KONVERSATION WITH KINGZKID (an extensive face-to-face interview)

Wednesday 7th June, 2017 will be one of my greatest interviewing moments yet! Not that I’ve had so many interviews but this particular one was all sorts of fun! It’s pretty lengthy, so let’s jump right in! 

The date had been set! Second Cup, Accra Mall was to host my team (Darren Sackey and Maviel Benni) and myself, and urban gospel artiste, Kingzkid! And boy what a day is was!

At exactly 1pm, the a-little-over-6-foot tall guy walked in ever so confidently clad in an all black T-shirt with black matching jeans and black sneakers with a little diary and his iPhone in hand. He wore this broad smile and had his shades fixed in the neck of his shirt. I was particularly glad the gentleman respected our time agreement! We seldom have that in our part of the world.

After a warm welcome and introductions, my team prayed with the artiste and we zoomed right into business! Kingzkid had a Chai Latté and we each had a cup of chocolate drink.

For the purpose of this interview, ‘Q’ refers to questions from us and ‘A’ are his answers.

Q: To begin with, let’s play a little game. It’s called one-for-one. I’ll say a word and you’ll say the first thing that comes to mind. Cool?  Loyalty

A: Bishop Dag Heward-Mills

Q: Relentlessness

A: An army man

Q: Outmoded

A: Secular music *laughs*

Q: Arrogant

A: A prince

Q: Music

A: Kingzkid

Q: Church

A: First Love church

Q: Love

A: *laughs* It’s too deep. Can we skip?

Q: God

A: Everything

Q: I’m sure you get these questions all the time but we will still want to know. If someone asks who Kingzkid is, what will you say? I’m sure you’ve had a lot of practice so it should be easy.

A: Kingzkid is a vision of God for the end times. Kingzkid is faith personified. Kingzkid is a lover of God; a history maker.

Q: How old are you?

A: 27 years young.

Q: What is your ‘birth certificate name’? Everyone wants to know.

A: *laughs* Emmanuel Yoofi Essuman-Mensah. You can add ‘King’ to it.

Q: Do you have other siblings?

A: I have 4 siblings. If I don’t tell you, you’d never know. I have 2 on each side. My parents separated quite early; like when I was a year old and they both married with children on both sides. I’m the only child of both parents.

Q: Did the separation affect you?

A: Yea. I’ll be lying if I said it didn’t. You know broken homes have an effect on children: some will either end up being womanisers or alcoholics. I mean those who don’t meet God. It’s either you’ll be arrogant or always angry; or you’ll be a womanizer or you’ll smoke or join bad company. I had a lot of bitterness growing up. It took me coming to God to let go. And even when I did, it didn’t go immediately because I still had it in me. Even after I started doing ministry, I got bitter in the sense that the people I expected to support and understand me were rather against what I was doing and calling me names. It made me more bitter. That was compounded bitterness. It took an understanding of the fact that God has amazing plans for my life. He is doing with my life what He pleases and day in, day out I just fall in love with Him more and more. I realized everything I was doing was not even for me or for the people around me. It was for Him and that’s how all the bitterness went. So as I sit here, I’m not bitter! I’m sweeter than *bursts into laughter*

Q: For a moment there, I thought you’d say you got extra money from both parents or something like that.

A: No, no, no *laughs*. I mean when they separated, I grew up with family. I lived with my grandmother and uncle and cousins and a whole lot of people. That’s how I grew up. Most times, I hear people talk about broken homes and they talk about just the negatives. I think the advantage of growing up in such a mix is the ability to learn from different people. You know, if I grew up with just my parents, I might have had just 2 people to learn from but with this, you have like 10 or 15 people. You can see different attitudes. You get to learn all that for free so it was a good thing.

Q: Talk about school life

A: School life? Let me just go straight to Central University. I read Banking & Finance. So I actually started music in my 3rd year in Central. I was writing music in all my school books; no joke. I mean, I knew from a very young age where I was going because God had already spoken a lot through ministers, prophets and dreams. School life was quite exciting but honestly when I was in school, I was just waiting to finish so I could do what I really wanted to do.

Q: You mentioned that you attend the First Love church. Have you always been in First Love?

A: No, I haven’t always been in First Love but secretly First Love is my first love. *bursts into laughter*. I’m in my uncle’s church, International Victory Praise Chapel. I’m the keyboardist there. After school, I felt led by God to go back there because there was a loop. There was no one playing there so I had to go back. I still play there almost every Sunday but Bishop Dag is, you know him. I mean … *smiles*

Q: Why did you choose Kingzkid? Was it some weird name from high school?

A: No. First of all, the Bible says we are kings and priests and it’s only right that if our father is the King of Kings then we all are children of the King, which is Kingzkid but the second reason why I took that name is this; when God opened my eyes to the fact that though my biological father wasn’t present when I was born and when I needed him, He, God, was there and He saw me with different eyes – as a royal, as a prince and as a king. It didn’t matter what the circumstances were. He saw me as His son. And that is the second reason.

Q: Why do you say “Yea boy!”?

A: Actually, I started saying “Yea boy” before I got a meaning. The Yea in “yea boy” stands for possibility and the “boy” stands for the person saying it. So when you say “yea boy”, you’re saying ‘Everything is possible to me’

Q: You’ve already indicated that at a young age you knew what you wanted to do. Can you walk us through that prophecy?

A: Well, before then I used to sing. I was told that I used to like Reggae music a lot. I used to run around the house singing, “One Love” and around 10 years old, I got led to Christ by a pastor. I was fortunate to have an uncle who was a pastor and his church was 10 minutes away from my house back then in Dome. So I got born again in church and at the age of 12, a prophet came to church. He didn’t know me from anywhere and he asked me if I sang. I said “yes”. He asked me to take music seriously because it was going to take me around the world and it was one of the reasons God brought me on earth. But before then, you know, I used to sing to girls in class and stuff like that. So getting a prophecy like that was very exciting. The most beautiful thing is having your desires and passion in line with God’s plan. It’s really cool. So that’s how it started. When I got the prophecy, I was waiting. I thought someone will discover me and say, “this guy has got talent; let me go and record him and make him a star.” But it didn’t happen like that till I took a decision in faith in level 300, said a prayer at an all-night and I asked God to help me.

Q: Do you still like Reggae?

A: I’m drawn more towards ‘Reggae tone & Dance Hall’ but Reggae itself, not really.

Q: How do you get your lyrics? *starts singing ‘Through the fire’ (from Kingzkid’s ‘I just want to be with you’)

A: *laughs* If you carefully listen to my songs, you’ll realize most of the songs I write are real stuff. I write from my heart; from real stuff that happens around me. They carry a lot of emotion. A song like, “He go do for you”. At that point in time when I wrote that song, I was done with University and everyone was on me, saying “you’re going to put your degree down and be rapping and singing and wasting your time on music”. With the whole thing happening around me, the song came to me, “make you no worry my brother”. That was a song to encourage everyone. You realise that the songs from my heart impact people. They go far because they’re real.

Q: A song like “I got my Jesus on”. How did you come by that?

A: *laughs* That song was actually supposed to be, “I got my David on”. I was trying to use David as a synonym for faith; you know standing before Goliath and all and trusting God like that. And I realized Jesus is actually a better synonym. That’s how the song came up.

Q: Do you do music full time now?

A: I do ministry full time. It’s not just music for me anymore. I’m looking forward to attending Bible School as well because it’s a full calling for me. It’s not just talent.

Q: How did your family handle it?

A: Not easy, like I said. It hasn’t been easy, especially after I graduated university. I told you I grew up with my mum and stepfather. He took care of me for half of my life so completing school and saying I was going to do music and I wasn’t going to use my degree,chale, it’s powerful. Too powerful! *laughs*. I had lots of confrontations with him. Even now, he doesn’t fully accept what I do. You see, I don’t think he hates me. He loves me. Most of the time when you’re pursuing your dreams, the people who resist you are the people whom you love and the people who actually love you. They’re doing it out of love. They don’t see a way out with music because nobody has actually made it that far with music, especially, gospel music, from this country or even this continent so they don’t have an example. And they would wonder if this thing is going to work. Then again, that’s why you need to persevere until it works so that they’ll have an example that it actually works.

Q: You live with your parents?

A: Oh no! I moved out 3 years ago. While I was in school, I had been planning to move out because I knew that if I told them chale….. Before I actually told them, I had rented an apartment. I already had a plan of moving out so I called them for a meeting one day and told them. I actually lied; I told them I wanted to take one year off after school to serve God and even with that, the things they told me were serious. The whole thing made me bitter. They were hurtful. I can’t say because you’re recording. It was quite harsh. At a point, I had to ‘close my eyes’ and soak it in and remind myself, I didn’t call myself, it’s God who called me. So if I fail God and ‘honour’ my parents, I’ve failed in life. I’m sure someone will quote, “Obey your parents in the Lord”. They forget that it’s in the Lord. That means God’s plan for your life has to come to play even in obeying your parents. I found solace in the fact that what I am doing is not just me trying to be lazy or doing my own thing. God was in it and He called me. Even though one would say I was disobeying my parents physically. Spiritually, I was honouring God and that’s what you must essentially look forward to.

