September 2019

IT IS TIME FOR THE DAVID DANCE

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If you hear the sound of a danceable beat right now, would you rock your body and have some fun? Maybe yes.

For me, I’m a born dancer especially when it comes to ”alujo” (the music made with by the talking drum). Regardless of time and space, I will still shake my body to the rhythm. That’s my own simple invitation to dance.

There have been countless moments in my life, when I was battling serious life issues, and I literally needed God and God alone to intervene.

But once alujo comes on the scene, I momentarily forget about my problems. Don’t call me what yorubas would call someone like this- “Alajota” (hired or passionate dancers) 😋🤩

Whether you are like me or not, there’s a special kind of dance that transcends every issue facing you in that moment. This dance comes from a heart that is perpetually joyful in and out of season. It is the David Dance!

David danced over 2000 years ago but it is still a point of reference today and I will tell you why!

Oya let us sing first 🎼🎵🎶🥁🎹🎺🎻🎸🎷🎤When the Spirit of the Lord is upon my soul, I will dance like David danced. I will dance (2×), I will dance like David daaanced. 💃💃💃🕺🕺🕺

The Scripture says in 2 Samuel 6:14 “And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.” This was when the Ark of the Lord was brought back to the City of David, David’s long time dream fulfilled.

But can you imagine a whole King dancing without holding back or being self conscious, praising the King of all the earth, while the people watched him?

“I still have things that I’m trusting God for, but let me give thanks to God for this one that He has done, it’s been a long time coming”, David must have thought to himself.

This dance became a point of reference because it came from the very core of David’s spirit, the King of God’s most precious people on earth, he was in his priestly robe, he danced with all his might and his only audience was God even though many eyes were on him.

Beloved, it is time for the David Dance. Okay, call it your own dance – Nike’s Dance, but can you do it with all your heart and all your might, from the depth of your spirit, in your priestly form, with God being your only audience.

This is why you have to do this – You may be trusting God for an intervention, a breakthrough, healing, restoration, provision, marital fulfillment etc. This dance is proof that you are assured that He didn’t bring you this far to leave you. It’s your way of thanking him for all He has done in the past, because you know He will do much more, even beyond your expectations. This dance is an invitation to God to turn everything around for your good. This dance is proof that you have asked God to have His way and you are grateful eternally for all He has done for you. This dance is thanking Him for the breath you breathe and all the blessings that money cannot buy.

It is time for the David Dance! Switch on the music. TGIF!

Written by Adenike Akinbode

DIWPRTEAMIT IS TIME FOR THE DAVID DANCE
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Compassion in Marriage

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It is true that no two marriages are the same. Also, godly wisdom has taught us that there are appropriate dispositions that strengthen the bond between a husband and wife. Many times, marriage requires sacrifice that seems humanly impossible, and we may sometimes believe our partner is undeserving of it. By the virtue of living together in our unvarnished form, we are likely to hurt each other’s emotions. Most hurtful and inimical experiences couples have in marriage are inescapable. It is like the literal setting of rice and beans that are forever inseparable should they be cooked together as one dish. As much as the imperfections of one challenge the latitude the other can afford, there is also an absolute possibility that marriage can be as beautiful, glorious, fun filled and fulfilling as God purposed it to be. Increasing one’s capacity to show compassion to a spouse, is one of the scriptural principles that would help us have the blissful marriages we desire.

The scriptures have established the truth that the relationship between Christ and The Church typifies the marriage relationship between a man and woman. One element that is impossible to miss in the relationship between Christ and the church is Compassionate Love. A demonstration of love at its peak is what we received from Christ when He died in our place, and this while we were yet sinners. Even after we had expressed our faith in Him and accepted Him as our Savior, we have had our moments of shortcomings but His outstretched arms still pull us because He is full of compassion towards us. Jesus is ever before the Father interceding for the imperfect church that she might be made perfect. He has sealed believers with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption that they might be presented holy and blameless. Scriptures recorded events where He listened with compassion, replied with compassion, taught with compassion, looked upon men with compassion, and fed people with compassion. This is because LOVE has the absolute, no gain-saying capacity to win people over.

