You can’t foot the bill – because you aren’t meant to!


I have observed that many times, when God inspires people with an idea for a life-defining project, or presents opportunities to gain knowledge and training in peculiar crafts, career or ministry, many people short-change themselves with the questions their minds ask. Even me, 8 out of 10 times, my mind fixates on the price tag, especially when I know I can’t afford it. I ask, “How much does it cost?” That becomes my excuse not to pursue my highest. 

When God presents you with similar opportunities, do you embrace it in spite of the cost?

Consider this: how much does a butler earn? Surely not enough to fund a city-wide project. Yes, you got it – Nehemiah couldn’t have funded the budget for the Jerusalem wall. Surely, Moses didn’t have some huge savings to build the tabernacle. In fact, they were never meant to. They simply said yes and watched God do his thing.

Whenever God inspires you with an idea, he never means for you to foot the bill. The one that gives the vision will make provision: what you need for the vision.

Seriously, you can’t foot the bill – because you aren’t meant to! Stop worrying about Gods prerogative.

I’d like to challenge you to ask, “How much is it worth?” rather than “How much does it cost.” Instead of ” Can I afford this?” Ask “Can I afford not to do this?”

Can you afford not to listen to God? Can you afford not to live a purposeful life? Can you afford not to make impact? Do you want to miss out on the joy of divine duty?

Truth is, God has positioned helpers on your path. But they are not in the open. They are hiding and waiting for you to decide to take on the task before they show up. They want you to say, “yes, this training or conference or class is worth much more than it costs. I can’t afford it, but I will get it.” 

The long and lonely journey to the cross cost Jesus a lot for a while. It wasn’t easy, but it was wort it. His life shows is that he asked, “how much is it worth?” 

I keep receiving calls from youth ministers from Nigeria and abroad requesting copies of Donut, and I wonder – what if I looked at the publishing cost and didn’t go ahead in 2014? I knew I couldn’t afford the N350,000 price tag but (thank God!) I did move ahead and there was my dad who agreed to take installments (there’s someone positioned closer than you think!) and the people who believed (after I did) in the vision (they showed up from the hiding places! LOL!). We did it and produced 2000 copies we distributed free! There’s more coming!

The difference between action (excellence) and excuse (mediocrity) is the question you ask, and here is it- “how much it is worth?”

Like I said some weeks earlier, only the shortsighted celebrate potential. In my opinion, only the ones who invest potential with grit to produce bountiful results ought to be celebrated.

So like Joshua Son of Nun, Get courageous! Change your question. Change your life and our world. 

To the Happy New Week,

Toluwanimi

P.S.: Maybe you think you may trust God and still end up flat on your face. Maybe that’s a valid point. Maybe it’s happened to you before… Well, here’s the thing- try again and do it right this time by making sure God is involved. Moreover, you’ll never know until you try!

Barabbas: son of the Father

Sit tight, this is a long one, but it’s worth the shot.

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The Story

The noise of the riot in the city receded as the soldiers dragged him across the city. His mind was tired but His mind resolute to gain freedom for the people of Jerusalem. Or at least avenge the death of his father. The Jews couldn’t understand that!

The company paused to refreshed along the way as he was being matched out of the city towards the gallows. One of the soldiers bent over him and placed a water skin near his mouth.

As he took a sip of the cold water, a hard slap against his temples jostled the water out of his mouth.

Oh! He opened his eyes and stared at hard concrete above. Instead of being refreshed by the water from the young soldier’s cistern, he was lying flat against his back in a prison cell, thirsty and famished.

He had been dreaming.

He motioned to rub the sweat from his forehead, but was restrained buy the big iron fetters that bound his muscular blood stained arms.

As he struggled in vain to wrench his hands from the chains, blood trickled from wounds reopened by abrasion. He didn’t mind the loss of blood. He didn’t mind the pain. He was already in pain, since the day his father died.

The stamp of the hilt of a spear stopped him. A guard had come near.

He stopped struggling but muttered some curse words to him.

“Awake, bro?” the guard tossed through the slit below the door, breakfast. It landed near his temples.

“That’s your food,” He smirked.

