Thursday, March 29, 2007

I will never leave you nor forsake you - Hebrews 13:5b

Take a moment and read these words sent to us by a dear Sister and friend:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed the scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to me another to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand, and I noticed that many times along the path there was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the lowest times in my life. This really bothered me and I questioned the lord about it. 'Lord , you said that once I decide to follow you, you would walk with me all the way, but I notice that during the lowest times in my life there was only set of footprints. I don't understand why in times I needed you most, you should leave me. The lord replied, my child, I love you and would never leave you during your times of trial and suffering.

When you saw only one set of footprints..... they were mine . It was then I carried you! I will never leave you or forsake you."

Contributed by Bolanle Fasade

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


People on a plane and people on a pew have a lot in common:

All are on a journey. Most are well-behaved and presentable. Some
doze, and others gaze out the window. For many, the mark of a good
flight and the mark of a good worship assembly are the same. “Nice,”
we like to say. “It was a nice flight" or "It was a nice worship service.”

A few, however, are not content with nice. They long for something
more. The boy who just passed me did. I heard him before I saw him. I
was already in my seat when he asked, “Will they really let me meet
the pilot?” The question floated into the cockpit, causing the pilot
to lean out.

“Well, come on in.”

With a nod from his mom, the youngster entered the cockpit’s world of
controls and gauges and emerged minutes later with eyes wide. “Wow!”
he exclaimed. “I’m so glad to be on this plane!”

No one else’s face showed such wonder. I studied the faces of the
other passengers but found no such enthusiasm. I mostly saw
contentment: travelers content to be on the plane, content to be
closer to their destination, content to be out of the airport,
content to sit and stare and say little.

Do you see why I say that people on a plane and people on a pew have
a lot in common? Enter a church sanctuary and look at the faces.
Content to be there. Content to sit and look straight ahead and leave
when the service is over. “Seek and you will find,” Jesus promised
(Matt. 7:7). And since a nice service is what we seek, a nice service
is usually what we find.

A few, however, seek more. A few come with the childlike enthusiasm
of the boy. And those few leave as he did, wide-eyed with the wonder
of having stood in the presence of the pilot himself.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Passionate Prayers or Money Palaver? (Just a Joke)

This happened in a certain church in Nigeria:

One Sunday morning, everybody in the church was
praying as usual. Telling God his or her own problems.

At one end was a young girl, who was very agitated,
Shouting and praying that God should help her with two
thousand naira. That's all she needed.

At the same time, one desperate looking man at the
back of the church was quietly asking God to help him
with with fifty million naira.

The young girl was getting louder and more persistent
with her request. Shouting, jumping and begging that
God should please help her with two thousand naira.

The desperate man at the back then went up to her and
asked "ah ah, is it only you that God will hear today?

Girl what's your problem now?"
The girl replied that she needed two thousand naira
The man hissed loudly, took two thousand naira from
his pocket and said "I beg you, take this and be quiet so
that God can concentrate on my problem!!!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Too many Christians are strangers to God’s presence and because they are unaware of the benefits of daily pursuing God’s presence, they live on in life without a care. Sadly, the practice of daily cultivating the presence of God is one that is taken lightly. We need to challenge and change this mindset as we enter into this new week. It is very important that we to renew our walk with God on a daily basis, and take a review of how we are getting along with God at the end of each week. This is what Christian fathers and mystics of old called ‘examen’. And when we take God’s presence seriously, we never would let anything take away the time we’d allotted to God for intimate communion with him.

Many wake up on Monday mornings with a hiss; “oh, here again is another week of stress and work”. After stretching and wiping their faces of the evidence of dried secretions from their mouths and eyes, they head straight to the bathroom to shower, groom themselves and get ready for work. For the ‘quiet time’ conscious ones, they hurriedly mutter a few lines of memorized prayers, and then read a portion from their daily devotional laced with a few Bible verses. But for many others who have been subsumed by the hustle and bustle of 9-5 jobs, they hit the streets without a care. Afterall, they had been to Sunday service the previous day, and had received enough ‘anointing’ to carry them through out the week before they get a refill the next Sunday. Church is seen as a gas station where they get a dose of anointing at no cost, and might give an offering in ‘gratitude’ to God

