Is my checklist too much to ask?

I write this post at the expense of being classified a 'relationship blog'. You have to understand that there is time for everything, and we have different stages in our life. Perhaps, I'm at this stage! Enjoy!

I know a number of people who see me as one whose standards are "too high". These standards are not just for myself, but also transcend to my future husband. Ok, before I continue, let me run through the checklist I have for my potential husband with you...

1. He must be a born-again Christian.

Oh well, it seems like I've got only one requirement. Now, is that too much to ask? Please bear in mind that in saying he must be a born-again christian, several issues have been covered. e.g. smoking, drinking, clubbing (raving), unfaithfulness e.t.c.
By saying he is a born-again christian, I don't mean just a church-goer (a sunday-sunday kind of I mean a born-again christian in every sense of the word.

Now, I ask again is that too much too ask? No, I don't think so. It's very sad to think that some girls think such a guy does not exist. And if you belong to that school of thought, I'm forced to believe that you're not that type of girl yourself. So darling, go first and set your way straight with the Lord, before you start trying to find your Mr. Right or better still, before you start waiting for your Mr. Right to find you.

Now, to the other side of the spectrum. If you ask some people about their checklist, these are the sort of things you will find on it....

1. Handsome
2. Tall
3. Rich
4. Well-built...
5, Being a God-fearing man wouldn't be a bad idea either

blah, blah, blah. Where have all these ever gotten anyone? What's the point of desiring a handsome man and at the end of the day, anytime he goes out without you, you're calling him every 30minutes, just to make sure he is where he said he went to. Or worse still, you frown at every female waitress that goes out of her way to be nice to your 'handsome' husband. Who will be getting the wrinkles and high blood pressure eventually?

Oh, you're not so interested in the handsome bit, you say. All you ask for is for him to be tall, considering that you're not so tall yourself. Hmmn, good idea, makes it easier for him to put you underneath him and give you a good beating anytime you both have an argument, right? By the way, you can easily cook up stories about how the pot of soup poured on you when you're colleagues ask about the oringin of the numerous marks on your body.

Common, asking for him to be loaded (rich) isn't too much. Afterall, he needs to be the head, right? Yes, it's true. But should being rich come at the cost of the children not having their dad around on their 1st birthday because he's attending an 'important business meeting" or never helping with their homeworks which mum has no clue about because he has to stay back to work overtime? Or is it having numerous lonely nights that sounds attractive to you? No? But you asked for it the day you decided to put these as your first four requirements, right before 'God-fearing'.

What exactly am I getting at, you ask? Are all these listed above bad things? Of course not. Do I want them, of course I do. But at the expense of him being born again? Certainly not.

Having said all these, it doesn't mean that every born-again christian brother that seems to like you is 'the one' for you. This is where God comes in. He has your best interest at heart, He knows your end from your beginning, He has your life planned out, even before you were created (Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 139:16; John 1:12). Or are you already married and now you've decided to come to Christ and it seems like you've married the wrong person? There is a solution, and it isn't divorce. It's in Romans 8:28 ...all things work together for good to them that love God...

Please note that it's not a sin to ask God for specifics like he should be fair, dark and so on. Afterall, I have one too (*now whispering in your ears* lol). And the bible also says in Matthew 7:7 that we should ask and we shall be given. It only becomes a problem when these are your top priority or must-haves as against add-ons.

I hope this blesses us all.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to leave comments, questions, suggestions and so on.

Tomi Lawal
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"Men will always be men"

Men will always be men. I mean, they could cheat from time to time, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. They are just being themselves.
Does any of that sound familiar? Yes? I thought so too. Well honey, it’s not normal. It’s not the way things should be. The bible says “do not be conformed to this world…”. If the world let’s you believe that men would always cheat and there’s nothing you can do about it, don’t conform to that ideology. The fact that it happens so often does not and would never make it right. You are made for great things, don’t settle for less.
There’s no doubt that a good looking guy/girl is always pleasant to look at, but what’s far more important is what lies beneath the pretty face, the well-built body, the tall frame or the slim body. Proverbs 31:30 says “Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! Go deeper, stop looking at the superficial things, that will fade off.

