THE BEAUTY OF BREAKUP


It would seem absurd to say that breakup is beautiful and at its most critical state; a gift when you still loved him or her but watched them go away or when you just couldn’t help it but walk away. Although the instant feeling we get from it is awful, when we think of it in another way, we would be glad to discern that many times, a breakup isn’t a terrible thing, it isn’t even disgusting! It would be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to us. 

It is okay to cry over breakups, it is okay to mourn what you seem to have lost, the good days you have always banked on and the people you have scared away from your life just because you believed that space is already taken. But can I ask you a quick question? What exactly do you want? What meaning are you reading into their departure? It doesn’t matter the reason why they left, it doesn’t matter if they made you call it off but your thanksgiving should be on the fact that you are done with someone who truly wants to live without you. When people suddenly realize that you don’t fit into their future and decide to walk away from you, it is not bad to cry but never desire them again and never even pray to have them back. Walking away from you is probably the most beautiful favour they have done to you.

Would you have fancied that he or she stayed more years and still eventually break up with you when they had gotten deeper into you? Would you have preferred they left you right after the altar vows? Would you have preferred they left you with a baby or two? I know someone whose reply would be “yes!” but that is because she is still lost in the euphoria of the past, she still feels there are people she can’t live without. In a matter of days, weeks, months or perhaps, years, she will realize we can really do without people who don’t truly want us.

We truly don’t have so much time on earth, why spend it mourning something that isn’t meant to be with us? Why spend it with someone who has a lot of options aside us? Why spend it with someone who believes there isn’t any future for us? They aren’t bad people anyway for wanting to live without us but we deserve better, they don’t deserve those tears and mourning. What they deserve is your acceptance of their departure! Since you were just an option in their lives, you truly need someone who doesn’t see you as an option, someone who has seen something in you that they can’t let go. It is not about something who can’t do without you, it is about someone who has decided not to live without you. When someone wants to walk away from your life, they don’t deserve your tears. What they deserve is that you show them the way out through the exit door.

Why want to stick to a relationship that is on its last leg just because you are afraid of walking alone for some time? There has to be a serious connection, there has to be a strong definition of purpose and there has to be a sense of security. When he or she always makes you question your place in that relationship, they don’t deserve you. See that break up as a blessing, see it as empowerment to move ahead with your life and build a more meaningful relationship that is relevant to your future and your dreams! No matter how bad you had felt, you need to change the way you look at break-up, it is usually a huge blessing!

Sometimes, that breakup is salvation from abusive and toxic relationships that you wouldn’t let go! It would be emotional abuse or physical abuse. This relationship may never have been what you desired, you may have been the one apologizing for all issues, you may have been the one trying to keep the relationship going simply because of how far both of you have gone! You may have been enduring months or years of never being understood, never been cared for or respected but you can’t let go because you believe that somehow it would work out. You believe you may manage all along and he or she has helped you by breaking it off!

There are other times it may be that your partner depends on you for all of his or her emotional fulfilment! You are blamed for every time they don’t feel good, you are blamed for every time they felt sick, you are blamed for not picking calls, visiting and being there all the time! Now that he or she is walking away, why not stand out for them to pass? Don’t you know this a deliverance? You need your own space, you need your own life too. You aren’t Jesus and you don’t need to lose your own life and dreams just to please someone who is all out for himself and not for you!

Anyone who wants to leave you today can still leave you at any point, don’t try stopping them. They can leave early and they can leave late! The longer their departure takes, the severe the hurt becomes. The more you try to hold them from leaving, the more you breed a bigger problem for yourself because you will keep getting much more emotionally attached to them. So, when they leave, they have liberated you from problems and regardless of the reason why they left, see it as good news for yourself, see it as deliverance!

Breakup isn’t as bad as you think, it is not bad at all! It is beautiful and very relieving! You may be willing to stay in an unhealthy relationship just because you have low self-esteem and you think you aren’t good enough for a beautiful and better relationship but breakup delivers you from that mentality! It gives you another opportunity to learn and even avoid certain mistakes you had made. Breakup is another opportunity to get things right, it doesn’t mean that things will automatically become right just after breakups but now you have an opportunity to correct things you couldn’t correct earlier and you also have an opportunity to look at yourself and make adjustments! Breakup is an opportunity to build again right from the foundation.

It is true that a big vacuum has been created, it is true that the once closed door of your heart has been left open once again but it is also true that you have a better opportunity to give that space to the right person. This is the beauty of breakup.

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Must Women Be Silent in Church?


AskGeorge: Must Women Remain Silent in Church?

Note, this is a throwback from 7th March, 2016. For a more recent teaching on this gives a better interpretation, check out CONCERNING WOMEN IN MINISTRY

Question:

PLEASE HELP ME DO JUSTICE TO THIS VERSE OF 1COR 14: 34, WHAT DID PAUL MEANT BY SAYING THAT, “WOMEN SHOULD REMAIN SILENT IN THE CHURCHES. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK, BUT MUST BE SUBMISSIVE AS THE LAW SAYS.”? – Uche, Nigeria

Answer:

I am really glad that this question came in due season when am rounding of my book titled “dedicated to women”. This will be included in the extras page of that book because it has been a problem for a while among believers.

