to the nations
Join us for sessions of anointed worship led by the Hill City Mass Choir and a word in season to change your soul Michael Omawumi Efueye (Resident Pastor)
House On The Rock London Lighthouse
Sundays Two Services 9.00am, 11.00am Wednesdays 7.00pm Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ Email email@example.com Tel 020 8782 8778 Fax 020 8782 8777 Web www.hotr.org.uk
A PUBLICATION OF HOUSE ON THE ROCK, LONDON LIGHTHOUSE
Wholeness Do You Want To Be Made Whole?
The X-(mas) Factor Living Green Thank God For Football
Sundays 9.00am, 11.00am Wednesdays 7.00pm at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 020 8782 8778 Fax 020 8782 8777 Web www.hotr.org.uk
c on t e n ts
04 Pastor Omawumi Efueye’s Message Do you want to be made whole?
18 Ignite Christfever 3: Teenage evangelism
06 In Focus Meet Pastor Carol Efueye
20 Money Matters Insurance. Let’s get to grips with it.
12 Souls Behind The Service Feminine touch gives us a glimpse of what they get up to at their meetings
21 Bovvered? Youth Violence Part II – We need to talk to our children
13 Reflections Enjoy this issue’s lovely selection of music and books
30 Solomon’s Corner The challenges of single parenthood and being the “perfect son”
Hello! Issue 2 / Volume 1 / 2007
Dear Readers, We hope you enjoyed the first issue of Ablaze. Thank you for all your contributions, feedback and comments.
Publisher House on the Rock London Lighthouse Executive Editor Omawumi Michael Efueye Managing Editors Alistair Frimpong Laolu Opebiyi Creative Director Tosin Lanipekun Editor Monica Omobola Bello Editorial Team Anita Amaefuna Ndidi Okezie Nonye Chidomere Admin Manager Gabbie Okiwelu Production Manager Terry Thomas Project Manager Funke Adenaike
Many thanks to our contributors Carol Efueye Taiwo Odukoya Toyin Akinfolarin Banke Adelano Dr. Chima Oti
Ablaze aspires to be the gold standard for information on living a godly, wholesome life. We voice a broad array of authoritative Christian knowledge, advocate proven biblical ideals that have become increasingly rare in our post-modern society, offer a glimpse into the workings of the various departments of our own local church and take you on a tour of our work within the community. We are continuing the journey of discovery by familiarising you with some more aspects of House on the Rock such as Feminine Touch and Futbolaz. Don’t miss the very informative article on Football, HOTR’s work within the community and so much more. There’s something for everyone and something new to learn. I certainly have learnt how to Live Green.
Our theme in this issue is Wholeness. Do you want to be made whole? Read the message by Pastor Omawumi Efueye and find out how. On a personal note, we are coming to the end of another year and we go into a season of celebration. We celebrate the birth of Christ and we celebrate the other end of His life. He was crucified for our sins and resurrected. That’s something to celebrate! What’s a Christian to do? Celebrate the Lord! If we stop celebrating Christ’s birth, the world won’t stop celebrating something in the bleak winter. We must keep the focus on Christ. Don’t miss the article called the X- (mas) Factor and just to encourage you, the article, Time to Take Stock, is simply just for you. From my heart to yours, whatever the year has been like for you, take this with you in this Issue. No experience is a waste. Every experience has been allowed if not authorised by God. He can weave anything and everything into the fabric that has goodness and blessings. We are nothing but pencil in the hand of the Creator, with which He crafts beautiful masterpieces. The Ablaze team leave you with this charge: Catch the fire, Keep the fire, Spread the fire. Enjoy.
Monica Omobola Bello
Ablaze Magazine is published by House on the Rock, London Lighthouse. ©2007 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. This work is also licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. For more information and to order call +44 (0) 208 782 8778. Or write to:
House On The Rock London Lighthouse Trinity House, Heather Park Drive, Wembley, London HA0 1SU, UK. Email: email@example.com
14 The Future Generation... Really? Where are the youth of today going and how will they shape the future?
09 The Bridge A fantastic poem and a strong message
15 Smoking A jump start towards ill health
10 X - (mas) Factor The definitive reality programme of all time is the Christmas story
22 Living Green You too can take care of our planet!
24 Resolving Conflict Conflict happens in marriage, fact. Find out how to stamp it out in your home
26 Sports Thank God for football! The Christian history behind the game
28 Touching The Community “Behind these walls”; going to prison. HOTR’s Family Day at Tufnell Park issue 2 / volume 1 3
Pastor Omawumi Efueye’s Message
do you want to be
Made Whole? Omawumi Efueye
With even only a cursory, perfunctory glance at the definition of whole(ness) as outlined in dictionary.com, it would appear that being whole is an utopian ideal that is as unattainable as clapping with one hand or indeed shaving a man’s head in his absence! We find it hard to digest the possibility that on this side of eternity, we can be “entire”, “full” or “total (and without diminution or exception)”. Can we really get “all the elements that properly belong to us” and “be undivided and in one piece?” Alternatively, if we choose to apply the mathematical concept, can we be integers as opposed to fractions? “Don’t tell me”, you say, “we can be unbroken, undamaged or unimpaired, intact, uninjured, unharmed and sound”. Can all that pertains to every aspect of our physical, intellectual and most importantly, spiritual development be “undivided, or Unbroken, in completeness or totality with nothing wanting?” In effect, can we attain unto that state of “robust good health” which we sincerely believe should be our right and heritage, (if not as human beings then at least, as Christians) but which we secretly fear will never be our experiential testimony. Our cynicism is born of the nasty experiences from our past that have conspired to rob us not just of our dignity but our faith, hope and even capacity to dream. Absentee, irresponsible or sullen fathers robbed us of our sense of self-worth that comes from identity. Groping guardians, sneaking deacons, fondling fathers, molesting mothers and bonking bishops robbed us of our innocence and childhood that was meant to be training grounds for healthy mental balance in adulthood. 4
The sexual promiscuity and permissiveness of our times challenged God’s injunction to sanctify sexuality and left us schizophrenic and with soul-ties to as many as we had conspired with to defile the temple of the living God which both they and we are. Ravaged by congenital mal-functionality, genetic dysfunctionality and habitual superfluity, our bodies, on the other hand, tell their own story of woe. But worse of all, the problem of sin and memories of our once futile battle to overcome it by our strength, dead-works and religious callisthenics had left us feeling alienated from our heavenly Father and His good plan for our lives centred around His son Jesus Christ and the finished work at Calvary. The bottom-line however is that God wants us to be whole. This fact is exemplified by the question Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda. This man had been sick for 38 years! By his own admission, the hope for wholeness was a pipe dream. Yet Jesus’ first question to him was “wilt thou be made whole?” Like us, his response was to highlight his helplessness, hopelessness and haplessness. Yet, what was crucial was that Jesus by His question was highlighting two key issues. The first is that wholeness was available for this typical broken specimen of a human being with whom we can all immediately identify. Most of us have been carrying infirmities for as long as we can remember and we are in life’s pool of Bethesda “surrounded by a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt (i.e. crippled, lame) withered” (i.e. arid, shrunken, earth, dry land, withered); men and women with issues just like us. The second issue is that wholeness does not automatically drop on your lap. The first word of Jesus’ question implies that your volition is involved and required for that which Jesus’ death has already made available.
In the account of the woman with the issue of blood, her desire was The next three components dictate how we must live our lives and to be made whole rather than just be healed. “For she said within by which power. Therefore, knowing what has been achieved and herself, if I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole”. (Matt deciding to walk in the light of that revelation will assure us of 9:22) The word translated “whole” is the Greek word SÓzÓ (sodesuccess and wholeness. zo). It means “safe” or to save, that is deliver or protect (literally or Finally, we do not walk in wholeness figuratively). It also means to heal, because we do not have faith. We do preserve, save (self ), do well, be The answer is simple. Like the characters not have faith because we have not (make) whole. referred to from the Bible, it is only our faith focused on the message of Christ. Since wholeness is available and can The more of the message we see and that can make us whole. be attained by the believer, what then believe and act on, the more complete do we do to be whole? The answer is we will be. Take your gaze off your simple. Like the characters referred to from the Bible, it is only our problems, shortcomings, needs, wants, trials, tests and tribulations, faith that can make us whole. Little wonder then that four times, once and keep your gaze on Jesus. You will be transformed to the measure in the Old Testament (Habakkuk 2:4) and three times in the New of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that is, wholeness or maturity (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38), God admonishes as you continue to behold Him in the mirror of His word. the just to live the only way they can, by faith. The reason for this is Do you want to be made whole? If you do, you certainly can be. that without faith it is impossible to please God and whatever is not of faith is sin.
If faith is crucial to the wholeness of a believer, how does he get this faith? Paul instructs the saints in Rome that faith comes by hearing the word of God. The Contemporary English Version of the Bible says “No one can have faith without hearing the message of Christ.” What then is this message of Christ? It is that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, sent from His Father’s eternal throne in the heaven of heavens to become a propitiation for our sin nature inherited, passed on to all humanity since the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden. Jesus lived a sinless life so that He could fulfil His role as “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”. Wholeness is what God has given us as sons. We cannot walk in that wholeness until we see what has been done to make us whole. The more of the process that we see in the message of Christ, the more apparent and obvious our completeness will be. The message of Christ has six components 1. Christ was crucified 2. Christ died
3. Christ was buried The first three components destroyed our old man; the sin nature we inherited from Adam was summarily executed by the crucifixion, death and burial of Christ. We must adjudge ourselves crucified with and in Him, dead with and in Him and buried with and in Him.
“Wilt thou be made whole?” Broke, bruised, battered and on the dole, lifelong sin had taken its toll. Drinking from life’s polluted bowl, as loss and shame conspired and stole My life’s purpose and divine goal, like an insecure, worthless mole I dug deeper into sheol’s hole. Yet, it has been God’s avowed goal That your body, spirit and soul, be delivered from sin and made whole. Youths sang “Hosannah” for the role, His death would p(l)ay for our parole. To the cross on the ass’s foal, Christ bowed to God’s will in His scroll.