This has become the norm for many a sincere Christian who is not immune from the stark realities and challenges of the fast-paced age we live in which stifles the cultivation of piety and Christian spirituality. Thus Christians now lack inner strength and the character to stand firm and live right in the world. Because we have not prepared ourselves at the place of prayer, we easily cave into temptations at the work place, or market places where we deploy our gifts, talents and skills. Inasmuch as we seemingly have ‘legitimate reasons’ for taking our spiritual welfare for granted, such excuses though do not stop us from taking care our physical outlook. Many sweat it out at gyms daily to keep fit, burn excess fat and shapen-up, while many more spend fortunes on fashion designers and drycleaners to ensure they look chic and cute and/or corporate daily. So we end up just with the toga of being Christians without the evidence of God’s presence in our lives with concomitant display of character and traits that mark out true Christians.

But if we could know a little of what we lose by not cultivating God’s presence daily, we will do all within our power to seek God daily like Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Master did. Nothing was too important or expedient to take away the time he spent with his loving father. For long before his disciples woke up, he would stow away to a solitary place and commune with his father; our heavenly father. At the place of communion, his inner man will receive an infilling of the Holy Spirit which will carry him throughout the day. This was a constant feature of his exemplary life and we, his followers never would say we can be busier than him. The schedule of Jesus outstripped that of anyone in his age, and ours. From the time he woke up till he reclined to sleep at night, thousands thronged to receive healings, blessings and much more from him. Tired and fagged out from his daily work, he would take a break from gisting with his buddies, so he can commune with God. He didn’t spend his nights watching movies, the latest soaps or reality show on TV. His TV was not hooked on permanently to stations that beamed analysis of the past weekend’s premiership matches. Rather than catch up with the news and gossips of the day, he retreated into his privacy to share with God how events of the day transpired. And this daily practice of pursuing God’s Presence made him act with exactness as it heightened his spiritual awareness and discernment such that no event, however complex was able to discomfit or overwhelm him. He spoke with exactness, matched with wise actions as he dealt with both difficult people and difficult situations.

When we wake up in the morning and rush out to work without communing with God and sorting out our day, we inadvertently have ‘walked away from God’s Presence’. And life for anyone who walks away from God’s presence has never been found to be easy. After Adam was ‘walked out of God’s presence” by angels, his life became punctuated with tilling, toiling and sweating. His son, Cain after he was ‘banished from God’s presence’ became a vagabond whose life was subjected to dangers and perils. God had to place a mark of protection on him to save him from being devoured. Jonah is another example of someone who ‘walked away from God’s presence’ and ran away to Tarshish While on the way, he experienced danger and peril unlike other no other passenger in the ship. It was God’s saving grace that rescued him from the belly and mouth of the whale.

But for the ones who commune daily with God, their safety is not a dicey one. Dr. Tony Rapu posits that ‘safety is not the absence of danger or peril, but the presence of God amidst dangers”. That’s why David could walk through the valley of the shadow of death without a care, because he was so certain that God’s presence accompanied him. Paul would prove the veracity of David’s claim when the ship he traveled in experienced shipwreck. While communing with God, an angel from God’s presence was sent to assure him of their safety amidst the storms that pummeled the ship. Despite the shipwreck, they all came out safe and sound. That was why Moses refused to proceed in his journey with the Israelites in the wilderness without the presence of God. And for all Christians who had made a great impact on their generation, the pursuit of God’s presence was one variable factor that separated them from the whole lot. Often times, only a microcosm of believers know the benefits of pursuing God’s presence daily and these are the one who spend quality time with God. Little wonder many of us are shallow in our experiential knowledge of God, and powerless in confronting the challenges that come up in our daily lives.

Make a new start today. Take out sometime to quietly commune with God in your heart. If lack of time constrains you from spending time with God, and meditating on his word in the mornings, why not do it early before others arrive at the office? You can also share your break time with God, but more importantly, learn to commune with God in your heart as you punch your laptop, or wait for a client. Turn your heart away from wondering thoughts, and focus your thoughts on God for a short time. Mutter endearing words in your heart to him while you work. Tell him how much you love and cherish him. Thank him for the grace he’s bestowed on you. And as you do this daily, you’d begin to notice changes in your heart. And with time, you’d begin to sense His Presence within you amidst all the chaos that characterizes our fast paced life. Then you’d be sure to prove that physical exercise profits a little, and that Godliness has a reward right here on earth, and also in heaven. In essence, those who daily cultivate God’s presence would experience heaven on earth. Shalom and have a beautiful week.


