New Look, New Drive, Same Church Building the New Tabernacle
The Covenant of a New Beginning
Of Hope Undeferred
Facing the New Year with confidence OUTFLOW
CONTENTS The Covenant of A New Beginning
7 Tips On How To Set Your New Year Resolutions
by Joseph Onwuchekwa
by Anthony Onabanjo
Jesus House New Look, New Drive, Same Church
Jesus House Church Leadership
Final Destination: The Road To Quepos
A Look At The Golden Compass
by Kemi Olutunbi
by Bambo Akani
by Adanna Bankole
REGULAR SECTIONS In The Crucible
Stories @ Jesus House
Expressing Our Faith In Our Relationship by Kemi Olutunbi
The Voice of One
Your Health and You
by John Zach
Healthy Habits in the New Year by Dr. Toke Oke
Esthers Community Page
Dear Sis B
by Pastor Bolanle Ajayi
Reviews, January Birthdays and Wedding Anniversaries
had always been a distant admirer of US presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, and what’s not to admire? The man is articulate, intelligent, charismatic, easy on the eyes, apparently sincere, and possesses oodles of likability. But then early last year, I stumbled upon a video of his keynote address at the 2004 US Democratic National Convention. As I watched and listened to his now famous ‘Audacity of Hope’ speech, I was quite simply put, arrested – by the profundity and simultaneous simplicity of his message. ‘Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope’! In spite of being by nature almost instantly distrustful of political rhetoric, this particular message resonated with me immediately. I think this is because it’s a message that speaks to possibly my most closely held belief as a Christian. ‘A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead’. As scripture puts it, the substance, conviction of things not as yet seen… On the 31st of December, on account of some spectacularly flawed planning, mixed with nothing less than misadventure, I arrived late for the watch night service. So late in fact that I spent the first 30 minutes of my arrival behind the unyielding metal gates of the church premises. As I stood there in the light drizzle, utterly dejected, disappointed and angry at myself for having allowed myself to get stuck on the wrong side of that evening’s events, I contemplated what a dreary end to 2007 this would be, and I almost turned on my heels to head back home. At least if I went home I figured, I’d be able to count in the New Year in comfort – albeit solitary. Fortunately, I didn’t because about 30 minutes to the end of the year, we were ushered into the church premises, just in time for me to catch the climax of Pastor Agu’s message for the evening. He was talking about hope. There is, it seems, something about a message on hope that instantly speaks to me. And as well it should, to me, as to us all. Scripture tells us that a hope deferred makes the heart faint, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life… (Prov 13:12). If there was one takeaway for me that evening, it was this – Our hope will not be ashamed in this year. I took it away that day, and have brought it with me into 2008. Now it seems everywhere I turn, somebody is talking about hope. I’m far from complaining though, because I think this message is significant, for each of us as individuals, and indeed as a church body. 2007 is gone now, with all its challenges and celebrations. 08 brings with it a dawn of hope. Hope that ‘maketh not ashamed’. Not based on blind optimism or stubborn denial, but on the promises of a Father whose love is poured out within our hearts through His Holy Spirit. And so I say to you, on behalf of all of us on the Outflow team, a very Happy New Year! It’s gonna be a good year folks! Our hope will not be ashamed in this year- rather, it will be A Hope Undeterred; a hope Undeferred. Enjoy your copy of Outflow
Cover image and background image for In The Crucible by asikofoto
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Pastor Agu Irukwu SUPERVISING EDITOR Pastor Shola Adeaga EDITORIAL TEAM ’Lanre Iroche (Editor), Temitope Omojuwa (Managing Editor), Adanna Bankole (Social Affairs),
Bukky Olawoyin (Resource/Advertising), Gillian King (Stories@Jesus House), Chichi Wodu (Profiles), Yemi Folayan (News), Joseph Onwuchekwa (Features) Bambo Akani, Olamide Shofolu ART DIRECTION Tolu Shofule PHOTOGRAPHY Folashade Olutobi (flashade) ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY Danijela Marjanovic, Doyin Oluokun CONTRIBUTORS Pastor Funke Adeaga, Pastor Bolanle Ajayi, Anthony Onabanjo, Kemi Olutunbi, Dr. Toke Oke, John Zach LAYOUT/DESIGN Imaginovation 07956 497 376 PRINTING Alpha Colourprint 020 7231 5454 (www.alphacolourprint.co.uk)
OUTFLOW JANUARY 2008 Jesus House, 112 Brent Terrace, Brent Cross, London NW2 1LT, Tel: 020 8438 8285 Fax: 020 8438 8286 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OUTFLOW is published by Jesus House. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.
In The Crucible
An Entitlement to Hope Hope: to cherish a desire (that something good will happen) with some expectation of success or fulfilment.
vents over the course of the first few days of the year have acted to remind me of that element of the human spirit: hope. It is true that as the circumstances of the year begin to take their toll, that hope often takes a battering, to the point that it barely crawls over the threshold of a new year. But as that new year dawns, itself signalling a new chapter in the individual’s story, that hope begins to rise and develops a new wind, a staunch belief that despite yesterday’s setbacks, tomorrow is filled with opportunities. This is reflected in the way people, who for the bulk of the year relegate God to the sidelines of their lives, swarm towards His Church in the latter days of the year, swelling the attendance in churches for the three or so weeks from Christmas into the New Year. And yet, most of these people fail to realise that for hope to have substance, it needs to be anchored, not fleetingly, but firmly on this God. We as Christians have no such luxury. If we were to follow the examples of those who put their hope in financial institu-
tions, family prestige, and personal accomplishments, we would eventually find ourselves stranded, as these in themselves are incapable of sustaining us, or bringing lasting fulfilment. For a Christian, God has given in the Bible, a book filled with examples of people who put their trust (hope) in Him, and how he never failed them. The message is for us to put our hope in a Rock that is unshakeable, one that is not moved in anyway by the vagaries of life, and that has proved to be constant throughout the ages. When a Christian is anchored in the love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, he has no option but to hope. In fact he has no right not to hope. I would go as far as saying that it is his duty to be filled with hope. That would seem to be the logical conclusion of our covenant relationship with God. The story of the 3 young Israelite men in the book of Daniel (3rd Chapter, 16th Verse), is instructive in this regard. Faced with a hopeless situation in which their lives were threatened by the ruling Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, who demanded they kneel to his golden statue or risk being thrown into a furnace, they responded, “we are not careful to answer you in this matter but if it be so our God whom we
serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us out of thine hand o king.” They didn’t know for certain the manner in which God would step into their situation, but they held on to their entitlement to hope that He would step in, and if in the very unlikely circumstance that he did not, their hope still stood for an eternal life with God. They could not lose. There are many reasons for us to view hope as our entitlement, the simplest being that we are alive (which indicates that our race is not finished and that there is still more to come from us), and the most important being that God loves and has chosen us and has promised to meet our needs if we abide in Him. The psalmist says in the book of Psalms 25.3, “no-one whose hope is in You O Lord will ever be put to shame”. Once we have settled in our hearts that God wants to, can, and will establish that which we hope for in the coming year, we can embrace this hope as a guarantee. Psalm 71:14 says, ‘but I will hope continually, and will yet praise you more and more.’ Let’s launch into a hope filled year. It promises to be a fast paced and exciting one.
JANUARY 2008 JANUARY 2008
Stories @ Jesus House
INFLUENCING THE COMMUNITY THROUGH UNITY...
‘The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith’ (1 John 5:5 The Msg) This scripture seemed to be the inspiration for the volunteers from Jesus House who braved the freezing cold weather, to spread Christmas cheer to commuters on 17-21 December 2007. They handed out cups of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mince pies and other pastries to freezing commuters outside tube stations. The stations covered by Jesus House volunteers were Brent Cross, Colindale and Kilburn. Spreading Christmas Cheer has become a Jesus House tradition; a way to spread the Gospel, through the love of Christ, kindness and community. In spite of a communication breakdown that resulted in Brent Cross station being left out on the first day, OUTFLOW
the volunteers, who were co-ordinated by Deacon Ayo Adedoyin and Isabella Baird of communications department, handed out hundreds of cups of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, mince pies and pastries to commuters on their way to work. The reaction was sometimes mixed, ranging from disbelief that the drinks were free, to not being able to stop when they were in a hurry. The majority of the people, who stopped though, thought it was a brilliant idea and were happy to have a hot drink on a cold morning. The message of love, kindness and community, definitely shone through. This was particularly evident at Kilburn station on the first day, when the station was
closed due to an incident on the platform and the commuters gathered around the Christmas cheer stand for a free drink and a chat as they waited for the station to be re-opened. Spreading Christmas cheer has definitely begun to build a reputation in the local area, as several of the commuters at the stations remembered getting a free drink last Christmas and were delighted to see it repeated. Indeed it even spread as far a field as Luton! Let’s hope Christmas 2008 will spread even further a field, and the cheer of Christmas is spread all around the country!
Stories @ Jesus House
Heaven came to Grahame Park Estate this Christmas…
true season of giving and goodwill was evident on the Grahame Park estate on Saturday as hundreds of volunteers from The Novo Centre, Jesus House, Northwest Church and other Christian organisations descended on the estate to deliver to each home a Christmas hamper full of Christmas goodies which included Chocolates, a bottle of wine and a Christmas turkey. The massive operation was completed in record time as more than 6 trucks were stationed at different points in the estate, each with a different group of volunteers delivering to different blocks. ‘This is the season that reminds us Christians of God’s gift to everyone in the world so it is easy for us as followers of Jesus Christ to show similar love by giving too.’ says Ayo Adedoyin, head of communications at Jesus House. Surprised residents were overjoyed at the unprecedented show of love with one resident saying that she now believed in Christmas again. Other comments included: ‘Heaven has come down to Grahame Park this Christmas’ ‘This is an amazing gesture’, ‘I just can’t believe this’ A drug addict who felt that he was not worthy to receive such a gift said: ’ I’ve been too bad in my life, Can Jesus really give me anything? ’An 80-year old woman who has lived on the estate for many years said ‘In all my life, I have not received anything like this from anybody’ A 7-year old girl said that the boxes were very nice. PHOTOGRAPHY: DOYIN OLUOKUN
In a miraculous twist, the 1800 boxes of hampers ordered for the estate, covered Grahame Park estates and various other locations within the borough as volunteers worked late into the night delivering hampers across the borough and to homeless shelters and prostitutes in central London.
One volunteer commented: It seemed a bit like the miracle of the feeding of 5000 in the bible as the hampers just seemed to multiply...’
XMAS BASH @ HARMONDSWORTH hen the Jesus House Men’s Prison Ministry Team decided to share the love and spirit of Xmas with male detainees at the IRC Harmondsworth Detention Centre we had no idea that our modest plan would be magnified into a gospel rave that would have detainees and security guards partying for two solid hours.
aka Vizion and Lucille Onyema. Full of expectation for a successful evangelical event we soon found ourselves partying to the anointed hip hop, rap, reggae, garage fusion delivered by the gifted quartet with Vizion, Paul and Lucille dishing out the inspired vocals and DJ Blox as always providing the essential groove. With over 30 detainees in attendance the atmosphere was heavy with merriment as the true meaning of Xmas was musically ministered and guys got drunk in the Holy Spirit.
