In Pursuit of God, Discovering Purpose, Maximising Potential and Impacting Lives
The Fragrance of Love Celebration of Life Workersâ€™ Breakfast Kidz Korner
LOVE IN ACTION JeSUS HOUSE HEALTHCARE TEAM VISIT TO KENYA
In Pursuit of God, Discovering Purpose, Maximising Potential and Impacting Lives
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NewsReel Stories @ Jesus House Kidz Korner Marriage Corner Thinking Out Loud Idea Bank Your Health & You Outflow Resource
The Fragrance of Love
With definitions of love in abundance, can we truly claim to express and have love for others if we don’t fully appreciate what exactly love is? Joseph Amaeze Onwuchekwa investigates.
The Force Behind Faith
The Bible is filled with references to the power of faith, but is there something even stronger? Something without which faith has no power of its own? Akin Akinyemi offers an interesting answer.
KM09: Mission to Kenya
Jesus House’s Health and Social Care Ministry embarked on a two-week journey to Korochogo, the second largest slum in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, to provide much-needed healthcare in one of the poorest regions of the world. Shade Olutobi reports from Nairobi.
By the world’s standards, the value of money is dependent on what it can purchase for the spender. Heaven’s principles are somewhat different, as Chibundu Onuzo explains. Jesus House for all the Nations 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.
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“Love is in the air, everywhere I look around. Love is in the air, every sight and every sound...” It isn’t just the occurrence of Valentine’s Day that’s left Jesus House awash with warm feelings of love and affection; from the start February was designated of ‘Love In Action’ month, with members of the congregation encouraged to make a life of love a priority in this and future years. The highest priority in the expression of this ‘Love in Action’ was the pursuit of a deeper and more genuine relationship with God, devoting time, energy and passion to our communion with our Creator. In addition to this relationship - better yet, upon the foundation of this relationship - we were also encouraged to extend this love to those in our immediate and global communities. There aren’t many greater examples of this that we could find than the Health and Social Care Team’s Medical Mission to Kenya, which is our cover feature in this edition. Please take the time to read Shade Olutobi’s detailed report, and enjoy her stunning photography, and determine in your heart to make a difference in the lives of those whose paths are destined to cross yours. As you can see, this edition is awash - I’m sure I’ve used that word already - with articles about love: Love as the backbone of faith; love in heavenly economics, love for the lost, falling in love with the Father... We’ve even adopted a red look and feel wherever we felt we could get away with it, such is our commitment to love. Seriously, though, I’m not going to bore you with my own take on love; the team and our contributors have done a fantastic job of that. Instead I’m going to leave you with, what for me was a thought-provoking and insightful expanded interpretive translation of First Corinthians 13:4-8. Next month, we’ll probably be talking about love again, though not as overtly, because isn’t that what Christianity is about? Next month will also hopefully see the return of In The Crucible, which will be returning to its rightful place (this page). Till then, I leave you with an excerpt from Sparkling Gems from the Greek: 365 Greek Word Studies for Every Day of the Year, by Rick Renner. God bless you. “Love patiently and passionately bears with others for as long as patience is needed; Love doesn’t demand others to be like itself; rather, it is so focused on the needs of others that it bends over backwards to become what others need it to be; Love is not ambitious, self-centred, or so consumed with itself that it never thinks of the needs or desires that others possess; Love doesn’t go around talking about itself all the time, constantly exaggerating and embellishing the facts to make it look more important in the sight of others; Love does not behave in a prideful, arrogant, haughty, superior, snooty, snobbish, or clannish manner; Love is not rude or discourteous – it is not careless or thoughtless, nor does it carry on in a fashion that would be considered insensitive to others; Love does not manipulate situations or scheme and devise methods that will twist situations to its own advantage; Love does not deliberately engage in actions or speak words that are so sharp, they cause an ugly or violent response; Love does not deliberately keep records of wrongs or past mistakes; Love does not feel overjoyed when it sees an injustice done to someone else, but is elated, thrilled, ecstatic, and overjoyed with the truth; Love protects, shields, guards, covers, conceals, and safeguards people from exposure; Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation; Love always expects and anticipates the best in others and the best for others; Love never quits, never surrenders, and never gives up; Love never disappoints, never fails, and never lets anyone down.” ‘Lanre Iroche
Contributors Abiola Obileye Edel Meremikwu Wole Olufon Hannah Abu Ayomiposi Obileye Beatriz Skau Akin Akinyemi Chibundu Onuzo Tinuke Akinbulumo Nadia Osho-Williams Gerard Bakana Bimbo Alonge Dilichi Lawal Kunle Oyetayo Dr Toke Oke Tosin Ajanaku
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Pastor Agu Irukwu
Pastor Shola Adeaga
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Archbishop: An ethical economy is built on ethical people If the world wants an ethical economy, it must build ethical people. That was the message from the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of a three-day conference at Trinity Church on Wall Street recently. Dr Rowan Williams asserted that the question of how to build an ethical economy could not be separated from the question of what kind of people we want to be. “Moving through the question of how we define ‘economy’ and ‘ethical,’ we find that we are actually discussing what we mean by building persons at the end of the day. Which implies that a critique of economics is always also a cultural critique,” said Dr Williams. “What sort of persons are needed to make economies work well and constructively is a question that leads to what sort of persons we think ourselves to be and want to be - and that’s an important warning against simply offloading blame onto the places where it seems to sit most easily.” He said: “The challenge for any believer, in some small measure, can also reflect that selfless outpouring that we may be trustworthy and trust in turn neighbour and stranger.” The conference, hosted by the Trinity Institute, brought together prominent theologians to explore the concept of an ethical economy and the link between theology and finance. Also addressing the conference was Professor Kathryn Tanner of the University of Chicago Divinity School. She said the goals of individuals in a free market system did not have to be selfish or greedy ones. “Self-interested action becomes equivalent to selfishness only if the only thing one cares about is oneself; but human beings typically pursue, often in part for moral reasons, goals that include the wellbeing of others - the wellbeing at least of the family and friends they love-and the market in that case becomes a way of achieving those ends,” she said. Cambridge professor Sir Partha Dasgupta told the Christian that modern day economics had become “strangely detached from the environmental sciences”. Economists, he said, tended to view nature as nothing more than a “backdrop from which resources and services could be drawn 6 OUTFLOW
in isolation”. “In the quantitative models that appear in leading economics journals and textbooks, nature is taken to be a fixed, indestructible factor of production. The problem with the assumption is that it is wrong,” he
Relationship summit encourages single believers to maintain purity A 23-year-old minister and social entrepreneur is calling on other young Christians to maintain their sexual purity. Michael Kosmas wants young Christians to enjoy their lives but also maintain their sexual purity whether they are single or in a relationship. That is the theme of a summit he is hosting in south east London recently. Kosmos, who was ordained in 2006, has vowed to remain celibate in honour of God until he marries and hopes other young Christians will do the same. He said the church had to support young Christians in maintaining their purity. “We live in a sex saturated society and it is so easy for believers to be swept along the tide that says that we need to be in a sexual relationship in order to be fulfilled and to be seen to be with it,” he said. “Single Christians, no matter what their rela-
said. “Nature consists of degradable resources … [which] are capital assets that are self-regenerative, but suffer from depletion or deterioration when they are over-used.” http://www.christiantoday.co.uk tionship status, need support in this area of their lives.” The summit will feature live performances from leading gospel artists including Rachel Kerr, a panel discussion featuring single Christians Adelaide McKenzie and Seth Pinnock, husband and wife rap duo Femi and Roucheon Iloyi and Pastors Tony and Sheree Clarke. Kosmos said sex and relationships was a major concern among the young Christians he works with. “Young Christians talk with me all the time about this subject, talk about the struggles that they face and the kind of support that they need, which is almost always the chance to share their experiences to someone who will understand them, correct them if need be, but be nonjudgemental in the process.” He continued, “Concerns about this subject are not confined to young people – it impacts all Christians, that’s why I hope this event will attract people of all ages so that we can come together, share and encourage each other to live out our faith in a way that honours God in all areas of our lives.” http://www.christiantoday.co.uk
news UK scrapes out of recession but growth figure disappoints City
Beckham: A History of tatoos
Britain’s economy finally clawed its way out of its deepest recession since the 1930s in the fourth quarter of 2009, but it only managed to expand by a much weaker-thanexpected 0.1%. The keenly awaited figure compared with the average City forecast of 0.4% expansion. It brings to an end six consecutive quarters of contraction, which saw the economy shrink by about 6%, or 10% compared with where it would now have been had the slump not occurred. A Treasury spokesman insisted Chancellor Alistair Darling’s predictions of a return to growth by the turn of the year had been vindicated by the figures. “What this estimate makes clear is that the government is right to be confident but cautious about the prospects for the economy and that it is right that we keep supporting the economy.” Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: “After this great recession, any signs of growth are welcome. But these very weak growth figures show that Gordon Brown’s government left us badly prepared for the recession and badly prepared for the recovery. “We urgently need a new model of economic growth that includes a credible deficit reduction plan that keeps mortgage rates low, creates jobs and doesn’t choke off recovery.” TUC general secretary Brendan Barber agreed, adding: “These figures show just how fragile the economy is. With the threat of a double-dip recession looming large, it would be madness to cut public spending now. “No sectors of the economy are fully recovered and areas such as construction are still really struggling.”
