I DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS
It is acceptable to ask God questions but to question Him is like moving into the neighbourhood of irreverence and blasphemy
The way God created human beings is that we are naturally inquisitive. Because of the finite mind we have, there are many things we don’t understand in spite of the fact that they part of our reality. At one time I was of the idea that there were more questions than there were answers but later I realised that there are as many answers as there are questions. The problem however is that when an answer is given before a question is asked, we don’t regard the answer as an answer. The reason is that we need a question to identify an answer. Without a question to call our attention to an answer, the latter may stare us on the face without being “recognised”.
What God did is that He didn’t wait for every question to be asked for Him to provide the answer. This is the essence for which the Bible says that what can be known about God is plain to every one (Rom 1:19). In other words, God gave us answers about Him before we asked the questions. Some people disregard these answers as they go overboard with asking about things that God chose not to fit in our finite heads. And what can be known about God doesn’t entail everything that can be known about Him. He is infinite, we cannot know everything about Him.
I have realised that some people are good at asking questions but are poor in listening to answers. When they pose a question and the answer is being provided, they would be busy in their mind figuring out the next question to ask. Most of them are therefore not interested in the answer. They hurry to go through a directory of questions but worry when the answers authenticate what they don’t want to hear or believe (see John 9). Sometimes they ignore the answer and ask a question repeatedly.
Some people are good at asking questions but poor in listening to answers. They hurry to go through a directory of questions but worry when the answers authenticate what they don’t want to hear or believe.
I used to ask so many questions, but a time came when God impressed in me to stop asking questions and instead begin listening to the answers. If we can be quiet for a moment and listen for a while we would be surprised that there are so many answers that God gave unto us enough to help us know WHO He is; who we are; for what purpose we are here and what our ultimate destiny is. If there is something beyond these, it is not “important”; it is the reason the Bible says:
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
—Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV. Italics, my emphasis).
My Mother is 40 and I am 31
I had an experience that would help me illustrate the fact that our not having the answer doesn’t invalidate a reality of a relationship.
An old Norwegian lady approached me one morning as I sat waiting for my turn to be attended to at Norwegian Teacher Academy’s (Norsk Læreakademi) reception. I had gone there to inquire about master’s programme for my (by then) fiancée (now my wife).
The old lady was definitely not one of the students, neither was she after joining the institution. She must have gone there to meet someone. She was different from an average Norwegian. Majority of Norwegians are reserved, especially towards strangers. She asked me series of questions—she was such a nice old lady.
After talking for a while, she asked me things that were personal but I didn’t see any reason not to answer her. She asked me my age and I told her—I was 31 then. She asked me about the number of siblings I had in my family. I told her that we are two and I was the youngest. We talked again for some time before she asked another question: “And how old is your mom?”
I had an answer as soon as I heard her question. “40!” I replied.
Did you notice that there was something ridiculously funny in that answer? Look at it again: I am 31, I am the youngest of two and my mother is 40. This means that by the time I was born, my mother was 9 and she was having her second child. This would have found a place somewhere in the Guinness Book of Record—isn’t it?
My mother, after all, didn’t look that old. Maybe the image I retained about her was that she had before she left when I was six as I had told earlier. I had seen her on a number of occasions but it was obvious I didn’t know every detail about her.
The funny thing is that I never realised even after implying that my mother was 9 when at the time of my birth. The point is that I lacked concentration with the figures and never combined the two (31 and 40) and see what they were saying. And the truth was that I didn’t know how old my mother was. And I didn’t want to say I didn’t know. I thought I was giving a fair guess. There was no need going into long stories to justify why I didn’t know how old my mother was—that was why I had to come up with a figure real quick. At that moment, 40 years sounded so much that I never realised that it was only 9 years from my age.
But I later remembered the answer I gave to the old lady and I learnt a lesson from it. There are many things I don’t know—and my case is not unique. What I learnt is that if you asked me a question about what I don’t know, I will tell you I don’t know even if by so doing I would be embarrassed. Meanwhile, I will tell you what I know. The story of the man born blind is typical in this case. He was asked so many questions some of which he didn’t have the answers for. Though he didn’t have the answers to something that was real, it never took away the reality—the fact that he received his sight (see John 9).
I used to ask so many questions, but a time came when God impressed in me to stop asking questions and instead begin listening to the answers.
