Monday, June 9, 2008

Novella: In The Bid To Love (Chapter 5)

The ensuing days had been eventful. Chioma hadn’t been able to tell her mother about the new developments with Bade. Every time she wanted to, Florence had been either too tired or too busy in her room with office files.
Every new day brought new experiences with Bade. It had been six days since the day she kissed him. It seemed they were progressing but at the slow pace. She had done her best to stay away from home as often as possible, seeking reasons to be away from him. The last time they had been alone, the previous day, he had asked her for more than kissing. She had assented. She couldn’t believe she was doing all that but could not think of a way out. She dreaded the day he would ask her to go all the way. Taking a tour of her body was debasing enough; she couldn’t imagine allowing him go any further.
Chioma knew all of it was wrong but felt Bade’s happiness was her responsibility. He always baited her with words like, ‘you would allow me if you love me’, ‘you would let me do it if you trust me’, ‘I’ll never become a Christian if you don’t let me. It will prove you don’t love me and God doesn’t love me too.’
And all in the bid to speak for God, to defend herself and her mum, and to show him love, she would give in to his demands. But deep within, she began to feel dirty and guilty. Her commitment to the Y4C choir waned. She wasn’t a happy and confident girl like she had always being. She couldn’t even look Femi in the eye again whenever they met. She couldn’t have her quiet time again; she felt unworthy to come before God. She didn’t know how to quench the fire she had kindled.
Chioma felt helpless but she had no idea that her worst fear was just around the corner. She walked into the living room when she heard the phone ring. Still standing, she picked up the receiver. It was Femi. She felt unworthy of his friendship. She was glad however that she still had him as a friend.
“Have you read my book?” he asked
“No. I haven’t. I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay. I was praying for you a few minutes back and God asked me to tell you to read it”
“You prayed for me?” Chioma couldn’t believe her ears as tears filled her eyes.
“I always do. Now was just different. There was urgency in God’s instruction that I had to call you immediately. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am”, she lied.
“Are you crying?”
“Why?” she said, trying to sound as composed as possible.
“You’re sniffing.”
“Oh that! I have a cold” she lied again, hoping he wouldn’t press further.
“Please be good and read the book as soon as you can, okay?”
“I will. Thanks.”
“Hey! I nearly forgot to ask. I hope I gave you an autographed copy.”
“Yes you did; Femi, the celebrity.” She heard him laugh over the phone when she said that – the sound was pleasant to her ears and she responded with a smile.
“Bye then.”
“Bye” Chioma said and dropped the receiver, glad to still see light amidst all the seeming darkness around her. She turned only to see Bade staring at her with arms crossed.
“Who was that?” he snarled.
“A friend”, she said, irritated at his possessiveness.
“You think I’m so dumb not to know it was Femi. Why were you talking with him?”
“I thought we agreed I could still have him as a friend.”
“Okay then, I’m changing the rules. You don’t talk to Femi again”
“That is impossible.” She was visibly shaking. “Get that into your head, Bade. I won’t stop talking with Femi. Leave me alone; I’m sick and tired of your childish pouting.”
Spontaneously, Bade hit her across the face so hard she fell against the phone stand and ended up on the rug. She was too shocked to speak; tears spilled out of her eyes. Bade was surprised at himself and dropped to his knees, apologizing. He touched her face. “I’m sorry, sweetheart”
She didn’t stop crying and didn’t jerk her face away from his touch either. “You hit me”
“I’m sorry. I’m so scared of losing you. I get very angry whenever I feel you drifting away from me”, he said, tears filing his own eyes.
“What else do you want me to do to prove to you that you have me?” she said amidst sobs.
He wiped her face with his hand and touched her face tenderly, in a futile bid to ease the throbbing caused by his slap. There’s one more thing that you would do that would leave me with no doubts that about your commitment to me. I’ll never doubt you again if you do this, I promise. As he said that he remembered D-one’s words ‘when you have sex with a girl, she’ll become yours and won’t ever leave you.’
Chioma feared that the moment she had dreaded the most had come. “And what might that be?” she asked.
“You know what I want Chioma, I don’t have to spell it all out. It would assure me that you will never leave me. We would become inseparable; amalgamated.”
Bade had said it at last. She couldn’t believe they had gotten to this point. She couldn’t contain her anger and frustration. “You must be out of your mind”, she said and ran to her room, locking the door behind her.
She needed to think things through. Except a miracle occurred, she knew she would still give in to him. She didn’t want to accept the fact, but the truth remained that her giving her body to Bade so far had made her more vulnerable to him. They hadn’t had sex yet but the desires had been kindled. She knew they were sinful desires. He had prematurely awoken a human passion in her. She knew she would eventually cave in.
As usual, she knew that in no more than an hour, he would come knocking on her door, and this time to have what she had hoped will be for her husband. She desperately hoped Femi was praying for her. Mum, where are you when I need you the most? Please come home. It was 7pm and it would still be at least two hours before her mother was home while she was at most, one hour from losing her virginity.
After the conversation with Chioma, Femi still felt a burden for her. He wanted to call her back and probe further; asking if there was anyway he could help her. But as he picked the phone to dial her number, the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart and asked him not to call her. ‘This battle is not yours, but mine to fight for her. Pray for her.’ That was the simple instruction he received.