In our marriages, we daily need measures of COMPASSION. When one slips, compassion should move the other to help them stand up. When one is weak, compassion should move the other to help them regain strength. When both have divergent needs at the same time, compassion should guide one to satisfy the other’s need first. Compassion should move one to intercede for the other, to respond in love and respectfully. We should show compassion as people who got it when we didn’t deserve it. Christ will reign in a home where there is compassion because it is at the core of His being.
Just as Apostle Paul urged the people of Colossae, ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12) we should urge ourselves to be compassionate, so that our homes may be filled with all that is of Christ.

Grace to you and me in Jesus name.

Writer: Adenike D-light.

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Predestined for This – Learning from Mary’s Motherhood

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The response Mary gave Angel Gabriel when he came to deliver the news about the birth of Jesus tells the state of her mind even when in her wildest dreams she didn’t know that a moment of such experience was coming five minutes prior. Picture yourself cooking, driving, sweeping, doing the laundry or some chores and there came an appearance of an Angel foretelling about you experiencing a life event that still requires the fulfillment of one more step in the process to get there. I mean, Mary was engaged to be married, it is a given that she’d be pregnant after being married and Joseph would eventually be a father but according to predestination as God planned it, the time for the supernatural conception of our Lord Jesus was right about that time.

Mary’s Motherhood happened earlier than she and everyone else thought but what should stand out for us, is how she graciously fulfilled this mandate despite the enmity and criticisms that came with that event.
Would you say she was ready for this life?
Imagine, the instant she was told about conceiving without having intercourse with a man but by the Spirit of God, her response was that “ Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”
In addition, while on the motherhood journey, she was faced with so much enmity.

In all this, Mary was unperturbed rather she paid attention to the events in her child’s life:

1) She took record of what the baby’s life purpose is as the Angel said.

2) After birth, the enemy was after her child to kill him. However, she followed God’s instructions on where they should go so the baby can be protected. We must be discerning, not stiff-necked about what we think, willing and ready to execute instructions concerning our children as the Lord commands us in this motherhood journey.

3) Jesus like every child had his own play agenda and went missing, Mary behaved as you and I would, she was frantic and anxious to find her child. She alongside Joseph sacrificed to journey back hundreds of miles to look for this child of promise.

4) The emotional weight from pregnancy to journeying on a camel while pregnant, to delivery and to raising a child could have been enormous but she had a willing and obedient heart.

5) There may be nothing so thrilling about raising a child that has been said to be the Savior of the world, but she stayed the course raising her family, fulfilling the usual Jewish traditions and going through life like everyone else, when it was time for Jesus to step into actual ministry, she quickened His time by asking the servants to obey whatever He asked them to do. Mary carried Jesus’ prophecy in her heart until He became an adult and when the time came, she knew it and she used the tool of obedience to facilitate the launch of His ministry.

That very child you are mothering has been destined to come through you to birth, nurture, guide, care for, raise, mentor, provide for, pray for, etc. You were appointed to do this for your child(ren). Just like the case of Mary, everything about this motherhood thing is supernatural and it is your calling. You were made for this and you’ve got capacity. Be rest assured that the Lord is with you; He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you.
According to Romans 8:28-30, All things will keep working together for your good because God foreknew you, predestined you, called you, justified you and will indeed make His glory shine in and through you on this motherhood matter. You are covered Sis. No shaking for you.

And, by the Spirit of the Lord today, I say to you as it was said to Mary “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
Indeed, He is.

Grace to you and I in Jesus name. Amen.
Writer: Adenike D-light

DIWPRTEAMPredestined for This – Learning from Mary’s Motherhood
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WHAT DO YOU SEEK

