Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Yes (band)’

Chinua Achebe: Death, Where Are Thy Claws? By Niyi Osundare.

By Niyi Osundare

Chinua Achebe is one of those epically unique individuals whose lives have been so full, so purposive and so impactful that we begin to pray that they will never die. But who doesn’t know that that is mere wishful thinking? To be sure, the Eagle on Iroko didn’t die young, but he left when we still need him urgently and acutely. He has gone, but he left so much of, by, himself behind…
Achebe shook up the literary world with Things Fall Apart when he was barely in his late twenties. He told Africa‘s story and gave humanity a song. Since that day in 1958 when that epochal novel intruded upon the world to this very day, hardly any week has passed without the author’s name being mentioned somewhere in this world of books and ideas.

But if the sheer force and range of Achebe’s fiction gave Africa a voice, the fearless truth of his critical interventions challenged so many myths and deliberate falsehoods about the most misrepresented and recklessly abused continent in the world. Achebe knew, and he tried to get us to know, that  Africans will remain mere objects of the stories told by others, until they, Africans,  have started to tell their own story their own way – without shutting out the rest of the world. Achebe challenged the 20th century philosophy of fiction as a pretty object d’art, arriving with works which foregrounded the human condition and told the wondering world that the clotheless Emperor was, indeed, naked! He entered a plea for the urgent necessity of an entity called ‘applied art‘ and emboldened us to look triumphalist Formalism in the face and demand to see its passport. Yes, Achebe told a world sold to the art-for-art’s-sake mystique that it is, indeed, possible to be an accomplished novelist who is also a teacher.

Controversy hardly ever parts company with a writer and thinker of his brand. He took almost as much criticism as he gave; for he was a man who never ran from a fight.

The world celebrates the LIFE of this distinguished story-teller and thinker. (Yes, celebrate, for to mourn is to concede supremacy to Death – and Oblivion, its Mephistophelean factotum).

Rest well, Chinualomogu. Rest well, Obierika, the man who thought about things. Posterity will never let you die. We regret your passing. We celebrate your Life.

Niyi Osundare
New Orleans.


Right words…right time…

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
-Proverbs 9:9

I love wisdom. I love when people have the right thing to say at the right time. Here’s an example:

A teenager once said, “Dad, now that I’m 16, I’d like to own an automobile and so maybe you can get that for me.”

“Well,” said the dad, “if you can make straight A’s and then cut your hair, I think you’d be ready for a car.”

The boy came back nine weeks later with a straight-A report card, and he said, “Dad, I’m ready for my car.”

The father responded, saying, “Yes, but your hair still is atrocious, and I’m not going to get you a car until you cut your hair.”

“Dad,” said the boy, “I can’t believe you make such a big deal about my long hair. Even Jesus had long hair.”

“Yes,” said the dad, “and He walked everywhere He went.”

What a wise response! Yes, we all need wisdom.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that, by following you, through your word and your will, I will gain wisdom and strength to live life abundantly in each new day. Amen.

Reflection: Has anyone called you wise? What had you done to cause others to perceive you in this way?

By Steve Arterburn, Crystal Cathedral Guest Pastor

{ Day 250 }.

Incline your ear, and come to Me. … I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people. —Isaiah 55:3-4, NKJV

David was a lot like many Christians today. He didn’t just want to be a man of obedience and intimacy.

He wanted to see the power of God released in his nation and in his personal life. This pursuit pleases God.

The Lord at this very moment is searching for men and women whose hearts can be fully His. He is looking for that capital Yes in people’s spirits.

Some mistakenly believe that they must be without weakness in order to contend for and receive God’s power.

They imagine some perfect, totally righteous person being endued with the power of the Holy Spirit, but they never picture themselves doing great works of power for God.

They know their own faults too well. The good news from David’s life is that not only does God allow us to draw close to Him in intimacy in spite of our failings, but He also encourages us to pursue His power even when we are weak.


Father, give me Your eyes to see myself as Your mighty warrior. Let me confront the Goliaths in my life with David’s confidence, saying, “You come to me with human strength, but I come before you in the strength of my God.”

David’s life is a witness that weakness does not disqualify us from experiencing God’s power.


God’s Promise for Life’s Storms.