Without providing conclusive evidence of the former England captain’s religious beliefs, the unveiling of David Beckham’s latest tattoo drew attention to the symbolism behind his body art. His latest piece of needle work, a depiction of Jesus sitting on a cross, on his lower right abdomen, received its first public airing during AC Milan’s 3-0 win over Juventus on Some analysts think the economy has only returned to growth at all because of the extraordinary support from the Bank of England as well as the government allowing the budget deficit to expand hugely. If that support is removed too early, some argue, the economy could struggle to grow strongly. Most analysts are only expecting the economy to grow by around 1% this year,
Hope for Haiti By Edel Meremikwu
Disaster Bodies have been piled along the rubble-strewn streets of Port-auPrince, the capital city of Haiti, as more than 100,000 people have been confirmed dead following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the country at 16.53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. The quake destroyed a significant number of residential and commercial buildings, including the headquarters of the UN Mission and the parliament buildings.
10th January, and joins a large winged cross on the back of his neck, an angel on his right arm with the motto “In the Face of Adversity”, and a large Chinese motif running down his left rib-cage that translates as: “Death and life have determined appointments. Riches and honour depend upon heaven.” On Beckham’s left arm is the Hebrew text of Proverbs 2.1: “My son, do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart”, a partner piece to another Hebrew saying scrawled on his arm that reads: “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.” (Songs of Solomon 6.3) Beckham first got the body art bug when he became a dad in 1999. To commemorate first son Brooklyn’s birth, the then Manchester United star had his son’s name written in gothic script across his lower back. He followed this up with a guardian angel a bit further up his back, before opting to have his wife Victoria’s name tattooed in Hindi on his left arm. He took a break from tattoos for a couple of years, before having the number 7 – his shirt number for Man United and England – emblazoned on his right forearm in 2002, adding the Latin-inspired double, “Perfectio In Spiritu”, on his right arm, and “Ut Amem Et Foveam” on his left. The former means “Spiritual Perfection” and the latter “So That I Love and Cherish”. http://www.mirror.co.uk compared with its long-run annual average of 2.5%. James Knightley, economist at ING financial markets admits that “Today’s fourthquarter GDP numbers have confirmed that the UK has finally exited recession – but barely. http://www.guardian.co.uk
There is still hope Amidst the chaos and despair surrounding this horrific event, dramatic stories of survival continue to emerge. A partnership of local and international fire fighters pulled two-year-old Mia from the rubble where she had been trapped for three days after the kindergarten she attended totally collapsed, and people have been rescued from collapsed buildings in the weeks following the earthquake, with survivors including a seven-year-old girl pulled alive from the ruins of a supermarket. Governments and citizens of many developed countries across the globe have joined in the effort to help the devastated country recover from what appears to be the first major international crisis of the decade. News reports show that the relief effort is helping, although the amount of supplies getting through is still minimal due to the port and roads suffering large scale destruction from the quake. Haiti Appeal As Christians, and people who care about the world around us, we need to stand with Haiti, in prayer and by any means of support we can provide. So far Jesus House has raised over £20,000 for the relief effort. Let us continue to be the hands and feet of God on earth, praying for His intervention and offering financial assistance to help those affected by the quake get back on their feet. To donate to the Haiti Appeal visit: www.jesushouse.org.uk/story/haiti-disaster-appeal
stories @ jesus house
Appreciating our elderly at Christmas time Living up to its reputation as one of Jesus House’s core community outreach vehicles, Christmas 2009’s instalment of the annual Celebration of Life event was a resounding success. Organized as always by Abigail’s Court, the event – themed “Appreciating Our Elderly” – started promptly at 3pm on Saturday, 19th December 2009, with the guests being met by the greeters as soon as they disembarked from their vehicles. The event was compèred by Councillor Afolasade Bright, deputy speaker of the Hackney Council. In her introduction, she endorsed Jesus House as a church that seeks to actively engage its community. The worship centre was decorated with vibrant red and yellow colours toned with white. The balloons were intricately woven together to create a stunning effect, elegant Christmas decorations adorned the walls and tables, wreaths were placed on the door handles, whilst the beautifully arranged flowers released sweet fragrance. Tables were named after the residential homes, which created a familiar environment for the elderly residents. In addition to approximately 400 residents from various homes within the Barnet & Brent Boroughs, the event was attended by dignitaries such as his worshipful Mayor and Mayoress of Brent, Jim and Mary O’Sullivan, Elder Mackay Jaja, Pastors David & Bolanle Ojeh, Pastor Vera Omonedo, Reverend Yemi Adedeji, Pastors Ken & Rachel Sakutu, Pastor Nick Chanda and Pastor Mark Menda. The hostesses from Abigail’s court, headed by Stella Jackson-Obot, gracefully turned out in their red and black outfits festooned with red rosettes and provided an excellent service throughout. Pastor Susan Jaja, formerly of Jesus House, and now pastor of The Shepherd’s House Church, warmly welcomed all the residents and encouraged them to enjoy themselves as the event was put together in their honour. She went on to give a short exhortation about the love of Christ and the benefits derived from relationship with Him. Afterwards, she made an altar call, to which some of the residents responded and received their salvation. A rich mix of praise and worship and a number of popular tunes 8 OUTFLOW
played by the talented saxophonist, Femi Olutunbi, was so edifying that in a tick, most of the residents could be seen moving in their seats to the soothing rhythm. Throughout the evening, there was a constant flow of music from the band with their trumpets, cello and drums. The ambience in the sanctuary was uplifting and there were many stunning performances from the various groups. With soft music playing in the background, they were served a
stories @ jesus house scrumptious three course meal and it soon became obvious they were certainly having a great time away from their normal routine Mayor Jim O’Sullivan gave a short speech and expressed how pleased he and his wife were to be present. He commended the church for reaching out to the elderly, who are sometimes unfortunately forgotten, even by their own family members. A spokesperson from the Elders Forum at Stonebridge Park also gave a vote of thanks in acknowledgement of the contribution of the church towards its community. Additional highlights of the event included: • the beautiful 10 year-old Luena singing a melodious rendition of “What Child Is This” & “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” with her angelic voice; • the renowned Kinetica group, who had previously performed at both the Olympics and for Nelson Mandela, giving a spectacular performance of perfectly choreographed dance rou-
tines, in their carnival style outfits, colourful headgear and waistbands; • Pastor Susan’s special dance with one of the residents to “Happy Days”. This galvanized the guests as they went down memory lane and soon got them dancing; • a dancing competition amongst the residents. Two winners emerged and were presented with their gifts by the Mayor and Mayoress; and • a birthday cake for the residents whose birthdays fell in December. This proved to be a pleasant surprise for them as they jointly cut this special cake and took some photographs. The event ended on a soaring note as Pastor Susan led the closing prayers and gave the vote of thanks. Overall, it was unanimously agreed that this was the best Celebration of Life event yet. It was truly remarkable to see the elderly guests reliving their youths for those few, but meaningful, hours. Abiola Obileye
stories @ jesus house
With the word from God stating that 2010 would be a year of New Frontiers, the workers breakfast meeting, the first gathering of the year for the entire volunteer workforce of Jesus House, provided an opportunity for the church leadership to share the church’s direction for the year with those charged with seeing it through. Workers were treated to a sumptuous full English breakfast on the morning of January 16, where they were ushered to the serving points, and served, by the church’s pastors and deacons. Over breakfast, Pastor Agu shared plans for the expansion of the church and ministry, emphasizing the key thrust for the year – a deeper relationship with God. This physical expansion was seen by many as a manifestation of these New Frontiers, with the church’s impending growth signalling a new era for its members and workers. After encouraging them to take proper advantage of the annual February break – taking time off the ‘work’, visiting other churches for a rounded Christian experience – Pastor Agu prayed for the workforce, particularly that God would reward them to a measure consistent with the sacrifices of love they have made to those they served. He prayed that we would remain in the centre of God’s will for the church. Among the many highlights of the morning, the Hospitality Department received 2009’s Award for Excellence, having exceeded expectations in the midst of the challenges of the year.
photography by flashade
New Directions at the Workers’ Breakfast Meeting
Clockwise from above: Deacon Tunde Akinfisoye and Pastors Sola Irukwu and Rachel Sakutu serve breakfast; a worker signs in on arrival; Hospitality HoD, Taiwo Ilemobola, receives gift from Pastor Agu on behalf of her team.
