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.

Marital rape and abuse?

A woman comes into a police station and tells the officer at the front desk that she wants to report that her husband is committing domestic violence against her, including committing marital rape against her.

An officer takes her into a room to begin interviewing her.

Officer: “Mam please describe to me incidents of marital rape and other types of domestic abuse that your husband has committed against you.”

Wife: “Well officer it all started 5 years ago after we got married. I turned him down when he asked for sex and he started telling me that because we had a Christian marriage, he and I both had a right to have sex with one another, and except for short mutually agreed upon times for when we’re sick or otherwise unable to, we ought not to turn down one another”.

Officer: “Did he force himself on you that night?”

Wife: “No – he just walked away, but I felt intimidated by the fact that he believed it was a sin for couples to deny each other, I felt pressure for the next time he wanted to have sex”.

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Officer: “Ok – so tell me more.”

Wife: “I decided I needed to set my husband straight about sex. I believe every person’s body is their own and no one has a right to coerce or convince someone to have sex when they are not in the mood, not even in marriage. I shared this truth that all of us as enlightened people should accept now in modern society. I told him it is NEVER selfish for me not to want to have sex for any reason, but it is ALWAYS selfish for him to try and convince me to have sex when I am not in the mood.

I told him that I would no longer feel pressured to have sex with him, and that really sex is just a small part of marriage. I told him I believed sex in marriage was not a “right”, but a privilege and that it should only happen when BOTH he and I were in the mood because of how happy and in love we were with each other. In fact, I even told him that just because I don’t want to have sex that often, that does not mean I don’t love him, I just don’t need it that often. I said we ought to be able to enjoy our marriage with one another, without having to need sex all the time – it should happen on special occasions when we are both in the mood.”

Officer: “So how did he respond to that?”

Wife: “He asked me if he was doing something wrong in the bedroom. He asked me if he could help to put me in the mood more often. I told him it had nothing to do with anything wrong he was doing, it was just the fact that I don’t need sex that often, and he ought to respect that and accept that. He was not happy with my view on sex and said my belief was a sin according to our mutually held belief in the Bible as God’s Word. I thought overtime he would overcome his beliefs, and realize that he could take care of himself if he needed it and just be grateful for the times when I was in the mood and wanted to have sex.”

Officer: “Mam but when did he commit marital rape against you?”

Wife: “Well there were many times, that I was not in the mood, and I said No.”

Officer: “So are these the times that he forced himself on you?”

Wife: “No he did not force himself on me, but he coerced me into having sex with him.”

Officer: “How did he coerce you?”

Wife: “Well he told me that I was being selfish, and that I was sinning against God and him by denying his sexual needs. He told me if I continued denying him that we would need to go to a Christian counselor – so I gave in many times and let him have sex with me when I was not in the mood”.

Officer: “So you gave consent? Or did her force you?”

Wife: “Well he did not physically force himself, but I felt pressured because he was going to have us go to a counselor, so I just gave in and let him. But that was still rape right?”

Officer: “Uh, no mam that was not rape. Your allowing him to have sex with you when you were not in the mood because you did not want to go to a counselor was not rape. You made a decision, you decided you would rather have sex with him than go to a counselor, you gave consent.”

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Wife: “Ok but later he did even more things to coerce me…”

Officer: “What things did he do?”

Wife: “He eventually got me to go to a Christian counselor, and I felt really pressured by that counselor that I had to have sex with my husband more, and that I needed to let him try to put me in the mood even when I was not – I could not believe it –who did this counselor think he was? I told that counselor he was full of garbage.”

Officer: “Then what happened?”

Wife: “Then my husband asked me after the counseling appointment if I really loved him and cared about our marriage – and I told him “Of course I do! I love our life together – we just disagree about sex”. I told him if he could just accept my views of sex our marriage would be perfect, he was a good man and I enjoyed going places with him and doing things with him. This was now two years into our marriage and we had an infant son, and my husband was such great father to our son. For some reason that was not good enough for him, he thought we needed more sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Ok did he come to accept your view of sex?”

Wife: “No – he actually setup an appointment with the Pastor of our church and his wife! I went even though I did not want to, and our Pastor actually told me I was sinning against my husband by denying him! The nerve! It’s my body, and no one, not my Pastor, not my husband is going to tell me otherwise.”

Officer: “Mam but how did your husband commit domestic violence against you? Or when did he rape you?”

Wife: “Well after the appointment with the Pastor all of a sudden he canceled with the babysitter and stopped taking me on our weekly dates. I asked him why and he said it was because I was “sinning against him and our marriage by my willful sexual denial” wasn’t that domestic abuse? After all he was using our date night to get me to admit I was wrong about sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to take you on dates.”