Click of chain showed that the guard had released the tightness of the chain, so he managed to sit up, as much as the length of the chain on both arms could allow him.

The smell of the food was as disgusting as its sight.  But he took a bite of the stale bread and watery mushroom soup… (to be continued)

 

Behind the Scenes

And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. – Mark 15:7

Barabbas [Bar-abba] – literary translates in Aramaic as “son of the father.

Barabbas.

We know him as the criminal chosen in preference to Jesus, at the instigation of the priests, for Pilate to release on customary pardon during the Jewish Passover Feast. He had been in prison for murder during a Jewish revolt against the Roman forces.

Other than that, the scriptures do not give more information about this man. But I’d like to spike your mind with my overactive imagination. Indulge me – it would be quick.

I’m going into Barabbas’ head!

What if Barabbas was a sweet little Jewish lad who grew up through the Roman oppression but unlike some of his peers, was psychologically pained because he watched a lousy Roman soldier kill his father and got away with it?

As he grew, the hurt festered by the daily injustice he had become too familiar with. It eventually became too much and led him to think he could get freedom for his people by agitating. But he had a second motive – to get even with his father’s murderer in the process.

So he either led or signed up to join a revolt and in the process, got an opportunity to murder the soldier, who had become a high ranking officer at that time.

Phenomenal story line, isn’t it?

Maybe we all are like Barabbas.

We have always voted for the energetic. The Israelites probably thought that Barabbas was more of a savior figure than Jesus – they were expecting an aggressive king or warrior to save and lead them to freedom from the Romans, and end their suffering. They might have felt Barabbas would try again.

Little did they know that the real problem was an internal bondage that no insurrection could cure. Jesus came to deal with the heart of the matter – which is the matter of the heart. He came not to palliate, but to heal and restore to brand new. His inside-out influence involves and transcends the physical.

It’s exciting though, to parallel Jesus and Barabbas.

Two prisoners (with similar names) exchanged position – while the innocent One was about to be crucified, the guilty one was about to be set free. One sought physical liberation, the other brought spiritual (and holistic) liberation. Having similar passions to save, one did so by rebelling and killing, the other, by dying.

My imagination is very wild! But you see it makes sense, and it means something to your life.

The Barabbas in you is hurt, sick and tired of the oppression going on around. You are tired of the weight of sin, as it reigns in present day – and in your heart – and you want to close the gap it has created, so you try to do all you can to get out of the rut –hard work, ambition, morality, religion, science – the list is endless. We love to agitate – race against race, class against class. Without struggle, there is no progress, we say.

But it doesn’t work because the mechanism of human oppression and death is much deeper than you can fathom. The price of freedom is too high you cannot pay it.

I was in Barabbas’ agitating shoes until I realized Jesus was exchanged for me. He died a substitutionary death for me. I relaxed and believed his sacrifice was enough to bring me freedom.

The blood-stained freedom became precious to me. Of course, he was buried in a borrowed tomb because he wasn’t going to stay there for too long. He brought me to Peace and the grace I received empowers me daily to live the kind of Life God desires – and why He sent Jesus at Easter – the one above sin and unto righteousness in this present world and joy beyond this life. Titus 2:11.

Now, I simply follow the Father’s lead as a son and disciple according to His good will. I live the guided adventure of learning, growing and shining in life.

Maybe Barabbas heard about one “begotten son of the Father,” the king of the Jews who was killed when he was released. Maybe he repented, we may never know.

But today, if you will quit struggling and come to Jesus, you will experience a 360-degree.

Consider the divine exchange today.

Come to Jesus.

References: Matthew 27:20-21, Mark 15:7-15, Luke 23:18-19, and John 18:40

It’s a Chapter

Hello.

Three days ago, the e-book version of Donut was released for free download. Have you got yours? It’s free here. Don’t wait a moment longer.

It was my birthday gift to the world. Here’s a picture of the day – thank you everyone for celebrating with me.

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Okay.

I learnt something from writing yesterday that I want to share with you – Quite concise and phenomenal.And it is that:

A chapter is a chapter.

Seriously? I can almost hear you say.

Yes. As simple as that. It’s a simple truth, so simple that we do not think about it. Yet, we do err in this regard.

