Three things I’ve learned from 50 days of marriage.

24 Oct

Kanayo Dike-Oduah:

Love this! Super encouraging xx

Originally posted on Forever Spinning Plates.:

Hello there! 

So 50 days ago I got married to the love of my life. Safe to say, I have no regrets, we are blissfully happy and every day I feel like I’m getting to know my husband, Aaron, in a deeper way. Nonetheless, I wanted to share three things I perhaps wouldn’t have thought important prior to marriage. Three things that our happy instagram photos wouldn’t tell you. So here goes:

1. I am not the boss. So I’m a naturally bossy person. In fact, I can be quite obnoxious and I have a bad habit of thinking that I know everything. So when it came to marriage, of course I was ready. I had been reading relationship books for years. I knew all about love languages and gender differences, I was confident I’d be a loving, serving, patient, supportive wife. Seriously, I thought I was SO ready. Fifty days later…

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‘I’m Selfish…’

24 Oct

I’m Selfish…

Let me rephrase that. I may appear ‘selfish’ to others and you may appear selfish too…but that’s okay. You’re not a selfish person by the dictionary’s standards.

The staunch definition of selfish is: devoted to or caring for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

I agree with the definition minus the last part that says, ‘regardless of others’ or ‘at the expense of others’. I believe that there is a ‘good selfishness’ (loose term) that seeks to improve and care for oneself with the sole aim of being in a better position to serve others, not to profit from them or drain them!

Take Jesus for example.

But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. – Luke 5:15-16

When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. – Luke 4:42

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. – Matthew 14:23

The list of scriptures are endless, when it comes to the accounts of Jesus interacting with crowds but also drawing away from them at times. (Read the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

1b81772d2804751ba7e09367560ca37bThe people in the crowd needed Jesus. They were sick, abandoned, lost and hopeless. They absolutely needed the Messiah. But they didn’t need Jesus more than He needed time with God, His Father. 

He often left the needy crowds and went to the mountains alone to be with the Father.

Can you imagine what the people in the crowds would have said about Jesus? Remember that some of those folk in the crowd would’ve been the same ones that were ready to shout ‘crucify Him’. They may have seen Jesus as ‘selfish’. Probably saying something along the lines of, ‘How can He just leave us…when we need His healing, His provision, some more bread and fish now.

Jesus had to get away and be alone to draw strength from the Father. Sometimes, you and I have to do the same. The crowds drain your strength and one must withdraw at times for refreshment. Sometimes you have to retreat to advance. You have to rest, plug into the Father to be in a better position to serve and care for others. Sometimes you will have to face being seen as ‘selfish’ in order to be selfless. You can’t please everyone, even the ones that you’re trying to help will condemn you, but stand on Galatians 1:10 all the way sweets!

I remember one week receiving a truck-load of emails, messages, speaking invitations, people needing this, that and the other and I honestly felt drained and in need of a break. I longed to spend time alone with my Father. Now some people saw me as selfish and called me selfish for resting, even for taking a social media break! But the question is, what use am I if I am burnt-out? What use are you if you are weary? If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t offer your best self to others, nor make a difference and be part of, something much larger than yourself.

Now some Bible warriors may come at you with this scripture. ‘Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others’. – Philippians 2:4

But gently remind them that the keyword here is ‘ONLY’. The scripture doesn’t say, that you’re not allowed to look into your own interests at all, it says ‘not only’. Meaning that it shouldn’t be all that consumes you. You should look into the interests of others and even in seeking your own interests, the end result ought to be for the greater good of others!!

Galatians 1:10

Galatians 1:10

You cannot serve selflessly from a place of love, if you do not set aside time to spend alone with The Source of Love. FACT! And unfortunately some people will call you selfish, for choosing Bible study one evening, over a trip to the cinema. Some people will call you selfish when you pass on chilling with the squad because you just need some time alone for this season, time to focus on your God given vision. Their use of the word selfish is flawed and inappropriate, because at the end of the day, you resting and seeking God is not at their expense. It is for their benefit. They’ll be the same ones to enjoy  you when you’re full of God, ready to serve and when you’re drained out with nothing to give.