Ever heard of the phrase “my better half”? Of course you have…lol! This phrase immediately gives us the idea that we are incomplete and we need someone to complete us. In other words, we are half, and we need another half. But, I completely disagree. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because the bible which is the truth says that “…and the TWO shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31). Notice that it says two, not half. Hence, it is two wholes, not halves that make one. Of course, that defies standard arithmetic and logic, but like I said, it’s the bible, it’s the truth and I believe it.
So, quit trying to make yourself complete in another man or woman and run to God to make you complete and perfect (Matthew 5:48).
I hope this blesses us all. Please feel free to leave questions, comments and suggestions and I will get back to you in due course.

Tomi Lawal
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The change we need

I think it all started when I saw an episode of the talk show- Inside Out with Agatha. Agatha usually talks about a variety of issues and invites guest speakers. But, on this particular day what caught my eyes wasn’t the three female guest speakers, neither was it Agatha herself. But rather, it was this young man in the audience.
This man, let’s call him Richard, must have been about 24/25 or there about. Although I don’t remember clearly, but I think he did mention something about being a graduate or university student. Richard could not speak good English, but that wasn’t the major problem. It was the whole package- his confidence, knowledge, the whole package really. The way he conducted himself just did not seem to show that he had ever seen the four-walls of a university. I began paying keen attention to all the other members of the audience and they all seemed pretty similar to Richards even without hearing them speak.
That was when I decided we (you and I) had to do something, we have to work with our fellow Nigerian youths. We had to help change that mindset and a few other bad habits. It’s not particularly about how rich or how poor one is, it’s all in the mind. Our mentality and thinking has to change. You were born poor doesn’t mean you have to remain poor, neither does it mean you have to become a “runz girl” as it’s called (more or less means prostitute in my opinion) or an internet fraudster to overcome poverty. It simply means if you believe you can be better off in life, then, you’ll be better off. And you will employ legit means in becoming better off.
I totally understand that the Nigerian environment can be a bit harsh on you in a bid to achieve your dreams, but what you need to remember each time is you can do it. And if you are a christian and you’re reading this, congratulations because you have an assurance of a bright future in God. Jeremiah 29:11 makes us understand that God has a future/an expected end for us. So, why worry?
It’s only now that I’m realising that there’s no mistake with God. Even when we’ve made mistakes in the past and we come to Him today, all things would still work in our favour- the past, the present and the future (Romans 8:28). It’s no mistake that I’m Nigerian, it’s no mistake that I studied where I studied, it’s no mistake that I’m dark in complexion. It all fits into God’s perfect plan and purpose for creating me (yes, He made the decision to bring me into the world at the time He did, my parents were only the vessels He used) and I’m more than happy to fulfil His purpose for me, rather than live someone else’s dream for me. Check out Psalm 139:16 (MSG) The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. How awesome is that? The days of our lives have been prepared even before we lived one day. For better understanding, read verses 13:16. At the same time, this does not mean we can’t hinder ourselves from fulfilling purpose. It just means if we let Him, we can be sure of a good future
Ok that’s it for now readers. But before you go, do me a favour and suggest ways I can work with youths and other Nigerians alike to create the future we desire. I’m really keen on this.
Thank you for your time!
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Who do you follow?

