Gospel Hustlers

 gospel

It’s not something you’ve never heard about before. It’s not something new. It’s on our streets every day, our churches and even on our doorsteps. You know them naa, the ones that have degrees in hustling, the ones that have turned ‘all things are possible’ into reality. You don’t even want to try them cos they’ll school you in the hustling game and yes, they’ve found their game in the churches. It’s really painful that something that means so much to us has turned into a simple avenue for wealth creation. I mean, you don’t need a certain level of education, intelligence or training to become a gospel hustler. All you need is to be smart. In fact, the smarter you are, the more successful you’ll be at it. It comes in all levels and all classes of human existence. We have the hustlers at the grassroots level and we have the big time hustlers that take their hustle to the high and mighty in the society. It’s not even age or gender selective either. They’ve got all the words they need to pry your money out of your hands.

Let me introduce you to this new business. It’s called Gospel Hustling. While we’re thinking about avenues for wealth creation, these hustlers have discovered the safest and easiest way to wealth. All this business requires are; minimal capital, a little bit of flair for guile and persuasion, some marketing ability, some good suits (for those whose hustle are at the higher level) and a couple of easy-to-fool people. All they need is to come up with some buzz words and tang lines and you willingly give them all your hard earned money.

I met one of the gospel hustlers not too long ago. I was on a bus when this young lady, well dressed and well spoken, walked up to the bus and greeted us “good morning.” She said she was sent by the Management of the bus company and she would like to say a word of prayer for the travelers before they embarked on the journey. She gave a short message about salvation (it sounded like she was repeating something she had heard her pastor say often enough) in a surprisingly well modulated voice. Everybody responded positively. I was pretty impressed cos that was my first time of listening to a young lady like that preach on a bus (except me of course) and she was doing it quite well. As soon as she echoed amen then the hustle began. She passed a piece of paper to selected persons in the bus, myself inclusive. As she did so, she said to us that it was just for recharge cards of N100 or N200, nothing less than that. I didn’t understand what she meant. I thought she was probably putting up the airtime for sale. Curious, I opened the paper she had passed to me and I saw what was on it….

gospel hustle

You can imagine my disgust and distaste at that act. In those few moments, in my mind, it had simply watered down the effect of her message. I returned her paper to her, empty. It wasn’t quite long after that most of us in the bus were asked to move over to another bus due to some issues with logistics. Within a few moments, the same girl arrived with the same message and the same papers. That was when I realized it was truly her hustle.

When will people stop seeing the gospel as a means for creating wealth? Were my eyes bad or did I actually see a portion of the bible that said, “Freely have you received, freely give also?” (Matt 10:8). I cannot remember any of the apostles who was concerned about the tithes and offerings of the members of the church, rather I remember reading about the love and communal way of life of members of the early church. It’s really disheartening and embarrassing to say the least, when I see the greed among people in the church. The church leaders are not even left out as they acquire more properties than their generations can handle with the wealth they obtain from their members. What blame is there for people who now believe that salvation can be bought or those who no longer see any value in the message? What worries me most is the message they are passing to non-Christians and I really wonder how or when it will stop. All I can say for now is, please let us as much as we can give the message, simply and freely. Our rewards are in heaven and in the blessings God channels to us in return.

Femmetotale

Thanks for the Six Awards

Thank you Tami, for nominating me for these awards. It was a real pleasure to check out my blog this morning and find that lovely comment on my page notifying me of my nomination. Thanks to all my faithful readers e-mail followers and followers on the wordpress community. I truly appreciate your likes, comments, reblogs and all. It’s a really beautiful thing to know somebody appreciates your work. Many thanks and may God fulfill all the works of your hands.

Here are the six awards.

wonderful-team-membership-award versatile blog award super-sweet-blogging-award21w6451 seed-of-light-award1 one-lovely-blog1 abc award

I’m really honoured to be considered fit for these awards by LBH. She’s a very gifted writer. What I love most about her blog is the calming effect it has on me whenever I read her posts. Evidently, they come from one who truly learns at the feet of Jesus. Please check out her blog over at lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com. Be sure to stop by and read her work.

The rules for accepting these awards are to state seven things about yourself and then pass the awards on by nominating 15 other blogs. Let them know they’ve been nominated!