We love this soul-stirring piece sent to our email by a close buddy and brother in Christ, we’d love to share it here with you, enjoy and be blessed.

Uche & Lola

As we gear up to celebrate Easter, I would like us to ponder a little over some issues. Does it not strike us that the frenzy of Christmas is not matched by the seeming lack luster appeal of Easter? There seems to be no bonanzas and sales. Yet Easter is one of the most hallowed of Christian traditions. Save for the more traditional Christian churches that observe the 40-day Lenten season, most Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian believers hardly approach Easter with much reverence. Not many stop to ponder the agonies that Jesus Christ went through to bring us salvation and redemption. The Roman Catholics relive the passions of the Christ through the weekly observation of The Stations of the Cross, and little wonder Mel Gibson, a Catholic was able to produce the award-winning Passions of the Christ which impacted most Christians worldwide! I can’t remember why I thought about the Cross of Christ some 5 years ago, and hope this will stir you to ponder about Christ this season too.
Below is an excerpt from my devotional journal of December 4, in 2003 titled, I DREAD THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
Dear LORD,
I have considered and thought deeply about the cross, and am gripped with fear and dread for it. How can I walk all alone, the way to Golgotha only to have the Rugged Cross as my only companion amidst the jeers and scornful looks of the mocking crowd and bystanders?
I dread those jagged nails that tore through your palms and bored through your feet. Can I ever bear the piercing arrow on my side like you did? But you said I should carry my cross and follow you in hot pursuit to Calvary …but can I ever love you deeply without the over bearing cross staring rudely at my dream and goals?

I dread to crucify myself, my dreams, my lofty aspirations and goals. How do I bear the pain and disappointment of nursing a still-hope and lost dreams born and weaned by myself? I hear the nails cry as the Roman soldiers’ hammers pound their heads into your (My savior’s) arms and legs, and I cringe in fear; for if my master was not spared the horror of the cross, how be it me?

Dear LORD,
Let not my dread keep me from the cross of your will for my life. Help me walk and trudge up the hill of crucifixion, with the cross as my only companion. Carry me and uphold me through the path of the cross. And when I reach Golgotha , do not desert me like your Father seemingly did to you that dark and lonely Friday. Bear me through the pain of surrendering to the scorching flames of the Altar of Total Surrender to your will and your ways.

I long to die your kind of death, so I can live your kind of life. I long to experience that glory of yours, only if you can help me suffer what is bound to bring me into your glory. If I must the way of the cross tread, then take me through it by your very hands, else I’ll drop out and fall away, and off the cliff of Calvary to my utter doom.
I yearn for that glory of your presence much more than I can say with words. Stir my heart as your voice goes through the ends of the earth, to call up those that yearn and long for your presence. I want to be among those that bring pleasure to your heart!

Your son,
By Felix Abrahams Obi
(Written on 4th December, 2003 in Lagos )

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Face of Domestic Violence!

Please take a minute to watch this video....

This is not your typical story....
Its a sad tale about man's inhumanity to man (woman)....
A story of love gone mad!
As you watch (if you care) say a prayer for the world: pray that we may all learn to live by the agape love of God........

Contributed by Moda

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Mousetrap.....

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning:
There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.

So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another


"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another...."(Romans 12:15-16a)

Contributed by Ogochukwu Eze

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Signs of The Time?

"At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it..."
(Matthew 24:23)

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The minister has the number 666 tattooed on his arm.

But Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is not your typical minister. De Jesus, or "Daddy" as his thousands of followers call him, does not merely pray to God: He says he is God.

"The spirit that is in me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth," de Jesus says.

De Jesus' claims of divinity have angered Christian leaders, who say he is a fake. Religious experts say he may be something much more dangerous, a cult leader who really believes he is God.

"He's in their heads, he's inside the heads of those people," says Prof. Daniel Alvarez, a religion expert at Florida International University who has debated some of de Jesus' followers.

"De Jesus speaks with a kind of conviction that makes me consider him more like David Koresh or Jim Jones."

Is de Jesus really a cult leader like David Koresh, who died with more than 70 of his Branch Davidian followers in a fiery end to a standoff with federal authorities, or Jim Jones, the founder of the Peoples Temple who committed mass suicide with 900 followers in 1978? (or even the more recent Mr Emeka Ezeugo a.k.a. Dr Reverend King from Nigeria).

