What the Bible Teaches but Telenovelas Don’t

In the previous post, I mentioned how much I disliked telenovelas but focused more on The Empire television show. In this post, I would like to focus a little bit more on the telenovelas that are so common here in Ghana.

Telenovelas are serial dramas which has its origination from Spain. The level of viewership for these soap operas have soared recently since a number of television stations are translating them into our local language.

Although I do not remember the last time I watched one, I know they have very similar story lines – the lead role is played by either a beautiful woman whose love is being competed for by two men or a handsome man whose love is being fought for by two beautiful women.

Why the dislike for Telenovelas?

  1. They have the power to influence your judgement – Before I became emotionally matured I thought love was all about what I saw in telenovelas – falling in love with a handsome guy or lady, walking on the beach and sipping a drink or going horseback riding and when you got tired with whoever you were with, you switched to another one who made your heart skip faster. That is what most of these story lines portrayed, but in reality love is way more than that. One of my favourite verses in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13 which provides you with a vivid description of what love ought to be. Proclaiming you love someone is more of an action than emotional. Before anyone proclaims he/she is in love with anyone, they should have a look at what the Bible says before they do so. Sadly, most of these women and children who watch these serials begin to develop certain fantasies about what their love life should be – expecting roses from their men and other romantic gestures which are not too familiar in the Ghanaian culture, causing drifts in their relationships and marriages.
  2. They are addictive – Yes, when you miss one episode, you feel your life is about to end therefore, whenever it’s time for that particular programme, you would want to leave whatever you are doing to see what is happening to “Camilla” or “Paloma.” If you are going through that remember the Bible mentions in Romans 6:16 … Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Let us be mindful of whatever we choose to become slaves to.
  3. They teach the wrong things (morally) – This is one of the reasons I stopped watching them. Telenovelas have a beautiful way of making evil people seem so strong and powerful and got away with the sin they committed but sin is something the Bible strongly condemns… Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? …1 Corinthians 9:10

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up,” and that is according to I Corinthians 10:23, so my question today is what have you been spending your time on?

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3 Reasons I Dislike “The Empire” Series

I stopped watching telenovelas years ago mainly because I hated all the twists, turns and the nature of love they portrayed. I do not like to watch any series either and this because they are long, play with ones’ emotions and portrays lies as real life. I read an interview with Taraji Henson of ‘The Empire” fame and I decided to watch the Empire series to understand what has made this particular American series so popular.

The series was filled with so many nice things including people wearing attractive clothes, good music, very handsome and beautiful people but I still take my stance that these television programmes are simply not a thing for me. I know they are just acting for the money and may not exhibit these characters in real life some viewers may be influenced to adopt some of their lifestyles.

My observations while watching the series include-

  1. The actors and actresses did not portray the character of Christ – The fruit of the Spirit which is the character of Christ include love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, kindness, meekness, faithfulness and self-control and that is according to Galatians 22 but what do we see in these series? People scrambling for a share of rich man’s “empire” and stopping at nothing. They did not mind killing each other to get a share of the riches and not forgetting the owner of the Empire himself who stopped at nothing including hurting his family to get rich. No wonder the Bible says it will be much easier for a donkey to enter into the eye of a needle than for rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God – Matthew 19:24
  2. It is filled with sexual perversity – The Bible, especially in the New Testament mentioned severally that believers should abstain from sexual immorality (Acts 15:20, 1 Corinthians 5) but these series had a very nice way of justifying sexual immorality. What did we see? Family members laying with one another, friends having fun with sex as if sex was like having a drink. And the homosexuals in Empire, they had a field day. I had a discussion with a friend who drew my attention to the fact that, the empire series had really packaged homosexuality in a very nice way which will make it acceptable even for believers. How? Because the gays in the series were handsome, patient, very loving and talented and it was so easy to accept them and their ways but the Bible made us understand in 1 Corinthians 6:9, that homosexuals among other people will not enter into the Kingdom of God.
  3. They swore and blasphemed – There were scenes in the series where the lead actor likened himself to Jesus for coming back to life, as God for he had to be immortalised but the Bible also mentions that blasphemy was one of the evils that came from within a man which had the high risk of defiling him. Mark 7:22

Have you watched any of these series? What are your views? Are there series or movies that are helpful for believers? Share them with us!

Dear Family – A Letter to the Family I Never Had

Whenever I hear or see families do things together, I develop a heavy heart and start to imagine how life would have been if I had a real family with a mum, a dad and siblings living all under roof.