4. Christ was quickened (made alive)
Now he asks, “wilt thou be made whole?” It’s “Yes!” from the depths of my soul!
6. Christ is seated in the heavenlies
Copyright ©2007 by O. M. Efueye - AWIS
5. Christ was resurrected (raised)
issue 2 / volume 1 5
Carol Efueye My ministry is to encourage and support people. I believe an encouraging person is pleasant to be around because they build you up and strengthen you by their words, actions and attitudes. To “encourage” literally means to put courage into someone. Courage to trust, depend on and obey God.
arol Efueye, wife of Michael Omawumi Efueye, oversees the Women’s Ministry called Feminine Touch. Carol met Michael Omawumi at a friend’s engagement party. They got married in December 1985, have been married for 22 years and have two children, Dede and Marcel. With a personal commitment to consistently developing herself, Carol looks for challenges that help improve who she is. Her overall goal is achieving and maintaining a deep and intimate personal relationship with Christ. Carol’s interests include reading, travelling, and trying different kinds of food. A true home- maker, Carol takes pride in keeping her home. It is well known that the concept of “home” is compared to the human need for a peaceful sanctuary, where worldly cares fade and the things and people that one loves becomes the focus. 6
Words of a Wise Woman Looking back at your life as an individual, are you where you thought you would be? “As a matter of fact, I thought that at this point in my life, there are certain things I would have achieved. That was my desire, but for different reasons, I am not where I thought that I should be. Having said that, looking at my life through the eye of Christ, I know this is where God wants me to be.” How do you see your role as a Pastor‘s Wife? “As a Christian, all I wanted to do was to serve God quietly in one department or the other and grow in the things of God. When I met Pastor O, I was a church goer but I was not born again, and neither was he. It never crossed my mind that I would ever be a Pastor’s wife. As soon as he gave his life to Christ, he was on so much fire for the Lord. He went to church nearly every day, read his bible at every opportunity and he had a quick understanding of the things of God. I knew then that there was a special calling of God upon his life. I was a bit slow to catch on and it was a bit difficult initially. He gave up every thing, his time and all. Initially, I felt left behind but by God’s grace we found a happy balance. After I became a Pastor’s wife, I had to readjust and change the priorities in my life so that I could be a true help-meet as he got on with the calling of God upon his life. Gradually, by God’s grace and through the help of the Holy Spirit, I have become a part of what he is doing.
I do everything that I can to enhance the atmosphere at home and everything that surrounds him so that he can do God’s work to the best of his ability.” Pastors wives have a huge responsibility as they care for their families, their husbands and the members of the church, participate in the activities of the church and community. The expectation of the church is very high for the Pastor’s wife and family. How do you cope with the various challenges that come with your role? “I tap into the strength that comes from God. As demanding as it is, when you see the fruit of the work being done, when you see how your consistency and presence encourages other people, the joy you get from it gives you more strength to carry on. Looking after my husband and children, and focusing on Christ are my main priorities. At the end of the day, it’s all about serving the Lord” What’s your special message to every one out there? “Be yourself in God and let the joy of the Lord be your strength. Find out exactly what God wants you to do and do it. Don’t let anyone try to mould you into what God has not called you to be. As the bible says, imitate people only to the degree that they imitate Christ. Let Christ be your yard stick in all things” How can women help contribute more to the growth of the church? “More women in the house should join in praying and supporting their husbands, children and the church. A stable home leads to a stable church and a stable nation. Women need to consistently pray for wisdom and direction for the church and home. A lot of networking would help as would encouraging each other. The older women should mentor the younger women. Mentoring is one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences you can have and a powerful form of human development when done properly in a Godly manner. It is important to understand that the season of mentoring is not forever. It is usually for a specific purpose and time.
The Journey of Life So close but yet so far, Despite all that, the destination is always clear. Direction is in your word And the drive is through your Holy Spirit No matter how far it may seem, Your strength will always carry me through. I recognise just like David did That you are my strong tower, My bridge over troubled waters And most of all, my fortress in times of need. Lord you have mapped out my life, You are the master plan of every route I will take No turning is too sharp for you And even at dead ends you have made a route of escape.
Thank you Lord That even though the engine of my heart May grow weak and fail from time to time, The motor of your love fuels me with hope From everlasting to everlasting. From bumpy roads, to smooth sailing paths, From the highway motor express, To scenic picturesque views in my life, At every stage I will enjoy the ride And await my glorious destination. Banke ÂŠ 2006
issue 2 / volume 1 7
Time to Take Stock Banke Adelano
If you are like me, you have finally realised that the year is very much near the end. You have sat down and wondered to yourself where did the year go? Time goes so quickly! I cannot believe it’s nearly Christmas! These are all signs that you have begun the process of stock taking, evaluating your life, looking at what has been used up effectively and productively, what had been damaged or rendered unusable and of course what has been left over, possibly to be discarded or to be carried over to next year. Therefore, I ask you, “what have you done with your life this year?” I remember at the beginning of the year, Pastor O took us through some sessions that challenged us to be affirmative this year, and to set goals and achievements we desired to see this year, it didn’t just stop there though. We were to look further a field into the next five years and state what it is we desired to see happen in our lives. If you are like me, you probably struggled a bit with the five-year projection part. This year, you had a long list of things you wanted to do, places you wanted to go to, things you wanted to buy, how much you wanted to save and of course the usual, almost standard addition to that list was to pray more, to read the bible more, to go to church more. I am certain that very few of us omitted the spiritual side of things. However, I will pose the question again: “What have you done with you life this year?” Many of us probably fall into the category whereby we have done some things we aimed to do this year but some things on our list still remain unticked, of course for the ‘goody goody two shoes’ amongst us, some of us have achieved every single thing we aimed to do this year. I don’t mean to sound like a kill-joy, so let me stop at this point to take my hat off to you and congratulate you! I guess you already know what category I fall into. Oh well, it was bound to come out; it is good old truth always wanting to prevail! There are indeed things that remain on my list of ‘to dos’; there are even things that have been put back on the list despite the fact that earlier in the year I had ticked them off as achieved. Some of the things I had in mind to achieve were completely thrown out of the window as it became clear as the year went on that these were not God’s plans for me.
Even things that I did not pencil in for this year somehow found their way onto my list! What is my point? Well, wherever you are in your stock taking process as the year draws to an end, I would like to encourage you that in all things give thanks. Give thanks for the things you have accomplished and the things you have not. Why? Because everything works out for good for those that love God. If you were lazy about a particular goal you set for yourself, give thanks anyway because hopefully by the time you have finished reading this article you would have been challenged in your ways and you will take this matter to God. If you have been disappointed this year, still give thanks and be encouraged that because God is working it all out for you, there is hope and destiny still to be fulfilled. Concerning the things left over, give thanks because it’s only another opportunity to do one of the things that God loves us to do so much- go to him for guidance, direction and wisdom on what to do with the leftovers as you move into a year of new beginnings. Whilst taking stock, also remember that God is not a God we can put in a box, we cannot dictate to him what we want to achieve, we have to let him dictate to us what He wants to achieve through us. I would like to conclude with this thought; that as we go into next year literally in a matter of weeks! Let us have in mind that whilst we want to see achievements in our lives and those connected to us, let us also be challenged as to how we can bring achievements to others, how we can truly be effective as Christians in our everyday lives. I would like to encourage us to not be too self-focused but to allow our lives to focus on others. I truly believe that we are at a stage in the body of Christ where we are challenged to be beacons of light and I thank God that the ministry of this house (House on the Rock), puts the focus on how we can be the light. Next year is a year of new beginnings, it is a year of further advancement into our destinies and it is a year where greater and mightier moves of God will be notable in our lives, the lives of others, our communities, schools, work places and our nation. So in short, Happy New Year to you all in advance!
III Couldn’t wade in the water, couldn’t swim Hopelessness and despair were my life’s theme.
Omawumi Efueye I
As old shifting and slimy murky gutters
My deep rumbling explicit silent voice
Join cold drifting and grimy muddy waters
Unheard not by inclination but by choice
Algae- sheets, plankton duvets form the bed
I won’t relent as torrents and currents,
Upon which pillows of pebbles and rocks are spread.
Join ringing sting of jelly- fish intent
Seaweeds lustfully wrap their tentacles Caressingly, fruitlessly round my anklesFor my feet are wisely out of their scope A fore time, taking root downwards in hope. Searched and found the Rock beneath the current Thus swimming upstream, not a deterrent, So I may be swayed but will not be swerved, Stare death in the face and not be unnervedFlexible, mobile but immoveable Drawing life from the Changer that’s unchangeable “Like a tree planted by the waterside I shall not be moved,” This, I here decide.
Not just to injure and paralyse me But to crush, tame and demoralise me. I resolve to bear the putrefaction Of dregs, flotsam and fungal corruption. Why, oh why do I endure this torture? And scourge of alien bacterial culture, When on either side is terra firmaGolden isles of chance glitter and shimmer. Because I too once stood on the bank’s ledge
Friends and family could not be trusted – They also were “broke, busted, disgusted”! Then one day I heard of an awesome link Who stood in the gap and yet did not sink ‘Twas strong as could be, yet was made of wood, Though fully laden, my weight it withstood. That bridge took me from poverty to wealth And reared me back to the shores of good health The low self-esteem that had assailed me And burdens of guilt which long derailed me Were swept under the bridge into the sea So I could be free to be the real me. That old rugged bridge was soon my witness That through hurt, shame & pain, could yet come success.
Almost pushed by life to dementia’s edge. I had no skills and couldn’t buy a boat,
Run down and broke, couldn’t afford a coat.
For one day wicked envious rulers came Equipped with tools and excuses quite lame; Having for long milked the people for gain Their boats, threats and sway, now idle and vain. Their first plan: ruin its reputation; Then next would come, its annihilation! A sad time that, in the people’s history Time forbids me to tell that whole story. After three days eyewitnesses say, The bridge resurfaced and became ‘The Way’. Though the bridge is not where it used to be, Men still walk over it and are made free. It made others and me at every hour, The voice of excellence, the hand of power Feet in the water on all occasions We, in turn are a bridge to the nations. Copyright ©2007 by A Word In Season. All rights reserved.
issue 2 / volume 1 9
Did You Know?
