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.

Book Review: Karen Kingsbury’s ‘The Chance’

I acquired Karen Kingsbury’s book, The Chance, because I really needed to read a Christian novel from another author that I am not familiar with. Well, The Chance was a good diversion from Francine Rivers (my current favourite) and I hope to read more of her to make a better judgement of her writings.

The Chance describes Nolan Cook and Ellie Tucker who were childhood friends but broke apart when they were 15 years old. This was because of a ‘scandal’ involving Ellie’s mother who had had an extra marital affair with a music star resulting in a pregnancy. Ellie’s dad, in anger moved with her to another State (San Diego) and in the process, making her break communication with her childhood friend/sweetheart and her pregnant mother. Before Ellie and her dad moved, she and Nolan wrote letters to each other, buried the letters and made the promise of returning in 11 years to read the letters they had written. A lot happened within the 11 years with Nolan following his ultimate dream of being a basketball star and Ellie becoming a single mum and a hair stylist (a little different from her childhood ambitions). To find out what happened to their childhood promise, I think you need to get a copy of this book 🤣🤣

The theme of this book centered strongly on forgiveness and reconciliation. Alan Tucker (Ellie’s dad) believed he was more ‘Christian’ than any one else, thus, judging the people he loved harshly and in his actions, he tore his family into shreds. Before he realised what he had done, a lot of harm had been caused to the people he cherished the most. How are you using God’s word? Are you correcting people with it or pushing them further into sin?

Like Francine Rivers’ books, the characters did pray simple prayers, emphasizing on the point of prayer being a regular communication with God. Prayer doesn’t have to always be at a designated time and space but an act of speaking regularly to God concerning all issues throughout one’s day.

The 315-page novel was quite easy to read. The story line was somehow enthralling with the characters and their actions being described fairly vividly. There were portions in the book that moved me to tears (Nolan was quite an emotional character). Other portions made me feel I was watching a soap opera because it kept dragging and literally had me rolling my eyes (Especially, with Ellie. One of such instance was when she took to her heels because Nolan had finally found her after 11 years. Who does that?). I also think this book will make a good movie for teenagers.

I don’t know whether I fell so much in love with any of the characters like the way I loved (and still love) Roman Velasco in Francine River’s The Masterpiece but it was a pretty good book. I will wait till I read another Karen’s Kingsbury before I compare her books to Francine Rivers.

I will rate this book 3.5 out of 5 and will recommend it to any lover of both Christian and non Christian novels.

NB: I apologise for my long absence from blogging. I hope and pray to be more regular now. I would also love to use this opportunity to say thank you to all new followers of the blog. Even in my long absence, I kept receiving notifications of new followers and likes for existing posts on the blog.

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Guest Post: Pornography. Me. The Church

I love guest posting, I think I am more confident on other people’s blogs than I am on mine. Even though I talk about deep issues on my blog, I think I talk deeper issues in other people’s blogs.

Now, the post: I am a Christian woman, born and raised in a Christian family and was addicted to pornography. I wrote a little bit about it in my book, because I didn’t have the confidence to talk more about it. I was introduced to it when I was very young, in my teens. It became a close companion when I was in the university, that stage when I did not know how to deal with my emotions and sexual desires. After graduating from college, I reached a point where I made a conscious decision to fight it, and so every day, I woke up and prayed to God for help to win the war over this temptation. Currently, I have set my Twitter page in such a way that no inappropriate content appears in my feed because that could trigger unwanted desires. I am always, and consciously on the watch, praying to God to give me strength in this weakness, yet I battle it alone in silence and behind closed doors, like many other Christians.

Now that you know about pornography and me, let’s get to pornography and the church.

In this day and age, where we are loud, open and very bold, you might think we will be talking about this issue. You would think we will be open now that 64% of the people watching porn are between the ages of 13-24 (Barna Group Survey) and the church would know that not just 21 million men are addicted to porn but women and kids are also on this new drug.

Sin is not picky; it goes with anyone who falls for it and as we are being taught in the church to save ourselves for marriage but not being told how we can fight or deal with our hormones, emotions, sexual temptations and desires, we are left in guilt and fight this sin in secrecy. I personally want to advise pastors to talk about this issue because the times are changing but holiness isn’t. Holiness is still the goal and without it no one can see the Father, therefore, pastors need to talk about this openly and make themselves less judgmental and more accepting to the people who watch porn. They should receive and help these people because we, as the body of Christ, all get hurt when one is hurt.

Here are some helpful tips that I use to fight pornography and I know it’ll be useful to you too:

  • Talk to a friend about it and let her/ him keep you accountable
  • Like all other sins, pornography feels good when you are viewing it and then, you feel dirty and guilty later. After sometime, you thirst again for the water that leaves you thirsty still. What I have done is to write down all the ways pornography makes me feel, and how I would feel leaving it, and I have a vision of the woman that I want to be in the future, and how she is affected by the addiction now. This can be posted on the wall as a reminder and to encourage you in your fight.
  • Follow Christian blogs and read books about freedom from pornography addiction (I would recommend some on my blog).
  • Put some sort of control on your phone (I personally use parental control where a friend can act like my parent and get notified when I search anything related to porn, and it blocks my searches and so nothing shows up).
  • Tell your pastor and parents (I am yet to do this too).
  • Write in your journal about your struggles.
  • Connect with others and keep each other accountable.
  • Some things cannot end without prayer and fasting regardless of your level of discipline, and so, pray and fast. I personally have heard testimonies of different people who have been healed by God miraculously, or even slowly from pornography addiction and so I still have hope that there is healing for even me… and You.     