This is one of the most confusing parts of Paul’s writing. But we must also weigh every argument to see that it balances with the other parts of the Scripture. Some people are of the view that Paul really meant that women are to forever remain silent in every church meetings and they should never Prophecy, Speak in tongues and talk about the gospel! Let’s see what other portions of the Bible said

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Act 2:17

Daughters were included in those who will prophesy! Remember, in the New Testament, Prophecy edifies the Church and not a person. Anyone who Prophecies is speaking to a congregation and not to him or herself. Paul said,

“Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:4

So you see, when Joel saw what would happen in the latter days which is now, he also saw daughters speaking things that build up the Church! In verse 5 of 1 Corinthians 14, Paul also expressed his desire that they prophesy! He didn’t say it was only the men that he desires to see making prophecy!

Paul also said in verse 31

“All of you may proclaim God’s message, one by one so that everyone will learn and be encouraged”.

It was not a peculiar thing applied only to males! If women are not to speak, how then do “everyone” proclaim God’s message?

In Luke 2:38, we see Anna a prophetess who prophesied in the temple! Even according to the law that seems to have disfavoured women, there were female prophets who really prophesied and edified the brethren. We would also go on and talk about the daughters of Philip who prophesied… They actually spoke in the presence of many!

What then was Paul implying?

First, Paul was trying to bring order to the Church. The structure of the Church then was not as strong as we have today… It was still an early church undergoing challenges of new trends! The gifts were new, prophecies were new, speaking in the tongue was new and all that! It wasn’t something they were used to and overlooking how it was being done would make them do the right thing the wrong way! If women are not permitted to speak at all, what about the writings of the same Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:5

“Any woman who prays or proclaims God’s message (some translations has “Prophesy”) in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband…”

Understanding this would also lead us to understand what he meant by asking women to wear a veil when they prophesy. He was simply commanding them to be under obedience! People often argue that women must cover their head in today’s Church but let’s also understand why Paul said that and what he wanted to communicate.

Because of the power of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, women also saw themselves prophesying. It became a problem because some women saw themselves as literally not under the authority of their husbands anymore since they could do what was thought to be man’s speciality. In those days, covering of the head was a sign of submission just as the wearing of the ring is a sign of faithfulness in marriage today. If the wearing of the ring was in vogue in that day, I am sure Paul would encourage married couples to wear a ring as a sign of faithfulness in marriage.

So, Paul asked that even while the women prophesy, they have to do so in submission to their husbands! In some cultures, especially outside the middle east, head covering isn’t a sign of submission and if Paul was communicating to them, he would have used what means “submission” to them. Remember, what Paul asked the women to do was to wear a veil and not cap or head-tie… He was also talking to married women! This simply indicates all right round that he was simply teaching them to manifest the gift of the Spirit in submission to their husbands! Having such a wonderful gift of prophecy doesn’t mean also taking over the position of the husband as the head.

Paul used the same term while writing to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:12

“I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet”

First, from the context of what Paul said here, this was his style. It wasn’t a universal norm or a rule that governs the entire Christendom. He was telling Timothy that he (Paul) personally don’t allow women to teach or there may be a translation issue here which also may mean that Paul was saying “I do not allow women take authority or overtly command their husbands.” but we saw why! Because it is not right for women to exercise authority over men! Yet from what we see in 1 Corinthians 11:5, Paul encouraged that women proclaim God’s word in public places but in total submission to their husbands. This is very peculiar to married women!

The law to which the apostle here refers, has been thought to be, Genesis 3:16, where the woman was commanded to be subject to her husband, and it is said, that he should rule over her; yet that law did neither restrain Miriam from prophesying in Exodus 15:20, nor yet Huldah, to whom Josiah himself sent in 2 Chronicles 34:22, of whom it is also said, that she dwelt in the college. But setting aside that extraordinary case of special inspiration, it was, doubtless, unlawful for a woman to speak in the church.

What do I mean? Today, we have women Pastors, Prophetess and even Bishops. No matter what title they bear, they are to operate in submission to their husband but we cannot say they are wrong to have attained that height! As long as they were selected, they are rightfully positioned! It is the attitude in that position that is of concern. Women can prophesy and even teach when appointed. In my book “Dedicated to Women”, I explained that it was not God’s intention nor his invention that women be under their husbands as in being a “servant” to them. Women are partners and co-labourer with their husband because they were separated from the man for that purpose! It is ungodly to literally rule over a woman! By “rule”, I mean depriving them of their rights! However, it is also ungodly for a woman to stand tall over a man! Because she was called to be a man’s helpmate and not a man’s competitor.

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman, she became a preacher! She talked about Jesus in public! When the Marys encountered the risen Jesus, they proclaimed his resurrection! By virtue of who they are, women are not restricted to proclaiming God’s word in public! However, because they are designed to be helpmates (not servants), they are to do so in obedience, humility and gentility but not in timidity! When a woman understands what the term “helpmeet” suggests, they would also understand that they are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

For further and more recent teaching on this subject, check out CONCERNING WOMEN IN MINISTRY

A GIFT TO YOU
UNMASKING DEPRESSION BY GEORGE O.N

PERSONAL TAKE ON HOMOSEXUALITY | Criminalize or Legalize?