Wife: “But wait – there is more. We had a new kitchen remodel that we were ready to sign papers on and he called and canceled the meeting to sign the papers to get the work started. He said the kitchen we had while outdated, was still functional and he was not comfortable with spending the money to do it. We were only cleared to get the work done based on his income, and I don’t make enough to do it on my income alone.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to get your kitchen updated.”

Wife: “But wait you need to hear this. He used to go clean out my car every weekend. I would pick a room each weekend for him to dust and clean, and now he stopped doing that. He used to give me back rubs at least once or twice a week. Now he stopped doing that too – he can’t do that right? This is emotional abuse! This is manipulation right? He says it is “discipline” to bring me to understand God’s view of sex in marriage.

Officer: “Well mam maybe he is manipulating you or maybe he just does not want to do these things for you anymore. Either way, none of this so far that you have told me is illegal, you might not like it, I might not like it, but it is not illegal.”

Wife: “What do you mean not illegal? The law says he can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do?”

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Officer: “Mam, from everything you have told me, you have done whatever you did by your own choice. You might have done it because you wanted to avoid stress, or going to a counselor, or you just did not feel like arguing.”

Wife: “But there is still one more horrible thing I have not told you – my husband changed his auto deposit of his paycheck so it no longer goes in our joint checking account, he has his own account now. He goes grocery shopping for us each week now. I used to do the grocery shopping. He gave me the credit cards that were in my name for me to pay out of my own paychecks. I work too, but I don’t make nearly as much money as my husband. I used to be able to go anywhere I wanted and spend what I wanted, but now I have no spending money. That is financial abuse right? He can’t do that right?”

Officer: “Mam is he providing food, shelter and clothing for you and your child? Is he holding you in your home against your will?”

Wife: “Well yes he is providing those things for me and my son, and no he is not holding me against my will. He makes sure my car is fully fueled every week. He gives me some cash for if I need some things during the day when he is at work. But I used to have full access to all our money in our joint bank account and I was able to do what I wanted with our money, and now he took that from me – he can’t do that”.

Officer: “Mam – why are you still with this man? You clearly don’t see marriage the same way he does and it sounds like he is either trying to teach you something or he is getting ready to divorce you by separating his money into another account. He may have even had an attorney advise him to do that with his paychecks. If you get with a divorce attorney, your attorney can get a “status quo” order, which then requires your husband not to spend any sums of money without clearing it with the court and your attorney. The court can order that he has to provide you with a certain dollar amount each week that you can put in your own account and spend as you want as you go through the divorce process and they can order him to continue paying all the household expenses.”

Wife: “Divorce process! I just want him to stop what he is doing and let us go back to our old life. I love him and the life we have. I don’t want to have joint custody of our son, I don’t want to see my son every other week, I want to see him every day! We would have to sell our home, and even if I could keep it in the divorce I would have no way to make the payments even with child support and alimony from him. I don’t want half my life, I want all my life – the way it was! Can’t you or another police officer tell my husband to stop doing these things and we can still stay married? Can we have a judge order him to take me on dates, upgrade the kitchen, put his money back in our joint account and stop asking me for sex? My girlfriends at work told me what he is doing is domestic abuse and is illegal – that means you can stop him right and force him to stop doing all this right?”

Officer: “Um- no sorry no one can do that for you. I don’t mean to get in your personal affairs mam, but it sounds like you have quite the dilemma, there is an old saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. You have to make a choice, either work out the sexual issues with your husband and make your marriage work, or divorce him and try and find a man who believes as you do, that whoever wants sex the least determines how often a married couple has sex.”

© The frustrated feminist wife. Biblicalgenderroles.com (2015)

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

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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IS THY LOVE JUST A FEELING OR A CHOICE?

“what you feel for someone is only about you, but it is the things you chose to do for the one you love as a result of what you feel that counts”

Everything Marriage

Many see love as merely a feeling; others as merely a choice.

Love merely as a FEELING can best be described as having no patience to wait; it must be satisfied with its objects instantly. It is more sensual and selfish and wrapped up in immediacy.

Love as a CHOICE rises above feelings and the present to the unseen and the future. Though seemingly above feelings, it is not necessarily opposed to it; it works through it and makes it subordinate to its influence and end. It is more sacrificial and works “in spite of”.

On the grounds of EASE and INDULGENCE and PRESENT INTEREST, love as a feeling takes upper hand over love as a choice; but it is however ephemeral or short-lived. Also when reason cannot comprehend and see things God’s way, it is love as merely a feeling that triumphs or rules.