Prophets 'spoke to me'

De Jesus and his believers say their church -- "Creciendo en Gracia," Spanish for "Growing in grace" -- is misunderstood. Followers of the movement say they have proof that their minister is divine and that their church will one day soon be a major faith in the world.

But even de Jesus concedes that he is an unlikely leader of a church that claims thousands of members in more than 30 countries.

De Jesus, 61, grew up poor in Puerto Rico. He says he served stints in prison there for petty theft and says he was a heroin addict.

De Jesus says he learned he was Jesus reincarnate when he was visited in a dream by angels.

"The prophets, they spoke about me. It took me time to learn that, but I am what they were expecting, what they have been expecting for 2,000 years," de Jesus says.

The church that he began building 20 years ago in Miami resembles no other:

* Followers have protested Christian churches in Miami and Latin America, disrupting services and smashing crosses and statues of Jesus.

* De Jesus preaches there is no devil and no sin. His followers, he says, literally can do no wrong in God's eyes.

* The church calls itself the "Government of God on Earth" and uses a seal similar to the United States.

Doing God's work with a Lexus and Rolex

If Creciendo en Gracia is an a typical religious group, de Jesus also does not fit the mold of the average church leader. De Jesus flouts traditional vows of poverty.

He says he has a church-paid salary of $136,000 but lives more lavishly than that. During an interview, he showed off a diamond-encrusted Rolex to a CNN crew and said he has three just like them. He travels in armored Lexuses and BMWs, he says, for his safety. All are gifts from his devoted followers.

And what about the tattoo of 666 on his arm?

Although it's a number usually associated with Satan, not the son of God, de Jesus says that 666 and the Antichrist are, like him, misunderstood.

The Antichrist is not the devil, de Jesus tells his congregation; he's the being who replaces Jesus on Earth.

"Antichrist is the best person in the world," he says. "Antichrist means don't put your eyes on Jesus because Jesus of Nazareth wasn't a Christian. Antichrist means do not put your eyes on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Put it on Jesus after the cross."

And de Jesus says that means him.

So far, de Jesus says that his flock hasn't been scared off by his claims of being the Antichrist. In a show of the sway he holds over the group, 30 members of his congregation Tuesday went to a tattoo parlor to have 666 also permanently etched onto their skin.

"For the time will come when men will not
put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit
their own desires, they will gather around
them a great number of teachers to say
what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from
the truth and turn aside to myths"
(2 Timothy 4:3-4)

He may wield influence over them, but his followers say don't expect them to go the way of people who believed in David Koresh and Jim Jones. Just by finding de Jesus, they say, they have achieved their purpose.

"If somebody tells us drink some Kool-Aid and we'll go to heaven, that's not true. We are already in heavenly places," follower Martita Roca told CNN after having 666 tattooed onto her ankle.

(Watch followers get 666 tattoos for their leader Video)

As we read this story, and watched the video, we were reminded of other similar incidences in the past, and so we decided to share it here. Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself already gave us a warning about these 'Times',......And Jesus answering them began to say, "Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" - Mark 13:6.

Read more about Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda here>>>

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Becoming like Christ.

"One of the fundamental requirements of a church that is alive is that that church is knowledgeable and that the people understand the mystery of the kingdom of God, the nature of our calling and what God has already put in place for His people. So that we can become the kind of people that God expects us to be. The Christian life is a continuous struggle to become, because the more I become, the more I can do; it is only those who become that can do."

-Dr Okey Onuzo

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Call to Prayer!

It cannot be over emphasized, our need for prayer. We believe that regular prayer helps to release a continous flow of spiritual power. It sharpens our discernment and makes our spirits alert and sensitive to spiritual things. As such we also believe that as Christians, we all need to:
Jesus taught us to pray, "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). We believe therefore, that it is important to spent quality time in God's presence to find out His will. If you feel the need to pray right now, please feel free to join our "Prayer Room" by clicking here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Songs on the Internet

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Could God use you in Internet Evangelism? - By Rusty Wright

Could God use you to reach people for Christ via the Internet? The answer may surprise you!

I’m no techie!
“How could I ever use the Internet to reach people for Christ?” you might wonder. “I’m no techie. I know how to send email and read the news online, but that’s about it.”

