Review – Something To Start With

So, it’s been a little over a month since I released my EP, Something To Start With, and I am grateful to those who’ve listened or downloaded it. i just thought I’d share the motivation, among others, for each poem you hear on it.
IT’S AMAZING
The inspiration for this poem came after listening to Benjamin Dube’s “Bow Down And Worship Him”. The first five minutes has the South African worship leader just ascribing praise to God, and after a couple of listens, I really felt inspired to put something down.
Can I be honest? Afterwards, I looked at it and wasn’t satisfied. I thought it lacked cohesion; it looked pretty disorganized to me. So I tossed it aside. But when T.R.P. (ThroneRoom Perspective) started the popular ‘ThroneRoom Thursday’ Whatsapp broadcast, I went back, looked at it, and realized it wasn’t as bad as I had initially thought. So we had it shared, and at the end of the day, it made its way onto the EP.
Basically, it’s a worship poem. A poem where I reflect on the truth of the Gospel. A poem where I consider how miniscule our praise is when we truly come to grips with the awesome nature of the One we worship. A poem where I reflect on the beautiful love God has for us. I certainly don’t know why I thought it was substandard, but I’m glad those scales fell off. Lol.
VOICES

This poem was borne out of a rather dark point in time last year. I don’t wanna go into the details too much. That can be found in another poem of mine which I’ll probably release very, very soon.

So, after falling for a really sweet girl, things went bad, and my self-esteem took a pretty nasty blow. Thoughts of the wrong nature started popping up and making me feel low. The push to write came on one Tuesday morning, as I was on my way to work, playing ‘The Anthem’. As the poem tells you, I really wanted my brain to get off the pain and the thoughts. Did it work? Well, you can take that to be a rhetorical question…
Well, with what I’ve said, this is more of a life experience poem, where I display myself dealing with torturous thoughts and realizing how much of a negative effect they have on me. Forcing me to make up some escapist comforting thoughts, deceiving me into thinking that those fantasies will be as good as it’ll ever be.
But more importantly, I battle the major lie these thoughts convey: that I’ll never be loved. As you hear, I knock that off with Romans 8:38-39.
It’s not your typical ‘Christian struggle’ poem where I end off with a regular victory proclamation. I preferred to be truthful about those sort of things than leave you thinking I conquered it all in no time flat. It took a long time to get over the struggle, and I wrote it at a time when I was in the thick of it, so I chose to be realistic about it. One thing is for sure as you hear it: I’m not sitting in and enjoying the lies, but fighting it.
FLOWERS FOR HIS FATHER
So, I got the inspiration from a picture on Facebook. A picture I’m very sure you’ve seen. A picture of some kids (with really big heads, lol) laughing at a person who was holding flowers, and the balloon speech shows they’re laughing at him because those flowers were for his father. That’s one half of the picture. The other half shows him in front of a tombstone, with the flowers on it, and him crying.
One day, that picture got me thinking: if I was one of those young boys, how would I feel if I saw him in the cemetery? What would my reaction be?
The answer to those questions is what you have in the poem.
This was also shared on the ThroneRoom Thursday broadcast, and I initially had no plans to add it to the EP. But God had other ideas.
I tend to look at the scripture that talks about mourning with others who mourn. Romans 12:15. In being a Christian, I notice that we sometimes want to quote scriptures on everything in an attempt to look mighty spiritual, but really, it’s about living out those scriptures, and that’s what I chose to portray here. It’s easy to just toss Job 1:21 at a bereaved soul and then walk away. It’s tougher to just shut up and let the person know you care by being present in the midst of their pain.
I also consider it a lesson to avoid making judgment before knowing the whole story. We tend to quickly pass judgment on others and demean them for certain things we feel are not acceptable or out of place, when there’s a reason for it that we don’t know about.
So, that’s what it is concerning Something To Start With. In case you haven’t heard it, just go down, treat yourself, and download if you want to.
In the meantime, I already have plans for an album! Definitely gonna have more work on that one. Obviously. Already got a name for it, but that info can come later.
#KeepCalmCozWe’reInspired
P.S. If you’re interested in receiving weekly poems from my group, send me a text on +233205180127, and expect excellent, God-glorifying poetry every Thursday.

Christianity & Art: My Lil Perspective

For the past couple of weeks, the issue of creativity in the church has been quite a burden on my mind. Past experiences and observations have made me notice that the church today has some perspectives about being creative and usage of the arts, which I personally find distasteful. Allow me to share these thoughts…

  • MYSTICISM

Yes, of course, Christianity is a supernatural religion, and we must be led by the Spirit. No way will I argue with that. But really, some of the beliefs we carry about are just mystical and show how much we’d rather sit in a bubble of comfort. The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly way beyond the stars, as Francis Schaeffer rightly said, yet we’ve successfully chained believers and prevented them from launching out into unknown territories by simply slapping a ‘It’s of the Devil’ tag on them. A lot of churches swear that any music besides praise and worship or hymns is evil and that Satan is the one who created sports (I’m not kidding! A girl once said football was Satan’s idea). I don’t know where all that stuff comes from, but really, it leaves people feeling like their God-given talents are demonic, and thus, they suppress them. But more worryingly, such people give off the impression that the devil is as good a creator as Jehovah, and that’s just messed up. I only know Satan to be the one who distorts the original intent of creation. Scripture never talks of Satan being a creator of any sorts. The only other creator besides God is the one made in His image: man. A mini-creator.

  • ‘SUPPORT KINGDOM STUFF’ THREATS

I’m all for supporting anything a Christian does. But that doesn’t mean I’ll condone wack stuff. I do not consider art to be good based on the religious beliefs of the person who did it, but on how well it was done. So, really, if it’s not good, I will tell you it’s not good, and you better step your game up if I’m going to endorse you. The fact that you’re a Christian rapper doesn’t mean you automatically make it on my playlist if your rapping skills are horrible. Excellent art is what I was made to appreciate, and if you truly are a Christian, I hold you to a higher standard. You’re the child of the Greatest Creator! I don’t expect you to producing substandard stuff and holding me ransom to a ‘if you’re a true Christian, you’ll support me’ threat.

