The Rendezvous II

The Rendezvous continues…

Life always seems to take a different turn when you least expect it to. The seemingly harmless hug from the youth leader was sudden but it did have an effect on you. You enjoyed it partly, maybe, the portion of your brain that controlled irrational behaviour did enjoy it. Meanwhile, the portion of your brain that senses danger instructed you to run away from him. Run as fast as your legs could carry you and forget about those young intoxicated Christians you had just encountered.

While contemplating on your next line of action, youth leader pulled you away, held your hand and directed you out of the auditorium and from the stares of the young group who seemed intrigued by the gesture. You both walked into the clear night and found a patch of grass not too far from the church building but away from all interruptions. You fought very hard to keep your imaginations from running wild but the adventurous part of you wanted to unravel the mystery of this man’s calmness. He did not have it all but anytime you spoke with him, he never complained. He seemed hopeful of the future. You sometimes wondered what his actual age was because he seemed too mature to be 26 years. It was probably the way he was brought up.

“Are you okay, now?” he asked

That question brought you back from your stupor.

“Huh? Oh yes. I am better. Just a little cold,” you responded.

“Here. Take my coat,” he offered

You take it without any hesitation and kept wondering how the evening was going to end. You were gradually beginning to warm up to him. He seemed kind. You probably hadn’t made time to get to know him.

“I am sorry for what happened back there,” you blurted out, pointing to the church. “I guess I hadn’t encountered as many excited Christians as I did today.”

“I understand. We get that reaction from a lot of people. I can assure you we are not pretending. What you witnessed is how we truly feel about God. We love Him and that is how we express it,” he said, looking straight at you.

“I was also a reserved Christian, just like you. I loved to keep to myself. I did not want people to know I was a believer. Let’s just say I was shy to admit it but one encounter changed that perception. It made me confident in who I was and I am not ashamed to share that. It created this change that you see in me and with the others,” he added, gesturing towards the church.

You wondered what may have caused that change in him. You were not only interested in his story but becoming more attracted to the storyteller. He seemed mysterious and you liked it. It was going to be a long night, you admitted. You should probably call your mum to inform her not to wait for you. You got up and stretched your hand towards him. He grabbed it while the two of you walked away from the church premises.

“It all started when…” youth leader narrated.

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The Rendezvous

All your life, you are certain you are a born-again, spirit-filled Christian. You know this because your parents keep reminding you of the role they played in ensuring the Reverend Minister baptised you and ten other children on December 4th, 1990. You believe you are a child of God because you try to be good. Well, mostly. You have your quiet time daily and you do not smoke nor drink, neither do you club nor fornicate and the list goes on. Thirdly, you go to church every Sunday and are a member of the singing ministering and when you are not singing in the choir, you serve as an usher.  These two positions take so much of your time but you juggle them quite well and though you hate to admit it, you sometimes struggle to execute both roles effectively.

You are doing just fine (in your opinion) until a friend introduces you to another brother who is the youth leader of another church. There was nothing fascinating about him. Dull, just like that. During your initial assessment, you did not like the way he had dressed. His mannerisms and speech were funny. Simple subjects about the church, bible and the life of a Christian became so complicated whenever you spoke with him. On your second meeting, he brought up a conversation on the subject of the Holy Spirit but you shut him out while he kept rattling. In your mind, he simply likes to talk but you gave your phone number to him, anyway. This was to keep him from pestering your friend who introduced you both.

You honoured one of his insistent invitations to a weekday service in his church. The youth in that church was on another level. They seemed too exuberant, highly animated and overly cheerful. Perhaps, they have had a heavy lunch or had they taken in some narcotics? You observed keenly because you had never seen so many young people so excited about church. The service was scheduled to last for an hour but in your heart, you wished it was over so you could walk out of the midst of these over-energetic youth.

Before the grace was shared, you took your bag and were ready to bolt when you felt a hand on your shoulder, trying to restrain your movement.

“You made it. I am glad you came. Hope you enjoyed the service and I hope you’ll join us for the next one,” youth-leader said with a smile on his face. He really looked happy to see you.

“I enjoyed it but I have a number of things to do right now so let’s chat over the phone, ok?” you replied almost shrugging his hands off you.

“You seem annoyed. Are you sure you’re alright? Did someone say anything nasty to you in there?” youth-leader who seems to know everything, quizzes you. His concerns and posture were preventing you from moving away. Instead of allowing you to walk off. You turned to use the other exit but he quickly moves to stand in the doorway and that stopped you.

“Hey! Hey! Are you crying?” He asked too gently for your liking. Through the tears, you tried to push him aside but were not successful. You began to scream. This time, very loudly for him and the other members of his church to hear.

“Never invite me to this church again. You guys confuse me. You, in particular, make me question myself. Ever since we met, all you do is to speak differently on the same subjects that I’ve always known. They keep ringing in my head. They disturb me,” you said. You look at him, almost whispering, “And I don’t like you.”