A chapter is a chapter. Not the whole book. Not the story.

And this is what it means – often times, you and I fixate on a particular area of our life – positive or negative and dwell on it.

Well, this article highlight the negative events – like a difficulty or a past area of your life you aren’t proud of. You view your whole life from the perspective of that event or situation and you refuse to move on. You forget that you have a God who cares about you and works out good for you.

I realized long ago that in spite of the bad chapters in my life, my story has a happy ending, because God’s story always ends in good for me ( I have given my life to Him).

Do you believe that about yourself?

Romans 8:28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

If you love God and are called according to his purpose, then for you, a chapter is a chapter.

You cannot understand a book by focusing on one chapter, no mater how hard you study it. Certainly, you won’t understand the message of Donut that way (so I’m saying read the whole book!)

So read the whole book. View your life from God’s lenses – It’s an awesome picture. As you go through life, grasp the whole counsel for God for you, and live accordingly.

His plan for you is good.

David’s experience in Psalm 23 as he journeyed among enemies and walked through Death valley tells me something about perspectives. Many of us, in similar position would fixate on the enemies and the dry skull bones along the path. That’s one chapter.

King David saw these things, as well as the table God prepared for him and the rod and staff to comfort him. That’s the second chapter (of his two-chapter book).

He read the whole book. And that made all the difference.

It always does.

Do likewise – read the whole book. God bless you.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

P.S. Download Donut e-book here. Give me feedback here.

My little gift to the world

Hello,

Looking at my time now, the time is 5:00 pm February 18.

In my home country, it’s 12:00 am on 19th already. Here, it’s still 7 hours before 18th ends. In south Korea, it’s 8:00am February 19th.

I still marvel at the variation in time around this big world. While some are pulling the bed covers off to start a new day, some people oceans apart, are still neck deep into the previous day’s work. Country to country, even  state to state, time varies.

But the one thing that is sure is: each person has a full day – of 24 hours. And each minute counts.

I am 24 today (or will 7 hours from now), but in my journal, I like to count my years in days. Each day, I look at my planets (the priorities I have drawn as planets around God, who serves as the SUN) and I evaluate, making sure that I am in step with God’s purpose for my life in all aspects.

Then I get better the next day.

Today, as I take on a new year, I leave this with you to mull over – 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

from Ephesians 5:11-17 (message)

donut-ebookhere

To the meat of the matter: My little gift to the world

Since 2014 when the book was released, I’ve had opportunity to share more than 1,000 copies (of the 2,000 copies of Donut produced) with young people freely and I’ve been privileged to hear testimonies.

Few days ago, I promised to release a free e-book format of my first published book, Donut today. Since the hard copy is free, why not make the e-book available so that any one who wants to read can access. Why not?

Well, I wasn’t hoarding it.

I just didn’t figure how to compress 80MB pdf file to a smaller size until recently. You see, knowledge is power. I was able to make an e-book format that is a little more than 7MB, so you can download without using up too much data.

So here it is.

All you need to do is to click this link to start downloading.

And if you do not mind, do me a little favour by letting me know, after you read it, how how the book blessed you or just what you think about it. Click here to fill a Google Form. Other inquiries can be forwarded to my email.

As you go on in life, remember “Count each day because each day counts.”

Click here to start downloading!

It’s my day today,

Toluwanimi

2015 was great…

Hello friends.

This will be my last post in 2015, and I have dedicated it to reflect on the year – how worthwhile I have used the 365 days given to me.

I have lived, not merely existed, within and outside this blog.

Within this blog, 54 posts in 2015 were read by people from 37 countries, according to my WordPress 2015 report. Well, I’m not crazy about the numbers. I’m more concerned about the individual lives touched by my write up – my reflections about life from a godly perspective, and I hope to do more in 2016.

Little fact – I discovered that many people want to change their life. The busiest day of the year was November 2nd with 44 views. And the most popular post that day was Change your Life. You can read the article by clicking Change your Life.

It’s one year after my debut book, Donut, was released, and I am still learning to live life to the full, write more effectively and blog more influentially. I know it comes one day at a time.

My life outside the blog (though difficult to separate) has also been eventful and fulfilling, both in daily living and in the pursuit of purpose. There are challenges every day, but I have been greatly helped.

