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Peace returns to Ahiara Dioceses

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Peace returns to Ahiara Dioceses

As Ugorji ordains 16 priests

After close to five years of ecclesiastical battle occasioned by the appointment of Bishop Peter Ebele Okpaleke as Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, activities have resumed in top gear in the diocese. Most visible was the recent ordination of 16 priests by the current leadership of the diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Lucius I. Ugorji. TAI ANYANWU reports

 

Mbaise in Imo State, said to be reputed for producing the highest number of Catholic Priests in Africa, recently, was avid with activities in preparation for the epoch-making moment being the ordination of 16 of their sons into the Catholic priesthood.
Some of those for ordination had actually spent 23 years in their search of the priesthood, especially as a result of the Ahiara crisis. Hence the people rolled out the drums to savour the unique occasion.

Their joy was as ecstatic and exciting as relations and associates converged at the massive Cathedral of Maria Mater Ecclesiae Cathedral, Ahiara on the 4th of May when the Ordaining Prelate, His Lordship Most Rev. Lucius I. Ugorji, the Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Diocese confirmed the priests ordained.

“My prayer is there should be no more crises, never again will there be crises in Ahiara, Mbaise; it will be forward ever and backward never. We thank God for ensuring peace which made it possible for the ordination of these our brothers, 16 of them. So we thank God for the peace in the diocese,” Ugorji said.

The first reading at the Mass was taken from the book of Jeremiah. Buttressing the scripture, Ugorji said God is indeed concerned about His people and that was why he sent prophets. He added that prophets are messengers of God; those God has chosen to bring message to His people.

“God chose Jeremiah, today He is choosing those He will send for the dissemination of His word, because of the concern God has for His people, for the salvation of his people in Ahiara Diocese,” Ugorji stated.

Among the 16 people ordained was Reverend Father Christogonus Chinonso Okonko, who on the second day after the priestly ordination, celebrated his 1st Holy Mass of Thanksgiving at Christ the King Catholic Church Okpofe, where he thanked God and all those visible and invisible who helped in one way or the other to ensure his attainment of priesthood. He prayed to almighty God to take over those responsibilities which he would have shouldered in his family.

While thanking those who nurtured the young priests especially their parents, Ugorji stated that the process of ordination of priests is a serious and delicate business when he said “I asked the question if these ones are qualified to be priests and the answer was in affirmation. I asked those responsible for ordination of priests and they affirmed that they are qualified, I asked the Christian community through communication of bans, I asked their trainers, they also bore testimonies. So it is on the basis of all that we are doing what we are doing today. It will be an exercise in futility if the bishop goes ahead to ordain them without these witnesses according to the demands of the canon law of the church”

He went further to explain that it was wrong to put pressure on the bishop to ordain any particular person as priest “If you push the bishop to ordain somebody as reverend father, it is not valid. If it is done without the recommendation of those concerned, it can be valid but illicit, illegal, so it is a very delicate process, so we do this according to the direction of God, and those that make recommendation must also do so without fear or favour, Ugorji stated.

Ugorji urged the new priests to live a life worthy of emulation. “The people must see Christ in your actions, in your speech, there must be integrity, living in imitation of Christ and in holiness”He also told them that the church recommends a life of prayer, “You must live a virtuous life and growing in holiness. The church recognizes a life of prayer,” Ugorji advised.
In the end the new priests were asked if they were prepared to serve the lord and they agreed that they were prepared. He urged the newly ordained priests to respect their respective parish priests and the bishop.

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Kumuyi, others to address participants on success principles

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Kumuyi, others to address participants on success principles

T

he Deeper Christian Life Ministry has announced its annual National Youth Success Camp (NYSC) 2019 with the theme, ‘Preparing for a Secure Future’.

In a statement issued by National Coordinator of the youth arm of the church, Dr. Peter Elias said the Success Camp would feature “Complete transformation, developing excellence, digital awareness, success insight, empowerment discovery, heart talk, future skills and lots more”.

Explaining the genesis of the programme, Elias said: “The Convener, Pastor (Dr.) William Folorunsho Kumuyi, General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, more than thirty years ago, started Free Vacation School to assist students of secondary schools and colleges in Mathematics as a renowned expert in the field and to make the most of the holiday period through Godly transformation.”