PERSONAL TAKE ON HOMOSEXUALITY | Criminalize or Legalize?

As I grow up and understand God better, I get wiser, I know better and my personal opinion about certain things changes. This may not really sound good to you if you are homophobic but don’t you think it is time we see from another perspective? I am not part of the LGBT movement and I am a PRO-life.

We all know what God’s opinion about homosexuality is if we are looking in the Bible but sometimes we pretend like we don’t know God’s opinion about premarital sex, adultery, cursing, lying, anger and so much more. Many of us, especially evangelical Christians are ever ready to throw stones and even want homosexuals imprisoned. As much as God doesn’t like things being used outside purpose, God doesn’t hate homosexuals and God isn’t homophobic. We may want to talk about Sodom and Gomorrah as an indication that God hates homosexuality so much but we should also look back at the story of Noah to see how God hates sin in general. One of the biggest indications of God’s hatred for sin is the cross on which Jesus was crucified! But that same cross is the biggest indication of God’s love for the man regardless of who they are. First, let us establish here that if Jesus was to be physically on earth, He wouldn’t be handling the issue of homosexuality the way we do today because we are excluding it from the list of other human issues and in this regard it becomes discrimination.

You don’t force people to do the right thing especially when it doesn’t affect you just as you don’t force people to stop being angry, being envious or being promiscuous and all of that. Many countries have never forced prostitutes to stop prostituting even when it affects the society in some ways, we have never stopped people from having premarital sex and all of that, why should we then single homosexuality out? It is because many of us are guilty of other misconducts and possibly homosexuality is the one we have managed to avoid and then we think we are better than other people.

“We all know what God’s opinion about homosexuality is if we are looking in the Bible but sometimes we pretend like we don’t know God’s opinion about premarital sex, adultery, cursing, lying, anger and so much more”

We treat homosexuality as though it is the worst of it all. If we should jail homosexuals for 14 years in Nigeria, we should also jail people who commit adultery, fornication and so on. If we say premarital sex is about two consenting adults, what do we say about homosexuals? The world is experiencing a very high rate of moral decline but we can’t just single out homosexuality neither should we force people to become who they don’t want to be.

Let me talk specifically to some of my fellow Christians.

What was committed to us is the gospel of reconciliation and the cross says to anyone who is willing “come!” It is not something we force people to become and it is not something we must have to subject people to some kind of false therapy just to become who we want them to be. If we love God so much, we should be preaching the gospel of Jesus and not becoming moralists only to homosexuals. Moralism doesn’t save anyone, sometimes it increases the number of pretenders. Most of us have friends who are fornicating, most of us have discussions with adulterers and many of us even among the Christian leaders are messed up in sexual sins, what do we do about them? Do we push them to jail? Do we discriminate against them? Do we carry placards around asking the government to either legalize or not legalize fornication?

This is an unpopular opinion and I hate the act of homosexuality with every sense of it but we are not being moral by punishing homosexuals and not punishing fornicators and adulterers. I don’t hate on homosexuals and when I meet them, I don’t even start arguing their lifestyles with them. If I should preach Jesus, I just preach Jesus because that is the only life-changing teaching. If we say Jesus changes people, then we should allow Him to do the change. Many people have testified about experiencing change from certain addictions after they got born again and therefore we must leave to God what is His duty. If Jesus said, “come on to me all ye who are burdened…” And someone burdened with sin comes to Him, it is not your business what God decides to do with the person.

“Most of us have friends who are fornicating, most of us have discussions with adulterers and many of us even among the Christian leaders are messed up in sexual sins, what do we do about them? Do we push them to jail? Do we discriminate against them?”

Christ never for once campaigned against people’s weaknesses, He rather offered Himself as a way out of the nature of sin. Jesus didn’t sit the woman caught in adultery down to tell her how bad adultery was but He simply told her “go and sin no more.” If she was brought back to Him, He would still say “go and sin no more.”

Putting up a law against homosexuality without putting up a law against fornicators is discrimination and I think this is the perspective from which many people have never viewed this. These personal moral issues are not what you get people out of by enforcing certain laws on them. By doing so, we only allow it’s progression is secrecy or stubbornness. Countries shouldn’t be legalizing or criminalizing homosexuality in the first place. I understand that the reason some countries legalize it is to offer some kind of protection or to reverse a law that has been put against it. We never had to legalize prostitution or premarital sex but people do it broad day light, people get pregnant without a husband and it happens to be none of our business because we know these are personal human challenges. Criminalizing homosexuality in the first place makes it right for the ban to be lifted.

I also think the areas that need to be looked at is in protecting the kids and ensuring a lifestyle that isn’t theirs is not enforced on them especially when adopted by homosexual parents. As a Christian who believes in the authority of the Bible, I can’t endorse Pastors being coerced or encouraged to perform homosexual weddings, freedom of worship means allowing people to practice their doctrine. Homosexuality for me is a moral issue that it is as bad as fornication and adultery and should be treated as such. We made it a big deal when we criminalized it, we made it a big deal when we took homosexuals aside and focused on homosexuality as though it is something worse than other sins. The big deal we made it backfired and so as a payback to years of torture, hatred and discriminations, they are asking for more and will continue asking for more because we made it our general issues when it was supposed to be their personal life issues.

