Blessing or Curse?

Posted: April 9, 2016 in 31 Day Challenge

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The church wedding was over and it was time for the main deal- the reception. Everyone anticipated the quality of the reception and looked forward to it; the party jollof, the band and the couple’s dance. The friends and family of the couple were so much that it was virtually impossible for them to find an appropriately sized hall. They had resorted to using the large field of the community secondary school with canopies.

The guests made their way to the reception venue and the might winds preceding a heavy rain began to blow it all away. People scampered for safety as the canopies were being removed from their hold on the ground. It only took a few minutes for the reception to be thrown into total disarray. The heavens pour down their contents on the earth. The reception was cancelled. A woman snickered and said; if only they had prayed more this rain would not have fallen, maybe God is not even in support of the marriage sef’ she concluded.

Concurrently, just a few streets away, Tunde had been fanning himself all day. He was tired of this nation. No fuel, no light and the heat was as though hell fire had opened a branch in Lagos. He was sweating terribly and there was even no water for him to take a cold bath. If only rain could fall he prayed, at least the weather would be more tolerable and he would fetch rain water. His window was suddenly slammed shut by a strong wind and the sound that followed of droplets of rain hitting his roof made him grateful to God for answered prayers.

It was the same rain that was a blessing to one person that seemed to be a curse to another. Scriptures says that in everything give thanks, and this is because the Father is watching over us all and has the best in mind for us. The very bad incident you think is happening to you may just be a blessing to another. Always remember that as the heavens are far from the earth so are his ways far from ours. Selah

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The Father’s touch

Posted: April 4, 2016 in 31 Day Challenge

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I remember vividly the first patient I attended to during house job, a 2 year old boy with spastic cerebral palsy. He was also a known seizure disorder patient all resulting from the severe perinatal asphyxia he suffered at birth. This episode of admission was precipitated by sepsis and he was beginning to have more frequent seizures. His intravenous line was becoming a problem as regards to siting.

My medical officer spent over an hours trying site this child’s intravenous line but the child kept on having frequent spasms that made it harder. The spasms were so frequent associated with clenching of the teeth and the child looked like he need urgent anticonvulsants. We kept o struggling to keep the limb in place so that we may be successful with our line siting but yet no success. We kept at it for over an hour without any luck.

The father of the child walked in on us trying to site a line for his son and he reached out to pet his son. The moment the father carried his son the unexpected happened. The child became very quiet and all the spasms stopped the father’s touched worked better than any sedative or anticonvulsant we could think of giving the child. We discharged the child home that day as we realized he would benefit more from being home with his father than being in the hospital.

Many times we struggle so much with the trials of life, all we need most times is simply the father’s touch. May we receive the touch of the father in all aspects of our life.

My Candy Crush story

Posted: April 3, 2016 in 31 Day Challenge

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You failed! You did not finish all the orders; the response my candy crush gave to me after unsuccessfully trying to complete level 640 after 5 attempts. I selected the try again button to attempt for another try. To all candy crush players, I’m sure this has been your testimony at various levels. I’ve been stuck on various levels, some for over a month, yet I keep at it and no how long it takes, I scale through to the next level; how else did you think I got to level 640 – tongue out. You can reply my banter only if you have surpassed that level. The thing for the rest of us is that we give up and we find other games to play.

I remember a time when I was in school, and a friend came to my room and saw me playing candy crush. He was immediately castigating me and looking down on the game that it’s too easy and he can’t understand why people spend so time playing a game so simple. I understood his misgivings as I had once stood on his platform of opinions against my now beloved candy crush. I graciously decided to educate him a little by offering him a first-hand experience of playing level 297. He was excited when playing as the game was giving him comments like good, sweet, delicious, and excellent as he crushed the candies.

It was to his overwhelming surprise when his moves were exhausted and he was told that he failed! He could not believe his eyes, how can he who had received all those glowing commendations be said to have failed? Totally impossible! The game must have been mistaken. I then had an epiphany that because he did not understand the task for that level, even though he was excited about the seeming progress he was making, he still ended as a failure. He was busy seeking beautiful comments rather than trying to complete his task within the limited number of moves

Dear friend, our days on earth are numbered, just as the moves in candy crush are. We all have different number of moves and different tasks to perform, as a matter of fact if life was candy crush we may all be playing different levels. Our creator has assigned tasks to us, to be completed at different times and we would all give account at the end. The people we envy currently may only seem to be getting glowing recommendations but missing the primary tasked assigned to them by the creator.