In different areas of our life, we find ourselves looking-up to certain people. Either because they are a representation of whom we want to be or where we want to get to. At other times, it simply because we just admire them. We find ourselves emulating their works, attitudes and just trying to be like them.
The issue is not having a role model; the issue is the criteria with which we select them. I’m sure we’ve found ourselves in situations whereby we find ourselves looking-up to a person, not because we genuinely like them, but because they’ve been forced on us by the world and in our bid to fit-it or be accepted, we accept them into our lives.
As Christians, this is a very dangerous path to thread because the bible specifically states that we are not of the world, even though we are in the world (John 15:19). We are lights in the world, to show others the way (Matthew 5:14) and not to try to fit-in, cos by nature (the new nature of Christ which we now have [2Peter 1:4]), we’ve been designed to stand-out.
Now, even in the Christian circles, we have role models in the likes of Pastors, teachers, musicians and even friends. Again, is this an issue? No, but it becomes an issue when we begin to use them as a benchmark for our personal relationship with God. By virtue of the word ‘personal’, it gives one the idea that the relationship is intimate, but one many people become involved (e.g. our role models), it begins to lose its meaning.
In Philippians 2:12, Paul instructs us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Simply put, we should safeguard our relationship with God and give make no provision for the devil who is constantly walking about, seeking whom to devour (1Peter 5:8).
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:11-12). This particular scripture tells us why we need to be vigilant. For instance, if we measure of relationship with God through the judgment of our role models, through their idea of what’s right and what’s wrong; if their love for God happens to grow cold (we don’t wish for this, which is why we should pray tirelessly for them),it is almost inevitable that we fall with them.

We need to understand that backsliding doesn’t just happen, its gradual. You know, when we begin to see formerly unacceptable things that people do as acceptable, then we find ourselves doing those very things, then gradually, our conscience no longer pricks us when we do them. That’s backsliding for you; it comes in through the backdoor, and then gradually makes its way through, being careful never to come on too strong.
We need to know God by ourselves and not through the eyes of someone else cos their vision might be blurred or even too advanced for us. We should to follow Christ, not men.

Watch out for the second side to this coin- ‘What examples do you give?’
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Before you say 'I DO'...(for the single ladies).

Hey ladies, enjoy this piece, I hope it blesses us all.
Firstly, to clarify, when I say single ladies, I mean unmarried ladies.
What exactly do we think the whole essence of being in relationships mean? Is it so that we can be experienced? Or is it so that we can be tagged as ‘normal’ in today’s society? Or perhaps, it’s just to have ‘fun’ as we call it.
To be honest, when we see some dudes, they may seem perfect as boyfriends. I mean, we see them and think oh, they’re hot, they could be the ‘guy-of-the-moment’, but what’s the whole essence when you know deep down that he really isn’t husband material. You certainly don’t want a guy that spends all his time in clubs- raving, drinking, womanizing and on and on as a husband. Now, you may think he’s cool and your friends think so too, but what happens when he becomes your husband?
I’m not writing to tell you the kind of dudes you should date or not date, because I really don’t know them. Asides that, wouldn’t you just feel as if they are rules and regulations, and trust me, they had to keep and much easier to break.
All I’m saying is you need to know God so well and then, you will be able to have a real/ideal spec of who the ‘one’ should be or who the one is. Knowing and obeying God just makes everything so much easier. Knowing Him intimately, helps you have standards, and that way, you know those you are not even going to give second thoughts to.
I don’t want us to feel obliged to date every single person that is attracted to us. Guys will definitely come, in fact, they should come, but it’s what we do with them or how we respond to them that counts.
I personally, don’t have a spec, but there’s one thing I know, he HAS to be a Christian. By Christian I don’t mean church-goer, no. I mean Spirit-filled, Jesus-lover Christian. I don’t need need to say he shouldn’t be womanizer, shouldn’t be a smoker and blah, blah, blah. Him being a Christian, covers it all.
Here’s the thing, if you don’t know who are looking for, you’ll find anything. And it’s only God that knows what’s best for you. In Jeremiah 29:11, He says concerning you “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Your future hubby is definitely included in the expected end.
I’m not married, but I have come to know that marriage is not rosy all the time. There are challenges, so how do we conquer them without Christ being the foundation of our home? He (Christ) isn’t one of the options, He’s the way (John 14:6).
One more thing, stop thinking about how fast your biological clock is ticking and try to speed up the process. Our Father, your Father isn’t restricted by time, in fact, He created it, so walk with His time.
On a final note, don’t focus on getting a husband, Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”.
Food for thought:
1. Don’t be in a relationship with someone for the sake of it, be in a relationship because you KNOW he’s the “one”.
2. “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her”`~ Maya Angelou (I
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"Come Unto Me"