  • OVER HYPED SELF

This is in close connection with the point above. I’m not using this is a basis to support worldly stuff, but I will call a spade a spade. Dear Christian artist, please do not deceive yourself into thinking your new found identity in Christ automatically makes you better than the secular artist. Yes, you have the Ultimate Creator dwelling in you, and that means you can be way better than the secular artist. But it requires work. You cannot write down a poem that has no sign of creativity or beauty in it, and claim that because it’s meant to glorify God, it’s better than another poem not blatantly about God, but artistically on point. No! Mediocrity is not glorifying to God. Do better. Learn the craft. Improve upon your skills. You will be better than the secular artist, I can promise you that, but it is not automatic. If you don’t work it out, forget it. I know of some Christian rappers who are terrible (sorry for the bluntness) and I won’t claim they’re better than the likes of Kendrick Lamar or Nas, because they’re not. If I say Jackie Hill Perry is a serious rapper, it’s not because she’s a Christian, it’s because it’s a technical truth that even an atheist who loves hip-hop would be foolish to deny.

  • ART MUST BE EVANGELISTIC AT ALL COSTS

Francis Schaeffer said, “I am afraid that as evangelicals, we think that a work of art only has value if we reduce it to a tract.” So it is in the church today. Once you have a talent, the only reason it is there is to be used as an evangelistic tool. So once you use it for something other than that, you’ve backslidden and infuriated God.

Now yes, indeed, all things should be done to the glory of God. And it’s an absolutely wonderful thing to dedicate your art to spread the gospel. But does that really mean dealing with other issues in your art makes you less of a Christian? I say no. For starters, the gospel is not limited to just doctrinal beliefs; it affects each and every aspect of life. I see no reason why a poet or rapper who professes Christ as Lord and Saviour must preach about Him, regurgitate a number of scriptures or scream His name a number of times in every single piece of work they create to prove the authenticity of their faith. I find it unnecessary.

Fact of the matter is, the gospel shapes your worldview, so any type of art you create will be a reflection of that worldview. I don’t expect that a Christian would make art that delights in the very evils of this world that his faith cries against. The art in question would be subject to the word of God, and thus direct all glory to Him.

At the end of the day, I’m not against one choosing to preach through his art. I respect that. It’s the constant vilification of those who don’t go that path that I strongly disagree with. It’s not like every single sentence that comes forth from your lips every day is explicitly about God. At best, pray for such people and help keep them grounded if you’re close to them (that’s vital, slipping up is always a possibility), but quit the demonization and demands that they conform to your expectations.

These are my honest thoughts. No intention to knock the church on the head out of spite. I’ve had similar mentalities at a point in time in my walk as a Christian, and it led me to become quite a judgmental isolationist. It’s not a good thing, and that’s why I speak out against it. As Christians, we are meant to be salt and light, but the way I see it, we’re pretty much skipping that command, storing ourselves up in a comfortable place and thinking we’re better off that way. We can do better! Excellence is in our DNA. We can still impact the world and in so doing, point them to the Greatest Creator of all…

 

As 2015 Ends…

Looking back on the past year, there’s one thing I can say for sure that God has proven time without number.

He is faithful!

Yes indeed, He is. And He’s proven it throughout the year.

So, 2015 started with me working and schooling simultaneously. A prospect that probably wouldn’t have been so bad for me if I actually loved my job and the course wasn’t so intense. As the year ends, I’m now at home, a full-time student. I know, some of you may think I should’ve kept the job. But I believe it’s for the best. Studying law is no joke, and since I stopped working, studying got a whole lot easier. So I’m looking forward to conquering the course in the coming year.

It was a memorable year for my family. My parents, in February, solemnized their union at the Registrar-General, and it was a small, but great occasion for us. Definitely one for the history books. I also happened to take one of my slickest pictures on that day! lol

With regard to my passions, it’s been great. Absolutely great. My new blog, which I started last year but had to abandon for various reasons, had a Lazarus experience, and it’s been doing great, and I thank you all who visit it. It’s definitely going strong in 2016! And about spoken word… well, I have improved. Evolved, actually. From limiting myself to rhyme schemes to going free verse, and improving my creativity range, I know I’m a better poet than the guy who did ‘Who He Is To Me’ for the first time on the 4th of January 2014. So of course, that meant a lot of my older poems either got edited or deleted. lol, such is life.

And of course, Something To Start With!!!!! My very first EP! I aimed to release it before the year ended, and it happened. If you haven’t heard it yet, please, do yourself a favour and go get it right here. Bigger things to come in 2016! I already got the album planned out. Keep me in prayers for that.

It hasn’t been all sunshine with a few bright clouds this year, though. I remember the frustrations at the early part of the year, with the work and school issue. It was tough, it caused friction between me and my parents at some point. But thank God it’s over now.

Aside that, I lost some dear folks. One beloved aunt of mine who had been ill for 3 years passed away earlier this year, and it was not easy. The 3rd June disaster delivered a nasty shock when I found out one girl I had been discipling was a victim of the explosion. And just in the middle of this month, the head of the church my mom attends suddenly left us. The last one definitely left me badly shaken, and even as I type this, I still find it hard to digest…

Then of course, there’s the tiny case of relationships. I fell for one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever known, but as has been the case throughout the years, she had zero interest in me and laid it down plainly. I respect her for telling me the truth; I know some wouldn’t. I really don’t know what the future holds, but God is still in control, I know.

Well, to all who made my year a good one, I say God bless y’all, and may we be here again on the 31st of December 2016!!