Jer 1:5 says “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”. We can learn from this that God has a plan/task for each man before creation and except a man find that task and purpose and lives for it, his failure at the end of life is inevitable. The moment we understand the essentiality of fulfilling our task, we would keep at it until we get it right.

Dear friend, here are my questions to you; have you discovered your task/purpose on earth? Or all you live for are just the commendations of men? Do you still live your life like you own it and you would not have to give account to any man? Do you live your life in realization of the fact that someone paid the price of death so you may live? Do you strive to live every day in service to Him who died that you may live? When we correctly give answers to these questions our loves may just have a new meaning.

In the Candy Crush of life, will you have your answer as you failed, or good job? Selah

Have a great week ahead

Originally published on astutewrita.wordpress.com

Dangerous;Damn Nuisance!

Posted: April 2, 2016 in 31 Day Challenge

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Tuesday clinics are usually exhausting. The amount of patients waiting to see the doctor after the completion of the clinical meeting gives you a headache. Today was no different but we had made significant progress. I longed for the end of the clinic and my wish was already coming to pass. It was one patient to go and I longed to return to the comfort of my family and the warmth of my home.

My last patient was a 7 year old boy brought in by his grandmother and he looked in obvious pain. His left hand was twisted at an awkward angle and there was dirty bandage over the arm. A putrid smell filled the room as he moved closer and I began to have suspicions over what was going on in that forearm. I feared the worst as previous experience came rushing down the memory lane.  i could only hope this was different.

The grandmother began to narrate the history. Jamal had a fall while playing in school and was brought home in pain 2 months ago. They had taken Jamal to baba to help set the broken bone in place. Baba had promised that the hand was going to heal in 3 weeks and they were all counting down. Baba had wrapped up the arm and they were all waiting for the unwrapping. Jamal seemed to be in unending pain; but no pain no gain says the elders.

It was 3 weeks and everyone anticipated the unwrapping of the hand. Jamal’s  hand seemed bent at an unnatural angle but Baba assured them it was going to return to normal shape gradually. The skin over the area had changed colour significantly. Baba assured them that it was a normal thing and they went back home hoping for the best. It was the neighbour’s son who came back from the university that came to play with Jamal and saw his condition two days ago that told them to come over to the hospital.

It gradually dawned on me what had happened, and after examination I had to tell the grandmother the sad truth. Jamal’s forearm was going to be amputated. It had become infected and could not be of any use again but to cause overwhelming infection and possible death. It was a ticking time bomb. Jamal’s grandma couldn’t hold back the tears. She was going to carry the guilt into her grave.

I remembered a few weeks ago when a woman accused me that all we orthopaedic surgeons do is the amputate people’s limbs. She claimed the traditional bone setters always get it right. I wished she could see Jamal at this point, I wished she could see the damage Baba had caused. The forearm though an important part of the body was only a damn nuisance at this point.

Matt 5:13: You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

 

My thoughts tonight

Posted: April 1, 2016 in 31 Day Challenge

I’m back!!! I really hope to be more consistent this time. Pls use the comment box below when done reading. Thanks for stopping by.

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My thoughts wander incessantly tonight,

Alternating between foresight and hindsight,

I’m hopeful to end up with some insight,

Praying that the longing of my soul get some respite.

 

What do you want to be when you grow up they asked,

A medical doctor I always gleefully responded,

Tales to dissuade me they narrated,

Unmovable and fixated, eyes on the goal I remained.

 

Obstacles stood in the way, fatigue present all day,

Yet to throw in the towel I refused, tenaciously instead I pursued.

Gradually i neared the point of exhaustion, soaked in floods of perspiration,

The finish line in sight I pushed on, family and friends cheering on.

 

Today, I have become that which i wanted to be when grown up,

Yet I do not see myself a grown up,

Some elders say that after being grown up comes dying off

As such I’m mandated to keep growing.

 

What doe a man do when he reaches heights unattainable?

Where does a traveller go when he arrives destination unreachable?

What keeps the fire burning when we are all warm and dry?

How does a man keep striving when he already has the prize.

 

The attainment of a goal only serve as an antecedent to setting another,

For the impossible would always continue to rear it head,

One after another, we keep breaking the barriers,

For breaking the record is just beginning, extending it is what life is really about.

