Courageous

As a believer, it takes faith and courage to be able to hold on to what you believe. In a world where everything has become acceptable, we are gradually becoming a lawless generation. The line that separates the believer from the world has practically blurred. A lot of issues which were and are still downright wrong have now become generally accepted. It’s hard to find someone with real convictions anymore.

bold

Let’s be bold about what we believe in. We need to be fearless in pointing out the truth. In the midst of adamant and reluctant people, let’s live out the truth. Lets not be afraid to emphasize the truth in conversations that paint the wrong as acceptable. Let’s not be ashamed about being distinct. We were not meant to be in the general category. We are to be different and not to be ashamed about it.

Are you a believer? If you answered no, what are you waiting for? If you answered yes, by what principles do you live your life? If it’s not the Bible, are you sure you are a believer?

I realise that a lot of people know what is right and true but they are just afraid or ashamed to show that they believe it. Let’s be an example. I pray for more grace to be courageous about my faith. I encourage you to be bold. Be courageous about your faith. Don’t be afraid to live it out. Someone suffered, bled and died to give us life. Living boldly for Him is not an option.

Let’s also be bold in showing love and kindness to others. Life is too short to be timid and shy.

Here are lyrics of the song ‘Courageous’ by Casting Crowns. May the Lord make us courageous.

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were made to be courageous

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Have a wonderful month

.Choose-To-Be-Bold

Nostalgia (ii)

I started NOSTALGIA a couple of weeks ago. I hope you stick around to read it to the end. In case you missed the first part, read it here. https://praiseajewole.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/nostalgia/

I hailed a cab and sank into the seat. I still couldn’t believe what had just happened.
I called my family to let them know I had arrived safely. I called my teacher, Mr. Hall, and informed him of my arrival. I would spend the day with my best friend who was in Australia for a business trip. I checked into the hotel and took a much needed nap. The past one hour might as well have been a dream.
I was awakened by a call on my phone. It was my friend Matthew. “Timmy, how you doin’? When did you arrive?” He asked
I glanced at my wristwatch. “About five hours ago. I should have called. I thought I did. I’m good. How are your meetings going?”
“Good. Well, wake up sleepyhead and let’s meet at Mariel’s Place. Its two streets down from the hotel. I should be there in half an hour.”
“Fine. Ok.”994large
I freshened up and checked my email. Nothing new. Matthew and I had been friends since Junior High in Nigeria. Our school was a Federal Government School. On this day, our whole class was punished because the Class Captain’s money had been stolen. No one owned up to the crime so our teacher gave us three strokes of cane each. I wasn’t feeling too well that day. Matthew offered to take my strokes for me. Who does that? It’s rare, right? That’s the kind of person Matthew is. The teacher didn’t beat him the extra strokes. I guess he was surprised that Matthew would do that. But since then, Matthew became my best friend. He was different and confident at such a young age.
After High School, we went to different Universities. Matthew studied in London and basically settled there afterward. I studied in South West Nigeria. Distance didn’t mean a thing. Matthew is my friend turned brother. He would be returning in a couple of days so this was a good time to catch up.
The waitress has just placed a cup of water on my table and handed me the menu when Matthew came through the door.
“Timmy!” He exclaimed as I stood up and hugged him. “Man, it’s so good to see you.” We sat and the waitress returned to take our order.
“Yeah, been a couple of years right? We didn’t see last Christmas.” I said
“True. How your book coming along?” He asked
“Well, I should finish it as soon as I return back. I want to give this conference my full attention while I’m here. We started an online magazine last year and I’m the editor. We plan partnering with a couple of NGO’s. Maybe we could offer writing workshops to youths and be part of their publications.” I replied.
“Wow. That’s great. But I want to help push your book sales. I’m positive your book will make the best seller’s list.” He said with a grin.
I laughed. “Thanks bro. So how are you? How are your niece and nephew?”
“They are doing great. Kids in this generation are smart beyond their years.” He told a couple of hilarious stories about them which got us in fits of laughter.
“I met an old friend at the airport.” I told him. He raised a questioning brow.
“You remember Jumoke? I’ve mentioned her a couple of times”.
Matthew’s jaw dropped and he was silent for a while. “Tim, are you serious?”
I nodded.
“You think you mentioned her a couple of times? Timmy, you talked about her every single day for I can’t-remember-how-long. You said your families were cordial and you attended the same church. She had big black eyes and shiny black hair which was always in cornrows. She had an elder brother. Her laughter was infectious. Your family and hers had dinner on several occasions. She teased you about the way you couldn’t pronounce the letter ‘r’ and you called her brother ‘Wichard’ instead of ‘Richard’. You told me how she loves singing and…”
“Stop! I get the point.” I said. Matthew burst into laughter. “You don’t forget things, do you? It’s been over 15 years!” I exclaimed “Did I talk about her that much?”childhood-children-guitar-love-sweet-Favim.com-306553
“You tell me.” He replied with a sarcastic look. “So what was she doing at the airport?”
“She literally bumped into me. She was in a hurry to meet a client. She recognized me.”
Matthew stared at me. “What?” I asked.
“Go on. That’s it? You didn’t talk?”
“Not really. It was so sudden.” I explained how it went to Matthew. “Ok.” He said.
“Ok? What is ok?” I asked
“Tim, what are you expecting me to say? You ran into an old friend. What’s the big deal?”