Romans 8:28

As we continue our series of messages under the heading: The If’s, Ands and Buts of the Bible … take your Bible and turn with me to Romans 8.  It’s here we find one of the great promises of God and of course when we talk about the “If’s” of the Bible .. we’re talking about those iffy promises of God.
Learn this about the promises of God: while most of them are conditional, all of them are trustworthy!  Our God is the original promise keeper!  He’s not only a promise maker .. He is a promise keeper.
We read in 2 Corinthians 1.20, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

And then in Titus 1.2 where we read, “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” In other words .. God says what He means and He means what He says!  You can believe the word of God!
Today we come to another familiar passage of scripture.  In fact .. it may be one of the most quoted passages of scripture second only to John 3.16.

But we’re going to see that not only is it one of the most quoted passages of scripture… it could be one of the most misquoted and misunderstood passages of scripture.
I’m afraid that a lot of the people claiming this promise have no business claiming it because it’s not for them and do you know why?  Because they’re not meeting the condition!
So what is this promise that has more claimers than it should and how can we all claim it today?  Well … it is …
God’s Promise for Life’s Storms
Romans 8.28
Verse 28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
The sooner you realize that being a Christian in no way exempts you from life’s storms .. the better off you will be.  The Bible says in Job 14.1, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” In other words .. if you’ve been born of a woman: your days are few and what days you have .. are full of trouble.
I have’em.  You have’em.  Adam had’em!  We all have’em!  The only people who don’t have’em are found today in cemeteries! And don’t think you get a pass because you’re saved.  In this life there are storms!
Now some storms are for CORRECTING.  That’s what happened to Jonah.  After three days at the University of Wales .. he learned that disobeying God never pays off.
Sometimes storms are for CONNECTING.  That’s what happened to Joseph and his family.  It took a famine to get them back together again.
Sometimes storms are for CONFORMING.
That’s what happened with the disciples on the sea of Galilee when a storm came up suddenly.  They weren’t in the storm because they were out of God’s will.  They were in the storm because they were in God’s will.
God allowed that storm to help conform them into the image of His Son!  There are CORRECTING STORMS … CONNECTING STORMS … …

By Dr. Ernest L. Easley

Order my Steps and Guide my Socks!

Some prayers I pray daily, without fail. One of them is this: “Lord, please establish my thoughts and order my steps this day.” Such promises are in His word, and I believe that every day when I pray this prayer, God does just what it asks.

One recent morning, I put on some warm, fuzzy purple socks to pounce around the house in. I wore slip on heels to work that day and totally forgot to take off the socks. About halfway to work, I happened to glance down, and I almost stopped the car as I noticed my purple socks—glaring. So I thought, “I’ll just stop by Walgreen’s and get some knee-highs.” Driving down the street rocking my praise, I hastily turned into what I thought was the driveway for Walgreen’s. Instead, it was a closed restaurant. Just as I was about to drive out of the parking lot, I noticed a homeless woman, who seemed to come out of nowhere, and she and I both just stopped and stared at each other. I knew in that instant this was a meeting God had gently guided me to. She slowly walked over to the car as I rolled down the window.

I immediately asked her if she was hungry, and as she nodded I proceeded to give her most of what I had packed for my lunch. She was so excited and asked if I were a “God person.” I said, “Yes Ma’am, I am.” I asked if she knew that God loved her. “Oh yea; I’m still alive.” I then steered the conversation to the Bible, specifically Romans 10:9. She said, “Oh I know all about that,” and she kept mentioning her “brother” who was really beat up and bruised and suffered a lot. It was almost as if this brother she spoke about was Jesus Himself—whom we know suffered greatly on the cross as payment for our sins. Since she “knew all about Romans 10:9,” I asked had she actually done what it said. Her response: “H— yea!” We had a good laugh.

“I’m thirsty,” she said. I had two water bottles, both less than half empty. I poured one into the other and gave it to her. Her grin widened. “You got a lot of clothes,” she stated emphatically. “Don’t you? I need some clothes; I’m freezing.” I remembered I had packed some workout clothes for later that evening, so I handed her the bag and informed her that she now had a new T-shirt, pants and socks. At the word “pants” she lit up like a 5-year-old, which made my heart smile. With the biggest grin, she declared that God had blessed her that day. I responded by asking if I could read some of His word to her. So we read a little. She asked me for the third time if I had any (Christian) literature. She seemed just as eager to have the literature about God as much as the food, water and clothing. I was so enjoying meeting Gigi.