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of accompanying a I had the privilege port personnel on a misgroup of medical and sup ng er 2009. It was an amazi sion to Kenya in Octob ce sen pre s Hi ed d manifest experience in which Go ry eve nt ou rec to possible in so many ways. It is im acef bri t ha ew s is a som aspect of the mission; thi . count of the trip us House Health and Some members of the Jes al d to embark on a medic Social Care Team decide a on ed ort rep Jesus House mission to Kenya after e Th . 08 20 in a, ny and Ke visit to Northern Uganda it vis ce an iss na on a short rec 2008 visit to Kenya was up of six visited Korogogro a ich to Nairobi, in wh second largest slum in cho resettlement area, the Nairobi. of a mission to Kenya, After sharing the vision y s for God to make a wa followed by many prayer etme ny ma n, e to fruitio for the mission to com ising, and planning, the dra fun cs, isti ings about log day M09) took off on Satur Kenya Mission 2009 (K 09, KM on nt we 28 people 17th October. A total of to ing urn ret d an October majority leaving on 17th . 09 20 October London on Friday 30th
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ences New Experi OUTFLOW
ion the Vis ol, o t , o h ho oc ar y sc Korog a prim We met ent to w is e h W day: t, whic e premises. red the projec – Mon u m Day 3 in Mission h in the sa ntres and to e ause th rc s c u g le s h p u in c o d io e a n P of and e var am fi h l e t a t it st day e r in p h s fi t The work a ho e rs of . e o g t b h s in m a t w t e w h ff se m the sta , with some xtremely up out logistics n the g ow es se premis the premise ay, so sortin few yards d we had d f a t o r x d e e y e wh e isit terit e he n ll on t . The team v La Tumani, ns, but wer e f ic n o y a io a cli is d K v l, e o o pr of th r y scho edical order econda rt of the m s a t a , road r pa , triage to offe tration F ashoped . is g e r M ith to rom C egan w unable linic b e students f . Paediatrics c e Th tion day: g. Th mi – Tues transla nic; Dr To pensin li Day 4 tion and dis y and with c he e h a of t ac ough t consult the pharm usiest part dy thr la a b aw in sisted ut to be the ade Busari s o L d e e if n r l. w u t id gir ne and m hild, a . This o Coker of her first c r birth dy was e h t o n y e la y, a deliver la, ore; th her da : Anot s the day bef nd Bisi Aja y y a d s e a n a B e d . d e d r y a a –W rw ndb ,L Day 5 as straightfo o midwives e put on sta turally, a w t t n nd was no to by the Dr Tu as delivered ed after , with ed w attend Tomi Coker d, the baby y to be nam o r ab and D ial grace of G g for the b c in e k s p s a e r th the he mo with t i. m Dr To As t her th he clinic w o r dratio ee-week o und down , anot ld ba n, ha by he vi her a few d ng not eat , who was r mother b rops o en in Dr Tu rough suffer in f th t n After de manag saline solu ree days. g from de in ed to Lydia tion t a fe w h yfin h m lution F . Lydi inutes, the d a vein f rough a sy elix fed o r ac seems in r b to be alled it a ‘G aby was re an intrave ge, and vived nous no wa o d w li b y ’ mo ment ill make a y the salin ne. Day 6 . e soway w – Thu here t a mee rsday here ti : robi N ng with C The team leader MS, b ationa s efore l Park the te and pharm . am to a Day ok a t cists had 7 rip to Schoo – Friday: Nail The te schoo , Huruma, l, arou and a am went ttend nd 73 to the to C ed 0 h their junior clas of them. S to all the eleta Prim ome o cl s f the d students a ar y dren’s asses. Wun rooms to tt se o mi So lunch . wemi e the youn ctors also w he mo h ent g er ch elped Day 8 to ser ildren in – Satu ve the Schoo rday: chill The te schoo ; this time am go we we l prem es bac re abl ises. e to u k to Chele t se all Day 9 the ro a Primar y oms i turne – Sunday: n the d to t he UK Linda Ak pobas in the ah morn ing, w and Kem iB hile D r Son ako rena Ife acho
unde astor T hile P y b led ,w group ’s fellowship e to ed. A u w iv d r s r iu n a Ru e lin Chij n Tom Emmanuel tor Denrele rovided an li o C p and Pas on ther sai ed Bro afterno a local Mas t with attend group wen hurch. The h g u ro r C look th anothe ommunity quick C y r e n v e r Ka d or a nic an unity f -up cli earlier opport w o ll o f t. ran a ot seen marke e team tered but n Th : y is a reg ond d deco o were 0–M ting an wever, Day 1 e people wh in a p e o se do som premises; h int to got to eek. n ded to a n p io w s e t e e is h h in t t M d in am ha n Peoples in fore donated ad, Kao La e t e Th e ro sVisio . We there own th use, Pa in the rating not possible few yards d d-send beca aid the o s la as this w ndar y schoo out to be a G La Tumani, ad just o o d c a e l e hoo h turn of K the s which a, the head ovate the sc i, n a m ren Tu tung oples in sing to oses O ion Pe ni for tor M had been u is V e t th ma he linic a paint La Tu d . p the c ver to Kao e Hea d u e Th d h e is k l. c o o a fin o e p e h v c m S a ol d am The te mises and c ents of the ad been inv und d e h r u e fo np ho e st Missio tation by th ents w bio-fuel. W udents d u t s e n h uce he st a prese ed one of t o prod number of t t c m e u t introd ating a sys hat a tion. re tners t with c ugh our par r their educa o o r f out th ponsorship s needed
Day 11 – Tuesday: A support a clinic run small number of th by the CM e team w This was ent to F at a pri Pastor D son in Kit Tambwe’s enrele’s b o n gela. birthday ir thday, an had fallen evening th d Aunty a few day Ja e team we ne s before, so nt out to celebrate in the both birth Day 12 – days. We pensary in dnesday: The tea m went to Huruma Chandari to cluding d a Disentistry w assist the medical team the ork. The te of drugs, re , ina m donate which ha d d not be pensary. en dispen several boxes sed to th e DisDay 13 – Thursday team, exc : All re ept Rosa lind Njeri maining members week, retu , wh of the rn to the UK, leavin o stayed on for a tremely g nother g Nairobi rateful to God and at lunchti on a won derful hig me exWe bless h. Go love to H d for an awesome opportun is people ity to sho and I tha to be part w God’s nk H of grateful fo such a wonderful te im for the opport unity r the opp a m . E veryone c ortunity to ame back serve. Matthew 25: 40 ‘I tell you the truth, whatever these broth you did fo ers r one of th (New Inte of mine, you did fo e least of r me.’ rnational Version)
n Love In Actio OUTFLOW
STAY CONNECTED Abiola Obileye
Processing Units) RAM (Random Access Memory) and other storage devices both internal and external hold sway. I don’t think anyone of us will ever want to go back to the era of the filing cabinets. There are some similarities with the life of a believer. The moment we accept Christ as our saviour, we respond to His call to come out of darkness into His marvellous light and we are cleansed. Having experienced the joy of salvation, no one would want to go back into the darkness. Therefore, in a simplistic way, just as my mobile phone needed the connection to its charger to be able to function, believers need to be permanently connected to the True Vine for us to be fruitful and for the abundant well of life to constantly flow through us. Need I say more? As you enter new frontiers this 2010 and beyond, please ensure that you Stay Connected at all times!