In The Car 2

Post number 100! Wooohooooo!!!!

So initially, this story wasn’t meant to have a part 2 to it. But after some requests, devil emoticons, threatened curses which were revoked with cooking oil and repetitive playback of “Break Every Chain”, I had it done. Some of y’all wanted to know what happens after Abrefa’s ‘bouncing’. Let’s see…

“Chale, Abby, did I show you the Instagram video of that guy talking about the hotel that sells fufu for hundred Ghana cedis?” Joey asked, as they walked to the car. “Herh, the guy fool oo! He was asking if they cut the plantain and yams from the garden of Eden! Squad dey talk papa!”

Abrefa managed a weak laugh as he acknowledged his friend’s enthusiastic reaction to the 15 second video. “Yeah, I see already.”

Joey’s excited demeanour reduced, looking at his friend. He had hoped that would lighten his mood a bit. The smile flattered to deceive, though. It didn’t.

It had been three months since Abrefa had told him one Thursday morning, that the girl he was crazy about had declined his proposal, saying she saw him as just a friend. He had taken it really hard then, and had tried a few times afterward to try and persuade her. She had taken a harder stance, though, and at a point unequivocally told him to stop disturbing her.

So he did.

It had been massive work, keeping his feelings on a leash and still maintaining a serious attitude to working with her in the same department at church, but he had managed to pull it off, although they didn’t talk as much as they used to.

Last month, though, their head pastor had done a little shuffle within the departments, and Abrefa was made to join Joey and a few others in their department. At least the emotional torment of having to be around her at certain times was over.

What they had seen that afternoon, though, was not quite what would have been expected. In Abrefa’s case, at least.

They had passed by the West Hills Mall to check it out; Joey had never been there before. As they toured the place and took notice of the different outlets around, Abrefa decided they buy a few drinks from Shoprite.

As they took out the drinks from the fridge, Abrefa turned to place some of them in the shopping basket when he noticed a familiar shape at the corner of his eye. He turned slightly. That familiar female frame was leaning against a larger, more muscular frame. Both were laughing.

His stomach did a sharp burn, so sharp he thought he’d throw up. It was Adobea! With another guy!

Before Joey could turn and see them, they walked away. Abrefa whispered furiously to him, “Chale, Joey, I just saw Adobea with some guy. Some macho guy bi.”

Joey’s eyes shot wide open. “Are you serious? So it’s true?”

“What’s true?”

Joey placed his hand over his forehead. That shouldn’t have come out. “Gimme a minute,” he said, clearly looking for a quick plan of some sort. He dragged Abrefa into the next lane. At the check-out point at the end of the lane stood Adobea and the guy, holding two big bags of Doritos.

“Yieeee, Steve dey like sweet things!” Joey exclaimed, more to himself than to Abrefa.

“Who is he?” Abrefa demanded impatiently.

“I beg you, Abby, just pass another place and pay for the stuff. Let me meet up with the guy. I know him, and I was hearing some stuff bi. Gimme a moment to clarify this.”

Ten minutes later, and the clarification had been delivered to Abrefa. And it wasn’t sweet at all.

Steve was Adobea’s new boyfriend.

Not from the same church, but he knew her from the same neighbourhood. He had taken a longer period of time to make his feelings known, but once he had, he clearly had had less resistance. Adobea had had a crush on him for a short while – about a month – and didn’t take too long to say yes.

As Abrefa opened the doors and they took their seats, Joey knew the news had hit him hard. Watching his friend put on his seat belt and just lean back with a sigh, he gently said, “Abby, I know you’re not okay. I won’t ask if you are.”

Abrefa shook his head, putting up his hand as if to defend himself. “No, no, no, Joey. Don’t worry. I’m not angry or bitter. After all, Adobea is a free human being. If she decided she didn’t want me and chose the Steve guy, who am I to vilify her? It’s not like he’s some demon and I’m an angel. You said he’s a good guy who loves the Lord. That’s wonderful.”

“At the end of the day, the problem isn’t with her. It’s with me.”

Joey shook his head. “Abrefa, Abrefa, Abrefa. Listen, I understand what you’re going through-“

“Do you?” Abrefa cut in. “Do you, really? Look, I know you wanna comfort me, but really, I don’t think you really understand. I mean, you’ve told me Nana Yaa has been your girl for close to 5 years now, and she’s the first girl you fell for. See, you haven’t had the experience I’ve had.

“From primary school, I don’t know why, but girls never really liked me. They’d rather hang out with the other boys. As for me, I was like a second-rate version of the male species. They’d take more delight in teasing, mocking… sometimes, they’d hit me! Yeah, I know I’d lose man points for that, but it’s the truth. Left a deep-rooted impression on me. Convinced me that I was not the type of guy that girls would ever really like. That they’d rather go for the next guy.

“This ain’t new. I’ve fallen for so many girls at different times in life. When I was young, dumb and so immature, it was off the roof. When I developed a better understanding of what love is about. Throughout all these times, the result remains the same. Rejection. They tell me they’re not interested, that I’m only good enough to be their friend… ugh! Some of them practically forgot that I even proposed to them in the first place when I jokingly bring it up!!”

Joey was readying himself to cut in, but that last statement left him silent. Ouch! That was quite a stinger.

“It hurts, Joey, it hurts. I often resign myself to the fact that there’s no girl on the face of this planet who would ever want to date me. I know it’s stupid, but… it just sticks.

“Sometimes, I even imagine if I had actually been with Adobea, and as stupid as this may seem, I can’t help but feel that if she had told the likes of Naa Ajele, Naana and Angela that I’m her guy, they’d think ‘Uh, couldn’t you do better than him?’ And yeah, I know they appreciate me and all, but… I can’t help that feeling. And it’s not a good thing, coz at the end of the day, I don’t even trust that they really care about me in the first place!