If I could have answered the good old lady that I didn’t know how old my mother was, perhaps she could have wondered how uninformed I was but this couldn’t form a basis for her doubting the reality of a mother.
If someone asks me a question about God and I happen not to know the answer, that wouldn’t take away the FACT that God exists. I don’t have to know everything about my mother to know her or to appreciate the fact that I was brought to this earth through a mother.
I don’t know or understand everything, but God has shown me that if I am willing to sit at His feet and also seek His signature in nature, I will certainly identify more answers without the corresponding questions.
THE SECRET OF MY ‘SUCCESS’ AND MOTIVATION IN MY CHRISTIAN WALK
The distance is overwhelming. Some people get there by planes, others by cars and the likes. I may not have any of those but I will get there. I’ll stay focused and take one step at a time.
Lowest Achievable Goal
When I ventured into writing, for example, I faced monumental hindrances. After having spent arduous months writing my first manuscript, I was shocked when I wasn’t allowed to publish it for some technical reasons. I will not go into that here.
After finishing writing my second manuscript and I was looking for a publisher, it dawned on me that the traditional publishers generally don’t publish books; they publish authors. What this means is that you need to have acclaimed credentials for them to publish your book. An alternative to this is to co-publish where you need to have a substantial amount of money to commit to buy a considerable number of books for the first press run. This would then make it economically viable for them. I had neither!
Meanwhile, I strongly believed that God had called me to write and the inspiration was enough to face any mountain. My option to get published was to check on POD (Print On Demand). I would pay some amount of money to get the book published. Compared to the money I would need to buy copies from co-publishing, POD would take relatively small amount of money. Nevertheless, relatively small amount didn’t mean that it was cheap, especially for me who didn’t have a job.
I trusted that if it was God’s call, then He would get me somewhere. In miraculous ways it turned out that I managed to accumulate enough money to get the manuscript published.
The hindrances were not over. The next one is the reason the traditional publishers don’t accept manuscripts from unknown authors: People don’t read books, they read authors. This means that one needs to be “known” in order to have his work read.
Marketing became the biggest challenge. Who would want to write a book which people will not read? Think of it! You sit down for months pounding on the keyboard writing; you scratch around for every coin that you can get your hands on to get the book published only to realise that it is not selling.
I want to illustrate for you how my venture into writing was meant to be cut in the bud. A brother in Christ, a member of our local church where I had been part for ten years, walked over to me at the end of an evening’s international Sunday Service. He prophesied over me:
I have given you something for my people. I want you to bring it out, why are you quiet? Tell My people what I have given you! Says the Lord.
Publishers don’t publish books, they publish authors. This is because readers don’t read books, they read authors.
I knew that God had given me something for His people. I had even tried to bring it forth but didn’t get a chance. I wouldn’t go into details about this. I didn’t have a platform in the manner of a pulpit. I had to trust God to show me how to tell His people what He had given me.
When it dawned on me, I was convinced that God expected me to tell His people what He wanted me to tell them through writing. The turn of events could have discouraged anybody. When I told what God had given me, I thought that the brother who prophesied over me would be one of the first people to be eager to hear what God wanted to tell people through me. I would count on his encouragement and “support”. When I showed him the book I had written, he wouldn’t even touch it—he snubbingly gestured with his hands to signal that he didn’t want to have anything to do with the book.
If the person that God had spoken through about the fact that He had given me something for His children wouldn’t even have a look at what I believed God gave me to share, what was the purpose of writing? If I wasn’t to count on the general readership because I am not known, I had thought that people around me would be the ones to start me off by recognising and appreciating what God had given me. I was dead wrong. Even some of my friends who “encouraged” me to write saying I could count on them to be my first readers, never had any reading appetite again when the book was written.
It was time to go back to God and establish if it was truly His will to write. I believe God spoke to my heart. I had even written about it but now it was no longer a theory or a doctrine: The value of one soul. Communing with the Holy Spirit, I felt like the following question was posed to me:
If you take all the months it takes to write a book; pay all the money it takes to publish a book and end up getting only one person to read your book, would you still go ahead and spend all the time; pay all the money and get the book published?
I searched my heart and asked myself hard questions. I realised that if it was God who commissioned me to write, then I would derive my motivation and inspiration from Him—not from human beings; my motivation would come from within not from without.
