Book Review: Grace Ecklu’s ‘Guilty as Grace’

Continue reading “Book Review: Grace Ecklu’s ‘Guilty as Grace’”

After the Miracle, What Next?

Yesterday, you were praying for a job, a partner, a child,                                                   a car, healing, financial breakthrough, good marriage.                    You prayed to God for assistance to break the negative habit.             You asked God to touch the heart of that brother or sister that you've been evangelising to. You wanted them to know Christ.
You fasted, cried, meditated on His word, listened to sermons, prayed in tongues and in your own understanding. You anointed yourself several times in a day. You sowed seeds on the altar, you knelt with your hands raised and with tears, you rolled on the floor seeking earnestly for that breakthrough. When you felt like giving up because of the negative thoughts that filled your mind, you cast them out and chastised yourself.
You did not give up. You kept trusting even when your family, friends and loved ones taunted you for the faith you were exhibiting. Indeed, they thought you were crazy. Give up already! Your God is probably deaf. He doesn't listen to prayers. Certainly not yours. Or you have committed a sin? Is there something you are not telling? 
You know what they are saying behind you. Their taunting sometimes gets to you but you reassure yourself. Deep within your heart, you know God is working. You press on earnestly and one day, God answers your prayer.
You are gifted with the job. There, you find a spouse. Your miracle child is lying in the cot. Your bank account smells fresh because of the regular transactions. Your dream house sits beautifully on that hill. Miraculously, you are healed of that disease. The brother has now given his life to Christ. He is now serving as the chief usher in the church.
You smile. Indeed your God has finally listened to your prayer. What happens afterwards? What do you do when God gives you the breakthrough? After the miracle, what next?  

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Lyrics that Inspire Any day

Happy New Year! It’s been so long. I always feel guilty when I push the urge to blog and rather sleep or watch TV or go out or work on other projects. I had some amazing blog ideas to share with you before the holidays but a lot of things came up and I couldn’t blog. Combining blogging and regular job is a big challenge but I would try to be more regular this year. I will clear the backlog 😊🤗 🤞

Now, I want to start the year with something relaxing. I have been thinking of the lyrics of Godly/Spiritual music, popularly known as gospel tunes and how some lines are able to hit you so deeply (speaking for myself) and immediately you are healed and encouraged.

Below are a compilation of a few lines/lyrics of some gospel tunes that inspire me anytime the song rings in my spirit. Here are seven of them:

  1. “…Don’t look too far to see, how good He is. Just look at me. He took me for the miry clay, set my feet upon the rock and I am standing in His righteousness. He took away my sin and shame. Gave me a brand new name. His beloved and the redeemed. Look how He turned my life around. Made me a shining light. His glory to reveal” – Nathaniel Bassey and Micah Stampley’s I will worship Him forever.
  2. “…You will deliver. You’re a provider. I find my victory in You. Forever victorious. Forever we win. I find my victory in You. Victory belongs to Jesus. Victory belongs to Him.” – Todd Dulaney’s Victory Belongs to Jesus.
  3. “…He knows what is hidden in your heart. He knows the good thoughts He has for you. They are thoughts of peace and not sin that is why He will bring you to an expected end. He will take care of you. Eii. God will take care of you.” translated from Diana Antwi Hamilton’s Yehowa Behwe
  4. “…I don’t know where I will be if it had not for You. You goodness. Your mercy. I don’t know where I would be. This far by grace.” Pastor Edwin Dadson’s This far by grace.
  5. “…God is working. He is up to something. I may not see it but still I’m trusting. God is working, working, working. He never sleeps nor slumbers. My God the promise keeper. He sees every tear that falls. My God is never early and He is never too late. He’s always there right on time. And if He said it, surely He meant it. And if He meant it, surely He will do it.” Akesse Brempong’s God is working.
  6. “…We yielded to your word. Lord we choose Your ways yes. We are tired of our own. It failed us many times. Speak a word that we will move. Speak a word that we will do. Speak a word a word and we will go. We’ve come for directions.” Dr. Tumi’s Speak a word.
  7. “…And now we’re here. Looking back on where we come from. Because of You and nothing we’ve done. To deserve the love and mercy You’ve shown. But Your grace was strong enough to pick us up. And You made a way. When our backs were against the wall.” Travis Greene’s Made a Way.