“If you knew just how many times I wish to just give up totally. Every time I feel that way, I pray and pray and pray, yet it always ends up the same way. I’m tired of feeling like I’m inferior to every other guy. I’m tired of thinking the worst of everyone around me and of myself. I’m tired of feeling substandard. I’m tired of it. I’m tired! I’m tired!”

The last two statements were accompanied by a pounding of the steering wheel, then he laid his head against it, a huge sigh of frustration following.

Joey remained quiet, just watching his friend let out his steam of frustration.

After a minute, Abrefa raised his head. The pain in his heart was evident on his face. His eyes were closed, seemingly looking to prevent tears from flowing. “Look, Joey, I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have vented like that… I just… I never let this out… scared people will dismiss me and…” He drifted off.

“Abby, you’re hurting. It’s so obvious. You know, let me drive. Just take the passenger seat and breathe for a moment,” Joey responded, opening the door and moving over to the driver’s seat. Abrefa didn’t resist. He went over and took the passenger seat.

As Joey started the engine, Abrefa said, “I’m sorry. Shouldn’t have been that immature.”

“It’s alright, Abby. It’s good you let it out. Just take a moment and relax. I’ll take you home.” He set the car in reverse as he moved out of the parking lot. He gently laid a hand on Abrefa, who had closed his eyes again and had adjusted his seat downwards. The stains of leaked tears on his face was apparent. Lord, this friend of mine is hurting. His soul is troubled, and his heart is a raging storm of unhappiness. Breathe peace upon him. Still his beating heart. Calm the winds that blow upon his heart. Silence the lies the enemy is telling him. In Jesus name. Amen.

The car moved out of the parking lot and unto the road as they headed towards home.

In The Car

“Where are you?…. I said where are you? Stop telling me you’re coming, I want to know exactly where you are. Where are you?”

As Abrefa watched the obviously annoyed man through the rear view mirror, he shook his head and grinned. Too obvious, wasn’t it? The person on the other end was lying. The good ol tactic of avoiding a direct answer. He’d done that a couple of times himself, and more often than not, the person he was talking to accepted that answer. It was pretty clear, though, that the man behind his car in the parking lot beside the Accra Mall was nowhere near ready to do likewise.

“Tell me exactly where you are…. Massa, for the last time, where are you? Ah! Stop wasting my time…. Huh?…..still in a line at Tema Station? And you were saying you’re almost here? Ah!…. Relax for what? After spending 30 minutes in traffic from Flowerpot to the mall and waiting 3 solid hours for my money, you are there telling me to relax? Nonsense! What do you mean?

Abrefa perked up. “Ahhhh! I should’ve known. Money matters. No wonder the guy is trying to swerve like that. Ei, chale, Pastor Modupe was talking about this on Sunday oooo. Being a debtor diƐƐ, chale, terrible thing-”

The sound of the passenger door opening cut him off. He turned to see Adobea enter the car and take her seat. “Hello, Abby.”

Adobea. What a girl.

For the past seven months, she had been the object of his affections. Since they had been pitched together in the same department in church, he had gone from simply knowing her as ‘one of the girls in church’ to being intrigued by her sheer intelligence, sweet heart and passion for God. There was this aura of sweetness that enveloped her, and it was something that kept Abrefa awake at night. In all honesty, Adobea was that kind of girl that’s hard to forget.

He had prayed about it, weighed the options and confided in his mentor about it. Now, after those past few months, he had made the decision to take the relationship to the next level. So two weeks earlier, right after the midweek service, he had pulled her aside, and despite his nerves slightly betraying him, he admitted to falling for her.

Her response? A hesitant ‘lemme think about it’.

The past fortnight had been mental torment for him, as night after night, he tossed and turned in his bed, considering all the probabilities. As one week passed, hope became a fading shadow. Voices of old started creeping in. Telling him to give up, and that nothing new would spring up.

She’s not interested. Just let it go.’ ‘Massa, stop wasting your time, it’s obviously no.’ ‘It’s gonna be the same old story, chale…’

But now, at her request, they had met here. She had an answer. Time to see if the voices were right, or a beautiful thing was about to be conceived in his Hyundai Elantra.

She took a deep breath, then started.

“Um, so, Abrefa, we’ve come to know and really appreciate each other over these last few months. You, are a really nice guy. I mean, you’ve done some really sweet things for me. Ummm…. I just remembered, I still owe you an umbrella. Don’t worry, I’ll replace it ASAP.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. Forget kraaa. It’s not a problem,” Abrefa replied. Actually, he did need a new one quite urgently, but scratch that. He’d handle it later.

Adobea laughed softly, causing a little spark in his gut. Then she looked him in the face.

“The thing is, I see you as a friend. Nothing more than that…”

He barely heard what followed as his heart sank. The voices were right.

What the hell was I thinking? What at all made me take this step? Crap! He thought as Adobea ‘apologized’.

His attention to her returned as he heard her say, “I hope you don’t hate me for this.”

No response. Still swallowing the bitter pill she had just given him.

A minute passed, and after having his head bowed, he looked up at her, pain in his eyes. “Adobea, I am in love with you. I can’t just settle for friendship at this stage.” A brief pause. “Seriously. Where it has gotten to diƐƐ, I can’t downgrade.”

Adobea giggled a bit. The look of frustration on his face made her stop.

“Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself, with the ‘downgrade’,” she said, her head leaning against the headrest. Shaking her head as she looked up, she stressed, “No, Abby, no. I just don’t see it working. I don’t feel it. I’m sorry. I know it hurts, but…”

Once again, her words became a mere humming in his ears as his mind drifted. Her words of ‘comfort’ only a dagger inflicting fresh wounds and opening up old ones. Another rejection to add to his collection.

His eyes now fixated on the windscreen, those voices came around yet again, telling him the ‘unpleasant truth’.