Text- Isaiah 1:18, Proverbs 28:13, 1John 1:9, Matthew 11:28, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 2:10 (amplified), 2Corinthians 5:17, 1John 4:19
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Dear friend...

One minute, a nation is at peace, and the next minute it could be in war against another. Another boring day of business, classes or what have you and in a matter of seconds, thousands of people and properties are being swept away by earthquakes and tsunami. These tell us that we live in this world with such uncertainty about our future. So I thought to myself, maybe we should just “enjoy” our lives now that we’ve got it. I mean, we should live it up in mindless passion- raving, drinking, womanizing and on and on… or maybe not!
Life’s too short to be ‘on and off’ with God. Now more than ever, we need Him as our Ally to lead us, walk with us, talk to us, comfort us and just be our God. People could speculate all they want about several things such as when the world would end, disasters that may strike but at the end of the day, God has the final say. So, why are you even double-thinking partnering with Him?
I don’t want you to fear in these last days, because Jesus doesn’t want you to- Matthew 24:6 (…let not your heart be troubled..), Matthew 6:34 (don’t worry about tomorrow). Think about it this way, Jesus specifically commands you not to worry or have a troubled heart, hence, you will be disobeying Him by doing those things.  And yes, you’ve been wondering if God speaks or if He will ever speak to you, He just did, are you listening and obeying?
If after listening to what God is saying to you about fear and worry, you are still frightened, could it be because there is unfinished business between you and God? Go to Him Now and sort it out. He’s saying to you right now, ‘come, talk to me, give me your broken heart- I want to mend it, give me your life- all of it.’
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together,”
      Says the LORD,
      “ Though your sins are like scarlet,
      They shall be as white as snow;
      Though they are red like crimson,
      They shall be as wool.
Finally, I want you to know that in the midst of all adversity, the only safe place is in the will of God. Even if it’s in that warring nation, that disaster-stricken place, that abusive home, that low-paying job or even that stressful school, as long as you are in the will of God, you’re safe.
(Matthew 24:6-7 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for allthese things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”)
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The Bridal Train

Beautiful piece written by a dear friend of mine. Be blessed...