On 24 December 2007, the Team comprising of Gboyega Adedeji, Wale Opaniran, and myself converged at IRC Harmondsworth armed with food, drinks, gifts and the musical talent of Paul Djuma, Kanene Diobi aka DJ Blox, Emeka Onyema
Towards the end the exuberant detainees took over the mikes and delivered their own heart felt praise and worship which was truly inspiring. Even as we lugged our musical equipment out of the centre at the
close of festivity, many of the inmates were still dancing and waving enthusiastically from their windows and if their response was anything to go by I would judge the event a success to the glory of God.
Stories @ Jesus House
MUSIC IN THE CITY
CAROLS AT BRENT CROSS
or the third year in a row, the Jesus House Choir, Tribe of Judah were invited to minister by singing Christmas carols at the Brent Cross shopping centre. It was a wonderful yuletide atmosphere as last minute shoppers were drawn to the carol stage in front of the life-size nativity scene. Jesus House was given the whole of the last shopping day before Christmas and Isabella Baird from the Communications team who brokered the event worked in seamless collaboration with Simeon Otung from the choir, who anchored the event. Together, they ensured a non-stop array of diverse performances from midday till sundown.
PHOTOGRAPHY: DANIJELA MARJANOVIC
Vizion (Emeka) brought the mall to attention with his rendition of Merciful God and ‘Never too late’, while 8yr old Luena Martins-Aguiar wowed the shoppers with her amazing voice. Revolution (Otty Warmann) performed 2 tracks from his debut album’Refiner’ and ‘Dreamin’, and Bolaji rendered a few classical pieces on the piano. Umoh gave a heart melting rendition of her original song, ‘I love you Lord’, and she gave the mall an acoustic feel from her wonderful guitar melodies. The tribe of Judah raised the roof on the two occasions when they took centre-stage as they flowed from traditional favourites to re-mixed classic. Members of the congregation were on hand to mingle with the crowds, serve mince pies and give out Christmas cards to shoppers. It was a wonderful time in all, and as though in testament to this, the centre management promptly invited us for an encore during the Easter season.
INAUGURAL BAPTISMAL SERVICE The third service of Sunday, 7 December 2007 was a very special afternoon. A 20-foot water bath stood at the alter and many industrious volunteers were busily filling the bath with warm water, because this day witnessed the inaugural baptismal service to be held in the Jesus House Centre.
There were over 50 candidates eagerly anticipating the start of the baptismal service and whilst the youngest of these was just 13 years old, the eldest was 60 years old! The prophet Joel proclaimed that it would come to pass that the Spirit of God will be OUTFLOW
She likened the baptismal service to a wedding ceremony, stating that just as a bride and groom publicly declare their commitment to each other on their wedding day, a Christian publicly declares their commitment to Jesus when they are
Pastor Bolane Ajayi the head of the teaching ministry, said that this particular group of candidates were ‘special in the sight of the Lord’. The service commenced with exuberant praise and worship, which was followed by an exhortation by Pastor Bolanle who expounded on the spiritual significance of the act of baptism for the benefit of both the Jesus House con-
This jubilant service also saw the first group of youth (aged between 13 and 15 years old) to be baptised in the church’s 13year history – a truly momentous occasion indeed!
poured out onto all flesh and that “Your old men shall dream dreams [and]…young men shall see visions. Truly this prophecy came to pass on this day, as young and old stood together, full of the spirit of God and united in their faith and dedication to Jesus Christ.
gregation and the friends and family members of the candidates, whom were in attendance to celebrate the occasion with their loved ones.
Stories @ Jesus House
CAROLS AT SELFRIDGES
ne of the most cited reasons why people tend not to enjoy Christmas is due to the mass commercialism that is now synonymous with the season. however members of Jesus House utilised this prime shopping season to spread the real message of Christmas. In collaboration with the Beauty Department of the famous department store on Oxford Street, Gillian King, Otavie Warmann, Ayo Adeniji and Natalie Clue were invited by the Assistant Marketing Manager of the Beauty Department to serenade their shoppers with gospel style carols as they shopped ‘till they dropped during the run up to Christmas! For four Thursdays in December of last year, the Selfridges beauty hall was transformed into a festive shopping experience entitled ‘Sparkling Thursdays’. Decked out in choir robes, the singer’s melodious acapella carols permeated the aisles. ‘Hark the Herald Angels sing….Glory to the Newborn King…” Many shoppers stopped to listen and camera phones were out, snapping away as the real meaning of Christmas was shared. Ayo thrilled the crowds with her soulful rendition of the Sister Act version of ‘Joyful, Joyful’ and a jazz inspired version of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ brought a smile to many a shopper’s face. The people were also treated to less traditional renditions such as Kirk Franklin’s ‘Now Behold the Lamb’ and Fred Hammond’s ‘Bread of Life’ – songs that have a clear gospel message of the person and character of Jesus Christ.
The collaboration proved to be very successful and the word spread – with people calling the church office to find out more about the carol singers! The CEO of Selfridges, Paul Kelly, commended the singers, stating that he would’ve loved to have hosted a whole choir! With Jesus House ministering at two of the major shopping venues in London for Christmas 2007 (Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Selfridges) the sky is the limit for Christmas 2008! baptised. She also spoke of how the physical act of baptism represents a basic spiritual truth – as the person is submerged in the water and is raised up again, they are identifying with the death, burial and resurrection to new life that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ – just as the scriptures states: ‘We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life’. (Romans 6:4, NIV)
Pastor Agu Irukrwu, with the assistance of Deacon Gbolade Okenla baptised all the candidates – it was defiantly not a day for razor sharp suits and flashy ties! Dressed in tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, they baptised each candidate – who received a rapturous applause from the congregation in acknowledgement of their stand of faith. Smiles abounded as the service concluded – each candidate looking forward to the next phase of their exciting relationship with Christ.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO pastor IBUKUN AJAYI (10.01.08) and REVEREND YEMI ADEDEJI (23.01.08)
Pastor Ibukun Ajayi
Outflow joins with the church in wishing Pastor Ibukun Ajayi and Reverend Yemi Adedeji a ‘Happy Birthday’. It is our prayer that you will continue to grow in wisdom, and that God will grant you every desire He has seen fit to place in your heart.
Rev. Yemi Adedeji
Natalie said of the experience “It was an amazing privilege to be able to take the message of the gospel to the people – and Selfridges is such an iconic store that it attracts people from all over the world and it was evident that many people enjoyed the songs – showing that the spirit of Christmas is very much alive here in the UK!”
NEW BEGINNING OF A
BY JOSEPH ONWUCHEKWA
elcome to 2008 the year of new beginnings. As every avid Bible scholar knows, eight is the number of covenant and new beginnings because God established a covenant with Abraham symbolised by the circumcision of the male foreskin on the eighth day. The more zealous have even gone so far as to trace the root of that covenant back to Noahâ€™s ark because there were eight people who emerged from the ark to repopulate the earth after the great flood. It is also a well documented fact that the Nation of Israel was reborn in 1948 and that it will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of its current incarnation this year.
Hmm…….useful information but of what relevance is all this to the 21st century believer? Personally, the number eight reminds me that God is a covenant keeping God who watches over His word to perform it and that He is also a God of new beginnings. However, I’m not convinced that the new beginning is necessarily evidenced by material and social prosperity. For a believer, a new beginning has to be something that is exclusive and inextricably linked to his/her faith. My logic is simple, if material and social prosperity is the A-Z of a new beginning then adherents of all faiths and religions can validly lay claim to having a new beginning because in most cases they are materially and socially more prosperous than us. Let’s take the seasons for instance, everyone in the UK is currently experiencing winter and this will be followed by spring, summer and autumn. Just because I exit autumn and enter winter, I do not personally experience a new beginning because it’s not an exclusive experience or even one of significance. So where am I going with this? You probably guessed right – the Bible. All the evidence we need about new beginnings from God’s perspective are recorded there.
In Matthew 6, Jesus presents a radical mindset to all those who strive to change their circumstances through human endeavour. He instructs us to first seek the Kingdom of God (God’s way of doing things) and His righteousness (God’s perfect will for our lives) and then assures us that our circumstances will be transformed. God’s comments in Genesis 11 whilst observing the construction of the Tower of Babel indicate that it is perfectly possible for a person to accomplish any material goal in life without pausing to acknowledge God. It’s why we should not automatically assume that we have stepped into a new beginning when we start to receive material and social assets unless we can first identify how our lives have been changed as a result of our minds being renewed through the word of God. Abraham stepped into his new beginning when he stopped craving for a male heir and began to see himself as a father of nations. The moment he got on the same wave length as God, his change came. He stopped thinking about his life in terms of his years on earth and adopted an eternal perspective. In obedience he circumcised himself and all the males residing with him, believing that in due season he would receive the manifestation of God’s promise. It was because of the new mindset that Abraham was able to exhibit faith when called to sacrifice Isaac.
Without a new mindset there can be no new beginning.
In John 3, Jesus Christ enlightened Nicodemus (a Pharisee) by explaining that the new beginning occurs when a person experiences a spiritual rebirth. Jesus further went on to make a distinction between the things of the spirit (God) and things derived from the flesh (physical or material). However this is merely the starting point of a new beginning because as you may know, though our spirits are restored our minds are often still resistant to the will of God in every area of our lives. In Romans 12 Apostle Paul urges us (spiritually reborn brethren) not to be conformed to the world’s approach to life but to be transformed (changed) by the renewing of our minds so that we may know (prove and experience) what God’s good, perfect and acceptable will for us is. This scripture makes a clear distinction between transformed lives and transformed circumstances; the former will always give birth to the latter but never the other way round. Mindset renewal leads to a changed lifestyle which in turn activates the new beginning. So there you have it, a new beginning in a person’s life is always linked to a spiritual reawakening followed by a new mindset. Without a new mindset there can be no new beginning. So how do we access the new mindset? The answer’s simple by meditating on and believing in the word of God as packaged in the Bible. The very first Psalm in the Bible supports this position when it presents the portrait of a man who chooses to walk in the will of God and prospers in all his endeavours as a result of night and day meditation of the word of God. Notice that he doesn’t prosper by human endeavour.
We all know that without faith it is impossible to please God, but we don’t always consider that faith requires a new mindset that sees life from God’s perspective. Job who suffered total loss of financial wealth, health and social status activated his new beginning when his mind was renewed by the rhema (spoken or revealed) word of God. When confronted by God following his adversity, Job realised that his knowledge of God was deficient and repented of his wrong mindset. His encounter resulted in a deeper understanding of God’s ways and a greater appreciation of who God was, and quite naturally his circumstances changed in line with his spiritual and mental revival. The book of Acts reveals that Cornelius’ lifestyle of charity and prayer led him into his new beginning when he received a word from God, but note that the new beginning was a spiritual awakening accompanied by a new mindset. Nothing is mentioned about material or social prosperity. Until we genuinely realise that God has given us all we need in Jesus Christ and then spend time studying and meditating on His word we will never experience the new beginning of a transformed life. To all who read this, I welcome you to your new beginning and may 2008 find you at the centre of God’s will for your life.