 

 

The Master Planner

Posted: April 5, 2015 in 31 Day Challenge

Whew! It’s good to finally the forces overcoming me from posting here. The post below are my thoughts in a season like this. Please enjoy and feel free to use the comment box below. Thanks to Jemima Ojapa for editing.

There was darkness all over, as thick as the velvet curtains in the Holy temple; an eclipse of the sun being the probable explanation. The atmosphere was filled with mixed emotions. The religious bigots rejoicing that a fair treatment had been meted out to a notorious blasphemer. How dare he compare himself to God. Now there he was, hanging on a cross, helpless to save himself. He’d definitely got what he deserved.

The grief of his companions was palpable. They had been hit on both sides. Their master was hanging helpless on a cross, He, whom they had left all for and followed about three and half years. Now they had no one to turn to. They were going to be subjects of eternal mockery; to make it worse it was one of them who had betrayed him.

***

The chief plotter was rejoicing, he finally had his moment. His archenemy was hanging on a cross, like a mere man, even worse, in between two notorious thieves. Justice couldn’t have been better served. It was driven in cold and long.

He enjoyed every moment of it, victory at last. He seemed to have finally gotten one over the master planner. He was surprised at himself that he was able to slip one behind the master planner without Him noticing. No form of response from Him. He knew the response would come, but he was going to savour this victory and ride on it to other victories regardless of the master’s response, whatever it might be.

***

The moment had come. The grand plan had been executed. “It is finished!”, the Son said on the cross. He could not bare to look into his face, he was carrying the sin of the world, His eyes were too righteous to behold sin. He wished the moment away quickly.

The son felt so abandoned on the cross, He was there with the son but He couldn’t help. The process had to be completed. His heart broke further when the son queried “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani!”. He could see the delight on the face of the chief plotter. He seemed to have won…if only he knew.

***

Three days passed, the tomb was empty, HE had resurrected. The tables had turned; the chief plotter had been blown away by his own plans. He saw the crucified knocking at the gates of hell, demanding the keys to be returned; he protested, he fought, the battle was lost. HE then saw everything clearly, in his moments of rejoicing over the virtual victory he had been blind to the grand plan. He had brought his downfall by his own hand. He understood why the master planner had kept quiet. He was playing the key role for the master planner. He had been used to fulfill their plans.

***

The master planner smiled. The only begotten had become the first begotten of many brethren. Man was restored, authority was returned to its rightful owners. The plan had been rigorous but it was victory at last. He smiled when he went over the plans again. The chief plotter had been after him from the onset, but they played along. From the use of the wise men to get information which they eventually kept to themselves; to the gruesome murder of all the young Hebrew children in which the child had to be taken to Egypt; to the temptations in the wilderness; to the numerous attempts of the Pharisee to see the Son of Man; the chief plotter never stopped. The time was right, they gave in to the plot of the Chief plotter to use a disciple to betray him

The betrayal was not enough, they couldn’t just give in easily. The chief plotter would have suspected something. Peter cut off the ear of one of the guards, The Son replaced it. Pilate tried convincing the crowd that the Son was innocent, the crowd would have none of it. In a moment of desperation he had even offered an exchange, a notorious thief of this innocent man, the crowd roared, their shouts growing in decibels, they wanted the son crucified.

***

The chief plotter was elated, the rescue attempts of the Master planner seemed to have failed, he had won this particular battle. This was not going to be another episode of Job refusing to curse God, the Son was going to the cross.

Salvation was given freely to all men; to the Jews and to the gentiles, authority had been seized and given back to man. His effort to send the Son to the cross was his greatest undoing. If only he knew, he would have been the primary person struggling to keep the Son alive. The keys which he deceitfully collected from Adam had been collected by the second Adam. He knew this moment was going to come, He had prepared himself for it, he was set to fight it. The moment had come; he had orchestrated and didn’t notice it. Checkmate! It was game over!

***

Epilogue:

The chief plotter began plotting again, he had lost the battle but he had some last gasp plans. He was not going down alone. He was going to keep making noise and fighting like he lost nothing. He knew many of them do not know the power of what they had and he planned to use that to his advantage. For others, he was going to convince them the victory was not true. He had a lot of plotting to do.

