Death is a reality nobody wants to face

We plan everything in life except our death. Death is so scary that many of us don’t want to even say the word, let alone think about it and plan for it. Have you ever asked yourself “what if I die now; what if I don’t get to grow so old before I die?”

We see people die everyday yet we can never imagine it being us. We either feel we are better than those who have died or perhaps being Christians means we can never die. The best we do is to cast out every spirit of death or if you like, untimely death…but beyond that, we just live until we can live no more.

Many of us plan our wedding and marriages even when we don’t even have a partner or the slightest idea who we’re marrying or when we’re getting married. Everything about our lives is planned except death. We don’t even for once ask ourselves what happens if we should die now. What will happen to the children or family we leave behind?

But the truth is that, 50 years from now, many of us will die. That’s a fact. And that 50 years will come so quick we will wonder what we’ve done with it.

Today we are here…tomorrow we are gone! The “beauty” of life is that it can snap out of us or our loved ones anytime. Yeah, it’s a beauty. Lol
But we will be glad we have lived; long or short. We will be glad we have walked this earth and we will smile from Heaven as the memories of our “fun” time here plays before us. And we shall be reminded that death is part of life. We can’t have one and leave the other.

We can only put our house (borrowed life) in order whilst we live. And whether to Heaven or Hell we go; we pray we make Heaven. 🙏😊

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Death always teaches us about life

My biggest lesson and comprehension of life came from my mother’s death…and I’ve never been afraid to think about death or to talk about it since. But one thing I know is the experience has somehow made me an open minded person because I searched for so many answers. Sometimes my family wonders why I talk about death so much as if it is cool and seem to have a seemingly weird way of thinking. To some of them, they would rather not even think about death because they feel the more one thinks about or speaks about it, one is somehow inviting it into ones life. 
But I know if you’re in this life and all you think about is life, you’re missing it. You need to think about death because sometimes it takes someone’s death to teach you some valuable unforgettable lessons about life. Death is part of life and we have to accept that many times it throws a lot of surprises. Very many surprises…like the death of Ghana’s very own beautiful, young, vibrant, talented and sexy Ebony Reigns. Yes, I included sexy in describing her because sexy is never a bad thing, whether you like it or not. 😊

God is the giver of life and talents, but not all lives will be appreciated and not all talents will be seen as profitable to God or society…in the eyes of some people. No matter who you are, all of society will not accept you even if you do all you can to please them. Society can never love you for the totality of who you are…only God can! And it’s not entirely their fault because they can’t see the depths of a person’s heart as God sees it

Yeah, it’s right that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and that “by their fruits we shall know them”, etc; but sometimes we need to look deep into a person’s heart before we judge them, condemn them or write them off. That’s how we kill people and their dreams even before they mature…quick judgements and instant disapprovals even in the Church. Sometimes I don’t know how different the Church is from society because we’ve messed it all up. 

It’s true that all a person can know about you is what you put out there. They can never know the depths of your heart and the extent of your connection with God, even if you act a certain way in Church or in society…only God sees your heart. 

I believe almost all gifts find their source with God. And irrespective of who we are in life and how we use those gifts, we are all searching for God to fully understand who He is and that’s why we can all not be at the same level of understanding of who God is and how we relate with Him. Truth is, He deals with, reveals Himself and relates with all of us differently. 

It is sad to know that not all Pastors (or us Christians) even will go to heaven, yet we are the same people who judge others so much more than we pray for them or even show them a bit of kindness. Humanity goes beyond religion…we are humans first before our quest for spiritual perfection and moral uprightness. 

We really seem to forget always that we are humans first before everything else turned us against each other. Even religion (e.g. Christianity) that was supposed to have made us better has made a lot of us worse (we use our religion as a cover to hide all the ills we do secretly and only paint those whose sins are in the open as the ones not deserving of grace but death). 

Never for once do we put aside everything and just be humans…created to feel for our own species. 

It’s very sad that everyone who is not a Christian we are quick to conclude is having bad influence on society and so their death shouldn’t matter. It is just sad because how many of us have family members who are not Christians yet their death will be a pain to us? Well, like I always say, if it never hits right at home, you will never understand what it means to lose someone…just anybody. When your time comes, you will know.  

Every human being is a soul and every soul has value, depending on how you look at it. No loss (death) is ever easy to bear. Only God knows the right answers to the questions we ask when people die and I sure can bet that sometimes, there are many who we mark for hell on earth because of certain lifestyles they have yet they transit into heaven…because in their dying moment something strange happens. Consider the sinner on the cross with Jesus. 

Our hearts must express sadness for all lost souls and their families…it’s just the right thing to feel as a human being. 

The world would be a better place if we put humanity above our differences and not make society and our denominational identities corrupt the values inherent in our humanness. 

Society has a way of forcing a certain imprint on you and call you all sorts of names just because they think you don’t fit in. Churches want you to look a certain way to fit in. Your family wants you to look a certain way to fit in. Your work place wants you to look a certain way to fit in. Your friends want you to look a certain way to fit in. Everywhere you go, you have to adopt a certain different personality to fit in. There’s therefore so many sides to a person. 

No wonder we act differently when we are in church than when we are in different other spheres within society (the world). Everybody is crying wolf their opinion about you or their way of life is the right way for you to adopt. So yeah, it’s cool when society doesn’t appreciate ones many sides and it takes ones death for them to now see the full package. 

But it’s very sad though and we need to rise above that! Till then we can only pray God continues to bless our hustle! 

Rest well Ebony! Your hustle has ended but society’s ill judgements will continue. We hope we survive it. There’s a lesson in your death…and we hope we learn it. 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Dear Christian, Are Your Sins Any Different?