“Putting up a law against homosexuality without putting up a law against fornicators is discrimination and I think this is the perspective from which many people have never viewed this.”

Nobody made fornication and adultery a general issue, nobody made co-habitation a general issue and that is why there isn’t any outrage. For instance, for years of gender discrimination, many women are beginning to ask for more than what the dictionary defines as feminism. Some women are beginning to ask for more than what is actually right. Some moral issues are personal and should be handled on a personal basis. There are good people who are helpful in society but they are homosexuals, there are people who have great skills but they are homosexuals. In our society, they are helping but personally, they have moral issues they are battling with. Whether they admit it is a moral issue or not isn’t our business anyway just as those engaged in premarital sex are going on with it. Sometimes, it takes the conviction of the Holy Spirit or a person’s willing efforts to get certain people to stop a certain lifestyle.

If I should be asked to join a campaign of choice, I would join the team that says “homosexuality should not be criminalized” because it is discrimination to select personal moral issues we will punish and the ones we will not punish. Nigeria, like many other countries, is a secular country. If we want everyone to follow our lines of thought and convictions by force, then maybe we should blame God for not enforcing a theocratic government on earth. Sins punishable by law on the nations should be those criminal activities that endanger other people’s life. I have been a victim of abuse in the hands of certain homosexuals right from my junior secondary school days and I was helpless to do anything about it, the memories make me throw up and keeps me sober but I am also not going to judge people based on my personal emotions and experiences.

My appeal to most Christians who believe that Jesus makes the difference is to allow Jesus to make the difference the way He wants to do it.

“Sometimes, it takes the conviction of the Holy Spirit or a person’s willing efforts to get certain people to stop a certain lifestyle.”

God bless you

~ George O.N

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | Newest Book By George O.N

GOD EXPOSED | Bible & Quran


Even before we came to this earth and identified with our earthly parents, we already had a father. Many people never realized this on time, we were told about God, we were told about His sovereignty, we were told that God created the entire world and is the Lord of all. Whether you found it in the Quran or in the Torah, one thing was common; God is the King of Kings, the Lord over all and for some people, His name is too holy to be mentioned by mere mortals who couldn’t attain God’s standard of Holiness.

However, there is something remarkable that we always disregard whether you are seeing it from the Quran perspective or from the Torah. In Quran 38:71-72, we see a report that says this “I am going to create a human (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.  So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” and we also see an even more profound perspective in Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” God created man with an amazing intention, He wasn’t going to start bossing man around and He had always wanted the man to be honoured. If God made man in His image, He wanted much more than worshippers.

God didn’t say “let us create man to worship me” He already had worshippers who were created to worship Him but if the man should worship God, God wanted willingness to worship and therefore, in the beginning, there was no command from God to man, to worship Him. Making man in His image alone was a glory to be reckoned with that the fallen angel (satan) became aggrieved!

“If God made man in His image, He wanted much more than worshippers.”

After Satan had deceived man to seek an extra knowledge which actually doesn’t exist, the man left the ways of God and sojourned into the path of Satan; leaving Satan in control (Luke 4:6) and venturing into a futile search for God and what pleases Him. This was how religion was birthed, the man continued to try to please God by their own efforts but the more they try the more they failed because God needed no effort of man to make him perfect just as in the beginning. God already made man and bestowed on him all authority, honour and goodness but Satan made the man believe that there was more hidden from them. The only thing the perfect man never knew was rebellion against God in the search for more knowledge above what God has given.

As men kept searching for God and seeking for ways to get back to fellowship with God, religion kept thriving and the dimensions of religion kept expanding. Laws upon laws kept coming and even when God reveals himself to selected people, they couldn’t really explain what they see in the way that it explains the person of God and therefore they were very limited in their explanation of God because they were spiritually blind men.

Concerning this, the Bible reports in the new testament “…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.” Various people all over the world sought for diverse means to reach God but God can’t be reached with human effort as it undermines the person of God! In seeking for certain covering and spiritual fulfilment, men began to make their own gods and this was one of Satan’s goals. While everyone wanted to deal with Satan and negative energy, the devil was inspiring them to stick to him in hidden ways.

“God needed no effort of man to make him perfect”

God decided to narrow down on just one people through whom He will spread the knowledge of Himself to the entire world. It wasn’t a strategy that would make sense in an instant, He was preparing a way to make Himself known by Himself. No Angel, or Prophets would explain God in a better light and so God was committed to making Himself known all by Himself. Because of spiritual blindness, the God who desired fellowship was seen as a God who was power-drunk. That was the distorted view of God that religion has. Both the Torah and the Quran presented God as a Master in a sense it presents us as His slaves to some degree. Describing the helplessness of man, Bildad said to Job in Job 25:6 “how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot– a human being, who is only a worm!” but seeing from the point of revelation, David cried out to God saying in Psalms 8:4-6 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God (Adonai) and crowned them with glory and honour. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— ”

While we wallowed in ignorance, spiritual loneliness and quest to have that vacuum filled up which only God would fill, God kept revealing Himself to the people He had chosen but they only saw it in types and shadows because they were spiritually blind as the corruption of this world still covered their sight like veils. Concerning this, the Bible says in Colossians 2:17 “These are a shadow of the things that were to come…” When God told the Israelites in Exodus 29:45 “Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.” He was making reference to a spiritual Israel which the nation of Israel only represented as a type and shadows of what was to come.