I realised how important an individual is to God. I thought about the practical application of the proverb of the lost sheep where a shepherd leaves behind ninety-nine sheep to go for one and when he finds it, he calls a party to celebrate the restoration (see Lk. 15). Yes! One person is important.
As God continued providing in miraculous ways, I made a decision to publish all the books that God allows me to write. My goal would be very achievable—one person, just one! I would trust God to get at least one person to read a book. The reader can then tell how excited I was when I found out at one time that 20 copies of one of my books had been ordered. I was twenty times “successful” and motivated. When I wrote “The Secret Weapon Against Terrorism”, one of the very first people who read through the book was a Muslim from Iraq with whom we were taking a course. I believe God spoke something to his heart. Whether he becomes a Christian or not, I thank God to have used the book to give him a chance to ponder over spiritual matters. I pray that the Holy Spirit will work with what this man read and be able to convict him to pursue a relationship with Christ.
God later opened my eyes to see something that I had known for the nineteen years I have been saved but of which I never put into perspective to emphasise the importance of an individual. A number of the books in the Bible were written to individuals—one person. The Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were written to an individual—Theophilus. Let me put it candidly: Luke wrote two books to one person. The apostle Paul wrote letters to individuals—Philemon, Timothy and Titus. Though we now have them as books in the Bible, read by everyone, Luke’s and (part of) Paul’s writings were targeting individuals. They never had a monetary motivation. From this I have come to appreciate the fact that it is biblical to write a book and aim at getting only one person to read it..
With this low goal to achieve who can discourage me?
My adventure into writing, humanly speaking, has been long and lonely. I am one person that is surrounded by many friends and acquaintances. Only a handful of them have recognised the call that God has given me. With the inner motivation and the few brethren that have identified with me in this call, I am indebted and ready to soldier on.
Ignoring the Noise from the Empty Tins
A proverb says: Empty tins make the loudest noise. How true!
I don’t feel that I have managed to create the picture of how life has been challenging in my family for a long time now. There are many things that I decided to exclude. I didn’t graphically talk about some manner of betrayals; rejections; frustrations, etc. In fact, I didn’t tell about what, according to me, is the worst that can happen to a man. When the doctor told us that our life was on the line, it wasn’t the worst that happened to me; when I lost a job, it was not the worst that happened to me. The worst I have not told.
For some time we got so frustrated when “nothing” we tried seemed to get anywhere. Normally, the area in which one’s life is not “filled” becomes the empty tin. The emptiness becomes so noisy to the extent that it would out-shout the other filled areas in one’s life. When this happens, one’s attention would be arrested by the noise the “emptiness” produces. It is extremely difficult to recognise and acknowledge the things one ought to be grateful for when the ‘empty’ part of his life is making deafening noise.
Sometimes, a small empty tin in our life can make so much noise until we don’t notice the big filled tin in our life. This is why people who only thank God for substances often fail to thank Him in circumstances.
I made it a point in my life not to complain about the things that are empty in my life. What I have learnt is that even if we fail to get something to thank God for—and this is a weakness on our side because there is always something—we are still expected to thank God in whatever situation we are. The Bible says: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:18).
People who only thank God for substances often fail to thank Him in circumstances.
I have decided not to allow something that hasn’t gone my way rob me of the contentment I need to derive from the things God has fulfilled in my life. Even if nothing worked for me, I am contented that I have been reconciled with God. This is the best that can ever happen to a human being.
I have come to learn that if we look carefully; listen attentively and investigate thoroughly, we’ll find that there are things that are “full” in our life, only that by virtue of their being full, they don’t make loud noises. This is why it takes God’s grace to ignore the noises coming from the empty tins in our life.
Got the Natural Dimension of Godly Love
Nature fascinates me but I love mankind with a very special love. I had noted above that I love kids. May I stress it here that my love doesn’t end with the kids. I would love them even after they grow up into adults and old men.
I love mankind and that is why any time I see people who are not saved my heart goes out for them. Because of my love for mankind, giving my best, knowing that someone would benefit is in itself a reward. This motivates me. God’s understands my heart whatever I do to anyone, I am not doing that he/she may reciprocate.
If we pursue God’s pleasure, He would give us His dimension on love for mankind. The Bible tells me to love even my enemies and by so doing, I will be reflecting God’s nature. The starting point of God’s love is inclusive, that it is, no one is excluded:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
When we get the natural dimension of God’s love, the basic reason for whatever we do for mankind wouldn’t be determined by what we are going to get out of it. Whatever benefits we get would be bonus. I had already talked about this earlier.
