Being Christ-like

We are back! This second Friday in August I have my lovely friend, and perhaps my oldest fried- Chimamaka Ellen Duru write about being a Vessel of Honour. I have known since when I was 10years old and it’s been a pleasure all through, she is a woman after God’s heart. Her story reminded me of why we were called Christians in the first place, they were seen as Christ-like even in the workplace. The full story will make this post quite lengthy, It is lengthy and I had initially planned to break it into two but there’s no need to break such beautiful story- the essence of it may be lost. I pray this message blesses you as it did me.

So, I’ll like to begin by saying a huge thank you to Tayo (whom I’ve known since before we were 10 years old – major throwback to our days as children’s church ushers)! Amazing how we’ve been serving the Lord since we were little – we bless Jesus for Godly beginnings! #wink

For a large part of my life, I was never big on talking about my faith – rather I would say that people should be able to see God in me – through my works. Since I decided on my terms, God decided to take me through school; dealing with me on my character and how to make Him famous in the workplace.

Now, I wear my many hues as my stripes. LOL! As a fresh graduate, I had the opportunity to work with a reputable telecoms company during my National Youth Service Corps in the North. I started work and soon after everyone would tease me about my faith – saying I carried Jesus on my head – because I wouldn’t go clubbing with them; wouldn’t drink alcohol which was a norm every Friday at the office; dressed conservatively though elegant and classy.. #wink; wouldn’t flirt unduly with potential customers to close deals and had standards/principles on relationships different from others including those who also identified as Christians. I was weird and I lived in the consciousness of it at work. I was different and bold for Jesus – so much so that people will come ask me questions on my view on issues just for laughs and to have peace; I would have lunch alone. Yes – it was that bad!

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And so; the temptations began!

My direct line manager was a lady who seemed alright at first but as we got into the swing of things; I soon realized that working with her was going to be “worse than a roller coaster on a freak show”. My boss would have me do all her tasks then take the glory for it; blame me for her mistakes; set me up for “awkward moments” with senior management and then laugh about it, and then just send me on the weirdest errands! She was really mean to me, but somehow I never lost it – even colleagues couldn’t understand how I took it all in stride; everyone was waiting for a day I would fall out with her as had everyone in the office including support staff. In fact, I would have been over- justified to fall out with her! LOL!

I remember one peculiar event where she had a miscarriage while at work and no one responded to drive her to the hospital; not even pool car drivers and I had to go and lobby one of the drivers as my pally and almost kneel down for him to take her to the hospital. Even while at the hospital no one really checked on her – I stayed through the D&C; used my funds to buy the things she required and helped clean her up afterwards; so much so that my housemate had to come over to help me and then finally left the hospital at almost midnight in a town where 6:30 pm was my own personally imposed curfew for safety reasons. Even afterwards, she tossed me a “thanks for the other day” line, withheld my last pay at the end of service year and even tried severally to make me look incompetent; but God’s grace for excellence in my life shone through.

In another scenario, God gave me strength and wisdom to exclude myself from a particular transaction with a corporate client. I didn’t know the details but I knew something about it didn’t sit well with me – thank you Holy Spirit! In summary, the transaction was fraudulent which ended up getting my boss & some colleagues investigated by the EFCC and taken into custody about two years after. As if that wasn’t enough; the client turned out to be an estranged senior friend of my parents so I would have just tainted my family name for nothing!

Through it all, God taught me the following which has reverberated in so many occasions within my career journey:

i. The workplace is the true test of your faith and your work should be as unto the Lord because it is service and worship to Him. Colossians 3:23-25 (MSG)

ii. In working as unto the Lord, EXCELLENCE should be your default setting – do it so well that even the Lord would say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. That way, even if your managers or colleagues try to discredit you; you have both spiritual and physical grounds to stand before your High Priest & Advocate to ask Him to step in.