Through the Prophets of old, God announced His plans for the Salvation of man and healing from the spiritual blindness that has ravaged the earth. Micah wrote in 5:2 of his prophecy “The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.” Isaiah also saw in a revelation as he wrote in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 “But the LORD will still give you proofs. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel… A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.””

“God kept revealing Himself to the people He had chosen but they only saw it in types and shadows because they were spiritually blind”

Many years later, in a very lowly manger in  Bethlehem just like Micah prophesied, a child was born and as Isaiah had written, He was born of a virgin. Some wise men of the East who understood the timing saw the star of God appear in the sky as it was written in Numbers 24:17 and they went to behold this child and bow in worship, acknowledging that indeed God, God is among men at this time. When Herod learnt of this and sought to kill the Child who was named Jesus, Hosea 11:1 was fulfilled as Jesus was taken to Egypt from where He came back to Israel. This also clarified why Jacob had to go to Egypt.

Even the Quran couldn’t hide certain truths about Jesus no matter how it is tried. The Quran said concerning Jesus in Surah 3:45 “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.” In Quran 3:39,45,4:171, it couldn’t be scraped off the Quran that Jesus is the word of God. In Quran 40:56, it is also agreed that God creates with His word! Quran agrees too that Jesus is the Spirit from God Quran 21:19. Although efforts have been made to deny the divinity of Jesus, it can’t be completely hidden as no other prophet in the Quran was given such attribute.

Concerning this Child, the Bible in John 1:1 records that He is the word of God, the same word with which the entire world was created. Although called the “son of God”, He was God in the flesh showing us the clear picture of who He is and who we should be. We were made to be like God in the flesh and Jesus being God in flesh was the clear example of who we were made to be. Jesus grew up possessing the very qualities of God, clarifying all the rumours that had been broadcasted about God. He was out to correct all the information given to us about God. The teachers of the law never understood Him but it was also His intention that they don’t understand Him because it will set the stage for the salvation of mankind.

“Even the Quran couldn’t hide certain truths about Jesus no matter how it is tried.”

In all the confusions arising from the teachings of all the Prophets, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 (CEV) “Don’t suppose I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning.” We never knew the meanings of what these Prophets had written because they were codes and not reality, we had documented their teachings and made laws out of them not knowing it was only but a pointer to Jesus. Although Jesus knew that some things would be heavy for the people to grasp in their state of blindness, He said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) Wait a minute! This is the Master He was talking about, the God of all flesh, the one who uses the earth as His footstool and He didn’t call Him master but “father!” He didn’t just call Him Father, He also said they are one.

Jesus went around doing good, healing the sick, supporting people with compassion in His heart and treating women so right that in Him, they saw the picture of the perfect man. Jesus was both the vivid picture of the perfect man and God all at the same time. In Jesus, humanity and divinity were pictured together. He went about forgiving sins and setting the captives free!

As that was never enough, Jesus took upon Himself the old judgment upon man which says in Genesis 2:17 “If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die”. The judgment had kept resonating as all men were labelled sinners because of the disobedience of one man from whom all men proceeded from. The devil thought he had won, he thought he had separated man from God and made men see God as a wicked boss but Jesus took up the sins of men upon Himself so that the judgment would be met on Him. This was the biggest and shameful defeat of the devil. No wonder He was called in John 1:29 “…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Using the blindness of the world who never recognized Him, He walked up to the cross in pains. The pain was too much on His humanity that He cried out in Matthew 26:39 “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” In the face of this pain, he still opted for what He came to do which was to liberate man who couldn’t liberate Himself.

“Jesus took up the sins of men upon Himself so that the judgment would be met on Him. This was the biggest and shameful defeat of the devil.”

He got crucified, He died, He was buried and on the third day, after preaching Himself to the spirits of the dead and solving the problem of sin from the foundations of this world, He resurrected in glory as a new man! But wait a minute! This time, He didn’t just tell us about His father in heaven. Although He had made us know in “the Lord’s prayer” that God is our father, He made it so much more obvious after His resurrection when He said to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17 “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” By the reason of His sacrifice, we had become just like Him. We had become His brothers in the flesh and His children in the Spirit. We can now know God beyond “Master” and we can now call Him “Daddy!”

Jesus became us that we might become Him. And the Bible had reported in John 1:12 saying “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” He didn’t want us to just be His subjects, He didn’t just want us to bow and worship Him just like the Angels, He wanted our friendship, He wanted a union and He wanted us to recognize Him as our father. In John 3:16, we also saw that if we accept Him, He gifts us His own life!

The New Testament gospel presents us with an answer, a liberating answer of who God is and who we are in Him. The Quran called Him master, the Torah and the Prophets did same, some even made idols and referred the idols as Him but He came as Jesus, presenting to us a very clear picture of who He is! God is not just our God, He is also our friend and He is our father. Therefore, we are no longer afraid to mention His name and His name is Jesus.