“Over the years, this event has evolved into an annual summer camping programme called ‘Success Camp’. As the name suggests, the overall goal is to unravel secrets of success to young people based on godly, scriptural values.”

He further explained that the aim was to prepare youths for the jobs of the future.

The National Coordinator also disclosed that this year’s programme would hold simultaneously in major cities of Nigeria and other countries in Africa from August 27 to 31, 2019 and that it would be residential.

He urged the youth to “Join Pastor Kumuyi as he leads other anointed men of God, seasoned technocrats, reputable professionals and erudite teachers to unravel the key to the unbeatable life, success principles, life skills and leadership nuggets.”

The organisers of the programme also said that among other resource persons and organisations that would impart knowledge in the participants is Konverge Media Limited, which would train the participants on Google Digital Skills leading to becoming a certified Google Digital Skill Personnel. “Interested participants should contact the nearest Deeper Life Bible Church in their neighbourhood for full details about the venue of the success camp nearest to them. Participation, including registration, accommodation, feeding and transportation to the venue is free. There is adequate arrangement for the safety and security of all participants,” Elias said.

“Youths are invited to come, learn and secure a glorious future,” he added.

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Pastor James enjoins youths to keep Nigeria one

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Pastor James enjoins youths to keep Nigeria one

T

he presiding minister of Royal House of Faith, Lekki, Pastor Bassey James, has admonished Nigerians youths to do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria’s unity is preserved.

The cleric, who is also the President of Southern Youths Development Forum, further urged all youths throughout the federation to refuse to be lured by those he described ‘people who want to destroy Nigeria’s corporate entity’.

Speaking to our correspondent yesterday he said: “I believe in Nigeria, I am a Nigerian and I believe that Nigerians should do everything possible to stay together as Nigerians regardless of political parties. A Nigerian is foremost a Nigeria beyond political parties.

“I therefore want to appeal to the youths of this country from the North, South, East and West to come together to speak the issue of security, the issue of oneness and the issue of togetherness,” Pastor James said.

Pastor James insisted that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable adding; “No matter how difficult it may be, we must continue to stay together because together we grow, together we expand and together we will excel in every area if life.”

According to him, Nigeria’s size and the resources that God endowed the country with “is already a threat to other countries across the nations of the world.”

“Nigeria is also one of the biggest countries in the world, the most populated black race and one of the richest if not the richest country in the whole world.

“What we need is to put our human resources together and now build on the foundation laid by the founding fathers of Nigeria, the likes of Dr. Nnamfi Azukwe, Alhaji Tafawa Bakewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other prominent Nigerians together to build a nation,” the cleric opined.

On that premised, Pastor James sent a passionate plea to all Nigerian urging them not to allow the issue of ethnicity and religion to destroy the Nigerian nation. According to the cleric, identifying with this cause is the best birthday gift and patriotic gift every youths of this nation can give.

Incidentally, the Royale House of Faith, the Southern Youths development Forum, friends and association of the Southern Atlantic Polytechnic have rolled out the drums to mark the Golden Jubilee anniversary of their founder, president and chancellors today, with pomp.

Speaking passionate about the need to keep Nigeria one he disclosed that the Southern Youth Development Union has come up with the idea of hosting a national youth security summit in September.

“We have put a lot of things on board and we are appealing to the leaders of political parties from the President to the governors, serving ministers to past and present presidents and governors, the National Assembly members to come together with the Igbo youths, Hausa youths, Yoruba youths, youths from other component entities that make up Nigeria so that we can sit and talk to ourselves.”

He stressed that “there is need for us to start talking to ourselves. The summit slated for September will be held in each of the geographical regions. We intend to start in the South Western region, in Lagos; for the North, we are looking at Kaduna; in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; in the South-South, we will have it in Uyo; and Enugu in the South East, James explained.

The idea, he further explained, “is for Nigerian to start galvanising our unity, start building our strength and to start talking to our youths. By the grace of God we will also bring in security experts across the regions to sit together and we are ready to host the programmes in each of the regions for greater effectiveness.”

He, however said that the issue if insecurity is becoming more serious by the day pointing out that there is insecurity everywhere.