I did not grow up like that. Life started throwing bitter pills down my throat at quite an early age. I had no choice but to swallow them as and when they came.  I went to live with mum’s relatives when I was about six years and dad died when I was eight years old.

If you are a Ghanaian, you may have an idea of how it feels when you do not live with real family. I never had any idea of what real family was till I met a Christian one later in life.  They did almost everything together – cared for each other, they prayed and worshiped God together and most importantly, they had real communication with one another – each person knew what the other was going through at every point.

After I met with this family, I started imagining how it will feel like to have a family that really loved and cared for each other. We need to thank God for the families He has provided us in our various churches today. If you have not had a real family, I believe the church is the best place where you can find love and a sense of belonging – the kind of love that Jesus wants us to have for one another.

Back in the day of the Apostles, those who received Christ got baptized, came together, sold their possessions and divided it among themselves as anyone had the need. They did that continuously and with gladness and praising God, and do you know what the Lord did for them? According to the last part of Acts 2:47, God added to the Church daily. This, I believe is the simple formula for church growth.

To those who have real families like the one I described earlier, use today to thank God for their lives and to those who have not had ‘real’ families, do not forget the church is a place where you can find a family. To members in churches of all denominations, let us use the example of the Apostles in the book of Acts to create that atmosphere which will draw more people to Church and closer to God. Let us learn to show love to one another by sharing what we have.

Do you have a real life testimony of what God has used the church to do in your life? As usual, we would love to hear from you. Our email address is christianblogghana@gmail.com

Guest Blog: Should We Live in Fear?

When anyone experiences a disaster, especially if he/she is a believer, so  many questions linger on the minds of people like, how did God allow this to happen? Let us take, the June 3rd disaster at Circle, for example, a lot of people started questioning God and how he allowed such a thing to happen but in all of this we need to remember…

.He said to them, “Why are you so afraid?…( Mark 4:40)

Many a tragedy befalls mankind and in the natural sequence of events, questions arise and responses are given in an attempt to allay fears or strengthen or weaken certain beliefs. Common amongst these questions is ‘why did God allow this to happen’. The faith of many waver in the process.

O taste and see that the Lord is good… (Psalm 34:8).There are several ways of knowing a person. For example, you can know that a person is good based on your relationship with the person or several testimonies of such a person (of course from reliable sources). The psalmist in the above scripture testifies of the goodness of God. The people of Israel also testified saying “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel, Hallelujah! (Ezra 3:11).”In Malachi 3:6 God makes an emphatic statement of his character, “I do not change”. Drawing inference from the above scriptures we can say that God can only be good. God cannot be the architect of disaster. He loves his children steadfastly.

Jesus said in John 16:33 that “…… In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world“. Tragedies (tribulations) may occur but in spite of these, Jesus would have us function in a particular way. He would have us be cheerful. I ask again “should we live in fear?” … An emphatic no.

Finally picture Jesus saying to you ” child,be of a good cheer in spite of your tribulation” . He only has the answers to our ailing hearts. Remain lifted!

The ‘Trotro’ Prophets and Evangelists

Sometimes they are the first people you meet when you board a “trotro” or bus but mostly they wait till the bus gets full and perch by the “mate” or the bus conductor. A number of them wait till the bus starts moving before starting the church service.

“Close your eyes and let’s pray.” That is how they start the service.  Some of them raise songs which they expect people on the bus to respond to. They then pick a verse in the Bible and start to preach. They shout “Amen” and expect everyone on the bus to respond “Amen”. Woe unto you if they discover you are not taking part in the service, or you have your ear phones stuck in your ear and looking through the window unconcerned. If you are fortunate they may let you go but you are likely to turn into the subject of their sermon.

“Some of you feel you are too big to respond to my sermon huh?” they will begin, “I remember I was ministering on a bus and there were a group of men who refused to respond when I screamed ‘Amen.’ Do you know what happened to them? The car had an accident, I didn’t die, those who responded ‘Amen’ didn’t die but the group of men who refused to respond died and were burnt to ashes, so if you ignore me, you are likely to suffer a similar fate.” They will conclude.

We know a number of them are genuine Christians who are responding to our core mandate and following the Scripture in Mark 16:15, He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  Christian Blog Ghana therefore sampled a few opinions of Believers to ascertain how they felt about  bus evangelism –

“Personally, I don’t have any problem with it. There are televisions in some of these buses so why can’t we have preachers on them as well,” one of them responded.

“I really cannot stand them. I think they can preach when the bus is stationary but they can sometimes distract the driver. “

“Some of them really deceive the passengers. You do not even know where they get the sermons from.”