“Jesus became us that we might become Him.”

Jesus brought an end to religion and brought alive the first intent of making the man. All God ever wanted was relationship and here we have it in Christ! The Bible says concerning them that have believed, Romans 8:16 “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” What wasn’t clear has become clear.

Nowhere else have we been presented with this truth, not in the Quran, not in any religion and even with the shadows of truth in the Torah and writings of the Prophets, there was limited information. It is only in the New Testament, in the manifestation of Jesus that humanity is clearly defined and the works of darkness greatly humiliated! The Bible says concerning us in Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.””

What an exciting truth! We aren’t trying to find God anymore, God has found us and we are united with Him in Christ. You too can experience this truth for yourself. It takes you just one thing; to believe it! God is no longer a myth, He is exposed and what a blessing it is to be called “His children.”

“Jesus brought an end to religion and brought alive the first intent of making the man.”

God bless you.God has a family and it is a great privilege that we are members of God’s family. Religion cannot offer this, this is only possible in Christ. Imagine Jesus saying to us individually “I am your brother and we are seated together on the right hand of my father and your father.” Just as the Bible reports in Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Hallelujah!

God bless you.

~ George O.N

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | By George available in kindle & paper back

AKACHI’S SUICIDAL JOURNEY


Chukwuemeka Akachi
A selfie of Chukwuemeka Akachi

I have been very sober since the new wave of suicide struck Nigeria. Akachi’s suicide got at me because I know a bit of what he felt and I have been there. Chukwuemeka Akachi was a final year student of University of Nigeria Nsukka who relied on his poems to pour out himself. For him, sadness was his muse. It is sad that he couldn’t pull through. Many people have put the blames on his friends for not being so attentive or even his family for not giving him so much love but I think otherwise. I believe he received love and attention, there was just more to this.

Naturally, humans tend towards “me first” and therefore may not even notice the other person is dying. We all have one point or another where we had needed sincere help and no one ever came to our rescue. Right in my inbox, I have so many people wanting me to help them one way or the other and I keep staring at their messages wishing there is much I could do and seeing these things, I can’t even tell anyone I have my own struggles. We all appear happy and shiny here with people thinking that we are very happy and issue-free!

No one is to be blamed for another person’s suicide. We can only wish we had known better. People commit suicide every day all over the world and it isn’t something peculiar to us. Some people even with all the love they had received still follow the pathway of suicide. Everyone laments on the level of their bereavement and everyone with spill out what he or she has been filled it.

The case of Akachi brought tears to my eyes and I have been soberer after realizing that friends truly reached out to him. For Akachi and several others, suicide was a journey and the demon was so strong in their head that every other option seemed pointless. People showed him love and acceptance but there was just more it seemed he was looking that doesn’t exist. Since yesterday, I have been on his timeline letting those tears flow. I have been there and I know how we search into emptiness only to end up finding nothing. I have asked God countless times to prove himself yet again to me and guess what it seems I am greeted with? Silence! Why it is that way, I don’t know! God knows! I have experienced God, in a greater way but it doesn’t happen as fast as we want it. For Akachi, he stares into emptiness, hoping to find something he can’t even describe but it is not there.

I am so sure Akachi has been seeking answers to the essence of life, he has been looking for the source of happiness and the Bible kind of joy makes no sense to him because it is not logical to say that God gives joy even when things aren’t alright. He doesn’t understand the wisdom in telling people “God cares” when it seems all that God does to the Children He so loved is, keep silent from them! How do I know this? I was studying Akachi right from his timeline and if we shared anything in common, I crossed that path where he got stuck and so describing him seems like describing where I escaped from.

Akachi feels betrayed by God and he makes it clear that believing in Jesus was one of his worst decisions. There are people who say Akachi is in hell, some of them aren’t trying to be mean, they are grieving with the information they have. I have looked at this beyond what I had thought earlier and I realized we all function on the information we have. When I was little, one of the only reasons I cry for dead people was because “I don’t know their fate. Only they know.” People who express their fear over the choices Akachi made while he was living, do so because they know that the “Christian salvation” is only received by faith in Jesus. Only God can decide this for Akachi at the moment. Only God knows the condition of Akachi’s heart which appears really dark on the surface with absolute emptiness.

Blaming ourselves for people’s suicide makes it no better because some of us are not even trained on either detecting depression or handling it. This is a case of mental illness, some people have developed bipolar over time and it isn’t something mere words and even attention could handle. Akachi as our reference have struggled with coming to terms with himself and people can only help with what they had. Some had religion, some had motivations but these things had become undesirable for the young man. He considered happiness so boring and considered sadness lovely. I learn he also went for therapy but couldn’t even open up to the therapist. From his timeline, I learnt he also lost faith in the entire process and decided to do it his own way. He was more at peace with those who share the view of suicide being a way of freedom than those who would try shoving their religious opinions down his throat.