Q: As a young gentleman in the music industry, what has been your greatest challenge.

A: I think I know where this is heading *bursts into laughter* You even found some challenges with the question. *bursts into laugh laughter and sips some more chai latté.*

– The first challenge was ACCEPTANCE. When I started doing music, for the sake of categorization, urban gospel, there was not a market for it here. It wasn’t that grown. So you’d have people even in the church speaking against you. One of the people who really embraces what I do is Bishop Dag. I just love that man. Sometimes, when someone is impacting your life, it doesn’t mean he’s given you 1 million dollars *laughs*. It’s more than that. I know people ask whether he’s given me money but you have no idea what this man has done for me. Sometimes, just looking at him alone, do you know what it does? *laughs*

I’ve been at programs where I was sacked off stage because of lack of acceptance. The first time it happened was in Takoradi. I was invited for a program and the pastor told me not to make the church dance “azonto” or “alkaida” when I went on stage because it was from the devil. You know back then it was from the devil. I don’t know how it changed *laughs* but now people are dancing them left, right and center. And I told him okay but when my music comes on people just start dancing. That’s a grace I have. So the same dances he asked me not to let them do, were the very dances they did. And the man walked up to me on stage and asked me to leave. That was in Takoradi so you can imagine me on my way back to Accra. I kept thinking and I felt the journey was useless. *laughs* But that was the challenge. Most people didn’t accept it and even now, some people are a little cynical. But it took me persevering and other people too to get it accepted. The first challenge is acceptance.

Q: Misconception about you.

A: People think I’m arrogant. I’m “too-knowing”. But look at me, am I arrogant? *laughs*. I think it comes with the kind of music I do. People naturally think people who do my kind of music have an attitude. But when you come close, you realise that I’m actually not like that. Sometimes, you just have to play the role. So, when I’m on stage, I don’t laugh. *bursts into laughter* so you might be seated and looking at me and thinking this guy never smiles.

Q: Misconception about your music

A: I’ve had people say I’m leading people to hell. Someone even tagged me on a post on Facebook but with people like that you approach them with love. I’ve had people apologize to me after. A lot of people thought in the beginning that what I was doing was from the devil but people like that you teach them from the word. With every new thing, it takes time to get into the market,even with products, you can’t force it on people. All around the world, people have not fully accepted rap as a form of gospel.

Q: Happiest music moment.

A: It might sound cliché. The first one was when I met Bishop Dag. I was just there and I heard he wanted to meet me. This was at Commonwealth. I was wearing a Superman T-shirt. I met the “obroni” pastor. *laughs*. I had released a few songs and he told me my music is real. The reason why it moves people was because there was a lot of realness attached to it. He said he actually thought I was some guy from the UK or something. *laughs*. I still go to him from time to time so he prays with me and advises me.

The second one was when I went on tour in Nairobi last year. It was amazing; and I was really surprised a lot of people knew me and my music.

The third one would be…..I have a lot of moments. Last year we won 800 souls on the Amplified tour and that keeps ringing in my head. It makes me happy. It’s not so much but it’s a good thing. I have a target of taking a million souls to Heaven and so far I’m around a thousand. I haven’t reached anywhere but it still excites me.

Q: Saddest moments

A: When I was sacked off stage *puts his Chai latté down and laughs*.

Another one was in Legon about 4 years ago. It was a secular event and they brought me on stage as a gospel singer and the people booed me. But you know that gives me motivation and strength. When people laugh at me and mock me, it pushes me to work harder. In the moment, it did hurt but I understood they did not know better when they did that.

Q: So when they booed, did you leave stage?

A: Me? *laughs* You don’t know me! I finished what I had to do

Q: Have you ever had an experience where you had to compromise or tone down your message?

A: I’ve had people approach me to say “make your music more ‘inspirational’ not straight gospel”. But that’s the thing, I don’t really sit down and plan what I’m writing. It comes from the Holy Spirit. Like I have a song I’m releasing on the 25th of June called “Shoe Shine”. It doesn’t make sense but when you listen to it you’ll understand it. And as part of that, we are having a charity thing at Tema Station where we’d feed over 200 “Kayaye” and “Shoe Shine boys”. That’s one of the songs that really touches my heart.The music just flows; I don’t really listen to people. It’s actually now that I’m sort of……

Q: Which Ghanaian artistes do you love listening to?Who do you look up to?
A: Joe Mettle, Cwesi Oteng, Nacee (he’s really creative), a lot of others. I look up to these 3 people but I pick from everybody.

Q: If you could do a collaboration with any 2 artistes in Ghana who would they be?

A: In Ghana, I think I’ve worked with everyone I want to work with. Cwesi Oteng featured me on “Love me So”; Joe Mettle featured me on “Testify”. I also featured both of them on “None like so”. NaCee featured me on “E be you” which we did at VGMAs. So maybe Ohemaa Mercy.

Q:  If you could do a collaboration with any 2 artistes in the world
who would they be?

A: It’s a long list. Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Tasha Cobbs, Travis Greene, Mali Music, Lecrae……

Q: Joe Mettle recently won VGMA Artiste of the Year, did you think he will win?

A: I wanted him to win. I did think he will win. That night was dubbed the Night of Gospel. I performed with NaCee and the gospel all stars and we got the best performance and we had Joe Mettle win. Joe Mettle is someone I respect in the areas of patience and waiting on God. He’s been around for more than 15 years. It’s only until last year that he a got a nomination and this year, he won the ultimate. He didn’t force for it. It came to him. That’s a Godly story. I don’t think it should necessarily be because of your talent that you should win an award like that. I like to see God at play in everything and I see Him at play in him winning. So I’m super excited. It had to be God! It is God.

Q: Joe Mettle recently won VGMA Artiste of the Year, what do you think it means to the Ghanaian Gospel Music Industry?

A: Like he said, “The door is open”. It’s a great door that’s opened. I’m looking forward to a time when Gospel music will rule. That’s one of my secret plans. By the time I’m done, gospel music should rule so when there’s any kind of event and we ask which songs or which artiste should be called on, the first name that should be mentioned should be a gospel artiste.

Q: Do you listen to other genres?

A: Some time ago, I would have said no! But now I listen to intellectual music like the Mozarts.

I think the times where Christianity and mediocrity were paired are over. It’s time for us to put in work. I don’t like when the Bible says the children of the world are wiser. We have to show we have our God. The secular people learn from the church. And we have the Holy Spirit. We should do more and not more from a place of competition; more from a place of worship. So I want to do better so people will see and worship God. Excellence is worship in a way because my God is excellent.

Q: Why Jesus Christ?

A: *laughs* Is there anything else? Jesus Christ is life. Fortunately for me, I’ve had an experience with Him and it’s not something I was told by anybody. That’s the thing about Jesus Christ. When you know Him and have a personal relationship with Him it’s different and beautiful. It’s not about what the pastor or someone said. You know Him. You know without Him we wouldn’t be having this interview? What would we be talking about? *laughs*. What would I sing about? Jesus is life. The whole world won’t make sense without Him. I know where I was before I became born-again. I’ve never felt so much peace and fulfilment. When you ask questions like these, it’s like you’re asking me to talk about, I’m not married but, my wife or someone like that, it’s just some exciting feeling.

Q:How would you describe this generation of Christians?

A: We are wild oh! 100 years ago, you wouldn’t see a Christian with shades and iPhones *laughs* We are more blessed in that we have knowledge and exposure. The Bible says that in the end time, knowledge will abound and the kind of knowledge we have now is amazing. I mean we are sitting here having an interview for your blog. Christianity and blogs 100 years ago *bursts into laughter* Christianity back then was always isolated and in the background and associated with mediocrity and timidity. But I tell people this era is an era where we preach more of the Christ that walked on water. We grew up knowing the person that will turn the other cheek. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it’s bad. He is still the same Christ but in these times he walked on water so we are supposed to go higher in everything that we do with that understanding.

Q: What negative attitude of modern day Christians do you wish we do away with?

A: I think there should be more awareness of who a Christian is. I think we lost that. We have the power. I want to see power attached to Christianity. Any ordinary 12-year-old should be able to demonstrate power. Not just pastors. That’s how we can win the world. Kenneth Hagin said that, the only way we can bring that power down is unity and one accord. There’s division and I don’t like that everybody thinks they’re better than somebody. If we don’t come together as Christians, I’m afraid of what will happen. We must look beyond our differences. There should be more of oneness and more awareness of who we are as Christians. It shouldn’t be just in word but in action as well. We should be able to show. I’ve ministered and people have fallen under the power. That’s what I want. I want to see power attached. I want to see blind eyes open from ministering a rap song; no one has done that before. You walk to a place and there’s a certain presence. People will be drawn to God.