When Less is More…
The X- (mas) Factor
My regret though is short lived as it approaches 7:00pm and I position myself in front of the box in readiness for the weekend’s entertainment mix. As I go through each offering, I pick up the familiar jingle of the X-factor theme song, tuning in just in time to listen to the first act. This year’s X-Factor records many firsts - first time on the show for Presenters, Dermot O’Leary and Fern Cotton, the introduction of separate categories for male and female 1424 year olds and the first trial of a regime of four judges. As I assume the role of the off-studio fifth judge, I am immediately reminded of the catalogue of reality TV shows on our screens – some good, some bad and others down right ugly! Dance-X, Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing on Ice, Grease is the Word, Big Brother, and very recently, The Model Mosque Show which sees non-modernist Mosques being voted off in search of Britain’s most modern, educational and community oriented Mosque. The Show’s producers say the programme is aimed at creating a blueprint for a model mosque and combating negative media portrayal of mosques. They hope the show would bring balance to the debate on the role of mosques in modern British Muslim society, ‘demystify mosques’ and promote successful integration and open door policies. If you are a sceptic, you would be hard pressed to find any real or imagined benefit in reality programmes, whether on a secular or religious platform as notions of what is good, bad, modern or archaic are relative, being largely determined by one’s beliefs and experiences. On my part, I am particularly troubled by our current nameand-shame, public-ballot, most-popular-contestant, winnertakes-all mentality; which is transcending all reason and eating deeper and deeper into popular culture. Even more so when it’s propagated in the name of religion. I think to myself, what side of the debate should the Church be on?
As I patiently await my 7pm ‘zero’ hour, I spend Saturday evening listlessly leafing through as yet unread newspapers and magazine supplements; sharp reminders of ‘power naps’ that had turned into full blown sleep marathons that dealt my week another literary defeat, with yesterday’s news as casualties.
Christians and non-Christians alike have accused the Church of being very accepting of popular culture. Some say the World has become Churchly while the Church has become Worldly. One School of thought is of the opinion that the profession of our Faith in the World we live in should be as unchanging as the bedrock of that faith – Jesus Christ. Others are quick to point out that while Jesus may have walked the streets of Judea and Samaria, and preached the Sermon on the Mount, there’s been as yet no sighting of him on the Streets of Jedburgh or Swansea or indeed at Wembley and as such the Church should move along with, and adapt to the changing times. So, wherein lies the solution?
Jubilant angels in sonorous voices and heavenly choreographed steps dancing with the stars, herald the beauty of Jesus’ birth on a cold and wintry night. Thankfully, while its authorship and authenticity as the definitive word of God has been questioned, the Bible still remains the Church’s instructional manual and should provide some insight in determining the consonance between the Church and a World that is driven by a reality TV themed mentality. In the book of Genesis, we meet Jacob, who seems to be an embodiment of contradictions – selfish (tricks his brother out of his birthright [Gen 25:31] and blessing [Gen 27: 19-24]) and cowardly (leaves his father’s house at the first threat of revenge from Esau [Gen 27: 43-45]) but yet selfless (serves Laban 14 years for Rachael’s hand in marriage [Gen 29: 27-28] and courageous [‘wrestles’ with God and prevails [Gen 32: 24-30]). Overall, Jacob seemed like a man we would love to hate, a man who would pull little or no votes in a reality show. However, God had other criteria by which he judged Jacob.
Even if she were allowed into the Country, it would have been on a Visitor’s Visa with limited leave to remain, no recourse to public funds and no right to take up employment without the Home Secretary’s permission. Quite simply, she would have been excluded in the contest for Boaz’s Bride. However, having prevailed with Man, these women were adjudged favourably by God and became stars in their own right. King David the Psalmist was the youngest of seven children, ruddy (fair and comely) in appearance, an unlikely warrior and not very obvious candidate for the Throne, just like his son, Solomon. The latter’s antics as a self-styled playboy would have increased viewer ratings on the Big Brother show but would also have seen him evicted from the House. Nonetheless, he is revered as a repository of intellect and today his name remains synonymous with wisdom. Winners all the way!
Following his experience at the Ford Jabbok, Jacob went through a gradual process of refinement, emerging as Patriarch of God’s people and forebearer of our Lord Jesus. One unlikely winner!
The Bible resonates with examples of God’s expertise in turning ordinary into extraordinary, mediocrity into excellence and untalented into gifted.
In Exodus chapter 2, we are introduced to Moses who seems to be disadvantaged from the womb – born into slavery, ‘fostered’ by his biological mother, adopted by a heathen Princess, forced to enslave his kindred and powerless to save them. As a spokesperson, he was slow of speech and lacked eloquence [Ex 4:10]. Being a stammerer, he lacked the right image and at best would have been advised to take elocution classes before confronting Pharaoh - Aaron and Miriam would sooner receive the Judges’ approval. However, God chose Moses to lead Israel from the slavery of Egypt to the safety of the Promised Land. Another unlikely winner!
Simon Peter, Andrew, James & John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot were a largely unlearned mix of blue-collar workers. Nonetheless, Jesus used them in evoking a global revival. Losers, transformed into some of the biggest winners of all time.
Of the 12 Spies chosen by Moses to search the land of Canaan, [Num 13:3-14:9], only Caleb and Joshua gave a favourable report. Both men had few supporters if any, and would have been booed and hooted off the stage as their brethren called for them to be stoned [Num 14:10]. Yet, Caleb and Joshua prevailed with Joshua eventually taking over the reins of leadership from Moses; and getting Israel into the Promised Land. Such unlikely winners!
Jubilant Angels in sonorous voices and heavenly choreographed Steps dancing with the stars herald the beauty of Jesus’ birth on a cold and wintry night.
The Daughters of Zelophehad (Num 27:1-7) had no entitlements to their father’s inheritance because of their gender. They would not have made the X-factor auditions, never mind making it through to boot camp. Ruth the Moabitess was a foreigner, a migrant with no residency rights in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:22). Indeed, had she turned up at Heathrow or Gatwick Airport, chances are she would have been detained and put on the next plane back to Moab.
Nevertheless, the definitive reality programme of all time is the Christmas story. The wonder of Jesus’ conception sees off competition from faith figures born of natural means, crafted by natural hands and killed by natural and man made causes.
His humble beginnings and life as Master, Lord and King is easily likened to the rags-to-riches staple often delivered by Reality Shows and their winners. His Death, Burial and Resurrection are chart-topping occurrences, which have outlived generations, survived singing ‘sensations’ and cut across genres. As we look forward to Christmas, we are safe in the knowledge that while we may not make particularly good contestants on Reality shows, we are Winners nonetheless. Winners, not adjudged as such by a Studio or Home Audience, Winners not because Louis, Sharon, Danni or Simon say so, but Winners simply because we have the X (mas) Factor.
issue 2 / volume 1 11
The Souls Behind The Service
Everyday make-up tips.
Ladies, always remember that a clear healthy skin is the perfect canvas for makeup and a beautiful makeover begins with the right foundation. Foundation Make up tips • Th e foundation sets the tone for a woman’s appearance. Set your foundations with a Loose Powder. • Keep your compact powder handy for touch ups during the day. • If you ‘shine’ a lot you should use an oil absorbent powder
• U se a little foundation powder (if necessary), and concealer to achieve even, shine-free skin.
Feminine Touch Feminine Touch is the women’s ministry of House on the Rock, the London Lighthouse, headed by Yemi Eluwa. It is designed as an avenue for all women of all ages to come together in fellowship and intimacy with our Lord and lover and to build each other up to be the capable, intelligent and virtuous women that God has called us to be. The Bible declares in Proverbs 31:10(TM) that ‘a good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds’. Our desire is that all women in HOTR not only fit the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, but that we become home, community and nation builders. God’s plan for us as women is that we will be examples wherever we are: in our mannerisms, conduct, relationships, conversation, attitudes, demeanour and comportment. What matters most will not be our outer appearance but our inner disposition, spreading the fragrance of God everywhere and cultivating inner beauty that transcends time and circumstances. As a result, Feminine Touch is committed to the development of the complete and total woman. We organize workshops, meetings, seminars and outreach events aimed at different aspects of life: spiritual, physical, mental and financial. We encourage each other to be totally committed to God and to be godly women. We have great fun at our gatherings. The following is a glimpse of some of the things we get up to. Here, the aim is to empower women with their own set of skills on how to look and feel good by giving tips on how to improve their make-up skills to achieve dramatic results.
• Remember skin is at its most radiant when it is natural. Eye Make-up tips
• Y our eyes are your best features. Alternate the shape of your eyes with eyeliner and mascara. Cheek Colour Make-up tips
• Create stunning cheekbones with bronzer and blusher
• W hen applying blusher, use a darker shade to contour your face and “lift” your cheekbones. Apply from the earlobe downward to mid-cheek so you do not leave a “blob” of colour on the cheek. Use light colours of blush to highlight. Lip Colour Make-up tips
• Choose a lipstick which reflects your personal psyche. • Give yourself pouty lips with lipsticks or lip-gloss.
• U se a lip brush when applying lipstick. It will not only help define the contours of your mouth, but also helps to control the amount of colour that is applied. • A pplying powder lightly over the lips before applying lipstick helps it to stay on longer. • P lease do not go overboard and do not use black eyeliner for your lips Nail Colour make up tips
• S elect a nail polish to match the general tones of your makeup. For instance, if you used natural shades on your eyes, lips and cheeks, then your nail colour should also be natural. Finally, remember natural light exposes your make-up and if it is too pale or too dark, it results in an unnatural look. Base products keep make-up neat and tidy all day, so touching up all the time would not be necessary. Create your make-up to suit your life style and preferences. The most important thing is to look like yourself and feel comfortable in the make-up you are wearing. Experiment boldly with new products and shades. New colours brighten up your day and give your face new glow. Weather, stress and diet affect your skin on a daily basis. Adjust your skin routine accordingly. Moisturizer is the key to fresher looking skin and does create a perfect base for make-up.