I Don’t Have Enemies
It takes a lot of resources to stay a step ahead of your enemies. But why should I get preoccupied with what the enemies may do to me when I know that the damage they can do to me is not as hurting as that which a brother, a friend or a relative may do to me?
It is very easy killing enmity. Sustaining enmity is like engaging my enemy in a tug-of-war. To kill enmity, I let go my side of the rope—I don’t take offence! If it is flesh and blood, I sympathise if he/she doesn’t toe the course of the Cross. Enmity is sustained by reciprocity.
Because I have asked God to give me the grace to neutralise any enmity that could have existed between me and anybody, I have enjoyed a lightness of heart and freeness of spirit. Because of this the resources that I would have ‘wasted’ trying to outwit an enemy, I use to manage the disappointments and betrayals from people close to me. Their hurt, as I have already indicated, is trickier than the enemy’s.
There is a provision and an exhortation for us to live in peace with everyone. First we work it out, then God grants the divine help to achieve it. Look at the following two scriptures:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
—Romans 12:18 (NIV).
Note that the above scripture talks about “as it depends on you”. This means that if there is a part that I can play to cause peace, I should pursue it. I have experienced that if I genuinely love people from my heart and forgive them whenever they wrong me regardless of what they do against me, I shall have played my part to quench any enmity that could have helped me keep enemies. When I do this, I’d be pursuing that which pleases the heart of God. In return, He would play His part, as the scripture says:
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
—Proverbs 16:7 (NIV).
This far I can boldly say that I don’t have an enemy in a form of flesh and blood that I know of. Even if someone wanted to hate me, he would give up because I don’t trade in hatred. We can only sell something to someone if he is buying it.
I Speak the Truth in Love
After having said what I have said above, this should not give an impression that I have not rubbed shoulders with people the wrong way. I have offended many people in one way or the other but I don’t do it for a hobby. Either it would be accidental—that is, unintended—or refusing to flatter when it looks the expedient thing to do. I am very poor at flattering people or hiding the truth for convenient purposes.
In a world where people crave for flattery, one is likely to get into problems when one fails to flatter when it is critical for bolstering an image or pledging loyalty to an authority. I say what I believe is the truth and what is right even if by so doing I would hurt someone. People who have related with me know that I am not malicious and envious. This is why those that I have hurt by a bitter truth later appreciate when they finally realise that I was talking out of conviction and not out of malediction.
I speak the truth in love. God has impressed in my heart that truth is both constructive and destructive—depending on the motive of speaking it. If I speak the truth in love, it will still hurt yes, but love will spice it with grace. Truth that is accompanied by love and spiced by grace will in the long run heal the soul upon pondering and meditation.
If truth is spoken to get an edge over someone or to disgrace him, the motive will be wrong and its effect would not restore but destroy.
CAPPING IT ALL
If I have experienced it, it is my testimony; no one can rob it from me.
Could Not Tell it All
One thing that I realised as I embarked on writing my story was that it is impossible to write everything: I wanted to be as honest, truthful and open as possible, but it was impressed in me not to tell certain things. Some I didn’t write out of common sense; others were because I was restrained; some I didn’t write because they could arouse ill-feelings in some quotas and I could tell that the result was not going to glorify God.
Some I didn’t write because they didn’t seem to fall into place in so far as the headlines I outlined ran; some I didn’t write because I would then pre-empt the content of some other books; some I didn’t write for mere fear of an impossible volume of a book. Finally, I am sure there are certain things that are not in this book simply because I didn’t remember them before the book went to press.
So should you come to know something from a reliable source about me that you judge very important, don’t say that it is not true necessarily because I didn’t write it in this book.
Moths and Cockroaches
Dear lady; gentleman; brother; sister; reader, what you have read is my story—a true story that can be verified. I have used the real names of most of the people referred to in this book. In cases where something could be judged sensitive in one way or the other, I have used the first name only, or a short form of the name, or a nickname that I used to call the person. In very few cases have I changed the names.
I don’t know how my story would have read in the absence of the spiritual dimension of how God has unfolded things in my life. Some of my readers will be strengthened, others will be sceptical, but I wrote from the strength of what I experienced and it may not be my part to plead with people to see it for what it is.