Q: If you could preach only one sermon, what would it be on?

A: 2 Corinthians 5:17; one of my favourite verses.
‘ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’

I also like Psalm 82:6 and that’s linked to what I’m saying about POWER. It says, “I have said ye are gods and children of the Most High; that’s God himself speaking but you will die like mere men. Why? Because of ignorance. You don’t know who you are so people bully you. They push you around. The world dictates to you but if you get to know who you are in God or in Christ, untouchable!”

Q: If you had a chance to meet your 18-year-old self, what would you say?

A: I’ll tell him that the future is so bright. *laughs* You have no idea what is about to happen *laughs* But I’d have started earlier because I started when I was 22 but I had the desire when I was 12. That’s when I started writing songs. I should have started when I was 16. I feel I would have had more leverage but then again, our God is some different kind of person. A 1000 years is like 1 day. He could cause the things I wish I had done to happen in just a second.

Q: If you had the opportunity to have lunch with anyone from all time from Adam to the baby being born now, who’d they be?

A: Abraham. He is the father of faith. Romans 4 says, he held on to hope against hope. How did he hold on to the promise for that long? That makes me go crazy. How are you 100 years and you still hold on? So much that it is credited as righteousness.

And Solomon too

Q: For the wisdom or wives?

A: For the wisdom but I’ll ask about wives. With all this wisdom, why? *laughs* I’ll pick the wisdom and leave the rest. But if he wants to give me some concubines…*laughs*

From our generation, err…..like a 1000 and 1 people in my mind, Bill Gates. I want to know how he sleeps at night knowing he is the richest man in the world. Does he even sleep? Apparently, when he goes to bed at 10pm and wakes up at 4am, he makes $4 million. Some people work their whole lives and don’t make a quarter. I’m sure he goes to bed thinking Warren Buffet will take him out. *laughs* He looks cool but I’m sure deep down he is scared. *laughs*

Q: I hear on new year’s day, you had an accident.

A: I was on my way back from a Watchnight Service around 1am. I had to drop an elderly man off at his house. I actually didn’t want to. Interestingly, before we left church, my pastor asked us to pray about accidents. So I’m in my lane, on my way back, and the oncoming cars are in the other lane. Then all of a sudden, I hear a car rushing at top speed, a 4×4. It had left its lane and was rushing into my lane. And it was an elderly woman. She had entered into my lane. There was a car in front of me; she drove straight into that car, hit it off the road and was coming at me directly and I was just looking at her. I had a young lady in the car too and there was gutter near by. And by some divine wisdom, I turned my car a little and she drove straight into my side. In the end when you analyse it, I might have saved her from death because there was a big bridge a few seconds from me and if she hadn’t hit me, she’d have run into it. So when we were repairing the car, she’s a little disrespectful, she sounded like she saved me and I was lucky she hit me. But she was elderly so I respected her but in my head I was like ‘you don’t know what God has done’. When it happened, I knew this year was going to be amazing. I just knew it. People would say otherwise. I’m sitting here and the things that have happened this year; I went to South Africa on tour, the VGMA’s, I’m getting calls from all around the world, sponsorships, I’m meeting some amazing people and I’m releasing a new album: a 5-track album called “Revamp”. It’s like my rebirth.I’ve gone to draw fresh water *laughs* and I love the songs. I find it weird listening to my own songs at times but I can’t stop listening to these ones. This year is my year. I know they just wanted to scare me a little and derail me from what was actually going to happen.

Q: So what you’re saying is if I want to have a good year, I should have an accident?

A: *laughs* No! No! We are different. *laughs*

Q: What is your temperament?

A: I think I have a bit of all but sanguine is the lowest (like 3 times a month). Melancholy is like 40%. I can’t point one

*but we deciphered, he is primarily choleric, which he later admitted. *

Q: Please are you going out?

A: If you asked me this two weeks ago, I’d have said yes. But now, I’m not. It was a friendship that turned into best friendship and into a relationship. I try not to esteem anything above God and purpose. It’s not too easy but yea… Most people will come and say they’ll want to be supportive but later it gets someway. But we are friends. We didn’t part in a grudge.

*’When I see you again’  started to play in the background and we all burst into laughter! He revealed apparently this same song was being played when he parted ways with his girlfriend. Was Second Cup eavesdropping on our conversation?*

Q: What are the things you’d want in a woman? Just 5!

A: Intelligence. Firmness. Presentable (know how to talk; because your role is more of a pastor’s wife. You should be pretty too but I don’t like “too much girls”, not too glamorous…). Very God-fearing. (I mean there are days when I break down so if you can’t pray with me, I mean …). Funny, a little.

Q: What advice do you have for people who are dating?

A: You need to be convinced before you enter. I don’t like relationships where you enter and come out. It means you entered for pleasure. Do all the checks before. I know these things I’m saying, no one will listen because we are in a rush. I know it’s better to marry than to burn but chale, be convinced because marriage is till the end. You need to choose wisely. The times we choose with our eyes are over. I think we should choose women who are strong enough or stronger. If we are carrying a table, and I’m on one side, I’ll need someone equally strong to carry it too. And the table may be our ministry. ’Cos I’ll need help; not a trophy girl or someone to show off. I’ll need someone to carry the table not for 100 metres but till the end with me.

Q: When you’re in a relationship, how far is too far?

A: Ei… you people… *laughs* let’s keep it at hugs for now.

Q: So what have you done?

A: I’ve won souls! *laughs*

I believe hugs should be! Sometimes, it gets over the bar. But even then that’s why it’s important to be certain of who you want. So together you can work at these things.

Q: Alright, last one, any upcoming programs, albums and projects you’d like us to know about?

A: I’ll be releasing the ‘Shoe shine’ single on 25th June at 3pm at Tema Station and as part of that we’ll feed 200 plus ‘shoe shine boys’ and ‘kayaye’ and we’ll spend time with them in prayer and word ministry.

I’ll have the Amplified Concert at K.I.C.C. with Preachers, E-rock and Regardless. It’s totally free. The motive is to encourage people to pursue their dreams. This year our theme is “You’re not too young to be ignored, 1 Timothy 4:12”. Josiah was 8 when he was king. Last year was Phil 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That thing doesn’t have an age limit. It has so much quality but it’s free. It’s a God given vision. Amplified as in amplify your dreams and potential.

Q: Any last words? Shouts? *laughs*

A: Special shouts to … wait I’ve forgotten your names. *laughs*

To Dela, Darren and Maviel. It’s been an exciting time. Not a regular interview. Keep doing what you’re doing and think big, outside a blog, to a TV station or something bigger! I had fun *smiles* and you sorted me out with this Chai Latté!

After two hours of exhilarating interviewing, we ended a little unprofessionally; phones came out, selfies were abused and then we prayed. But who cares? We had a good time!

Follow Kingzkid on Instagram and Twitter iamkingzkid 

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DEAR HIGH PRIEST, LET THEM IN!

It was Resurrection Sunday. The sun had driven up the celestial highway to take her place. The clouds were clear. The dew from the night before made the flowers look like they had just stepped out of a sauna. The morning couldn’t have been any more glorious: Resurrection Sunday. The alarm went off ever so loudly, Ada couldn’t but wake up. 

She wasn’t used to this programmed way of life. She woke up when she wanted to and slept whenever she wanted to. After all, she didn’t owe anyone. She was young, single by choice, talented and making a name for herself in the movie industry. She was her own boss.

She had never really been a church girl. However, she did believe in the existence of a Supreme Being; how else could she have explained her journey from the night club to her apartment a year ago when she  was knocked out drunk. 

She didn’t even recall sitting in her car but everyone who saw her claimed she drove herself home. Even more surprisingly, she knew her fuel was not enough to take her home but someway somehow she got home without a refill . She couldn’t doubt the existence of a greater force.

She had vowed thereafter to take this whole ‘church business’ a little more seriously. Her late father had been a deacon. Her late mother, the treasurer for the Women’s fellowship before they both passed away tragically on their way home from an Easter Convention. This combination should have produced a prayer warrior of a daughter or a chief usherette but the only things Ada ushered were her own fanatic desires into reality. Her parents believed in the boarding school system, that it would definitely churn her out a better person after she had gone through the mill. So when Ada turned eight, school was her new home. She rarely came home; even when she did they were brief. She stayed in school for school and stayed in school for vacation classes. At the least opportunity, her parents whisked her off to school. 

But this Sunday, she really planned to go to church. It was Resurrection Sunday! Well, it wasn’t exactly her plan. Her producer had promised to land her a major role if she just appeared in church and sat through the entire service for reasons only heaven could tell.