Youth leader looks at you, raises his hand but decides to put them down. He rather walks up to you and what he did, shocked and intrigued you at the same time.

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This is the first of a two-part sequel. I am not too certain how it’ll end but you can give me ideas. While you do that just fix your eyes here. It promises to be exciting.

© picasion.com_9CWp

Here are 5 Reasons you should Select Christian Blogging as your Niche

If you are still searching for a blogging niche, let me offer you five reasons to consider creating a Christian-focused blog:

  1. There are Several Content Sources

There is a wide variety of content you can develop when you start Christian blogging as there are several sources of content including the Bible, Churches, Christian music, movies, literature and other Christian personalities. If you broaden the scope of your blog, there is no way you will ever lack content. Never.

  1. As you Inspire, you are Inspired

As you create content for others to consume, you get inspired also. If you are the kind of Christian who goes on ‘break’ when situations do not go as you wish, then Christian Blogging must be your preferred niche. When you have to constantly soul-search to create content which will educate and inspire others, you may want to stay on the ‘right path.’ More like practising what you preach.

  1. You’ll be part of the larger Christian Blogging Community

You’ll be amazed at the number of Christian bloggers there are – both locally and internationally. These bloggers are doing very creative things and are waiting to guide, interact and share ideas with you. Don’t be a hermit when you start blogging (both Christian and non-christian bloggers). Comment on other people’s post, follow their blogs and they will do the same to yours.

  1. Your blog can be a tool for Evangelism

You may never know who will be reading your blog but your words in a post can encourage someone and ultimately win a soul for Christ. That also does not imply using the blog as an excuse to not ‘go out and make disciples.’ A blog is just a single tool for evangelism. You may employ other tools as well.

  1. Christian Blogging Develops your Creative Abilities

If you are willing to take this path, then your creative abilities will be developed immensely. As you are given a message, you will have to find ways of communicating it to your various audiences. How are you going to do that? Will it be through visuals, short stories, videos or audios? In what formats are people more likely to click, read and understand the message? That also does not imply ‘deceiving’ people with catchy headlines which are not be related to the post. That is not encouraged.

So there you have them. These are some of the reasons you may want to consider Christian blogging.

©picasion.com_9CWp

Politics And The Church: A Collective Effort Towards Social Change (Guest Post)

In almost every ancient history until today, the church and the government have been working side by side in protecting the welfare of the society. There are instances though of the church and the government’s involvement in controversies. We cannot, however, presume that this is always the case. How does a society benefit from the church and the government’s collaboration and leadership

  • Upholding the Law

The laws that are currently existing in our society have been God’s laws elaborated and specifically modified. The Bible is the oldest “law” ever written and it serves as a tool towards civilization. Both the church and the government have responsibilities to uphold these laws in promoting peace and stability within the society. It is only the government-mandated policies that sealed the laws that were written in the Bible so they cannot be interpreted objectively.

  • Nation Building

The church and the government are one when it comes to alleviating poverty and eradicating crimes altogether. It is not just the responsibility of the government to look after its citizens, but the church has that responsibility, too. The homes for the aged, the rehabilitation centres for juvenile delinquents, and the foster homes are just some of the institutions that together, as one, the church and the government can work to reach their goals.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” – James 1:27

  • Values Formation

“No littering.” “No smoking.” And there are more of these rules that we already grew up with. These are the rules that the government specifically enforced but looking at them from a wider perspective, it is actually about forming good values and creating a formidable character. A character that imbues discipline, respect, and submission to authorities. There are so many instances in the Bible that speak so much of these values. In fact, these are only but some of the values in the Bible that we can use to improve the self and become a better citizen.

  • A Unified Body of Christ

The body of Christ is composed of all of us who occupy a certain part of that body. We cannot claim that engineers are better than doctors, nor teachers than fishermen. Everyone has been given a gift and skill so we can perform on the roles that God assigned us with. It is a collective effort that further God’s greater plans to manifest in our lives, in our nations, and throughout the entire world.

The most controversial question that we can ask at this point is whose authority is most supreme? Is it the church or the government? The answer is both. We cannot separate the church and the government in the context of authority because they are both implementing the same laws one way or the other. Also, if we are to look at history and ancient civilizations, institutions were formed and built around the premise that God is the Supreme Being and leader of all. This means that the primary goal of every constitution is to honour God and His ways.

For example, every oath-taking ceremony for every professional includes this phrase at the end of it: “So help me God.” This will prove that our social duties are never separate from our duties to God as a Christian. They will always be congruent to one another even if future successors will change the laws as they see fit. But what we can be assured of is that there are some of these laws that will remain as they are because God mandated them.