y mobile phone battery got drained the other day and I did not have its charger with me. This left me completely stranded because I was unable to communicate with anyone. As I thought about the incident, it made me realise my dependency on this tool that enables me to contact people, both far and near. Subsequently, I understood that I could liken my relationship with Christ to this, even though in a far deeper way. It dawned on me that if Christ was the one from whom I derived life, then being disconnected from Him would certainly have disastrous consequences. Jesus Himself makes this so graphic in John 15:1-5. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does (1 Samuel 1:10) bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even Wole Olufon more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in A NEED, A PROMISE MADE, AN AGREEMENT KEPT & A LIFE me, and I will remain in you. No branch CONSECRATED can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit he story of Samuel can be summed up as an exchange with God. unless you remain in me” Hannah had a desperate need for a child so she fervently asked of “I am the vine; you are the branches. God and made a promise/deal with Him, a deal that the child she If a man remains in me and I in him, he asked for would be returned to Him from his birth. Upon receipt of the anwill bear much fruit; apart from me you can swer to her prayer in the birth of Samuel, she kept her side of the agreement do nothing. If anyone by taking him back to the temple to be raised by Eli (the priest) and this led does not remain in me, to a consecrated life for Samuel, which was God’s ultimate purpose for him he is like a branch that is Samuel began his apprenticeship from his childhood. As a boy, God thrown away and withcalled him and began to speak to him. Interestingly, this was at a time when ers” it was unusual to hear directly from God. The Bible says, “In those days the We might someword of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions”. Samuel was not times wonder how we considered too young to be dedicated to God and to work in the temple survived without some so that when it was time for God to speak, he chose to speak to the child of the tools that modSamuel rather than more qualified people (1 Samuel 3). This must have been ern technology affords an enviable position for Samuel but it only happened because of the sacrifice us today. Does anyone and obedience of his mother. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he remember the “dark age” should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6) when filing cabinets How many times have you heard a well known athlete recall that they were the custodians of had taken up their sport from childhood, or a musician claim to have startinformation in most ed practicing his or her music from an early age? Sounds familiar? Tiger companies? NowaWoods, Michael Jackson, Serena and Venus Williams…we could go on listdays, CPUs (Central ing them. If their parents understood the importance of training them from such an early age, then how much more should we as Christian parents realise the importance of an early grounding of our children in the unchanging Word of God Samuel’s story highlights the fact that God indeed is not a respecter of persons, so He can choose to speak or use whomever He pleases at any point in time. Therefore, let us make an effort to encourage our children from this early age to draw closer to our Father in all ways - by praying, giving their One day Mary is in her living room and an Angel comes and speaks offerings respectfully, tithing, fasting (by a certain age), having Godly friends and of course reading their Bible amongst others things. We should hold on to her. God sent me here to tell you that He was the one that said to the promise in Isaiah 54:13 that “all our children shall be taught of the you should marry Joseph and you cannot change your mind about LORD; and great shall be the peace of our children”.
Child Prodigy: A Consecrated Life
Jesus is Born
it. You and Mary are going to have a baby boy.
It is nighttime Joseph and Mary are in their room sleeping and it is very dark. Joseph had a dream that an angel told him that his son will be the Son of God and he will save people from their sins by dying for them on the cross and will go to heaven to meet his father, God. It is a dark night and some stars are in the sky. The three shepherds were guarding their sheep in the night when an angel appeared in the sky and said, “Do not be afraid, I have some good news, a real master has been born.” The wise men were studying the stars and then they found a new star that they had never seen before, they said that it must mean there is someone special in some place. Mary was expecting a baby soon. On the day of the taxes when they went to Bethlehem and there was no place to stay because of the Roman taxes. An 16 OUTFLOW
A-Z Qualities of My Heavenly Father By Ayomiposi Obilieye – Age 10 (Children of Destiny)
A - Almighty & All-Seeing God B - Beautifully Brilliant God C - Comforting & Covenant Keeping God D - Dependable God E - Everlasting God F - Forgiving God G - Great God H - Happy God I - Immaculate, Indescribable & Immortal God J - Joyful & Just God K - Knowledgeable God L - Loving God M - Merciful & Miraculous God N - Nice God O - Omnipotent & Omniscient God P - Providing & Powerful God Q - Quenching God R - Respectful God S - Superb God T - Terrific God U - Undisputed God V - Vibrant & Visionary God W - Wonderfully Wise God X - Xtraordinary God Y - Youthful God Z - Zealous God
old man who had a stable heard that they had no room in town to stay, so he let them stay in his stable for the night. That night baby Jesus was born to save God’s people from sin and to die on the cross for their sins and He will go to heaven to meet God. The Stars are shining and Baby Jesus is crying. Mary and Joseph are looking after the baby. She is dressing baby Jesus with the clothes she had brought for him. It is daytime and the sun is shining and the clouds are out and the sky is blue. The king is sitting on his throne telling the soldiers what they should do. Joseph had another dream that an angel warned him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt because some angry soldiers wanted to kill Jesus. The Roman governor told them to kill all babies and when they find baby Jesus to bring him. It is nighttime and the soldiers are coming to kill baby Jesus but Joseph has gone to Egypt with Mary and baby Jesus. Written By: Hannah Abu 6 years old (Sunbeams)
Questions Beatriz Skau- Age 11 (Joshua Generation)
Sometimes these questions come into our heads: Why do I do this? Why do I do that? If you want your questions to be answered then there’s not much to think about. One of the obvious answers for doing something bad is “everyone is human”. But it isn’t just that. 1) Why did I say bad things to that person? a: (Everyone is human) When you have arguments with someone, you will say anything to hurt that person, only because they hurt you. The Bible talks a lot about “turning the other cheek.” and having self-control, which we always have to think about before those words come out of our mouths. 2) Why can’t I admit I did something wrong? a: (Everyone is human) When you find yourself in a situation where you can either admit that you did something wrong and face the consequences or lie, you usually end up lying. But why is that? Simple. If you know that telling the truth will only bring you more trouble, then why bother. That’s what most people think, but in the end, you will have to suffer triple of what would happen if you did tell the truth. 3) Why do I show off? a: (Everyone is human) You think you’re the most important and that people will always need you. You might be the best football player in the whole country or even the best artist, but why show off and tell people you’re much better than they are? Read Galatians 6:2-5. What does it say about that? Most people who show off are people who love attention or people who cannot lose anything. Why humiliate others? 4) Why do I judge people? a: (Everyone is human.) I’m going to use an example to explain this one. The example is: What do you see? People would say: “A black dot”, but that is judging. This represents a person. When you meet someone you shouldn’t be thinking about the black, but about all the white they have. Their heart may have sin in it, but look at what they’ve done that’s good, don’t judge them. There’s always an answer to why we do things we shouldn’t do or why the thought of doing something bad even comes to our minds. There’s not much we need to think about to answer them.
The Fragrance of Love by Joseph Amaeze Onwuchekwa
he ease with which the phrase â€œI love youâ€? is uttered in various spheres of life has rendered it almost meaningless. I remember watching a movie recently in which a young man in college is kissing and cuddling his girlfriend and tells her in the heat of passion that he loves her. She instantly becomes uncomfortable and later dumps him for another young man who is merely interested in the kissing and cuddling. The ditched lovelorn young man subsequently finds it difficult to fall in love himself though he becomes an accomplished matchmaker.