Sound Bytes Nonye Chidomere
Book Review Debut album from one of UK’s finest urban gospel group of four brothers; all in their twenties (Deji, TJ, Vidal and Daniel). This album embraces a variety of musical sounds from funk, r n b, reggae, rap, garage and Nigerian lyrics. It also includes two of their previous hit singles – Clap Clap (2004) and Gonna Make It (May 2007) and features talented musicians such as Jahaziel, Mike Aremu, Verbs and Dennis Rollins.
Created for God’s Pleasure A Challenge for Single Women by Joan B. St. Louis I highly recommend this book, not only is it written by a single woman(so she’s aware of the challenges/issues of singleness), it has living testimonies of single women in church!!!! (which is very rare in most singles’ books these days) and deals with topics like singleness: a challenge or blessing, problems with being sensual, the arguments, enjoy today, I want a husband!! and much more... Gosh, you will be truly blessed and it’s an eye opener to make God number one as a single lady in one’s life and wait on Him for He is the greatest match-maker. It also highlights the dangers of desperation to get hooked and settling for less than God’s best for you as the myth which says “something is better than nothing and anyone is better than no one”. Need I say more, a must have for your book collection or book club.
Check out slamming jams such as Soul Flower, Gonna Make It featuring Jahaziel, Conquerors, Let It Go (speaks about God’s help through prayer for healing following child abuse), Cry No More, Testify, Express Train and closes with an awesome song laced with r n b vibes I Surrender. This album (a great one to add to your collection) showcases the group’s singing, song-writing and producting talents and testifies to their non-compromising faith in God regardless of life’s challenges. Watch out for this group; they are really raking a “storm” in the UK gospel music scene.
Welcome in this Place Bishop John Francis & The Ruach Choir
Bishop John Francis is well known for his music ministry and this worship album featuring the Ruach Choir and David Williams (aka Watchman) released in March 07 proves that he is a great musical preacher. Pay attention to tracks such as Where Everybody is Somebody, The Lion of Judah, Welcome In This Place, Worthy -featuring a popular Nigerian gospel chorus in the Yoruba Language and last but not the least, a much salsa-flavoured “Make A Joyful Noise”.
issue 2 / volume 1 13
The Future Generation... Really? Terry Thomas
Lacking in respect for authority at schools; not exactly law-abiding; no interest in future ventures; just concerned about today; afraid of hard work; lacking in patience and blamed for the majority of street crimes. These are some of the things that are said about the children of today.
given that films (especially in Hollywood where action movies reign supreme), seemingly promote and condone mindless violence & sex and ultimately a disregard for moral values, not to mention the use of profane language in Popular Music. Though labelled as ‘Role Models’, these Artists are not really advocating a message of upstanding moral ways of living, are they? Without mentioning names, I ask, who in their right mind would name themselves after a currency? Have we lost the ability to speak the “Queens English”? Let us be honest here - Profanities are not nouns, but many so-called Role Models use them in every sentence.
However, here is the revelation. It is not the fault of the children… It Where are the youth of today going and how will they shape the society really is not. How can we blame children for the way they have grown of the future? Granted, they may spend most of their time at school (well up? The blame lies with us as parents, and peers to the next generation. most of them do) and out playing with their friends, but then parents How can we allow children to be influenced by Media such as Film have a responsibility to make sure that they raise their children & Music, which for all their entertainment value are seriously correctly during their formative years. I wonder what the missing out on sending positive ethical messages? How educational value of watching Channels like can we not afford to take responsibility when our Sky 1, Living Channel, Trouble TV is, where moral children are growing up? Where are we, when we values have been distorted and revised to be are supposed to be raising our children? Did we politically correct for the modern and tolerant “Where are the youth of impress upon them the values that we ourselves age. Children need to know and understand today going and how will were taught by our parents? Perhaps we were the differences between good and bad, right they shape the society of not all fortunate to have our parents around, and wrong. The task of defining the ethics and the future?” so maybe we learned through making the odd morals of future generation must not be left mistake in life, which I think comes under the term solely to the Government, Media and the School ‘experience’. Did we explain our experiences to them systems. “What do you mean?” I hear you ask. properly? On the other hand, were we too busy with It may seem obvious that youngsters understand the our own lives? Could it be that they did not listen? Do we differences between good and bad, right and wrong, but you not monitor what our children listen to? Do we not watch the may be surprised to know that many children apply Machiavellian company they keep? Do we spend quality time with them? Do we praise type thinking to condone their actions. Does the end truly justify the them & make them feel loved? means? No, it does not. Wrong is wrong. Often teenagers will knowingly Many children, if they were truthful would say to you that their parents do wrong and then say, “What…It’s ok…It’s not hurting anyone”. By do not understand them or that they cannot talk to their parents. this, they mean that it is not hurting anyone they know. This behavioural Let us not let this generation of children make the same mistakes detachment to a situation is unfortunately commonplace. that our generation did, let us help them to take full advantage of the Too often, we say things like “these kids, are no good”, “they have got no opportunities that surround them. Let us help them so that they can respect for authority and the law”, “they are worse than we were”/ “they shape the future positively. don’t know how to behave”, “they have no manners”. The list could go on and on and you would be right, Children are just like that! Do you agree? /disagree? Would you like to comment? Email us at: ablaze@.hotr.org.uk Most people would blame the Media for this. This may be partly justified
Smoking A Jump Start Towards Ill Health Dr. Chima Oti
• O ne in five children under the age of 15 smoke regularly even though it is illegal in many countries to sell cigarettes to under 16s.
• It is estimated that about 450 children in the United Kingdom take up smoking each day. To add to that it has been shown that those who start young are less likely to quit than others.
• Smoking will kill about 50% of regular smokers and it is still the predominant cause of lung cancer deaths.
Hello everyone. Welcome back. I have decided to write on a rather controversial topic but one that has a tendency to affect us all. Is smoking really dangerous to one’s health?
• F inally, smoking can: reduce fertility; cause deaths from other
Upon reading this title, I am aware some people might say, “I don’t smoke so I don’t need to read on”. Please wait! I feel that even if you do not smoke you will probably fall into one of the following three categories.
Besides the addiction issue, here are a couple of other concerns. Right on the cigarette packages it reminds us that smoking is harmful to our health. Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, greater risk of heart attacks and a bunch of other deadly health problems.
2. Those who have a family member or close friend who smokes, and
These are not scare tactics but well-documented evidence that is meant to educate you and help you make an informed decision. Yes, we all have bad habits and I am not one to support turning smokers into stigmatized exiles from public spaces, but smoking as a health hazard is not a myth, but indeed a reality.
1. Those who have smoked at some stage in their lives and given up the habit; 3. Those who work with people who smoke.
Why not read on and find out at the end if you have learnt something new. From the 1st of July 2007, it became illegal to smoke in public places in England. Some public health experts advocate that the United Kingdom was a bit slow in introducing these laws, as the medical evidence is clear that smoking is harmful to health. Other major cities around the world including Dublin, New York, Sydney and Rome had already passed antismoking legislation. Perhaps powerful lobby groups from the tobacco industries caused the delay. I have compiled a few facts that I hope will help you become better informed. Most of these facts come from years of scientific research and are readily accessible for verification. You may be like a good number of patients and indeed medical staff I have talked to in the past who maintain that if smoking does not kill them, something else will. These facts may help the smoker who has been trying to quit or the ex-smoker who is thinking of picking up the habit again. Also, for those who may be hoping to convince a friend or family member to stop smoking, allow me to offer some help
types of cancers; cause weak hearts in teenagers and is still a major contributory factor to heart attacks.
I am of the opinion that those who feel the need to quit should be encouraged and offered assistance in the form of counselling and medication. Let us take more responsibility in looking after ourselves, and the people who live amongst us. Smoking is indeed a proven health hazard and the effects of second hand smoking, (also known as passive smoking) are real. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised here or would like help please feel free to contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For references on the above statistics and more information on research papers and data sources, please visit the anti tobacco youth campaign website, http://www.roycastle.org/atyc/ or the NHS “stop smoking” site http://www.gosmokefree.co.uk/ Dr Chima. A.Oti is a Specialist Registrar in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine in London.
• D id you know that each cigarette smoked takes away 11 minutes off
one’s life span? Do the maths and work it out for yourself at the time you go to bed.
• S econd hand smoke (which means inhaling the fumes when other people are smoking) has been shown to cause lung cancer.
• I t is thought that each cigarette contains an average of 4,000 different chemical compounds.
• P eople who smoked
as teenagers have the tendency to get sick more than their non-smoking counterparts do.
issue 2 / volume 1 15
The Lord’s Heritage
Lord’s Heritage The
Wholeness either seems so simple that we overlook it, or it is so complex that we don’t see it. Here is some food for thought! If I am having an experience, I am the one responsible for generating it. When I know myself as both the one having the experience, and the one creating it, I close the circle and experience the essence of wholeness. This means if there is hurt, I am both the victim and the perpetrator. If there is love, I am both the lover and the beloved . Therefore, what is wholeness? Wholeness is to have together all the parts which were intended to be there, and to have them functioning as they were intended to function. Holiness is derived from the English word wholeness, being complete. A state of wholeness means completely free of wounds, or injury, with nothing missing and everything complete, perfect, unbroken, uncut, perfectly healthy and free of any defect, deformity, mistake or impairment. It is also a state of undivided oneness or total unity. There is nothing more urgent and more important than for everyone in the world to find wholeness, because life should be far more than a constant battle. Wholeness is the essence of existence.