It helps to remember that,

“I must keep going in the direction I am now headed.” Paraphrase from Philippians 3:16

After launching the Donut project in 2014, I have worked with the team to hold campaigns in various places, giving the book for free in a bid to help young people exit the life of emptiness and mediocrity and embrace a life of fullness and fulfillment with God.

2016

Highlights of 2015 was completing Medical school and getting engaged to the love of my life! Through the challenges of life and medical school, God was there to offer help at my point of need. Clifford was also helpful in receiving my frustrations, hopes, prayers and testimonies. He killed the lion, slew giant and jumped off the cliff!

Funny though, but it was in 2015 that I realized that I am an adult – It smells like responsibility and diligence. But with faith and courage, I can surmount any challenge and live the dream.

I can say more, but I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God and thankful for the support of family, friends, and you – reader – who keeps me goin’!

2015 was great! But, I must keep going in the direction I am headed.

As 2016 beckons, the adventure takes on a new level and I’m excited and ready to plunge. The next best thing is in the new year!

For about 72 hours, I’ll be off social media and the blog.

Then I’ll be back with a blast!

 

See you in the new year,

Toluwanimi

 

The night before Christmas

a-christmas-gift

It was a night before Christmas.
Clara stood in the rain. She watched as the old woman made her way to the limo, a helper hoisting an umbrella over her as she cuddled two brown shopping bags.
Lights were up in many buildings. Shoppers rang bells for Christmas sales. Adults and children jostled and shoved around her as the busy street bustle with activity.
“Move!” The honk of the horn ricked her back to the present. She skipped away from the middle of the road as the driver spewed curses at her as he zoomed off.
Clara knew what awaited her at the house. And she was not disappointed. She had hoped that Christmas would be different. That maybe mama would love her more.. or at least pay attention to her for once. Maybe take her out to buy a new dress. But in the last few days leading up to Christmas eve, mama seemed to run on a bad temper.
She unlocked the front door and flipped the switch. The lights were out.
Using the light from her phone, she made her way to the centre table. Mama left a note on the table.
Dinner in warmer. Out on night shift. Mama.
She sighed as she crumpled the brown paper and tossed into a nearby trash can.
As always, she would be alone and there would be no special times or gifts this year. Without family and friends, the house would be boring.
No love, no hope. And it was Christmas.

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As Theresa stepped into the Limo, she looked through the window at the little girl that seemed to lock gazes with her. She looked so innocent, so free. She must be happy this Christmas.
If Sarah were alive, she would have been just a bit older. Well, if she had lived, she would have named her Sarah.
But she had spent her hey days living in the spotlights of Nollywood. If only she knew that she had one chance at conception. She would not have sacrificed Sarah to the Women’s clinic when she felt she was too happy to have a child.
Matthew’s pleas had fallen on deaf ears. Now, he was gone. No offspring. No love.
Christmas was bland now. If only her life could revert to the Christmas before she signed up for acting school. She would make better decisions.
If only.

************************************

Ismail pulled into the driveway, thoughts far from the present. Last Christmas was a swell time at the club. Her boss had promised to pay – this night would be fun too.
As soon as removed the key from the ignition, Farida came to mind. And the accident last year… He pictured the disappointment in his wife’s face when he walked into the hospital lobby that night, alcohol and vomitus staining his shit after the call, and couldn’t produce money for the hospital bills.
“Nothing would happen.” He consoled himself. It was Christmas anyway.

NOTE: This Christmas, around you, someone will need love, a message of hope and restoration, a gift of family or even a nice dress or food. Will you be able to offer something significant?

Think towards Christmas… and look for ways you can share of the fullness of Jesus you have received.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

The system…

watching-movies

I’ve just finished watching a movie and I’m outraged.
Not at anyone, but at the message it has passed across.

It painted our humanity dark and reduced our existence to (using a lenient word) meaninglessness. So, in the grand picture, in matters of life, love and fulfillment, humans can, at best, stumble in the dark and hope not to bump into their deaths. And then, it’s grossly sexualized.

