 

They have had so many disappointments and so many relationship and marital breakups that they don’t think they can face the pain of another. They are left with emotional scars and baggage from past failed relationships or marriages that has wrecked their trust and skyrocketed their fears. 

They have lost all their beautiful smiles, joys, trust, confidence…and the Devil has taken advantage to set up in them negative thoughts, lifestyles and false realities.

LORD WE NEED YOU TO SHOW YOURSELF MIGHTY IN SUCH LIVES. RESTORE THEIR HOPE AND LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE ABLE TO TURN THINGS AROUND! 

Help them let go of the past and trust in Your promise of a better future. Help them realize that in Isaiah 43:19, You told Your people not to dwell on the past but to recognize that You’re doing something new. 

Constantly remind them of the truth found in Psalm 147:3, that you God heals the broken.

Just help them…someway, somehow! 

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TODAY’S CHURCHES

Today’s churches are not content with small membership that they can be sure are true practicing Christians. They are not interested in small branches either. Church growth targets are more about good financial standing than about depopulating hell and discipleship. High church attendance equals growth in offertory and that’s where the story ends.

Church growth targets are more tailored to either profit-making projects or merely having the biggest auditorium (membership), usually under the guise of the word of God reaching many. Need we talk about the expensive popularity-influenced programme advertisements, hyped conferences and expensive guest speakers and “ministers”? Oh, big edifices are good especially because it would attract rich and high class people to the Church. Don’t we know rich people are attracted to the appearance of church buildings and repelled by sloppy appearances and concerned about where their expensive cars get parked; and of course not in the parking lot of a Church with cheap edifice/architecture?

Stationary pastors who no longer go out to the field, the hinterlands to propagate the gospel but are content with once-a-year evangelism programmes that never get to rural areas. Going to and setting up churches in rural areas is not lucrative enough. Of course that would defeat the business model operation of the Church. Right? Pastors no longer honour invitations to rural Churches to go and preach because there’s no financial incentive.

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Sunday praise and worship sessions so short and so not as uplifting compared to the spirit-filled experience you have playing same songs or listening to them on radio in your closet. Choirs interested in setting aside other times aside normal Sunday services for high cost worship/praise programmes 12 times in a year to entertain themselves (very little outside folks or sinners attending), under the guise of it serving as a means of evangelism.

Funny church membership rules linked closely to financial obligations under the guise of the church burying members when they die, or attending/officiating their celebrations, etc. Membership never comes into question during the collection of the many offerings they have instituted like Sunday/Mid-week offertories, special offerings, tithes, appeal for funds, “covenant offerings”, “first fruit offerings”, thanksgiving offerings, “annual harvest contributions”, church building offerings, Pastor’s appreciation offerings, Pastor’s car offerings, pastor’s birthday offerings, “all night service offerings”, “deliverance service offerings”, etc but only when a “member” who has fulfilled all those responsibilities dies or falls into some category of need. Then the Church says “where is your membership card and record of contributions?” Then they say “yes, we agree he’s been attending this Church for so long but because he’s not a “card-bearing” member, we are not obligated to do one, two and three”.

When the Pastor is so rich with material things but the members lack both material and spiritual things then something must be wrong? When after all those contributions or offertories the monies end up in buying private planes and jets to fly high in luxury, buying and riding exotic cars and living in expensive mansions when members live in abject poverty, then something must be wrong? When the monies are even used to build universities that are then priced so high members children themselves cannot afford; when the Pastor now preaches more motivational messages than salvation messages and more about how to make it in this life than how to make it to Heaven, must we start getting worried??

Well I don’t know. But I guess I could be right to say that there is an increasing perception among Church members that the Church is increasingly becoming unconcerned about their lives in the public sphere and only interested in their monies. Whatever they go through to make ends meet is no business of the Church but what they must give to the Church is what’s important to the Church. After all, the Pastor will find a way to tell you God will always provide even when you give all your money to Him every month and go home empty. And you must give because all the money you have belongs to God.

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Some say Churches now only command compulsory financial obligations and not willful giving. Some say the church is now so interested in money and profits that it’s a shame they even request two offertories at church wedding ceremonies of their own “members” and later give them some very meager amount as the church’s own donation because they are not “welfare contributors”. As if that is not “shameful” enough, the new trend is Churches collecting two offertories at funerals! Two offertories: one for the Church, one for the bereaved family. So funeral grounds are also now money making grounds for the Church?

Some say they can bet their lives that there can never be a “no offertory Sunday” ever in their Church and wonder if money making and profiting is not increasingly being the focus of the church, then why can’t that happen.