iii. LOVE – I know you think, “Love, at work?” Yes, ma’am!! Jesus says to show his love to all men (& women) – our Heavenly Father isn’t sexist! LOL! So, show love to everyone everywhere you go irrespective of their attitude, designation/level, tribe/race, gender/ sexual orientation, background, etc. Ask Him how, and He’ll teach you – in my case, it was patience and continuous respect for the designated authority over me at the time. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)

iv. Never work with reward in mind. Your salary is a contractual agreement between you and your employer, so please note that’s not what I’m referring to – I mean don’t do things for “eye-service”; let it be wholehearted service – as all we do are seeds we’ll harvest immediately or later in our lives. Ephesians 6:6 (AMP)

v. Pray about everything including that naughty boss; the leading of the Lord and involve Him in the most “logical” decisions including when to resign or stay even in the midst of “unfair” treatment.

Prayer enforces God’s will here on earth, enables you to draw strength for your journey and keeps you in alignment with God’s will for your life so you don’t miss your season by being emotionally led!

In looking back over the years; I can make my boast in the Lord that irrespective of the length of time I’ve worked anywhere – I have left a legacy of Jesus’ love, won hearts for Jesus and can reach out to peers and senior colleagues cordially years after; all to HIS glory!

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (AMP)

 

Available Vessels

If I thought the month of June was good, then July was a great month of learning 😊and August is looking promising too. I started the series #VesselUntoHonour and it’s been a great month of learning. I remember going to my knees several times and talking to my Father based on the messages my writers passed. I hope you learnt a thing or two about being #VesselsUntoHonour to the ultimate potter. The series continues this month and I’d like you to pay attention to these writers, should I say their messages makes you have this sit and think moments. 

The series has been moved to only Fridays, starting from next week though, so I will be back to my blogging posts 💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿thanks for always stopping by.

Remember I mentioned July was a great month of learning; I want to share this with you. July 27-29 were my best days in the month of July thanks to the program- Mantle of Deborah – Fire of God, it was awesome.

God doesn’t choose a vessel and decide it will be noble and another not noble, God uses/picks available noble vessels, the decision to be noble and otherwise is entirely dependent on you – Pastor Chingtok 

This got me thinking, what sort of vessel will I be when God wants one- a noble vessel fit for the master’s use or will I be a cracked, unsure 😐 vessel? 

Let’s take a trip to the love letters (the Bible), each vessel used was available:

  1. Rebecca (Genesis 24): she was helpful by the well when Abraham’s servant was wife shopping for Isaac. The lesson learnt from here is to see every time as an opportunity to minister, don’t ever be caught unawares. Be kind to people, show love at all times you just might be the answer to someone’s prayers.
  2. Joshua & Gideon: what courageous men, others saw themselves as grasshoppers they saw a land flowing with milk and honour. In doing this it showed that they knew their God – Daniel 11:32… and God used them to do exploits. Do you know your God intimately, can you boast of God’s ability or you do this ? 
  3. Rahab: that Jericho wall prostitute is part of the linage of grace all because she hid those does spies, what are you doing to help out, it’s the Christ like way, you should helpout where possible. 
  4. Peter: this young man was so into tune with Jesus that when He was asked who Jesus Christ is, he is got it without prior knowledge. Who are you?

God is always in need of vessels, will you be available when a noble vessel is sought? Ponder of this thought.

Remember, He uses the available.

    The Billboard

    It’s the last Friday in the month of perfection called July and I must confess, there’s no better place I’d rather be than in the presence of my maker! I told my colleague today that I had a date with God; what a fruitful one it was! My senior colleague is who I have writing on being a #VesselUntoHonour, she’s a writer, entrepreneur, brand specialist, preacher- basically, she’s an inspiration to everyone around her…at least she’s an inspiration to me. What makes the packaging tick is her being a Christian. Chinwe Bode-Akinwande taught me to always please my Father in Heaven, so it’s beyond the earthly accolades-at the end of it all, will God say to me- well done? will my work stand the fire test?

    Please take out time to read and I pray you are blessed and encouraged as I was when I was reading this beautiful piece:

    God has been the centre of all I do. To the glory of God, I am not ashamed of the Gospel because I am a product of loving and serving God. I rely entirely on God for that meeting, conference call, response to an email, response to an official call etc.