She rummaged through the clothing in her wardrobe like a miner looking for gold without the state’s permission. It was almost impossible to find something appropriate. Her longest skirts were shorter than the hour arm of the clock. It struck eight. Church was to start at nine. 

Frustrated, she gave up and settled on  a pink floral dress which was a few inches above her knees and had almost no fabric at the back, with black heels and a pink bag. After all, it was the heart that mattered, was it not? Her desperate attempt to conceal the “YOLO” tattoo on her back didn’t quite work.

Her make up game was strong! The star that she was! She had to twinkle even in broad day light. What if the newsmen spotted her?

Ada was thirty minutes late to church; the announcements were being read then. Her heels didn’t help much; they weren’t as flexible as an artist’s brush but boy, they did draw some good attention. 

Everyone turned as she walked in. The announcer stopped speaking; the only sound heard – her heels. 

As usual, the peer-to-peer information bureau (they weren’t gossips; they just delivered information) in the church was suddenly gainfully employed. They started to trade their revelations. Ada wasn’t too bothered. She sat down confidently and ‘YOLO’ stared fixedly at every one of the people seated behind her. All she wanted was that “big role” and that was just about it.

The preacher walked up soon after Ada had taken her seat. 

He preached most wonderfully on the Death of Christ and how Christians were no longer condemned to death and what it meant for the church as the body of Christ. He cracked a few jokes which left the members with belly aches from their rapturous laughter. This one he said, ” I had a member in this church a few years ago and he didn’t like coming to church. So I met him in traffic one day and said, Joe, God needs you in his army! And Joe replied, Osofo, I’m in the Lord’s army but you don’t see because I’m a member of the secret service.” The church couldn’t take it in! Ada laughed so hard. She began to cry. The pastor narrowed in on why it was important for Christians to fellowship together.

Ada enjoyed the sermon. She thought to herself, “church isn’t so boring after all.” After the pastor was done, the worship leaders sang a few songs beautifully choreographed by the Anointed Feet and Hands. Everything looked so cute in Ada’s eyes. 

After the worship session, the pastor announced a communion service. The members walked piously to the front to be served. Ada hesitated; she was new and had definitely not signed up for this. An older lady next to her implored her to go on. Not wanting to come across as disrespectful, Ada complied. 

Almost as soon as she reached the communion table, the pastor who had preached, having noticed her a few feet away from the table, ordered her to return to her seat in what sounded more like a bark than a man’s voice. He was so loud! The church literally froze, all eyes having automatically fastened themselves on her. He went on, “How dare you come to the house of the Lord dressed like a prostitute? And what’s that you have? A tattoo? In my church? You think this is some joke?” Ada nearly died. 

The peer-to-peer information bureau photographers weren’t going to miss out on this one. Ada wished the earth would open and swallow her whole. She thought to herself, “was this not the same guy who encouraged everyone to come to church?”, “did he not say we were no longer under condemnation?” The pastor exclaimed some more and Ada, clearly embarrassed, run out, her producer right on her heels. He stood next to her silently, leaning against her recently outdoored Mercedes,  just as shocked at what had ensued. He hadn’t expected this from his pastor.

It was Resurrection Sunday but the pulpit had crucified another soul.


The Bible prescribes a way for us to teach the truth, that way is in love! Not judgementally, not lording it over others but in love. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really been the case. I spoke to a young lady who had been embarrassed so badly in church she had purposed never again to go to church. I hear preachers in buses stab people with condemnation over finger nails and lipstick and hair do…

The gospel is the cure to this ailing world. The healthy don’t need a physician but the sick. So why deprive the sick of the treatment. 

Who are we to determine who is worthy of hearing the gospel? Who are we to discriminate and judge? In the genealogy of Christ in Matthew, four women were mentioned. Two of them: Tamar and Bathsheba committed adultery and another Rahab was a prostitute.

God wishes that all men be saved. He is no respecter of persons.

When Jesus died, the temple curtain was torn into two: he granted access to every and anyone. Condemnation never saved a soul!

John 3:17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

Matthew 9:36 When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. [Zech. 10:2.]

So Dear Teacher, Pastor, Apostle, Evangelist and Prophet feed the sheep with Truth but serve it on the platter of love.
Dear High Priest, let God’s people in!

(Edited by Edith Elsie Tetteh)

WHAT IF SAMSON WASN’T AS MUSCULAR AS WE HAVE ALWAYS IMAGINED?


Every time the name ‘Samson’ comes to mind, almost immediately, the thought of a ‘huge, tall, well-built man with arms as hundreds of bronze bars welded together and feet as huge as another thousand of iron pieces fastened together; with a chest as wide as the east is from the west; and shoulders as huge as fifty average-sized young men put together’ jumps into our imaginations. I mean it’s Samson! For those of us who may treat the achievements of this man lightly, let’s recap shall we?
There was this time Samson and his dad went down to a place called Timnah. When his father wasn’t looking, a lion sprung up on Samson and with absolutely nothing in his hand, he tore the lion like it was some young goat. Flawless victory! (Judges 14:6)

Another day, he slew thirty men in their own hood and took their clothing to hold up his end of a bargain.(Judges 14:9)

Some other time, Samson went to visit his wife( he had one before Delilah). He went well prepared with a young goat to do some good loving. Upon arrival, his father in law, had given his wife to Samson’s friend to have. A raging Samson caught 300 foxes, tied their tails in pairs, set torches on the tails and drove them into the farm lands of the Philistines. I mean how does one man keep 300 foxes behaved? Leave me alone with just 3 dogs and you would have probably messed me up for life; even two dogs and a puppy.. (Judges 15:4-5)
There was this other time, Samson was bound by 1000 philistine men. With his visual acuity he spotted a donkey’s jaw bone, picked it up and made a heap of donkey carcasses of the thousand. Samson was some guy. (Judges 15:15)
The strength of Samson was equivalent to at least 3000 men of Judah. One man! (Judges 15:11)
The most intriguing scene in this Samson series: One time he went to Gaza and took in a prostitute. The news got around pretty fast that Samson was in town. So his assailants gathered around the city gate waiting all night for him so they’d kill him at sunrise. When Samson was good to go, he just carried the city gates where these assailants were supposedly hiding, in addition to two gate posts, bolts and all, hefted them on his shoulder and carried them way up the hill that faced Hebron. He didn’t take it a few metres; he took it way up a hill! Samson.. (Judges 16:3)
You can imagine how large and reinforced the city gates of a stronghold like Gaza would have been. Samson carried it up a hill that’s approximately 3000ft. Samson…

Ladies and gentlemen a minute of silence for the families bereaved by Samson. May their souls rest away from such gruesome torture.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around all this fam.
But the real message begins here, when Samson took yet another foreign lady in Miss Deli Lah, her people approached her to seduce him so they’d know the secret behind his great strength! (Judges 16:5)
Hold up.. but… but… if Samson was strikingly muscular, the secret would have been in fact no secret, right? I mean if the source of his strength was plainly in his hypertrophied muscles then why would they have wanted to know to more? Why would it have been a secret? If he woke up to work out, with all their investigations, they’d have detected it. Right? It would have been ever so obvious! Right?

Probably, they knew men who looked even better built than Samson and these men weren’t slashing men at that alarming rate. I mean they had met the ancestors of Goliath, giants! But these men were not carrying door posts of houses next door let alone city gates to the top of hills!

Maybe, Samson wasn’t as crazily built as we may have imagined. Maybe Samson wasn’t as incredible as Hulk. Maybe, he was just okay. Maybe most of the Philistine soldiers had the same stature or were even more muscular than Samson. The mere fact that they kept enquiring of the source of his strength raises a lot of questions! It might not have been so obvious. Just maybe…

God had a covenant with Samson: No razor touches your hair, you’re incredibly strong. Razor touches, you’re as light as a feather. And as long as no razor touched, the Bible says at every instance when Samson needed strength the Spirit of the Lord would come mightily on him and he’d do the seemingly impossible.

As long as he didn’t have any razor in his hair. But really, does this mean for everyone who has uncut hair, the same strength is evident? I mean I know friends with afros who are weaker than seven days!
The secret was this: as long as Samson obeyed God on the terms of their covenant, God was going to honour His part. Samson did a lot of ‘ungodly’ things: sleeping around with other ladies, telling lies… but as long as he hadn’t breached that covenant with God, he was always going to stay strong.

Samson may not have necessarily been well-built. After he was deceived by Delilah and his hair got cut, he couldn’t fight a thing. Samson wasn’t strong on his own! Even Samson needed God.

Obedience to God is key. I admit from personal experience that it’s not so easy and sometimes it seems as though in obeying, you have things to lose. It’s all fine and dandy for other people who seem to be disobeying God and having everything working out for them. So what’s the point in it for me, the believer?

The mere fact that you’re a believer changes your terms of service. You have to obey! You are no longer of your own will (Gal 2:20). Obedience comes at a cost. It’s not always pleasant. Abraham wasn’t smiling up Mount Moriah.