A State of Wholeness Complete! Un-Broken! Un-Cut! Wholeness in children Wholeness and life itself are closely interwoven. . We are born whole. How do we then help make our children whole? This is a process that takes infinite patience and love in order to impart the necessary understanding. It starts right from the early years with pictures, shadows and visual aids that show us what God is going to do someday. Our children are formed in the image and likeness of God. The image will always be there but how do we make sure the likeness that God intended for man to function exists in them? Of all the things that we need to make our children whole, the most important is the knowledge of Christ and having an identity or self esteem. Psalm 127:3 tells us children are a heritage of the Lord. Heritage is defined in the dictionary as ‘something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; something reserved for one’. Letting our children know who they are from an early age gives them a sense of belonging. The world is trying to suggest to our children that their identity is in what they have or in attaining fame. Fighting this notion is difficult but we need to take a stand for our children and help them discover their identity in Christ. Children need to be brought to the full knowledge of Christ and the ways of God in order to know how to live life and deal with emotional and intellectual problems relating to who they are in Christ.
Love and responsibility are also crucial to developing confident, well-adjusted children. In order to be complete, a child needs to be loved and to have love. Love is an essential ingredient of life. Nothing displaces or disables a child more than to be denied love. Love also enables our children to be keepers of each other. The advice they give to each other sometimes has life time consequences. In order to have the feeling of worth and self respect which love gives us, we must have a sense of responsibility to accomplish what is worth- while. Finally, discipline and good habits are also necessary to building wholeness in children. It is our responsibility as parents, guardians and teachers to set good habits for a child. The bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is of old he will not depart from it’. Today, some adults struggle with certain decisions as Christians because of what they learnt as children. Discipline and good habits need to be in place because there will come a time when they will need to make decisions on their own. The knowledge that they have will remain with them. Training our children the right way will enable them to mature spiritually and grow in their calling. The goal of Lord’s Heritage is to find an effective way to grow our children into a permanent state of fulfillment, wisdom, spiritual freedom and happiness thereby, making them whole.
Children’s Quiz - Who Am I? Hint: A book in the Scriptures
My 1st letter is in Paul but not in Saul
My sixth letter is in money and market but not in honey and packet
My 2nd letter is in Horeb but not in Job or Joel
My seventh letter can be used to show surprise or sadness
My 3rd letter is in Isaiah and Jeremiah
My eight letter is in Sunday and Monday but not in Friday
My 4th letter comes after ‘g’ but is before ‘m’
If you remove three letters from my name, you will find a fruit. .
and is not my 2nd or 3rd letter
My fifth letter is a special kind of mail Answer: Philemon issue 2 / volume 1 17
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m s i l e g n a v E e g a n e
e T 3 R E V E F T S I R H
share our e w n e h w is evangelism n fact that n w a o i n t s k i r ll h e C w hers. It is a t o h it comes to t i n e w h h w s fait e g en ly y face chall a d o t s er is a year n v e e f e t T s i r h eir faith. C ers with a g a n e e t sharing th e t i n nised by Ig unicating m m o c n i event orga e e to ore effectiv m e b o t an messag i e t r s i i r h des C e th ss truth of the timele the world.
Ignite leaders have the role of guiding, directing, coaching, nurturing and encouraging the teens to accomplish the mission of getting the message across. Christ Fever 3 took place at the 02 Centre at Finchley road, London for the third consecutive year. The message of the event was ‘Time Waits for No Man”, something Ignite felt strongly that youths needed to understand. It was another wonderful experience for the following reasons: 1. It was on neutral ground – Ignite teenagers stepped out of their usual environment once again into a new climate that opens the door to people’s hearts to hear and receive. 2. It was a thrilling atmosphere – it is a known fact that the atmosphere of an arena or auditorium crammed with teenagers surges and pulsates with excitement and anticipation and this atmosphere prepared the way for spiritual impact.
3. It built a reaffirming climate Throughout the process of planning and organising, Ignite teens built strong bonds with each other. Together they experienced God and the mission He has called them to. This reaffirming climate insures positive reinforcement for teenagers when they stand to give their testimonies in the future. 4. It produced a “movement” mentality Teens need to feel a part of something bigger. It is the way that God has wired them. Being a part of Christ Fever, Ignite teenagers know that they are not alone in their mission to share their faith. The more teens there are, the more this feeling is punctuated. The more it is punctuated, the stronger the likelihood that teenagers on the fence will choose to be more than a spectator in the future.
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our target treach and u o s a w r e aits for no Fev was time w of Christ e se m o e rp th u l p a entr use ever y “ The u have to uth. Our c o o y y d n re a e y w r e e xu audienc though w e isn’t a lu work and y that tim ll rd a a c ce. h si f e a o b ti t , a man and p n ok a lo h to it t I fa . f ly o e t is lo f it w exercise a moment o lso had to a e w ngths s, e g n fy our stre ti n e had challe id to helped us vent am. The e g process te in n a n s a la r p e le th e f The who orked tog sent had o es as we w youths pre ss e e n th k a t e a u o w th of r and tion essing one n the percep it e w g s n a a w h c y helped x of the da The clima y. it n ia st st ri ri Ch to ch ” ive his life g s st e u g young
“Being part of Christ Fever this year has helped me to appreciate everyone around me. Being part of the planning and organising process showed me how to work well within a team in and out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to the next one, as we’ve come a long way from the first and second events”
em Francis Ar
“Our role in Ignite is to bring light to young people by making conversation and making Christianity more appealing to the younger generation. What we have realised in Ignite is that focus must come from within first. Christ Fever enables us to test the waters and reach out to the youths in relevant way”
to the teens empower to re this si e g d in r nis ou st. In orga gnite, it is I ri h in C r e h d it a w lk freedom “As a le ith and wa t also the fa u b ir e s e th rc u in areas of do things en the reso sibility for ey were giv n o th sp t, n re e ll v e e fu year’s as and tak . p with ide u e d to them m o a c g to n dele te e e b ot as d a h t tha t them is n a g in lk planning ta t arnt is tha aking so g lesson le decision m in in rd e a v w ti c re ra The most more inte king them a process” m s a th e f v positi part o e re a y e th feel like that they
de Tola Olaji
issue 2 / volume 1 19
Monica Omobola Bello
Car Insurance In my opinion, minimum coverage is not good enough when it comes to car insurance. Please steer clear of third party insurances. What you want to avoid is having someone sue you and come after your personal assets—such as your home—to settle an insurance claim.
Dear Reader, Welcome to Money Matters. The simple truth is that money issues are with us every day.
Typical coverage only pays you the depreciated value of your car, not what it will cost you to go out and buy the same car again. So given that cars start depreciating the moment the two front wheels leave the showroom, you may want to pay that little extra to make sure that, (at least for the first few years you own your car) you won’t lose out in the event of a car crash.
Fact: money is front and center in our lives; it has no power of its own, but we make a mess of things by assigning it ultimate power, especially in our day-to-day living.
A motor vehicle insurance policy covers the insured individual against claims made by another person for damage to their vehicle, whether caused by another person or by their own negligence. The Comprehensive coverage contains the coverage of ’own damage’ as well as the third party liability. Insurance that compensates for a loss to a party other than the insured for which the insured is liable is Third Party Insurance.
In this issue, let’s look at Insurances: Have you ever asked yourself: What’s important and what’s necessary? Let’s look at three areas: Our cars, our homes and our life insurance. The truth is if you don’t have the right coverage for these three areas, you are risking financial disaster. In the event of a mishap or setback that isn’t covered by an insurance policy, you create a financial predicament that could affect your loved ones. You only need life insurance if you have someone who is dependent on your income. That could be a child, spouse, partner or an elderly parent. If no one is dependent on you, then you don’t need it. The point of life insurance is to replace income that would be lost if the policyholder dies. The best type of Insurance is the “Term Life Insurance” A term policy provides your beneficiaries a death benefit (the payout on the policy) if you die while the policy is in effect. As its name implies, your policy is in force for a specific length of time, or “term.” You want to make sure the term you choose matches your needs. How to decide the size of the death benefit: Buy a policy where the death benefit is equal to 20 times the annual income your beneficiaries would need to support them without you. Your beneficiaries must be able to live on that payout without having to touch the principal; the peace of mind this provides is priceless. So if your policy is 20 times their annual need, the payout could be invested in high-quality bonds earning 5% or so in annual interest. The interest income would produce enough for them to live on. One final life insurance tip: If you or your partner is a stay-at-home parent, please make sure you also have a term policy on their life too. In the event the stay-at-home parent was to die, the surviving partner would need extra income to be able to pay for childcare. So tie the death benefit amount to what you expect your childcare costs could be and how many years you anticipate your children would need that 20 www.hotr.org.uk
Your goal should be to fully protect yourself in the event of a serious accident. Home Insurance If you haven’t upgraded your home insurance policy in the past few years you could be dangerously underinsured. This is because you need to be certain that your policy is keeping up with the rising cost of replacing your home. What you need to insure is not the current value of your home, but the cost to rebuild, if it were destroyed. Given the sharp rise in building costs, you could be looking at a wide difference between the two. Let’s say your policy is for £300,000, which is what you paid for the home a few years ago. With rising home values and rising building costs you would be looking at a £450,000 bill if you needed to completely replace the house. Your insurer isn’t going to pay out over the £450,000. Please check your policies. You need to work with your insurer to make sure you have adequate replacement cost coverage tied to rebuilding costs. Make sure your policy has an automatic inflation adjustment, so your coverage will increase each year to reflect rising home and homebuilding costs. If you rent your property, you also need coverage. Not for the actual property, but for everything inside the home that you want to protect. With a renter’s policy, make sure again to get actual replacement cost coverage. Do not settle for a policy that will pay you just the depreciated value of a possession. For example, let’s say you shelled out £3,000 for a plasma TV. If it’s stolen, you want your insurance policy payout to cover the cost of buying a new plasma TV at the going market rate. What you don’t want is to be told the depreciated value of that TV was £1,500 and that’s all you’re going to get. Let’s be wise with monetary things not just the
Beaming a spotlight on controversial issues in our society Anita Amaefuna
Continued from the last issue…
There are different schools of thought as to the causes of youth crime and the disaffection of young people from education and society. Reasons such as absentee fathers, poverty, decline in morality, to name but a few, have been given as explanations and maybe excuses for the negative behaviour of our youth. Various solutions to the problems have been proffered by many sectors of society all clamouring for action to be taken but with little (if any) change! So what are we doing wrong? It is very easy from the safety of your home to complain about what is wrong with society and what needs to be done but how about less speculation and more action? Many of us have children that are growing up in this kind of environment and being affected by what is happening whether it’s as victims or watching friends being killed. Some of us will be parents in the next few years and this generation of young people are going to be the ones leading our children.