Whatever the response, I know for sure that pure-hearted people, whether they are believers or not, will connect with me in the telepathic realm if not in the spirit about the fact that I have shared from my heart and that I have told the truth.
Since I got saved, I have sought God to help my life be an open letter of Christ to mankind. This is why I am not good in ‘hiding’. I have sought God to help me live a life that wouldn’t give people excuses to reject salvation or ridicule faith in Christ. I know that people who are looking for excuses to reject the Son of God would always find a reason even if they have to speculate and rumour monger but I have tried my best not to give anybody a genuine excuse.
While moths and cockroaches behave the way they do by disposition, humans do by decision.
Neil Cole in his book, “Organic Church”, maintains that there are two kinds of lost people: the moths and the cockroaches. He was illustrating how people respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He maintains that it is impossible to tell the difference between moths and cockroaches in darkness; that the best way to tell the difference is by turning the lights on—the moths will be drawn to the light while the cockroaches will flee.
The way human beings respond to the truth is comparable with the way moths and cockroaches respond to light. I have observed how people generally respond to truth and I concur that we can be categorised into moths and cockroaches.
While moths and cockroaches behave the way they do by disposition, humans do by decision. That is why human beings will be held accountable for whatever their response to the truth will be.
If someone is going to run away from the light of Christ, that would be unfortunate. My side I have shared my testimony and for people who may question the things God has done for me and in my life, I can only echo what the man born blind in John 9 said to the sceptic Pharisees: “One thing I do know: I was blind but now I see!” (v. 25, NIV).
Even if I decide to fool myself for a minute, it will not rob me of the things that God has done in my life. I know who I was and I know who I am after I surrendered my life to Christ.
I sincerely plead with anyone who has read this book but has not yet yielded his/her life to Christ to sober down for a moment and reflect on the offer of salvation that is available for anyone who wishes.
Blessings of God be upon you, and be so multiplied!
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH AN ANGEL—OR WAS IT WILSON?
(1) See “The Secret Weapon Against Terrorism, Xulon Press, 2007, chapter 7.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD …
(1) See “Virtue That Counts”, Chapter19.
(1) More on this in a pending book: Lessons From School: Understanding God’s Ways Through School Experiences.
(2) ibid. (As above).
BARGAINED WITH GOD AND LOST—OR SO I THOUGHT
(1) More on this in a pending book “Swimming with Crocodiles”.
THE FIRST ROUND OF TESTS
(1) More on this in a pending book: “Grace: An Ocean or a Swimming Pool?”
RECKONING WITH DEATH’S BECKONINGS
(1) See “Faith, Mountain and the Seven Options”.
(2) See “When God Didn’t Fulfil His Word”
(3) See more on this in “Lessons from the Road”, Xulon Press, 2005, chapter 7.
One of the difficulties I faced as I wrote this book was how to organise it. I struggled to decide whether to structure things thematically or chronologically. I must confess that in some cases I was at a loss determining what happened first. But I finally settled for chronological composition. This turned to be a better option because it shows where and how I started and how I came to be who I am and where I am.
There is something however that may be lost as a result of not adopting thematic approach. In order not to miss out on this, I have written a manual where I have collected some topics where the reader can actively interact with this book. The manual is called: “Dreams of Hope and Visions of Divine Intervention: Manual and Interaction.”
If the reader so wishes, he/she can read this book and then follow it by doing some study along the selected topics in the manual. In the manual, the reader will get the following themes among others: Dreams, visions, revelations, divine interventions; angels; preparations; fear, etc. I believe that God speaks to us through many avenues. The only problem is that sometimes we miss out on what God is speaking to us because we are not trained to listen to Him in various circumstances. This manual will help the reader tap into certain things that God has been speaking to you about but you may not have known that He was talking. When you reflect and interact with this book using the manual as an equipment, you may begin to relive some experiences thereby giving yourself a second chance to listen to the voice of God in that experience.
I want to personally thank you for taking time to read through this book. If you are reading through the epilogue but haven’t read through the book, I would recommend that you read before coming to this section.
For me I don’t consider it happened by chance that you hold this book in your hand. Prayerfully consider what you have read and may the light of the glory of God shine brighter in your life as you seek to commune with God.
Whatever your spiritual status, I trust God that there is something in one way or the other that has been touched in your life through reading this book. To that I give God the glory.