He added, “I want to say this and I mean it, that it is not President Buhari that can kick start this conference of national youths.

“There is need for everybody to come on board to support the President whether you are PDP, APC, APGA it what have you. We must go beyond political parties and begin to talk and think Nigeria.”

Pastor James noted that today we have   President Buhari, yesterday it was President Jonathan and in 2023 another person will emerge adding “We need to support any government that is in power to make sure that the issue of security is well addressed.

“Our youths should not allow themselves to be used by the enemies of progress of this country. Now is the time for us all the issues to start talking to ourselves because we cannot continue to kill ourselves, counseled.

While congratulating the newly inaugurated ministers, including Godswill Akpabio, Timipre Silver, Festius Keyamo, Osagie Ehanire, Rotimi Amaechi and others, Pastor James commended the President for successfully inaugurating his cabinet members.

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A kidnapped victim told this story (2)

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A kidnapped victim told this story (2)

 

I

n another kidnap instance, those who went to collect the ransome had communication gap with those keeping the victim. Network was bad so those keeping the kidnapped victim released the victim thinking that the money had been given as agreed. The man was set free. In another case, a victim was put in the boot of the car and when they came to the place where the road was bad, unknown to kidnappers, the car boot opened and the man jumped out. When the kidnappers arrived at their destination, they discovered he had escaped. They then called him to tell him to pay certain amount of money to their account or they would come after him or family members. The man had to oblige without reporting to Police to save the lives of his family.

 

 

In another instance, the kidnappers asked someone to travel to a place in one of the South – South States to drop the money. The man travelled to the place and was directed to enter church premises – a popular prophet’s church premises and they took him to their room where they were staying and collected the money but warned him not to tell anybody. The church has a lot of work to do. The prophet was not aware of it but hears from God. How?

 

 

THE CHURCH AND KIDNAPPING

 

 

In one of the cases mentioned, the pastor’s bank details were used to receive money. Truly, the minister did not know – he was just told that some used his bank account to collect the money.

 

 

However, in the second case where a popular prophet in Nigeria has his church and conferences, how come he is not aware? Yes the man of God converted them on 31st Night, called them out and warned them openly and decided to give them some rooms in the camp / premises to stay. As a prophet of God, should he not know? I can’t say exactly what happened.

 

 

TYPES OF PRAYERS

 

 

Type 1

A good word is a good word, and a bad word is a bad word even if it is used in prayers or in a joke. For example the scripture says that light excels darkness; goodness excels bad / evil; live excels hatred, mercy excels judgement; life excels death, and wisdom excels folly. Also forgiveness excels unforgiveness, health excels sickness or disease; cleanliness / holiness excels sins or grace excels calamity and Blessings excels curses. Better, Stronger, Sharper.

 

 

Wisdom is better than folly as light is better than darkness (Ecc. 2:13)

 

 

In other words, wisdom exceeds, excels, and is more powerful than folly as light exceeds, excels, is preferred, is pre-eminent and defeats darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness – in all areas. Whether in praying or in blessing, wisdom and light are better, stronger and defeat folly (silliness) and darkness. Better, Stronger, Sharper.

 

 

Also the scripture says mercy triumphs over judgement (James 2:13). In other words mercy (forgiveness) exceeds, excels, wins out, triumphs, and more powerful than judgement and justice. Calling for justice is judgement, vengeance, as opposed to forgiveness and mercy. Mercy is stronger and better than judgement and justice. Better, Stronger, Sharper.

 

 

St. Paul says in Rom. 12:21 (Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good). This simply means that good is better, excels, exceeds, more powerful and stronger than evil, in every area. Evil can’t equal good. Infact the scriptures state in Rom. 12:20, (therefore if thine enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him drink, for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head). Do you see now that good overcomes evil, and infact is stronger than evil deeds. It overcomes the most powerful enemy. Better, Stronger, Sharper.

 

 

In some communities, the Chiefs and Elders invoke evil spirits and infact death on kidnappers and armed robbers, instead of proclaiming forgiveness, mercy or grace after them. From the scriptures above, which is more effective and powerful?