News Reel A refund from God?
Cindy Fleenor, a 53 year-old accountant from Florida pledged $500 a year to Joyce Meyer’s ministry and wrote cheques to Benny Hinn and Paula White. She became frustrated after realising that the money she donated to several prominent ministries didn’t bring about the material blessings the preachers had assured would come. “I wanted to believe that God wanted to do something great with me like he was doing with them,” said Cindy Fleenor according to The Associated Press. “I’m angry and bitter about it. Right now, I don’t watch anyone on TV hardly.” Six ‘prosperity preachers’ were under investigation for allegedly abusing their non-profit status to shield lavish lifestyles. The government requested the financial statements and responses to questions about personal and organizational finances from ministries led by Paula and Randy White, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. The deadline to turn over the papers was Dec. 6. While Grassley has stressed that the investigation is about whether the ministries are playing by the rules and not about doctrine, some wonder if the probe can strictly keep off theology questions. Joyce Meyer was the only one of the six that promised full cooperation with the probe. Kenneth and Gloria Copeland turned in papers; lawyers for Randy and Paula White requested for more time; contact was not been made by Benny Hinn who
China’s secret Christians
At underground church services in China, Christians pray quickly hoping the police don’t come barging in with arrest warrants – why? Because their church is illegal, unregistered and unrecognised by the government. Their priest, Zhang Minxuan, stands in front of them. Twenty years ago he was a barber with no interest in religion. Then he got into trouble with the Communist Party and was jailed. After that he became a Christian. Since then he has led an underground church and been detained a dozen times. ‘I need to spread Christianity and I need to print the bible and distribute it to fellow believers’ he said. The underground Christians make the Chinese Communist Party nervous according to the BBC. There are millions of them in China. The gather in small groups in homes and schools at odd hours – prepared to do anything and worship anywhere. Many leaders of such ‘underground churches’ in China have been arrested and detained several times. They do not want to be controlled by Beijing, so they refuse to sign up to the state-sanctioned church. The party is wary of any organisation that does not pledge its loyalty to the state. Meeting the needs of the growing Chinese Church, the Amity Printing Company produces about 9,000 bibles every day and recently produced their 50 millionth Bible, 42 million of which was distributed in China and 8 million worldwide. But the factory is only allowed to supply bibles to 12 OUTFLOW
had agreed to respond by Dec. 12 but did not; and Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long indicated they will not comply with the probe. The “gospel of wealth” is denounced in many conservative Christian circles. Emerging church leader and author Brian McLaren says one of the prosperity teaching’s attractions is that it doesn’t dwell on traditional Christian themes of heaven and hell but on answering pressing concerns of the here and now, reports AP. Richard Young, author of The Rise of Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen, has said that society today is overstressed and already believes they are living in hell daily and thus is eager to embrace the messages that prosperity preachers like Osteen deliver. But the teachings put too much emphasis on individual success and happiness, McLaren said. Evangelist Meyer, who has improved her ministry’s financial transparency in recent years, recently stressed the need for balance in the teachings. A prosperity gospel “that solely equates blessing with financial gain is out of balance and could damage a person’s walk with God,” she said. Money isn’t the only thing people are blessed with, prosperity preachers say. God’s blessings extend to health, relationships and being able to help others.
the official state-approved church - not to the underground church. Perhaps it’s God’s humour but we are printing millions of bibles here, said Peter Deam, Amity’s production advisor. The pages coming out of the presses do not seem to have much of an effect on the workers. ‘I haven’t read the Bible and I don’t believe in Christianity,’ says Zhang Guohong, who’s been working at the factory for 14 years. ‘I have flipped through the book, but I am here to work. There is no time for me to read it.’ The state-approved churches are also popular. Some of the bibles end up at the Xishiku Catholic Church in Beijing. This church is part of China’s official, statesanctioned religious establishment. In the Catholic church, the bishops are chosen by Beijing, not the Vatican. Everyone here answers to the Communist Party - no one has to hide or worry about getting arrested. On Sundays hundreds of worshippers come to celebrate early morning mass. Three services are held -
there are no spare seats at any of them. This is the kind of official Christianity that the Chinese government tolerates. The rule is simple: if you are loyal to the Communist Party, you can pray and you can worship as much as you like. The government wants its Christians in the state-approved church where it can see them and control them. But Christianity is growing beyond its control. One day soon, Christians may even outnumber Communists.
News Reel Small town rejects sign of the beast
A small, highly religious town in southwest Louisiana has finally gained the right to change their 666 area code, which they consider a stigma. For 40 years the town of Reeves, Louisiana, has battled to change the phone prefix, but has failed at least four times, their Mayor, Scott Walker told The Associated Press. But now the residents and businesses can apply to change their area code from 666 to 749. “This boils down to the fact that this is a very, very religious community,” Walker said, according to AP. The town has three churches - two Pentecostal and one Baptist, in a community with less than 450 homes. In the Bible, the number 666 is marked on the beast which some interpret to be the antichrist or a Satan-possessed human. Moreover, those associating with the numbers 666 are considered to be aligning themselves with Satan. Walker said he was contacted by residents earlier this year about changing the area code, and said a citizen poll found overwhelming support for the change. He worked with the phone company and the state Public Service Commission among others to secure the change. “It’s been a black eye for our town, a stigma,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anything bad on us, just an image.”
Anglicans: England is not a Catholic nation Everyone else: It’s secular The Church of England has rejected claims that the Roman Catholic Church has overtaken it as the country’s dominant Christian denomination.
Critics are certain to use the developments to intensify their demands for the Church of England to be stripped of its historic established status.
More Catholics than Anglicans attended Sunday church services in England last year, according to new research.
According to predictions by the independent Christian Research organisation, an average of 861,800 Catholics attended Sunday services in 2006, compared with 852,500 Anglican worshippers.
However, Church of England leaders have disputed the statistics, saying that they were misleading and did not provide a fair comparison. Some arguments were also based on the large influx of migrants from the European Union many of whom are Catholics. The Church was nevertheless put on the defensive by the figures, which coincided with the long-predicted news that Tony Blair had converted to Catholicism on Friday. Mr Blair was brought up in the Church of England but his wife, Cherie, is a practising Catholic. The former prime minister was received into the faith at a service in the private chapel of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Peter Brierley, the former executive director of the organisation which helped compile the data for The Sunday Telegraph - said that Catholic congregations had been swollen by the large influx of immigrants from eastern Europe in recent years. “There’s been a substantial number of Poles coming in and 85 per cent of them are Catholic so that’s going to boost numbers,” he said. A spokesman for the Catholic Church said that the figures for Mass attendance sounded “about right”, although he stressed that there were no precise statistics. But a representative of the Church of England said that Christian Research had seriously underestimated its churchgoing numbers.
He said whenever he gives people his phone number, they pause and then warn him that he needs to change the prefix. “That’s what we’re trying to get rid of,” he said. “This is a good town …We’re good Christian people.” Walker said the change is set to be official for City Hall on January 2 and noted that some 20 people contacted him Friday morning about making the change.
God /Allah – same difference?
In Malaysia religious freedom is guaranteed under the law. So when the government decreed that the word, ‘Allah’ can only be used by Muslims, a church and a Christian newspaper in Malaysia decided to sue. In the Malay language “Allah” is used to mean any god, and Christians say they have used the term for centuries. Opponents of the ban say it is unconstitutional and unreasonable. It is the latest in a series of religious rows in largely Muslim Malaysia, where minority groups claim their rights are being eroded. A spokesman for the Herald, the newspaper of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, said a legal suit was filed after they received repeated official warnings that the newspaper could have its licence revoked if it continued to use the word. “We are of the view that we have the right to use the word ‘Allah’,” said editor Rev Lawrence Andrew.
The Sabah Evangelical Church of Borneo has also taken legal action after a government ministry moved to ban the import of religious children’s books containing the word. In a statement given to Reuters news agency, the church said the translation of the bible in which the word Allah appears has been used by Christians since the earliest days of the church. There has been no official government comment but parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the decision to ban the word for non-Muslims on security grounds was “unlawful”. “The term ‘Allah’ was used to refer to God by Arabic-speaking Christians before Arabic-speaking Muslims existed,” he said. Religious issues are highly sensitive in Malaysia, which has a 60% Muslim population. Minority groups have accused the Muslim Malay majority of trying to increase the role of Islam in the country.
7 Tips On How To Set Your New Year Resolutions BY ANTHONY ONABANJO
t is common practice to start the New Year with a set of ‘New Year Resolutions’. But did you know that less than 10% of people achieve their New Year resolutions? Did you achieve last year’s resolutions? One of the reasons why New Year resolutions are not achieved is because they are treated like a wish list. It is therefore not surprising that such resolutions are forgotten by the end of January! New Year resolutions are simply goals. So by following the rules for setting effective goals you can set effective New Year resolutions. Abraham Lincoln said “A goal properly set is halfway reached”. The following 7 tips will help you set effective goals for the New Year. On completion, you will already be halfway to achieving them. 1) Written A goal that is not written is just a dream. Writing the goals helps in the transformation from dream to reality. It focuses the mind. The writing process helps to articulate your thoughts. Goals need to be SMART acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time based. 2) Specific What is your goal? What do you want to achieve? Specific goals
I am 60 kg
I don’t want to be overweight
I run my own cake making business
I would like to start a business
Your goal should clearly describe what you want to achieve. It should be written using present tense and positive language. This puts the subconscious mind in the right frame to process and achieve the goal. State what you want - not what you don’t
want. So avoid ‘I don’t want….’. Another common mistake is to write goals in future tense. So avoid ‘I want or I would like…’ Write your goal as if you have already achieved it. Use ‘I have’, ‘I am’ etc. Here are some examples of specific and non specific goals. Goals
Examples of measures
I am 60 kg
Weight on scale
I run my own cake making business
Sale of x number of cakes produced by your business
3) Measurable How will you know when you have achieved your goal? What action or event will show that the goal has been achieved? The measure does not necessarily have to be quantifiable, but it should be quite clear that the goal has been achieved. Below are some examples of measures. 4) Attainable How do you plan to attain your goal? What steps will you take? This is a very important part of the goal setting process. Generally, not enough time is taken to prepare a detailed plan of how the goal will be achieved. Write a list of the different activities or events that need to take place for you to achieve your goal. Break the goal into smaller achievable sub-goals. Using one of the examples above, how do you plan to achieve 60 kg? What life style changes are you planning? If exercise – what exactly, jogging, swimming, joining a gym? What is your exercise schedule? If dietary – what is your dietary programme? What other ways are you planning to reach your goal?
goal properly set is halfway reached”. Abraham Lincoln
5) Realistic How realistic is the goal you have set yourself? Is the action plan realistic? Using the same example - do you have the time to complete your exercise routine in the frequency you have indicated? Do you have the required resources (motivation, external support) to achieve the goal? If the goal is too big for you to achieve within the timeframe then this could be overwhelming. This in itself could be de-motivating leading to poor progress. 6) Time based In what time frame are you expecting to reach your overall goal? How will you know if you are on track? A completion date sets your unconscious mind into motion to begin working towards the goal. The timeframe should be specific. In order to track progress intermediary targets (sub-goals) need to be set and monitored. In the first example above, you could set monthly weight targets. The cumulative weight loss each month should lead to the final weight of 60kg by 1 June. Specific timeframe
Non specific timeframe
Today is 1 June 2008 and I am I will be 60kg in 6 months 60 kg It is now 1 October 2008 and I am now trading in my cake making business….