Sadly, the viewers’ reviews read things like, “Oh, great movie!” “The actors played their part well…” or some funny part of the acting. While there is nothing about the message it has spilled out, that message has filtered into the unsuspecting hearts of young and old and is forming a mindset of low expectations.

But, I beg to differ!

The earth is not a meaningless speck in the universe. Your life is not without a purpose. The way to find fulfillment is not by trial and error. You don’t have to date a couple of guys before you stumble unto one you might get married to. You are too precious to waste your life on frivolities. The teen-age is not a stupid phase filled with confusion and vices…

My heart goes out to young people trapped in this empty and mediocre life, fuelled by the lies of Modern Media and the internet. There’s a big mind-bend that has warped his way into our society – its bigger nomenclature is the “World System.”

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

You can come to Jesus and burst into a new life of adventure. You can’t take the headlines too seriously. There’s little hope on the modern screen. The internet is a no-man’s dump.

Come to JESUS!

Reference: 1 John 2:15

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

GRAVITY 04

Hello

It’s a new week. I couldn’t post yesterday. Here it is, the final installment of the gravity series.

And its for those who have have escaped gravity!
As you wrap up 2015, ponder on this:

If you are sincere with your decision to follow Christ, and embrace the REAL way of living in and through GOD, then it means you had better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit!  No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins anymore. No low life thinking. No guilt of the former life now passed away! You must not be lightheaded or dismissive about this new way of living

.

You received Christ into your life as Lord and Saviour.

Most Christians accept the Saviour part easily but find it difficult to come to terms with the Lord part.

A Lord is someone who has influence over another. Like a master. Jesus became your friend, brother and MASTER when you decided to come to him.

But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.
And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).
– Romans 6:17-18 [AMP]

So the new life is a life free to do what God desires. The good thing with Jesus is that He doesn’t dish out hard instructions to people but rather walks alongside you and works with you to do what God wants. He teaches and helps you conform to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action.

Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
-Matthew 11:29-30 [CEV]

This yoke isn’t hard. It is not stress, it is not heavy. It is light. It is joyful responsibility. Learning isn’t easy but it sure helps to see the end in view. Jesus says, “…and you will find rest.”

But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed. Philippians 3:16 [CEV]

The escape velocity is the license to an abundant life with God, plug in now!

Whether this short series is new information to you, or a reminder, I hope you picked a thing or two from it.

Cheers,
Toluwanimi

Accident? No!

Hello Young people,
Listen to me this morning.

God is our father. We are the clay, and he is the potter. He made us. Isaiah 64:8

There’s no manufacturer that makes a product just for the fun of it. Everthing has a purpose.

Your life has a purpose. Rgardless of how you turned up on planet earth (unwanted pregnancy, unsuccessful abortion attempt or beautiful family) it can be any thing save an accident.

You are not an accident to God. He formed you for a purpose. Jeremiah 1:5. And you are uniquely fashioned with gifts and potentials that you ought to hone for the purpose you were created for- to His glory.

But first you must acknowledge that maker in your life. You must connect.

The world system, which did not create you has fashioned an alternate reality of low expectations. The Nigerian dream- they have told you that you need be a doctor, lawyer or engineer to be successful. They have made you think that you need to match up to that celebrity’s figure eight before you can be beautiful and confident and suited for that job.

They have constructed a typical home front before you which is downright dysfunctional. They tell you that ladies were created to be used and exploited by men. They told you that men were made to be horrible bosses.

They have sold you the idea that teenagers were made for foolishness and stupidity. They have turned your home to a boxing ring because they say there has to be friction between parents and teenagers.

Look at the present society- violence, low self esteem, depression amongst other psychiatric illnesses, frustration, pervasive emptiness and mediocrity in an all-encompassing rat race.

Can’t you see it’s not working?

God’s got a better way, that supersedes your wildest dreams of a good life. 1 Corinthians 2:9. It’s all enconpassing, balanced, and custom-made. Its just perfect. Coming to Him will make you forget your wandering in the world… No matter how long you have been doing that.

Turn to God today and let him breathe fulfillment into your life. He will teach you how to do life.

Connect. Learn. Grow. shine.

Originally posted on eatyourdonut

God loves you,
Toluwanimi