Akachi at some point was afraid to die and yet he was afraid to live! With all of these things going on in his mind, with all the answers he sought but never found and with the depth of love he desired that existed nowhere else but in his mind, Akachi declared “Finit hic Deo” which means “God ends here.” A line he borrowed from the movie “THE NUN”. For him, God is dead, if there was ever God. Now, since God is dead, he had to seek hope from somewhere else! Atheism wasn’t the answer and even though atheism appears to be the quickest way to hide our fears of the unknown, Akachi still felt there was more and in pursuit of this more, he kept loosing himself. Certain things he was looking for I believe were merely just answers he may find in life as he lives gradually and not in papers, opinions or even in death.

To cut it all short! People cared but to some point, he was done with it all. Although he was afraid to live or to die, he felt death was a better option and a better way out of all this puzzle that we seem to be living in. Whatever people have felt, it is how they should have felt and people will always say what they feel is the truth. For some, Akachi has escaped the misery of life and for others, Akachi has embraced the misery of death.

Certain people feel empathy, not because they are so kind but because it is part of the human feeling. Even when Jesus was crucified, one of those soldiers felt empathy towards Jesus. We learn every day and we try to be more. Everyone needs love. Certain things trigger emotions… It will trend for a while and it will pass. The best we can offer anyone around is love and we will get better at it every day as we keep loving. And like you rightly pointed out, we must always do a self-check to know when we are hurting others but ultimately, we ought to find hope beyond what humans can offer because the flaws of humanity are just there.

I am sorry it was this long but I feel more than this and this is just how I pour it out!

~George O.N

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MY JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN


MY JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN

I enjoy solitude sometimes being an introvert with some kind of curiosity. I have gone through a lot of things and these days I don’t want to know that stuff that will make me feel I don’t need God anymore. I don’t want to know that stuff that will make me feel there are answers elsewhere except that which God has revealed.

As a writer, sometimes my thoughts try wandering beyond this zone into a zone of deep mysteries. But I quickly step back else I make mistakes. Sometimes, these answers we seek don’t exist and we die without finding the answers! There are many books, groups and mysterious beings that claim to have the answers we seek and we see ourselves looking at the horoscopes, contacting mediums and doing all sort of things just to get answers.

There were times I had searched and searched for answers that it led me to a point of solitude where I see every other person as abnormal for believing “crap!” When we continue walking that path, we see ourselves even searching for answers from the “Big Bang Nonsense” or from traditions founded on wickedness, black magic and mysticism.

I have read certain books and I have seen myself leave my body, not in dreams but the moment I lay back and close my eyes! There were days I was so scared to even close my eyes because it became common for me to try breaking out of my body! You may call it hallucination but it was beyond that, it was happening to me.

I have ordered for books from Eck headquarters in the USA and they handed it over to me right at Onitsha, Nigeria! I have read deep into the Quran, and I have followed so many conspiracy theories just because I have a longing for answers! I have studied some paranormal and occultic books by Lopsang Rampa which of course triggered the scary experience of trying to leave my body! Sincerely speaking, it was never my desire to delve into certain mysteries, I was only curious!

But guess what?

The more I searched, the more I see myself struggling in futility to get an answer that doesn’t exist! The more this happens the more I stay away to myself, the more I drain myself of strength and joy, the more I feel we are just here on earth to waste our time and the more depression sets in.

Somehow, after all my failed searches, the consistent thing I keep finding out from all of them is the superiority and simplicity of God’s word as written in the Bible. I am no longer a Christian because I was born into it, I would have professed atheism a long time ago. I had temporary being an atheist at certain stages in my life while pretending to follow with Christianity. There have been stages in my life I took God for granted and consider those Bible stories as just another makeup by white men but then, the Bible showed me the purpose for humanity and the character of God!

Personally, the answers I have been looking for, I have seen them in God’s word. It has always been there while I was searching but I may not have listened to hear God telling me “this is the answer.” The New Testament has clearly connected the dots for me and the Bible in its completeness have shown me PURPOSE. It is the lack of sense of purpose and hopes that retracts us into the state of obscurity where we feel life isn’t worth living. I don’t really want to sound intelligent anymore if intelligence means denying Christ.

We never happened by accident.

We shouldn’t move by accident.

Our making was intentional and our living should be intentional. This is no answer in religion and until we begin to trust our creator and start looking at Him and His words for answers, we may always walk that line of depression.

The universe is so much in order to have been an accident! The earth rotates around the sun and round its own axis while the moon rotates around the earth making the ecosystem life-friendly. There is a super-intelligence behind the formation of this universe, it wouldn’t have been an accident. Look at how we complement each other in gender making reproduction possible. Do you think an accidental big bang would have made all of this possible?

Have you seen life evolve into another kind? Did your ancestors leave any documentation as regards to that? Truth is, when we seek answers that don’t exist, we treasure lies and foolishness. Believing we evolved from animals is messy because as long as this earth lives, we will not witness that change.

Without faith, we may trust so much in ourselves and still find no answers and then we stay depressed! This is how the devil comes into our thoughts and start manipulating us, making us cherish darkness more than we cherish the light! I have known God beyond religion and beyond books and He is not that angry God you have always been made to believe. He doesn’t even parade Himself with pride, He is down to earth seeking relationship and friendship.