“I know genuine people who preach on buses. Such people are professionals in their uniforms. I remember a man working with the Forestry Commission who preached on a bus but some of them, I think they are doing it because of the coins they will get from the passengers.”

What are your views about these people who preach on buses?  Have you shared the word of God with other passengers on a bus? Is that something you will ever consider or are considering to do? We would love to know what your thoughts..

Why I Refuse to Join a Group in Church

At one point in every church, the pastor will advise members of the congregation to join groups or departments. Some of these groups include the choir, ushering, protocol, media and evangelism teams and the famous prayer warriors.

I have changed churches a number of times but whenever I hear the call that God does not like pew warmers, my heart skips a beat and I start thinking of which group to join in order to make a difference in the church.

I am a bit skeptical about joining groups at church for several reasons: One of them includes the fact that most church workers get so used to the work they do that they forget about God Himself. They get so busy that they do not pay attention to what God has for them during the service.

One other thing is that members of the groups get so used to each other too. They resolve to chat while the preacher has mounted the stage and do not even take away any message from the service.

And the meeting times – some groups in the church keep having meetings from Sundays to Saturdays. No wonder people in such groups get so used to each other they forget they are working for God.

Working for God in whatever capacity that you choose is very important. Do you remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 23:14-30? Where the master took the talents away from the servant who refused to use it? But before you join any department in your church, just remember these-

  1. You are working for God and not for any man. God is the only one who can reward you, therefore do the work as if you are doing to Him.
  2. If you are joining a group that works during service, find a way of pausing your activities especially when the sermon is being delivered. If you try that and you still cannot hear the sermon, make sure you get a recording to listen to after the service.
  3. Take into account the things you do quite easily before joining any department. I know the Bible says in Philippians 2:13, ESV For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure but there is nothing more joyous than doing the things you love to do for God.
  4. Remember the meeting days. Will it favour you? Do not just jump into a group because you like their attire. Have the mindset that you are going to sacrifice your personal comfort to make the group more effective to the church and for God.

And to all church workers, May He equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:21, NLT 

Women, Powerful Men of God and Miracles

There are so many churches springing up in the country especially in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions but amazingly, when you move further into the country their numbers reduce drastically.  In recent times too, many radio and television stations especially here in Accra are providing airtime to churches for soul winning and, to advertise their services and programmes.

It is also an open secret that when you watch these churches on television that women form the majority of the congregation and many people attribute this to the fact that women are the intercessors for their families. Even in the time of Jesus, He had numerous encounters with women and that makes them special in the house of God.

As it is a good thing to intercede for their families, women are also  the ones who easily fall prey to the “powerful” men of God and churches that are springing up these days. They jump from one miracle service to the other not because of the fellowship they receive but because they are searching for miracles that their pastors have not been able to provide yet.

It is possible to get a little confused these days while searching for a place to worship since there are so many of them and the good book in Hebrews 10:25  say “ …..not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” Also, let us be wary of the places we go for to pray and for “miracles” as the Bible has even prophesied in Mathew 24:11… and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Seeing a pastor to share your problems and for miracles is not a bad practice in itself but as much as possible, let us learn the scripture for ourselves in order to be knowledgeable and discerning Christians. The Bible in 1 John 4:1 has ordered us to test all Spirits and one way of doing that is with our knowledge of the scripture. Are the pastors we are visiting going according to the word of God?

As much as possible, let us discover for ourselves what the Bible says about the kind of situation that we find ourselves in, look for scriptures to back the prayers and mix that with a little faith (mustard seed). That is the formula for getting a miracle.

In John 15:7 Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  Are His words even in us? Let us not forget that God Himself has told us that nothing is impossible to them who believe. All He requires of us is faith which as little as a mustard seed – Matthew 17:20.

If you have any interesting perspective to share about the faith with us, you can send it to christianblogghana@gmail.com

Guest Blog: How I got Baptised with the Holy Spirit

Ever wondered why Apostle Paul laid such emphasis on the importance of speaking in tongues (…I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also…1 Corinthians 14:15)? This was my meditation as I stood aloof observing my colleagues back in secondary school. I joined them (schoolmates) in several prayer times and heard them speak in the angelic language. I thought to myself, “if only I could partake in such glorious encounter.”

I observed a few things as I looked at them. They prayed longer and looked even more radiant than before (…shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you, Romans 8:11; though I expected them to look tired). There was that yearning to always return to the place of prayer. What else could explain the desire of a young man to spend hours in prayer after a day’s activity in school (at least the other students always rushed to their beds to have a nap)? Again, these young men were apt in preaching the word. They didn’t hesitate whatsoever to share the gospel. Another striking characteristic was the level of wisdom they exhibited ( …and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things,1 John 2:27). They responded wisely and calmly to issues, that in my opinion were way above our comprehension at that age.