I can identify with that. My technical knowledge is limited. For many years, I was even hesitant to use an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) at the bank, for fear I would do something stupid and it would swallow my card.

Gradually, I overcame my technophobia and began to use computers for word processing. But I used somewhat primitive setups. Only in 1998 did I switch from the rather archaic DOS operating system to Windows because a friend said I should “get with the 90s before the 90s are over!”

What are your talents?
We all have talents and abilities. A key to usefulness is making our talents available to God. Your talents may be in building friendships, engaging in conversations, answering questions, inspiring people, or telling stories. God certainly can use those. Here’s a story that may encourage you.

My own interests involve communication, especially relating Christ to secular audiences. Over the years, I’ve written numerous evangelistic articles to help reach nonbelievers. Several years ago, a couple of friends involved in Internet ministry, Keith Seabourn and Allan Beeber, asked me to send them all my articles so they could put them “online.”

I didn’t understand all that meant, but they said it would make the articles available free to people around the globe. That seemed like a good thing.

Keith’s website, “Leadership University,” aimed to collect thousands of articles supporting the validity of Christian faith. Allan’s “Evangelism Toolbox” became an online “Yellow Pages” (directory) of evangelism resources. They helped introduce me to Internet outreach.

Are you ready for the digital revolution?
At a convention in Amsterdam a few years ago, I saw a brochure that said, “The Great Commission is Going Digital; Are You Ready?” That piqued my interest. Maybe God wanted me to focus my energies on Internet Evangelism.

The brochure spoke of the then-fledgling Internet Evangelism Coalition. I started to hang out with these folks – wonderful people – and to learn from them. I began to write more for the web and various articles appeared online.

Another friend encouraged me to do a Google search on my name. I was amazed to see page after page of my articles on websites that I had never heard of!

I also discovered a number of other “Rusty Wrights,” including …

  • a platform tennis player
  • a university professor
  • a football coach
  • a singer
  • a rodeo cowboy
  • a racecar driver
  • a cruise ship captain
  • a convict

The simplicity and pervasive nature of the Internet was allowing people to find and use these articles in ways I had never imagined. I could sit with my laptop in my office, on an airplane, or in a hotel room and compose an article that would tactfully nudge people toward Christ or biblical principles. Then, by pushing a button, I could send it to Internet publishers who would make it available to people around the globe.

This seemed almost too good to be true. What a potential for spreading Good News!

A simple prayer
In August 2003, while jogging one morning, I felt impressed to pray that within a year, I would be aware of 100 websites that had used my articles. (At the time, I was aware of 43.) There wasn’t an audible “voice from heaven” or handwriting on the sidewalk; just a strong inner impression that I should pray this.

A year later, I learned of the 100th site that had used this material. Some sites published the articles and others linked to them. The articles appeared in several languages: English, Spanish, Albanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, and Polish. People just kept translating and posting them. It seemed beyond my control or ability. God gets the glory for this.

A surprising number of the sites were not Christian. For instance, one site linked to a version of the article “Elvis Has Left the Building,” which traces fascination with Elvis Presley and its spiritual implications. An Argentine medical school website published a translation of “One Minute After Death,” about near-death experiences.

Some secular newspaper sites ran material. Personal websites and “blogs” (web logs) linked to articles. I did not contact all these websites, asking them to use my articles. Many content managers simply found the articles on the web and used them.

God’s sense of humor
I even found one article link on a porn site.

I should clarify. The evangelistic article is entitled, “Dynamic Sex: Unlocking the Secret to Love.” It presents a biblical perspective on sex and love but is written to grab and hold the attention of non-Christians. And no, I did not discover this link by surfing porn sites! I typed the article title into Google. I do pray that many websurfers who go to that site looking for pornography will find Jesus. God has a sense of humor!

Again, God gets all the glory for this. If you have interest, many of these seeker- and skeptic-friendly articles are at

What can you do?
Internet evangelism offers you a dazzling array of possibilities to communicate Christ. Writing articles is just one method. You may want to interact with unbelievers in a chat room, correspond via email, communicate on a blog, design your own website, pray for and/or support web outreach financially.

You can also encourage your church or Christian group to participate in ‘Internet Evangelism Day’. This international focus day program is designed to help Christians learn more about the potential of the Web for outreach. The IE Day site explains how to create a short focus program to include in church services or other activities.