There you go. These are the lyrics of some gospel tunes that inspire me all the time. Did I capture your favourite? Which lyrics do you sing randomly and immediately get encouraged? Share with us.

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Book Review: Nana Ama Buckman's 'Confessions of an African Christian'

Initially, I thought the Confessions of an African Christian was a novel. From the title also, I perceived I was going to read something hilarious and fun and not too serious but as I dug deeper into Nana Ama Buckman’s 94-page memoir, my mind began reflecting on my Christian walk. I critically assessed myself.

This book can pass as a modern-day evangelistic tool with regards to its content. The words were plain, truthful and piercing. I’m not too sure if I have seen this kind of writing yet, particularly, in the Christian sphere. Confessions of an African Christian was broken down into short chapters with each dealing with a specific topic bordering on Christianity. The author dealt with subjects like the Christian’s relationship with the Holy Spirit, with their pastors, on giving money particularly to the church, our mental health, among others.

Even though this book is not novel, I enjoyed the tiny bits of the author’s personal experiences relating to the subjects. Her style of writing was also frank, relatable and could easily be blog entries/posts.

The reader could also decipher how passionate the author was about the various subjects – they were well researched and situated in scripture. The book sets the reader’s mind contemplating, especially with the questions that were posed at the end of each chapter. They required a critical evaluation of one’s current stance based on what they’ve read. Also concluding each chapter were declarations and prayers.

If we can be truthful to ourselves, we’d admit that indeed, the modern Christian faces some tough challenges and a number of them were mentioned in the book. For instance, when we decide to put ‘God in our hearts’ to be seen and accepted as being ‘cool.’ Or when we have to silently battle emotional turmoils and depression with positive confessions while we require medical attention instead. The chapters that got me smiling the most were the ones that discussed money and pastors. They were painfully sincere. 😅😅

It is simply a good read particularly for those of us who are not into ‘prescriptive’ ‘right-in-your-face’ ‘do-this-do-that’ kind of Christian books. Confessions of an African Christian though bible-based is laced with the witty personal experiences of the writer. You are likely to act according to what is preached in the book without you realising it. It is a book I’ll recommend.

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Valuable Life Lessons – What Acquiring a Driver’s License taught me

I want to get very personal. This post is motivated by a promise I made to God before I passed my driving test for a license earlier this year. The issue of acquiring a driver’s license may seem quite trivial but to me, it is a testimony of God’s goodness because this is after several attempts.

I started taking driving lessons way back in 2015. I did acquire the skill somehow but when I took the test, I missed the pass mark by two points. I was sad. I promised myself I was going to re-sit for the test but I never did. I packed driving to the side and went about my business. A lot happened and I gave up driving entirely.

This year, with the pressure that I faced (mostly from my husband) I took up the challenge to acquire a driver’s license. My husband attempted to remind me of how to move the car, but we always ended up arguing and stopping the lessons. The idea of going to a driving school again appealed to both of us and that was how I found myself taking all of the lessons once again.

The good news in all of these was that I started to feel more confident sitting behind the wheels. The fear I initially had when I began driving four years ago had dissipated but the new challenge was acquiring the license. The time came for me to take the theoretical test and when I did, I missed the pass mark by a point. Once again, I failed.

Of course I was disappointed in myself. I questioned God. I questioned myself. I questioned the whole process of acquiring a driver’s license in Ghana. I heard several stories too. Very negative ones of people who had attempted the tests on numerous occasions but always failed. I was encouraged or rather discouraged by someone in the license acquisition space to forget the test and bring some money for the process to be expedited.