To get a measure of the fickleness with which the expression on paying the full market value of the animal; no wonder God is used one only has to take a quick canter through any dictionary called David a man after His own heart. David’s love for God was to check up the meaning of the word “love”. With the Collins demonstrated through sacrifice. English dictionary defining it as “having great affection for, feelHowever, God, as we know, made the ultimate sacrifice when ing sexual passion for, enjoying something very much, and wholeHe gave up His son, Jesus Christ, so that through that sacrifice hearted liking for something”, it’s easy to see why “love” means we could come to salvation and escape His wrath because of our something different to different people. Undeterred, I flicked sins. It meant Jesus setting aside His glory to come into the world through my Chambers Thesaurus, which threw up some meanings and to ultimately die so that we might have life. There are two which I could actually relate to, such as “adore, cherish, idolize, scriptures that intrigue me, firstly where the Bible tells us that the prize, treasure and worship”. However, I couldn’t find the one word grace of Jesus was manifested in that, though he was rich, for our I was looking for, one word that is emphasised everywhere in my sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. Bible, even if it’s not expressly spelt out, and this made me wonder. Secondly, the Bible tells us that Christ purchased our freedom Why don’t dictionaries equate love with “sacrifice”? from the curse of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself ] What has love got to do with sacrifice? Could the concept becoming a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who of sacrifice as the embodiment of love be alien to the intellectual hangs on a tree”. Love is self-denial. mind? If so this might explain its omission in my secular dictionOne of the most difficult scenarios to witness is the divorce ary and thesaurus. On the other hand the Bible devotes a lot of of a married couple because in most cases it is the breakdown of time to the subject of sacrifice as the embodiment of love from what was once a loving relationship. Amazingly many prominent the Creator’s (God) perspective. divorce lawyers and marriage So, for instance, we are told that counsellors observe that most God so loved the world that breakdowns of marital unions are He gave His only begotten son due to the unwillingness of one that whosoever believed in Him or both partners to make sacriwould not perish. And yet again fices for the sake of the union. Many prominent divorce we are told by the Bible that Admittedly it is not so simple lawyers observe that most God commended His love to us to conclude that this is the only in that whilst we were yet sinners cause of marital breakdown but breakdowns of marital unions Christ died for us. Jesus ampliit certainly is a critical one. are due to the unwillingness fies the message elsewhere in the Those who regularly read Bible when he clarifies that there the Evening Standard obituarof one or both partners to is no greater love than to lay ies may have noticed that Miep make sacrifices for the sake of down one’s life for one’s friends. Gies died on Monday January God equates love with sacrifice. 11, aged 100. Miep was the the union. It is not so simple The Collins English dicChristian woman who, with her tionary defines sacrifice as “givhusband, hid and sustained the to conclude that this is the ing something up, making an family of Anne Frank for more only cause, but it certainly is a offering to a god, surrendering than two years in Amsterdam or renouncing something”. My during the Second World War, critical one. Chambers Thesaurus went one risking her own life. step further and clarified that According to Miep, many sacrifice is “to abandon, forfeit, policemen came into her office lose, relinquish and forego”. Of one day and warned her not to all these words, for me, one word say a word. They immediately stuck out – “loss.” In the mind of God, love involves loss. Love is found those she had kept hidden and told her that she had broken loss. their laws and would be imprisoned in a camp. Miep ran home But then is it any kind of loss? So for instance if I have a miland, collecting all her valuables, returned to bargain with the polion pounds and I give up ten pounds is that the sacrificial brand lice for the freedom of those she had hidden. They put a gun to of loss referred to in the Bible? To understand sacrifice better I Miep’s head, reminding her that they could take her life and that decided to examine an example which was commended by Jesus of her family even after taking her goods. However, Miep said that Himself. In the account of the widow’s mite, we see Jesus standing her accent saved her as one officer recognised it; he came from the near the offering basket in the Temple to see what people put in, same place and persuaded them to let her go. and a widow came along and dropped two coins into the basket. Throughout her life Miep refused to see herself as a hero but Immediately we see Jesus’ excitement and he explains to His disciclaimed that she was an ordinary person who did the right thing: ples that the widow had put more into the basket than all the othsimply helping others in need. According to her, “each of us has ers put together, who had given in accordance with their wealth. the opportunity to shine a light into the world.” The widow had given all she had even though the amount was the It would be trite of me to ask “How many of us would do the smallest. It was the cost to her that mattered to God. In the eyes of same?” More than any lengthy sermon, the sacrificial actions of Jesus she’d gone the extra mile. Miep Gies and her family encapsulate the true essence of love. After pondering this for a while I came to the conclusion that I learnt something from a friend during the recent Jesus sacrifice is much more than suffering loss. Instead it is the motive House Workers breakfast meeting. He said, “We speak loudest by and the attitude in the heart and mind of the one making the what we do and not by what we say”, and this resonated with me. sacrifice that counts with God. I am convinced that without love Without sacrifice in any relationship that relationship is doomed. in her heart for God and faith in His ability to provide for her the Loving God requires obeying His word but we should not forget widow would never have given all she had. Love is giving. that every act of obedience often involves sacrifice. Abraham was “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God of that willing to sacrifice Isaac. After all is said and done, love has a frawhich costs me nothing.” This is the immortal line uttered by Davgrance and the fragrance of love is sacrifice. id when faced with the wrath of God. In trying to appease God’s wrath, David refused to accept a free bull for sacrifice but insisted OUTFLOW
The Force Behind Faith by Akin Akinyemi
o many times when we talk about love we usually focus on which delivers instantaneous results. Who are we taking before God loving God and loving our neighbours, but there is a per- during our intimate moments in the secret place? spective of love that is hardly ever touched; the relationship We again see the role love plays in the operation of faith when that exists between love and the operation of faith. we take a look at the life of Abraham, the father of faith. Faith comes to life primarily through the spoken word. 2 CorinIn verse 17 God said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which thians 4:13 says, “We have the same spirit of faith, we believe, therefore I do?” If a love relationship did not exist between God and Abraham, we speak”. Believing in your heart may make you righteous, but salva- God would not have brought up the issue of Sodom and Gomortion only comes when confession is made (Rom 10:9-10). Each time rah. If Abraham did not believe that he had a special place in God’s God wants a change in affairs, He speaks. In the beginning, when heart he most likely would not have had the courage to negotiate darkness was upon the deep, GOD SPOKE (Genesis 1:3-24); to with God; he would not have believed that there was a possibility of heal His children, GOD SENT HIS WORD (Psalm 107:20); to God changing His mind over this matter because of his (Abraham’s) draw us back to Him God sent His only begotten Son, THE LIV- word. There is no place for secrets in a relationship founded on true ING WORD ( John 3:16). Faith is never released independent of the love. spoken word, and the spoken word is only potent when it is rooted in Love is really a concept of exchange. Christ was made sin for us love. Every inspired word spoken in love carries tremendous power. though He knew no sin; so we might be made the righteousness of Such words only return when they have accomplished what they God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He became poor that we through were sent to do (Isaiah 55:11). When love drives the believer into his poverty may be rich. He Himself took our infirmities and our the place of prayer, power is exchanged. sicknesses (Matthew 8:17) replacing them with healing and divine Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:32, “...I have prayed that your faith fail health. Whenever this love exchange takes place, there is always a not”, implying that if Jesus had not prayed Peter’s faith could have lifting up. Christ, though having a form of God, made Himself of failed. Also, in Exodus 17:8-13, during the battle of Amalek, we see no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was the same pattern. The faith of Joshua worked in the valley because obedient to the death on the cross, wherefore God highly exalted some believers (Moses, Aaron and Hur) were engaged in effectual Him and gave Him a name above every name. (Phil 2:6-10). The fervent prayer on the mountain top. From these scriptures we see entire elevation of humanity was based on the love exchange at Calthat, based on the action of a believer or without this love exchange, the faith To present another’s case vary; group of believers, faith is made alive in that saves would be null and void (Ephanother person or group of people. One before the Father is one of esians 2:8). It is this combination of love may ask, “What has that got to do with the and faith that produces salvation. LOVE, ‘love-faith relationship’?” Well, love, unlike the greatest acts of giving a because you are giving your life, the one faith carries no potential of failing (1 Corthing you cannot reproduce if you lose it, believer can engage in. inthians 13:8). In 1 Corinthians 13:13, the and FAITH, because you are giving your bible places love above faith and hope. Faith needs love for it to be life to an Unseen One (1 Peter 1:7-9). So, it is out of love that faith effective because FAITH WORKS BY LOVE (Galatians 5:6). is exercised. A major channel through which faith by love is activated is I remember the story of a lady who was faced with a financial through the act of giving. Even though monetary giving is not ex- situation. Though I really wanted to help I had no money to give, cluded, this has more to do with something money simply cannot and this really bothered me. So, I took the issue to God in prayer buy. To present another’s case before heaven in the presence of the asking Him to provide an opportunity