    My journey in life has simply been a motto of Ecclesiastes 9:11- I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong, and neither is bread to the wise nor riches to those of intelligence and understanding nor favor to men of ability; but time and chance overtake them all.

    When I am given a responsibility or engaged in a task that I am at the forefront, I arm myself with the scripture – The Sovereign Lord has taught me what to say, so that I can strengthen the weary – Isaiah 50:4. Every morning He makes me eager to hear what He is going to teach me. Anytime I am given the opportunity to pray, I do so unapologetically. Besides being and demonstrating my faith, I work hard and meticulously at that to make my excellent God reflect in my job. Integrity is my watch word and because God is integrity personified I rely on the awesome grace of God to lead and back me up.

    We are in the world where colleagues, for instance, lie openly and shamelessly without blinking and the amazing thing is that most cases the bosses know they lie but they still get away with it. So I have made up my mind to stay on the path of truth come what may!

    I am a tither and believe in the covenant of tithing. I will tell my colleagues when they ask me what inspires me to work without waiting to be motivated or supervised; I tell them that I need God to be proud of me, my income, sacrifices and job. I work to the glory of God.

    There is a God-factor for me in that job, timeline, report, aspiration etc. I create time no matter how busy to counselling when approached and also talk about Jesus when time permits. Ultimately, my professionalism is an “assignment” in a status form to glorify God to motivate and inspire others.

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    Embrace God’s grace! God is more able to release that grace to them that seek it.

    And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause- 2 Corinthians 9:8.

    Above all, it pays to do your job excellently and live a life of integrity, with that God’s got your back!

    Life Goals

    It’s Wednesday the 26th – the last Wednesday in the month of July 2017! It’s been an interesting month for me, a month of discovery, a month of trust, a month of hunger and a month of obedience. I had reasons to evaluate my life and pause to check my relationship-o-metre with God, just to be sure I am not getting mixed signals (like one will check their tyres from time to time). Yinka Akande, the lovely person behind the Instagram Ipray365 is my writer for today, she’s brought to the fore the importance of a relationship with God, reading her post had me re-evaluate my life’s goal- as Christians, we need to be conscious of having one desire- to be a vessel unto honour.

    I pray this piece blesses and changes you as it did me.

    Growing up as a child, I knew very little about God and his ways. Even though I grew up going to church often and religiously attending departmental meetings, I knew God existed and that I was to live for Him, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the whole God idea.

    Although I am still on that journey, I will like to say that with each season, God has graciously revealed himself to me.

    In my university days, I longed to be useful to God, Permit me to say that was my single heart desire. Even though I loved God and wanted to be used by him, I had some limitations in my mind and in my thinking which restricted my ability to operate in my full potential as a vessel unto honour. 

    As the years went by, I learnt and discovered the endless value of a life lived unashamedly for God in the midst of a generation that cared little or less about God and didn’t think it cool to be identified with Him.

    As days turned to weeks and weeks to months and years, I realised that my single life purpose was to be a vessel unto God – the honourable vessel. I desired this, and urge everyone to see that as the single reason why we live.

    I continued with my commitment to live for God, even though some of my colleagues called me different kinds of names, that didn’t change the fact that God honoured me in the organisation.  In just my first year of working with the company, I was awarded the employee of the year. The light and glory of God caused me to stand out.  Some of my colleagues looked up to the wisdom of God in me and they sought me for spiritual guidance.

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    God used me as a vessel of honour to bring honour and glory to His name.

    This journey continues as I am continually learning about God and inspiring others to do so too. Through my prayer book “Ipray” and my Instagram page- @ipray365, I aim to inspire a 100 million praying lives and also encourage people to live their lives in close relationship, fellowship, communion with God – most importantly, being salts and light bearers in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

     

    Direction

    We have the Local Government election holding tomorrow in Lagos Nigeria and most of us will be grounded for the better part of the day- this post is quite appropriate for a time like this. My #VesselUntoHonour writer this Friday is a young woman passionate about God, she makes you long to have a loving relationship with your Father, and she is doing her own thing in the NGO scene. Chinenye Etoniru expresses how you should at all times seek God for direction, my a-ha moment was this line:

    It is wisdom to pray before you set out, it is faith in action to step out and take hold of what you were praying for.