The Church, Christ’s Bride as in Ephesians 5:22-25
                It has been on my mind lately, an undying thought filled with pending questions.  This pursuit of the Truth, The Way, The Life... is it personal or is as part of a team- a tag-team? Glory to God, I have witnessed an up rise in the number of youth in pursuit of God, developing a yearning for Him.  But sometimes, I ask, “Are we doing this because others are?” “Has Christianity become trendy?”
               I was on my way to Weekend Away- a youth fellowship in Derbyshire and on the bus I began to write about the “The Bridal train”. It seems many are just being swept by the wave and have not truly valued this gift of salvation- Only someone who knew he was drowning and about to die would appreciate the duty of the Life-guard. Yes, to some, it began as a trend, a fad, pressured by friends to try it. So they did.
The Bridal train has in it many who are very uncertain in their faith, it’s like they are on a train and at every stop , they look around to see if anyone else is getting off and if not, they stay on. This can seem encouraging from a less cynical point of view, but to another these people are just following not even sure where this train is taking them to. Yes, the driver of this train is our Saviour, Jesus.
The Church is Christ’s bride and it seems like there are many more people cramming into the Standard coaches than First Class, with good service and where you have a relationship with the Helper during your ride. The people in the standard coach are not ready to pay a price, to lead a life worthy of God’s calling because like a first class coach, it’s too costly.
So what we have now are a few forerunners, having only a select few who will face the groom- the golden vessels. The rest of the bridal train walk the aisle, well-dressed but not entirely new creations.  We are ready to see the groom but not willing to make contact with Him because we know that there will be no turning back when that ring has been placed on our finger. We let the select few do the job, we are fully behind them, cheering them and they do the job while we stand back with fleeting emotion- excited but only for a while.
            The Groom always appreciates the Bridal train and He shows this by giving gifts. But only the bride has a permanent supply of her Husband’s property, a joint account, a co-heir to His Father’s throne. The rest of the Bridal train are satisfied with these gifts alone and are not seeking the full entirety of the Kingdom.  And only the Bride will know (be one) with the groom.
As we walk the aisle, we know deep in our minds that we are glad we are not the Bride- yet.  We do not feel ready for the full commitment but we do not mind being in the limelight, we are not ready to give ourselves and our wills away but we still long to be a part of something beautiful.
            The Holyspirit wants to work in us and makes us worthy to be called Christ’s Bride. It’s really hard to submit but when you ask the Holy Spirit to make you knew you submit to His will, just like a bride will. Christianity is no trend, it’s not something you get into because everyone else is, but until you value the work that was done on the cross then you will appreciate why He has sent us the Holy Spirit to complete it. Don’t let others be the forerunners of your Christian life, we are disciples not a tag-team.
“Matthew 10:39- He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

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My FB Appeal

This is my personal testimony 2 Peter 3:9 says God is not willing that any should perish... STOP putting off God till later. There might never be a 'later'. God bless you!
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Still using the 'L' word?

Hello beautiful people, I’m glad you’re reading this right now- get ready to be blessed!

Oh no, the 'L' word isn't love, I knew you'd think! It stands for 'later'.
Lately, I’ve been more alert to the fact that we are only here temporarily. More and more, I realise that we would all leave someday. I don’t know when ‘someday’ will be. For all I know it could be the next hour or 75 years time. The question is not when ‘someday’ will be, the question is where do we want to spend eternity and what are we doing to get to that desired place?
Whether we think about it or not, we would die someday or if not, Jesus would come. For a moment, I just want you to think about what hell would be like. It’s eternal suffering in the flames of fire. It does not end! I thirst and hunger more for righteousness- not just because I don’t want to go to hell, but for the joy of spending eternity with my Father. How beautiful it would be, being with Jesus all day long?
The bible says in 2 Peter3:9 that God is not willing for any to perish, but ultimately the choice is ours to make. There’s is never a better time to serve God than Now, because NOW is the only time we have. Stop putting off your serving God till later, for all you know, ‘later’ might never come.
To people who are already saved- who have accepted God’s gift of salvation and have a personal relationship with Him- congratulations! Press on, don’t get tired now and don’t get caught up in doing the ‘so-called things of God’ at the expense of your own salvation. By this I mean, don’t be too busy with your service, ignoring your own spiritual growth. Your salvation is more important than your service. Philippians 2:12 says “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Your salvation comes first. Remember, you can’t give out what you don’t have. So, spend time getting to know who God is.
Sweetheart, I implore you to take a moment and ponder on these things. Reflect on how you’ve been living your life. Where do you plan on spending eternity? Are you on the right track? Perhaps you were on the right track before, but for some reason(s), you’ve drifted off, come back! Don’t dwell on your past. There’s nothing you could have done that’s too bad for God to forgive. He still loves you, more than you can ever know. He doesn’t hold your sin against you (Romans 8:1). He desires the relationship you used to have with Him. Talk to him now; He’s listening…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”- John 3:16

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”- John 1:12

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The big picture

There are times things do not go as we planned, we sometimes find ourselves in circumstances we never wanted or things don’t happen as we would like them. At such times, trusting God seems like an uphill task, but still I would implore you, TRUST GOD.