So what am I saying? You are not selfish for taking time out to spend with God. Though you may be seen as selfish or called selfish by people who don’t fully understand.

 On the contrary, you are wise, you are focused and you know how to prioritise.

A desire for rest, solitude and focus on your purpose is not selfish. It is not born out of self-focus, but out of worship of the Father. Never forget that Jesus took time to rest, He took time to be alone and focus on His Father and all that He had to do – His purpose.

God comes first in all things, He comes before the crowds and He will position you to serve others when you seek Him and the purpose that He has for YOU first!

On that last day, we will not be judged on all the extra things that we thought would be ‘good’ to do. We will be judged on what God ASKED US to do. Don’t let the crowds confuse or distract you from your purpose. Remember, people don’t need you more than you need Jesus. Prioritise. Take a break. Focus on Him.

Taken from today’s newsletter. Sign-Up Here to never miss a post! – Kanayo

Happy 19th Birthday To My Baby Brother Obi

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Verse To Meditate On This Week

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

- Philippians 2:4 

Song To Listen To Tasha Cobbs ‘Without You’

TashaCobbs_Grace

Listen Here!

Galatians 1:10

23 Oct
Who are you serving? Who’s approval are you trying to win? Who do you desire to please?

Call The Fashion Police! What Are YOU Wearing?

17 Oct

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
– Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

To be kind is to forgive. To forgive is to be kind. It’s really that simple.

 

clotheIt’s like Paul (author of the Epistles) knew that people would get on our nerves, annoy us, irritate us – but he affirms that we should ‘bear with each other’. Why? 

Because God bears with us! We annoy God, irritate him, get on His nerves, yet He bears with our foolishness and waits for us to return to our senses.

I love how the scripture says ‘clothe yourselves with…compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’! When you wake up in the morning and you put on your physical clothes, remember to put on your spiritual clothes as well. So that people will see you wearing the best designer brand known to man…clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
 
So many people are watching us as Christians! Stop and think about it…what you say and post on social media can lead or push someone away from Christ. Just by your own actions. Ask yourself, ‘If I am not operating in goodness, compassion, kindness and forgiveness…then what am I moving in?’

 

8edb4eb4-5a91-48d1-86e1-29948cfbb0a4Side Story from this week:

 So I’m in my final year, in halls living with people that I don’t know and I feeling like a fresher again. But let me share something…
The other day, we all cooked our own dinners. I finished munching early being the long throat lol, so I started washing up. I was taking my time ‘cos we were all chatting and I told them to bring their dirty plates/pots over so I can wash up…come and see resistance!
They really didn’t want me to do it and kept on asking ‘why?’ and to be honest I didn’t know why, other than to show love through the small things. So this is the whatsapp group for our halls (right image). Basically, I’m loving them for one reason, Jesus.
Story done!

Love God. Love people. Serve others. 
You don’t have to shove a Bible in their face to show love. Be normal, it’s the small things. My housemates have been loving on me since. One gave me their heater when mine wasn’t working and one cooked dinner for me and washed my dishes today! 

Love = More Love.
Loving on others brings out the love in them!
Wear love wherever you go :)

Taken from today’s newsletter. Sign-Up Here to never miss a post! — Kanayo

Prayer Requests?

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Submit them here.
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Upcoming Event

Calling all students in and around the Essex area!
This event is for you! #UPCEssex #UPCTourupc eessex

Song To Listen To

Matt Redman – Wide As The Sky

matt redman

Verses To Meditate On:

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

- Ephesians 4:31-32, The Message Bible 

‘I Can’t Wait’

10 Oct

Patience is developed when God tells you to ‘wait’ and you actually wait on Him and not take things into your own hands. 

Patience is developed in moments when people give you a reason (albeit annoying reasons) to be patient. 

I don’t know about you but this week has been a week of ‘patience testing’ for me and I know I haven’t scored 100% in the patience exam, but I want to encourage you with three principles so you do much better than me lool.