Do you have the required resources (motivation, external support) to achieve the goal?
By the end of the year I will be trading in my cake making business.
7) Proactive What kinds of challenges do you anticipate encountering and how will you overcome them? By proactively planning for potential show-stoppers from the onset, you can plan appropriate mitigation strategies in advance. Pay particular attention to any personal traits that may hinder progress such as fear, lack of confidence or procrastination. Ever so often, our loftiest goals are beset by some very common setbacks. Below are some of the problems that most of us encounter in trying to keep to our best laid out plans. 1) Too many goals Be careful not to overwhelm yourself by trying to achieve too many goals simultaneously. You may overload yourself and the danger is that you may not make satisfactory progress with any of them. 2) Regular reviews Focus on your goals on a daily basis. Each morning review your goals, visualise the benefits of achieving the goals. Plan the actions you will be taking today that will bring you closer to your goals. Keep a journal and at the end of the day record your progress. 3) Attitude A positive attitude is a frame of mind that allows you to accomplish whatever you want. A study by Harvard University showed that 85% of success is due to attitude and only 15% due to knowledge. If you are passionate about your goal and have a positive attitude you will succeed. 4) Support mechanism /accountability What support mechanism is in place to help you reach your goal?
Support can be drawn from any of the following – Life/business coach, mentor, family/friends or support group. 5) Manage set backs Unpredictable circumstances may hinder progress with achieving your goal. For instance you or a close family member may become ill and you may have to suspend the programme temporarily. There is no point beating yourself up. When circumstances become more favourable re-adjust your plan and carry on. In some circumstances, you will be able to cover for lost time - in others it will not be feasible. You will be the best judge of this. Whatever you do, don’t give up! 6) Celebration It is important to reward yourself for your achievements. You don’t have to wait until you have achieved the completed goal. You can have mini celebrations when you achieve key milestones (sub-goals). This will keep you motivated. 7) Take action The writing of your goals is the first step towards achieving your New Year goals. However, in order to achieve results you must take action. High achievers are goal setters. Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination. A quote from Mary Kay Ash “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. We all have a choice.” As noted in the beginning of this article, less than 10% achieve their New Year goals. Are you going to be amongst this group this New Year? I hope you make the right choice this year – make things happen! I wish you great achievements in 2008. Queries or comments on this article can be directed to: Anthony Onabanjo, Director Peak Coaching Ltd c/o email@example.com
It is unlikely that everything will go perfectly all the time. You are likely to face challenges during the way. It is important to put in place a support mechanism. Choose this support mechanism carefully – someone or a group that you can trust. Be sure that the person/ group have your interest at heart and can provide honest and constructive feedback. This support system will monitor your progress and provide support during the difficult times.
elcome to the Marriage corner in 2008, wishing you a very Happy New Year and praying that this year your Marriage will move up another level. Another level being another even more fulfilling Marriage experience. As I pondered on what to write about this month, the question that came to my mind was how can I live out my faith in my Marriage in 2008?, so join me as we explore practical ways of expressing our faith in our Marriage relationship. This list is not an exhaustive one, practicing these disciplines will not only keep your love alive but will also help enrich your spiritual journey with the Lord. Say I love you, everyday! Don’t leave your affection to speculation – Tell your spouse how you feel about them constantly. The world beyond the walls of your home can be a less than loving place so keep the scent of your love ever fresh, words are very powerful use them to build your Marriage. Proverbs 16:24 states that ‘Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones’.
aside exclusively for your Marriage and make the extra effort to engage with each other on a deeper level. Of course, it goes without saying that if it is a backrub she wants on the afternoon of the FA Cup final, there is no better time to show her how much your really care! Although, wives, I must add that that may not be the best time to ask hubby for a back rub. Ephesians 5: 1516 states ‘Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil’.
expressing our faith in our relationship BY KEMI
Don’t leave your affection to speculation – tell your spouse how you feel about them constantly.
Just Say I’m sorry! Don’t wait for your spouse to ease the stand off when there is an argument or a party is hurt. Say I’m sorry even when you’ve been wronged. If you both adhere to this, you’ll probably be jostling to be the first to apologise. Realise that Marriage is a gift from God. Don’t let the enemy rob you of this gift. It is wisdom and humility to forgo an offence for the sake of your Marriage. Make a choice to live in harmony. Hey, glitches are a part of all relationships anyway; so why won’t they occur in one as close as a Marriage? Proverbs 19:11 states ‘A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense’. Choose to walk away from an angry or critical remark! In every relationship opportunities for conflict arise constantly. What makes the difference is our choice to either overlook them or resolve them in an appropriate, Christ-like manner. It may sound like make believe, but it’s actually possible for a couple to live with each other in a loving relationship where they rub each other up the wrong way at times but yet are able to resolve the conflicts that arise, without these conflicts escalating from complaints to contempt for each other. It’s actually a sign of spiritual awareness and hearts that are constantly submitted to God. Now I know it does not happen in a day! But we can all seek to get there. James 1:19 states ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’. Be magnanimous towards your spouse everyday! Let your spouse know they are number one in your life everyday! Hmm.. hmm.. next to the Lord of course !!! Be unreservedly, their greatest fan. Find out what is most important to your spouse and spare no expense in money (within reason of course) and effort to ensure your spouse has it. If it is your affirmation; shower it on your spouse. If it is your support don’t deny your spouse. If it is your texts and emails schedule them into your day. Get creative, find 365 ways of showing your love throughout this year, basically, celebrate your spouse, let them know you truly appreciate and value them. Don’t just lend a hand, give your heart!. Love is self sacrificing. John 15:13 states ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’. Take a vacation from the Telly! Not everyday though! But on a serious note, the television is certainly a poor substitute for real life. We spend a huge chunk of the best parts of our day with others at work and elsewhere. It’s heart rending when the telly habit takes away the time of the day that is left for your spouse and children. Choose to have regular times that are set 16 OUTFLOW 16 OUTFLOW
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Do something you both enjoy regularly! We spend our courtship days seeking what will make each other happy. We spend our time doing what the other will appreciate as we seek to make deposits into the others “affection bank”, both loving and seeking opOLUTUNBI portunities to discover the joy of new experiences together while finding out what makes each other tick. Yet when we get married, we let the routines and familiarity of daily life take charge and resign ourselves to seeking other pleasures. There is no pleasure quite as enjoyable as doing stuff together as a couple. It can be tough initially, and when this happens we only need to cast our minds back to how we both enjoyed doing things together in courtship to realise that what’s missing now is that our mental attitudes have changed; now we want to have our own way, do our own things, isn’t that interesting? Knowing that God desires us to love sacrificially rather than conditionally can be of much help at these times! Phillipians 2: 1-3 states ‘Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Forgive…Forgive ….Forgive everyday! No point expecting that your spouse won’t hurt you or thinking you have the capacity to avoid hurting your spouse, just choose to forgive. We know from scripture that to maintain our own spiritual health, it is crucial that we understand and embrace the power of forgiveness. The Seventy times seven principle was not a burden placed on us by God, it’s actually a gift from God which we give to ourselves when we obey the command to forgive. Forgiveness as a lifestyle is also crucial for a healthy Marriage; it ensures that the drains of everyday interaction remain clear and unblocked so the pipes continue to give passage to a smooth flowing relationship everyday. Proverbs 17:9 states ‘Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends’ and Colossians 3:13 states ‘Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others’. Finally, pray with your spouse AND for your spouse everyday! Yes, everyday! Finally, as we start a new year, make family prayer your number one priority even if it’s the only resolution you keep in 2008! Ensure that you have an altar of prayer with your spouse and daily times of prayer for your spouse. Be your spouse’s greatest intercessor and their number one watchman! If you are going to start putting the ten thousand adversaries you encounter everyday to flight, you’re going to have to start fighting together rather that apart. Now that we have some practical tools for keeping our love alive, let’s go for it!
NEW LOOK, NEW DRIVE,
SAME CHURCH BY KEMI OLUTUNBI
nyone’s who has been to Jesus House in the past few months would have noticed several changes to the building, the most notable being the presence of a stylish icon adorning everything from the gates to the church’s recent promotional output. This ‘little man’ is the church’s new logo, and represents Jesus House’s identity. For those who hadn’t figured it out, the icon represents a man in motion and symbolises the church’s primary objective: the pursuit of God.
BANT is made up of eleven strands; these strands are the core objectives of Jesus House in this new phase. Over the coming months we will be going over each of the eleven strands in greater detail. The eleven strands are as shown below. • Spiritual Church
• Effective Multicultural Integration
• Effective Workforce & Volunteers System
• Corporate Social Responsibility
• Effective Small Groups System
• Effective Youth Integration
• Excellent Infrastructure
• Emerging Roles
• Effective Membership System
• Internal Auditing Next month, we will kick off by looking at our Culture at Jesus House. Until then, have a great month ahead!
This pursuit is the very reason for the church’s existence. Our desire, simply stated, is the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth, as recorded in the book of Genesis 1:26-28. Here at Jesus House, we have made it our mission to chase hard after God, to discover our purpose through the pursuit of our maker and as we do, maximise our potential through impacting our generation by serving God’s purpose, as stated about David in Acts 13:36. The New Tabernacle As Pastor Agu sought God to enquire about the next phase of the Church last year, God laid the vision of ‘Building a New Tabernacle’ in his heart. The term has been used within the church for months now, most usually in its acronymic form, BANT. The purpose of BANT is for us to simply present ourselves to God as vessels (vehicles), in order for him to do a work in our hearts as stated in 2 Corinthians 6:16 that we are his temple. This helps us to let go of the past and all that we know and embrace the new Beginning that God has for us as individuals and as a Church. Jesus said in Luke 5:37 ‘And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined’. This implies that God wants to do a new thing and our old mindsets and ways which have worked in the past, with the old will not suffice for this New Beginning that he has purposed for us. In seeking to restructure both the fabric and internal mechanisms of who we are as a church and individuals, it is desired that we would become even more effective instruments in the hands of God and better equipped to fulfil the mandate given to us. 17 OUTFLOW
Pastor Agu Irukwu
Senior Pastor, Jesus House
Birthday: 15th March Profession: Pastor (trained as a Lawyer) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Reading, Sports, Politics, Cars Passionate about: Discovering and bringing to bear the mind of God, the discovery and maximisation of human potential, excellence in all endeavours, the family unit
Pastor Shola Adeaga
Pastor Funke Adeaga
Birthday: 1st July Profession: Pastor/COO (trained as a Gynaecologist) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Squash and playing the piano Passionate about: Understanding the mind of God, excellence in the application of processes, spiritual development of Godâ€™s people
Birthday: 10th October Profession: Fashion Entrepreneur (trained as a Lawyer) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Reading and Fashion Passionate about: Encouraging women to appreciate their worth and excel in their endeavours.