Maybe you read this book after it was given to you or recommended by a friend or a relative and you personally are not so “excited” about a relationship with the Saviour. Or perhaps you have been generally religious but cannot be sure about where you belong—whether in or out of the flock. Do not play “let’s wait and see!”
Before you put this book down, I would like to make an altar call—calling you to the platform of decision, if you had never made the decision before. This is nothing more than giving you an opportunity to give a careful thought about eternity. This is to provoke a reflective consideration of the destiny that faces every soul.
If you had made a decision to follow Jesus before but for one reason or the other, you let go your relationship with Him, you can make a renewed decision.
Jesus’ hand is outstretched towards you. He is willing to take your hand in His hand and guide you through life.
If you don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, this call is for you. If you have known and followed religion more than you have known and followed Jesus, this call is for you as well. If you have paid your allegiance to the pop culture more than you have to the Scripture, this call is for you.
If you want to make a renewed commitment to the Lord Jesus, you are welcome to do so in your own way.
I know from experience that there are some people who sometimes have the desire to start a walk with God but they don’t know how to start, or what kind of prayer to make. The following prayer is meant to help such people. If you desire to call on the Lord Jesus Christ for the eternal redemption of your soul, then the prayer below is in line with this kind of desire. Pray the words from your heart, knowing that you are committing yourself to what the words are beseeching for you before the throne of love, grace and mercy.
The essence of the prayer below must not be construed to be the “only” way you can make your prayer. That means, if you can get your own words, even if they are mumbled with incoherent words, God will decipher it from your heart. You are free to express yourself to God in the way you feel reflects what is in your heart. God will definitely respond to your call:
Dear heavenly Father, I accept that I am a sinner and that I can’t be reconciled to You through any other way except through the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son. Neither good works nor religion can save me.
I accept that the death and the resurrection of Jesus were meant for me—to pay for my sins and to give me the hope of everlasting life, respectively.
Today, I call You, Jesus, into my life. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. I give You my will to have the ultimate say in my life.
I pray that You fill me with the Holy Spirit so that He may become my Guide, Comforter, Teacher and Reminder of the things of life. Open Your Scripture for me that I may be instructed in Your ways.
I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that You, Jesus, rose from the dead and that You are the Son of God who came to redeem me from the bondage and deception of sin. I am now saved and restored unto my Heavenly Father. I am now a new creation. My past is blotted out and I am given a second chance to reflect the image of my Father.
Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me. Thank You for accepting me. Thank You for promising that You’ll never leave nor forsake those who come to You.
Thank You for writing my name in the Book of Life.
I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!
If you have prayed that prayer from your heart, you are now saved—your debt of sin is settled. It is that simple. What you need to do to feed your spirit and secure yourself in the faith are the following—to start with:
• Communicate with your Father as often as possible. In other words, let prayer be part of your daily life.
• Make a daily schedule for reading and studying the Word of God. However busy you are, make time for this. It is important—more important than bread.
• Share your new life. Don’t hide the fact that you have become a born-again believer. Share your testimony. Witness to your friends and relatives—to start with. Salvation is personal but not private.
• Get yourself into a local church—a Bible-believing church. Remember: Not every congregation that invokes the name of God necessarily comprises genuine faith. There are many false religions out there. Get yourself into a Bible-believing and preaching church. Seek to team up with other believers who confess salvation and their life is consistent with the teachings of the Bible.
• And, be cautious with relationships, transactions and acts that may quench your passion for the things of God. The way to begin is quitting anything that you know is outrightly wrong. Make friends with people who will help you grow in your faith. This, however, doesn’t mean that you disown your former friends, but that you need to draw a line of how to relate to them and what not to be drawn into. Should you find that they are a stumbling block on the way of your spiritual growth, you can “retreat” and get back to them later when you have “matured” enough to “forcefully” shine the light of Christ in the dark corners of their life.
God bless you!!
Thank you once more for taking your time to read through DREAMS OF HOPE AND VISIONS OF DIVINE INTERVENTION.
If you can, please do share your experience with us. Our e-mail contact is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you will, visit us at www.cilmin.com and see how you can help us fight terrorism and poverty, among other things.
May the grace of God be multiplied in your life as you cling to the hope that doesn’t disappoint. If we don’t meet here on earth, I hope to meet you in Glory Land.
OTHER BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR
1. VIRTUE THAT COUNTS:
Pursuing That Which Touches The Heart Of God
(Published by Author House. March, 2004).