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Mercy begets mercy

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Mercy begets mercy

T

he book of Mathew says in chapter 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” In the verse, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Master and teacher articulates this divine principles to the effect that root to mercy is a seed of mercy. Every harvest of mercy is rooted in a seed of mercy which was shown somewhere. The only guarantee of mercy for any person is to be merciful.

 

 

In view of this spiritual position, the word of God declares in Mathew 6:12: “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtor.” It is very significant that our Lord Jesus Christ included a petition for forgiveness and an application for forgiveness in the model prayer that he prescribed. It is remarkable that the only part of the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus commented on, after its presentation, was this position which has to do with forgiveness and mercy.

 

 

These arresting words were supplemented to the illustration taught by our Lord Jesus Christ in Mathew 6:14-15: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses; neither will your heavenly father forgive your trespasses.” The startling truth that our Lord Jesus Christ declared above is that our receiving mercy is absolutely dependent upon our demonstration of forgiveness and mercy.

 

 

The same book of Mathew speaking in chapter 18: 21-35 talks about a parable that has relevance to the fact that mercy is the root of mercy and forgiveness is the root of forgiveness. The word of God records, “Then came Peter to him, and said Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?

 

 

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But for as much as he had not to pay, his Lord commanded him to be sold and his wife and children, and all that he had, until payment be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Then the Lord of the servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out and found one of his fellow servants which owed a hundred pence and took him, he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying; pay me thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet and besought him saying Have patience with me and I will pay you all. And he could not, but went and cast him into the prison, till he would pay the debt. So then his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very very sorry and came and told unto their Lord all that was done.

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When you are married to a mummy’s boy

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When you are married to a mummy’s boy

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mother kept seeing her thirty-two-year old son as a little boy. When he was to get married to a lady of about age twenty-eight, she could not imagine how a twenty eight year old “small girl” can adequately take care of a thirty two year old “small boy”. The young man would tell his mother words like “mummy, I’m not a small boy. I can run my home.”

But her son, (who equally loved his mother so much) was very wise and jovially firm. By jovially firm, I mean jovial but firm. He used jokes, funny illustrations and other means that prevented his mother from being the supreme commander of his wife and marriage.

After murmuring and fretting here and there, his mother had no option but to accept the marital boundaries jovially erected by her son. I recommend his style. But not every man is like this.

Another mother who loved her son so much always made sure that her son ate her meals instead of the meals cooked by his wife. The man’s mother was the commander-in-chief of her son’s home. Can you imagine a situation where a wife has drawn the food time table for the week, only for her mother-in-law to come and make her own?

 

 

Some wives have reacted by quarrelling with their husbands and mothers-in-law. As marriage and family counselors, my wife and I have seen that confronting a husband who is babyishly in love with his mother and confronting a mother-in-law who insists on still breastfeeding her thirty something year old son will look like questioning two mad people and wanting to know from them why they are mad. So, what should a wife do in such a situation?

 

 

Before going into marriage, the woman ought to have known that the umbilical cord between the man she wants to get married to and his mother has not been cut. Such a wife should therefore decide to love her possessive mother-in-law the way her son loves her. She has to first of all convince her husband that she loves his mother.

 

 

Once your husband is convinced that you deeply love his mother, he will begin to love you more. It works this way “If you love my mother whom I love so much, then you have won my heart. I will then love you more.” But such a situation should not be allowed to grow from bad to worse and worse to worst. Such a wife has to meet experienced counselors. But the point I have tried to make here is that, the wife should first of all grow to unconditionally love her mother-in-law. She should also through her actions and words apply Philippians 4:8 by talking to her husband about her mother-in-law on only, “Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report”. It will be easier for the wife and marriage counselors to convince such a husband to change his ways and be a man when the man is convinced that his wife loves his mother. I pray that your children will not find themselves in such awkward situations. Amen. Love you.

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Interpreting objects in dreams

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Interpreting objects in dreams

T

here are some objects that convey peculiar meanings when they feature in dreams.

However, the situation of the dream determines the extent to which these objects conform to the regular meanings for which they are known. Some very common ones are listed here under:

DOGS

When a dog is sighted in a dream, it usually signifies a fight, a quarrel, an open confrontation, a rebellion or a law suit.