Abrefa, this is a lost battle you’re fighting. Stop trying to date. No matter what, they’ll always say no. Give it up, bro, give it up. It won’t work. That’s just how it is…

Her talk ceased when she realized his oblivious countenance.

“Abrefa?” she called gently.

He snapped out of his misery-saturated reverie and looked at the rear view mirror. The man he had been watching was walking towards the mall, still looking quite angry.

He laughed to himself very quietly. I hope he gets his money back, he thought as he started to adjusted his seat.

Adobea had looked behind to see the man too, but she hadn’t paid him any attention. “Abby, is everything OK? Is something wrong?”

Of course something’s wrong, he retorted to himself. But really, he knew there was no need to be nasty to her. It was her decision after all. He just felt so hurt inside, a little bit of church might do him some good.

Without looking at her, he shook his head, smiled weakly, and turned the key in the ignition. “Let’s get going. Almost six o’ clock. Midweek service will be starting soon.”

New Direction

Hello everyone! It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything here.

Well, remember last year, I had a personal website put up? Yeah, I had to abandon it for a while. Too many commitments that took up my time. But it’s back on now.

I’ve decided that since I’ll be posting most of my articles on my faith over there, this blog from now onwards is gonna be dedicated to stories.

I mean, it’s mainly because of stories that I started blogging back in 2010. And really, the imagination is a wonderful thing to use. I’ve been re-inspired by reading some of my older works (some of them need a facelift, to be honest) and other people’s works, namely Kenikodjo. She’s a good writer. And I think she’s pretty cute, too… (insert sly grin) Seriously, I kinda have a tinsy weakness for cute girls in glasses…. err, okay, I’m getting creepy now. I’ll just stop.

Besides, it really don’t make much sense to continue posting articles of that nature here and there at the same time. And I’m not ready to get rid of this blog. It’ll bring a whole lot of ‘I wish’ thoughts afterwards. I already have to deal with that in relation to my previous blogs.

So, from now, expect stories here!! Retold Biblical stories, everyday life stories, you’re getting it here. The new direction starts now!

And do visit the other blog! It’s Qwamena’s Space

Touch Not Mine Anointed????

Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophet no harm. Psalm 105:15

I’m sure you’ve heard this. Numerous times. The ‘highly spiritual’ don’t play jokes with this scripture. In the Charismatic setting, it’s a very famous scripture, and people use it to point out the fact that men of God are not to be messed with in any way. Even if they mess up in some way.

Now as I write this, my intention is NOT to downplay the significance of pastors and bishops. I respect them very much, and the Bible commands I do so. My motivation is that this doctrine has been so abused and misinterpreted that we Christians sit back, see scripture violated in various ways and do nothing, out of a ridiculous fear that shouldn’t even be there.

Now, here’s the thing.

In the Old Testament, that scripture held very true, because in those days, as we already know, the whole counsel of God, as was meant to be revealed to humanity, was not fully known. Also, the Spirit of God limited Himself to certain types of people. Not everyone could boast of being filled with the Spirit. Once you did, it was evident God had a purpose for you to walk in. There was the possibility you’d do something unorthodox, under command from God. And even if you messed up, indeed, God would be the one to deal with you.

A good example of this is Saul and David. Saul was obviously in the wrong, trying to kill David. In 1 Samuel 26, though, there’s an interesting event. David and one of his men, Abishai, found Saul in a very vulnerable position. Abishai thought it was a perfect opportunity for David to finish him off, but David thought otherwise. What did he say? “Do not destroy him; for who can raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?… As the Lord lives, He will smite him, or his day will come to die or he will go down in battle and perish.” (1 Samuel 26:9-10 AMP)

There was an evident respect for the anointing upon these selected folk.

But this is a new dispensation.

We are no longer in the days where the Holy Spirit comes upon a select few; He now dwells in every believer. And the full counsel of God has been revealed in the Bible. It is the sole and final authority for anything pertaining to our faith. Sola Scriptura. Every supernatural experience, belief, doctrine, anointing, etc. is subject to the Bible.

So now, where is my grievance?

It’s certainly not with the fact that it’s brought up whenever false stories pop up in the media about these pastors. That’s not right, and I wholeheartedly condemn it. I’ve seen a few of those things happen, and I knew the stories were twisted to make them look bad. You don’t mess about with people like that.

My problem is: this belief is being used to defend ‘men of God’ who preach compromised messages and peddle false doctrines and carry out actions that are extremely questionable. Once somebody questions, the naïve response is ‘Hey! Touch not the anointed man of God! Don’t say negative things about him! Else God will deal with you! Let God deal with him.”

This is foolishness.

Anything that contradicts what the Bible teaches must be questioned. There’s nothing like a hidden counsel that isn’t part of scripture, yet comes from God. Everything that God wants us to know has been revealed in His Word. And putting a man of God’s actions and teachings into question is NOT being negative, unless it’s of a nasty, invective-laden nature. Which is sadly the case these days, especially on social media. But as a child of God, with the Holy Spirit (Who is the anointing, according to 1 John 2:27) dwelling within, and the Word of God at disposal, anything that sounds contrary to the counsel of God must be questioned in the light of Scripture.

I’ve had people tell me not to judge certain so-called ‘men of God’ for spreading lies that totally contradicts God’s Word, claiming ‘you don’t know what God told him.’ I may not know much, but I do know this: anything you claim to have heard from God that is not in line with scripture is NOT from God, but from either your own flesh or the devil. God never goes contrary to His word.

Besides, for those who cling to this doctrine, I have a question. Are you implying that the ‘anointing’ on a man’s life, which lasts till the grave, is more important than the souls of people who are being affected by the lies they spread? Are you saying it’s best to leave them to do their mess and in the process, probably let souls go to hell for believing in a twisted image of God? Bear in mind, if you know the truth and refuse to state it for fear of ‘messing with the anointing’, the blood of those misguided souls will be required from you at judgment. Besides, the person’s ‘anointing’ was given to him for the purpose of building up the church and perfecting the saints (Ephesians 4:11-13). That should tell you what it’s important for.