Ok…. Seven things about myself:

  1. I absolutely love God, Jesus is my best friend and I depend on the Holy Spirit for his guidance in everything I do.
  2. I love to snore while sleeping…though it doesn’t happen always but that’s the best sleep anyone can get, I think. Did I just see someone scrunch up her nose?
  3. Everyone thinks I love to wear heels cos I’m always on heels but I really prefer to walk about in flats.
  4. I’m big on romantic movies and I always cry at the end.
  5. I love me-times a lot. Can you believe I used to be so excited whenever it was time to go to bed?
  6. Love is a very biiiiiiiigggg word to me….I don’t say it easily and I don’t take it lightly (go figure…lol)
  7. I like to gaze at fashion magazines and imagine I’m the one in those couture dresses and shoes.

Now these are my nominations, in no particular order: (I can’t nominate someone who nominated me, right?)

  1. Obiamaka Onyebum – http://obiamaka.wordpress.com
  2. Eziaha http://eziaha.wordpress.com
  3. JMAD –  http://jmadreflects.wordpress.com
  4. Todaysistas http://todaysistasblog.wordpress.com
  5. Snufflylovely – http://spiceymorsels.wordpress.com
  6. Giantsparkle http://giantsparkle.wordpress.com
  7. Steve Rebus – http://steverebus.com
  8. Adaobim – http://adaobim.wordpress.com
  9. Pastor Mildred – http://justusgirlsnaija.wordpress.com
  10. Ladyromphttp://ladyromp.wordpress.com

Be sure to check them all out. They’re really cool!

Femmetotale is one already!!

Woman-Blowing-Hearts-And-Kisses

Wow, how time flies when you do what you really love to do. Remember how annoying it gets when someone wants to share something exciting with you and just goes like, ‘I don’t know where to start’ and you smile sheepishly at her, mentally restraining yourself from saying, ‘Start from the beginning or middle or wherever, just get the story over with!” I’m kindda hoping you’ll be patient with me and not say that cos for me, it’s a nostalgic moment.

So, I’m gonna start this way…It all started like a seed. You know that tiny thought that just pops at you and keeps nagging at you until you give it more room to expand in your mind and you feel that flicker of hope that it may be something afterall. One minute it’s there and the next different scenarios start playing in your mind, telling you not to bother that it won’t work and you’d just have wasted a monumental effort on nothing. I call it a seed cos like Jesus’s parable about the sower, Femmetotale started in my mind years before I even dared to put it in the soil. I’d been writing for donkey years but never tried publishing anything. That voice always said, why bother?

I finally decided to take the leap of faith and put my thoughts on paper (or should I say, log them on the web?). I had all those familiar voices (especially those on my mind) telling me it was not going to work again. Oh yes, the ‘again’ wasn’t an error. It may come as a surprise to you but I really did try my hands at blogging twice and they both failed monumentally (yea, that’s my new fave word *sheepish smile*). I read about blogging 10 years ago but I just didn’t know how and it wasn’t really this popular back then. Luckily, a couple of years back, I met a friend who gave me some pointers on blogging and helped me sign up with blogger.com. So I started my first blog, springs of dawn on which I posted random short stories I had written. After some months (I don’t remember how many now) I got no comment and no followers. Same friend in his IT guru wisdom, said to me, ‘you have 100% bounce rate, don’t even bother continuing.’ My new blog-best-friend, LBH called this a Saul on her post – Saul breathes down your neck and I agree with her monumentally…lol. I hated to fail at anything so I just gave up and stopped posting or checking it out.

A year later, I got that same nudge to do this cos I remember how fulfilled I used to get whenever I posted something on my blog. So that tiny flicker of hope came again and I decided to start another blog. I discovered wordpress by mistake and really just fell in love with it.  I started another blog – aliciaspeaks which no longer exists today cos it’s been abandoned. Yep, I failed again. Weeks after, there was no viewer, no like and no follower. I was bent on getting it right so I decided to try again. This time I did some research myself and learned the basics, using good templates, publicizing, choosing a theme, etc.

On this day, one year ago, I decided to dig up ‘Femmetotale,’ the project I had designed in my mind years ago. The very first post I made on Femmetotale – ‘And you think your problem is the worst‘ got me two likes and three followers. I was encouraged to put up more posts. On and on it went until today, a good number of people are being blessed by my little efforts and the community is growing. Can I just stop at this point and say, thank you for reading this? You make my day! My special thanks goes to Eziaha, my blog choco who prodded me to put up new posts whenever I started procrastinating, Giantsparkle, Snufflylovely and my newest blog choco, Lessons By Heart, and my highest commenter, neniegirl. Many kisses to you all! To everyone reading Femmetotale and all those following and commenting on my blog, you guys are amazing.

The project is still growing and the vision is taking shape.  Just like the little seed placed in the soil, there’s no telling how big a tree it might become. To everyone who has ever got that tiny seed called an idea in her mind, all you need do, is keep watering, keep trying and keep waiting patiently. The seed will surely become a tree and I do hope this tree will be like the tree in Matt 13:31-32 which all the birds of the air can lodge in its branches.