When a dog leaks one’s legs, the implication is that a matter in which one is involved may become dangerous. It signifies conspiracy and mischief. Whoever is concerned should be watchful of his deeds and utterances. If one is bitten by a dog, immediate  prayer and fasting must follow. Trouble is definitely on its way. An example of how one can interpret a dream that involves a dog is as follows:

“I dreamt yesterday that I visited my uncle who is known to be very rich but very proud.

Because of his pride many of his relatives including myself, distanced ourselves from him. I was in his house in my dream and a dog approached me peacefully to play with me. I was reciprocating when the dog suddenly grew wild and bit my hand. I shouted for help but none came. My hand was still in its mouth when I woke up from the dream.

This morning the uncle sent for me to come to his house for a chat. Should I heed his call?”

The interpretation of the above will depend on the outcome of spiritual probing of the  situation of the dreamer. It could be an inspired dream in which case, the dreamer is warned not to have anything to do with the uncle. It might lead to a big problem if he does. It could as well be a demonic dream which is aimed at stopping a blessing that would have come to the dreamer through the uncle. It is possible that Satan has perfected a way to doublecross the path of the dreamer to stop the uncle from initiating a help for him. The dream will make him to ignore the call and thereby loose the help.

Yet the dream may have nothing to do with the uncle. The uncle’s intention to call the dreamer was known to Satan and he has decided to arrange the dream to coincide with the call so that the dreamer will not look elsewhere for the interpretation of the dream. It is best to warn the dreamer to beware of any matter that can lead him to trouble.

SNAKES

I usually dream of snakes chasing me. I attended a seven days’ power-packed revival in my church recently. On the last day of the revival, I had a dream in which a big snake came out of the ground in my room, crawled out into the backyard and entered the big bush behind our house. Since then, I have become afraid of staying alone in the room.

Movements, even of cockroaches, scare me.

The implication of the above dream is that a big problem in the life of the dreamer had just been solved. He had been contending with hatred, confusion and bad luck caused by a conspiracy around him. Definitely, there is someone around him who pretends to be his friend but in reality is an enemy that has caused him a lot of troubles. The dream signifies a big victory over his problems. He is finally delivered from the clutches ofSatan. However, he may loose the friendship of an intimate person. If he is married, it could be his spouse, if not, it could be a close relation or friend.

Snakes portray devilish people who are close as friends but remain undetected for a very long time. In businesses, such a person could be an employee in whom one reposes a lot of confidence. He will suddenly resign after the above dream. In case of a snake bite, poison is implied. Some people with stones or other foreign objects in their body could be victims of snake bites in their dreams. It is the same as a gunshot which is the defilement of the flesh.

In all cases, fasting and prayer are the remedy.

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Engaging the breakthrough power of faith

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Engaging the breakthrough power of faith

 

W

elcome to the concluding part of this teaching! I hope you were blessed by the teaching of last week. Today, we shall focus on: Engaging the Breakthrough Power of Faith!

From scriptures, we discover that it is only our faith that can make us become what God says. The Bible records: Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11; see also Isaiah 14:27, 55:11). God has sworn, yet it will take our own faith to become what He has declared. Two things brought about the fulfilment of the prophetic word in Sarah’s life: her faith got the job done; and she also believed in the set time (Genesis 21:1-2). Thus, every prophecy is ordained to be fulfilled at the set time because we serve a God of appointed time (Habakkuk 2:3). God is committed to His timing and when we are in line with the appointed time, our next levels will come. As it is written: And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment (1 Chronicles 12:32). Therefore, if we don’t have an understanding of the time, we stand to be messed up. There are things we must do to experience continuous breakthroughs in our lives. Thus, every breakthrough story in the Kingdom is rooted in specific Word encounters (Isaiah 9:8; John 2:3/5/9; Luke 5:4-7). Many people heard the Word but the Word did not produce in their lives because the Word we don’t put to work will never work. As it is written: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (James 2:18).

What then is the Breakthrough Nature of Faith?

•Faith is sharing responsibility with God in the face of scriptures, so as to commit Him to make good His promise: Any faith that seeks to make God absolutely responsible for the outcome of our lives is an irresponsible faith. Real faith makes us take responsibility to see God in action. Until our part is played, God is not committed.