    I pray you are blessed by this as I was:

    I studied Law at the university for 6 years. Sometime in my 4th year, I started asking the lord what career he wanted me to pursue. To some people it was like – duhh you are studying law what do you want to do with your life again. To some others it was more like- ahn ahn just look at what you can do and what you are passionate about and tow that line. But I still asked the Lord what he would have me do? His answer blew my mind; non-profit sector ke? I didn’t even know there were professionals in that field, with all my years of studying law, I’ll now go and work in an NGO.I am sure glad I listened. Three years down the line, I’m like a fish in the ocean, like I was born for the work that I do. I am fulfilled, I’ve excelled in my career and there are still lots of opportunities within the sector that haven’t been explored.

    I’m telling the story because as Christians a lot of times we feel like we have to figure things out for ourselves. We set goals(without asking the lord which way) then at the end of the day it doesn’t work out, we repeat the cycle and then we become frustrated when we feel like we aren’t making progress. Our walk on earth was never meant to be about the hustle and bustle, we are called to know Jesus and walk with him. It is from the place of a relationship with God that he directs the trajectory of our lives. You can never get it wrong, moving with Jesus.

    I’ve heard people say Christians are lazy and wait for God to do everything for us. I’ll share another experience. I started working in the non-profit sector without doing any course, so most of the experience I have was gotten on the job. As I was thinking about the things I wanted to accomplish this year, I knew I wanted to do a course. I’m married with a child and most of the courses I know I can do are 1-2 year courses away from Nigeria. I didn’t think I could do it. I prayed about it and just generally asked God to guide me. I went to see my dad some weeks after and immediately I settled down the first thing he told me was, you need to do a course. That was a confirmation for me that God was in support. I went home and said “Lord I don’t know which course you want me to do but please lead me to it and let me know when I see it”. To cut the long story short, about two months after, an application for a course was circulated in my office. It was a 2-week training and 6 months mentoring programme. When I saw it I knew that this was it. I wasn’t going to be away for too long and the course focused on most of the things I needed to learn. I didn’t meet some of the selection criteria and the application process was stressful but that didn’t stop me. In the end, I was one of three people selected from Nigeria.

    This experience re-enforced a biblical truth I hold dear. Enquire of the lord, and when he says move, you MOVE. Laziness is when you pray and when it’s time to move you are laid back. It is wisdom to pray before you set out, it is faith in action to step out and take hold of what you were praying for. (James 2: 14 -26)

    My message here is, stop striving to do things on your own. Move with God and let him order the course of your life, professionally and other wise. Moses told God in Exodus 33:15 “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place”. David when he found that the Amalekites had taken the wives and children of he and his men captive, went to the Lord and asked shall I pursue and overtake (I Samuel 30). The answer here looked very obvious. How will you get them back if you don’t pursue? In present day, people will have said he’s not a sharp guy, just go already! But he still asked and God‘s answer was affirmative. These men understood that once God gives a go ahead victory is sure.

    Jeremiah 29:11- God knows the great plans he has for you. The only way you can find out the plans, is to ask!

    Faith not magic!

    Teachers! What would the world be like without them? I’m glad what we can do is just imagine, I learnt a couple of things from my teachers, and a whole lot more from my Christian teachers, more from their way of life than the subjects they taught. Today’s #VesselUntoHonour is a teacher who is passionate about God and sees reflects on her teachings and uses the experience to understand the scripture. I call her Dash! Her official documents says Deinma though. What I learnt from her is the understanding of the power of timing in Prayer, Faith and Trust…the walk with God is not magic, it’s like a seed and it needs time to germinate. I pray it blesses you as it did me:

    Tolu: *whining* Look Miss Deinma my water is not turning to He stretched out his hand to show me his cup of water.