There are people in church who commit worse sins than people in the world yet they always feel they are better than the people “in the world”. They feel they should be the only beneficiaries of the grace of God. In life, it is sad that it is the one whose sins are in the open that is seen as the worse or baddest of all human creations. 

It is always surprising for me why we Christians tend to judge people so much…because just a minute’s reflection before you pass judgement on another would have shown you how much of a sinner yourself you are. I thought it is by grace that we ourselves have been saved and not because of any special privilege? I thought it’s the Church that says there’s no greater sin and that every sin is a sin, that the sin of murder is as equal as the sin of lying or even covetousness?

It’s such a shame the way we make the Gospel of Christ look these days!

Is is not Paul that said in 1 Cor 9:22 that, “…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some“? How is that even possible when today’s Christian always feels he is better that everybody else among God’s creations? 

It’s truly scary that the Gospel of Christ is becoming everything else except the Gospel of love and one that reaches out to even the worse of sinners. This is what happens when today’s men of God care so much about their reputation in society than demonstrating love to those who are seen to be “of the world”. 

Shame on us! 

Man of God, keep acquiring the wealth, keep preaching only in the comfort of your “big churches” and only to Christians…and keep giving yourselves whatever titles imaginable as men of God, and keep being happy about the death of souls that God sent you out to go and snatch from the pit of hell and keep being concerned about only your offertories in Church. 

Keep being only concerned about the monetary benefits or blessings of being a child of God. Keep being busy about preaching only in churches (or from church to church) because of the honorarium or “small envelopes” you give each other for honouring invitations amongst yourselves. Keep forsaking the souls trooping to night clubs, orgies, strip clubs, pubs, souls on the streets, etc because no “small envelopes” comes from that, except the risk to your reputation of going to such places with the Gospel. We know you intercede fervently for us your members do that no harm comes to us, but you need to do more and stand in the gap even more for the unsaved souls out there. When God gives you an opportunity for a soul that needs saving, you need to chase after them; they don’t need to chase after you, I guess? 

Do you even hold one single crusade outside of your church in a year these days? Do you even give just a small part of the monies you keep asking us to sow in church day and night to orphanages and other charities so we can also assuage our consciences of not doing anything for the less privileged in society? Except for invites for which if you are lucky one or two “worldly people” pass through the church, what else are you doing to go out there? You have left that work to campus ministries whose “Students In Church Evangelism (SICE) crusades you have even refused to support lately because to you the “mother churches”, the logistics (expenditure) is always greater than the number of souls won and churches planted from these student programs.  

I thought you believed that no amount of money can compare with the value of a single soul for whom Christ paid the ultimate price? 

Thank God your judgement would be greater as men of God. But for me, I pray God does not strike us down, especially you “men of God”. May He rather have mercy on our souls and be patient with us to change our own ways even in the house of God. It is really our souls that God should have mercy on because it will be much more regrettable if we ourselves miss the mark of the upward calling.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Everyone is fighting a battle

Nobody knew until his death that he was battling a terrible cancer. He looked so healthy, fit, cheerful and full of life on the outside but he was sick. He had problems of his own but he was always there to offer support to others in their problems. Except for his wife, nobody knew how many nights he cried; nobody knew how many nights he felt like he was going to die any minute.

We see people everyday acting as if they are the ones with the worse problems in life. They will curse everything in their life including God, for that one “seasonal” or “solvable” problem whose solution is just delaying. How about those who have permanent conditions/battles that they have to live with for the rest of their life? Not even will they die early (they would wish) but they will live longer still. But what is the point in living quite long when you know all is seriously not well. Ironically, we find these ones embracing life the best, taking each day and moment at a time and being grateful for it irrespective of their trials.

The point is everybody is battling something! Oh yes, yours may be very glaring for all to see and you begin to think God has not been fair to you. To begin to even think that the person next to you is more blessed than you because of their seemingly all rosy and problem-free life is something you may have to rethink because you may just be shocked when that person begins to list all the problems he/she is battling in life.

battle

There is a reason why they say “all that glitters is not gold”. You (your life) may not glitter but you are the real gold; maybe just not a polished one yet.

Sometimes people look at you and wish they are like you and whilst you thank God for such a blessing that at least you are an inspiration to someone, you again wish they remain themselves because they have no idea the enormity of the battles in your life. Of course they can’t see it because “there is no art to see the minds construction on the face”. Of course, nobody envies the life of people who have visible battles/problems in their life but sometimes I wish we envy such ones rather. Most cancers wreck havoc from the inside and I’m pretty sure nobody would envy the life of someone living with a cancer if they knew. I could imagine how many envied and wished they were like that seemingly “problem-free” good-natured cancer patient when he was alive and how many would if they knew what he was battling everyday of his life.

So you have a seasonal battle going on in your life and already all hope is lost? Do you want to take a moment and think about somebody who is full of hope and life even with their permanent battles which can strike the life out of them any minute? Your battle may be financial, marital, family, addiction, etc, but somebody’s is a silent battle of life and death.

Some have come to accept the Christian life (and God’s love) as one that should be devoid of problems/battles of any kind. They fall sick, they blame God; they lose a beloved, they blame God; they lose a job, they blame God; their marriage is not working, they blame God; anything that just doesn’t work out well, God must take the blame for being so wicked and unloving! Well, whatever we think about God doesn’t change who He is so let’s leave it at that. Just as in life we find some with very shallow experience of life, similarly we expect some to have shallow mindsets about God.

I don’t know why but two Bible verses just dropped in my spirit:

But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong (Job 2:10, NLT).

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? (Lamentations 3:38, ESV).

Guess that should conclude it?

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)