The challenge for ourselves is this: are we fulfilling our obligations as mandated by the law of God reinforced by the laws of man?

This is a guest post by Christine Lailani Ginete – Rome. Christine is a Filipina, a devoted Christian, a faithful wife, a prayer warrior, a teacher, a writer, a hobbyist, and an advocate. On a deeper level, you’ll find her as a believer who’s imperfect but driven to encourage everyone to be a catalyst for social change and serve others through God’s grace, guidance, and prayer. Christine blogs at The Journeyman’s Moments.

Whatsapp Etiquette for the Christian

Whatsapp has come to stay whether we like it or not. For the Christian and church groups, this app has provided a better and more affordable way to keep in touch. It allows messages to be forwarded in real-time, allowing devotionals and prayer topics to be sent easily. It is also not surprising to hear the ushers or choristers or other groups in the church tell each other to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. This social media platform has improved engagement but are we using it correctly?

Here are three tips on how we can use this platform more constructively:

  • Never assume someone is not having their quiet time and needs your devotional

“Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.”  Dwight L. Moody

Sending messages on WhatsApp is almost free and it is not surprising to see Christians bombarding each other with various devotionals each day. Can that be termed as evangelism or its substitution? Wait, how many devotionals can an individual use in a day or at a time? If indeed, we spend quality time each morning studying the word or a portion of scripture and meditating on it, we cannot use more than one devotional. In my opinion, before you send a devotional to someone, why don’t you ask the person if he/she needs you to forward them?

  • Please stick to your Church’s Devotional/Materials

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.- Matthew 6:24

Do you find yourself on a church’s WhatsApp group page where the members only comment when the content is not from their pastor? That’s an irony but members in a group will come and say ‘Amen’ and ‘God bless you’ to the sender, only when the message is not directly from their church. Sometimes the sources of the materials are not even known and may not be biblical, but, we read and claim the blessings. Is it too much to ask the Christian, particularly, those on a church’s WhatsApp group to minimise the number of foreign materials they send to such pages? How much content can an individual consume in a day? Why not restrict the messages to what happens in our various churches and encourage each other with that?

  • Let’s set up rules for the page before we create them up

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. – James 4:17

What are we using the Whatsapp group pages for? Are they for conveying pertinent messages in real-time? Are they for socialisation? Are they meant for forwarded messages which have no bearing on our growth as Christians? Are they for rumour mongering? We need to be serious (In Bernard Avle’s voice). We need to set rules even before we create a group page. The do’s and don’ts for that page must be communicated to the members of the page and let’s not hesitate to remove those who flout some of these rules.

Do you agree we need to set rules for our group pages? Or that will be too strict for the Christian? Let’s know what you think. 

©picasion.com_9CWp

 

 

10 Simple Tips for Starting a Blog

Thinking of starting a blog but do not know how to go about it? Or you have a blog but are looking for ways to revamp it? Then this post is designed with you in mind.

Here are 10 quick and simple tips for starting and keeping a blog:

  1. Be ready to reveal your identity. You can use a pseudonym but when people know the face behind the blog, they relate better with the posts and that increases traffic.
  2. Choose a niche you are passionate about when you decide to blog. That allows you to design and create good content.
  3. Don’t start a blog till you are certain of how you are going to ‘feed’ it. You need to know what you are going to ‘give’ it before you ‘birth’ it.
  4. Have a content plan. I create a plan for The Christian Blog Ghana by selecting a monthly theme. The posts I create in a month mostly fall under this theme. I also have a whiteboard marker with the possible topics I look forward to creating in a particular month. I cross it out after I have created it.
  5. Consistency and discipline are key to blogging. People who have excelled in different fields had passions and were keen on what they wanted to achieve. To be recognised as a blogger, you need to be consistent and to be consistent, you must be disciplined. Create a reminder and learn to sit and blog.
  6. How many times should you post? If you have time, you can feed your blog daily or at least once a week. Don’t create a post and go on a hiatus for months and years. You may never return and your followers wouldn’t be waiting for you either.
  7. It is also important to know how you will be directing traffic to the blog. Will it be by word-of-mouth, via social media or through recommendations of your family and friends? You need to know and have a plan before starting a blog.
  8. Considering a blogging niche? There are opportunities for Christian blogging in Ghana. However, Christian blogging doesn’t imply being boring. Find creative ways of transmitting the ‘message.’
  9. Personal experiences sell. Be ready to share some of your life experiences with your friends and followers.
  10. Blogging is not rosy…lol There will be times that you’ll feel like giving up, especially, when you create something which you believe should earn you more readership. You may visit the backend of the blog and there will be no click. Don’t cry. That should even encourage you to create more. It will get better with time.