“Most people who fail this test the first time do not pass. Just give up,” she said.

I told her I was going to give her suggestion a second thought and that if I failed the second (or third time) I would get the said amount of money and forget about acquiring the licence ‘legally.’

That was how I found myself re-sitting for the drivers’ license exam for the third time in my life. I changed strategies. I read but not as I did with the previous two. I prayed and relaxed, and this time, I got the exact pass mark. It was one of the best days of my life because it had taken me four long years (that could have gotten me a degree 😂😂). I had also proven the naysayers wrong and did not have to bribe my way through the process. I was legitimately acquiring a license.

What is the import of this post? This is to fulfill my part of the bargain and the promise I made to God of sharing my long and difficult experience of acquiring a license with readers of the blog. To me, it’s a testimony and I am not exaggerating. Secondly, this is to motivate anyone who has been trying hard to do things that people do quite easily. Logically, it may be challenging but note that all things are possible with God. The task may seem arduous. You may feel like giving up but don’t listen to yourself and don’t allow people to discourage you. You can do it too!

PS: I have failed in my attempts at so many things – in examinations, in job searches and other applications, etc. I think I have mastered the act of getting up strong after failures. If you are seeking someone who understands your situation, I believe you should be speaking to me. My email address is christianblogghana@gmail.com Let’s get talking!

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Book Review: Cathy Wilson’s ‘Presumptions’

Flossy Achana is very strong-willed. She is married to Kingsley Billah who is a deacon of the church. A few weeks after celebrating their seventh marriage anniversary, Flossy bumps into her former boyfriend, Mike Kabore. Both were shocked but ended up having a little chit-chat, where apologies were rendered for the unfortunate break-up and current contacts, exchanged for follow-up. The two begin to meet till their ‘encounters’ sparked curiosity and gossip among people especially Flossy’s boss, Mr. Blankson.

After the epic reunion, a spiral of drama also begins to emanate from the homes of all the married couples not excluding that of Reverend Yendi and his wife, Lady Jessie’s.

As a reader who has been married for a couple of years now, I did not comprehend how and why Mike and Flossy would go through all of this act of pretense just to spite the ‘busybodies.’ Anyway, that formed the main plot of the story and even when both couples were suffering from this decision they had taken, Flossy was unwilling to give up on the charade. That aspect of the story really baffled me.

Cathy Wilson’s Presumptions raised several pertinent issues that we (modern Christians) may have swept under the carpet, for instance, the question of what constitutes a lottery. Rev. Yendi’s wife won a car by participating in a ‘game of chance.’ To her, coming out as the ultimate winner was an answer to her prayer but her husband would not take any of that even though the ‘jalopy’ he drove needed to be replaced. This scenario could serve as a good topic for discussion in a bible study or book club.

Another issue for further discussion is when to compromise as a couple. I had the sense that the men in the book took their roles as ‘the heads’ a little too seriously. Even in a mere relationship, Mike had wanted Flossy to read Sociology or English instead of Advertising and her refusal served as one of the basis for their breakup. Also, when Kingsley refused to go bring his wife after he had learnt the truth that she was truly innocent. Even when he was suffering, he still refused to bend.

Like the same sentiments I shared after reading Karen Kingsbury’s The Chance, how do we (Christians) use the scriptures after we read and meditate on them? The characters in Presumptions towed the same line of quoting scripture to suit their current situation, prove points and subtly ‘insult’ each other. It almost felt like I was witnessing a Bible sword drill.

I did somehow fall in love with General Achana (Flossy’s dad) and Eunice (Flossy’s sister). They added a little humour to the tension that brewed from the other characters.  

The author could have, however, added footnotes explaining local terms like ‘TZ’ ‘Alefu’ ‘Agbada’ ‘Anago’ to the non-Ghanaian reader.

From sentences like:

‘the duo bumped into each other at a spot called ‘DESTINY.’ Yes, that is the name of the spot…’

‘Two gentlemen in a beautiful garden.’