The Winds by Glory

Posted: December 31, 2014 in 31 Day Challenge

Today’s writer is an awesome one
This is one of the creative writings we talked about. Have fun reading…. Her name is Yeesuf Glory

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Temi gets down from her bed, tip toeing to the table beside it. The alarm clock says 2am. That is when the creative juices flow. It’s cold outside, the December winds howling like wolves calling for back up. She sits, drawing inspiration from the winds, and begins to write.
Tola turns on his bed, kicking the furry ball at his feet… wait, furry ball! The dog! He checks the phone beside his pillow. Its 6am! Monday morning! He gets down, beginning preparations for school. Midway, he checks through his window. It’s windy outside. “Nobody can go out in this kind of weather”, he muses, going back to bed.
Flared skirt suddenly rises, causing the lady walking down the street scream “Jesus!” like it’s His fault.
The blue bird perched on a tree branch flaps its wings and takes off, soaring with the wind. To me, it’s saying:”wind is no adversary, it propels me forward and takes me to heights unknown.”
The winds of change…blow from all directions. They’re inhibitory to some, stopping them from carrying out much needed, productive activities, making them run back to comfort, shelter, and thus stagnation.
The winds are revealing to others, unearthing long buried grievances or treasure, making them build walls for protection, or dig deeper.
The winds are hot to others yet, melting the ice of ages past, activating catalysts for reactions that bring out their best.
As the wheels of time turn and 2014 winds to a close, grinding to a halt, the winds of change are here again. Let them bring out the best in you, like hot water does to coffee. Don’t get stagnant. Leave your comfort zone. Dig. Search. Explore. Welcome change.
Surely overemphasis is allowed when talking about connection to our Maker. Airplanes without connection to the control tower suffer in storms.
Imagine the years having a conversation. What would 2014 tell 2013 & 2015 about you?  Can 2015 tell 2016 something better?
Shout out to every woman under pressure to cook her best meals this season. A  Merry Christmas in arrears, happy New Year in advance.

Writing today is Ayobami Olafimihan who reminds us of how myopia in decisions can cost us greatly. This is definitely something to learn from.

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Wow! At last, I am fulfilling my promise to Dami, after “posting” him for several days.  This article will be under the theme, lessons learnt in 2014.
Consequences- the obscurity in the price of our actions
      I arrived at school that evening elated and excited. I had done it, I had achieved my objective of taking  time off from school to socialize- my predominant hobby. On getting to the hostel, I narrated to my roomies about my day off from school. Though they couldn’t feel my excitement as much I wanted them to, they had an idea of how my fun-filled day went.
I asked about the lecture I had missed, which held while I was on my roller coaster ride. I was told the lecturer took seven lecture topics. “Well! That’s so so nothing compared to the fun I had”, I thought. As far as I was concerned, it was a nice trade-off for my cloud nine experience. In fact, if I was given the chance to start my day over, the only amendment I would have made would be to have left school earlier.
     Two weeks on, it was time for the much awaited National CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental association) conference to be held at IMO state. It had been on my mind ever since my participation in the last one. I usually couldn’t attend outside conferences because an exam was close to the date or due the arduous demand of the academic posting I was in at that time. My going to Imo state thus seemed as sure as tomorrow, as my next exam was three weeks away and my current posting was not so demanding of my time.  My major challenge however, was getting parental consent as Imo state is far far away from school.
Three days to the departure day, I had gotten permission from home and it seemed I’d be walking on the eastern soil in a couple of hours.
The issue of class attendance came up.  Initially I didn’t see it as a threat considering that having the required lecture attendance had never been an issue for me before. I sure am  a diligent student. Unfortunately, the seven lectures, I had missed,  weighed much in terms of percentage attendance as the total number of lectures for my current posting are relatively few. How come I didn’t know that?  Argh! I failed to accquire the necessary information about my current posting. I realised, sadly that going to Imo State would jeopardize my chances of writing the end of posting exams.
All through the day, after my colleagues departed for Imo state, I found it difficult to believe that I was staying behind because my lecture attendance was deficient. It was a blow that landed on my blind spot. Now, I am sure my seven lecture topics trade-off for a cloud nine experience was not a fair one as there was an obscurity in the price – I actually traded something of lasting value for some hours of fleeting pleasure.