Am I encouraging disrespect for spiritual leaders? Absolutely not. Am I saying we should call them out carelessly at the least mistake? Nope. Am I giving a free pass for rebellion? God forbid! This is not an article to downplay the importance of submission to spiritual authority. It is necessary we submit, and allow them to lead us as God commands them to. I don’t intend to promote un-Christlike behaviour, and I know sometimes the ‘best’ of pastors can make little mistakes and should be given grace for that. They’re not perfect, we should recognize that. But where the word of God is being compromised and disobeyed, and the souls of people are at stake, really, there should be no room for us Christians to be passive and live with an Old Testament mentality. We must speak up and point out those errors where necessary. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets, and judge by their fruits (so for the record, that ‘judge not’ mentality we often harbour is very unbiblical) and John said to ‘test the spirits’, to know whether they are of God.

But really, one issue that propounds this is the fact that diligent study of the Word of God is at a pathetic low. People don’t read the Bible for themselves; they’d rather hear what their favourite pastor said and run with it, and get all defensive when challenged. Theology is seen as some Pharisaic, intellectual thing that opposes the spiritual aspect of Christianity. And that is unfortunate. The study of God is not limited to the people in the pulpit, but for all children of God. The people of Berea were noted as noble people for a reason: they didn’t just hear what Paul preached, but searched the scriptures regularly to see if his message was authentic. He could have bristled at that, but he was cool with it, because he knew he was subject to God’s word and was speaking the absolute truth. Any pastor or bishop who uses his ‘anointing’ to try and suppress such attitudes, in all honesty, has pride issues. A true man of God has no problem with his message being properly and graciously scrutinized in the light of scripture, for he knows it truly comes from God. I said ‘graciously’ because some people will probably tend to be scrutinizing with the intent of finding fault, which is not appropriate at all.

That being said, I salute all men of God who are doing their best to spread the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re all not perfect, but once you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you, you deserve plaudits. Keep going hard for the kingdom, teaching proper doctrine and maturing the saints unto perfection. Your reward surely awaits you.

But, dear saints, on an honest level, let’s stop hiding behind this abused doctrine that promotes self-preservation, manipulation and pride. Be gracious and wise in this, but confront falsehood and unbiblical practices with the word of God as your authority. True love warns of the fire ahead. The ‘anointing’ of any ‘man of God’ should never be given precedence over the eternal destinies of people, and especially not over the word of God.

Let All Hear

Back to the poetry!! This was based on some old hymn by Isaac Watts that I wanted to rewrite. So here it is…

