THE CHOSEN

From many I chose you

‘Cos you were the most favourable amongst them

Your lovely character seduced me

And played tricks on my emotions

A part of me gets excited at thy graceful sight

An excitement that heightens

With every lovely thought of you

You are so amazing a figure

A blessing amongst all the Lord’s carvings

So beautiful a living monument

So sweet a manifestation

Of God’s gift of love to me

My heart craves strongly for thy love

And breaks whenever thy love

So rich and true

Is far from reach

Inside my emotions are stacked up

Like full old wineskins ready to burst

I have been looking for so long

And I bless the day I found you

‘Cos you brought light to my spirit

Oh how the light of my soul shone the brightest

The day you accepted as true, promising and trustworthy

Those carefully chosen and well rehearsed sugar-coated words

In your eyes I find the radiance of true love

Your lips are so blessed with soothing words

That puts my agitated spirit to a sweet sound rest

That reassures my soul of a hope

And a future not too far away

A life together and forever

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

(PS: A poem to mark the celebration of our marriage proposal anniversary today)

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A journey of love and friendship 

Today I said this sincere prayer:

Dear Lord, 

Thank you for 8 years of sweet friendship. Many couldn’t have it this way. 

Thank you for sending me to her door and thanks for that awkward moment that followed that knock on her door.

Thank you that it was never love at first sight, for the girl had no chill kora 😂😎

Thank you for the opportunity to experiment and grow our love.

Thank you that “better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” 😋

Thank you that today, we can look back and see a glorious future and not a gloomy or dingy one.

Thank you for blessing us with so much that we cannot even see. 

Thank you for our journey thus far and the priceless lessons along the way.

Thank you that our years have been nothing short of amazing! 

Thank you that on this day, 8 years ago, our eyes met.

And because of that divine meeting we can today mark and celebrate…

8 years of solid friendship!

7 years, 4 months and 18 days of falling in love thereafter!  

2 years, 8 months and 11 days of a marriage we can be proud of ourselves!

Thank you that it is you…

“…who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way, with countless gifts of love and still is ours today” 

Finally Lord, thank you for what psychology says…😎


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Bonus Pictures:


©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

Abuse of the marriage covenant

Here’s a great marriage vow:

“I will be with you, no matter what happens to us and between us.  If you should become blind tomorrow, I will be there.  If you achieve no success and attain no status in our society, I will be there.  When we argue and are angry, as we inevitably will, I will work to bring us together.  When we seem totally at odds and neither of us is having needs fulfilled, I will persist in trying to understand and in trying to restore our relationship.  When our marriage seems utterly sterile and going nowhere at all, I will believe that it can work and I will want it to work and I will do my part to make it work.  And when all is wonderful and we are happy, I will rejoice over our life together, and continue to strive to keep our relationship growing and strong.” ~~ Elizabeth Achtemeier

I don’t know how different it is from the usual “for better for worse, till death do us part” Church vow. But when we say the marriage vow in Church, we are literally saying our spouses are supposed to love us “no matter what” and always find us beautiful or handsome, no questions asked. Of course, that’s the essence of the marriage vow.

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But sometimes we take advantage of that binding agreement and just let ourselves go intentionally in so many ways. We go like, oh how great it feels that we’ve just signed a contract that binds the other person to us for their whole life and nothing, except sexual infidelity, can save their skin! Sweet! Now I can relax, for every bad action or inaction of mine as long as it is not infidelity, should technically be coped with, endured and at best forgiven. Per the vow or covenant we’ve just entered into, everything is allowed as long as it does not border on infidelity…Hurray!

I vowed to love you “no matter what” so now you are at liberty to take your looks for granted! You can now just let yourself eat all the junk foods ever made, grow fat and out of shape. Oh, he should just understand that I’m now a mother and childbirth, raising children, taking care of him and all that just makes many a woman get out of shape. She should just understand that the ever-increasing responsibilities, stressful nature of my job, late night eating and all that just makes many a man develop a pot belly. Just understand and accept it as it is…so I wouldn’t have to put in any effort.

The deed is done, you have now taken the “no matter what” vow, so you can now stop giving much attention to your physique and every other thing as you used to and just corner your partner with the “no matter what” attitude whenever he/she raises a concern. Just remind him/her of the “no matter what” vow they took so they can stop whining about things you feel you cannot change. You think that’s a really safe zone? How sweet!