•Faith is the spiritual virtue that establishes partnership with the invincible God, thereby empowering us to do the impossible. It is written: What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Every time our faith comes alive, God’s partnership with us on that issue of concern is established. So, it is our faith that establishes our partnership with God in dealing with the issues of our lives. For instance, Abraham’s faith was a partnership faith (Genesis 17:1). Every time we believe God, we remind Him of His partnership with us, thus empowering us to do the impossible (Romans 3:3-4). Also, when the Israelites believed Him by going towards the Red Sea, the sea saw them and fled. Their partnership with God made them more than conquerors.

•Faith is not just reaching out to God who is in heaven; faith is bringing God down to where we are: This means that we are both on the battlefield. His name is called the omnipotent God, and with the breath of His nostrils, He will slay our enemies.

•Faith is putting God’s Word to work, believing: We must maintain a thought pattern that is in line with what we believe (Proverbs 23:7).

•Faith converts the Word into flesh: It converts the spiritual to physical and the immaterial into material (John 1:14).

•Faith is not just getting God to do something; it is securing God’s partnership in getting things done: As it is written: …for we are labourers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). It is that partnership that turns men into living wonders in the world. Faith brings us into partnership that makes us dare the undareable, speak the unspeakable and deliver the impossible.

In summary, if faith is so powerful, why then do we appear so powerless? It is because our faith is not well rooted. Every change of level meets people suddenly, and except our faith is set, we will trash it and miss our set time. We need to build our faith or it will fail us when our lifting comes because we need a set faith to take delivery of our next levels. Therefore, we should invest in making our faith set by tapping into the depth that God has given to those who have it. But, to make your faith set, you must be born again. Are you born again? If you are not, this is an opportunity to do so. Simply say the following prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. Today, I accept You as my Lord and personal Saviour. Thank You Jesus for saving me! Now I know I am born again!” 

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Archaeologist discovers proof of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem

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cademics are saying the Bible is trustworthy after discovering evidence of the 6th century Babylonian siege of Jerusalem as it is described in 2 Kings, Chapter 25.  )

Archaeologists from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, excavating on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, say they have found physical evidence of the Babylonian attack, including burnt material, arrowheads, carbonized wood, bronze, iron, jewelry, and broken pottery.

Dr. Shimon Gibson, co-director of the university’s Mount Zion archaeological project, told CBN News the discoveries were “unexpected.”

The Bible describes King Nebuchadnezzar’s forces burning “every great house” down, including the house of the Lord—Solomon’s Temple. The soldiers also took bronze pillars and vessels from the Temple and carried them back to Babylon while the children of Israel were thrown into exile.

“What we’re finding are the results of that destruction,” Gibson said, adding that Nebuchadnezzar was known as the “Destroyer of Nations” at the time.

The researchers also found a particularly rare piece of jewelry with unclear origins.

“It might have been an earring. It might have been a tassel, some kind of ornament. It’s unclear at this point in time. It consists of a golden bell out of which extends this bunch of grapes made out of silver,” Gibson said.

“There have been over the past several decades a lot of discussion as to the veracity of the Biblical account. Some would like to see it more as mythically based, maybe having a basis in history, but still largely a document that is not really to be relied upon,” he explained.

“Our excavations prove that to not be the case.”

Gibson said the archaeologists will return to Jerusalem next summer to excavate the site in its entirety

Courtesy CBN news

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Rev Awotunde: Let’s join hands to make Nigeria great

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…hails Gov Sanwo-Olu for fixing Lagos bad roads

 

 

T

he President of Lagos East Baptist Conference, Rev Dr. Emmanuel Awotunde, has appealed to all Nigerians to work together to actualise God’s promise of making Nigeria great.

Rev Awotunde, who made the plea during chat to intimate journalists of plans ahead the church’s Kingdom Life Assembly slated for August, 24-29, also commended the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for repairing bad roads in the state.

According to Rev Awotunde, the action of the state government is in line with the theme of the church’s annual event which borders on good stewardship.

He added that every government exists to serve the people, meet their need and make life easy.

His words: “While we continue to pray for public officers at all levels as the Bible encourages us to do, our leaders too must remember that they are servants of the people elected to bring succor to citizens they lead.”

He continued: “We are all witnesses to the vibrant response of our governor in Lagos State in fixing the bad roads his administration inherited and this is commendable.”