Silence, frail humanity! Your Maker speaks,
Let the mouths of all creation be stopped, listen to the Uncreated Being,
The Creator of all things seen and unseen,
Let all peoples tremble as the Son of the Father rises to His feet,
And let every living thing rejoice as He proclaims who He was and is and forever will be.
I AM THE ALPHA & OMEGA, BEGINNING & END, THROUGH ME EVERYTHING WAS MADE,
I NEVER CAME INTO EXISTENCE, AND I CAN NEVER FIZZLE OUT, I DON’T HAVE AN EXPIRY DATE,
FORGET THOSE SILLY RAPPERS WHO SAY THEY MAKE IT RAIN, THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT REAL PRECIPITATION,
I AM SOVEREIGN ALL THINGS, I’M THE ONE WHO MADE THE MIST RISE FROM THE EARTH, CALL IT LEVITATION,
I AM THE QUINTESSENCE OF MORAL EXCELLENCE,
INHABITANT OF THE UNTAINTED MOST ROYAL RESIDENCE,
UNLIMITED & UNBOUND BY PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT TENSE,
UNCREATED SUBSTANCE IS WHAT I’M MADE OF, NEVER WAS I BUILT UP BY ELEMENTS,
I AM THE INEXPLICABLE BEING, GREATER THAN YOUR PUNY LITTLE MINDS COULD EVER COMPREHEND,
I AM INFINITE, OMNIPOTENT, PRE-EMINENT, MUCH HIGHER THAN WHAT YOU CALL YOUR COMMON SENSE,
I AM… 
EL HAKKAVOD – I DWELL IN GLORY, SHEKINAH, UNAPPROACHABLE LIGHT,
EL GIBBOR – IN MY HAND LIES ALL STRENGTH, POWER AND MIGHT,
EL ELYON – NOTHING STANDS ON LEVEL FOOTING WITH ME, I AM THE MOST HIGH,
EL CHAIYAI – WHETHER YOU KNOW ME OR NOT, BELIEVE THIS, I AM THE GOD OF YOUR LIFE,
I AM…
I AM WISDOM, I AM LIGHT,
I AM THE MORNING STAR, SHINING AND BRIGHT,
I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE,
I AM THE LION OF JUDAH, I AM THE CHRIST,
I AM GOD!
AND MY ADDRESS IS TO YOU HUMANITY WHOSE SANITY IS MORE SLIPPERY THAN A BAR OF WET SOAP,
DROWNING IN THE SEA OF MISERY YET, YOU CLUTCH ON TO THREADS, DECEIVED INTO BELIEVING THEY ARE ROPES,
SEEKING SATISFACTION IN SIN, SENSELESSLY SPINNING IN CIRCLES LIKE THE LETTER O,
YOU CONTINUE TO ASK THE QUESTION ‘CAN WE BE SATISFIED WITH ANYTHING ELSE BUT GOD?’ WHEN THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUSLY NO!
YOU CAN NEVER FIND HAPPINESS OUTSIDE OF ME.
ALL YOU GET IS DEATH, AND THAT’S THE FINAL DESTINATION THAT YOU’RE HEADED TO,
COZ YOU’VE ALL SOWN SEEDS OF SIN AND HELL’S FLAMES IS WHAT YOU GET AS YOUR FRUIT,
BUT, LOOK UP TO ME, FOR I AM THE SUFFERING SERVANT WHO FOR YOUR INIQUITIES WAS BRUISED.
IT WAS BECAUSE OF YOUR FILTHY NATURE THAT I BECAME OF NO REPUTATION AND DIED,
BECAUSE OF MY LOVE, I HUNG UP ON A WRETCHED TREE, ARMS STRETCHED OUT LIKE 2:45,
FOR YOUR VINDICATION, I BECAME LOWER THAN ANGELS AND DRANK THE CUP OF WRATH THAT SHOULD’VE BEEN POURED UPON YOU GUYS,
I DEFEATED THE GRAVE, HUMILIATED HADES AND CRUSHED THE HEAD OF THE SERPENT,
NOW YOU CAN RECEIVE LIFE ETERNAL ONLY IF YOU BELIEVE AND PUT YOUR TRUST IN THE ONLY ONE WHO IS PERFECT. ME!
FOR A DAY IS COMING, A DAY APPOINTED BY I, THE MIGHTY ONE ADONAI,
A DAY THAT’LL SURELY COME, FOR I’VE DECREED IT BY MY LIPS THAT CANNOT LIE,
THAT EVERY KNEECAP WILL FEEL THE PRESSURE OF MY MAJESTY AND WILL SURELY BEND OVER,
AND EVERY MOUTH SHALL OPEN UP AND DECLARE THAT I ALONE AM THE MAGNIFICENT JEHOVAH!
WHAT JOY LIES IN STORE FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT’LL RESPOND TO MY LOVE,
PEACE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, REDEMPTION FROM YOUR SINFULNESS BY MY BLOOD,
AND SATISFACTION OF YOUR INNER LONGINGS AS YOU’LL FIND ME TO BE THE SOURCE THAT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH,
YES! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SCENE IT WILL BE AS THE REDEEMED SING OF MY ALL-CONSUMING ESSENCE WITH GLORIOUS MELODIES,
BASKING IN MY MAGNIFICENCE AS MY LIGHT WILL FOREVER KEEP THOSE BOYS AND GIRLS SPICED LIKE VIC AND MELANIE,
NEVER AGAIN TO BE SEPARATED, WE WILL FOREVER BE,
THE INTER-GALACTIC COUPLE SPENDING OUR HONEYMOON IN THE HEAVENLIES!
BUT FOR THOSE WHO DESPISE ME AS KING AND DECLARE THEMSELVES TO BE MY FOES,
ALL THOSE WHO CHOOSE LIES OVER THE TRUTH AND MY EVERLASTING REIGN VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE,
I WILL CAST DOWN INTO THE PIT OF FIERY BRIMSTONE, A FATE MORE EMBARRASSING THAN BEING CAUGHT WITH NO CLOTHES,
DON’T BE DECEIVED, I AM NOT THE SOFTIE A LOT OF YOU TAKE ME TO BE, THE HIPPIE WHO WOULD NEVER HURT A FLY,
I AM THE MASTER OF INFINITY AND WORSHIP IS WHAT I DEMAND, AND THOSE WHO DON’T GIVE IT TO ME WILL BE CRUSHED LIKE GRAPES FOR WINE,
AND THAT APPLIES TO YOU. THAT’S RIGHT, IF YOU DON’T REPENT AND BELIEVE IN MY GOSPEL, YOU WILL SPEND AN ETERNITY IN AN UNQUENCHABLE FIRE!
SO, MY DESIRE IS THAT YOU WILL BELIEVE AND BE ACCEPTED BY THE FATHER ON MY BEHALF,
THAT YOU’LL MAKE ME YOUR EVERYTHING AND NEVER FEAR IN THIS LIFE FOR I’LL GUIDE YOU WITH MY ROD AND STAFF,
GIVE YOU THE HOLY SPIRIT TO MOULD YOU INTO MY IMAGE AND BE YOUR COUNSELLOR AS YOU WALK THIS GLORIOUS PATH,
BUT TRUST… WOE UNTO THE SOUL THAT IS FOUND AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE WITHOUT ME AS A DEFENCE, INTO THE FURNACE YOU’LL BE DISMISSED,
AND NO EXCUSE OR PLEA IS GONNA WORK, COZ I’LL KNOW THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION WAS SENT AND RECEIVED, I SAW THE BLUE TICKS.
DON’T WASTE TIME ANYMORE, YOUR LIFE IS BUT A VAPOUR, YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DAY THAT YOU WILL BE SUMMONED,
STOP IGNORING THE ALARM, THIS IS A MATTER OF URGENCY, STOP HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON,
REPENT, AND TURN TO ME TODAY, AND LIVE.

Man’s Pitiful Empire

Recently, I watched a play by the African-American Alliance of IHOP, called ‘All The Rage’. An excellent play, by all standards. It had everything a play needs to be a good one. Dance, rap, funny parts (of course, once you know how Uncle Ebo Whyte does his plays, that becomes a non-negotiable part. lol). It was great. And the main actress…. she kinda reminded me of Huey from the Boondocks, with her hairstyle and all….

Okay, so the play was based on Psalm 2. So, it was mainly about the stubborn rebellion of man towards God; his rage at having to deal with a power higher than him.

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?
(Psalms 2:1)

It certainly hit hard on the ever-glaring truth before us: man in his natural state has a hatred for God and His divine order. The questions skeptics and unbelievers ask were mentioned somewhere in the beginning, the ‘if God is this, why doesn’t He do that’ sort of questions. There was one scene were some folk were planning to put an end to abortion by making it possible for men to carry pregnancies (uhhhhhhh!). That part reminded me of how humanity now desperately tries to trash God’s order of doing things with the excuse of being more advanced and wiser. As if we could ever become wiser than the One who gave us that wisdom. The attempt to take off the gender labels in recent times, as well as the attempt to redefine marriage is proof. Indeed, God must find it scornfully laughable how man is now trying to give new meanings to what He already instituted and declared as good in His sight.