Keep being the Femmetotale…

Femmetotale

My best friend

best-friends24

My blog-choco (and please don’t ask me what that means) did this exciting post /game on her blog and it’s really fun. I’ve been meaning to get to it but when I saw it on another amazing blogger’s blog www.giantsparkle.wordpress.com , I realised that the time has come for me to finally get to it. So here we go.

It’s quite simple. Basically, you put your music player to shuffle and there are about 25 pre-set questions you have to answer with whatever tune comes up. It’s fun.

At first, I thought, this is crazy! There’s no way my songs are going to give meaningful answers to these questions but by the time I started I was almost rolling on the floor, laughing at how it all seemed to coincide almost perfectly with the questions. Still don’t believe me? Okay, check it out!

1. If someone says ‘is this OK?’ You say?
Halleluyah by Lara George featuring midnight crew…..Ok, I know this may not exactly tally with the question but I imagine answering every question with a heavenly language like halleluyah. Hmm… Amen to that!

2. What would best describe your personality?
Sinner’s prayer by Deitrick Haddon….Well, I acknowledge that I could have been dead but God gave me the gift of salvation.

3. What do you like in a guy?
You are God by Deitrick Haddon ……I could give you like a whole book filled with qualities I’d love but any guy who can always lift up his hands and say, ‘You are God!’ he’s got my heart cos if he’s submitted to God then he’ll have no difficulty loving me – Eph 5.

4. How do you feel today?
The great adventure by Steven Curtis Chapman ….. It’s an old song but I love the idea of going on an adventure with Jesus. I can just imagine saddling up my horse, not knowing how to ride or where we’re headed but trusting him to lead me. I feel like going on an adventure today.

5. What’s your life’s purpose?
You, I’ve gotta praise by Deitrick Haddon….Yea, my sole desire is to live a life that will draw men to praise the father.

6. What is your motto?
Power of your love by Darlene Zschech….I am who I am by the power of His love

7. What do your friends think of you?
Imagine me by Kirk Franklin … I was gonna skip this but I remembered that I have to be honest with my answers so I guess my friends think of me as…um…someone with a great big imagination. Shhh I know that’s not what the song says but…poetic license…lol

8. What do you think about very often?
While I’m waiting by John Waller…I first heard this song on the movie ‘Fireproof’ and I remember thinking, ‘what an awesome song!’ I think about waiting patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled in my life and I know that they that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles. Watch out folks, I’ll soon take off in flight and soar with the eagles.

9. What do you think of your best friend?
Ko le baje by Lara George…I loved the song but didn’t know what it meant and when I found out the meaning I was excited cos, that’s just my best friend. She’s the happy-go-lucky, all-will-be-well type. Her attitude is so infectious, you can’t help loving her.

10. What do you think of the person you love?
How great is our God by Darlene Zschech...lol…that just about sums it up. I love God and I think he’s awesomely awesome.

11. What is your life story?
I adore – Hillsong. I look back over my life and all I can say, is Lord, I adore you cos I know it’s all because of you! Thank you, Jesus.

12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
How great you are by Victor Olayeni…I want to be someone who people see and say, How great you are, Lord, Odigi onye di ka gi!

13. What do your parents think of you?
Wait a minute by Zoe Chinaka…..my parents think I’m very patient but they may not know that I ask Him to teach me to wait cos really I lose my cool a lot and I’m tempted to shout sometimes.

14. Wedding dance song?
Free by Kierra Sheard…I love this song so much. It says that where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom so I’m free in my mind, in my heart and if I’m his, then I’m free.

15. What do you think when you see the person you love?
He’s able by Deitrick Haddon…hmm…well, since I’m not in any relationship right now I’m going to leave this answer at that (and this is not an open invitation, please) ***smiling through my teeth**

16. Funeral song?
Stand still by Deitrick Haddon….I guess I’ll be telling mourners that they need to stand still and know that He is God.

17. Hobby?
Lion and the Lamb by Crystal Lewis….In addition to blogging I also love writing songs that praise God. Does that apply? You judge.

18. Biggest secret?
Bless the Lord son of man by Tye Tribett…this is no secret I guess.

19. What do you think of your friends?
Let it go ‘Shout’ by Kirk Franklin…..when they keep complaining about stuff I just feel like saying, ‘Let it go’

20. Worst thing that could happen?
Chibuzo get up by Lara George….I think the worst thing that could happen is failing and refusing to get back up and try again.