    We had just finished a science project titled: ‘states of water’ and this 5yr old scientist (Tolu) wanted to start experimenting immediatelyYou see, Tolu had seen steam gush out from a kettle of boiling water (liquid turning to gas); he explored ice cubes melting outside the freezer (solid turning to liquid), he had also examined a bottle of water that had an “iceberg” floating in it (i.e. liquid turning to solid) – we agreed that it was part of the free-flowing water that had solidified thus forming ice. In all these, we also discussed freezing point and boiling point – at that time that these changes occur; he didn’t understand the concept of timing.

    Personally, I think ‘timing’ is a relative thing; especially with situational changes surrounding every experiential “experiment”. It’s like hearing a testimony, believing in it and agreeing with the written word of God but not being sure of how to replicate those exact Spiritual conditions. How do you even start to talk about “timing” in an eternal realm?

    As I grinned at Tolu’s faith, I told him “you need to give it TIME”, he explained to me saying “but Miss Deinma it is really really cold already – it should turn to ice”. Really really cold and freezing point are totally different things – not close in any way. Could I really explain more than this to a 5-year-old? Maybe if I had a thermometer, I could show him the difference between 7°C, 0°C and -4°C. Since the technicalities were going to be somewhat a lot for him, I whispered to him “Trust me! Leave it in the freezer overnight and the next morning, you’ll find ice”. With an intense glare in front of me and with his head slowly nodding, he spelt the word N-O, and continued by shouting – I want it now! What I deduced from his body and verbal language were conflicting messages addressing different things but merged into one answer. The slow nod: I trust you Miss Deinma; No, I want it now: I don’t like your timing thus I wouldn’t follow your instructions on how to go about it.

    As a Christian scientist, I remember asking my Pastor about Faith-o-metres. I knew that beyond any reasonable doubt, I believed in the word – countless stars rating faith! Thus, I expected all my expectations offered in form of prayers to materialise immediately. I guess I only saw my desire as the only necessary condition.

    If I had liquid nitrogen, I would have created the magic Tolu was requesting for, but magic is such an unsustainable reality and the knowledge needed to manage it sometimes elude even the wisest scholars. So instead of dabbling into that and preparing for a future of re-orientations, I believe I stand justified to allow him to grow a little bit more to understand timing and right conditions. Although I must say I highly commend his relational skills and all the questions he brought to the table.

    My conversation with Tolu brought to the fore, that as Christians, we are privy to the right conditions and timings through the power of the Holy Ghost and the special Grace of God. We are also encouraged by Hebrews 6:12 to follow those who through faith and PATIENCE obtained the promise.

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    Time must take its course and the onus is on us not to miss our time of visitation, as a Christian I believe that’s a kingdom secret. Jesus wasn’t just born and then He died, It took Him 33 years to prepare to die for your sins, the beauty of timing and waiting is beauty and permanence of the end result.

     

    As vessels (remember clays when moulded have to dry and to last have to be heated and all this takes time), we work by faith and not magic…time is essential.

    Absolute Obedience

    It’s Friday and I am excited for another ‘episode’ of #VesselUntoHonour. I have this owanbe coming up and I’m thinking to myself, hope the food will be dope! Today’s writer is someone I have admired from afar, I watch with admiration how she does her business, how she cooks quality meals with prices that will make your eye twitch (very pocket-friendly). She doesn’t compromise on quality and I see Jesus shine through her transparency, what I didn’t know was her story and how obedience to the master potter shaped her business – Veritas Caterers Limited; meet the CEO- Veronica and read her #VesselUntoHonour story and I pray it blesses you as it blessed me.

     I am a Geophysicist and topped my class while in school, I didn’t want to do my mother’s business (cooking) because I felt it was too dirty and wasn’t classy enough. I married early, had two babies after school then went off for my NYSC. All these while I cooked for fun, if you are hungry, match to my house I’d cook for you. My mum taught me to always look inward, always build a recipe from what you have before looking for money to get new things and that made me learn early that cooking is an art and art is a means of self-expression.