‘This is General Achana’s residence.’

It was very obvious the story was written from the perspective of a narrator. I haven’t seen this style of writing in a while.

Like most Christian novels, the ending of the story was quite expected. In all, the 145-page romantic novel, which was further broken into 16 chapters, was very simple to read. I am also glad to announce that it was authored by a Ghanaian, making the setting and the issues raised very relatable. To reiterate, it could serve as a good material for any book discussion.

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Getting Personal with Gospel Artist, Nana Egyin-Buadu

“Once your heart is full of joy and God and, you love Him, it’s easy to tell Him something sweet. Usually, in my expressions to God, songs come out. Over the years, we (Selah Music Worldwide) have compiled these songs and now, we want to release some of them…” – Gospel Artiste, Egyin-Buadu.

Nana Kwame Egyin-Buadu (full name) is a young gospel minister set to release his first, official single that features Selah Music Worldwide on Friday, November 15, 2019. Christian Blog Ghana went up close and personal and below is the the interview. Kindly, check him out on Youtube ( Editor’s note: He is an awesome worshiper).☺

More personal with Nana Egyin-Buadu

Serving as the current president of Selah Music Worldwide and the music director of the Assemblies of God Church in Tema Community 12, Nana Egyin-Buadu is a product of St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School, where he read Agricultural Science. He then proceeded to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to read a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In KNUST, he also acquired a Masters in Procurement Management.

Musically, Nana Egyin-Buadu was inspired by his father but his passion for the instruments, notes and tones took off while he was in the University.

“I ministered in Assemblies of God Campus Ministry (AGCM) choir and the Living Praise Choir (LPC). It was back then that God laid on my heart to begin this ministry called Selah Music Worldwide. We started as a group on campus and hosted a few programmes. After I graduated, I brought campus home,” Egyin-Buadu said with a laugh.

Together with his friends who lived in the same community, Selah Music Worldwide took off in earnest. The music group, comprising of other talented singers and backing vocalists, have birthed three annual flagship programmes: ‘Time of Reflection,’ ‘Worship and Word Conference’ and the midnight worship edition called ‘The Drench.’

“When we meet to rehearse, we usually worship. It is during these moments that we capture on camera for our audiences. In those mid-night worship sessions, we begin to receive songs and those are what we’ll be releasing on this project/album,” Egyin-Buadu said.

For the young musician, the process of receiving songs through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit began during his undergraduate studies at the University, but he believes this is God’s set time for him to release these songs.

“If you want to do things excellently for God, there is a waiting period for God to enable you and one of the things I have been able to do within these past eight years is to start my own music studio called the Throne Life Studio. The production of the songs on this album was done by us,” he said.

About ‘Shine’

The young singer who draws inspiration from Pastor Isaiah Fosu Kwakye Junior, Joe Mettle, Denzel Agyeman Prempeh, Calvis Hammond, Phil Thompson, Israel Houghton and Marvin Sapp describes his genre of music as funky, contemporary mid-tempo praise that causes listeners to groove and dance. ‘Shine,’ is the title of his single to be released this Friday, November 15 on YouTube, Sound Cloud and other digital platforms.

“We were preparing for a programme last January when one of the music directors said we needed to write a song that went like this… He sang the first line accompanied by a guitar. I pondered over it and I liked the first line. Then he left me at the studio and when he got back, I had all the verses and had arranged the song,’ Egyin Buadu shared.

‘Shine’ is inspired by Isaiah 60 which says, ‘Arise! Shine! For your light has come and the glory of the Lord is written upon you.’ The lyrics of this song and other ones yet to be released by the musician have two main goals: first, to worship God and secondly, to uplift individuals who listen to them.

The musician likes to see his songs as confessions of faith and declarations. On December 1 this year, ‘Shine’ and six other tracks on the album titled ‘Encounter with Light’ will be released on all digital platforms as well.

Editors Note: As promised ‘SHINE’ is out now. Kindly, click here for the official video and here for audio.