I marveled at their progress and wished I could be a part of it (positive peer pressure I guess). It didn’t happen for me in secondary school anyway until my first year in college. I still remember vividly in that meeting, how in a moment my tongue changed. I lost control of my speech and could hear me say a particular word continuously. You may think I made the word up but I didn’t. I knew that because I had tried mimicking my friends in secondary school and failed woefully at it. This time it was real, effortless and filled with intense emotion. I felt weak yet strong and didn’t want it to end. Later that night I kept speaking that same word as a child taught to say “mama.” I’ve enjoyed speaking in tongues ever since and never looked back.

For those of you who don’t have the urge anymore to speak in tongues, remember Apostle John’s words to the church in Ephesus, remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works (Revelations 2:5). Repent and do the first works of speaking in tongues. Remain lifted!

The Christian Blog Ghana would like to say a very big thank you to our very first guest blogger, who sent us this testimony of how he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You can also share your stories and our email address is christianblogghana@gmail.com

The Miracle of a 100GHS Offering

I went to church that morning and there was a guest speaker from a neighbouring church delivering the sermon. This was about three years ago when I had completed College. I sat through the service and I remember his sermon was on the power of the Holy Spirit.

When he finished his sermon, he asked us to give an offering; something that we had not given to God before. Personally, I had never given any money to the church except the regular church offerings that I often put in the bowl. As the preacher started mentioning some amounts I sat and stared but immediately he mentioned a hundred cedis, I felt a thud in my heart; it was as if something was pulling me to stand.

I know you might be wondering why I am making a fuss over a 100GHS. This was because I had just completed college and I had no money in my account except that 100GHS that was given to me by a firm I was working for and the 100 GHS was their ex gratia. Apart from that I had nothing else in my account.

I could not sit down comfortably anymore because the prompting in my heart had increased. I joined the members of the congregation that had taken the bold step of faith. Before we made our pledges, we were asked to say a prayer and mine was that I needed a good place to offer my National Service and a better job afterwards.

At the time I stood at the altar, I had no idea of the scripture in 2 Samuel 24:24 where David replied King Aranuah saying, No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing …..

The 100 cedis that I offered the church did cost me much. I did not feel the pain till I stood in front of the ATM to withdraw the money. When I put it in the envelope, I knew this was a very big sacrifice I was making because it was going to cost me even money for transportation.

Although, I felt the pain when I made my sacrifice I knew God was going to bless me and indeed,  He has. I had a great place right here in Accra to offer my National Service and I did not even complete it because I had another wonderful job offer. There have been several employments after that National Service and I know it was because if that sacrifice I made at the altar on that fateful day.

What have you given to God which cost you so but after a while you saw some amazing results? Let’s hear your story. Our email address is christianblogghana@gmail.com

“Tricks” to praying in tongues that you probably haven’t used

Praying in tongues is one of the physical evidences of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer according to Acts 2:4, And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance.” This also does not mean that tongue speaking is the only evidence.

When I received the Holy Spirit a few years ago, one of the most helpful books that I have used in my journey is Benny Hinn’s Good Morning Holy Spirit and I will always recommend it to anybody who wants to know more about the power of the Holy Spirit (I do have a copy and I won’t mind sharing it with anyone who wants it).

A lot of Christians in recent times use tongues speaking as a way of passing time. When we go to church and the prayer leader raises a topic, all you hear us do is to speak in tongues.  I know people who have shared with me how their minds wander when they pray in tongues. It has even happened to me on several occasions. Amazingly, I start planning my week or begin to think of other things not God–related immediately I begin praying in tongues. It is funny how the devil makes it more fun to do that while you are praying in tongues.

I know I am not the only one in this kind of situation but subjecting our minds on things of God and resisting every form of distraction while prayer is not that easy however, it is one of the few ways that anyone can reach the Father and that is according to 1 Corinthians 14:15, What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

Tongues’ speaking is also not an excuse to neglect the word of God. Most of us believers murmur intangible words to God in the name of praying in tongues while completely ignoring the scriptures but the Bible in 1 John 5: 14 says, this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. How do you have any confidence in your prayer when you do not even know God’s will? The only way of knowing God’s will and His purpose is by reading His word and praying back to Him.

Do you have any experiences about tongues speaking that you wish to share with other believers? Remember you can always reach us through our email address, christianblogghana@gmail.com