Gratitude – Mimi writes

Posted: December 28, 2014 in 31 Day Challenge

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Today’s post is by Okafor Chidera who’s writing her testimony and lessons learned. Be blessed as you read through. She’s special

When I had to write this I was like “Wow It’s the end of another year!” I remember vividly few minutes to 2014; I wasn’t excited, in fact I was frustrated. I didn’t see any reason to be happy about a New Year; I only saw reasons to be ungrateful to and angry with God. It was as bad as transferring aggression to anyone who cared to cheer me up. So the year begun: with so much pessimism and so little optimism about what the year will bring.
Few days to the end of the year, as I write this article I remain eternally grateful to God for the turnout of events during the year. I don’t know how to appreciate Him enough for His love, mercies, patience, grace, faithfulness… I must say it’s been God all the way. I’ll like to discuss this year in the following categories
Personally;
I’m awed by God’s goodness upon my life; every aspect of me experienced His mighty hand. For someone who had to repeat a class I saw my first results in January and to God’s Glory they were good, by God’s grace I’m in a different class as I write and every fear of failure gone. One of the defining points was a book I read titled “Power in Praise” by Merlin Carothers. It was the best gift I received this year, it came just when I needed it, and every page of it spoke to me. It changed my perspective about the world and life.
Also I’m indebted to God for helping me find love in the rarest of places. I love you Seyi.
My Family:
An unknown author said “Family is a safe haven in a heartless World” indeed I am blessed to have a family like mine. Thank God for this lovely set of people. They were there for me through all the thick and thin. Many times I thought of giving up their thought kept me going. They accommodated all my excesses, calmed my fears, cheered me up when I was down, and encouraged me when I needed it.
I am grateful to God for blessing me with this set of people. I also bless Him for protecting them throughout the year. I remember times every member of the family had to travel and how I was scared, but God kept them. Thank God for promotions, admissions, His provisions…
My friends:

I praise God for my friends and for all He did for them. The most touching of them all was a friend whose widowed mother died in February leaving them as orphans. I remembered praying for financial breakthrough, admission, and many other things. All these, God answered when we were at the verge of giving up. Her sister who had to undergo an appendectomy had a successful surgery. I could go on and on but I have to sleep.
Dami Ologbe, Roseline Udensi, Semilore Oyelowo, Ogunkayode Steve,  Dami Ogunsina, Obaj, Nike and other, thank you for being part of my life this year. Thanks for loving this annoying me and being good friends.

Here are some lessons I learnt this year:

An understanding that God allows everything that happens to man (especially a believer) for his best. With this understanding I learnt to trust God even when all hope seems lost and praise Him for every situation I find myself

To love myself and remember always that I’m unique and the best version of me the world will ever know.

To love others and never stop loving
Not to judge people

    

Merry Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2014 in 31 Day Challenge

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If you can’t wish me Merry Christmas in full, don’t wish me Merry Xmas, keep your greeting yourself; that was one of the many display pictures I saw yesterday. It seemed a little puzzling that someone was gonna take an issue of abbreviation or semantics so personally, and it then got me thinking that there was something extra to it that triggered such a response.
Over the years, the time of Christmas has been reputed to be a time of celebration and also because of its strategic location at the time of the year, also a time of holidays. There seemed to be a gradual deemphasizing of Christ as the reason for the season. There’s more of “merry” than of Christmas, and this has made me re-visit my Christmas celebrations.
We all know that Jesus wasn’t specifically born on December 25 but it’s a day that has been adopted by Christians to celebrate the first in a series of events that changed the course of the world forever.  We definitely have reasons to rejoice because without the birth of Christ that culminated on His death we’ll be all damned. This also reminds us that what we really are celebrating is His death and not just His birth.
How come many don’t know Christ even though everyone knows and celebrate Christmas? How come the mention of Christmas is not associated with intense conviction about the state of our relationship with Christ? How come our children know and respect Santa Claus more than Christ? How come most celebrations end up in sin rather than in glorifying the person we say we are celebrating?
At this point I’ve come to share the person’s opinion of Christmas and not Xmas. We can’t replace the Christ in Christmas with an X. An “X” could mean anything, but Christ only means one thing – Saviour and Lord of all; while such a modification may have come out of a need to abbreviate, it shows the state of our Christmas celebrations today. We should all celebrate Christmas with Christ at the forefront and the sole purpose. We should celebrate Christ the way HE desires it; that He be fully formed in the hearts of men.
Celebrate Christ not an “X”. May the reason for the season be continually fulfilled in your life.
Christ is the reason for the season; Tell someone about Christ today alongside your “Merry Christmas” greeting.
Feliz Navidad!