It is the same way the devil got Adam and Eve that he goes about getting others. Adam and Eve were made with every goodness of God! They needed no extra answers but the devil came convincing them to seek a knowledge that God didn’t want them to open up to! They sought that knowledge and went farther from God. The same God that had always come to them for daily gist appeared scary to them because they have been exposed to the wrong knowledge.

I summarize with the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” which to me means “I have made up my mind to see life from the perspective God has presented it to me.”

God bless you.

~ George O.N

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INCREASE THE VOLUME OF HOPE


Increase the volume of Hope

Suicide again! Depression is real!

Some days ago, I wrote about suicide and why I didn’t go ahead with it! I didn’t go ahead not because I didn’t want to but each delay was used by God to save me from it. If I had a sniper handy, the story would have been different. I wanted a quick way to die so that there won’t be any time to be hospitalized. On this date, I got a heart wrecking news of a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka communicates suicide while leaving his suicide note on his Facebook wall. You will never understand what depression looks like if all things have gone so well with you.

As bad as it looks like an option, never judge anyone who wasn’t strong enough to hold through, they made a very poor decision but don’t judge them especially when you have not had any experience of what depression is. I feel for that young man! I couldn’t hold the tears, I understood it just the moment I set eyes on his profile! The cringe of death on him was so loud and no one could talk him out of it! Sometimes, that person doesn’t need your advice! If you can’t help them, keep your hypocritical advice to yourself. After my experience, until today, I don’t talk down on anyone who committed suicide as much as I wish they knew better.

Do you see this life? It is a terrible thing to live without hope. I have seen Pastors with result commit suicide too! This isn’t just about believing there is God who sits on His throne in heaven. Everyone needs to be part of a very strong community where love isn’t just in words but in actions. I believe lack of love helps depression to thrive!. When love is lacking, people take the path of solitude especially when certain realities have struck them and they begin to think in an unorthodox manner! The moment we feel God has withdrawn from us or the God we have always believed in has failed us, it heightens the level of hopelessness and gives a louder voice to depression.

God has been reaching out to you from day one! Sometimes, we just refuse to listen to Him and cling strongly to our own hurts. We can’t magnify our hurts so much and hear God speaking. When the music is so loud, we may never know when the phone rings. Don’t let your hurts speak louder than your hope! One way we hurt our hopes so deeply is when we give up entirely on God. There is always that time when we feel “God is just another scam.” I don’t even know the best way to convince you but there isn’t any more hope outside God.

They say that as long as there is life, there is hope and this is very true! Even if it is a drop of life remaining, there is hope because that life can spring forth again and sprout out many roots! We may not understand the workings of God so well now, we may ask where He was when we were going through all of the things we went through. I ask that question sometimes too but I also know I have experienced God in the past. I may not understand why He appears silent sometimes but I know He cares and isn’t inactive.

You cannot heal yourself of depression, no matter how long you walk, you can’t walk your way out of depression. You still need God and you still need other people. The man was not designed to function alone and even when people aren’t thinking the same way we do, we can enjoy their company! Diversity shouldn’t drive us away from each other, it should spice our relationships.

Sometimes, we stay in solitude trying to understand life but God designed us to do well in the community and never on our own. Please, no matter what… Don’t be extremely set apart all to yourself. Depression thrives in solitude and lack of love. It gets to the point we see the love and never even recognize it again.

Can you just turn down the volume of that rejection, hurts, failures and even confusions that you can’t understand? Can you increase the volume of hope? I know motivations become annoying when we walk deep into hopelessness but we can look at the testimony of others who have been there before!

Even if the Bible makes no sense to you now, you may take your time to read the story of Job! It got to a point where the only encouragement he got was to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9) but Job refused to increase the volume of hopelessness. He struggled hard with it though but he wrestled hard to ensure the voice of hopelessness doesn’t overpower the voice of hope.

Depression isn’t just a feeling! Depression is against your destiny and its mission is to alter what you exist for. Depression usually graduates to suicidal desires. But you must treat it like the devil, you’ve got to resist it knowing that you aren’t in this alone and others who are experiencing worst things are still living! The Bible says “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:9

You are not going through it alone, that is why you need to belong to a part of the community where you are encouraged by people who go through the same thing you go through. The Bible says you should resist that devil! Depression too isn’t without negative forces! Those voices you hear in your head isn’t normal. Whenever I see hyper-sensitive people, I feel for them and I love them with all my heart because I have been there and am gradually breaking the barriers of hypersensitiveness.

We take selfies, go to parties, laugh all over social media, write poems and stories and people think we are so much fine after all we are so gifted but the thing is that many people who appear happy are the most depressed folks looking for a way to cheer themselves up! Everybody needs love, not just spoken love but active love! It is not enough to try on our own to be happy and fulfilled, we need other people in our lives. The Bible continues in 1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Denying God also denies Him access to our challenges.

There is no one quick fix for depression and I cannot even say my words can be of so much help but there is always a way out which you must be willing to walk on before you pass through it. Think again, suicide may seem like a juicy way of escape but as I wrote concerning Judas who gave up on himself and committed suicide, don’t end your story in that bad light! You are stronger than this and others may need your story to survive! Need someone to talk to? I am not a therapist but I can be your friend!

I call you “blessed”.

~ George O.N

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