Stay in your lane…Don’t watch others

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7, NIV)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

Impatience comes when we look at what others are doing and compare ourselves to them. We wonder, why have they gone that far and I’m still here? When am I going to find my spouse like her? When am I going to be promoted at work like Him? How comes these people in the world are so successful and I’m still here. The fact is, you don’t know what they did to get there and you can’t assume that everything is all gravy! Be still, and wait on the Lord. Would you rather be successful based on the riches of the world or on the riches of God’s word, His promises and His Spirit? #DesireCheck

There is a time for everything. Your season will come.

A day is like 1000 years…2 Peter 3:8 

patience“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11, NIV)

Understand that the way God thinks is different from the way we think. His timing is different from our timing, His ways are not our ways.

While it may seem like God is taking His sweet time to come through for you on a particular situation. Hold onto the fact that His ways are superior than ours and He knows best! We might want to rush into something that isn’t for us – God will shut that door and open the perfect one.

Patience is about Trust

We need to trust the God that knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He sees the whole journey, while we only see as far as our eyes allow us. Trust Him to guide you, Trust His timing and Trust His word. He said He WILL accomplish what His word says. So as you wait on God – read the promises He has for you. Use them as your anchor and present them to Him.

Say Lord, this is what YOUR word says, not what I say. Accomplish this in my life, because I know you are not a man that you should lie right!?

I feel like God smirks when I do those kind of prayers – but understand that I pray it because I am confident in His word and my obedience to it! You should too!

Have a blessed and patient weekend…wait on the Lord. He will renew your strength.

— Kanayo Dike-Oduah

Taken from my newsletter – Subscribe here to never miss a post!

‘Only God Can Judge Me…’

16 Sep

Did you know that ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ is one of the most popular scriptures amongst believers and unbelievers.

The scripture is found in Matthew 7:1 and is often misused and paraphrased to ‘only God can judge me’, which we’ve seen many rappers, celebrities and peers use.

But there is a problem.

The phrase “only God can judge me” has become a new way of dodging rebuke even when people know that they are wrong and people go further to pull out one verse in a passage of scripture to support their claim. But let’s be real, saying; “Only God can judge me”…doesn’t mean only God can correct you.

I encourage you to read the entire passage in Matthew 7 and come to the understanding that when scripture says…

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’

…the passage is not speaking about not judging at all – it is telling us not to judge unfairly, apart from the truth and not to judge when we ourselves are hypocrites on the same matter.

Make sure you’re 100 on the issue before checking another person. Cut your own grass before peering into your neighbours field. Discipline yourself, so that you will not be disqualified by the word which you have preached to others (1 Corinthians 9:27).

In John 7:24, Jesus tells us to judge, but to do so righteously. Righteously means to use the absolute Truth of God’s Word to discern and to do so out of pure love with the aim of nurturing the goodness in the individual.

1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says that we are authorised to judge. We must judge, unless we wouldn’t be able to discern good from bad, proper from improper and righteous from evil.

But…judge the behaviour and not the individual. Judge the choice and not the chooser. Judge the deed not the doer. The individual is accountable for their deed/choice, but judge the deed/choice using The Word of God.

So, in a nutshell…;Only God can judge you’…yes, He can judge you, but He is saving that for later.
Right now, The Word of God and His ambassadors, being Believers can, should and will judge you.

Correction won’t always feel nice, but it is beneficial . ‘Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid’.(Proverbs 12:1)

Hosea 4:6, ‘my people perish for lack of knowledge’.
Some people are too busy avoiding correction in the name of ‘only God can judge me’ and they end up perishing because they were ignorant to the vital knowledge in that correction. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather feel the pain of discipline than the pain of losing my soul.

dubaiYou as a believer have the authority to judge, but you must do so after checking yourself on the matter, based on scripture and out of love! (Galatians 6:1)

Whewwww, that was a lot for one newsletter, but it has been a while, so its only right :)
I hope it all makes sense and please check the scriptures that I have referenced.

Have a blessed week and I am sending my love from Dubai!

