The Perfect Sunday Service 

Sunday Worship

When someone says “church”, what immediately comes to mind would be a traditional Sunday Worship Service. I believe that`s why most folks (about 50 percent of the entire population in many local churches) find it easier to miss weekly services. Services like the Prayer Meeting and the Bible Study Meeting record such low turnout from members. Members don`t feel so bad when they don`t come to church on those days, but will have guilt overshadowing them when they try to miss a Sunday Service.

The atmosphere is different on Sundays. Everyone somehow looks tushed up on a Sunday. Even the members who attend weekly services will dress better on a Sunday. In other words, no meeting that occurs weekly in any local church equals the Sunday Service in importance to the average church-goer.

The controversial topic of service structure is one that I really try to avoid, but is also one that I have been unable to. What should be part of a service? How should a service be ordered? What should come before what? I`m sure you must have asked some of these questions before, except if you have not been attending church services. Now, I have friends who speak against services with such rigid structures that there actually is no space for spontaneity. They Holy Spirit, they argue, can be restricted in such services. Everyone will have their unique views on this. But what really makes a service complete? Continue reading

The Jesus of History

I personally believe that Jesus is one of the most controversial figures in history. In my opinion, Jesus of Nazareth is the only man who has a personality that is either distorted or misinterpreted by different worldviews. He has one true identity, but this has never stopped men from creating images of Him that suit their numerous ideologies and worldviews.

In certain circles, He is seen as a prophet and nothing more. In others, a great moral teacher. Some others see Him as one great man that met His demise too early. It is interesting to note that Jesus is one of the only personalities that cut across so many worldviews and religions on earth. They quote Him, respect Him, worship Him misguidedly and even await His return. Because one worships or acknowledges the ministry or life of Jesus doesn’t make one a true believer.

Continue reading

On Critics..

​It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Excerpt from Courageous Living by Michael Catt, Senior Pastor, Sherwood Church, Georgia.

I Slept With Tamar

Crying Man

I remember the first day she smiled at me
She had tied my heart with strong reins
And I became a willful captive, bound by
The simple thought of my mistress

Her voice became my very bread, I
Would wake up everyday hoping to hear
The voice that made me come alive inside,
The words that could set me on fire

Continue reading

The Beast I Call Love

Love-Tree

Love is a raging beast. Like a lion, it seeks that which will satisfy it. Love lies in wait and preys upon the other creatures as they feed. But even they all can’t satisfy Love. Infatuation and Obsession stand afar off, reminiscing about the past and fondly sharing stories of great conquests. Their very presence repel Love. And most nights, Love goes to bed hungry.

Love is a hungry creature. Love growls as the hunger pangs hit it over and over again. How will it survive this evening? It has been so hungry for long now. If only it could find something satisfying. But one so pure can’t feed off impure creatures. They can never bring satisfaction.

Love is like a noble Prince who leaves his homeland in search of a Princess worthy to be called his Queen. He battles unfavorable conditions – the cold nights, the afternoons when the sun smiles brightest and the thieves that always lie in wait for unsuspecting travellers. But the Prince is resolute. He’ll never stop until he finds her.

Love would cross a thousand seas and weather a million storms until it finds true satisfaction. But what would ever satisfy Love? What could possibly put an everlasting smile on Love’s face?

The truth remains that the only thing that can ever satisfy Love is Love. Love was never meant to go unrequited. The best response to Love is Love. Yes, Love will be patient, kind, true, selfless and noble even when it is not returned. But imagine what will happen when Love finally gets Love.

That’s what Easter is all about. Love gave all to get Love. Nothing will ever satisfy that Love except our response of Love. Don’t ever forget: God created us to give Love. But we must first respond to Calvary’s Love. Only then can we love as He wants us to. Easter is all about Love.

Happy Easter!

Adìos!

The 21st Century Minister: The Spoken Gospel [Pt. One]

Great Commission

The Great Commission – Mk. 16:15


I stopped by the fourth stall in the market that had what I was looking for. It wasn’t really a stall. The Hausa man in charge of the goods just had an umbrella which shielded him and his goods from the onslaught of the hot sun. This left customers like myself in the hot sun. Just as I bent down to touch the first good that caught my attention, I heard the voice of a man over a megaphone. I was used to the locals advertising their goods with the aid of megaphones, ranging from insecticides to herbal drugs that supposedly cured infertility.

I turned around to see the person who was advertising his wares. It turned out that he wasn’t advertising any wares. I caught a glimpse of him just as he disappeared into the crowd. He was not very tall and I could clearly detect a strong Igbo accent as he talked. He was a street preacher. I couldn’t hear his message clearly. This was due to the fact that the market was boisterous and mainly because the megaphone battery was almost dead. I turned back to the man who had what I wanted to buy and started haggling over an initial price that I had thought was simply absurd. I totally forgot about the street preacher.