To be continued…

Do You Remember Me? (II)

 

Sometime ago I wrote a story with this title. Read it here-

https://praiseajewole.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/do-you-remember-me/

Here is another one. Be blessed.

———————————851-Orthodox-Jew-Praying-Shacharit-Morning-Prayers-from-the-Siddur-With-Tefillin-and-Tallit

This is a short message from my era to yours. I hope you remember me. I’m sure you have read about me but you never really thought much of me. I want to share an experience that I will never forget.

I’m a farmer and the season had been very favourable. I lived a very comfortable life and had a few acquaintances among the Pharisees. The Feast of the Passover was drawing near. For the past two years we had been hearing of a man of whom the people claimed had done impossible things. He had cured numerous people of various illnesses. A group of twelve men followed him. I had seen him a couple of times. I eventually had the opportunity to meet Him, though secretly. My friend Nicodemus the Pharisee had met him personally and they had discussed about being born again. I wanted to have a talk with Him too.

On that day, I asked almost the same questions that Nicodemus did. There was just something about that man. In that moment I knew that He was the Messiah. He spoke so gently and so firm. He told me that He has come to save the lost. All I needed to do was to believe. How could I remain in doubt after that experience? I believed Him.

As the Passover drew near, it made more meaning to me. This was the first Passover after meeting the Messiah. This year would be a memorable one. I could feel it in my Spirit.

One sunny afternoon my servant approached me.

“Master. Two men are here to see you. They followed me as I was coming from the well. They told me they are from the Master.” My servant said. I nodded and asked him to beckon them in.

The two men came in. “Shalom.” They greeted.

“Shalom.” I replied. I told them to have a seat. “The Master sent you?”

“Yes.” They replied

“The Master says ‘My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at thy house with my Disciples.” One of them said.

What? I could not believe my ears. This was so wonderful. My house? What honour! I quickly led the two men to the largest room in my house. I called my servants to bring the finest cloth and mats. I had the room properly furnished.

That was the most memorable event in my life after meeting Him. He had His last Passover in my house and that was a blessing in every way. He chose my house!!

I hope you remember me now. Meeting Him and hosting him in my home, nothing can compare to that. Today, He still wants you to host Him. You can have the privilege I had. Now, it’s even better. He wants to live in your heart. Invite him in and don’t clutter the place with deeds that don’t please Him. Having the Master live in you is the best thing that can happen to you.

Shalom!

December to Remember…

30285-What-Are-You-Grateful-For-Today-

2015 is gradually drawing to a close and the year has been eventful. It’s amazing how the years go by so quickly. When I was younger, January to December seemed so far apart. It took a long time before the year ended, at least to me it felt that way.

Let’s spend December 2015 in gratitude. The Lord has truly been faithful. He has kept me, holding my hand along the way. He has provided food, water and shelter. He has blessed me with an amazing family. Surrounded me with wonderful and encouraging friends.  Kept me in good health. Delivered me from death. Preserved my loved ones. I’m sure you can relate to these blessings. I know you believe He will still do greater things before the year runs out.

I’m just so grateful today. I’m grateful for everyone that has stopped by to read this blog. I encourage you to reflect and say Thank You to a faithful Father and Friend. God is good.

God Created No Junks!

This is a guest post by my awesome brother. He is calm but so intelligent and funny.  I was thrilled when he agreed to write! He is Temitope Fatunsin. I hope you are inspired by his piece.