(Now that I have shared this, I think I will be brave enough to talk about this in my blog).   

This is a guest post submitted by Eunice Tossy. Eunice is a 24-year old Tanzanian blogger who is still learning and growing. She shares her experiences on her blog, http://abiblegirl.com/ . You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram : @eunietj and on YouTube: Eunice Tossy.

Book Review: Francine Rivers’ ‘The Masterpiece’

The Masterpiece was the huge book I got for myself last Christmas. With a more busy schedule currently, I wondered when and how I was going to read the almost 500-page Christian romance novel but surprisingly, I took two days to read the entire book. Uh-huh! That shows how gripping the story line was.

As usual, Francine Rivers did not disappoint with this novel. The two main characters – Roman Velasco (aka the Bird) was the rich, handsome, famous and accomplished (in the eyes of everyone) artist and Grace Moore – the rather simple, mother of one and a divorcee, who came to seek employment as Velasco’s assistant. Their story gently develops into a simmering romance which none of them was willing to admit to until later in the story. Hell broke loose when Velasco finally proposed in the manner that he was familiar with but sending Grace packing out of his life in the process. Did she come back? If yes, how did it happen? That is why you need to read this book for yourself. 😂

After reading several of Francine Rivers’ books – And the Shofar Blew, The Atonement Child and Scarlet Thread, I’ll definitely vote Velasco as my favourite character. He was affected by experiences from his childhood and that defined who he became as an adult. Even in his ‘raw state,’ I could sense some innocence in his actions. I actually found him very masculine and charming and wouldn’t mind meeting him if he was real. You can say I fell in love with the character. 🙈🙈🙈😏😏😏

Anyway, Francine Rivers always has strong underlying themes in her stories and even though they are entertaining and could be full of suspense, they teach loads of lessons. For instance, the two main characters both had disturbing pasts but were influenced differently by them. This raises the issue of the amount of power we give to past events/experiences and its influences. How do you know whether you are giving the ghosts and shadows from your pasts too much space in your life? This book provides the reader with some insight into this subject.

There are several other lessons that can be taken out of the book including dealing with disappointments, learning to walk away from the people you love for God/the Holy Spirit to work on them, childhood trauma, among others.

The Masterpiece is a beautiful and well-researched story. I like how the past lives of the two main characters were intricately interwoven into the main plot. The reader gets the opportunity to appreciate the life of those in the creative arts, particularly, graffiti artists. The ending, like many Christian novels and the typical Francine Rivers’ style, was very much expected and a little predictable but that did not take away the niceness out of the story. I like it but not as much as I enjoyed And the Shofar Blew.

I will rate it 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it over and over again to anyone looking to read a book full of lessons or just for leisure.

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The Prophet Who wasn’t (A personal experience with two fraudsters)

He was speaking to somebody on the phone when he saw me approaching. A middle-aged man, probably in his late forties, fair in complexion and quite well-built. He wore a checked shirt, predominantly, white, red and blue and had a sling bag.

He ended the call and asked,

“Please, can you direct me to Monaco Missions.”

I was completely lost because I had lived in the neighbourhood for close to three years, yet, I had no clue where he was referring to. It had been a long day at work and the only thing on my mind was getting home to rest.

As if by some coincidence, a shorter man, possibly in his forties was passing by and this fair man asked me to inquire the location of the said Mission House.

“Oh, that place? It’s right over there,” the shorter man replied.

He pointed to a junction that I knew quite well but wasn’t sure if I had seen the building they were referring to. The shorter man volunteered to go show this man the place on condition that I came along to translate to the fairer man who needed the directions. Like the children in the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I followed them, not knowing what laid ahead.

The fairer man who urgently needed the direction, started prophesying about the shorter man who was now providing the directions to the Mission House. He asked me to explain to the shorter man who seemed unable to communicate in English. I did most of the translation which included relaying information about the shorter man’s drinking habit to which the ‘prophet’ advised him to stop because it was hurting his heart. The shorter man would also respond,

“Oh what did he say? It’s true. Whenever I drink, my heart would be hurting,”

Once in a while, a ‘harmless prophecy’ was thrown my way which included the fact that I’ll be traveling outside of Ghana and this year will be good for me and, the usual things that I already knew about. Meanwhile, most of the prophecies were directed to the shorter man and they included pieces of advice on buying a house instead of a car, investing his money properly etc. These two men managed to get my attention fully and I thought I was helping the fairer prophet to probably win the soul of the shorter man.

Eventually, the ‘Prophet’ asked the shorter man to give me his bag and keys while the shorter man walked away to about three electric poles, reciting the Lord’s Prayer. I took the shorter man’s bag while he went to do his penance and before he arrived, Fairer Prophet had mentioned two names of the people who seemed to be troubling Shorter Man. That was great. I was excited for shorter man.

“It’s now your turn. Give your bag to Shorter Man and say the Lord’s prayer and God will reveal something to you,” Fairer Prophet said.

“Please, I am not comfortable giving my bag out,” I said.

They started pulling my bag gently, cajoling me to hand my bag over to them. Shorter man swore they were good people and that God would certainly reveal something to me. Fairer Prophet chastised me for allowing worldly possession like the content in bag to prevent me from receiving my blessings.

I became confused and helpless at this point because these two men started teasing, taunting and pushing me to take the walk while reciting the Lord’s prayer. Fairer Prophet even walked a few meters with me but in a twinkle of eye, I turned and say neither him nor Shorter Man. They had bolted with my bag that contained my laptop, phone, some money and even my house key.

This is one night that I do not want to remember. Never!