But the scene that really caught my attention is the scene where two guys are on stage, each lost in his soliloquy. One is nicely dressed, seemingly aware of the folly of his pride before God. The other dude…. let’s say he looks like he found himself in the middle of a beatdown from a few UFC guys. Wrapped up in bandages, coughing while speaking. But the craziest part? His speech is the direct opposite of the other guy. Stuff like ‘I’m unstoppable’, ‘Nobody can beat me’ is what pours forth from his lips.

That attracted the most laughter. And I was laughing too.

Seriously, I looked at this dude and I was like, “Dude, you standing there bragging like nobody can take you down? Ugh! Negro, a bunch of skinny 12 year olds could knock you out in your state!”

Kinda crude, I know. Forgive me, y’all.

Don’t you think that’s the way God views man in all his haughtiness and desperation to build his own empire?

Think about it. As much as man may believe and behave as if he’s unstoppable, he’s just like that guy: ignorantly oblivious to his weak, fragile nature. The Bible pulls no punches in informing us how temporary our current nature is. Our flesh is often compared to grass to show this. What makes man even more pathetic is the fact that all the stuff he accumulates and makes his boast in will not follow him once the great enemy called death comes calling.

At the end of the day, judgment is coming. And for those who remain that way, refusing to acknowledge Him, they will face His unbridled wrath. Which won’t be pleasant. At all. And they won’t face it for a moment, but an eternity. Meaning billions and billions of years afterwards, the fury will be just as intense, and the pain will be just as unbearable.

Thank God He sent His Son to save us from that fate, people. Jesus’ death truly has made the difference. No need to seek security in lies, we can trust in the One who is all-wise.

Letter to the 25 Year Old

Dear 25 year old Qwamenah,

Well. This is it. Your final day. Tomorrow, by God’s grace, you’re moving to another level. All praise be to God for sustaining you. I know He’s gonna do likewise for the coming years.

Last year, you were stuck in the office on a wet Tuesday, listening to Flame, Beautiful Eulogy, Stephen the Levite and Shai Linne throughout. Pretty awesome, in my opinion! lol. I dunno what it’s gonna be like this coming Wednesday, but I trust it’ll be a good one. Amen? Amen!
I know you’ve learned a lot within the past year. I know you’ve been reminded of a number of beautiful truths as well, particularly the faithfulness of God. I trust that’ll never depart from you. God truly is faithful, and that’ll never change.

I know in recent times, you’ve felt the ‘vanity of life’ weighing upon your shoulders. It’s struck you how vain and futile it is to put your hope in a job, money and being well-known. Good thing you’re following that Bible study with Mark Driscoll, it’s a serious eye opener. I know as the weeks go by, you’ll come to a realization of why it’s no use satisfying the flesh. Just one thing, though: I know you have a love for teaching, but please, slow down and apply the truths to your life before you start sharing them with others.

Qwamenah, let’s be honest: the major faults I see in you are that you’re a serious procrastinator, and you don’t pull your weight around the house. Seriously, that has got to change. Be more helpful. Be focused. There are so many things you have to get done. By all means, get them done. Discipline yourself. A real man does that: brings his body under subjection (and of course, he chooses waakye over bacon & eggs! lol). Don’t forget what Pastor Ebow pointed out one Wednesday service: that if our spirits will return to Him, and these fleshly bodies to the ground, then it obviously makes more sense to deny the flesh to the spirit’s advantage.

Now, concerning your spoken word thingy, Makafui was right. There’s certainly been improvement in your craft, considering how you’re rewriting a number of your older poems. Jackie and Preston have certainly been a huge influence! Growth is vital. Don’t stop seeking to get better. Excellent is what your poetry should be. But don’t forget, meet with God before you start writing. Very important. And please, build bridges with other poets. That’s also helpful to your growth. Start taking advantage of the places you can perform/minister. Rainmakers and the monthly feast at Bethel are good places. And pray for ThroneRoom Perspective, that God will lift it up. You guys better stay humble.

And yes! The tiny matter of your wonderful love life experiences! lol, I know you started the outgoing level with serious disappointment, and you’re ending with another one. I know, I know, it gets frustrating sometimes. I know you honestly sometimes wanna just forget about the whole thing. I know you have little desire these days to actively pursue. I know you’re sick of ‘rejection’. Hmmmm…… what else can I say? Don’t allow your brain to be bound by all those thoughts. Remember, your sufficiency is in Christ! Not in any girl. I don’t know what the future holds, but stay strong, and focus on Him. Be led by the Spirit. He’ll know what to do. Keep yo fingers crossed, though. The light-skinned Ga chic could still become a reality! Haha! Don’t be too rigid, though.

There’s a whole lot ahead of you, for sure, but please, through it all, don’t allow the truth of the glorious gospel to ever grow old. You really need to be reading the 10 daily reminders you’ve written in your NASB Bible more often. It’ll do you more good than you could have imagined. You’re often plagued by the desire to be recognized by people. I know you were often ignored by people, and that in previous times, barely anybody knew 26th August was your special day. But really, you need to let the truth cut through: the Transcendent, Infinite God loves you and has your life in His hands. His attention is what you need. The attention of man is okay, but fickle. Remember this, as you continue life as a son, brother, church dude, law student, spoken word poet, etc. He loves you. Don’t let the words to ‘One Thing Remains’ be just nice words. See that indeed, His love will never fail, never wash His hands off you. No matter how you may mess up, His grace is greater than your sin.

Welcome to level 26. May God continue to walk with you through this earthly sojourn.