 

The hours had given birth to days,the days had caked into weeks,the weeks had transformed into a month.I felt so blue with loneliness and I pondered on the various people I had met through the years. Sometimes you can be surrounded by people and feel so alone. Diverse and interesting, I classified them into various fruits…

0_0_0_0_412_308_csupload_46866172

Some people are like the Coconut. They are hard to be understood but soft and sweet within. Patience will lead the way inside such individuals.

Some are like the Banana,they may be unpredictable but with time, you will find them easy to be associated with.Tolerance will win their hearts.

Some are like the Orange.  They can be sour and irritating at times but the juice of delight lies within them. Unfeigned love will draw them out.

Some could be likened to the Cucumber which though not attractive on the outside but inside you would find out they are full of inestimable values. Only persistence will make you see this.

91b31a8f37d40b3e62bd657eeb6a43ab

Patience  and understanding is key to unlock the treasures embedded in every person you come across. Prov 16:22 ‘understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it…’

God created no junks.

People are precious. Their diversity adds spice to life. People are in your life in this season for a reason. Try to seek the good in them. Everyone has at least one cell of uniqueness in them that they can share with the world. It’s what makes them special. Help them see it.

Beloved, endeavor to be patient and understand your spouse, children,  colleagues and others that have been placed in your life. Peace and unity cannot be kept by force but by understanding.

 

Remember that ‘a cheerful heart does good like a medicine’…selah

Eat healthy!!

Any other fruits you can liken people to? Lets hear it!

Nostalgia

Some days, you have a feeling that something special is going to happen to you. Then you go about all day with that feeling of peace and you are expectant of that special thing. You know what? The day turns out to be a usual day but you were happy and fulfilled. Other days you wish you could stay in bed a little longer. Your morning is dull and then out of the blue, something happens.
Today was that type of day. I was getting ready for a 2 weeks Creative Writers meet in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a long trip but it’s so worth it. Writers from at least fifteen different countries would be there, and Australia feels like getting away from the rest of the world. So it’s cool. I’ve been on this trip a couple of times and I hoped to reconnect with a few friends. I was excited but the morning was damp and dull.

vuelves-nostalgia-a182637201I am a writer and that may sound lame but it’s what I do. Trust me, when I first started my career, my Mom would cringe every time she had to tell what her son did. Now, I guess they have gotten used to it. After writing for numerous papers and winning national awards and international recognition, I guess they are the picture of the typical proud African parent.
“Tope! I’m set.” I called to my younger brother.
“Alright, I’m in the kitchen.” He replied. I pulled my bag into the living room. My Dad was there working on his laptop.
“Mom, I’m leaving.”
My mom stepped out of the kitchen followed by my brother biting into an apple.
“Have a safe trip Timothy.” She said with a smile on her face. “Let us know when you arrive.”
“Be careful o.” My dad said. That’s how Nigerian fathers say ‘goodbye son, I’ll miss you.’
My trip was pleasantly long.
Remember what I said about having a dull day and out of the blue something happens? Ok.

Well, I arrived in Melbourne safely and picked up my bag. I shopped a little and grabbed a snack. I tried calling some of my friends to find out where they were. I would be staying at my teacher’s house. My grade (primary) 5 teacher is an Australian and he returned to Australia while I was in the University in Nigeria. I reconnected with her on social media and I stay with him and his wonderful family when I come for these conferences. 5460605766_b03b119b72_b

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” exclaimed a young lady who bumped into me as I was standing bent over my phone.
I look up to see who in the world this clumsy lady could be. “No problem Are you okay?” I ask politely.

And then I freeze. That out of the blue moment just struck like lightning. I look at the lady and my brain, high IQ and all, makes me recollect how familiar the face is. I am not good with faces but there are some that are just engraved into your memory.

A puzzled look crosses the lady’s face. “Timothy?”
“Jumoke?”
“Yes! Wow!” She extends her hand and I shake it. My mind goes numb and I wonder what on earth is she doing here!