©picasion.com_9CWp

Me? A Pastor’s Wife? Never…

Dear Kwesi Broni,

I have been thinking about the conversation we had about a week ago. The one concerning the revelation the mighty prophet had about you – that you were going to be a p-a-s-t-o-r. Yes, that revelation! I told you I was going to think about it. I have thought through it very well, so, below is my response:

Kwesi B., I don’t want to be rude but just take a critical look at me. When you had your vision, did you see me as your wife? Or did the prophet announce to you that I was going to be your ‘Osofo Maame?’ You know I am very popular and don’t have a problem when it comes to receiving love proposals from men. Even as we speak, I have about four pending ones, which I’m reviewing. I decided to give you a chance not because you are the richest or the coolest dude, but, I just did. Did you know you were still on probation all this while? But you have already failed as a result of our last conversation. Anyway, the chance I gave you has expired. I am no longer interested in our ‘assumed’ relationship.

How can you consider me, Akosua Darling, as a pastor’s wife? I am not saying I am above that role because I know some beautiful wives of pastors. Oh, or you are thinking of starving me to death, eh? Kwesi, that won’t happen oo, that wouldn’t happen! If you are looking for someone to fast and pray for the needs of your congregation, why me? Please look for that person that you want to put on a perpetual diet for members of your congregation. As for me, Akosua Darling, I don’t think I have the capacity to intercede for some church members who may even end up gossiping about me. Even as I type this note, I have directed the new pastor, whose church is down the street, the one who advertises on the radio. Yes, that one. I have asked him to fast and pray for me. For your information, I have paid quite a hefty amount for him to achieve the results that I am seeking. Fasting is not one of my favourite hobbies.

Sorry. I digress. So how did I come to mind when you thought of somebody who was going to partner you in your ministry? I have told you several times that as a pastor’s daughter, coupled with what I have seen and experienced, I have vowed never to date, not to talk of marrying a pastor. Why? You think I wouldn’t like to see my husband on a daily or at least, a regular basis? Unlike my mum, who stayed with my dad even though he was absent almost 3/4th of our lives, I wouldn’t like to raise my children alone while you tour Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Greenland, among others, all in the name of winning souls. I want to close from work, drive to the house to come and meet my husband, so, we have a hearty conversation. I want my husband to be part of my everyday life.

“Akos, if you want to give me a heart attack, then bring a prospective fiance with pastoral ambitions to this house,” my mother has already warned me and you know I am not a disobedient child.

Oh. Did I ever mention to you how some of my friends and I take long looks at our pastor’s wife? In fact, we assess her every day. We know she likes to wear funny shoes and her attire is someway. Her hairstyle, nowadays, makes her look older and we’ve concluded it’s because her husband is never around to compliment her. The other pastor’s wife too, we think she simply overdresses, wears too much makeup and is competing with us, the young ones. She never likes to cover her hair but fixes weave that some of us cannot even afford. What makes you think she is not sponsoring herself with our offertory and tithes?

Eii! and the way some church members can also demand their daily upkeep from pastors? You have been a witness to that eh? They come for their rent, transport fare and school fees from pastors. This implies that our small earning will be used to alleviate poverty among members of your congregation. So I wouldn’t only share you with your members but my money will become the church’s money. Don’t think I am selfish, I only like to protect what is rightfully mine.

So Kwesi B., do you want me to stand behind you in posters and billboards? How can you think of such a thing? Me? Akosua Darling, on a large billboard near the Motorway, standing behind my husband and inviting people to ‘our church.’ I was seriously considering you as a husband but your plans, for me and our future, are making me cry. I want to live a quiet life, probably get married to a rich man but not to someone who will be at the mercy of his congregation and everyone. I wouldn’t know what I will do when people discuss you on traditional and social media. Do you think I don’t see how some people describe pastors and Christians on Facebook? You know I can’t pretend. I may descend to their level and make myself dirty and I know I will be in the trends forever so you, let’s call this relationship off.

In the future, I may come and support your ministry when I am wealthy. Don’t see me as selfish and greedy. In fact, you should thank God I am not being pretentious. You should pay me for my frankness (you can put that in the offertory bowl on Sunday).

However, please read this portion of my letter carefully (you can read it aloud like a confession):

I, Kwesi Broni, will never, ever mention to anyone that Akosua Darling and I were ever in a relationship. I will never get in touch with her again and I won’t even bother to respond to this letter. I am removing her number from my phone contacts. I am unfriending her on Facebook and unfollowing her on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. In fact, starting now, I have deleted her from my memory. I consider her as my forgotten ex and our relationship, dissolved. Dead. Caput. Buried. Drowned in the deepest part of the ocean. I wish her the best in her future endeavours. So help me God!

Thank you for your time. I don’t look forward to hearing from you ever again.

Your ‘dead’ ‘drowned’ and forgotten ex,

Akosua Darling.

Disclaimer: This is purely fictional and does not represent the views of the writer.

Glossary

Osofo Maame: Wife of a Pastor

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