for me to make a contribuFather is one of the greatest acts of giving a believer can engage in. tion. One evening, while on the train home, the story of the lame For some, having an audience with God is an opportunity to clear man at the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:1-9) came to mind, and the their needs, and to an extent there is nothing wrong with that. But response from Peter and John came alive in my spirit; Peter and John it takes a heart of love to present someone else’s need to God dur- did not have money (silver and gold) yet they were still able to give. ing your intimate moments in that secret place. Love will always be My mind comprehended it and I knew what action to take, and the a sacrifice and it should be expressed irrespective of the actions of exact words to speak. When I got home, I found out the lady had the recipient, particularly as it relates to salvation (Luke 6:27-35). already departed for the airport and wondered how I was going to The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that while we were yet sinners, Christ get my message across to her. When I called her she did not pick up died for us. “WHY?” simply because GOD LOVED. This is a re- the phone so I left a voicemail message saying “Silver and gold have I lationship- building secret, especially for married couples. When a not, but such as I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, husband loves his wife irrespective of actions, and vice-versa, peace your financial dignity will be retained, you will not bow you knees to beg will always reign. for money...” On her return, she said, “You know, everything you said Jesus prayed for Peter. Moses, Aaron and Hur went up the hill for in that message came to pass”. TO GOD BE THE GLORY! It was Joshua. Remember, Moses was at least 80 years old, yet he climbed the compassion that was shed abroad in my heart that triggered the that mountain. It is interesting that when Jesus referred to the cen- faith in me that caused me to speak and it was the faith in her that turion as someone having great faith in the gospel, the centurion made her believe the spoken word which moved the hand of God. was asking on behalf of his servant (Matthew 8:5-13). The centurion On a final note, if we take a closer look at Luke 22:32 we see believed in the power of the spoken word issued in the spirit of love. that the prayer Jesus prayed for Peter went way beyond Peter’s faith Great faith is when you believe in the power of the spoken word on not failing. One of the reasons Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith was so behalf of another. If this centurion did not truly love his servant to that Peter could do the same for the brethren. I pray that the spirit the extent of wanting the servant healed, he would not have gone to of love shed abroad in our hearts will drive us into the secret place of Jesus. The centurion understood perfectly what he was doing. When sacrificial love, bringing faith to life, causing us to see the manifestalove is involved in faith, we start to walk in the realm of great faith, tion of the finger of God. 20 OUTFLOW
s c i nom
o c E m o d King
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the marriage corner
f you were asked to define love, could you? Would you? What would you say? Would it be a person? A description? What words would you use? Do you have the words to use? ‘Love’ is a word that has attracted me for years and yet I often find that, for me, the definition of ‘love’ is more of an action than it is a description. We say the words ‘I love you’, and we probably do mean them, at least some of the time, but it is really the actions that convey the love to the recipient...or so I think. If I was forced to define ‘love’ in words, I guess I would say that love is giving of myself totally, often sacrificially for the benefit and good of another person without expecting anything in return. Let’s face it, it was in the act of dying for us that Christ showed us the depth and seriousness (if you like) of his love for us. And Paul says that it doesn’t matter what we do, if we do not do it with love, if our motivation is not love, then it is worthless. Without love our actions have no spiritual significance. (1 Corinthians 13) That means, if I smile at you on the street, or I hold the door open for you; if I attend church faithfully and serve in the choir every week; if I work in the church office or offer babysitting services... if I do any of them without love, in God’s eyes, it doesn’t count! Love is not unique to marriage but for a lot of people, their definition of love may connect somewhat to marriage. I suspect it is not by coincidence that marriage week falls in the month of February, the month that is traditionally known as the month of love. After all, love is, in most cases, the beginning of the journey to marriage or perhaps a better way to put this is to say that most marriages start off with love (or at least the feeling of it.) One may question why there is any need to have a marriage week. Richard Kane, the founder of Marriage week says; ‘Marriage week is here to remind couples to stay true to each other and learn to love each other even more.’ I find that fascinating; it is no secret that staying true to one person for the entirety of one’s life seems to happen less and less these days but one would think that married couples
A Love That Counts
would know how to love each other...wouldn’t they? Shouldn’t they? Well they probably should but Mr Kane’s statement carries a lot of weight. Staying true to one’s spouse is not automatic, it is a commitment and it requires making a decision and working hard to keep it. Learning to love probably is something we take for granted; we assume that we know what our spouse wants in terms of love without actually finding out. God expects us to love, more than that He commands us to love (Matt 22:37-40). He commands us to love Him and to love others; beyond that He commands us to love our enemies (Matt 5:44). There is no doubt that love is very important to God and that being
If love is giving of oneself totally, if love is sacrificing for the benefit and good of another person without expecting anything in return, if love is what motivated Christ to die for us, if love is what God expects of us, if love is a choice, will you choose to love?
the case, love should be important to us too. Love is a choice and God expects us to choose to love. If our lives are to count for something, we have to master this thing called love, the God kind of love; if our actions are to count for anything they have to be motivated by love; if our marriages are to be successful, we have to choose to love. If love is giving of oneself totally, if love is sacrificing for the benefit and good of another person without expecting anything in return, if love is what motivated Christ to die for us, if love is what God expects of us, if love is a choice, will you choose to love?
By Tinuke Akinbulumo, on behalf of Tight Knots OUTFLOW
I AM, so in Love, I AM, so in Love, I never thought this bug would bite me. Etta James sang: “At last, my love has come along, My lonely days over and life is like a song.” I sing: “Your ways are great oh Lord. They are wondrous, miraculous, glorious, All so fabulous.” He is my compass, he is my song, washed anew, I am brand new. Perfect doesn’t always look like what you expect! I AM, so in Love, I AM, so in Love, I never thought this bug would bite me. He has done a lot for me, like he got hung on a cross for me, Wore garments of shame for me, Bled for me, cried for me, then he died for me. He said I would never thirst, because he loved me first. Now the Love I have for him supersedes everything. It bubbles all over me and brings laughter out of me. I AM, so in Love, I AM, so in Love, I never thought this bug would bite me. It is said: “Love is the greatest refreshment in life” (Pablo Picasso) It is written: Now these three remain: Faith, hope and love; But the greatest of these is love. (The Holy Bible: 1 Corinthians 13:13) I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, Shall be able to separate us from the love of God Which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (The Holy Bible: Romans 8:38-39 NKJV) I AM, so in Love, I AM, so in Love, I never thought this bug would bite me.
So In Love By Nadia Osho-Williams
God Will Never... By Gerard Bakana
God will never send you a certificate of divorce He may be angry but his anger is for a period. God loves a truthful, broken and contrite heart He may withdraw his presence but his withdrawal is temporary. God cares for his children He may stop the rain but the draught is for a season. The world will never comprehend the magnitude of his love. The world will never understand the degree of his forgiveness. The world will never perceive the veracity of his miracle. But the truth is When God moves, it is for his beloved. When God blesses, it is for the descendant of Abraham. When God heals, it is for the righteous. Our love for God must be stronger than Satan’s attempt to conquer us. Our faith in God must be deeper than Satan’s assault of intimidation. Our knowledge of God must be greater than Satan’s effort to deceive us. When He called, you were standing in the Marketplace of Sinners, With no one to redeem you from the place of sin, God sent his Son, to die on the cross And shed his blood, the price paid for your salvation. No longer a slave but a son and living for your Father’s kingdom.
Because I love you By Bimbo Alonge
Because I love you, I blessed you even before you were born. I gave you a perfect gift, an unconditional love, with no boundaries; Because I love you, I stayed here, hoping you remembered me, even as you grew and put everything else before me; Because I love you, when you returned to my love, I forgave you and forgot your sins, so that the accuser would have nothing against you; Because I love you, I listened to you and spoke to you even when you chose to ignore me and began to neglect my words and my ways; Because I love you, when you strayed from me, I waited patiently, hoping you would again remember my love and return to me; Because I love you, I saw and still see the best in you, even when the ones you loved and set before me, deserted you and left you in pain; Because I love you, I gave you a second chance and a third and did not keep count because of the joy it brings just to have you back, safe in my arms; Because I love you, I chose to discipline you though it hurt me to, I knew it was the only way to make you remember me and bring you back to my love; Because I love you, when you returned to me once again, I wiped your tears away, I embraced and comforted you and then clothed you with new garments; Because I love you so much, I gave my only son so that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life with me; Don’t you understand? Because I love you so much, I gave my only Son, long before you were born, to die for you, so that if you only believed in Him, you would live with me, forevermore... OUTFLOW
thinking out loud
The Musings of A 21st Century Christian Girl by dilichi lawal
You’re Nobody until Somebody Marries You
and we all know that the bible says it’s not good for man to be alone, but we know that, and we don’t want to be alone, we do want to get married, and we’re waiting for the right person to come along. But does the bible say that while we wait, we must be harassed?