Some bemoan the “psychological methods” used by Pastors or Churches in extorting from members instead of biblical willful giving and the imposition of levies on members like in secular associations/organizations.

Some say they understand the Church has fiscal responsibilities but there’s a difference between the Church having fiscal responsibilities and the Church operating a business model and thus if we try to operate the Church as a business, we will find ourselves at odds with God’s design.

Again some have observed that the new trend is to find Pastors now preaching that complaining about giving to God (they mean themselves or the church they mismanage) or not giving to God so much that you feel it cost you like David did is a sin/unfaithfulness.

What’s true however (and perhaps the Pastor cares less about) is that, when people feel like they are only being used for their finances, they will eventually leave the Church. Trust me; it will not be hard to find that most highly successful (rich) church members share the sentiment that the only value their Pastors seem to place on them is the fact that their tithe pumps so much money into the Church or their pockets. There’s a reason why most billionaires either don’t go to Church or choose to give their tithes to foundations or non-profit charities they have created and the reason is simply the financial mismanagement of the tithe/monies by the Church, and the lack of accountability thereof. They wonder why they give millions to the Church yet the “food they have put in God’s storehouse” never feeds the poor, needy and deprived in the same Church they give to. They wonder why the Church will rather focus on building big edifices and holding wasteful programmes with the money and not feed the poor and needy in the Church instead.

What’s the calling of the Church again? I keep forgetting because all I keep seeing is Churches running like corporate businesses.

Well, I guess the line between church and business is too thin that it gets so confusingly messy! Whatever the case is, watch out for manipulative Churches and Pastors and don’t let the Church decide your destiny. The Church cannot take you to Heaven; only Christ will.

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My simple rule is: Don’t do Church; Do Christ!

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

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Marrying artificial beauties 

The story is told of a man who married a very pretty lady only for her to give birth to the ugliest child he has even seen with no semblance to either of them. The man felt the baby might belong to another man and the woman also swore to never being with another man. The man therefore launched an investigation with the aim of seeking a divorce. 
In the end, his investigation proved to which the woman agreed, that she was born looking ugly but whilst growing up, she signed up for a series of plastic surgeries to become the ravishing beauty that she now is. She admitted having kept this a secret. She didn’t think she ever needed to tell him before marrying him and since he also never asked if her beauty is “naturally acquired from birth” or is a product of artificial modifications, why worry? 

But now, genetics doesn’t lie so her true self has resurfaced in her baby. How sweet or how sad! 😂
It’s funny that our dear ladies of today are deceiving themselves with all these artificial beautification, self enhancement and skin bleaching craze…forgetting their real selves will show up in their unborn seeds. 😂 

Bleach all you want…You will get a man to marry your fair skin and transformed face and figure, but the fruit of your womb can never be bleached or transformed inside there. At least not at a cost you can bear at the moment. 😜 
My only fear is that a time is coming when many men will marry disguised beasts. 🙈 

Perhaps there is just so much insecurity growing among our women. We wish women are not insecure about their unique physiques and God-given beauties. Right there…I just saw a quote: 

“If it’s not fixed by the One who made it, it probably won’t work” 

All the best to us as we brace up for the future unknowns. 
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Parenting in the age of gender revolution and gender confusion 

​”The first and second surgeries to remove [her] testicles and penis were successful. The third surgery to transplant ovaries into her body led to serious complications. And [her] last surgery to transplant a uterus, so that the transgender woman might be able to have children, ultimately killed her”

The trans thing is growing at a fast rate and becoming very unsettling. It’s receiving so much push and publicity at a very discomforting level. Society in the name of Modernity and Human Rights is increasingly being accommodating of things that clearly should be “unacceptable”. We now have a growing number of people identifying as:

  • Homosexuals
  • Transgender people
  • Transracial people
  • Transabled people 
  • Trans-aged people 
  • Trans-species people

What’s the next big thing and where does this end?? 

 
OK, so I watched a movie recently and a guy brought a lady home and midway into the kissing and all, he realized the lady was actually “hard” down there.  You can imagine the shock and emotional trauma on his face. He told his friend who then laughed at him that per the episode described, he’s TECHNICALLY A GAY now 😂😂 

Then recently a guy was being tried in court for stabbing and killing a woman he slept with. Apparently two minutes after the sex, the woman told him she was actually born male. And the guys defense in court? He said he’s sorry but he absolutely lost it! And why wouldn’t he? 😂😂

This things are real? Wow! 