They go to school because they are told they have to and drop out the first chance they get. A significant number of young people have a ‘Get Rich Quick’ mentality and things like college and university are simply roadblocks to their goals. They don’t want to work hard for anything worth having; they are more interested in taking what others have. Perhaps, the government has got the right idea - increase the jail term for knife and gun offences; lower the age of criminal responsibility or how about the ‘one strike and you’re out’ rule? However, all these ‘so called’ solutions only serve to mask the symptoms rather that address the root cause. Various factors play a part in a young person’s descent into gang-related crime and violence, all of which impact a child’s life and choices in varying degrees. One of those factors is a sense of identity and self-worth, which stems from knowing who you are and being confident in that knowledge. The second most important commandment is to “love your neighbour as yourself ”. This was obviously a very important principle, for Christ reiterated the instruction to his disciples in the gospel of Matthew. However, there is a precursor to loving your neighbour – you must first love yourself. If you care very little for yourself there will be little, if any, concern for others. This is where the problem begins for many young people - they don’t know who they are.
Youth Violence Part II
What do you think will happen with your children? We need to take an active interest in what is going on in our children’s lives beyond ‘have you done your homework?’ We need to talk to our children. A strange concept in many African homes but one that needs to be embraced if we are serious about effecting a change. We also need to get involved in the community and play an active role in the decisions concerning the welfare of our children. Why is it that other races are more interested and most commonly found helping ethnic minorities than the minority groups themselves? The problem of youth violence is not solely a ‘black’ one, but there appears to be a higher occurrence amongst black youths than any other race. Maybe the issue is not society? Are we just making excuses for bad behaviour? I mean, there are many successful adults today who had a far from easy childhood yet they managed to stay out of the gangs, get a good education and go on to make a positive contribution to society. At what point do young people take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming family and society for the predicaments they find themselves in? Where do the excuses end and ownership for own behaviour begin? Is it possible that some children are just bad seeds and will never change? Many young people have a total disregard for education.
They think respect is something that has to be taken by force rather than earned; and that their identity is defined by their possessions rather than their character. But all these misguided feelings stem from wanting to belong. As a young person, who do I go to when all I can feel is anger, frustration and confusion about who I am and how I fit into this ever-changing world? Who do I look to for stability when everything around me is turned upside down? Who can tell me that my goals are achievable and that my dreams are not impossible? I work with young people every day, who have never heard the things we take for granted. “You have a choice”, “There are no limits to what you can achieve”, “You are loved” – Cold, harsh facts or emotions clouding clear judgement? We all need someone to make us have a sense of belonging. God created us all uniquely with individual gifts that set us apart from others and at the same time formed the basis for our relationship with others. Each one of us is valuable and is a vital piece of this story called life. If we want to see a decline, and eventual eradication of youth crime, we need to teach our children that they are whole. Differences should be celebrated not ridiculed; acceptance should be unconditional. Imperfections do not equal inadequacy! Mistakes are not final! Have your say! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org issue 2 / volume 1 21
Living Green Tosin Lanipekun
It is not about leafy vegetables, and no, it is not about belonging to the popular Green Party in the Unted Kingdom. The word “Green” has gone beyond just being a descriptive attribute, the characteristics of a particular colour or the well-worn epithet describing the state of a pubescent youth starting out on his first job shifting boxes at his local Tesco Extra. It’s way beyond that.
Green has become the symbolic colour (and catchphrase) of environmentalism, chosen for its association with nature, health, and growth. It has found its way into the centre of our modern consciousness; an increasingly important component of every social debate, political manoeuvring and economic manifesto. It is now one of the yardsticks for measuring the sensibility of an Organisation or the veracity of a brand - a tingly, uncomfortable prick reminding us all that we now have to be careful about how we expend our terrestrial resources for the sake of the future sustenance of our Families, Communities and our World Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. Increasing global temperatures will cause sea levels to rise, and is expected to increase the intensity of extreme weather events and to change the amount and pattern of rainfall. Other effects of global warming include changes in agricultural yields, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors. Serious business!
Reduce, reuse and recycle Every individual has a role to play in the stewardship of resources and ethical use of energy. You too can contribute. If you can cut down a significant percentage of your energy use, not only would you be saving money, you would literally be saving our planet.
Recycle more. Almost everything can be reused or recycled now. Old cell phones can go to charities, same with clothes. Already, most Boroughs will “Every individual has pick up your cans, plastic and cardboard boxes a role to play in the from your doorstep. If they don’t, there will be a stewardship of resources recycling centre a stone throw from your home. and ethical use of energy” Use it. Buy recycled stationery and paper wraps; they are as good as the first time round. Check out www.recycle-more.co.uk for help and advice and www.greenchoices.org for green alternatives to almost anything.
Did you know that the typical incandescent bulb only turns about 5% of its consumed energy into light? That’s the other 95% wasted (this percentage is also an indicator of money lost). You can save energy (and money) by changing these to compact fluorescent bulbs. Although they are a bit more expensive, they come in a variety of shapes, use a lot less energy and last many times longer than the standard bulbs, ultimately saving you much more than they cost. LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are also a viable alternative. We all need warmth during the cold months. The general idea is to keep as much warmth within the home as possible. First, seal the leaks. If your main doors are not flush with the floor, install door sweeps (really cheap at your local DIY store).
Now, remember to close the doors to each room. Then, double-glaze your windows. This will help limit the heat loss to the outside, hence you wouldn’t need to fire up your heater as much as you used to. Now, cuddle up, get as many people into your living area, enjoy some hot cocoa and you might just save a bit more energy – the more people in a space, the warmer it is! Taking a few minutes to turn off electrical devices will not just help you save the planet, it will also help you save a few bucks off your electric bill each month. At home, go ahead and turn off the lights when leaving a room (chances are the walls and floor won’t mind the dark). This applies to all devices as well. If you’re not using it, turn it off. Drive less. Think about it. An average car consumes 25 litres of fuel a week (or 100 litres a month). This equates to a spend of £1,000 a year, parking not included. You can save some of that money and fuel by walking or cycling locally.
Don’t just stand there, do something It’s your world. Take care of it. You need to be active about it. Take a stand to go Green. • S et your computers to sleep and hibernate, if you’re still using them. If not, switch them off. • U nplug. Leaving your appliances in “standby” mode can collectively equate to a 100-watt light bulb running continuously. Not cheap! • F lick the switch, turn off the lights. Remember this at the Office too. • W alk to the Station. If you don’t need to drive, then don’t. You’ll save fuel, money and help the environment. • W ash and dry efficiently. Try and stick to full loads. Use short cycles for all but the dirtiest clothes. Reduce your wash temperature. Get a clothesline. • B uy local. By supporting local produce, you ensure you’re limiting your demand for goods that have to travel far by road or by air to reach you. • T ake a mug to work. Go ahead and make the investment. Not only is a mug more pleasurable to sip from than a paper cup, it replaces an untold number of plastic, non-biodegradable, disposable cups that you would’ve used.
Walk or cycle. You can plan your walking or cycling journeys and find out how long it will take before you even set out. What’s more, think of the calories you’ll burn, leading to a slimmer, fitter you. A good resource is www.walkit.com.
issue 2 / volume 1 23
Resolving Conflict Taiwo Odukoya
Conflict is an integral part of life. It is not limited to any age, location or social status. Simply defined, conflict is a clash of feelings or interests. It is therefore important not to pretend that conflict does not exist in marriage, but to identify it promptly every time it rears its head and address it promptly. When God looked at man and said, “It is not good that man should be alone,” it is obvious that He did not intend that man would be able to accomplish everything alone. He intended that man’s achievements would be the result of a partnership. He definitely had the family in mind as the springboard for this partnership. That was why what He made for man was ‘a help comparable to him’. In practical terms, it means someone he could relate with, someone with whom he could have a meaningful relationship. So the least that man can do is appreciate this precious gift from God. Remember, when the man woke up from sleep and saw the woman, the first thing he did was to speak Thus, communication is the life of every relationship.
If the man had not spoken, the woman would never have known anything about him and herself. She would never have known what he felt about her. The truth is, women respond more to words than what they see.
“No matter how angry or offended you are, keep the communication lines open... to stop communicating is to give the devil a foothold”
The woman could therefore respond only as the man spoke. If anything will make a couple stop communicating, it is the devil because he is always out to attack your relationship and this is why he would create a gap between you and your wife and make it difficult, or impossible for you to communicate meaningfully and settle any differences. No matter how angry or offended you are, keep the communication lines open. Do not encourage malice in your relationship. The more you talk, the more you define the problem and the easier it becomes to solve. To stop communicating is to give the devil a foothold. By the way, how did Adam get to know the heart of God? The Bible says that when it was only Adam in the Garden of Eden; God would come down in the cool of the day and fellowship with him. At the heart of relationship therefore is fellowship, and at the heart of fellowship is communication. Many a man will say, “I do not understand my wife!” You are probably not talking enough. And what you say is very important. When your spouse constantly puts up a confrontational attitude, she is probably trying to tell you that she is feeling shortchanged in the relationship. All the man thinks is that the woman is becoming impossible, but all she may be telling you is that she needs more of you. If only you will interpret her actions properly, you will be able to calm her nerves and avoid a major conflict. Even when she is wrong, you will find a way of reaching out to her. The truth is, most men will rather adopt the ‘silent treatment’ (malice) in a bid to keep her quiet, but that does not solve any problem. In fact, it often aggravates issues. You may not buy her thoughts, but you owe her a responsibility to always hear her out. When you try to shut her up, she recoils into herself and feels she cannot trust you anymore. She becomes afraid of you. You may feel you have won the battle, but it is like ignited dynamite; it will invariably explode. Now, there will always be differences in every marital relationship. That is because you are two different people who have become one. Even in your union, you are still two human beings with different personalities and idiosyncrasies. You have different backgrounds and cultures. So there will necessarily be disagreements emanating from your differences. The wise thing to do is to avoid arguments as much as possible. Just as communication gives life to your relationship, arguments snuff life out of relationships altogether.