“It’s been such a long time. What are you doing here?” I ask.
She laughs. “I’ve been here for about four months. I’m an accountant.”
“That’s great. I’m here for a Writers conference. “ I replied
“Oh. Wow. Yeah. That’s nice. I’ve read some pieces on your blog.”
“Really? Thanks. Well, It’s so good to see you again. After 15 years.”
“I’m sure it’s a bit more.” She replied. “I’m sorry I almost knocked you over. I’m in a hurry. I need to meet one of our partners.”
“Ok. Fine. No problem. I’m still standing and I’m fine. Good to see you.” I said as I picked the handle of my bag. “Take care of yourself.”
She nodded and hurried off.

I took a deep breath. Dear God, that was not nice. I came here to concentrate on this conference. Now I have to deal with the reminder that my childhood friend is in the same city and I just saw the face that brings back so many memories!

To be continued…

tumblr_lo5pnvZWrt1qlaa6wo1_500

I Really Felt Like Giving Up…

dont give up

Have you ever felt like giving up? This question may have come across your way at one time or the other. Some weeks ago, I actually felt like giving up. I just couldn’t muster any strength to go on. I was frustrated, angry, confused and just TIRED.

I don’t know if you have ever felt like giving up but it’s a terrible feeling. A feeling of hopelessness and frustration. You just begin to wonder what you have done wrong, what you had missed that would have warranted the present predicament. Have your prayers not been enough? Does God still love you?

During this period I realized I was just bearing a burden I didn’t need to bear. God just kept pointing me in His direction while I was busy looking elsewhere. The realization brought me much comfort and I just smiled to myself. My feeling of hopelessness made see the hope in Christ in a new light. When others go through trying times and it’s so easy to encourage them to be strong. When you pass through trying times yourself, it’s not easy to take your own advice. You want to vent and whine.

This is for all of you who are feeling like giving up. I have felt that way and I know it’s painful. Remember Jeremiah 29:11. God sees it all. I pray God grants you grace through this time. I pray He helps you realize that all you need is in Him. He is working it out. You may be tired of holding on, allow Him to hold you. Rest in Him. It is well

The song for this week is Just Be Held by Casting Crowns. The song is such a blessing in times like these. I hope it ministers to you too.

You can listen here – www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIZitK6_IMQ

Just Be Held– Casting Crowns

1.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

Chorous

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

2.

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Bridge

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

BLESSINGS!

rest-inhisarms(pp_w661_h440)

Fathers Day

Happy-Father-Day-92

I love my dad. I am a typical Daddy’s girl. I don’t want to use all the cliché adjectives because my Dad is all that and more, but let me just give a couple of things I love about our father-daughter relationship.

When I was growing up, I loved going to welcome my dad when he came from work. His suit always felt cool on my face as he would sometimes carry me up and put me back down. I would then carry his suitcase to his room. When I went to secondary school, and then the university, I always looked forward to ‘welcome hugs’ when I got back home. I still do today. I have not gotten tired of it. Always comforting and it just simply felt like home.dad_chalkboard_art_sons_hero_daughter_first_love_plaque-r51d39c1d7fd54f6d859fc86e04bb47da_ar56b_8byvr_324

In my teenage years, during the holidays, I began to appreciate conversations with my dad. I especially enjoyed conversations we had on trips and at night when coming back from church. He was just easy to talk to. Till today, I love the fact that I can call my Dad and just talk.

I thank God because my relationship with my Dad has helped me understand how God Fathers us all. God is always there with arms wide open and He is just easy to talk to. He is ready to listen to us. Father’s Day is a day to honour fathers but let us not forget we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and deserves our honour.

So thank you Dad, for the warm hugs and your sage words of advice. I love you!

HELLO THERE, BEEN A WHILE…

OMG-ItsBeenAWhile

It’s been a while and it feels great to put up another post. Life has rolled on with lessons and blessings.

keep-calm-and-say-thank-you-jesus-2

Testimony

This time two years ago, I was at the Corpers’ lodge in Katsina State. I couldn’t go to work because I had a minor accident with a motorcycle. The bike handle caught on to a tricycle on the road and we toppled onto the road. I’m so glad it was not worse. I had a wound from my knee almost to my ankle and a little scratch on my arm. I’m grateful there was no broken bone. The recovery time was painful but God healed me. I was going through my journal some nights ago looking for a birthday I noted, when I stumbled across it. I’m glad that today it’s a testimony and I’m grateful for those who were there for me at that time.