Imagine my surprise then when I saw another woman with a megaphone in another section of the market that I had gone to. She was headed toward the same direction that I was. This gave me the opportunity to look at her properly. What immediately caught my attention was the fact that she wore a green jacket. The only church in Nigeria that I knew of that wore green jackets was The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Ministries International (that’s the name that I know of). Her jacket had somewhat faded, but I could clearly spell the word C-H-O-S-E-N written boldly with red ink at her back.

This woman preacher was clearly Igbo, judging by the way she pronounced words. The battery in her megaphone was also almost dead. But I was able to pick out some of the things that she was saying. “Holiness” and “righteousness” were two words which she used often. In my mind, I said that I wasn’t surprised. I know of many churches in Nigeria that we the younger generation (who don’t attend those churches) refer to as Holiness Churches. Simply put, a Holiness Church is one where Holiness can be preached every Sunday for five years and the pastor won’t feel the need to change the style of his sermons. I currently attend a kind of Holiness Church so I can relate a little with such messages. My uncle is also a pastor in one of such churches.

But what struck me was the way she used words. She mixed present and past tenses, without any obvious regard for the grammatical rules that govern the English Language. I have one big weakness: I can hardly sit down and listen to people make grammatical errors without correcting them. This annoys many of my friends, but I somehow cannot stop. It’s my Achilles’ heel. And I looked at a woman preaching and inwardly mocked her due to her weak command of the English Language.

Just as I was about to leave that part of the market, I was reprimanded by the Holy Spirit.

“At least she’s obeying my command. She’s doing what you’re not doing.”

At this point, I had to ask for mercy. I had been wrong. I had been terribly wrong. The man and the woman were clearly obeying the Lord’s command and I was mocking them. The female street preacher then went on to lead those who had responded to the Gospel through the Sinner’s Prayer. I knew that no one was probably listening, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was her obedience.

How many times have you looked down on those who do ministry or serve the Lord differently from you? Maybe they don’t sing well enough. Maybe they don’t teach or interpret scriptures well enough. Many they don’t even know how to dress well when they minister! Folks, what matters is that they’re obedient.

Dear Minister, the Lord still considers obedience to be better than whatever you think you’re sacrificing that the others aren’t. When last did you obey the Great Commission? 

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Rom. 10:14 (NIV)

I’ll like to hear from you. Have you ever looked down on a minister? Do you think that certain ways of sharing the Gospel are better than others? Don’t forget to drop your contributions in the comment box below.

Adìos!

© Eleazar Maduka, 2017

Master.

Man with addiction

“I’ll be free one day,” you lie as you slowly approach me. You don’t even believe your words. You feel a tugging from deep within, a voice telling you to turn away from me. I don’t feel the slightest concern that you’ll obey that voice. I know that you were too much of a slave not to obey my instructions.
“Come to me,” I beckon unto you. You can’t help it. My voice seems to penetrate deep into you, hitting the core of your will and drawing you toward me. I have always basked in my ability to make men do what I want them to do. I give a dry laugh as I see you struggle between my voice and His voice. I am winning the battle. I am your master and you’re my slave.
I sense a slight withdrawal and I tighten the hoop around your neck. You are going to bow. The voice within can’t even stop it. I’ve got you exactly where I want you. You come so close to me and I stroke your cheeks. You close your eyes as you hold me in your hands. In that single moment, I see how much you’ve fallen for me. I see how deep you’ve gotten into me. I’m not bothered. I live for this.
I’m your addiction. I lie in wait everyday. Like a trained robber, I watch you closely every single moment, waiting for you to display signs of weakness. And like a fierce lioness, I pounce the very moment you let your guard down. You are in love with the One that dwells within you, the One who speaks whenever you get weak. But I know the exact strings to strum in order to make you move your feet and dance.
You can defeat me in a heartbeat, but you don’t know that. You think I’m strong. I’m not. That’s why I lie in wait like a thief. My weakness makes me hide until you get weak. I never show up when you’re strong. But you don’t know that. The One who dwells inside of you is bigger and stronger than I am. I shudder in fear just at the thought of Him. But you don’t know that. That’s why you still bow to me.
All that matters right now is me. I don’t intend to let you go tonight until you’ve drank yourself to stupor. Fall at my feet, slave! You’re exactly where I want you to be. I smile at your devotion. I am your addiction. I am your master and you’re my slave.
©  Eleazar Maduka, 2017