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Many times, my son would come to me, searching for something and ask ‘Mummy, where is it?’. My usual response was to ask him if and where he has searched for it. His usual response would be “Yes, mummy. I have searched everywhere and cannot find it”. Knowing where the object of the search was located, I’ll refuse to search for it. I was certain that my son had not searched thoroughly for what he was seeking. So, I would lovingly ask my son to keep searching.
I remember listening to Pastor Tolu speak about her mum, the late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya, who would tell her to ask the Holy Spirit whenever she was looking for something around the house. Wow! I love how we can free to totally rely on the Holy Spirit for everything, even the seemingly small matters.
Thinking about how I made sure my son searched until he found what he was looking for, Matt 7:7-8 was dropped in my heart. I could liken it to how God treats us Christians by asking us to search so we can find.
Matt 7:7-8: Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
This passage is full of action words, which I believe were used deliberately because there is an attached responsibility. The same way God took responsibility by sending His only son to save the lost, He expects us too to take some responsibility. The example of the woman who was looking for a coin is quite instructive. She swept all the house, called on her neighbors, lit up her lamp and engaged in a thorough search until she found the missing coin. When she found the coin, she was full of joy and called on her neighbors to rejoice with her for finding the lost coin. No wonder heaven rejoices for every soul won into the kingdom. (Luke 15:7 -10)
In Prov 24:14, we see that finding wisdom is sweet to the soul. And when it is found, you get a bright future and your hopes will never be cut off. There is joy at the end of every search but we can only have the joy if we are ready to search thoroughly.
There are many things we seek today but Jesus told us that we only need to find God to get it all. How desperate are we to find Him? Jesus said we shall find him if we seek him with all of our heart. (Jer. 29:13) It is not enough to desire God, we must seek Him to find Him.
Imagine losing your very expensive mobile phone, you would search thoroughly for it and you wouldn’t rest until you found it. Just like we would thoroughly search for the things that are important to us, God wants us to seek after Him with all our heart. God himself is seeking after souls and He desires to use each one of us to gather these souls. In order to achieve this mission, God is drawing our hearts to Himself so we could find Him and when we find Him, He can use us for His glory. God is a great rewarder and not a user.
Remember we seek by taking responsibility and taking action towards what we desire.
What do you seek?
Shalom!

DIWPRTEAMWHAT DO YOU SEEK
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EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE: LESSONS FROM DANIEL