Job 36:11 says, ” If they obey and serve HIM, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasantness and joy.” God doesn’t lie. If we truly obey.. He’ll fulfill his end of the bargain.
David said in Psalm 37:25: I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.
I admit there are times I’m forced into thinking in a funny way, I mean other people are doing all sorts of things and enjoying the very things I’m waiting on God for?
Then I’m reminded,
Psalm 37

FRET NOT yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).

For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.

Samson didn’t have to be the strongest man to do the things the strongest man ever had to do. Samson didn’t need muscles to do the things muscular people had to do.
Samson had to obey God on one issue…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22)

Oh for grace to be obedient!

Selah…

A DATE WITH PAIN (HOW PAINFUL WAS CHRIST’S DEATH?)

A first date is no joke at all; especially when you have to nail it to make a positive statement or to prove that  you’re indeed serious about the whole deal!  But….

I mean if anyone knew that a few days after their blissful night, garlanded with the laughter of two harmonizing as one and cheers to “forever and always”, with glasses high fiving each other, they’d no longer be together, the night would have been a little more different.. A lot more different!
See this narrative is about one who knew how painful his date would be to earn his bride. He knew he’d be humiliated and mocked; jeered at and made to look so silly before his very bride! The one he wanted; his heartbeat- She! Le Boo
I promise no day passed him by without him day dreaming of her. She was the reason for his existence. Every decision he ever made was to eventually win her over. Its never easy pursuing a lady whose interest is elsewhere. Her snobbish answers alone were like gunshots to his chest and every time he saw her with another, his heart was shattered into pieces so fine they felt like sand; the mental battle alone not to think of her with another him, the ocular challenge to keep the rains behind his cloudy eyes from falling. He literally couldn’t stand it, so it brought him to his knees every day a great while before others arose. He prayed to his father above to make this pursuit much more bearable! He had to win her! He just had to.

So this one chance at a date had to be perfect! He knew how the night would go. It was imprinted on his mind. He knew this date would be painful…
The build up to the date wasn’t any easier: bloody sweat from all the agony. But at the date, he was going to make his proposal, hoping that some day she’d look into his eyes and say,  “I do”

The death of Christ goes down in history as one of the bloodiest crucifixions. How one man could be beaten so badly for nothing he did wrong simply beats my imagination. And the fact that he knew all along (even before he was born) that it wasn’t going to be any easier simply baffles me. I promise the thoughts alone of impending death; not just any kind of death- excruciatingly painful and slow death-could plunge anyone into the abyss of depression.

It’s a historical fact that Jesus died! But how painful was his death?
People’s attempts to trivialize the issue or even worse, to discredit any such occurrence is simply unbelievable. Not too long ago I came across a document written in the early 19th century of how scientists and medics tried to come to terms with the entire crucifixion! Did he really die? Or was he just taken down from the cross like some school of thoughts suggest? How painful was his death?

Let’s see..

Fast forward from the entire Supreme Court trial to that moment when Pontius Pilate washed his hands off the case.

The Roman soldiers seized him and scourged him forty times save one!
The usual instrument was a short whip with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths within which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals.

The prisoner was stripped of his clothing and his hands were tied to an upright post. The back, buttocks and legs were flogged either by two soldiers or by one who alternated positions, and the severity depended on the mood of the soldier.

Now, for a high profiled execution as this, would you for once think the friendliest of soldiers would have been asked to do the honours?

The prisoner was beaten and weakened to a state just short of death or collapse. The flogging was happily married to taunting; so it was almost impossible to divorce the two!
The iron balls caused deep contusions as they touched the prisoner’s back and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut through the skin and delve into the subcutaneous tissues. As the flogging persisted, the lacerations tore into the underlying skeletal muscles and produced ribbons of bleeding flesh. The body at that point was set to lose so much blood (a condition known physiologically as circulatory shock) Circulatory shock alone could result in one’s demise as the various organs of the body would be deprived of oxygen to function (a condition known as hypoxia)
The crown of thorns placed on his head, after which he was struck on his head with a rod, further increased the pain and caused him to lose even more blood. The physical and mental torture meted out to Jesus coupled with the lack of food and sleep put him in critical condition!

But he did this with one person in mind… YOU!
I recently chanced on some argument that suggested that, “probably he wasn’t physically sound and that contributed to his death”, and not necessarily all that he was put through, considering that he died much earlier than the other prisoners crucified with him. Really? (laughing out loud and kicking chairs and tables)
Jesus travelled by foot throughout modern day Palestine. He was forced to walk more than 4 kilometers to and from sites of trial even before his crucifixion! That’s just on the surface. A physically unwell person probably wouldn’t have even lived to the point of being flogged or even survived the flogging (a lot of prisoners died in the process of flogging by the way, never making it to the cross) Could a man who was God not be fine? Please, tell them to give us a break!

We know our JESUS died! He died for us; for you; for me!
During the crucifixion of a person, nails were driven through the wrist of the victim. The area of the wrist(called the carpel tunnel) houses important nerves and thus, there’s more than an 80% probability that the driven nail would sever these nerves resulting in paralysis of parts of the hand. The stimulated nerve would produce fiery pain on both arms.

Nails were also driven through the metatarsals of his feet. It is likely that the nerves in those areas would have been severed. Pain is an understatement. Jesus was crucified in the same fashion.

Close your eyes! Imagine heavy nails drilled through your flesh and then your bones till it appeared at the other end.Now, open them! That was painful, wasn’t it?
Lastly, the Roman people were very thorough in their processes!

The most common cause of death on the cross was impaired breathing.

For breathing to occur, the volume of the thoracic cavity must increase so that the pressure of air in the human system falls below atmospheric pressure to allow air in. (Boyle’s law)

However, on the cross, owing to the stretched arms and nailed feet it was extremely difficult to alter the volume of one’s thoracic cavity. Many people managed to thrust their bodies a little with their legs to keep them alive a little longer. However, this couldn’t sustain them for so long a time. The Roman soldiers upon realizing that a person’s death had been long overdue would usually break the bones in the legs to prevent the person from being able to breathe; as was done with the two thieves.

The Word of God never lies! Just as it was prophesied in the Old Testament, Jesus’ legs were never broken. He died even before the soldiers came around.
To certify the death of Jesus, he was pierced in his side and water and blood came forth. It’s interesting to note that when a person dies,a substance known as intrapleural fluid that lubricates the lungs, settles at the base of the thoracic cavity. The only time this substance is found settled at the base of the thoracic cavity is at one’s death.

Hence upon, piercing this area and with the flow of water and blood, it was conclusive enough that JESUS had died!
His death was slow; it was painful. His death had just one goal- to get you to be his bride; to be one with you!

The Bible says in Romans 5:6-8 that

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ” (NLT)
There has been no other important event in all of human history. There’ll be none ever more important.

It’s the death of Christ that gives us all the rights we have today! It’s the death.
It’s easy to trivialize this death. It’s very easy to.

But I earnestly hope that after this read, our minds would have been awoken to the sufferings one person took for you! No piece of writing can ever perfectly portray  the death of Jesus!

The pain was real; the bloodshed was real; the agony was real; the humiliation was real. It all happened and it all happened for you!

From the very second Jesus took his first breath, he did it knowing fully well he had a date with pain; his only way to propose to his bride and to win her back! He saw death and willingly gave his life!(John 10:18)

Amazing love,

How can it be?

That though my Lord should die for me!
Selah

img_4523-1img_4524-6

GOD, KINGS AND THRONES (Does God choose leaders for nations?)

img_2741It’s been forever since I blogged; and I apologize but as I sat at Bible Study this morning a lot of thoughts came into mind. These thoughts…So there’s a big question,
DOES GOD WORK THROUGH THE ELECTORAL PROCESS OF MAN? IS ALL AUTHORITY FROM GOD? DOES GOD REALLY CHOOSE ALL LEADERS? What’s God’s take on the appointment of leaders?

These are interesting questions and I know a million answers are racing through your head right now. But let the Michael Schumacher in your head hold on. This one is more than Formula One! Haha! Okay, lousy joke!

Let’s start answering these questions, shall we?

First of, yes I believe God works through the Electoral Process of Man and I’d give a classical example from the Book Of Acts.

Acts 1:23-26

They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.” They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles. 
Some versions say the apostles threw dice! That sounds carnal and playful doesn’t it? But God still chose the right man for the job! So yes, I believe strongly that God chose and more so, because preceding the casting of lots they prayed! God was involved! Casting of lots was an established way of finding out God’s will according to Leviticus 16:8.

So what about voting? The lesson here is that God can use virtually any means to make a statement! Casting of lots is more or less like gambling yet He used the seemingly foolish thing to confound the wise. It might not sound so spiritual(shhhhhprituaaall) but He can use virtually anything to achieve a purpose.