With a chilling message, an angel comes to announce that the end is imminent:
Only ONE person world-wide sought God’s heart enough to find His pleasure. ‘This person’ alone would enter His rest in heaven.
WOW! Who could he/she be? You wonder as you begin compiling a list of possible candidates. As the list approaches 100 mark, you suddenly realise that something is seriously wrong—your name hasn’t featured. It would be self-flattery to include it this early.
This book challenges you to be ‘that person’. It shows you how to “make your calling and election sure”. It doesn’t however do this as a systematic method-sounding ‘seven-steps-to-heaven’ approach—God’s ways are not tied down to ‘methods’.
A situation where an angel comes to announce that only one person ‘qualifies’ to enter God’s presence may not be likely. Nevertheless, entering God’s rest is personal. If it’s not going to be you, it wouldn’t matter even if everyone else makes it.
This book highlights some taken-for-granted ‘trivial matters’. By so doing, it shows that what counts is not religion with its magnificent outward rituals but relationship with its bona fide responsibility for the people and over the things God has assigned us.
2. A LIFE OF AN ENTHUSIASTIC WORSHIP
Secrets of Worshipping God in and out of Season
(Xulon Press, March, 2005).
With a starting point that we were created to fellowship with God, this book shows how this fellowship is about worship. It reveals practical “secrets” of relating with God in ways that facilitate worshipping. It maintains that if we embrace the heavenly instructions, we would embarrass earthly distractions, thereby guarding against shallow fellowship and fallow relationships.
With illustrations from personal and general life experiences, Ogweno uniquely uses captivating inspirational moments that clarify the intention of “true” worship and render the attention it deserves. The book aims at making worshipping an everyday affair—something defining the essence of your being; something you do out of pleasure, not pressure—something you can’t reserve only for congregational gatherings.
This book will challenge, inspire, equip and get you focused to nurture an intimate fellowship with God. It will also show you how God’s signature in nature is meant to capture your attention and motivate you to venture into a worshipping adventure.
3. LESSONS FROM THE ROAD:
Understanding God’s Ways Through Traffic Experience
(Xulon Press, November, 2005)
This book is about seeing and hearing God in everyday experiences—in this case, traffic environment. It tells stories from the road and relates them to what they teach in our spiritual journey.
Many people yearn to hear from God but aren’t willing to listen to Him, yet, we can’t hear God if we can’t listen to Him and we can’t listen to Him if we can’t hear Him.
This book is written in the belief that it is from the daily common experiences that Jesus Himself drew lots of teachings. Just as it was then, so it is today—our surroundings are rich with insights into the spiritual matters.
This book amplifies what God has been speaking to us through the traffic and by so doing, ‘gives a second chance’ to those of us who might not have listened or might have not heard Him in the traffic.
If Christ was to physically give sermons, perform miracles and tell parables in our contemporary world, He would most likely derive and plot quite a number of them in the context of our traffic environment. Short or long distance, we use the road more than ever before. This means that any teaching plotted in the traffic environment concerns virtually everyone.
Lessons From The Road uniquely captures and amplifies the “persistent voice” of God in the traffic. It takes a starting point from the traffic setting, illustrates and then builds from there to highlight how our daily traffic exposure is an opportunity to understand God’s ways.
Find out what God has been speaking to you on the road. You don’t have to be avowed Christian to benefit from this book.
4. SECRET WEAPON AGAINST TERRORISM:
The Only Way of Capturing “The Most Wanted”
(Xulon Press, 2007)
When God sent Jesus to save mankind, He did something that He could do only because He is God. One mystery of Christ is that He came not only to identify with us but also to reveal God as a Father. For those who would accept Jesus, they would acquire the right to be called the children of God (John 1:12).
The fact that God revealed Himself as a Father bothered the devil so much. He made it the basis of his war against Christ and what He represented. Jesus was accused of calling God His Father. Because He identified with us, His Father would also become our Father. The understanding of this act of grace or lack of it, will determine what becomes of terrorism and counterterrorism.
If God is the Father, and He surely is, He cannot sit back and watch His children confrontationally sorting it out with one another, leave alone asking a section of His children to “punish” the errand children. As far as I know, an ideal father doesn’t delegate matters of discipline to his children.
As we search for solution, we wonder where the security haven is in our world today. International terrorism doesn’t spare any part of the world. No-one knows where the suicide bomber is going to hit next.