The important thing is to ask God what He would have you do. As Mary told the servants in John 2:5, “Whatever He [Jesus] says to you, do it.”

Ask God to enlarge your borders. He did it for Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10). Maybe He wants to do it for you. I hope he does.

Rusty Wright is an author, syndicated columnist and university lecturer with who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford Universities, respectively.

Click here (Blogging Basic Lessons) to get some basic tips on how you can start your own blog now!

Copyright © Rusty Wright 2004. Permission granted to use this article. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 2, 2007

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker

Thursday, March 1, 2007

What a Living Inspiration!

My name is Nick Vujicic and I give God the Glory for how He has used my testimony to touch thousands of hearts around the world! I was born without limbs and doctors have no medical explanation for this birth "defect". As you can imagine, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles.

"Consider it pure joy, my Brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds."

....To count our hurt, pain and struggle as nothing but pure joy? As my parents were Christians, and my Dad even a Pastor of our church, they knew that verse very well. However, on the morning of the 4th of December 1982 in Melbourne (Australia), the last two words on the minds of my parents was "Praise God!". Their firstborn son had been born without limbs! There were no warnings or time to prepare themselves for it. The doctors we shocked and had no answers at all! There is still no medical reason why this had happened and Nick now has a Brother and Sister who were born just like any other baby.

The whole church mourned over my birth and my parents were absolutely devastated. Everyone asked, "if God is a God of Love, then why would God let something this bad happen to not just anyone, but dedicated Christians?" My Dad thought I wouldn't survive for very long, but tests proved that I was a healthy baby boy just with a few limbs missing.

Understandably, my parents had strong concern and evident fears of what kind of life I'd be able to lead. God provided them strength, wisdom and courage through those early years and soon after that I was old enough to go to school. The law in Australia didn't allow me to be integrated into a main-stream school because of my physical disability. God did miracles and gave my Mom the strength to fight for the law to be changed. I was one of the first disabled students to be integrated into a main-stream school.

I liked going to school, and just try to live life like everyone else, but it was in my early years of school where I encountered uncomfortable times of feeling rejected, weird and bullied because of my physical difference. It was very hard for me to get used to, but with the support of my parents, I started to develop attitudes and values which helped me overcome these challenging times. I knew that I was different but on the inside I was just like everyone else. There were many times when I felt so low that I wouldn't go to school just so I didn't have to face all the negative attention. I was encouraged by my parents to ignore them and to try start making friends by just talking with some kids. Soon the students realized that I was just like them, and starting there God kept on blessing me with new friends.

There were times when I felt depressed and angry because I couldn't change the way I was, or blame anyone for that matter. I went to Sunday School and learnt that God loves us all and that He cares for you. I understood that love to a point as a child, but I didn't understand that if God loved me why did He make me like this? Is it because I did something wrong? I thought I must have because out of all the kids at school, I'm the only weird one. I felt like I was a burden to those around me and the sooner I go, the better it'd be for everyone. I wanted to end my pain and end my life at a young age, but I am thankful once again, for my parents and family who were always there to comfort me and give me strength.

Due to my emotional struggles I had experienced with bullying, self esteem and loneliness, God has implanted a passion of sharing my story and experiences to help others cope with whatever challenge they have in their life and let God turn it into a blessing. To encourage and inspire others to live to their fullest potential and not let anything get in the way of accomplishing their hopes and dreams.

One of the first lessons that I have learnt was not to take things for granted.

"And we know that in all things God works for the best for those who love Him." -Rom 8:28

That verse spoke to my heart and convicted me to the point where that I know that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence that these "bad" things happen in our life.

I had complete peace knowing that God won't let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of fifteen after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was "so that the works of God may be revealed through Him."

I truly believed that God would heal me so I could be a great testimony of His Awesome Power. Later on I was given the wisdom to understand that if we pray for something, if it's God's will, it'll happen in His time. If it's not God's will for it to happen, then I know that He has something better.

I now see that Glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can't be used.

I am now twenty-one years old and have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting. I am also a motivational speaker and love to go out and share my story and testimony wherever opportunities become available. I have developed talks to relate to and encourage students through topics that challenge today's teenagers. I am also a speaker in the corporate sector.

Contributed by Ogochukwu Eze