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Well, these and many others are the sentiments/frustrations shared by many. Problem is too many people treat marriage as a place of arrival, acceptance and comfort; a kind of destination that they arrive at and then everything else in terms of effort stops. People don’t put as much effort into bettering themselves in marriage like they did in the dating phase. After all, if it’s Christian, it never should be broken on any other grounds, right? And then upon that, if you are a man, you are allowed to force your wife into subjection no matter all the ills you do, right? How sad. That’s how God wants it?

“It is so easy to take a spouse for granted, and to take intimacy for license. We can subconsciously think since we’re married, I don’t have to be careful to be polite. We have to love each other regardless, so I can just speak without thinking about how it is perceived” ~~ Shaunti Feldhahn

Right after marriage, many people begin to take so many things for granted. The problem is not the reality that the “no matter what” covenant marriage puts us in. The problem is to be a Christian yet hide consciously or unconsciously behind that and not put in any effort to better anything. I think that is a way of dishonoring your partner and your marriage and making God look stupid for instituting marriage and giving ground rules. Nothing must be taken for granted in marriage. Marriage (and all that comes with it) should not put an end to personal development. We must not pick up a habit of putting our spouses through the “no matter what” test, especially when it is something we can make the effort to change for the betterment of the union.

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The caution is that sometimes it becomes too late to salvage anything and we must not let ourselves get to that point. And I hope it is the Bible that said:

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
~~ James 4:17

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Image source: www.federalna.ba

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) 

Blame games 

Adam blamed his wife; Eve blamed the serpent. I’m sure the devil would have blamed God himself if God had asked his opinion. 

That wouldn’t be surprising because many of us blame God for our misfortunes. Everybody is tempted to blame somebody first of all for their misfortune. It’s often a battle before they accept they had a role to play in their own misfortune.  

Own up today! And after that, don’t sit down with a belly of regrets over the past. Leave the past behind…there’s a future waiting for you. 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

#MandelaDay 

Today’s Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day), an annual international day in honour of our legendary African leader. The man who fought for social justice for 67 years!

As the day rolls to an end, I am reminded of my visit to his house and the Apartheid Museum last year. 


Not only that, but more importantly, I am reminded of his life and to keep fighting for whatever I hold dear…like my marriage! Freedom never comes with a fight, a conscious effort to break the status quo. I’m reminded to exert as much effort into my marriage as I can…only then can I reap the benefits thereof. 

Also I am reminded of one of his quotes:

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”

Freedom is surely coming tomorrow…

A luta continua, victória é certa! 

Being in a place of hope: my testimony

​Past times tell of how far we’ve come…whenever discouraged, we look back. 

Yesterday I was very troubled in mind, body, soul and spirit. I was because for sometime now I’ve not been too enthused about my life because I feel one aspect of my life isn’t working well the way I want it to. I am a very organized person, constantly making plans for my life, and putting things in order because I hate being in a situation where I’m caught off guard and have to just cling on hope. I want to always have a grip on my life and I feel I work so hard on myself to keep things that way.

 

But for some months now, life has kept me clinging on hope and I do hate it so much. I hate to be in a place where I can’t figure things out, have solutions to things and just have to hope it works out, hope I sail through, hope I survive. I hate to HOPE! I want to KNOW! 
I don’t like to hope I get to a certain destination in life, I want to know based on my plans for the journey, that I will surely get there. I always want to know and plan how my next one year will be like, how the house will run the next one year, how much should be put into savings or investments, etc. You know, that kind of thing.

But lately God has been scattering all my plans, or so it felt. And He allows certain situations to keep triggering that feeling of helplessness that makes you cling on hope.
Yes, so yesterday I couldn’t sleep. And I didn’t know what to do as I left the bedroom to just be in the hall all by myself at around midnight. Then after sitting for a while, something (I guess God) made me take my laptop, go grab my external drive and just go through the photo database I’ve created on it. Maybe that was just my way of passing the time, but then, God started whispering to me in my mind as I watched many pictures from as far back as I could to the present, that OUR PAST TIMES TELL OF HOW FAR WE’VE COME
I saw so many past blessings including the fact that I could afford my own flight ticket and we could afford my wife’s flight tickets every year all through her masters degree on a bursary that did not cover cost of flights. We could afford a descent accommodation and in fact, change accommodation 3 times in 2 years without exhausting all the rent period in the previous two and not even getting refunded. We’ve sacrificed to help many in times of their needs, amongst many other blessings. 

And the rhema God finally left me as I went back to bed around 3:30am, prayed till 4am, and then got up around 5:30am for work was that, WHENEVER I’M DISCOURAGED, I SHOULD LOOK BACK ON MY PAST. He categorically said I SHOULD NEVER FORGET MY PAST; I SHOULD NEVER FORGET WHERE MY BLESSINGS COME FROM
He said Son, don’t worry, I trained you that way to always be sure of what’s coming, but even when it looks like all you have is hope, I’VE GOT IT ALL UNDER CONTROL. 