The questions that are in the mind of people who are conscious of the dangers of terrorism are: “Is it is going to decrease or increase? Can we trust the security arrangements and government policy to provide impeccable security?
Suppose there is a way to contain terrorism, how much can you invest in it? Suppose you are told that there is a sure secret that would take the wind out of the terrorist’s sail, would you care to listen?
If you are one of those who don’t consider it an act of terrorism to fight for your rights, suppose you are told that you don’t have to lose your life but that there is a solution—a deep secret that will crown you with victory, will you consider it?
Whether it is an attitude to or an action against your perceived enemy, stop for a moment and consider the secrets shared in this book.
5. THE PURSUIT OF COMMITMENT:
Principles of Commitment for a Functional Life in Christ
(Xulon Press, 2008)
I thought I was awake. I couldn’t afford to sleep-drive, but I slept—behind the steering wheel.
A watchman, doing a night shift, walks to his boss and asks for permission to travel home. He had dreamt the previous night that his mother was seriously ill. The watchman was supposed to be “watching” but he slept. He never realised that by telling his boss that he dreamt, he equally informed him that he was sleeping on duty.
One unique thing about sleeping is that we can’t tell we are asleep until we wake up. This means we may be deep asleep in the wrong place and time without even knowing it.
This book will test your condition. If you have been spiritually sleeping, it will tap you on the shoulder and wake you up. If you are awake, it will cheer you on to a more passionate vitality and prevent you from spiritual drowsiness.
The principles and insights shared in this book will help you gauge your spiritual vigilance and relevance.
6. WHEN GOD DID NOT FULFIL HIS WORD:
A Flash of a Thought, a Lingering Paradox or a Permanent Verdict?
I knew death was a reality but when my father died when I was 12 and my mother had abandoned us 6 years earlier, it was one of the cruellest things I have experienced on this side of life. Although Sunday school had not yet entrenched the teachings about resurrection into my heart, but when I saw my father lying there lifeless, I waited eagerly that the old man would arise from the dead—for sure. I waited and waited until 3 days later, he was buried. I would be an orphan all the same—in a very cruel environment. Why did God allow my father—an extremely good man—to die at that inappropriate time? I have struggled with this question—to be honest—until today!
For me, that God exists has always been intuitive—I am not a good pretender, hence, I have always conceded this truth even when God “fails to godly” assert Himself.
I have “known” God from childhood although I never lived for Him at one point of time. I have always known that God can do everything, which brings me to the reason for writing this book. If God is powerful and loving; merciful and gracious, why does He allow things that make us get tempted to think that we, human beings, could have done better? This may be age old question but the author gives another perspective in line with unique experiences he has experienced personally and observed in the lives of people around him.
The writing of this book was prompted by “untimely deaths” that ought not to have been. We prayed and believed that God not only heard our prayers but also spoke back to confirm that our prayers would be answered. When death defied our prayers, it was time to ask some questions.
Have you ever prayed about something and believed that your prayers would be answered positively only to get a rude shock when the opposite happens? This book asks some of the toughest questions anyone can ever ask. It shows that we can ask God tough questions without questioning Him.
7. FAITH, MOUNTAIN AND THE SEVEN OPTIONS
Faith that moves mountains is great, greater still is that which conquers them. After considering all the options that we have in responding to a mountain that stands in the way to challenge our faith, this book emphasises one option that is better than sending the mountain fleeing. Did you know that sending a mountain packing is not the best you can do to conquer it? Did you know that in a fight, the one who wins is not more than a conqueror if his opponent managed to run away? He may have won only a temporary victory because the person who runs away after being defeated may scheme, train and eventually call for a rematch.
Most of the times we take it that faith is at its best when it is strong enough to move mountains. This book shows, however, that there is another option not much talked of, yet it is the essence of conquering a mountain.
You are not yet more than a conqueror when you win over nakedness with clothes; hunger with food; poverty with riches, and sickness with health, etc.
This book counts seven options that are open to the one who is journeying along the road of faith. It shows what all the seven options imply and the best option that entails being more than a conqueror. Find out how your faith can register an ultimate defeat over mountains.
OTHERS (Pending Publication):
1. The Fundamentals Of Balanced Christianity
2. Swimming With Crocodiles
3. The Life Of A Prophetic And Apostolic Church
4. Mistake God Never Made