    I have been in private business for 17 years and Veritas is one of the several businesses I have ve (Veritas is a Latin word for truth) Veritas is my truth. God had been using strangers, friends, my husband to talk to me, to turn my passion into profit- I was headstrong, I would say “No, I am a geophysicist. I can’t cook for other people.” Then God started using other means to talk to me, He called me out and showed me- this (cooking) is what I want you to do, it got so frustrating to the extent that every other thing I did or planned to do paled compared to cooking. He showed me, that cooking is what you should do, strangers will come to you- feed them. Why me? I was told, no- you were singled out for a purpose, out of your mother’s children- I was the arrowhead in cooking, God told me, this is who you are, this is what you should do.

    Out of frustration, I started a plantain chips company from my kitchen in 2005, I told God that I have done something in line with what you asked me- this sustained me for 10years and the vision came again. God told me, you are running, this isn’t what I asked you to do…at this point, I had to obey. God said, cook food and feed people not make snacks.

    I challenged God, told him I wouldn’t collect money from my husband, I would cook with what I have, where I am- you are God, You should sort me out. A program came up in my church where the church was sourcing for a vendor to cater for about 100 ministers for 8 days and out of nowhere I took that up and said I will handle it, the devil came and planted seeds of doubt (you don’t have waiters, you don’t have plates or cutleries to cater for that much people), I did everything in my house, served from my house, and at the end I wondered, “how did I do that with the limitations the devil had planted”. The HolySpirit responded: when I give you a vision, I always cater for my vision- hence it’s called PROvision, this is what you are called to do and this is where you are going to shine. I realised that my altar, my pulpit, my mission field is my cooking and that’s the way I will be representing God.

    September I started in my house, no customer-base, nothing, sold only one pack and by October 1, 2015, I rolled out the Veritas express with just the contact on my Blackberry as my contact. Today we have the capacity to cater for events and lots of people with no loan from the bank, no capital from my husband and no input from my savings.

    Whenever things go south (they do sometimes), I realise that it’s like God (drying of the brook so that the prophet could relocate- 1Kings 17: 7), I see it as a launch pad for something great. There are setbacks definitely but God still makes a way.

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    God has been faithful and He is the pillar of our business, all we have done is putting the face of God first God in all we do. Obedience is better than sacrifice, and ii strive to obey God at all times, how?

    God says we should:

    • Be Truthful: We ensure that all pack of food is truthful and full of integrity as God would
    • Be Resourceful
    • Let His glory and His name shine in all that we do.

    Treat food that strangers will eat like something you will prepare for yourself. People trust you to deliver their health so allow the HolySpirit to use you to deliver to that trust.

    As Christian business owners, don’t be carried away by the way of the world…making money is important but making a good name, uplifting people is more important. Let people see that you present God in all that you do, let there be a difference, treat your staff with respect, let them see God in you.

    Your business is your mission field. Ensure no one is looking for God in your business, let it be glaring with the way you do your business. Don’t forget, always obey God’s instruction, even when it seems impossible.

    Saved to Serve

    Let me introduce you to Tosin Yemi-Sanni nee Oke, she’s a full-time God lover and a part-time banker. Tosin believes that as Christians you should be the spitting image of God and living with that consciousness with the help of the HolySpirit should guide your actions.

    Here’s her #VesselUntoHonour story, I pray it blesses you as it did me:

    One morning in August 2013, I sat with a heavy heart in the backseat of a cab on my way to work. The burden in my heart was so heavy that I started to cry. I cried uncontrollably as I seemed to be unable to point out the cause of my feelings. After a while, the HolySpirit took over and I began to pray in tongues. As I prayed in tongues, God began to speak to my heart. He told me He had saved me so that I could serve Him. He had gone the extra mile and reached deep down into the pit of life where I was and had brought me out so that I could share the tales of His goodness and amazing grace with others. In that moment, I dedicated my life and my all to Jesus afresh. It was only after this encounter that my burden lifted.