Usually, it is when we allow our differences and disagreements to lapse into arguments that conflicts ensue. And the problem with arguments are always such that somebody must win. But the truth is, in a marriage, nobody wins an argument. It should be either a win win or a no-win situation.
To effectively avoid or resolve conflicts: 1. Agree with your spouse that your marriage must work: Too many handle their marriages as if they have other options. But marriage, much more than being a contract, is a covenant. So treat your marriage as one. 2. Do not try to change your spouse: And this is one fatal mistake a lot of couples make: they want to change their spouse at all cost. The truth is the only one you can change is yourself; you can only pray to God to change your spouse. And besides, any attempt to change another is often drastically resisted. 3. Agree on a standard of authority in your relationship: As a Christian, the only standard of authority you can have is the Word of God. If you can find it in the Word, there should be a commitment to obey it. 4. Make a decision to love: The Bible, our final authority, enjoins the man to love his wife unconditionally. Love is a decision; it is an act of the will. With love, even major issues become non-issues. 5. Maintain a positive attitude: A lot of us come into marriage with misconceptions based on what we have heard or the experiences of others. The right thing to do is to take only the positive from what you have heard or seen and reject the negative. What you must understand is that no two marriages are the same. Your marriage is unique; it will work even where others fail. 6. Appreciate what you have: Conflicts often escalates because we do not appreciate our relationships. Your wife is God’s precious gift to you; see her as such and appreciate her accordingly. Now, it takes one committed person to resolve most marital conflicts. Why not make a decision to be that person?
Taiwo Odukoya is the founding and senior Pastor of The Fountain of Life Church, established in 1992. A man of great compassion, Pastor Taiwo’s heart beats constantly for the underprivileged and societal outcasts. In 1984, Pastor Taiwo married his heartthrob, Bimbo, who was the host of the popular television programme Single & Married until her death in the ill-fated Sosoliso plane crash on December 10, 2005.
issue 2 / volume 1 25
Thank God for
Football Terry Thomas
Few people are aware that out of the 38 clubs that have played in the English Premier League since its inception in the 1992-3 season, 12 can trace their origin directly to a Church. 8 of these Teams are currently in the Barclays Premiership Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Aston Villa Aston Villa Football Club, also known as the “Villa” or the “Lions” were formed in March, 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Aston which is now part of Birmingham. Members of the Aston Villa Cricket Team were looking for a way to stay fit during the winter months and decided to adopt the “new” sport of football. Aston Villa is the fourth most successful club in English football history, having won 21 major honours including The European Championship in 1992 (Only 3 other English clubs have managed to win this most prestigious Club Trophy in the world.) Birmingham City In 1875 a group of Cricket enthusiasts from Bordesley Green’s Holy Church felt the need to bridge the gap between one Cricket season and another and the creation of a Football team seemed to be the answer. In that first season, Small Heath were Second Division champions, scoring no fewer than 90 goals in the 22 matches.
Fulham Fulham started its existence in 1879 as Fulham St Andrew’s Church Sunday School, founded by worshippers at the Church of England Church on Star Road, West Kensington, which still stands today with a plaque commemorating the Team’s foundation.
Liverpool Liverpool & Everton were initially one team. Both teams owe their existence to a Reverend Chambers of the St Domingo Methodist church, and to John Houlding - Tory MP and Mayor of Liverpool who ultimately caused Everton F.C. to leave Anfield and subsequently created Liverpool Football Club. In 1891 John Houlding, the leaseholder of Anfield, purchased the freehold whereupon The Everton members decided to leave Anfield for Goodison Park. With just three players remaining, John Houlding was left with an empty ground and no Team to play in it. He therefore decided to form his own Football Club and on 15 March 1892, Liverpool Football Club was born. It has grown from strength to strength and are the most successful Club in the history of English football, having won more trophies than any other English club.
This Club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first Football club to become a Limited Company with a Board of Directors under the name of Small Heath F.C. Ltd. named after the area that it resided in. In 1943 this Club became the first English club side to take part in the European competition and is now known as Birmingham City F.C.
Liverpool has won 23 major honours, which is more than any other Premier League Club. They have won a record eighteen English League titles and five European Cups, which is an English record. Only A.C. Milan and Real Madrid have won Europe’s Premier Club competition more times. Liverpool also won the FA Cup and League Cup seven times.
Bolton Wanderers Bolton Wanderers was founded in 1874 as Christ Church F.C., but changed its name to Bolton Wanderers in 1877. Bolton were one of the 12 founding members of the Football League, formed in 1888. In 1923 Bolton beat West Ham United 2-0 in the first ever Wembley final and emerge winners in Football’s oldest competition, the FA Cup. The Match, famously known as The White Horse Final, was played in front of over 127,000 supporters. Bolton’s Centre forward, David Jack scored the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium. They became the most successful Cup side of the 1920’s.
Manchester City Manchester City F.C. was founded at St. Marks (West Gorton) in 1880 by Anna Connell, daughter of the rector of St. Mark’s Church in Gorton, southeast Manchester. She sought to provide activities for local men in an effort to curb alcoholism and violence in the area. With the help of Church Wardens William Beastow and Thomas Goodbehere, she started a Church Football Team, St Mark’s (West Gorton). The Team’s first recorded match occurred on 13 November 1880, against another Church Team from Macclesfield.
Notably, the 1956 FA Cup final, in which Manchester City beat Birmingham City 3-1, is one of the most famous finals of alltime, and is particularly remembered for City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann continuing to play after breaking his neck. Tottenham Hotspur In 1882, Grammar School boys from the Bible class at All Hallows Church formed the Hotspur Football Club. The Team later became Tottenham Hotspur to distinguish itself from another team called London Hotspur.
Tottenham were the first Club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960-61 season. In 1963, Spurs became the first British Club to win a European trophy - the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Spurs are in the forefront among British football Clubs in developing Social and Community programmes. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is unique amongst Premiership Clubs and received the highest level of political support when it was launched. In recent years Tottenham has contributed over forty times more to Charity than the next largest Premier League donor.
HOTR FUTBOLAZ The Football team with a difference They play in the rain, they play in the sun, In the snow, in the fog…
The Ministry of a Beautiful Game. The Vision Futbolaz are part of the Outreach vision at House on the Rock. Our aim is to positively touch people through sport. We debunk the idea that football is a man’s game only. It can be played in a Christian spirit. Though majority of the squad are HOTR members, we welcome anyone who has skill and commitment. Before matches, irrespective of individual religions both teams join hands in the centre circle and pray for each other. There is no swearing, no violence, and no revenge. This forms the core of our ministry and sets the tone for the battle on the pitch. We have received a lot of support from the Church through Kayode Adisa ( Pastor in charge of Outreach). Now, we are working on plans to engage the local community at The Rock Tower in Tufnell Park under Outreach’s TTC (Touching The Community) initiative. We hope to run free football camps for youngsters and host friendly matches against local teams. We have already begun encouraging our young talent with free tickets to watch football games live. We did the same for the Nigeria v Australia friendly in London in November.
In March 2007 the Club announced a partnership with the Charity SOS Children’s Villages, UK. Player fines will go towards this Charity’s Children’s village in Rustenburg, South Africa with the funds being used to cover the running costs as well as supporting a variety of Community Development projects in and around Rustenburg.
In 1882, Grammar School boys from the Bible class at All Hallows Church formed the Hotspur Football Club.
So, if it wasn’t for some of our Christian folk, the ‘beautiful game’ may not have been so beautiful. For more in depth information on the history of some of your favourite Clubs, see Peter Lupson’s book: ‘Thank God for football’. Article sources from Wikepedia.org (the free encyclopaedia) and Official Football Club websites.
‘We have blasted out of the blocks and surprised even ourselves’ says Team Captain Tochukwu Ikeyina, fondly called ‘Kapeetan’. ‘I have played the beautiful game quite passionately nearly all my life. A couple of years ago, I contemplated hanging up my boots and sticking to the gym and playing lawn tennis, but what we have got with Futbolaz is something very special. We are blessed with a dynamic blend of youth and experience’ It all started at the Church Picnic at Hyde Park in 2002. Amidst all the food, drink and flexing, someone whipped out a ball. We set up some posts and started a game. There were about 500 people who attended and nearly everyone started watching. Through the success of the Lighthouse Challenge, we have been able to discover players ranging from some exceptionally talented teenagers in Ignite (Femi Adewusi, Ben Chukwudum, Oscar Blankson), to players who have been playing for over 20 years. Our team coach Azeez Akinbolu, who still plays professionally, once made the squad for the Nigerian National Team friendly game against Paraguay in London in 2002. We also have players who travel down occasionally from their various Universities. Amazingly, our Australian goalkeeper Glenn was walking past the church one Sunday morning last year, heard the music, got hired by the sound crew and signed up to join Futbolaz, all in the same day! Our matches’ start at 10.00 am on Saturdays. If you are interested in HOTR Futbolaz or for Venues for upcoming Matches, email Tochukwu (email@example.com) or Magnus (firstname.lastname@example.org). For match results visit http://full-time.thefa.com/Index. do?leagueid=8465277
issue 2 / volume 1 27
Touching the Community
In the first issue of Ablaze, we informed you, our readers, of the work that House on the Rock Touching the Community are committed to. In this issue, it is our aim to enlighten you on the themes of the TTC outreach.
TTC Theme 1 – What It’s All About TTC theme 1 is aimed at supporting children and young people to help raise their educational achievements. Local Outputs & Sample Of Activities
TTC is HOTR’s community initiative covering six themes.
• T o provide extended school provision at the TTC community centre – supporting local schools
The first Theme - Children Young People & Education, kicked off this summer running a small project called MyIslington in a local school in Islington (Holloway Secondary School).
• P rovision to include extended opening hours and a broad range of activities for all ages within the St Georges ward/wider community
The aim of the project was to introduce young people to their boroughs history, art & culture.