Many of us have Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on our hearts “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.But still we don’t believe it. One thing I have come to realize is that God is the only One who sees and knows the "Big picture”. If our lives are in His hands and He’s saying He knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us - of peace and to give us an EXPECTED END, then we have to trust Him to take us to that expected end. Take note that the expected end is His expected for us. And it is only when we work in His purpose for us that we truly feel fulfilled.
So as long as your life is in God’s hand and you acknowledge Him in everything you do (Proverbs 3:6), then you don’t have to worry. Even if you wrong Him along the line and as a result, you are where you are today, get up and ask for forgiveness. He’s still able to turn around the situation and all things will work together for your good.

Revelation 1:8 says He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. Which means from the beginning of your life, He saw the end and as long as we’ve accepted the invitation to become His children (John 1:12), you can be rest assured that it’s nothing but a good end. In fact, take a look at Ephesians 2:10 it says we are created unto good works which God had ordained before, that we should walk in them. So the success story of your life is a settled case. It has been settled by your Father before now. But realise that for that success to manifest physically, there have to be some examinations, and it's only just a phase. Always remember that God will not let you carry more than you can bear, so if you’re going through a situation or challenge, it’s because YOU CAN (meaning: you have all it takes to go through it).

One thing I find very comforting is that God is ALWAYS with me. Even When I feel like He is far away or I feel like I’ve wronged Him, He’s still right there with me. That's awesome!

But the truth is, if you have not handed your life over to God, you are not a recipient of this ‘good expected end’ I’m talking about. If you’re not serving God, then you’re serving the devil. It's One or the other. There are no grey areas here. The devil has come to kill, to steal and to destroy (John 10:10). So, now is the time to give your life to Christ. The only time you are sure of is now, you are not certain of what would the very next minute.
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Behind the scenes

Many times, because God uses people to bless us, we begin to give all the glory and appreciation to the human beings he used. Don’t get me wrong, when people bless us, in whatever way, we show appreciation to them, but not at the expense of God. Afterall, God isn’t going to come down from heaven to bless us, He would use people. If he wasn’t that person, it could have been someone else.
Sometimes, we need to put our human reasoning aside and look at the big picture. Logically, it may seem like it’s all the work of the person in question, but the bible tells us in Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will, how much more mere men!
The safety of your job is not really in the hands of your manager. Your success in your studies is not determined by your lecturers. Your safety as you commute daily is not in the hands of the bus/train driver, not even determined by the state of the roads. Having said all this, Jesus will only come as far as you let Him. If you don’t invite Him to be in charge in every single area of your life, He won’t force Himself in and you life will continually be tossed about by the forces of nature; economic recession, diseases, unemployment, you name it.
So now, I put it to you, who would you rather prefer to handle your affairs; the Creator of all creatures or the Creator’s creatures? Don’t waste any more time, allow Jesus in. He is only a prayer away!
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I know who I am

I am made in His image
His very own offspring
Sharing of His own nature
Bought with a price by the death of His only begotten son
I am His precious one
The apple of His eyes            
Fearfully and wonderfully made
Created unto good works
I am the light of the world
The salt of the earth
I lead and others follow
No, I’m not proud,
I just know who I am
Who are you?
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Is it still all about God?

When you first started talking to him, you were just keen on winning him over to God’s kingdom, but is it still so?
When you first started blogging, you just wanted to share the Word with all, but is it still so, is it still about God?
When you first started getting close to Her, you just wanted to learn so much about God, is it still so?
When you first started singing, you just wanted to worship God, but is it still so?
When you first started fellowshipping there, you felt the presence of the Holyspirit so strong, and you always wanted more, is it still so, or have your friends become your focus?
When you first gave your life to Christ, you just loved dwelling in the presence of God, is it still so?

This is just to encourage us to take a step back, look at our actions and motives, is it still all about God? if it isn’t, return to your first love. Revelation  2:4-5 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
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