I sometimes think every responsible parent and yet to be parents must begin to shiver at the thought of the kind of society their children are going to be raised in and the overwhelming work of damage control they would need to do to keep their children sane. Imagine your little girl asking you if she can identify as a boy? 

We have a lot of work to do in teaching our children all the good stuff about their sexuality and how they should accept and embrace their God-given sexualities. And the best ways they can work through anything they seem not to like about themselves. 

And we may have to do it way earlier before they stumble on all the garbage out there. The church will not do it for us and when we wait too long, the schools and this technologically advanced age may corrupt them way beyond repair before we even begin thinking of doing damage control. 

A lady friend of ours recently said by age four (4) she will begin to give her kids thorough but well-thought-out sex education because you wait too long and you will be surprised what your kids already know. At first my wife and I laughed at the idea of them being too young but on a second thought, it’s a very cool idea. We just have to make sure all the information churned out are very age-appropriate. And surely, with all that is going on in the world, sex education for kids must surely include gender confusion education

Parents have a lot of work to do in shaping their kids’ minds before they get polluted by all that is out. 

I envisage the parenting battle is going to be harder than before in this new age of sexual revolution. And I believe would-be couples and parents must not close their eyes on starting discussions along these lines. 

Like I always say, it’s better to know what your partner thinks about something (a habit, a societal ill, etc.) before you marry them than to wait until marriage to discover. For instance, you don’t assume your partner wants kids and would want to raise them a certain way only to marry and realize he/she does not even want them in the first place or would want to raise them that way.  

And I hope by telling my children some day that I want them to be everything or whatever they want to become in life, they do not assume the impression or freedom to want to become anything trans. If they try I will very sternly tell them to look inside their pants and tell me what they see. 😂😂

But seriously, God forbid it! But I hope He also grants us wisdom in dealing with any such eventualities should they occur, because the world as we see it now, we must be prepared and keep an open mind for just anything. 
God help us all! 😂 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 


(PS: Share your thoughts and parenting goals with us) 

Nudity abounds in a society of lost morals

These pictures were circulated recently on social media and I’m like “why”? Why would my wife expose herself stark naked to the whole world? What will be the motivationMoney? Or you have to do it before people can be taught to appreciate their own bodies? What is posing nude for charity…what kind of charity is that? Sometimes I don’t get the message…except it is to lure people into unholy passions or for worldly fame. 

South African celebrity’s social media photo posing nude for charity

And then again I said to myself, “possibly they are not married because I can’t seem to wonder if any responsible married woman will do that just for the sake of trying to educate a section of society”. Or possibly, times have changed and we must just learn to cope with it? 😟

Photo posted on social media by Ghanaian actress

I know by including these pictures in my post, some will say I am contributing to it’s spread and indirectly helping their agenda. That’s a very fair point, I admit, but I feel obliged to so that my readers can really appreciate (or picture) what this post is addressing. So, my apologies to those who are offended by them. I am too, but had to do this last post on this issue. 

Seriously, the nudist culture (or nudism) is growing at a very fast pace and not only is it becoming a normal trend but it is being embraced or championed by even the very elite of society. I don’t have a problem with nakedness because I see myself and my wife naked every day. 😂 But, if exposing oneself stark naked on the cover of magazines and social media platforms is the only best way a dignified woman can see her beauty or embrace her sexuality or better appreciate her feminine figure, or even do some charitable work for society, then something fundamental is wrong somewhere. 

Yes, something perhaps is seriously going wrong in the minds of nudists. But maybe it’s not really their fault. Maybe it’s a human right movement problem…and the increasing pressure to accept just everything and anything as a person’s fundamental human right. Maybe it’s the mainstream media’s fault or society’s fault. When you’re well clothed, the media says nothing, not even the word “descent” is used to describe you. But when you’re nude, they say “hot and sexy body“, “gorgeous looks“, I mean all these nice descriptors. Who wouldn’t feel encouraged with these phrases? Who wouldn’t want to “break the internet” with some nudes since that’s all it is: a challenge, or competition, or a simple case of women empowerment or human rights/freedom, and nothing about questionable morals. 

With ideologies like this being pushed, what then is right and what then is wrong?

But reality is that, every man knows how a feminine figure looks like and there’s nothing else you can teach us when you expose yourselves like that, other than causing a surge in our sexual appetites and lusts. Or are men denying that the female figure is beautiful that’s why you are giving us “lessons” on appreciating the female figure through the naked displays? And for the men who do that too, are women in denial of the beauty of the male figure? 