Chief Operating Officer, Jesus House
Pastor, Member Facing Departments
Pastor Bolanle Ajayi
Pastor Ibukun Ajayi
Birthday: 11th May Profession: Finance Officer (also trained in Marketing & Public Relations) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Movies, Music, Cooking, Driving and Shopping Passionate about: Teaching the Word, Proper Protocol and Good Manners
Birthday: 10th January Profession: IT Consultant Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Cycling, Athletics, Chess, Pool, Squash, Go-Karting and Formula One Passionate about: Prayer, Christian Spiritual Development and volunteer workers excelling in their God-given abilities
Pastor, Small Groups
Pastor Bajo Akisanya Pastor, Youth
Birthday: 7th December Profession: Youth Minister (trained as a Historian and Software Engineer) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Spending time with family, DIY, Sci-Fi & Historical Movies, Watching American Football, Swimming, Basketball, Self-Help Books, Cooking, Reading various versions of the Bible; Passionate about: Making the Word of God simple, Enabling others to be successful, Young Adult Development Schemes, The Bible, Programming Computers, Software Development.
Pastor Chizor Akisanya Pastor, Blossom
Birthday: 22nd July Profession: Solicitor Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Painting, Reading the Dictionary, Writing Passionate about: Words, Painting and Scrapeboarding
Pastor Nicholas Chanda
Pastor Susan Jaja
Birthday: 27th February Profession: Marketer Length of time in Jesus House: 8 years Hobbies: Playing Chess, Watching Boxing Passionate about: Prayer, Reading the Bible and Revival
Birthday: 20th June Profession: Sales Officer (trained as a Secretary) Length of time in Jesus House: 12 years Hobbies: Swimming Passionate about: Caring
Pastor, Abigailâ€™s Court
Pastor Mark Menda
Pastor Philip Noel
Birthday: 20th July Profession: Pastor (trained in Education/Law Studies) Length of time in Jesus House: 8 years Hobbies: Music, Photography Passionate about: The Salvation, Renewal and Transformation of the Lost; Prayer, The Word of God
Birthday: 23rd April Profession: National Sales & Training Manager/Music Producer (trained in Business) Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Producing Music in the Studio (second album in production) Passionate about: Soul 100 Crusades, The Word of God, Hearing God Speak, Preaching the Gospel, Being a Father to his Family, the world declaring that Jesus Christ is Lord
Pastor, Evangelism & French Service
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Pastor Vera Omonedo
Pastor Denrele Runsewe
Birthday: 2nd February Profession: Pastor (trained as a Secretary) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Sewing and Reading Passionate about: Truth, Prayer, The Kingdom and Children
Birthday: 27th October Profession: Pharmacist Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Reading, Cooking, Encouraging others, Driving, Singing, Travelling, Shopping, Going out, Dressing up Passionate about: God, People and Children
Pastor, Church Missions
Pastor, Kidz First
Reverend Yemi Adedeji
Deacon Ayo Adedoyin
Birthday: 23rd January Profession: Missionary (trained in PR/ Marketing; Theology [PhD]) Length of time in Jesus House: 3 years Hobbies: Travelling, Meeting People, Fashion, Spending time with family Passionate about: Evangelism and Mission Work
Birthday: 10th May Profession: Communications (trained in IT) Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Movies, DIY Passionate about: Outreach and People
Deacon Fela Agboola
Deacon Dapo Badejo
Birthday: 19th April Profession: Business Developer (trained in Design & Advertising) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Painting, Hunting, Reading, Classic Cars Passionate about: Searching out the deep things of God, Helping younger people identify a clear path of life
Birthday: 22nd February Profession: Admin Manager (trained as an Accountant) Length of time in Jesus House: 2 years Hobbies: Finding ways to add value to processes, Cooking, Percussions/Drums, travelling and driving Passionate about: Building relationships, Strategizing, Mentoring, Investing in People and Worship
Head, Facilities Management
Deaconness Bolanle Bakare
Head, Front of House Birthday: 9th June Profession: Trainer (trained as a Lawyer) Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Movies (particularly Dramas and Thrillers), Chinese Food Passionate about: Childrenâ€™s rights to grow up in a safe, secure and nurturing environment and any charity supporting this; Developing and implementing processes that help provide a warm, friendly, efficient and effective service in Jesus House
Deacon Wale Gibson-White Minister, Multimedia
Birthday: 2nd January Profession: Project Manager (trained in Business Administration) Length of time in Jesus House: 7 years Hobbies: Technology, Football, Eating and Test Driving new cars Passionate about: Enhancing worship in various forms using technology
Deaconness Abiodun Kolawole
Deacon Oluwole Kolawole
Birthday: 25th December Profession: Solicitor Length of time in Jesus House: 2.5 years Hobbies: Reading, Travelling, Music Passionate about: Worship, having the best family on earth, interior decoration, prayer
Birthday: 21st September Profession: IT Consultant Length of time in Jesus House: 2.5 years Hobbies: Music, DIY and Driving Passionate about: Creativity; all forms of service to the body of Christ
Deaconness Sola Kujore
Deaconness Marceline Menda
Birthday: 17th October Profession: Events Coordinator (trained as a Dentist) Length of time in Jesus House: 13 years Hobbies: Swimming, Health & Fitness, Ice Skating, visiting museums and historical sites Passionate about: Travelling, Social causes for the good of the underprivileged
Birthday: 21st March Profession: Housewife (Dip. in Law) Length of time in Jesus House: 8 years Hobbies: Reading, Cooking and Basketball Passionate about: Souls and People
Head, Events & Conferences
JANUARY 2008 JANUARY 2008
Deacon Ifechukwu Nnatuanya
Deacon Nkem Nwani
Birthday: 4th June Profession: Business Analyst/Researcher (trained in Information Systems PhD) Length of time in Jesus House: 10 years Hobbies: Swimming, Travelling, Chess, Tennis, Football Passionate about: Family, University students, research, getting to know God more
Birthday: 9th November Profession: IT Consultant (trained as a Pharmacologist) Length of time in Jesus House: 10 years Hobbies: Reading, Mentoring, Football, Dancing and Listening to Music Passionate about: Mentoring married couples and bridging gaps between parents and children, Teaching & Developing people
Minister, Evening Service
Deaconness Georgina Nwoke
Deacon Gbolade Okenla
Birthday: 18th August Profession: Lecturer (trained in Economics and Business; training in Psychology) Length of time in Jesus House: 4 years Hobbies: Fitness, Making Friends and Visiting People Passionate about: Prayer, Caring, Making people happy, Mentoring
Birthday: 18th August Profession: Recruitment Consultant (trained in Business & Finance) Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Meeting People and Football Passionate about: Helping People
Deacon Bukky Olawoyin
Deaconness Gloria Olorunshola
Birthday: 4th May Profession: Software Engineer (trained in Accounting and Finance) Length of time in Jesus House: 7 years Hobbies: Computing, Travelling, Writing and Music Passionate about: Motoring and Dining
Birthday: 12th May Profession: Medical Doctor Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Reading, Baking, Beading Passionate about: Children
Head, Jesus House Protocol
Deacon Tunde Oluteye
Deaconness Yemisi Onasanya
Birthday: 6th December Profession: Paediatrician Length of time in Jesus House: 3 years Hobbies: Football, Counselling, Travelling and Shopping Passionate about: People (helping them get through challenging times, bringing them together, motivating them to achieve God-given goals)
Birthday: 10th September Profession: Teacher Length of time in Jesus House: 3 years Hobbies: Reading, Cooking, Photography, Sightseeing, Movies Passionate about: Teaching children, helping people, organising events
Minister, Medical Health Ministry
Deaconness Mosun Oyefesobi
Minister Lanre Adesanya
Birthday: 27th April Profession: Business Woman (trained in Business Administration) Length of time in Jesus House: 10 years Hobbies: Window Shopping, Swimming and Travelling Passionate about: Building relationships
Birthday: 12th April Profession: Property Developer/Investor (trained in Information Management) Length of time in Jesus House: 10 years Hobbies: Reading, Walking, Golf and Travelling Passionate about: Studying the Word, Teaching, Mentoring
Head, Jesus House Welfare
Minister Lola Ajayi
Minister Ninah Briggs
Birthday: 10th May Profession: Business Systems Analyst (trained in Business & IT) Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Reading Novels Passionate about: Her Family
Birthday: 25th December Profession: Architect Length of time in Jesus House: 8 years Hobbies: Drawing, Sketching, Designing and listening to Jazz Passionate about: Perfection, Architecture, Nigeria and Aircraft
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Minister Ayobami Olunloyo
Minister Mulenga Chanda
Minister, SHERR Birthday: 23rd June Profession: Managing Director (trained in Employment & Law, Executive Assistant, Health & Wellbeing [Dip]; BA Health; MA Health Management) Length of time in Jesus House: 3 years Hobbies: Reading, Writing, Baking Passionate about: Seeing souls come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, Reading the Bible and Prayer
Birthday: 15th April Profession: Media Developer (trained in Electronic & Electrical Engineering) Length of time in Jesus House: 7 years Hobbies: History (WWII), Politics ( US, UK and W. Africa), Cinema & Theatre, Motors, Music (Jazz & Classical), Outdoor pursuits, Sports Passionate about: Excellence in organisation, Enhancing and influencing media and technological advancement in churches
Minister Yomi Oluremi-Judah
Minister Bode Olutunbi
Birthday: 5th March Profession: Actuary Length of time in Jesus House: 10 years Hobbies: Football, Drama Passionate about: Youth Ministry, Drama
Birthday: 21st May Profession: Entrepreneur/Business Consultant Length of time in Jesus House: 7 years Hobbies: Travelling, Watching Sports, Jazz Music and Family Time Passionate about: Personal Growth, Marriages and Business Development
Minister Lola Onigbogi
Minister Deronke Shonibare
Birthday: 17th October Profession: IT Consultant (trained as an Engineer) Length of time in Jesus House: 11 years Hobbies: Sports, Multimedia Passionate about: Internet Broadcasting, People Development
Birthday: 3rd October Profession: Civil Servant (trained in Conference and Event Management) Length of time in Jesus House: 12 years Hobbies: Travelling, watching movies Passionate about: Excellent service and hospitality, Equality (valuing people’s differences and diversity, as well as what they bring to the church and individual organisations)
Birthday: 12th July Profession: Electronics/Computer Instructor Hobbies: Praying, Reading, Telephone Counselling, Running Passionate about: Singing, Dancing, Revival
Birthday: 20th February Profession: Marketing Length of time in Jesus House: 1.5 years Hobbies: Swimming Passionate about: Evangelism
LAYOUT: ‘LANRE IROCHE
Elder Mackay Jaja
Elder Grace Eyamba
Elder Delores Whittaker Birthday: 26th January Profession: ‘Grandmother’ (retired nurse) Length of time in Jesus House: 9 years Hobbies: Knitting, Dressmaking, Gardening Passionate about: Visiting the elderly, bible study groups
112 Brent Terrace, Brent Cross, London NW2 1LT, Tel: 020 8438 8285 Fax: 020 8438 8286 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.jesushouse.org.uk OUTFLOW OUTFLOW OUTFLOW
JANUARY OCTOBER 2008 2007 JANUARY 2008
THE ROAD TO QUEPOS O
ur protagonists are in the third and final day of their Costa Rican holiday. Based in the capital San José, they’re preparing for a day long trip to the beach in Quepos, a small town about four hours’ drive away. Little did they know they were in for the trip of a lifetime - literally…
It was the 7th of July and deep in the hurricane season in Central America. Samuel was awakened by the loud banging on the door of room 777 of the San José Marriott. He rolled over and looked across him to see Deji and Daniel still lying in bed. He glanced at his wrist watch. 7.07am. He gazed into space as he tried to snooze and seemed deep in thought until he was snapped out of his slumber by the persistent knocking. He lazily dragged himself out of bed, walked to the door and looked through the peep hole. It was Dami. She looks so different from when she’s in her work clothes, he thought. She was a bit of a workaholic so he rarely saw her dressing casually. He couldn’t help but feel that her business wear didn’t do her enough justice. She had an unassuming, subtle beauty which could have easily been lost on a less observant guy. As he reached for the door knob to open it, he realised that he probably didn’t want her to see him in his current state, having just crawled out of bed . “Who is it?” he called out. “It’s Dami. Are you still in bed? We’ve been ringing your room for the past hour – aren’t you guys coming anymore?”