The cleric used the opportunity to urged President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively address the issue of insecurity in the country. “In the same vein, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts in stemming the tide of insecurity affecting our country,” he said.

He recalled that a pastor of the Baptist church in Kaduna, Elisha Numan, a pastor’s daughter in Beri, Niger-kebbi, were kidnapped two weeks ago and the kidnappers were demanding N7 million as ransom for their release, which the church had not been able to raise.

“While we continue to pray for God to touch the kidnapers, we appeal to our government to step up efforts to free them from the kidnappers den,” he further appealed.

Speaking further on the theme of the convention, Rev Awotunde said, “Our Kingdom Life Assembly holding from Saturday August 24-29, at First Baptist Church, Agbowa, Ikorodu is an annual gathering of all Baptist Associations, young and old, men and women, of our conference where we share the word of God in-depth through Bible studies and expository messages and we give reports of our efforts in spreading the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Our theme this year is following Jesus Christ as a steward while 1 Peter 4:10 is our key verse for the Assembly and it states: ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

He explained that the theme would serve as a guide to becoming a good steward, for people in positions of authority.

He added that if public officers can become good stewards they will be a sample or mirror to others to become obedient to God and the rules of the land. He attributed the problem of Nigeria to disobedience to the law.

On how churches can help government to stem insecurity, he suggested government representatives should engage communities leaders with a view to comparing note and getting contributions from the them as a way to solving the insecurity in the nations. “A lot will be achieved through such collaboration,” he said.

The Chairman of the Kingdom Life Assembly,  Rev. Dr. Julius Omomola, added that the our leaders should go beyond their present efforts at stemming insecurity by first identifying what are the reasons for insecurity pointing out that if  that is not done the leadership will continue to play to the gallery.

He said: “We must understand that we have always had the Fulani herdsmen in the past years. Why is that they suddenly began to carry arms. We need to understand the genesis of that. If the leaders will not understand the real problem, it becomes difficult to face the problem and overcome the problems,” the cleric said.

Rev Omomola also wants government to be ready to approach the problem of insecurity from various perspectives.

“Some have proffered community policing but our leaders appear to have mindset, not willing to listen to other opinions even when they realize that their strategies seem not to be effective, rather than looking at what the people are suggesting, they are not humble enough to admit that their strategies have not produced the required result.

“Can we also learn or borrow from the knowledge of other countries and what they have done to overcome insecurity in their land?” he asked.

He described such disposition of relevant public officials as insanity adding, ‘one of the things that we need is to let out leaders to be aware of.

He said the essence of the Kingdom Life Assembly theme is an interesting one. “We are not just talking about believers being stewards in the church, but being stewards anywhere they find themselves; at home , in the church, market place, because one of the reasons we have corruption in our land is because who have emerged as leaders are not good stewards.

He noted that lack of proper understanding of good stewardship is part of the reasons we have woeful failure of leadership in Nigeria,

“Those who emerged as leaders don’t understand what stewardship is all about.  Unfortunately, we have some in the arena of leadership who are from the church. If such people have been well trained on what it means to be good stewardship in the political arena, some of the challenges we have today will not be there.

“What we have today would not be there. A lot people we have today as decision makes are people without direction, we have politicians without ideology. We have people who have change as a slogan, change without progress. That tells us that the concept of stewardship has not yet been embraced.

“Leaders out there should know that they are servant leaders, that whatever they occupy is a privilege, and that position is not for serving themselves, their own interest but serving God’s interest foe the people,” he added.

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Faith

Paul Adefarasin’s wife condemns living above means

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he wife if the Senior Pastor of House on the Rock church, Pastor (Mrs.) Ifeanyi Adefarasin,  has slamed people who love to live above their means.

Pastor Ifeanyi, in a recent sermon, lashed out at those living above their means but pointed out that there is a season for everything.

She, admonished young school leavers who, she said are buying bags that can pay their one-year house rent, to desist from such sustentatious life style.

According to her, lack of contentment and being envious of older people ‘eating the fruit of their labour’ should be avoided.

Pastor Ifeanyi also revealed that most times what those who live above their means put on or do are not even noticed by those they are trying so hard to impress.

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