o the other day, I was having a conversation with a friend, and she was telling me that she had recently returned from a trip to Nigeria. The thing that stood out most for her was that everybody, and she meant everybody; aunties, uncles, people she National Day of Oppression!!! just called aunty and uncle, the help, the gardener…well everybody seemed to ask her, WHY ARE YOU NOT MARRIED??? What is the answer to the question? What exactly is one supe are in the month of February and hopefully the madness posed to say? It’s not as if they ask it once and then move on; they is over. I feel like I don’t ever want to see the colour red. ask it repeatedly, and in different ways. So, why are you not married? From the middle of January every shop has been saturated What are you waiting for? Is there anybody? Please, you should with the stuff. There have been cards, wilted roses and ugly teddy hurry up; your mates are married… I want to eat rice soon, you hear, bears in every shop that you visit. I went to Sainsbury’s the other very soon….ARRGGGHHHH!!! day to pick up some dinner and I saw heart-shaped shortbread, The most annoying bit is that a mix of culture and Christiangingerbread men with heart buttons, chocolate chip cookies with ity does not permit us to answer them the way we really want to, heart-shaped chips...ENOUGH ALREADY!!! so we just smile, nod and mumble something unintelligible, while I have always disliked Valentine’s Day. It’s a day that separates inwardly seething. Those questioning don’t care that they may seem the popular from the not-so-popular. When I was in secondary insensitive, and if you dare to raise that, they’ll look at you like an school Valentine’s Day wasn’t about love or romance or anything alien species, and say, “you are really becoming English”. The real like that, it was about how many cards and chocolates you could get. problem with this question is that it’s not the one they are really It became like a competition; the guys used to walk around asking asking. Sure, on the surface, they are asking, why are you not mareach other how many they got? No emotion, just a competition to ried? But what they are really asking is: “What is wrong with you, find out which guy was the most fancied. Guys weren’t the only that you are not married?” culprits; who wants to be the girl Being single is not a curse, it’s There’s nothing wrong with prayer, but with one card from a “secret adnot a sign that you are deficient in mirer”, when the other girls have getting her to kneel in the centre of a chocolates, multiple cards, flowany way, or that there is something wrong with you. Another friend circle with everyone stretching their ers, perfume and cakes? So Valtold me a story about when she entine’s Day becomes less about was single; she had gone to a fam- hands towards her seemed a bit much. love and more about social excluily gathering and they had prayed It was like they were praying for her to sion.High school’s over, you move about her single status. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong be healed of the disease of singleness. into the real world, you become with prayer, but she just felt that successful in whatever field. getting her to kneel in the centre of a circle with everyone stretchYou’re confident but February 14th still has the power to make ing their hands towards her was a bit much. It’s like they are praying you feel socially excluded. It’s not quantity now though, it’s about for you to be healed of the disease of singleness. Singleness had to quality. You want to have the great love that all the cards in the be rebuked in her life, because apparently marriage is the only blessshops talk about, but that’s hard to find. So while the world is in ing that counts. love, you’re going to work, trying to dodge the bouquets of flowers It almost seems like those questioning don’t care about any other held by men who left things to the last minute, you’re trying to achievements; so you work for Goldman Sachs, yes, but are you manoveure your way past the couples who are holding each other married? You bought a new house, hmm, will any man think he can in a death grip, and you go home and watch all the love-themed take care of you when you are so self-sufficient? Single women get movies that TV has to offer, interspersed with ads for “ALL TIME blamed for being too independent, for not appearing helpless so as GREATEST LOVE SONGS, NOW IN ONE UNIQUE COLto awaken the protective instincts in a prospective husband. They LECTION”. It’s enough to make a singleton want to SCREAM!!! get blamed for striding forward in their career, because it apparAs regular readers of this column know, though, I’m not single, and ently makes them seem aggressive - “men like women that are soft”. I haven’t been for a while, so the question is now, ‘Do I still feel that One can never truly explain the hurt one feels when telling a loved Valentine’s Day is about social exclusion and a day of oppression?’ one some news about a promotion, or a new acquisition, only to be The answer is YES!!! Do I still hate Valentine’s Day? The answer is met with the response “that’s good, well done…so, any man?” Every ..........................................no. area of your life could be blooming; you have your health, a great job, you’re financially stable, have a great relationship with God, but you’re SINGLE, and so you get an incomplete. You see, marriage to Have you had an experience similar to those highlighted those questioning is the pinnacle of success, it’s the destination that by Dilichi, or would you simply like to comment on this and you are supposed to reach, and it is your reason for being… Now other sections of the magazine? If yes, please send an email don’t let my sarcasm confuse you, marriage is extremely important, to email@example.com
outflow idea bank
ike most people I believed that the game of golf was the exclusive preserve of either the über-rich or retired folks; that was until about a year ago when some friends introduced me to the beautiful game. I won’t bore you with the details of my performance the first time I played; it was comical and frustrating to the say the least however, I have grown to love and respect the game over the past year. It’s hard to explain the beauty of the game; it is one of those things that you’ll have to experience yourself so here’s my idea: if you are thinking of picking up a hobby this year, try golf. Golf may not be as physically challenging as football or tennis but it is a mentally tasking game that tests your patience and resilience. Another attraction of golf is the wonderful opportunity it provides to network. An average golf game lasts about 3 to 4 hrs and since it is normally played with a group, you can use it as an opportunity to spread the gospel to your friends or pitch an idea to your boss. Being naturally restless, the main attraction of the game for me is its ability to calm me down and test my patience. It is not the sort of game that requires brute force or aggression (bear in mind that all you are trying to do is place a ball into a hole), but it demands a thoughtful, calm approach and a decent swing. Let’s face it the game isn’t the most affordable sport out there but in its defence, it is also not as expensive as most people perceive it to be. To start off, you can get a basic set of clubs for less than £200 and a full introductory lesson will cost you approximately £100 (this normally spans 4 or 5 lessons where an instructor teaches you the rudiments of the game) however, the most expensive aspect of the game is the cost of playing regularly. Ideally to play regularly you will have to either join a golf club or pay green fees every time you play. The average green fee for a round of golf is £40. Alternatively, rather than playing at a course, you can choose to start at a driving range. A driving range is a facility where you can pay for a set of balls and you are assigned a cubicle from where you can hit your balls. £10 will typically get you 90 balls. For most beginners it is always advisable to spend a lot of time practising at a range before you venture out to a proper 18-hole course. The best way to begin is to find a friend who plays golf and ask him/her to show you the ropes. Your friend should be able to advise you on the basics such as the right clubs to buy, recommend affordable instructors to use and introduce you to a golf range or club. The advantage of having a friend who can guide you is that he can also help teach you the fundamentals of the game. This way you may only need an hour with an instructor to help you develop your swing instead of a full introductory lesson. The game might be frustrating when you begin but, once you develop your swing and make a couple of great shots it becomes a lot of fun. Give it a try!
Thinking of a Hobby? Try Golf! by Kunle Oyetayo
your health & you
WHAT ARE HAEMORRHOIDS? Haemorrhoids are swellings that can occur in the anus and back passage. These swellings are caused by engorged veins (blood vessels) within the lining of the anus. This means that these blood vessels become filled with more blood than usual. It is thought that this is as a result of increased pressure around the anus, although haemorrhoids sometimes develop for no reason at all. The following situations increase the chances of haemorrhoids developing: Constipation Straining when passing faeces, and the passing of large hard faeces, are common reasons for developing haemorrhoids. Straining increases the pressure around the veins in the anus. Pregnancy Haemorrhoids are common during pregnancy. This is probably due to the pressure effects of the baby lying above the rectum and anus and are mostly pronounced during vaginal delivery of the baby as this is the when the pressure is greatest. Age As we get older, the tissues in the lining of the anus become less supportive which may predispose to developing haemorrhoids. TYPES OF HAEMORRHOIDS There are two types of haemorrhoids, internal and external. Internal haemorrhoids form about 2-4cm above the opening of the anus. They can be small or large. Small internal haemorrhoids are more common and can often not be seen or felt, but may sometimes be
BREAKING THE MYTH ABOUT HAEMORRHOIDs
hen I was growing up we were often told that haemorrhoids (piles) were caused by eating too many sweet things. Now that I am older and a qualified medical doctor, I have learnt a lot more about haemorrhoids, and have to say, I am yet to be taught the relationship between the two! So, what are haemorrhoids and why do we get them? Here are a few facts, and ways to avoid developing haemorrhoids.
by Toke Oke
partially pushed out when you go to the toilet but go back immediately after. Larger haemorrhoids may have to be manually pushed back after going to the toilet, and in some cases are so large they canâ€™t be pushed back. Symptoms can vary. Small haemorrhoids are usually painless. The most common symptom is bleeding after going to the toilet. Larger haemorrhoids may cause some pain, irritation, and itching, which can occasionally be quite distressing. Larger haemorrhoids can have a blood clot form within them, which can be very painful. External haemorrhoids are less common than internal. External haemorrhoids develop on the outside edge of the anus. Many do not cause symptoms but can become very painful if a clot forms within it. PREVENTION AND TREATMENT Ways to prevent haemorrhoids include avoiding constipation and straining on the toilet. Keep your stools soft by eating plenty of fibre such as fruit, vegetables, cereals, wholemeal bread, etc. Have lots to drink and go to the toilet regularly. Suppressing the feeling to go to the toilet may result in harder faeces forming which may be more difficult to pass. Most small haemorrhoids can be managed by the above measures and most will settle down. Keeping your stools soft will also alleviate symptoms such as bleeding after going to the toilet. Using a bland cream such as petroleum jelly will also help with the discomfort and make passing stools easier. There are numerous creams available over the counter, some with an anaesthetic, which will ease the pain (these are available without a prescription, ask your pharmacist to help), and some with a steroid, which your GP may prescribe, if there is a lot of pain and inflammation around the haemorrhoid. Haemorrhoids of pregnancy usually settle after the birth of the child and can be managed as stated above. More persistent and problematic haemorrhoids can be removed surgically. If you think that you might have haemorrhoids, see your GP or practice nurse for more advice, especially if you are bleeding from your anus, as there may be a more serious cause for this. Most importantly, a healthy diet, high in fibre will help prevent you developing haemorrhoids.