As a parting word, I told her that Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25: 40). I explained to her that in other words, everything I had given her this day, I was really giving to Jesus … He was the one who used me to bless her that day. At those words, she closed her eyes, and she had the most peaceful countenance. She asked for a hug and I obliged. Yes, she was dirty, and her hair needed a wash badly, but that didn’t matter in that moment. I knew that Jesus would have given her a hug, too. In fact, He did—through me.

I knew that the Holy Spirit didn’t want me to change my purple socks that morning; He knew I would want to change them and attempt to stop at Walgreen’s; and He knew I would make the mistake I did—and find Gigi. He needed to bless one of His children. When you find yourself in a strange place, don’t always be in such a hurry to leave. Stop, assess your surroundings, and consider the possibility that you may be just where God wants you. He may be using you to give Him food, something to drink, and clothing for His journey … that He takes every day and distributes as needed … as He walks with—and sometimes carries—His precious children. I’m so grateful that He guides our footsteps, even when we’re wearing purple socks.

Scripture of the Day: “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”Matthew 25:35-36.

By Vanessa Burke.

{ Day 116 }.

Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Song of Solomon 8:6, NAS

God‘s holy flame is relentless and consuming.

It will eventually ignite one focused on Jesus with emotions of love for Him.

However, if we are too busy to ask Him for this and to wait before Him for it, then this flame will be diminished.

Even though our careless living causes this flame of the Spirit to die down, this does not mean God’s love has decreased toward us.

The flame we are referring to here does not represent God’s love and affection for us; rather, it represents the passion and zeal that He imparts in us for His Son.

We can lose our passion for Jesus without losing God’s love for us.


Yes, Father, the fire of Your love has caused a flame to arise within me that seeks to love You more and to know You more.

We must refuse to believe the subtle lie of the enemy that says God’s love for us goes up and down with our own vacillating spiritual feelings and attainments.


{ Day 92 }.

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12

Every time Satan comes to weight down your heart with his lies, speak what the Word says back to him.

The next time your own heart points a merciless, judgmental finger at your own failings, listen to the loving voice of Jesus as declared in His Word that says, “We are pleasing and beautiful to Him.

Yes, we have ravished His heart!”


I hear Your loving voice, my Father, and it drowns out the depressing, lying voice of the enemy.

I will not hear his voice; I will not believe his lies.

You are my hope, my sustenance, and my joy.

When you hear the affirming words of your Beloved, do not open your mouth to protest.

Accept them.

Believe them.

 They’re really true.


Mr. J’s Christmas Letter.

Barabara LardinaisIT was the last day of class before the Christmas recess. The students were distracted and excited to be done. But for the teacher, Mr. J., there was one piece of unfinished business.

Mr. J. had been diligently working on a Christmas project for the students since September. He had secretly sent a letter to the home of each one asking the parents to write a special letter to their child to be presented on this final day. According to his thinking, we often neglect to say the most important things to the people who are most important to us.

He asked each parent to write a letter from their heart to their child and say those things that perhaps had never been expressed before. In the busyness of daily life we may get caught up in; “Don’t forget your lunch money” and neglect; “I love you and treasure the day you were born into our family.” So the letters poured in before the deadline and thankfully, not one child was without a letter to be passed out.

I was one of those parents who turned in a letter. My daughter Danielle was in Mr. J’s class. I was eagerly awaiting the end of the day and the typical call I received at work after Danielle arrived home. ‘Well, what happened,’ I asked? ‘Was everyone surprised?’ ‘How did all of you react?’

Yes it was a total surprise – no one had spilled the beans. The class went totally quiet as the letters were passed out. Tears spilled down faces and sniffles could be heard. In profound silence, the students tucked their precious letters into pockets and left school for Christmas break. These students had been given a once in a lifetime gift. I’m sure most of them still have their letters.

Is there someone you know who could benefit by a surprise Christmas letter from you this year? It will cost you time and thought and caring but it will be worth it. To the one who receives it – it will be priceless!

The writer is an author and speaker. You can read her blogs here. 

By Barbara Lardinais.

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