Daniel were the designated drivers, though Dami had only gotten the chance to drive after throwing a tantrum about the guys not wanting the girls to drive. That was just sexist, she thought. “We’re not trying to be sexist,” Samuel said as he climbed into the passenger seat, as if he had read her thoughts in that moment, “you only got your license six months ago so you should be very careful with driving on the left side of the road and on a different continent.” They made their first stop at the petrol station to fill up their tanks before embarking on their road trip. After pulling in, Dami parked the car by the gas pump and switched off the engine. “Sam, can you do the honours?” she asked turning to him on her right. He looked right back at her wordlessly, almost in silent frustration, then he turned his head and glanced at Deji and Afua in the back seat with their hands clutched together. Heaving a sigh of acceptance, he got out of the car to speak to the attendants filling their tanks up. Being the only Spanish speaker in the group, he’d spent the past three days doing everything for the group. He was just about fed up of this but figured he’d just bear his cross for the final day. After paying the clerk, he pocketed the change and took a look at the receipt as he got back into the jeep. $77.70. He thought there was something peculiar about the bill but dismissed the thought almost as quickly as it had come. “What’s wrong?” Dami asked him as she started up the car, “You look puzzled.”
“Of course we’re coming, we’re almost ready”, came the easy lie.
“It’s nothing. I thought I noticed something but it was nothing.”
“Fine,” Dami paused, “just hurry up okay. We were meant to leave at 7am so we’re already late as it is!”
Before long they were on their way out of San José city centre but it didn’t take much longer for the two cars to get separated. Daniel had taken the lead but he missed the exit clearly signed posted to Quepos. Luckily, Dami spotted it just in the nick of time and turned off the dual carriageway. After waiting in vain for a few minutes for the Honda to find them, they realised they had no choice but to go it alone. Their phones were no longer in the coverage area so they had no option but to hope they’d meet their friends at their final destination. As they settled into the road trip, the guys recounted the events of the night before.
As Dami walked away, she had to restrain herself from going back and beating the door down with a rain of insults – these guys clearly had no concept of time! While Dami and the other girls waited in the lobby, Samuel got the other guys up. After briefly contemplating sleeping in and spoiling the party, they eventually got their act together and hurriedly joined the ladies at 7.30. The valet attendants brought their rental cars round and they were ready to leave. While Afua, Dami, Deji and Samuel poured into the black 4X4 Prado Landcruiser, Daniel and twin sisters Brenda and Belinda got into the silver Honda Accord. Dami and 22 OUTFLOW JANUARY 2008
“Samuel insisted on checking out the clubs in Costa Rica,” Deji chuckled, “so we went to La Rhumba while you ladies were in the spa.”
BY BAMBO AKANI “And how was it?” Dami asked. “It was fine,” Samuel responded swiftly. “Just fine?” Deji shot back, “Samuel just left Daniel and I standing there while he went to chat up the Costa Rican ladies in Spanish!” “So how did that go?” Afua asked giggling. “Well,” Deji continued, “it was quite funny because he got chatting to and dancing with this J-Lo look-alike. Everything seemed fine until she whispered something in his ear. Before we knew it he grabbed us and we were heading for the exit!” “What did she say to you?” Dami asked, glancing in Samuel’s direction while keeping one eye on the road. “She gave me her phone number and then asked if I wanted to go home with her!” “Okay, so is that why you had to leave the club altogether?” “Well, if you knew where I was coming from, you’d understand why we had to leave immediately!” In the past, Samuel had had what he’d call a woman problem. Born to an estranged Equato-Guinean father and raised by his Nigerian mother in London, he had, as a teenager wooed many an unsuspecting girl with his Afro-Latin charm. When he became a Christian, he couldn’t understand why he persisted in many of his old habits so now he made it a point to flee from temptation whenever possible. As the friends continued on their journey, the road started to narrow and get windier. Also, they hardly realised the slow but steady ascent they were making from ground level. For a while they were bordered by hilly terrain and rocks on either side of the road so they were unable to see their true altitude. When they turned a corner near the peak of their ascent, the terrain suddenly opened up and on either side all they could see for miles were deep valleys on either side of them. There was no hard shoulder, a single narrow lane in either direction and barely a barbed wire fence on either side that would surely not keep anyone who wanted to from making a precipitous dive off the side of the mountain! The mood in the car which had been joyful and playful only moments ago quickly turned to one of sobriety and deep thought. You could hear a pin drop. Their
number at the hotel is 777. I have a feeling someone is trying to tell us something.” “Come on,” Dami blurted out, “don’t be absurd! Soon you’ll be telling me that since there are seven of us on this trip, that’s a sign too, or that our flight number to Costa Rica was 777!” “Actually,” Afua responded pensively, “Our plane was a Boeing 777 from Miami. I did think it was unusual to have such a big plane on a short haul flight...”
astonishment at the magnificence of the scenery lasted only moments before it was replaced by acute fear and anxiety in the realisation that their lives were on a knifeedge, suspended in mid-air, on a remote mountain road a long way from home. It was like the moment the wily coyote confidently chasing the road runner across the mountains suddenly realised that he could indeed not run on thin air! Samuel saw that Dami was clearly shaken so he broke the brief silence. “Dami, look straight ahead. Whatever you do, don’t look left or right!” “Yes,” Deji agreed, “keep your eyes fixed firmly on the road!” Dami however was fretting. “Can we stop or turn back? Can one of you guys take the wheel? I’m feeling a bit dizzy, I’m not sure I can do this!” “What?!” Afua panicked, “you want us to stop in mid-air?” “Calm down,” Samuel cut in, “Dami, it’s a bit late for that now. We can’t stop here and the road is too narrow to do a U-turn. Don’t worry; we’ll get through this...” “Next time,” Deji muttered under his breath, “You’ll listen to us when we tell you not to drive.” That’s if there will be a next time, Dami thought. “Chill out, Deji,” Samuel said, “now is not the time for I told you so’s” As they continued their passage through the narrow mountain roads, Samuel couldn’t help but spare a thought for their friends who were most certain to encounter the same cliff-hanging roads not far behind them. Their descent from the hills was equally as slow as the ascent, but soon enough they reached the foot of the mountains on the other side. They would soon arrive at their destination. The first notice of the distance to Quepos clearly signposted caught Samuel’s eye. QUEPOS – 77 KILOMETROS. “That’s interesting.” He was thinking out loud now, “I’ve been seeing the numbers 7 or 77 all day long and I’m beginning to wonder if it is more than just a coincidence.” “What do you mean?” Deji asked. “Well, when we filled the tanks up before leaving we paid $77.70 and I just saw a sign saying 77km to Quepos. Oh, and our room
Quepos, Afua’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Isn’t there something in the Bible about forgiving your brother 77 times?” Samuel turned to look back at her, paused for a minute, and then responded. “Isn’t that 70 times 7 – so 490 times?” “It doesn’t matter which one it is,” she continued, “I think we’re all meant to forgive the grudges we hold before the proverbial sun goes down on our anger. So what do you guys need to confess?”
“Not that I’m superstitious,” Deji added, “but today is the 7th of July 2007. That’s another triple seven right there. Maybe it does mean something. What’s the significance of today’s date?”
“I don’t know,” Dami started, “perhaps I need to forgive an ex-boyfriend?”
“Well,” Dami said, “it’s the two year anniversary of the London bombings, but I can’t see how that’s relevant here. We’re thousands of miles from London and I doubt anything here is going to be a target for terrorists.”
“Hold up guys,” Samuel interrupted, “Even if it is 77 times, there is one seven missing. Besides, I think it’s got to be something more specific than that!”
There was a brief silence as they all digested the deluge of information, but Afua soon broke the silence. “I had a dream last night. The details were a bit fuzzy, but there was a man whose face I couldn’t see. He said that something would happen today at 7pm unless we solved the riddle. Obviously it didn’t make any sense to me then but now it is beginning to make perfect sense!” “Okay,” Dami said, “now you’re starting to freak me out!” “Afua, assuming that you and Sam are correct,” Deji started in the logical fashion that only he could, “we have a riddle to solve which somehow relates to the number 777 and we have until 7pm today to solve it or else something bad is going to happen?”
“Where do I start,” Deji added, “there is a long list of people I have issues with!”
After a long pause, the Landcruiser began to approach a truck in the distance. As they got closer, the small poster sign at the back of the heavy duty vehicle came into focus. It was in English. THE BIBLE HAS THE ANSWERS. As they overtook the long vehicle, Deji and Samuel exclaimed almost simultaneously, “What if it’s a verse in the Bible?” “So you guys think its verse 7 of chapter 7 of a book in the Bible?” Dami tried to contain her excitement as she spoke. If this was the X-Files, she’d definitely be Scully! “What’s the 7th book in the Bible?” Afua counted with her fingers for a few seconds before responding. “It’s got to be Joshua. No wait...actually it’s Judges, I’m pretty certain about that.”
The mood in the car which had been joyful and playful only moments ago quickly turned to one of sobriety and deep thought. You could hear a pin drop. “It would appear so,” Samuel responded, “I’ve known Afua for a while and her dreams are known to come to pass...” “Really,” Dami retorted sarcastically, “what about the dream of the plane crash she had while we were on the plane to Miami? Thank goodness that one didn’t come true!” As much as Deji didn’t want to believe something he thought to be so farfetched, he knew that his girlfriend was a dreamer – ignore her visions at your peril. He glanced at his watch. 11.07am. “Look guys, let’s not squabble about this. We still have nearly eight hours until 7pm. By that time we’ll be home and dry, back in our hotel rooms and out of harm’s way. Besides, that should be enough time for us to figure out this riddle.” They continued in relative silence as they racked their brains as to what these cryptic clues could mean. As they approached
“Okay, so who has a Bible?” asked Deji, “What does Judges 7:7 say?” “Come on, who takes a Bible on a road trip?” Dami responded, “We’ll have to find one when we get to the beach.” They could now see Quepos in the distance. Dami put her foot on the gas to get there as quickly as possible. They were very close to finding the answers they were looking for. They could just feel it. Will our four friends find what they are looking for in Quepos? Will they be reunited with their friends? Will they make it back safely across the death defying mountain roads to San José? And will they solve the riddle before 7pm? Find out all this and more, next month, in the conclusion to The Road to Quepos!