• A fter school club for 5 – 12 year olds (programme to last at least 45 weeks) • S upplementary school for children in need of additional academic support (e.g. Homework Club) • C hildren and young people, their families and friends will have access to a place to play, with activities that are affordable, high quality and accessible for all ages and interests. Young People Without affordable, high-quality after-school care available to many parents who work, a lot of young people are sometimes left to care for themselves or be supervised by older siblings, responsibilities that distract them from school work. Lacking constructive community activities to engage them after school, young people could be vulnerable to drug use, gang involvement or other negative influences outside school hours. TTC aims to provide an alternative range of after school activities which young people can relate to and enjoy within a safe environment. Education is the knowledge of putting one’s potentials to maximum use; it opens up opportunities for people irrespective of age, gender, religion or race. TTC aims to offer additional educational facilities to members of the community both young and old e.g. seminars/discussion groups, classes in IT, computer facilities, access to books and other resources to empower the community and raise levels of achievement. Next issue will feature the MyIslington project which ran in July 2007.
Behind These Walls HOTR Prison Work in London (HM Young Offender Institution Feltham / HMP Pentonville) A recent BBC report indicated the population of prisons in England and Wales has soared in recent years - up 85% since 1993. Whilst prison is a place of punishment for crimes committed against society, it is our aim to work alongside the prison authorities and chaplains to ensure that reform is a considered a key factor in preventing repeat offenders and enable offenders to re-integrate into society as valuable members of the community.
In HM Young Offender Institution and Remand Centre, Felltham another small team of two HOTR members support young offenders by mentoring them on a 1:1 basis, helping them with their education, discussing crime and reform from a Christian perspective and supporting those struggling with spending time inside.
HOTR Community Chaplaincy Project Many prisoners find it hard to readjust or integrate back into society - investment in drug treatment within the community, closing the gaps in mental health care and crime prevention programmes for young people will help address some of these issues.
HOTR has been working inside two prisons for a number of years now to help reform minds and change attitudes. In HMP Pentonville a small team have been visiting the prison and working with the chaplaincy teams to support a number of inmates (around 30-40) at a weekly club called ‘St Peter’s Club’. The team discuss issues with the inmates from a Christian perspective, pray with them and encourages change.
As a result of the work that HOTR currently performs inside prisons, this year we will be exploring a new incentive which involves working with other organisations such as YOT (Youth Offending Teams) teams/chaplaincy’s to help tackle some of the issues faced by ex-offenders and help support them with the right links to re-integrate them back into the community.
Unfortunately this work has now stopped due to changes within the organisation but we are looking to apply again for openings into Pentonville in 2008.
We are keen to get professional men and women in church involved in this initiative. For more details please contact Kayode Adisa on 07985 321342 who heads House of the Rock’s Outreach ministries.
HOTR’s Family Day At St. George’s Theatre Open Park It was a beautiful summer’s day in Tufnell Park on Sept 1st, 2007 when HOTR held its first family day in front of The Rock Tower, using St George’s Theatre Open Park space. This event was organised by the outreach department of HOTR, God’s Outreach (GO), with the aim of building a relationship with our new community and familiarising ourselves with the people we will be serving when HOTR eventually moves into The Rock Tower. Needless to say we had great fun. Hill City, the church choir, were out in full force singing to everyone and mingling with families and various people from different social backgrounds.. After warming up the crowd with a few well-known contemporary Gospel numbers they soon had people dancing away, having fun and enjoying the music. The children were kept entertained with a variety of activities such as a bouncy castle, face painting and loads of games.
A significant number of local residents are still very curious about our plans for the building and when we will be moving in. Pastor Omawumi, the resident Pastor of HOTR was also present on the day and mingled with the crowd answering a lot of questions, explaining who we are and what our plans are for the community. HOTR thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to use the park area for this event residents mentioned the park had never been used in such a way and hoped HOTR would be returning next year. We also extend our thanks to the council - Greenspace and Leisure Division Support Services Islington Council who gave us tremendous support in organising this event. Next year we will be back and look forward to seeing you there with even better fun-packed activities for all members of the community. The word on the street in Tufnell Park is people are keen to see HOTR move in and we are definitely looking forward to that time! issue 2 / volume 1 29
Solomon’s Corner Wisdom is the principal thing...
I need to find me!
The Perfect Son
My children are upstairs finally asleep. We had spent the evening the usual way - play, dinner, homework and bed. They descend into peaceful oblivion and I… I sit here crying. Why? Even amidst their youthful voices and exuberance, as they yell, shout and scream for my attention I feel such an overwhelming sense of loneliness that I wonder how my heart has not broken from the pain.
I am the eldest son of four. I have always been the advisor, financier, confidant and spiritual counsellor for all my siblings as well as my father and mother. We really are a close family and up until now, our system has worked extremely well. About 7 months ago, I got married to the most beautiful woman in the world.
This was never the plan – I did not expect to find myself in this position, raising children by myself. I feel like the ‘me’ part of my life is dying and all I am left with is this title of “single mother”. Even as I force myself to come to terms with this reality, I still battle with the suffocating pain of wanting more, needing love and companionship, conversations that extend beyond The Wiggles new CD. Please tell me, how I can manage my situation? How do I find a balance? Sometimes I feel like my life is over and find myself losing hope. Life never seems to work out exactly as we planned. Never in your childhood dreams, did you imagine this situation or circumstance. Nonetheless, my first comment to you is simply this: Why have you decided your life is over? You are playing a very important role right now – that of mother- but ‘you’ are so much more than that title and that role. Woman of God, your heavenly father has not finished with you yet. Nevertheless, you must give yourself permission to live again, receive again. Your focus is entirely on your children but you cannot give them what you do not have and right now, you do not have hope! No expectation that your tomorrow will be better than your today. The Bible says God will give us the desires of our heart, if you desire companionship – what is wrong with asking God for it. God’s promise of an abundant life does not expire, regardless of the pits and valleys we go through. Its time to sit up and open your mouth, start confessing and expecting the life you desire. Sister, God is faithful. Prove him so.
We met 3 years ago and have been steadily working our way to the land of Canaan since then. When we arrived, it truly was the land of promise; things were great, I could not dream to ask for more. Now suddenly it seems we are always arguing, and to make matters worse, it is always about my family. My wife says “They depend on me too much, they are around us too much, and I prioritise them above her needs” This thing is getting out of hand, please help. You sound like every mothers dream. However, unfortunately, every woman’s nightmare as well. It is clear you pride yourself on being a good son, brother etc. You have played the part all your life and it may be that you believed that rather than things changing, you would merely be adding “good husband” to your repertoire. Regrettably, therein lies your fundamental mistake. You were not called to juggle all those roles. When you chose to marry, what you were saying is – I separate, cut off, (extricate in your case) myself from my foundational family to join, cleave to this woman and form a new nuclear family. Consisting of just the two of us. Any other commitments, persons, responsibilities are measured solely on the impact they may have on this new nucleus. Therefore, it is not a case of, should I be there for my mother or for my wife. The question should be. “After I’m there for my wife 100% - is there space, time and opportunity” for me to assist my mother in some way? You are not being a bad son/brother by uncompromisingly putting your wife far above anyone or anything else. You are hopefully repeating what you saw your own father do and what our heavenly father commands us to do. Go ahead and be a man, man.
Please write to Solomons Corner with any burning questions or issues you want advice on. Send your questions to email@example.com
! s g n i h t e s e h Speak t My Testimony, His Glory
On Wednesday, the 29th of August after HOTR’s midweek service, one of the members of the choir told me that there was a Christian singing competition taking place in London and asked if I was interested in the competition. However, I declined. The reason was that I had quite a bit of schoolwork to do. I also thought it was one of those funny competitions that had come up yet again. On Friday, the 31st of August, I received another call from Aaron (one of the choir members), enquiring if I was interested in the competition and yet again, I replied that I had no interest and I also stated that I did not feel I would measure up to the expected standard at the competition. Aaron encouraged me to go ahead with it nonetheless. I agreed. The day of auditions finally came and I went to the venue, which was at Jesus House. I had my auditions and got through to the second round scheduled for the same day at 6pm that evening. I had my second audition in the presence of Michelle McKinney Hammond, and I was told that I would receive a reply within a couple of days. Before my second audition, I had already heard some other contestants practicing and I thought to myself, “you might as well pack it in and go home comfortably”, “forget about the competition”. Doubts were building up in my mind. After the auditions, I waited for a couple of days as expected but had not heard anything. My thoughts were that I probably was not up to the standard required. I called one of the organisers who told me that deliberations were still going on and there were other contestants to be considered. On Tuesday evening, I got a call from the J Factor crew, informing me of my success in getting through to the finals. I told a family friend of mine of the results and she said with confidence that I was going to win the competition. My response at the time was hmmmmm!!!
A few days to the actual day of the finals, I had a major set back. I had developed a sore throat. I was feeling very weak due to all the practicing, added to that was the pressure of my schoolwork. The thought of backing out came to mind and I called one of the singing coaches to tell him how I felt about the whole situation. He encouraged me not to give up especially as I had come so far and this helped me to carry on.
On the final day of the competition, I sang my heart out and gave it my all. Technically speaking, I know I could have done better. The long and short of it all was that after the final count of the last 2 finalists, Chibundu Onuzo and myself, I emerged the winner of the J Factor competition. Afterwards, I looked at the odds against me and I know without a doubt that it could only have been God that saw me through the competition. The reason for this is that I had no one to tell to vote for me as there was another concert taking place on that same day. However, to my surprise, I saw many House on the Rock members who had come to support me, not forgetting my sister who had come with many other friends. Guess what? The Winner’s prize is a single deal with an American record company with the additional benefits of my own web space. What can I say? The Lord has truly been good to me. When I was in doubt, and was weak, God strengthened me, came through for me, and remains faithful.
Seven days later, after another midweek service, I went to Pastor O, my spiritual father, to inform him of what had happened and I asked for his blessing as well as a prayer for the will of God to be done throughout the competition.
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Then this is the place for you. Email: email@example.com or call Tosin on 07825 178 224 issue 2 / volume 1 31