21. Does anyone like you?
Flower in the rain by Jaci Velasquez…I like to see myself as a flower in the rain, open and willing to reach for my saviour, getting my nourishment and sustenance from Him. Who wouldn’t love me for that? **cheeky smile**

22. What makes you laugh?
Mighty God by Deitrick Haddon….He makes me laugh and I mean it literarily.

23. Go back in time, what would you change?
It all belongs to you by Damita Haddon….all of me belongs to him so I just have to accept it all and refuse the temptation to change anything . All I can say is Lord change whatever does not please you cos you’re the potter and I’m the clay.

24. Why will you get married?
You raise me up by Josh Groban.…I will love to marry someone who will help to raise me up spiritually and otherwise.

25. What would you name this post?
My best friend by Hillsong with Darlene Zschech.…I have a small confession to make. I had to skip to the very last song to get this one cos I didn’t want to use the title of the next song on my playlist to do this post. I do love this song this much and I can tell you that Jesus is my best friend and nothing will ever change that. He’s the one that has my best interest at heart all the time, loves me unconditionally and is always there for me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I did.

Have a fun-filled day and a lovely weekend…

Femmetotale

Keeping up with the ‘Joneses’

Meeting up with the Joneses

Do you know about the popular phrase, ‘keeping up with the Joneses?’ Many people may not know exactly what it means but it is something that is very common with us. Basically, it’s an idiom and generally refers to someone who is always trying to be like her rich neighbours. Most of our lives are spent trying to keep up with the Joneses? Some times we buy things we don’t need just because we want to measure up or rub shoulders with the people we believe are better than us. Sometimes we live our lives believing that we are not as good as some others and we keep trying to meet up, doing all sorts of things in the process and fueling our insecurity.

Linda says she can’t quite put her finger on the day she started trying to meet up with the Joneses because for as long as she can remember she has always wanted to seem ‘bigger’ than she really is. She comes from a comfortable home where she’s always had access to her basic needs. Linda’s mom used to buy her nice clothes at affordable prices and she could always remember dressing well to church on Sundays. However, at some point in her life, Linda started wanting more. She always felt her clothes were not up to current standards and compared with the rich girls in school she looked like a maid. So, she always fell short of her expectations in her own eyes.

One day, Linda’s issue became more complex than just a few thoughts. It was her first day in University. While trying to get a cold drink at a shop before concluding her registration, she saw two girls treating themselves to coke, away from the hot son. Linda may have spent a few seconds admiring their expensive looking clothes, the designer bags and shoes, the well manicured nails and their soft laughter over a joke from one of them. She got her drink and started looking for a place to sit. Somehow she caught one of the girls’ eyes and the girl offered Linda a seat. You can imagine her excitement. Linda soon found that she couldn’t flow with Shanty and Gillian much because they were talking about their last trip to Dubai and the latest designer clothes they just got. She felt so out of place but really wanted to be friends with them so she started pretending to know what they were talking about. She liked the way people were staring at them. When Linda got home, all she could think about was how to get designers clothes too. So she started making more demands on her parents, pretending they were asked to buy more textbooks. It wasn’t long before she started sleeping around and shoplifting. The funny thing is that no matter how much she tried she just couldn’t meet up. It was either Shanty’s dad just got her the latest phone or Gilly’s mom was taking her to France for the summer. Linda felt so miserable most of the time. Her self esteem went lower than ever. She felt like she belonged nowhere because she could never actually call them her friends and she couldn’t associate with her old friends anymore. She suffered in silence and often wished her life could be different.

Here’s the thing, it’s important for you to have a healthy self image. You should not need other people to affirm whether you’re good enough or not. It is something you must decide for yourself, bearing in mind your strengths and weaknesses. The story of the ten spies that were asked to spy on the land of Canaan before the Israelites could proceed, always amazes me (Numbers 13) eight of the men came back and said that the men in the land were like giants and they were like ants in their own eyes (vs. 33). Only two men – Caleb and Joshua had positive reports. In their own eyes? That means they hadn’t even heard the so-called giants refering to them as ants when they concluded that they were like ants. This made it impossible for them to enter the land. You see why self image is very important. From this story u can tell that only few people actually have healthy self image because the opinion of the majority was that of being inferior to the giants. One thing I realised is that when you have confidence and a healthy self image, you naturally attract people to yourself because you are a rare breed.

You don’t need to try to be like the Joneses. Those people you’re trying to be like also have people they want to be like. Nobody has it all together. You just have to be content with what you have and who you are. Stop trying to be like them. As a matter of fact, they should be trying to be like you.

Femmetotale…