Random Conversation

I had a discussion with a number of people over the past few weeks about the issue of cooking. I posed that it would be nice and appreciated if the husband volunteered to cook a meal for once. He could tell his wife not to bother about preparing a particular meal, that he would cook. Of course all the males I spoke with said that the woman would take it for granted and ask him to cook some other time. I reaffirm that she will not take it for granted. Why not try it first.

Well, everyone knows that typically, women do the cooking. I do not dispute that. There is a feeling of motherliness that comes with cooking a meal for your family. But I know most women agree that there are some times that you are too exhausted to cook or you just don’t feel like cooking. There are times you don’t even know what to cook. Any woman would appreciate her husband cooking a meal voluntarily occasionally.  I am not saying the wife should ask the man to help her prepare dinner, but the man himself saying ‘Dear, don’t worry about dinner tonight. Let me cook.’ Maybe dinner, breakfast, lunch but I know such thoughtfulness would be much appreciated.

Before you start giving me reasons why men don’t do that, show me a African man who has done it and his wife taken him for granted. Put yourself in a woman’s shoes and see if you still have the same opinion.

I know it’s the little random, uncommon things that husbands do that actually make their wives appreciate them more. when a woman cooks, it is expected. When a man cooks, its impressive. Ladies, do I have a witness?

Some may say what if the man cannot cook. Well, if the willingness was there, the wife would see it and appreciate it and maybe they could cook together.

Just thinking. What do you think?

screen-shot-2013-08-08-at-10-39-35-am

Question

I haven’t blogged in a while. There is really no excuse for that. I pose this question to all artists out there. Whether you write, sing, paint or do any form of art, what inspires you? What do you do to get into that realm that brings out those awesome ideas? Please share.

images

mandisa-overcomer1

Music

Music is beautiful. My song for this week is ‘Overcomer’ by Mandisa. It’s not a new song but if you haven’t heard it please do.

Whatever it is you may be going through, I know He is not going to let it get the best of you.                                                  You’re an overcomer…!

If you would like to contribute to my blog, don’t hesitate to contact me- praiseebun@gmail.com. We all have stories that need to be heard.

Have an amazing week!

Ayamase Cuisine

Ifeoluwa Idowu and I met on Campus and we have been good friends ever since. Thanks to social media we have remained in contact over the years and that is just awesome. She is a fun person and she loves cooking.

ife

ife

Ifeoluwa

Ifeoluwa

Ife didn’t have a big appetite but she had a sharp nose and distinctly picked aromas of food. Later on she began to try her own recipes and she was also eager to learn from people too. Early in her days on campus, she asked a woman who ran a Calabar kitchen to teach her to prepare soups. She later began cooking and baking for free because she enjoyed it. One day, on returning home after a day of cooking, she was tired. Her business minded brother asked her why she didn’t turn her passion into a money making venture. And that was it. She later attended a catering school to broaden her scope and make it official. Hence the birth of Ayamase Cusine.

Rice

Rice

Ayamase Cuisine is a registered catering business. The name ‘Ayamase’ is derived from a deep Yoruba name for Ofada stew. ‘Aya ma se, obe ti oko kin je’ meaning a wife should not cook the soup that her husband does not like. To Ife, her customers are the husband and the catering is the wife. It means that they are out to satisfy clients by giving them what they want.

small chops

small chops

Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice

Porridge

Porridge

Like any other business, she has encountered challenges. Power supply is not consistent and this doesn’t allow her to buy the ingredients in bulk because they need to be kept fresh. Dealing with customers also requires a lot of wisdom and patience.

Ife has offered services to customers within and outside Lagos. They also cook for clients in their homes, offer private cooking lessons and home deliveries. An important thing is that they are concerned about their customer’s health. They ask about their health status to know the quantity of spices to add to the customer’s meal.

cake

cake

chips

chips

20140424_175340

IMG_6700199325667

I asked her to deliver small chops for my birthday last month. She did this at an affordable price. I was so happy to see her after some years. The snacks also tasted awesome that my office colleagues were asking for more! The packaging was great too. So I testify that she’s good at what she does.

She also had her birthday last weekend and owes me cake! Wishing you tasteful year, Ife! Keep pressing on, God is taking you to greater heights.

If you are in need of awesome and affordable catering services, you can get across to Ife by

Email- peacesetter2002@yahoo.com

Phone- 07030807054, 09095268782

BB pin- 75AFB706

She is on Facebook- Ifeoluwa Racheal Idowu

So follow your taste buds and give Ayamase a call!