So in these days, Does God still CHOOSE leaders through a majority vote? Well, my God is the same yesterday, today and forever! The real question actually questions the Sovereignty of God!

The word ‘SOVEREIGN’ comes from the French word ‘soverain’ which means supremacy of rank or power.

David puts it like this in Psalm 103:19, Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.

In Revelation 21:6, the writer says: And He [further] said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
Job says in Job 42:2 that He knows God can do anything and NO ONE can stop Him! But does he really do that? Nope… He’s a gentleman.
God knows all things; from the first scene of the beginning to the last show at the end. He is the glue that holds all things together. (Col 1:17)
Nothing in this universe happens outside God’s control! Nothing happens outside his knowledge! If God were a girl, you could never plan a surprise party for her! She knows it all. God is in control; perfect and total control.

I know this asks another bag of questions. Another time, we will address them.

So yes, God knows every national leader before they even thought of joining a poilitical party. God has never for the slightest second not been in control.

I know I’ve just pulled some delicate cords! But Truth is Truth.

SO IS EVERY AUTHORITY FROM GOD? DOES GOD CHOOSE EVERY LEADER?
Let me pull out a few scriptures:
Romans 13:1 LET EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.

Daniel 2:21 He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding!
John 19:11 Jesus answered, You would not have any power or authority whatsoever against (over) Me if it were not given you from above. 
It’s clear from the above Scriptures that God indeed sets leaders over people. He chooses authority! But I dare say, not always does his chosen person assume the throne sometimes he just permits..
There are times when man counters God’s perfect choice of a leader; sometimes we choose outside what God wills for us.

Hosea 8:4 They set up kings, but not from Me [therefore without My blessing]; they have made princes or removed them [without consulting Me; therefore], I knew and recognized [them] not.

See, God has a perfect will! He has a perfect way on how things should run. Eph 1:11 highlights the fact that God has a plan! But do men always walk in this plan? The answer is obvious, NO!God is such a gentleman, he doesn’t force His way on man! He will present you with His master plan but He won’t force it on you!

God isn’t like the average young person who just accepts terms and conditions without reading them! He was fully aware of the consequences when He gave Man authority over the Earth!

David explains in Psalm 115:16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth has He given to the children of men.

So man is responsible for the Earth even though God is Sovereign and watches over everything.

In the Book of Samuel, the Israelites demanded a King! They pressured Samuel to give them a leader. It wasn’t God’s plan for them.
1 Samuel 8:7 says: And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them.

But God indeed gave them a King! Even in 1st Samuel 12:13, Saul is described as the king the people chose(not God)!

God allowed it! He permitted the people’s choice.

When Paul wrote the letter to the Romans entreating them to obey all authority, the authority then wasn’t even nearly godly. Yet Paul said even they weren’t chosen outside God’s permission. Interesting stuff?
So true, sometimes the leaders we choose are not entirely God’s perfect choice; sometimes, God just permits it. And because, God is still in control, He aligns things to be just fine!
Isn’t it interesting that Caesar Augustus asked for a census to be taken so people had to go to their hometowns and so Christ was born in Bethlehem as it was prophesied. Caesar Augustus wasn’t a godly man! Yet, God caused things to fall in place.
Even concerning Christ’s death, several leaders were involved who had no idea whatsoever of the bigger picture. Isn’t it interesting how it all played out to fulfill Scripture?
God had a perfect plan for Daniel, yet due to King Darius’ decree he had to be room mate to lions! Interestingly, God caused it all to work out just fine!
The stories of Joseph and Moses are just interesting.
It’s interesting how Pharoah’s heart was so hardened; yet, God was at work for His glory.

Joseph was thrown into jail for no offence. The King had no idea he was just being used to fulfill a bigger plan. These leaders were not godly! They were no where near godly! But Jehovah-in-Control did His thing!

There are countries with leaders fighting against the church. Did God know these people will be leaders?yep! Is it God’s perfect will? Maybe not!But God really has allowed it otherwise it won’t be so.. and I trust that Jehovah-the-master-aligner would work it all out fine!
But are we to submit to these leaders even when they are wrong because Romans 13 asks us to? 

Let’s use the story of Daniel and the three Hebrew boys as our case study!

Our first leader is God! He’s our King before anyone else. Paul entreated the church to obey the Roman leaders for peace and order to prevail and we are to do so too..

But in the event where these leaders cause us to move away from the path of righteousness, like Peter said in Acts 5:29, WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN!
Proverbs 16:33 :

The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him].

Sometimes it seems accidental that people assume power; just sometimes, but God is involved!

Like Travis Greene said 

ALL THINGS ARE WORKING FOR OUR GOOD

HE’S INTENTIONAL

NEVER FAILING
At the end of time, when we see the bigger picture, we’d be blown away! We may want to see a pencil mark and a yellow coloring somewhere! But the Master Artist knows exactly what to do to make the entire picture look beautiful! Maybe not your Yellow Colouring, maybe Red or blue.

But JEHOVAH-IN-CONTROL is really still in control!
So God does CHOOSE leaders! Sometimes, we CHOOSE outside God’s choice and God may get hurt like in the Book of Hosea but God is forever in control and He can turn things to work out just fine! Remember, all things work out for our good!
Finally,

 I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior.