Outflow Recommends For the past couple of months, in conjunction with the start of a new decade, we’ve wanted to put together a feature article bringing you a defining list of movies, books and music that have made a marked impact on the lives of our writers. This hasn’t happened as we’d like, for varying reasons, but we thought we’d share some of the list with you anyway. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read any of these books, or experienced any of these CDs, please visit the Pages bookshop to purchase your copy. You’ll be glad you did.
Pastor Vera Omonedo February 2nd
rev yemi adedeji February 14th
I Kissed Dating Goodbye
The God Chasers
Pages of Life
William P. Young
Live In London
Run Baby Run
Lost In Wonder
In His Steps
Lost and Found
Charles M. Sheldon
The Cost of Discipleship
A Piece of My Passion
The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin
The Purpose Driven Life
What’s So Amazing About Grace? Philip Yancey
Pastor david ojeh February 15th
dcn tunde akinfisoye February 14th
Michael W. Smith
The Heavens are Telling Karen Clark Sheard
dcn ademola sobogun February 16th
dcn dapo badejo February 22nd
FEB R U A R Y BI R T HD A YS February 1st Mr Clement Mwatsama; Mr Mark McKeown; Mr Diran Ogunlana; Mrs Elizabeth Woripaga; Miss Titilayo Bisayo; Mrs Olufunmilayo Akinluyi; Miss Abisola Balogun; Mr Olufemi Odewumi; Miss Nneoma Iroegbu February 2nd Pastor Vera Omonedo; Mrs Omolara Adelekan-Oladipo; Miss Connie Shoba; Mrs Tinuke Akinbulumo; Miss Aderonke Adekanmbi February 3rd Mr Oluwole Olaitan; Mrs Sarah Brighton; Miss Chinwe Wodu; Mr Linson Barrett; Miss Sola Shyngle; Mr Lekan Odesanya; Mr Emeka Onyereri February 4th Mr Kwabena Asare; Mrs Olubukola Shonola; Mrs Enitan Agidee February 5th Mr Charles Odiaka; Mrs Feyishade Badero; Mr Andrew Jason; Miss Zindiadi Nsimba February 6th Mr Fadrick Vorster; Miss Siba Adom; Mr Adewole Olufon; Mr Busayo Akanmode; Miss Adejoge Adelaja; Miss Nousshka Luntadila February 7th Mrs Florence Akinboro; Mrs Toyin Oladitan; Miss Opeyemi Odina-Jimoh February 8th Mrs Nair Mendes Alves; Miss Shirley Adams; Mr S.B. Okedeyi; Mr Tomi Sodeinde; Mr Simeon Otung; Mrs Naomi Obasa; Miss Yewande Abiodun February 9th Mrs Sonya Francis; Mr Dipo Oremowu; Miss Temidayo Ogunsanwo; Mr Owusu Quaidoo February 10th Mr Jonathan Dauti; Mrs Karis Allanso; Mr Okechi Awujo; Mrs Abigail Obar; Mr Bolahto Ijadunola; Mr Tasia Aghadiuno; Miss Anyida Elachi February 11th Miss Florence Madueme; Mr Olufemi Temowo
February 13th Mr John Emore; Miss Olayinka Babasola; Miss Oyinkansola Ebunolluwa Rabiu; Miss Demilade Ogunniya
February 23rd Mr Oyedeji Olayinka; Mr Opeyemi Emmanuel; Miss Mthimkulu Tsakani; Miss Chisom Ojiaku
February 14th Deacon Babatunde Akinfisoye; Mrs Nengimonton TeiteWhyte; Mr Ayoade Ajap-Oriyomi; Mr Robert Amartey; Mr Senu Wusu; Mrs Valentina Odeyemi; Miss Adaora Oli; Miss Shiyan Smith; Miss Ufuoma Loveth Udid; Mr Femi Idowu; Mr Kobbie Kessie; Rev Yemi Adedeji
February 24th Mr Douglas Edoleyi; Mr Babatunde Tobun; Mr Abimbola Mainoo; Miss Oyinlola Adeyemo
February 15th Pastor David Ojeh; Mrs Folashade Onafalujo; Miss Sandra Edokpolor; Mr Edward Heman-Ackah; Mr Azubuike Okeke; Mrs Nzumba Mushigo; Mrs Adebanke Marinho; Miss Funsho Elizabeth Oluyemi February 16th Mrs Abiola Alabi; Deacon Ademola Sobogun; Mrs Ifeanyi Agboola; Mr Brian Chimalilo; Mrs Aboyowa Taduggoronno; Miss Fiona Williams; Mr Aron Fisahaye; Miss Olawunmi Taylor February 17th Miss Adenike Akinniranye; Mrs Ibukunolu Olaide; Miss Tolulope Onabanjo; Mrs Oluwatosin Ajanaku; Miss Dowa Ojarirre February 18th Mr Charles Omisore; Mr Karl Kalu; Mr Oladupo Daud; Mr Ade Bakare; Mr Tosan Mac-Jaja; Mr Omosuyi FredOmojote February 19th Mrs Diane Amarteifio; Miss Simisola Akinwale February 20th Miss Grace Townsend; Miss Catherine Sota; Mr Chibuzo Ikpemo; Mr Olakunle Davies; Dr Olusegun Odude; Mrs Dorothy Yesufu; Miss Omotayo Kowe; Mrs Oluwatoyin Anyikaye-Diya; Assistant Pastor Stephanie Egbe February 21st Mrs Nengi Sobogun; Mr Alaba Bada; Mr Wale Dada; Mr Edo Izzi; Miss Eniola Ainke February 22nd Mrs Lucy Okuonghae; Mr Tunji Lawal; Mr Akinola Oyegoke; Deacon Dapo Badejo; Mr Michael Akanbi
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February 25th Mr Soremekun Abiodun; Miss Simisola Olabode; Mr Obiora Ajufo February 26th Mrs Omolara Durojaiye; Mr Charles Ogbechi; Mr Adekunle Cole; Mrs Oladoyin Oluokun; Mrs Oludolapo Alalade; Miss Ola Irukwu; Ms Angela Mensah-Poku February 27th Mr Adeyinka Dosumu; Mr Akin Akinyemi February 28th Miss Ifeoma Mokah; Mrs Fadekemi Adetola Olagbaju; Mr Martyn Olaiya; Mr Uchenna Nwachukwu; Mr Demilade Olajoyegbe February 29th Mrs Onome Alika
Wedding Anniversaries February 1st: Mr & Mrs Iyamabo February 2nd: Mr & Mrs Owolabi February 7th: Mr & Mrs Obasekonla; Mr & Mrs Allanso; Mr & Mrs Alabi February 9th: Mr & Mrs Taylor February 13th: Mr & Mrs Yesufu February 14th: Mr & Mrs Nakpoberuo; Mr & Mrs Leguson; Mr & Mrs Nwosu February 15th: Mr & Mrs Onabolu February 16th: Deacon & Mrs Nwani February 17th: Mr & Dr (Mrs) Iyi-Ojo February 18th: Mr & Mrs Orawusi February 19th: Mr & Mrs Azu February 21st: Dr & Mrs Adesanoye February 23rd: Mr & Mrs Sule February 24th: Mr & Mrs Bosah February 28th: Mr & Mrs Olatoke February 29th: Mr & Mrs Akin Akinyemi