    Whatever we do, and in whatever profession we find ourselves, we must always remember that we’re saved to serve. We didn’t choose Him, He chose us to be vessels unto honour written by Billy Graham or watch a message by Kenneth Hagin. For them, we are the Christ. I have realised that there are people in our spheres of influence that will never read a book w they know and see. God has placed us in specific organisations and environments so that people can know the love and grace of Jesus through us. He calls us to be vessels, set apart for His use. The great thing about being a vessel is that you get to be filled first, you get to be a first partaker of His goodness, love and grace and then you begin to pour out all you have been filled with.

    As a professional, this means that my office is my pulpit. This for me, is not just about telling the cleaner who labours much to send her kids to school about the love of Christ; it’s not in showing that I’m the most spiritual person and that I can quote Bible verses; it is also about extending to her, the love and grace that Christ has shown me. It is in the way we give, smile, care and listens. This is what draws them to the God we claim to serve!

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    I have certainly been tempted many times to react in ways contrary to how a “vessel of honour” would. Right before I began my career, I thought I was one of the most patient and forgiving persons on earth. I soon realised that my patience hadn’t really been tested before I started working. I used to tease my colleagues that they brought out the aggressive lady in me. I however soon learnt that as God’s leading lady, I needed to pursue peace and have a gentle and quiet spirit. I still face situations in which I must decide whether to snap, roll my eyes and hiss or simply smile and hold my peace. Thank God for the Holy Spirit that reminds me of who I am in Him! I’m born of God; a spitting image of my Father! I’m a vessel, fit for honourable uses and this is who God helps me to be daily!

     I pray that God helps us to truly be vessels that are useful for honourable and noble purposes and that our lives are truly a reflection of the Master’s love!

    All or Nothing

    With the weekend around the corner, I felt this is the perfect time for this Entrepreneur to talk about her being a #VesselUntoHonour. Her name is Oluwakemi Samuel– in her words, she’s the creative director of Icing ‘n’ Drapes, she bakes cakes and is into event decor. Reading what she wrote, taught me a lot about being a Christian, an Entrepreneur…it taught me to let go and let God. I hope it blesses you as it did me.

    People wonder why I refer to myself as Creative Director of my business and not CEO; well that’s because that is who I am- A Director! Jesus is my CEO. Sounds funny right? Well, I’ve chosen to give him his space, if He the Chief Executive Officer of my life why not every area of my life… my business inclusive.

    A lot of people have different opinions about God, a school of thought believe that whatever you can do by yourself do it and do not involve God, another school of thought (which I belong) believe that even in little areas of your life you must get God involved…I involve God in everything no matter how little it is. I pray when I get to the office in the morning; apart from praying for open doors:

    •  I sanctify the place with the blood of Jesus,

    •  I pray against accidents,

    •    I pray for every job/order received,

    •    I pray for my customers to have money, pray for God’s provision for them especially those who have shown interest and not paid

    •    Before I start any cake, I pray for ideas,

    •    When I finish I pray because you even have to pray that the cake gets to the destination in one piece and I pray that the client will love the cake/décor…I pray for virtually everything.

    Even when I’m on the job, you could catch me say “HolySpirit” at intervals, I realised that calling the HolySpirit in is like a prayer and He has never failed to provide the right answer to all situations. Sometimes when a job goes wrong, I say maybe because I forgot to pray or didn’t listen to a particular leading from the Holy Spirit. Here’s a snapshot of my daily office prayer:

    IMG_20170702_214227Putting God first in my business is not just about praying but also treating my employees and customers right according to God’s principles. As a Christian, I don’t want to behave in a way that will have people turn and say “And she says she is a Christian.” I have over time learnt to seek God’s wisdom to keep me from making bad decisions and to also trust God for uncertain profits.

    I believe firmly that following God’s directions will bring success (Remember what happened when Peter let Jesus in his boat?)

    God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business. Proverbs 16:11 MSG

    cakeIt’s only God that move one forward from the level of “barely-making-it to “having-more-than-enough.  He is the only one that can open doors in a supernatural way.  He can position one’s name with the right people, in the right places and at the right time. So why leave Him out?