— Kanayo Dike-Oduah

Sign up to the newsletter here, to never miss a post :)

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This is Charity that I went on a mission trip to Ghana with in May. Read about my experience here and please support the team for the October mission next month.

Adagya Village

Adagya Village

Verses To Meditate On This Week

To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.

Proverbs 12:1 (NLT) 

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Galatians 6:1 (NIV)


Sister Anu expands beautifully on the topic of ‘Only God can judge me’. The Spirit is one as she did her post earlier before God dropped it in my heart to share via my newsletter. Check out her blog here!


Start A Bible Challenge

Bible Challenges are are really cool way to get into studying your Bible.

Why not try one here!

If you don’t know where to start with reading your Bible, check out, ‘Help…I have Bible reading issues’

Rejection Can Be Good…

6 Sep

Have you ever been rejected?
 
Rejection from that dream university that you worked so hard for? Or maybe the man or woman that you thought would be yours forever.

Rejection can hurt so bad, but it can be so good. Let me explain…
 
Jesus was rejected.

Read: 1 Peter 2:4-7
 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—  you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.”
 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone…”

 
You being rejected has nothing to do with you but everything to do with the people rejecting you. They reject you because they cannot accommodate your greatness. They reject you because they can’t accommodate where God is taking you!

Keep shinningThey rejected Jesus as a common stone, because that was not His portion, that wasn’t His calling, He was made to be the chief cornerstone, greater than a normal stone and they just couldn’t handle that. You are like that in this world. Jesus was rejected and if we are called to look like Him and act like Him, then it is inevitable that we too will be rejected.
 
So be encouraged, whenever you face rejection, know that it is because you are too great for the little space that they want to fit you into. You were not made to ‘fit in’, you were made to stand out and shine.

If you try and squeeze yourself just to ‘fit in’ with the crowd, you will cause yourself to lose some of your greatness, you will forsake your God-given virtue.
 
I tweeted something that neatly relates to the topic of rejection:

‘If they can’t handle your shine, tell them to wear sunglasses or chill in the shade’ Don’t dim your light for anyone!
 
Keep shining.
— Kanayo Dike-Oduah
Taken from my newsletter. Subscribe here to never miss a post OR follow my blog!

#SamsonChallenge – Day Six FINALE (See Your Top Tweets Here)!

26 Aug

#SamsonChallenge – Day Six FINALE

Read: Judges 16:23-31, Hebrews 11:32-34, 1 John 1:9

Samson was blessed with this gift of strength from God, but he used this special gift for selfish purposes, to carry out acts of personal vengeance. In today’s Church, God has blessed its members with various gifts, abilities and skills and in 1 Corinthians 12, we are told that these gifts are to be used to build up the church.

The gifts that God has given you are not just for yourself, they are for the benefit of others. Your purpose and gifts will always coincide with someone else’s needs but when you use your God-given abilities for selfish gains, you actually rob the Church and your siblings in Christ of the strength they would have drawn from you. We need to check the motives behind our ministry work. Get your heart right, let your focus be on serving others for the sake of Christ, by dropping all pride and picking up love.

Pride can cause us to take credit for the work we’ve only done because of God’s strength, just like Samson did in Judges 15:16. Saying ‘Glory to God’ or ‘Thank God’ when someone sees that you have achieved isn’t about presenting yourself as humble or super-spiritual, it’s because God really does deserve ALL the glory, don’t be ashamed to acknowledge that!

The Philistines believed that it was their god that delivered Samson to them, although, Samson’s capture had nothing to do with their worthless idols but everything to with disobedience. God always keeps His side of an agreement but there are consequences when we fail to keep our’s. However, a repentant heart with a heartfelt prayer will cause God to move on your behalf.

It is encouraging to see that in spite of Samson’s past, God still answered his prayer. Sometimes we feel like we can’t pray because of our sin, we let guilt keep us from our only way out which is prayer. ‘Perfect behaviour’ was never a condition for prayer. You can pray in any state at any time, as long as you are willing to turn to God again, He will be there ready to receive you. You might pray for forgiveness and not feel forgiven, but are you going to go by your feelings or by God’s word? Believe His word and let your feelings catch up with your belief.