However, when the soul or…

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Birthday Musings…🎊 

Somehow, the night before every birthday of mine as it has been for a long time now, I am unable to get a good night sleep. And it’s been a blessing somehow because right about midnight I begin to pray silently and thank God for my life and ask for divine blessings to last another year or a lifetime. I do a bit of reflection on my life and many times I shed a few “happy tears” when it dawns on me (and it always does), that had it not been God always on my side, ……. Because when I remember the “stories of my birth” as Mum of blessed memory used to say to me, I know I wouldn’t have been alive to be celebrating birthdays. 

OK. So I’m “29 on 29”. That means I’m 29 years on 29th of my birth month. Funny as it is, somehow that felt special for me because it will not come again! And although I’m not a fan of birthdays like the way people always “mean” their birthdays such that they can even die should that day never come, I couldn’t help but post this thoughts…especially when I couldn’t even get any sleep. Neither I’m I a fan of revealing my “very young age” but “how for do now”? 

But I can’t believe I’m growing yet still not hitting 30! Somehow I’ve a weird perception that once you hit 30, you hit the “Boss Age” phase of your life. Lol. I know it can be funny and I don’t even know where in the world I got that idea from. It’s as weird as the fact that yesterday evening when I got back from work, I was fooling with my wife at every twist and turn with the retort “hey you, have you been 30 before?” to which she will respond “but you kora, are you 30?” 😂 😂 

Well, thing is at 30 and upwards, I feel you must start living like a Boss! Beginning from 30, you must begin to feel a deep sense of maturity and responsibility in a way you have never felt before. That’s not to demean or discredit the twenties and teen years. We so love being in the twenties and feeling so young and with so much energy and zest for life and wanting to experience everything. But at 30 and beyond you can’t afford to not feel the sense of urgency and maturity to begin to order your steps aright in much better ways than you did in your twenties or earlier years. 

It’s so exciting to watch oneself grow from the little toddlers we were in what seems like just few years ago and becoming very responsible adults with a serious sense of duty and outlook on life.

 As we grow, we begin to see life differently, in a whole new dimension and you begin to attach a new meaning to life. You begin to experience more of life and that shapes you better. That’s why no matter how exciting my twenties have been and with so many fond memories, I can’t wait to leave that age bracket. And I have quite a long time to wait; a whole year before I embrace my thirties, my “Boss Age” period. 

I have so much to be grateful to God for, so much I have achieved in this young life, so much I am proud of and not regretted. 

I’ve seen pain, I’ve seen sorrow; I’ve known hardship, I’ve known want. I’ve fought hard many times to stay strong and silenced the urge to quit in the face of adversity and great loss. I’ve spent myself on others and watched them in silence break my heart and act ungrateful; I’ve watched loved ones turn their back on me. I’ve experienced rejection first hand and from quarters I least expected; I’ve had people make me feel no longer accepted and worthless and I’ve also had people standing by and with me, seeing my mess sometimes and overlooking it. I’ve witnessed a broken and shattered family and God’s transforming power; I’ve seen God work miracles when we give Him the wheels and let things work out on their own. I’ve had a good mother and good home training and have been brought up to embrace and live with every situation, making the best out of every situation and circumstance for life does not always give us what we want, need, deserve or even work for. 

But I’ve also seen a lot of good in life to make me want to still live on till my dying years (whenever that is, with no regrets). As I live out the rest of my twenties, I do not know what life holds for me but I do know every experience will define who I am or turn out to be (for good or for bad, only God knows…but I will strive to choose good). And I do know, they that are meant to stay in my life will, and we will enjoy the journey together, in gratitude for all that life has to offer us. 

To all the amazing people I have encountered on this journey, I am eternally grateful!
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Don’t wait until marriage… 

​A man doesn’t have to wait until he marries before taking on the role of spiritual headship of his love relationship. 

It is easier to lead the woman you plan on marrying in the right spiritual direction and get her to respect your spiritual headship when she sees that in you or see you exercising that role way before the marriage covenant is even entered into. And it may be more easier to sustain it way into marriage when you’ve cultivated it early in the relationship.

Yes, be romantic towards her; but be all the more spiritual towards her. 

Women need leading; if you fail to lead her, she will lead you. Just don’t resent it when she eventually takes over your roles and you begin to feel (spiritually) irrelevant. 

Many men are in serious love relationships but don’t command prayer times together for the relationship, they don’t command fastings, they don’t command Bible study and devotions; they don’t even pray themselves for the relationship! Yet, they want the best out of the relationship, they want everything to just go smoothly, they want spiritual and character compatibility or synchronization? 

Well…maybe things do fall in place effortlessly for some people.
©Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author