BEHIND THE CAMERAS…

imageI saw his crimson-stained eyes; it was almost impossible not to. He had his gaze fixed on me. Mr. James Rockson, the finance minister, had moved from hero to villain in just six months. His rise to eminence was a perfect success story. He had always been a hardworking young man so when the President announced him as minister-elect, the nation embraced this with very little reservations. His vetting was a mere conversation; his integrity was simply unquestionable.
Aunty Aku, mother of James, had suddenly become the talk of Abenaso. She had been marginalised and ridiculed for years. She virtually sold everything she owned to pay for the education of young James. Single motherhood hadn’t been fair to her. Has it ever been to anyone? If only her husband, Robert, had known what was to come of young James, he probably would have stayed.
James Rockson was born under bizarre conditions. There was no time to rush Aunty Aku to the hospital; his father, Robert had vehemently denied any involvement with Aunty Aku. Robert’s father was very much respected. He had earned the respect of the townsfolk and the admiration of his Paramount Chief. More white-skinned people had visited Abenaso to admire the cocoa farm of Robert’s father than the town’s waterfalls had ever recorded. So it was no surprise that when Robert denied ever taking Aunty Aku into his hut, she became the punching bag to the fists of insults and condemnation thrown at her. Aunty Aku’s own parents, mere peasants, disowned her for conceiving a child when she hadn’t been given as wife to any man.
Young as she was then, Aunty Aku, moved to the outskirts of her little town in a bid to rebuild her life. Her fine craftsmanship, with dexterity, soon gave her some income to survive on. When James was born, only a trader from a nearby town was around to help in his delivery. The trader was a frequent buyer of the handwoven satins Aunty Aku made.
Aunty Aku breathed James, she spoke James, she drank James; he was her life. He was her all. So after the castigations to her subsided, she moved back into the main town much to the surprise of many people. Her reason for doing so was simple, James deserved the best of education and nothing was ever going to prevent her from giving her son the best. She enrolled him in the missionary basic school and worked assiduously to pay his fees. James excelled in all he did. Early in his life, James fought a bout of measles. The townspeople were convinced Aunty Aku was receiving punishment for her immorality. Miraculously, James recovered much to the surprise of everyone. Then it became evident that the young man was destined for greatness.
It was almost as though the harder Aunty Aku worked, the more James excelled. So when James sat for his BECE, it was no surprise to the school authorities that he recorded the highest number of ones in the school’s history and that subsequently, he gained admission to his dream secondary school.
The rest of the story is almost too good to be true. After initially struggling in his first year at secondary school, he adjusted and began to sweep awards like a broom will do to dirt on the floor. He was his own competition. His hard work and dedication saw him rise to popularity amongst his other secondary school colleagues. James was a success story in writing. By then, Aunty Aku had sold almost all her belongings. Did she care? James was worth dying for.
Mr. Rockson moved on to the university after secondary school and again he excelled. Aunty Aku’s investment began to yield returns as large companies and firms sponsored James’s education.
In his final year, James met a beautiful young lady called Nancy. After three years of friendship and courtship, they got married at a beautiful ceremony. Aunty Aku was elated; her joy was uncontrollable. She danced and danced all through the wedding ceremony. Could anyone begrudge her? Her young man had engraved a smile too deep on her face.
Mr. Rockson had the nation at heart. He usually stayed up all night reviewing policies and working assiduously to check inflation. His wife always teased that he had married two women: Ghana and her.
But here I stood in his presence, a mere servant of his with the day’s ‘Daily Graphic’ in my right hand and with my heart thumping as though to make rhythm and beat. The media hadn’t been friendly to him at all. For six months, he had been the subject of discussion. His trip to the World Economic Forum in Finland was to propel him to international recognition, we had all believed. I recall him singing and dancing with his wife as I packed his luggage and cleaned his bags; it was our big family moment.
On his return, he had been accused of embezzling state funds; a charge he pleaded not guilty to. The newspapers reported that he transferred a huge sum of money into another account to spend on his trip and that also, in procuring buses for his ministry, he had breached the Procurement Act. Mr. Rockson had maintained in court that he never transferred any monies to his personal account and had accused his deputy for the supposed transaction; and that bureaucracies associated with procuring things necessary for work were simply unnecessary. This angered a lot of journalists. They slandered him for appearing as proud and arrogant and also, for not being in control of his own ministry.
More often than not, we are quick to judge leaders forgetting they also have frailties. Mr. Rockson had never coped too well with pressure. While in secondary school, he retorted rather sharply at a teacher who incessantly quizzed him on a matter he deemed trivial. However, owing to his fine academic record, everyone cut him slack.
Today, his wife was pressing for a divorce. The allegations had gotten the better of him. His demeanour had changed and he had become somewhat of a stranger to his own wife. Quite recently, he came home drunk, something very uncharacteristic of him, and refused to answer any questions his wife posed. The media had captured him too well and the pictures went viral. The President soon asked him to resign. Aunty Aku, upon hearing the stories, fell seriously ill. To her, her centre, James, wasn’t holding. Things were falling apart!
My role model had suddenly turned villain. As I stood in his presence, his crimson-stained eyes induced tears in mine. He asked me in a rather disturbed voice, “Will you leave too?”
That may have seemed fictional but all over the world, the measure of judgement for leaders has been nothing short of strict. Indeed it must be so, for how sure are we that our leaders would serve us well without these rigorous checks. However, it is imperative that in effectively checking our leaders, we are careful not to destroy the hard earned reputation they may have built over the years. As individuals, we are quick to ask others to understand us when we err but have we ever given the benefit of the doubt to any leader who might have erred unintentionally in the execution of his duties? Flesh and blood, after all, are subject to error.
On July 24th 2012, President Atta Mills passed away. The entire nation eulogized him and several people, some of whom incessantly attacked him, put on black clothes to mourn his death. Interestingly, while he was alive, he was tainted and accused of being ‘weak’ and incompetent. Could it be that such a person had the nation so much at heart that he risked his life to try to set things right? Could it be that the darts of insults thrown at him caused him so much grief that may have weakened his mortal body? Could we, as a nation, have rallied better behind him?
In 1998, news of the extra marital affair between President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski took centre stage. The President, then, was believed to have had sexual encounters with Monica, an employee at the White House on nine different occasions. Clinton after denying several times, admitted to having an ‘inappropriate affair’ with Miss Lewinski. Clinton later revealed in writing that his affair with Miss Lewinski revealed ‘the darkest part of his inner life’. Subsequently, he received punishment for his act. Could it be that the President had an inner struggle with sexual immorality that his office exposed? Behind the smiles captured on camera, could there have been a soul desperately searching for answers? A counter argument could have been that, well, as President, he could have gotten all the help he wanted but really, even as individuals, do we readily expose our weaknesses in the name of help? Let he that is without sin cast the first stone. After all, leadership doesn’t really change you: it’s a test of character.
In the nineteenth century, the great French, Napoleon Bonaparte rose to prominence during the French revolution. Even though, he failed woefully with the Russian Invasion in 1812, his contribution to the educational and agricultural sectors were invaluable. The “Code Napoleon” has formed the foundation of the constitutions of many nations. Interestingly, one of the least spoken truths about Napoleon was his terrible fear of cats. Ironically, such a great and daring warrior who could tear down the fiercest of rivals, feared mere cats! Can you imagine, a whole Napoleon, a military tycoon, at the battlefield mapping out strategies to annihilate a foe, suddenly spotting a cat nearby? Funny as it may seem, historians believed that whenever he spotted a cat, he would motion his soldiers to drive it away or he’d simply take another route. What if this cat leaped unto his right shoulder? It would have been the most embarrassing sight to behold!
Often times, we are quick to pass judgement on leaders but like the rest of us, they are humans too. They are even more susceptible to bouts of thoughtless behaviour and can fall prey to several vices that plague the human race emotionally, physically and spiritually. Think about it? Who prays for the disturbed pastor who per his position has to keep smiling to encourage others? Who treats the sick doctor who forces himself daily to work knowing that more lives are dependent on him? Who captures our leaders after all the media buzz fizzles away? Who writes on the untold?

Dennis Dela Tsagli

THE DEVIL HAS MARKETING MANAGERS

The surest place to find offensive, abusive, annoying and yet, fascinating situations and people, is in a Ghanaian marketplace ; probably one of the most interesting places a foreigner would find in our beloved country.It’s almost impossible to miss the rather outrageous marketing strategies employed by our home-made marketing managers!

“Yes!!! Buy one, get one more free.”,” This drug (probably some very small pill) can cure cancer, hepatitis, malaria, fever, diabetes, insomnia, fever, cough, tuberculosis, HIV, gonorrhoea.”,“My brothers and sisters, in this day and age where power supply is never assured, you need to get this MI power bank; for your iPhones, your androids, your ‘not-so-iPhones-not-so-Androids (that’s a fake by the way)”

And so, aside the inevitable and most irritating human and vehicular traffic, one has to deal with the ‘auditory traffic’ caused by the numerous sounds from the lips of vendors, the horns of cars, the engines of rickety vehicles and then the ‘olfactory traffic’ – the diverse odours and smells from the axillae of the multitudes moving up and down ever so busily, or from the buccal cavities of the intoxicated, or from the smoking of fish…

It’s almost as if the Ghanaian market is a battle ground where the loudest,most aggressive vendors get consumers to purchase their goods. Sometimes, these vendors literally drag people into their shops in their desperate bid to get customers. Some go as far as composing songs and drumming on silverware to catch the attention of passersby. More often than not, their advertisements are an overstatement of the quality of their wares; so chances that you’ll regret spending so much money on whatever thing you bought are pretty high.

Hey, I’m not here to spoil anyone’s market but it still beats my imagination how one drug can cure over a hundred ailments. Even more recently I saw posters advertising “Get your birth certificate in a day” and I was totally enthralled.

I can confidently say without an iota of doubt that 90% of us have bought things we never really needed just because the jingle was nice, or the lady in the ad had intense eyes or the guy was pretty muscular or for some funny reason, without paying much attention to the product itself.

Let’s change the storyline, shall we?                                                                                                Today in our world, there’s a pretty interesting phenomenon. Let me place on record that: Yes, I believe there are forces of darkness! Yes, I believe the devil is troublesome – IT comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. Yes, I believe demons can afflict people. I believe we wrestle not against flesh and blood.

But even more so, I believe in the God I serve! All through Jesus’ ministry (Oh Yes! I believe in Jesus and I believe the people who think he’s just some good guy need to experience his saving grace), he never spent hours casting demons out; neither was He afraid of them.

In our churches and on our TVs and radios, it’s almost as though all we do is battle demons and the devil. But that has never been the central focus of Christianity. The believers in Acts were called Christians because their lives mirrored that of Christ in speech and in conduct.

Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore put on God’s complete armour, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”The ultimate goal of a Christian is not to stand to resist the devil, he’s already a defeated foe. The aim of putting the armour of God is to STAND IN YOUR PLACE AS A BELIEVER!

Christians today have become more ‘devil-conscious’ than ‘God-conscious’ and it’s pathetic. We are supposed to be have our gaze fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, yet we have our eyes scanning to and fro in search of an adversary who has no hold on us.Ezekiel Azonwu, my favourite spoken word artist, captures this truth beautifully when He said in his poem, “The Letter” that the devil’s ceiling is the soles of the feet of a believer!

John Ortberg said, “There are dozens of references to God in the Scriptures for every one to the figure of Satan. This reflects a sometimes forgotten theological truth that the devil is by no means God’s counterpart. He is a creature, not The Creator.”

A lot of people across the world are superstitious. There always has to be some spiritual involvement as to why the lights went out when they wanted it on, or why their shirt got burned, or why something valuable got lost.

Joel Osteen captures it like this, “When I grew up, the Devil was a reason why I had a headache or the Devil was the reason I got mad today. We always blamed the Devil. I think today when I say the Enemy, I like to make it broader. Sometimes the Enemy can be our own thoughts.”

Inasmuch as the truth of a spiritual world cannot be overemphasised, it is imperative that we note that we have a great influence as believers, for the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.

Proverbs 19:3 says, “People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God get blamed” MSG. Modern day Christians have modified this Scripture and do not only blame God but the devil for their own ‘stupidity’.