Thank you from Kanayo (@doctorkanayo) for completing the challenge. Share your thoughts #SamsonChallenge

Try another Bible Challenge!

#SamsonChallenge – Day Five

25 Aug

#SamsonChallenge – Day Five

Read: Judges 16:1-22 and Proverbs 21:19

Although we talked about Samson being real with God in the previous chapter, after reading the beginning of this chapter, we can deduce that perhaps Samson wasn’t real with God about everything.

Was Samson still hurting from his betrayal and heartbreak, after his Philistine wife was given to his Best Man and then killed by her people? Did he fail do deal with this hurt which led him to find temporary solace with a prostitute and with Delilah? Many Bible commentaries are quick to brand Delilah as this manipulative woman which she was, but ‘it’s not every day blame the woman, sometimes let the man take responsibility for HIS actions’, read the story with fresh eyes.

Oftentimes, like Samson, we fail to deal with our pain and pride, which clouds our discernment, causing us to make unfavourable decisions. Surely, Samson would have understood Delilah’s schemes after the third time, but His pride got in the way of sound judgement. He allowed himself to be swayed by flattery and he told Delilah those things to prove his strength and massage His ego.

samson day 5We would have thought that Samson would have learnt to be careful when it comes to sharing intimate information and this time it was information concerning his Nazarite (belonging to God from birth through an oath) status. Samson trusted his fate to a woman who didn’t believe in the things that he did and in the end it cost him His life.

Who do you trust? Do they share your beliefs and morals?

Is there a hurt that you’re holding on to right now? Take it to God, deal with it, so that it doesn’t become a liability in your life.

How many times have you allowed yourself to be deceived by flattery?

Don’t allow anyone- man with the words, or woman with the charming smile, no matter how persuasive or attractive- talk you into doing wrong. Avoid being deceived by knowing the difference between deception and truth. When bankers study cash notes, they don’t study the counterfeits. They diligently study the REAL notes, so that when a counterfeit comes, they quickly identify it and void it.

It’s the same with us, as believers we must study God’s word so much, so that when something that doesn’t line up with God’s word is presented to us, we can quickly identify it and avoid being deceived.

Share your thoughts #SamsonChallenge

Move onto #SamsonChallenge Day 6.

#SamsonChallenge – Day Four

24 Aug

#SamsonChallenge – Day Four

Read: Judges 15

After reading this chapter, I think it is safe to say that Samson had anger problems. ‘An eye for an eye’ was the business back then, literally, ‘do me, I do you’. Samson was extremely cheeky and prideful in the way that He dealt with the Philistines. Let’s revisit verse 16.

‘Then Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.”’(NCV)

Aside from Samson’s WWE strength, there is something else that we can learn from him that is often overlooked. Samson has a personality just like you and I. Verse 18 allows us to realise this:

‘Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the LORD, “You have accomplished this great victory by the strength of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagans?”’ (NLT)

Samson was real with God about his needs. He may have been overdramatic, but I love his realness and the way his personality is conveyed. Of course, we are to communicate with God with the utmost respect, but this passage reminds us that we don’t have to take on a different personality in our relationship or communication with God. If you’re generally bubbly, don’t feel like you have to suppress that when you communicate with God. Or if you are a quiet person, don’t feel like you have to force a ‘loud’ nature because everyone else is doing it.

samsonThere is a tendency to copy what we see other people doing in Church, thinking that it will make us more spiritual. God would rather you be YOU and not a version of Sister A or Brother B. He would rather have you speak to Him with words that come from your heart, words that you actually understand and not the ‘Christian jargon’ that we feel pressured to say. You might be feeling like you’re ‘not spiritual enough’ or saying to yourself, ‘I’m not doing well in my Christian life’…but by whose standard?

Your judgement of your Christian walk should be made in light of God’s word and not in light of other people. Don’t use human beings as the standard, God’s word is the standard. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior about your relationship with God.

Share your thoughts #SamsonChallenge

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