    In all this,  as Christians, we should be Christ-like in our ways and exhibit Christ-like traits like – honesty, quality service (whatever you find your hands doing, do it well), the right attitude, perspective (give everyone a chance), uniqueness, creativity, professionalism and integrity.

    Never mind those who tell you to leave God out of your business, your business is your life and your life is God’s business.

    Step Away from the Closet

    My first writer is Oluyinka Sado nee Awobiyi. Yinka is an MBA student in Foster School of Business, Seatle Washington, she’s currently interning with Amazon and she’s carrying the light of Jesus everywhere she goes. Here’s what she has to say about being a #VesselUntoHonour in her field, both as a student and a professional. I hope it inspires you as it did me.

    I want to start with saying thank you to Taemytayo for the opportunity to write about my journey as a Christian in the workplace; I’m proud of the woman you have become, with a deep love for God and a passion by which you share that love with the world.

    Now to the topic, being a vessel of honour, I can only ever claim to be one because it has been bestowed upon me. Not because I have always made the right choices, or always walked the straight and narrow way, but because he said of me, I have made you righteous because you have accepted the salvation I offered.

    2cor521

    That’s the foundation of who I am and is how I like to start every introduction of myself to people in my professional life. No, I don’t quote 2nd Cor to them…that would be weird, lol; but I find a way to mention it early that I am Christian one way or the other. A perfect example of how I do that was in September 2016, the first week of my MBA program, we were asked to bring an artefact to the class that can be said to represent our core values. People brought all sorts, frankly, I was shocked by some of the things. One guy brought his mountain climbing shoes, saying “they are sturdy, rugged and have been through some really tough terrains. They remind me of my life’s story and represent who I am”; another brought a bowl of Jambalaya (a meal that looks like tuwo*), for her, this is her favourite family meal and her family defines who she is. You can be sure I brought my Bible, explaining that I am a born again Christian and this book is the instruction manual by which I live my life. That was that I had announced myself as a follower of Christ and the pressure is on to live up to that announcement.

    More recently, I resumed as an MBA intern at Amazon in Seattle Washington. When asked what I do on weekends by my new colleagues, I was sure to mention Sunday mornings are for church, a subtle but clear message- I am a Christian! This may seem really silly, but it is important to say who you are especially when you live in one of the most unchurched states in the United States. And guess what, when you say you are a Christian here, people begin to associate you with some very un-Christ-like stereotypes. Christians here are believed to be intolerant, judgmental, homophobes, anti-abortion/pro-women suppression, and so many things that would surprise you as a real Christian. I have met Christians here who tell me they feel like they need to hide their identity from their colleagues because they don’t want people to associate them with those things. However, I tell my fellow Christians that even though Christians look bad here, we should not be in the closet about our Christianity, to the contrary, we should show them what real Christianity is.

    Yes, I am anti-homosexuality, I believe it is a sin, but that does not make me a homophobe. I am also pro-life (i love babies and believe God has a plan for every life conceived by a woman), but I also believe women should be empowered to make their own choices; even our Father in heaven gave us free will immediately after he created us. I have standards, but I have compassion and love for people of all races, colour and creed. Yes, I am a Christian but slay at my job, I’m fun to hang out with, I try to exercise, and also to have a well-balanced life. I want the same things normal people want in life and yes, I’m working on it every day.

    Finally, I will like to say success is the biggest bait for the gospel. As the old saying goes success has many friends. When you are good at what you do and make great strides in your career by God’s grace, people want to know how you did it.  This is your chance to let them know you had some help from above. Tell them about the Holy Spirit promised to everyone who believes in Jesus, give examples of how He has practically helped you and give them a chance to try it out for themselves.

    This is how I represent Christ in my professional life, I hope you can too.

    Tuwo*: it is a type of Nigerian cuisine from the northern part of Nigeria. It is a thick pudding prepared from rice flour and is usually served with different types of soups