In Paul’s encounter at Malta, a bundle of sticks were gathered to be burned. No one realised the presence of a snake which had firmly glued itself to the sticks. Just when the sticks started to make fire, the snake was forced out.If Christians are to burn ever so brightly, the devil will have no place in our midst. He may try, but the fiery presence of God in our midst will smoke him out! But how do we burn when the sticks (Christians) are away from the source of fire! How do we even expel the snake when we are overly concerned about his presence, we tend to forget the cure is the fire! (Acts 28)

Could it be that the devil has been given much space to operate than he should ever have had? Could the devil himself be surprised that he has a free and major role when the scripts of our lives didn’t even have him star? Have we given the devil more recognition than He should have ever had? Has the church today become the incubator of devil-consciousness rather than the furnace where God-consciousness is set boiling in the hearts of believers? Have we made people more fearful than they should be? Have we marketed the devil to seem like he has more power than God Himself? Have we dragged people into our ‘stores’ in a bid to spread the gospel but succeeded only in building fear in them?Have we in a bid to sell our wares, unconsciously directed people to go elsewhere to buy? Or have we left passersby and consumers second guessing that outside our ‘Christian market’ has better products per our ‘marketing strategies’?

Have believers BECOME MARKETING MANAGERS OF THE DEVIL rather than EVANGELISTS FOR CHRIST? 
SELAH
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©Dennis Dela Tsagli

DelaTheInker

09/06/16

Mother- Woman of Virtue

Woman of virtue, What can I say?
You’ve stood next to me all through the way,
Your smile brightened my darkest day,
Your words gave me hope that I may,
Be daring and brave like I am today.

Your alarm was my faintest cry,
When I fell you were nigh,
To strengthen me and hold me high,
My first throne was your thigh,
You are a gift from God Most High.

Many stars shine but you are the brightest,
I receive so much advice but yours is the wisest,
Woman of virtue,  who can compare?
To your tender mercies and your loving care?

You helped me walk,
You taught me to talk,
To You my mistakes were always in chalk,
Cos you easily corrected them and taught me right.

You worked ever so hard,
Rain or shine; dry or mud,
You were the eyes that saw my worries,
The ears that heard my sorries.

With your hands you weaved our home tentatively,
With your feet you walked in peace sedately,
You cheered me energetically,
You celebrated my successes graciously
To you my failures were stepping stones,
So even in them you proudly called me your very own!

You sewed for me warm clothes for harmattan,
You protected me from the evil one,
You taught me about the Holy One,
Woman,  you are the One!

You showed me God’s way,
You prayed for me when I was away,
Your faith kept my adversaries at bay,
Woman of virtue what can I say?

Now that I’m old I know I can’t fully repay,
For all the jewellery you gave away,
To make earns meet,
And keep me neat.

Woman sent from above,
I understand you scolded me in love,
You never punished me; only corrected me,
You were industrious like the bee,
To make me the best that I could be!

If I could pick stars for all  the good things you ever did,
I’d have a galaxy,
If I could pick flowers for all the love you showered on me,
I’d grow a forest all around me,
If I could pick a drop of water for your care,
I’d probably not be here,
For I’d have drowned in that very ocean!
A dissolved you is love’s potion.

Woman!
God created you after man,
I guess he saved the best for the last,
Making you took so much energy,
He had to rest on the seventh day!

Words can’t say enough,
Songs can hit your notes,
Pictures can’t capture your beauty,
Only God can bless you in entirety!

Woman of virtue, What can I say?
You’ve stood next to me all through the way,
Your smile brightened my darkest day,
Your words gave me hope that I may,
Be daring and brave like I am today.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and mothers-be
Happy mothers day mum!

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My mother: Sophia Amoah

© Dennis Dela Tsagli…#dela_the inker. 10/05/14

HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE?

(Diary of a lover)

“I met her way before High School. I won’t forget that day. Everything seemed perfect. We met in the garden behind the Chapel. She looked simple but beautiful. My heart beat faster, my vocal chords were at a tangent to fright. My system simply couldn’t coordinate; the effect of her geometry.
Thereafter, we met at the grocery. I stammered through the conversation. She asked me if the apples on sale were fresh, she probably wanted a delivery;fresh! I honestly didn’t know but someway somehow “No” sounded like the most positive answer to give. I don’t know why she asked me. Perhaps I looked like an attendant wearing my favourite  cap. I told her I’d call to tell her when new apples came.
She smiled and left;a big relief on my face. The story after is none of your business.I love her dearly and that’s what counts.”

That was seven years ago.I recorded the event to detail..
Today was finally here! The long days at counselling and the longer nights planning the matrimony were over; I believed.

Fixing my bow tie, and staring at my reflection in the mirror, I take a deep sigh.
The day I’ve awaited eagerly. I had purchased this white tux with black trousers and a matching bow tie. I couldn’t look any better. My feet had two different English names guarding them; Paul Smith.

The journey to the church was like a road trip.
Thirty minutes seemed like four hours. I wished I could literally temple run:jumping over any obstacle and sliding under any article. For the One I wouldn’t mind being a bizarre spectacle.

Why couldn’t red mean go? Traffic lights became my new enemy! I couldn’t wait for my lady and I to be in perfect harmony!
The wait at the altar was even longer. My lady would arrive a bit later!

Let’s skip all that….shall we?She is Flesh of my flesh;bone of bone..

Three years later….
The sweet becomes bitter. The joy becomes misery.
Love never felt this bitter! She doesn’t talk to me. She doesn’t return my calls. Every good thing I do faults. She gives me little attention like communicating isn’t her intention. She leaves home at will, returns and asks me to be still. When I complain, she says I drive her ill! Our love indeed is all over like a dollar bill…

Sometimes, I wonder if all the vows we made were meant? Back then she adored me..right now she abhors me! No intimacy exists between us. We honestly had been through a lot.
I continually shower her with love;daily I write to her; constantly I offer her protection. In spite of all these…

You may wonder what triggered the emotional outburst! I walked into her office this morning with flowers in my hand. Just when I turned her knob to open her door, she boldly declared to a colleague she wishes to have nothing to do with me…

Tears rolled down my eyes.There and then, I wished the Earth could open to ingest me!
I shut the door quietly; perhaps, shutting the door to love.

Sad story, huh?
Thank God He isn’t Human! He doesn’t shut His door to Love for He is True Love!
No superficial human love institution can explain God’s love at all. His love is so deep that irrespective of our actions, He still loves us and wants to have a booming relationship with us.Nothing at all can separate us from the Love of God!nothing at all. That’s why He sent His Son to die in our place.

Sometimes,I wonder how God feels.He gets a broken heart too, you know?
Gen 6:6-7 MSG BIBLE God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart.

Daily, probably in excess, He expresses His genuine, faultless love to us.
He seeks to reveal himself in a deeper  way to man. He seeks for true matrimony yet we forsake Him with no regret or apologies!
He writes to us daily in His Word and seeks that we communicate with Him ceaselessly through prayer.Jesus wants to be groom to us! He wants to be there for us and to have a personal, unadulterated relationship with us!He wants to be the one you’ll wake up to and the one you’d retire to bed with memories of!

When we spend very little time with God we fail to grow the relationship we have with Him!
When we were yet sinners, God still did the biggest love act- Giving up His son for our salvation and redemption. He defined true love. Love second to none; love deeper than any ocean!Love that no man or woman can give! He gave His only begotten Son just for you and me! Even when Man rejected Him, He still shewed His love to us!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Amen.

Many of us profess we love God but He says,
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. ( NLT John 14:15)

Friends,
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 NLT)
And that’s exactly what God did.

It’s not good enough to be good enough! We must genuinely know Him.
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John4:8  NLT)

God wants a deeper matrimony with you..Would you say, ” I do?”  And mean it like it should be…Would you??

ink

#selah

OBSERVERS ARE WORRIED!

Being the last child hasn’t always been fun for me. I’m Richie. I’m ten but everyone says I look younger. Being compared to my three older brothers is the most annoying thing on the face of the Earth. The more I try to function; the more I get differentiated.
There are times I wonder if all the things they say is true. I’m a late bloomer; not a thing to be proud of but that’s me.
I wake up to high-pitch yelling from my mum telling me how lazy I am. As though that it isn’t enough, I’m forced to ingest hard pills from my dad for my inability to clean his Toyota and water his corollas (two things he cherishes most).
My morning is already ruined.
School is like paradise to me. I meet people like me. People in my shoes. People who just do it; all the things I consider super cool.
Then I come back home. The verbal attack is unleashed on me again for coming home dirty and untidy. My brothers come home from university. They shower and bathe them in so much praises; the result? They sneeze disgusting words at me when I ask them simple questions. Is it my fault I don’t know that they don’t wear school uniform to class or have to make their parents sign their homework?
I retire to bed hoping tomorrow never comes. Tears roll down. Was this the better life they promised if I gave myself to be transformed?
A life of freedom? A life that would bring me an inheritance in the future? If this is how it felt to be FOUND (in a home) then I so wish I was LOST (in the forest.) Continue reading