The Voice of One
THE VOICE OF ONE … (Matt 3.3) BY JOHN ZACH
n the last day of his life, Silas Goodman armed himself with a revolver, put on his best suit and was driven in his late model Bentley from his home in Hampstead to Paddington Station to catch the last First Great Western Train to Cornwall.
and collapsed back on it without looking beneath him.
For the duration of the journey, he remained pensive and displayed none of the exuberance for which he was well known. Alfred the chauffeur would’ve engaged him in conversation but Silas’ brooding expression discouraged him from venturing beyond a polite “good evening”.
The other passenger’s expression fluctuated from initial embarrassment to surprise as he glanced at the ticket in his own hand.
At the station, Silas disembarked from the sumptuous leather of his Bentley without acknowledging Alfred’s timid ‘farewell’ and strode towards the platform where the Intercity 125 train was waiting. He was familiar with the service and was looking forward to a hot meal, the Evening Standard and a short nap. As was his custom he always reserved two seats facing each other so that he didn’t have to suffer the discomfort of trying to avoid eye contact with another passenger. Silas was a private man and had no intention of reversing that nature. Onboard the train he located his reserved seats in the first class carriage and without bothering to remove the reserve tags took off his cashmere overcoat, tossed it unto one of the seats and sat down on the other. As there were still at least eight minutes to go before departure Silas ordered a large brandy and then buried his face behind the complimentary copy of the Evening Standard. Just before the whistle sounded for departure, Silas concentration was disrupted by the pounding of running footsteps accompanied by heavy breathing and looked up from behind his tabloid at the dark skinned, thick set man in the tight fitting leather coat who had paused beside him. For the next minute or so the man hovered over Silas breathing heavily like a heavy duty industrial compressor, much to Silas’ irritation and when he eventually caught his breath, he staggered to the opposite seat 24 OUTFLOW JANUARY 2008 OUTFLOW OCTOBER 2007
“Do you mind?” intervened Silas going red in the face as he half rose from his seat “that seat is reserved and besides you happen to be sitting on my overcoat!”
“You must be mistaken sir” replied the other passenger waving his ticket at Silas “but this ticket confirms that it’s my seat – would you like to see?” Silas didn’t feel that he needed to see the ticket but glanced at it nonetheless hoping to dispose of the impolite intruder as quickly as possible. To his surprise, the ticket in the man’s hand confirmed that the seat reservation matched the seat number across the small table. Something was wrong – terribly wrong! He was so sure that his PA had booked those seats. “Satisfied Sir?” asked the other passenger, making no effort to get up. “For now” muttered Silas sitting down again “but you’re still sitting on my coat!” As the passenger got up clumsily from his seat and extracted the overcoat from beneath him, something fell out of it and clattered to the floor beneath the table. The man handed the coat to Silas before bending down to pick up the fallen object which he examined in his hand before also handing it to Silas. Silas’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets and his jaw collapsed as he saw the revolver. In his haste he’d completely forgotten to transfer it to one of his jacket’s pockets. “That solves nothing sir” said the dark skinned man shaking his head sadly. “I can explain” answered Silas “It’s not what you think and I’m certainly no crook”. “I know that Mr Goodman” replied the other passenger “but is she really worth it?”
Silas was about to answer but then paused, mouth wide open, to consider what had just been said. He was being confronted with information that the other man had no way of knowing. How did this stranger know his name? More alarmingly how did the stranger know what he proposed to do with the revolver? “If you shoot her and then shoot yourself you would’ve lost both ways” said the man in a firm but quiet voice “your wife chose to take a lover because you neglected her and buried yourself beneath a pile of work. If you must know she still loves you but doesn’t believe that you still love her. She has recently repented of her affair and has been crying out to Heaven for forgiveness”. “What must I do then?” asked Silas relegating his curiosity to the recesses of his mind in his determination to receive wise counsel. “Forgive her and accept that your actions were largely to blame for her infidelity” said the man calmly “also pledge to spend more time with her. Repent also of your desire to murder her and commit suicide. It solves nothing”. The man rose from his seat as he finished speaking and smiled down at a stunned Silas before walking away down the aisle. Silas snapped out of his stupor, stuffed the revolver in his jacket pocket and rose to his feet determined to track down the stranger. He ran down the aisle in the direction the man had gone and spent the next hour searching all the carriages and toilets on the train before returning to his seat in frustration. Before sitting down he reached for the reserve tags on both seats and compared them with the details on his ticket. To his confusion the details confirmed that both seats had been reserved for him. As Silas absorbed all that had happened a smile creased his face for the first time that evening. Who said that angels had to come dressed in white robes? I am the voice of one…
Your Health And You
Healthy Habits in the New Year BY DR. TOKE OKE
Well, 2007 is now over and welcome 2008! It’s time for those New Year resolutions that we make and promise ourselves that we won’t break. As we think about these new promises we make to ourselves, it would be a great idea to consider our health. A lot of emphasis is being put on preventive medicine and we have been making a point to discuss those things that help to keep us healthy. Although by no means an exhaustive list, here are a few “new year resolutions’ I believe we should all make. 1. I will eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. 2. I will spend 30 minutes every day on a significant physical activity. Eg brisk walk, running, going to the gym… 3. I will see my dentist twice a year. Stop taking your teeth for granted…. 4. I will smile or laugh every day. Depression is fast becoming a social ill... 5. I will protect my body from the weather. Keep warm during winter…and who said dark skinned people don’t need sunscreen?! 6. I will sleep at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Resting your body properly allows it to replenish itself and fight off every day assaults. 7. I will go for routine checks with my doctor when needed. We all get invited for routine checks by our GPs-don’t ignore them. 8. I will make time out to relax and take up leisure activities to help unwind from daily pressures. 9. I will make sure all my children’s vaccines are up to date. 10. Every day, I will thank GOD that I am alive. I will thank Him for Jesus, by whose stripes I am made whole. I will ask that as I make the effort to live healthy and look after the body I have been given, He will protect and keep every cell in my body in the working order in which He created them. Amen.
Happy New Year!! Correction from last issue. BMI Weight(kg)/Height2(cm)
A Look At
BY ADANNA BANKOLE lowly but surely, I have developed an irritation for propaganda asking me to boycott books, films or theatre productions considered to carry messages contrary to mainstream Christian thought.
I must admit that I put up with, and even signed up to petitions against Jerry Springer: The Opera a couple of years ago, and have previously been sympathetic to calls for parents to ban their children from seeing films such as the Harry Potter series. But lately, I have come round to a slightly different school of thought. Call me radical, but I think it is very important to find out why a film or book is deemed unsuitable, as opposed to acquiescing to what is effectively the mentality of the mob. So, in the spirit of research and open-mindedness, off to the cinema I went to see The Golden Compass. The film is based on Northern Lights, the first book in the trilogy His Dark Materials by the British author Philip Pullman. It begins with these words: “There are many universes and many earths, parallel to each other. Worlds like yours, where people’s souls live inside their bodies. And worlds like mine, where they walk beside us, as animal spirits we call daemons. So many worlds, but connecting them all is...dust”. The film centres on the adventures of the protagonist Lyra Belacqua, an orphaned girl living in a fantasy world where the boundaries around lifestyles and even thought are strictly prescribed and governed by a ruling dictatorial council known as the Magisterium.