The human body is a beautiful work of art, we know. Our stark naked portraits are gorgeous, we admit, but why not we hang them in your bedrooms? We don’t have to invite others to admire our nakedness or pay for it…I guess that’s what prostitutes do? So, how different are you then from a prostitute when you do that? Yet you feel insulted when per chance folks choose to drop the fact that you’re educated and decide to rather call you a prostitute 😂. You call that hate speech and not embracing one’s sexuality? 

How different is a learned or scholarly person who is a nudist by choice or for monetary gain from a prostitute? Isn’t there a thin line between those two? 

How can marriages and the moral fibre of society last when our young folks emulate these unmarried celebrity figures and soak in their lifestyles? Aren’t we already seeing signs of a breaking society with the rate at which our young girls who should be in school focusing on their studies are busy jumping on the nudity bandwagon and taking nude pictures of themselves, recording sex videos and sharing on social media as well as stripping on Facebook live?

Sadly, since society practically “hails” the educated adults doing it, we’re left with very little moral grounds to condemn the young ones who learn the same wrongs from the same adults they see as “role models”. When an adult who is supposed to know better does something wrong and is being praised for it and left justified, what lessons are there for the young ones not to thread the same paths? 

Nevertheless, the internet they say does not forget. One day your sons or daughters will grow and be mocked in school/community by their colleagues that their mother is a prostitute or they have their mother’s nude pictures or masturbate to their mother’s nude sexy pictures. I hope you conscientize or prepare their minds for that looming future and pray suicide does not become their option when they can’t overcome the shame of facing you in the face to report their abuses to you. 

Modesty is Godly, beautiful and rewarding

That being said, this one fact remains true: Responsible men don’t marry makeup or nakedness, they marry destiny. Let your body, breasts or vagina be the most beautiful on display on earth, a man will outgrow it. The only future or destiny he’ll see with you is a potential porn star in waiting. Perhaps today it means nothing, but his reputation in future will decide your place in his life. Where you put your self worth is how you will be valued and how lasting that value will be. 

God save His people! And I hope this blesses somebody?
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” – 1 John 1:5‭-‬6 KJV

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” – 1 John 3:10 KJV

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Motherhood: the most valuable profession 

A girl didn’t want to become like her mother when she grows up because all she does is cook, cook, cook and clean, clean, clean. She wanted to become the CEO of her own company and have people serve her, and her Dad was pleased with her ambitions.


Her mother was sad hearing that from her daughter and all the more sad at her husband for encouraging their daughter to look mean on her duty as a wife and mother. 

So, she gave up her duties for a few days and her daughter wrote something beautiful in the end that touched her heart. Her daughter had a change of mindset. 

She wants to become like her mum when she grows up

The lesson I picked? 

Value motherhood. And teach your daughters how to become mothers first because everything else comes down to that (Don’t read it wrong). 

Cheers! 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

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.

 

 

The soul mate race…

No matter how many times you fail in life or in a competition the rules will never change for you…it remains the same. Same applies to relationships and the race to winning a soul mate and life companion. It wouldn’t matter how many heartbreaks or disappointments you experienced in your search, the rules and people will not change for you…you still got to try over and over again. The work lies with you, not with them. You can sit and lament all you want, blame a million people if you like…but that will not change your status. If you still want it, then you got to go for it again and again…the Philippians 3:13 style (forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead).

 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

 

​IN TIMES OF NEED…

I was in need.
But instead of helping me

I helped you. 

I did because I realized 

Your need was greater than mine.

But did that erase my own needs?

No, it delayed my own needs being met. 

It’s called sacrifice, fellow feeling.

Being Christian, maybe.  

But after your needs got met

You forgot to “help me help me”.

Somehow you forgot that sometimes 

Unmet needs produce more needs.

So eventually my needs did increase. 

Maybe I did mention my needs at a point.

Maybe I never did.

But somehow I thought you will just know

One good turn deserves another.

Maybe I thought you knew

How unwise it is not to return a help.

I thought you knew

Not keeping to a promise creates unsavoury reputation 

And breaks the beautiful chain 

Of being a blessing to others.

Maybe I got it all wrong.

Maybe I should have just rather helped me. 

But by not helping me help me, 

You have now created in me

A fear of helping others. 

But no, others we must continue to help

Because it’s our Christian duty to.

And our defaulters we must forgive.
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2016

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Pray 

​I came to believe in prayer…

Not because a pastor told me…

But because I grew up seeing my mama many times on her knees…

And I remember the many times when her bed was my hospital…

I needed no other evidence…just to know there is power in prayer!!

Thank You Mama!!

I thought of you today…you are dearly missed.