With that assurance, I don’t know if my problem is solved, whether I won’t worry again the next time things are not moving on well according to my plans, but I learned it’s OK to be in A PLACE OF HOPE


©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Unmarried sex and pregnancy

Just “misguidedly” get pregnant without being married and you will know whether the church that claims it loves you or everybody (sinners included) really do. If they don’t call you names, shame you, roll eyes at you like angels…come back and tell me. The church has a history and statistics in that area.

 

The same people that will treat you in church like dirt when your sins or “shortcomings” come to the open, are the same people who indulge in secret sins…some more grave than yours. It’s simple…the church’s attitude screams “do it but don’t get caught”; hide it as much as you can, otherwise you are in for trouble.

 

That is why the ones who get pregnant and immediately marry as “damage control” are more “accepted” by the church than the ones who unfortunately don’t. Trust me, when a church leader gets somebody pregnant, you can bet that the church will encourage and support him to immediately marry her. In that situation, the Church is OK with applying the Exodus 22:16 scripture to support the action [Read old post on that scripture here: Fornication…]. They will do everything possible to clean the mess of a church leader from getting into the public domain. We’ve seen, heard, and read of it countless times. But let the tables turn and a mere church member get tangled in same situation. You will see a different scripture and modus operandi being applied or enforced. Let a church elder or Pastor’s child get in the same mess as a mere member and just watch how both situations will be handled. The church cares more about protecting the image of its leaders and their household than the image of its members.

 

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When we say there is no fairness or equality in the church and can never be, people say we are just “fault finders”. Well, whatever it is, some of us choose to live with the simple principle that when you raise your expectations of church, just like anything else, you risk getting hurt. So, just do Christ; don’t do Church.

 

The church as a human setting is full of judgmental people. Period! If you don’t want to be judged and discriminated against, don’t go to church; otherwise, keep an open eye and open mind and expect the worse to sometimes happen. It’s simple…the church preaches forgiveness and repentance but judges and shames “saved” people who fall back into certain sins! Just accept it because it’s the truth everywhere. Some sins are pardonable, others are not…and by now you should know where the sin of unmarried pregnancy falls. The church treats it as an abomination, a detestable thing that is deserving of hate…and not love. If you can deal with it, stay. If you can’t, leave and find solace where your soul will get the peace it needs. Your destiny is not tied to a church, it’s tied to Christ.

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But truth for me is, no child should be treated as an abomination whether conceived in wedlock or out of wedlock. Sadly, the church will rather be happier you secretly kill or abort a child and come back to the front roll next Sunday and shout “glory hallelujah” as if nothing happened. But a church that makes you see a “child from a forgivable act” as an abomination should not be a good environment for you and your child. You may not like it but whether you do or not, nobody goes to or stays at a place where they are disliked. Well, I wouldn’t.

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Nobody says churches should encourage promiscuity, sin or wrongdoing. Whether they think shaming people deters others from same acts; or accepting, loving and supporting them encourages others into same acts…whichever way they look at it, the ultimate should be doing what Jesus would have done. No good parent teaches or encourages his/her children to be promiscuous, but when they go wayward (because one can never rule out that possibility, even God or Jesus wouldn’t), what do good parents do?

 

Nonetheless, whatever the failings of the church, may God grant grace that we flee fornication so we would not have to deal with all the negatives of unmarried pregnancies.

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© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

Marriage & Personal Development Author

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Wives carry and transmit favour

There is a lot of God’s favour on a woman’s life that rubs on and doubles a man’s favour when married to her. It’s a kind of favour that elevates; that makes a man rise; that pushes him to the apex!

 

The saying “behind every successful man is a woman” is just another way of putting the “he who finds a wife finds favour from the Lord…” biblical promise.

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Every time I look back on how far we’ve come…I confidently say to myself “I have the best wife ever”. I truly am blessed with her.

 

And surely the blessing is not because of WHAT (material things) I have in my life but WHO I have. Her personality is astonishing! And her beauty? Breathtaking!

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…And we really have come a long way on the road less travelled by many for fear of many unknowns. The “unknowns” have daily been with us, but we’ve learned to conquer many; riding at the back of the One who holds it all together so beautifully.

 

So today, halfway through another anniversary, we say…cheers to many more unknowns to conquer!

Nothing can stop us…We “all the way up”!  🙂

 

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author