I am not advocating exposing children to harmful elements, but the world is not full of people who share the same beliefs. When her best friend Roger is abducted to be used in the council’s secret research project, she sets off on a prolonged journey to save him. As can be imagined, her search for him is peppered with obstacles and challenges which she must quickly overcome. It is easy to see why the film attracts controversy. Pullman is a popular atheist (he describes himself variously as a committed materialist and a Church of England atheist), and is sceptical of anything tagged spiritual. Although raised in the Church of England, he considers God to be nothing more than a metaphor or fictional character. He says he is religious but not a believer, and like Richard Dawkins, concludes that those who believe in God are deluded. Anyway, back to the film. I must admit, I did not like it. However, this has to do primarily with my general distaste for fantasy-style movies, as opposed to the contents of its subliminal messages. So, while The Lord of the Rings and Narnia are well-known for having Christian subtexts, it is important to note that I did not like those films either. Though I have not yet read Pullman’s books, reviewers say that 26 OUTFLOW
any anti-Christian messages in them have been edited by the filmmakers. My personal view is that the movie has been made in such a way that its target audience will see its central theme as a battle between free speech or independent thought and the ruling dictatorship. Its statement is more anti-establishment as opposed to anti-Christian. And I consider being anti-Christian and anti-organised religion to be two very different things. Pullman himself seems to allude to this. In an e-mail interview on a film review blog*, he implies that he was tackling the issue of theocracy - the political exercise of religious authority in a totalitarian fashion - as previously embodied in the Soviet Union. He says he is against the belief in a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which results from clinging to the extreme of dogmatic fundamentalism. So, what’s my verdict? While the film is not exactly my cup of tea, I wouldn’t ask others not to see it, or stop my children doing so. The books carry a much more potent message, but I would like to think that I would not stop them reading those either: it would make more sense for them to watch the film and/or the read the books, and have an intelligent conversation about them afterwards. I am of the opinion that to raise children who are sharp, informed, witty and capable of making the right decisions regardless of the situation they find themselves in, shutting them away in a Christian bubble is not the answer. That approach tends to be myopic and narrow-minded, and life works very differently. I am not advocating exposing children to harmful elements, but the world is not full of people who share the same beliefs. The youth must be equipped to interact constructively with others from different backgrounds and belief systems, and must learn the process of discernment and intelligent decision-making, instead of having life choices made for them by right-wing propaganda and church machinery. Besides, if one’s faith cannot withstand subliminal messages in a film, I put it to you that it needs to be re-examined. The true message of Christianity transcends organised religion and ruling establishments; indeed, Jesus had no time for either. While Christianity’s meaning and relevance may not be evident to some, feigning ignorance of the existence of opposing views shuts down opportunities for open and frank discussions. But that’s just my opinion: go see the film and make your own mind up! *http://filmchatblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/philip-pullmanextended-e-mail.html
Esthers Community Page
Happy New Year! It’s a new season, and a new dawn; A time to look forward, a time to plan, but also a time to reflect. Although the bible says “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. 2 Corinthians 5:17, it is sometimes good to reflect on the past in order to better appreciate the goodness of God. One can never stop testifying about the goodness of God because if it had not been for his grace and mercies, we would not be standing and still going strong today. The question though, as we reflect on God’s faithfulness is, if He has been so good to us, what is required of us as we step into a new season? The bible asks this question and provides an answer in Deuteronomy 10: 12-13:”And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Therefore, looking forward to this new season, a key word for the Esthers in the house for this year is to become ‘Empowered’ to do all things. If there is anything God has laid on your heart to do or anything he has specifically asked you to do, then this is the year to do it. He has given you the authority and power to do all things through Christ who will strengthen you. My hope for every woman in the house is that as you become empowered, you will use your God-given gifts/talents/skills to serve God, and it doesn’t matter in what area you use those gifts nor does it have to be anything big or ‘noticeable’. For example, if it is looking after your own children, then do it with the best of your ability. That which seems mundane to you now may simply be the preparation for something monumental. Whatever you do, always imagine that God is on the sideline watching, and applauding. Therefore, serve wholeheartedly. Nothing you do will be considered too small as long as you just put your hands on the plough. And while we serve, let’s plan to have fun as well; remember “all work and no play make Esther a dull girl”. This year the Esther’s diary is jam packed with lots of activities and events and you are bound to find something that you can participate in. If not, then come up with an idea which you can own. Remember - you are empowered to do all things! Have a wonderful Year
Pastor Funke Adeaga ESTHERS DIARY
Monthly Meeting Monthly Meeting Monthly Meeting Spring Retreat Breakfast Meeting (M/M Monthly Meeting Chat Show Monthly Meeting Ladies’ Conference Monthly Meeting Breakfast Meeting (M/M) Monthly Meeting Winter Retreat Christmas Party
3rd January 2008 7th February 2008 6th March 2008 14th to 16th March 2008 5th April 2008 1st May 2008 24th May 2008 3rd July 2008 11th to 13th July 2008 7th August 2008 4th October 2008 6th November 2008 14th to 16th Nov 2008 4th December 2008
Dear Sis B Inordinate Love
Dear Sis B, I think I’m falling in love with my boss. He is a gentleman. He listens to me, compliments me and is always ready to lend a helping hand whenever I’m in financial difficulty. There would have been no problem but for the fact that I’ve been married for three and a half years. I love my husband and would hate to hurt him but what’s happening with my boss is convincing me otherwise. I don’t want to end my marriage. What do you advise? Gloria, Richmond Dear Gloria, My advice? Resign! Resign! Resign! Staying on at this job means you are willing to play with fire which may end your marriage. A Chinese proverb says, ‘he who must not fall, shall not walk in slippery places.’ In the home where adultery is rife, the road becomes slippery and darkness and disaster prevails’ (Jer 23:10-12 paraphrased). Generally speaking, women tend to respect and admire men who have a firm grip on things, and who exhibit that leadership quality. We (women) tend to feel secure around such men, hence getting people like pastors and presidents into a great deal of trouble. If being a good listener also appears on his dossier, such a man will have women eating out of his hand if he is that way inclined. It is obvious that you have allowed this man to occupy most of your thoughts, hence this pull towards him which you call ‘falling in love’. It is not clear from your letter if your feelings are being requited by the object of your affection. If he is the type to take advantage of the situation, you will find yourself neck-deep in trouble and we will need a truck-load of Christians to come and pray you out of the hole you will doubtless fall into. Your boss sounds like a good guy at work....do you know anything else about him? Stop comparing him with your husband as I’m sure that is where this attraction started. It will end up being a fatal attraction where your marriage is concerned if you do not remove yourself from this situation. Thank God you have a husband so start telling the Lord the good qualities you would like to see in him and you’d be surprised how fast God answers such prayers. In addition repent of the lustful thoughts you have indulged in for Jesus said, ‘if we as much as lust after someone in our hearts...the deed is done’ Matt 5:28 It is sin. My prayer is that the Lord will restore and settle you by His Spirit. .
Can’t get over him
Dear Sis B, I am a single parent with two children. My husband & I recently split up because of his womanizing. The problem is that I miss him so much, I cry myself to sleep most nights. He is having a time of his life now and doesn’t even want to hear about me. I am so desperate that I am willing to accept him and his women. I feel like my life cannot go on without him and yet when he sees me he mocks me because he knows how I feel about him. Please tell me something that will strengthen me and help me move on with my life. I am a pretty girl and I do get suitors but I am just so in love with my ex.
see you guys reconciled and your marriage revived, so long as you do what He expects of you. Convert those tears of self-pity into prayer and see what God will do to you and for you. Thank God for your pretty face, however, it’s the beauty inside, how you see yourself, knowing that God loves you and wants the best for you,(Jer 29:11) that’s what really matters and that’s what will make the difference.
Say my name
Debbie, Bromley Dear Debbie, You have been wounded at very close quarters but I want to let you know that there’s nothing so dead that God cannot revive. I could give you testimonies of marriages that broke down completely but God brought them back to life. It did not happen because the betrayed spouse cried and yearned for their ex but because they went to God in prayer and stayed there until something happened. Is anything too hard for the Lord to do? With man it may look hopeless but with God nothing shall be impossible...Luke 1:37 What you want to do is lay this burden down at Jesus’ feet as He says we should and leave it there. As harsh as this may sound, put this womanizer out of your mind for now and make the Lord and His business your focus. Oh I don’t pretend that that is an easy task. Without the Holy Spirit, it will be near impossible to put your ex out of your mind, especially if he’s someone you bump into regularly, but you can learn to fall in love with the Lord all over again. Let Him heal you and make you whole again. Remember He was sent to heal the broken hearted and yours fits the description. Along with a broken heart comes the feeling of rejection which I can tell you is the worst kind of emotional wound one can bear. As you draw closer to the Lord, He will show you how loved you are by Him and your confidence will return. When you say you’re so desperate, you’ll accept him and his women, what you’re saying is you are willing to compromise your standards to suit this man’s sinful lifestyle. That should not be your stance because, you will still be very unhappy. Your real desire is that God will arrest your ex husband. That he would stop his philandering, come back to you and be the God-fearing husband and father that he is meant to be. That’s exactly what you should tell God and believe that He is able to do that and more for you. He’s the One to do the job of changing your husband and putting him right side up. Ephesians 3:20. You say your ex is having a time of his life…not as far as God is concerned he isn’t. Womanizing is another term for adultery and just because you guys have split up, does not mean he’s free to ‘womanize’. Pray for him. That’s a good place to start the healing process. Great rewards await us when we can pray sincerely for one who has hurt us, just like Jesus did when He was on the cross and asked God to forgive those who put Him there. By the way, your life CAN and WILL go on without your ex, but because I know that God hates divorce, so He would rather
Dear Sis B, I got married to the love of my life eight months ago and it has been as blissful as I expected. My husband is just the kindest and coolest gentleman one could ever meet. He dotes on me and treats me like a queen. Two weeks ago, during a very passionate moment, he called me by a name that is not mine. We laughed over it but then it was not a joke any more when he made the same blunder three days later. What makes me very worried now is that he has become very withdrawn for no special reason. The atmosphere is very tense and I don’t want to confront him for fear of turning a bad situation worse. Is he having an affair? Who is this strange woman who now occupies his thoughts? As the days pass, I’m beginning to feel very resentful. After all, if the tables were turned, I would have had to explain whose name I was hung up on all of a sudden. Please tell me what to do. Sharon, Pimlico Dear Sharon, This sort of problem if not handled with wisdom from above, could cause a major breakdown in communication between you and your man. (James 3:13-15) From what you say about him being a gentleman, you need not worry about talking it over with him. First things first though – take it before the Lord. Tell God exactly how the incident has affected you, your feelings of resentment and your fear of confrontation. Then ask Him for the wisdom and grace to broach the subject with you husband. Talk to your husband without any malice or anger. You see, God must be speaking to him too. You’ll be surprised to see how all that tension you talk about will disappear.
To preach or not to preach
Dear Sis B, I am a new Christian – about six months old. I’ve heard people talk about evangelizing at the workplace, but I’ve never had the courage to initiate it workplace. I
have also heard about people putting non-Christians off by the way they try to evangelize. I feel that I need to make up for lost time in saving souls also I am eager to let other people enjoy the peace of mind I am enjoying to say the least, but I do not want to make the mistakes some people have made. Please could you kindly advice me on how to go about spreading the good news without going about it the wrong way. Mosun, Peckham. Dear Mosun, I don’t believe it is too late to welcome you to the family of God. You will agree with me that knowing Jesus is the best thing in the world! The bible says he who wins souls is wise (Proverbs. 11:30). Which is why I understand your enthusiasm to share this ‘pearl of great price’ with everyone you know. It has been said that the best billboard for the Kingdom of God is the life of a born-again believer. Your godly lifestyle should stir the curiosity of your colleagues enough to get them questioning you on why you’re so different or what has changed about you and that will be the best time to share the gospel of truth with them. Another effective way to point them in the direction of Jesus is to share your story with them how far you’ve come and what God means to you. The most important thing, though, is that you must always remember to pray for their salvation. Your bit is to sow the seed of God’s word in them without being a bible-basher and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. The bible tells us to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16). In other words, we should be discerning enough to know when and when not to speak, what and what not to say. Knowing the word of God is therefore of great importance because, the word of truth shared with anyone is what makes them free…eventually. Finally I must say to you that you should be yourself. Be bold (not aggressive) and confident (not arrogant). If you make mistakes as everyone else, don’t dwell too much on them. Learn from them and move on.
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The purpose of this work is to give in ONE volume the helps a student of the Bible needs from many books—Bible Commentaries, Dictionary, complete Concordance, Dispensational Truth, Topical Text Book, Bible Synthesis, Doctrines, Prophetic Studies, and others. Special features include nearly 9,000 informative chapter and verse headings; 500,000 crossreferences throughout 35,000 notes and comments; a summary of interesting facts at the end of each Book; and lists of all the commands, prophecies, promises, prayers, questions, sins, apostasies, complaints, failures, plagues, judgments, healings, wars, miracles, assassinations, kings, queens, dukes, lakes, rivers, farm products, valleys, mountains, cities, empires, nations, etc.
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Authentic Music 30 Favourite Hymns - Vol 7 Released: January 2006
The 30 Favourite Hymns series closes with this 7th double album of carefully selected hymns and songs. Like the beautiful covers featuring century old stained glass windows, this series reflects the worship of the church through past centuries to modern day. It has captured simple heartfelt worship with the help of the Scottish Festival Choir, the Chester Cathedral Choir and the congregation of St Margarets Prestwich. Worship with us as you enjoy 30 more classic songs and hymns which have given praise and inspiration to millions of people world wide.
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Starring the voices of: Stephen Berkoff, Cannon and Ball, Joe Pasquale, David and Jessica Oyelowo, Russell Boulter, Graham Cole, Alexa Tewkesbury and the Riding Lights Theatre Company and featuring Sir Cliff Richard. This fantastic new cartoon tells the story of three little quails. Their action packed and hilarious adventures as they race against time to save the new King will delight children and adults of all ages, the story of Christmas told in a new and imaginative way. The heart behind ‘It’s a Boy’ is to deliver 26’000 copies of the DVD to every primary school in the UK, with the aim to bring to true meaning of Christmas back into school and children.
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