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I really love reading the book of Daniel! It sets out the remarkable story of four Hebrew young men whose excellence was undeniable even in a strange land. And the best part is that this same principle adopted by the young Hebrew men can be applied in business or career today by Christians. In today’s article, I will be focusing on the life of Daniel, one of the four Hebrew young men.
Lesson 1: When we are determined to put God first in our business and careers, God will bless the work of our hands and supply all we need to excel.
We were first introduced to Daniel in Daniel 1. King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon had just captured Jerusalem. He ordered his chief of staff to select the finest young men from Judah’s royal family – men who were well-versed in every branch of learning, gifted with knowledge and good judgment and suited to serve in the royal palace. He wanted the best of the best. These young men, born into prominent royal families were then taught the language and literature of their captors, Babylon. Their training was for 3 years after which they would serve the king.
Let’s pause and reflect on this for a minute…. Imagine the resentment that these young men were entitled to share, they lost their prestige, riches and position only to become servants, at the beck and call of their captor king. Not only that, they had to learn a new language and culture by force. And to make things worse, they even got a name change!! Babylonian names for that matter. They were stripped of their identity – language, culture and names. They should have been angry at God for failing them and letting them down.
“But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.” Daniel 1:8
In the midst of all this events, Daniel and his friends did not forget their God. In verse 17, we see how God rewarded their faithfulness, “God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom, and God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.”
Growing up, I recall taking the common entrance exams and getting a very high score, I was informed by my principal that I was qualified to attend the Suleja Academy, a National Centre for nurturing gifted and talented children. I ended up going to another school, but I can imagine how competitive the Babylonian training school was for Daniel and his friends. Yet, God made them stand out in excellence because they honoured him.
Later on, Daniel and his friends graduated from the training school and attended an interview with the king. And they wowed the king with their intelligence so much that the king found them to be ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.
Lesson 2: Only God can make us stand out from the pack. Not the work of our hands alone.
My first year at the university was really bad! The first semester, I was barely settled into a routine when it was time for tests and exams. Needless to say, my results weren’t great. Second semester was even worse. I sometimes joke about it now that I got all classes of grades except F in my first year. And I wasn’t lazy. I studied but it just was not translating into results. One day, I decided enough was enough. I told God that I was tired of working like an elephant and eating like an ant. I told him I needed his help, I could not make it without him. My life, in its entirety, was nothing without him. I prayed and cried that day from the depth of my heart. And God heard. That marked the turning point for me at OAU. And I learnt a valuable lesson…. Not by power nor by might… but by the Spirit of God. If we want excellence, we need the Spirit. Without the Spirit, we are nothing.
Lesson 3: Guard your reputation zealously, in career or business. Be purposeful about the kind of reputation your colleagues and clients take away when they come in contact with you.
Daniel served King Nebuchadnezzar, then his successor King Belshazzar. Once again, Daniel’s reputation preceded him.
“But when the queen mother heard what was happening, she hurried to the banquet hall. She said to Belshazzar, “Long live the king! Don’t be so pale and frightened. There is a man in your kingdom who has within him the spirit of the holy gods. During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, this man was found to have insight, understanding and wisdom like that of the gods… This man Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has exceptional ability and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.” (Daniel 5:10-12)
Wow! What a resume! What a character reference! What a reputation!
Word travels fast…. Especially bad news. Your reputation is your market value. If you were to take stock today, what value do you think your reputation has in your industry? Are you known for doing good work? Or are you known for tardiness, gossiping and a general lackadaisical attitude to work? Do you go to work each day determined to do an excellent job or do you just go in to fulfil all righteousness and get paid?
Lesson 4: When you are excellent at what you do, you will break glass ceilings and make strides in your business and career.
After King Belshazzar, came King Darius. And yet again, Daniel was chosen as an administrator to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interest. Yet again, Daniel proved himself more capable than the other administrators and high officers, his peers. As a result of his exceptional ability, the king planned to place him over the entire empire.
Daniel, a foreigner, was going to be placed over the entire Babylonian empire. He was about to be put in charge of his own captors. How amazing is that? This reminds me of the story of Joseph, the slave boy who was made Prime Minister in Egypt. The common trend in both men’s lives was their excellence and total commitment to God.
“Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible and completely trustworthy. Therefore, they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.” (Daniel 6:4-5)
They could not find any fault whatsoever with the way Daniel handled government affairs. Can this be said about you? If your work was audited today, will it be found blameless? Will you be found faithful, always responsible and completely trustworthy?
Lesson 5: Again, back to lesson 1 – Put God first. Pray incessantly. Prayer changes everything. Prayer changes you.
After Daniel’s enemies realized they could only attack him through his religion, they went to the king and asked him to pass a law to ensure that if anyone prays to any other person (divine or human) except for the king, that person would be thrown into the lion’s den. The king passed the law.
“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” Daniel 6:10
What would you have done if you were in Daniel’s shoes? How many times have you been faced with decisions either in your business or in your career, which threatened your faith in God? How did you respond? Did you put God first or chose ‘self-preservation” first?
Daniel’s faith was no secret. Even the king knew about it. Daniel did not hide it. He prayed in the open window of his house three times daily. Everybody knew that yet the king still found him worthy to lead the Babylonian empire. After Daniel’s enemies came to the king to tell him they had caught Daniel praying, the king tried to save him unsuccessfully. After giving orders for Daniel to be thrown into the Daniel’s den, the king prayed that Daniel’s God whom he served faithfully will rescue him. He spent the night fasting and could not sleep all night. Very early the next morning, the king was at the lion’s den calling out to his beloved Daniel. Lo and behold, there was Daniel, untouched and unscathed. For he had trusted in his God.
Daniel was not just excellent in business, he was excellent in his service to God. Praying incessantly three times daily is no mean feat. Many of us lack the willpower and consistency to even pray once a day. If we want to enjoy excellence in all we do, we need to be excellent in our relationship with the Father. There are so many lessons to be learnt from the story of Daniel. I hope that this article encourages you to spend some time reflecting on his life and applying some of the principles to your own life.

Writer: Tomilola Adebiyi

DIWPRTEAMEXCELLENCE IN SERVICE: LESSONS FROM DANIEL
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