Right there and then, he got on his knees and began praying for Chioma. When he had exhausted what he could ask for her in understanding, he started praying in the spirit, interceding fervently for this girl he cared dearly for.
Still in despair, Chioma picked her pillow, intending to hug it. As she picked it, a bright covered book caught her attention. Femi’s book! She had forgotten her conversation with him already. He had asked her to read the book. She picked it and flipped through the pages. She got to a page and was drawn to the subtitle. ‘What true love is and what it isn’t.’ She started reading.
True love isn’t what many take it to be. It is not just about making someone else happy at your own expense. It is not about sex or physical intimacy. It’s not about buying or receiving expensive gifts from your ‘lover’. There is so much to true love that the world is missing out on.
True love is first and foremost found in God. 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. There’s no love outside of God. No God, no love. This reveals that we can only show true love if we know God and love Him. God gave up His son for us even while we were sinners; that’s true, unconditional love.
True love is discovered in obeying God and living like him. If we claim to love God or others, and we flout His rules, we’re deceiving ourselves. That’s why it is wrong to claim to love someone and to have sex with him/her to prove it.
Chioma couldn’t read any further. Her heart soared with both regret and hope. ‘…it is wrong to claim to love someone and to have sex with him/her to prove it.’ Her heart was beating faster now.
I would discuss this a little more. Many teenage girls have been victims of this lie. ‘If you love me, you’ll sleep with me’ has been the bane of many. Hey! You don’t owe anyone a proof of your love. If he cannot wait for you, let him take a very long hike. Don’t get worried, God would provide a better guy for you.
Only God can make a human feel truly loved. Guess what? Even after sleeping with you, he’ll not trust you and would probably jilt you, still feeling unloved. It is not your responsibility to make him feel loved, only God, through His spirit can do that for any man.
Why didn’t I read this earlier? Further down, it was affirmed that it was wrong to try to prove God’s love to a person by compromising your stand.
It’s only the Holy Spirit that can convict a man of sin and bring him to God. Never think you can do it by your human strength. You have a part to play in living a godly life that the world admires and is attracted to. You should also pray for their conversion and talk to them when possible, but that’s where your work ends.
You can never love anyone more than God does. Leave Him to do what you cannot. Remember, it is God who will judge our love walk. Please don’t compromise in a bid to show love. True love trusts God to do His thing at His own time. True love isn’t impatient or compromising.
Chioma closed the book and fell to the floor, tears of relief, pain, and hope flowing out. ‘Father, I’m so sorry for messing up so far, trying to substitute for you in Bade’s life. Please forgive me, wash me clean and restore my joy. Thank you for sending help to me when I needed it most. Thank you for people like Femi, who pray for others. Thank you too for proving to me that even when my mother is not there, you are always there for me. You kept me from losing it all tonight; thank you so much Father. I receive strength to do what I need to do now. It’s in Jesus name I’ve prayed, Amen.’
She rose to her feet and was setting the book back when she heard a knock on the door. Her heart flipped but she remembered God’s word that He would be with her and would never leave her. She was sure of His support. She also remembered the bible verse that says she should never fear because fear is not of God. How come I haven’t remembered God’s words through this last week and now, they are all coming back? I guess that’s what sin does to a man – blocks you from communing with God.
She walked to the door and opened it, expecting to see Bade, only to see her mother. She fell into Florence’s arms and started crying again. “I’m home honey. I’m sorry for not being around for you this past week.” Florence Akpuru said, stroking her daughter’s back.
“How come you’re home so early?”
“I felt a nudging to come home and I decided the extra work could wait till tomorrow. So, I left immediately my boss closed.”
“God is so kind”, Chioma said, beginning to sob.
“What’s wrong dear?” she said lifting her daughter’s face.
“It’s a long story mum. But God found me and you are back!” Relief flooded Chioma’s heart and she clung to her mother, not wanting to let go.
“Why don’t we start from the beginning dear?” Miss Akpuru said as she led Chioma back to her bed. “I have all the time in the world to hear you out”.

-Bade was reprimanded and enrolled in a Christian boarding school, to create a gap between him and Chioma, where he eventually received Christ as savior.
-Chioma found her footing back with help from her mother, Femi and the Y4C group.
-Femi and Chioma became very good friends and started dating in their third year in the university.
-The Makun family adopted one more kid, giving Femi a baby sister.
-The Den was shut down by the community police when they heard about the yahoozites’ activities.

Written by Timilehin Adigun

“I could do this too; I love writing stories”. If that’s you; a teenage fiction writer, please send an e-mail to us at with your details and attach your story. If your story is chosen to be published, you’ll be informed and we’ll work together on editing your story - the next Novella. This is your opportunity to become a published author.
And if this story portrayed what you have passed through before or are passing through now, and you want to identify with Chioma, Femi or Bade, send us your personal experience(s) (use the same e-mail above).

Novella: In The Bid To Love (Chapter 4)

Bade was seated far back in the church’s multipurpose hall. It was full to capacity. Many teenagers and some parents were in attendance. On the stage was Femi, his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Makun, and the chief launcher, Pastor John Iweze.
Bade, in a few minutes of observing Femi began to admire him. He was calm, collected and most remarkably humble. He wasn’t full of himself but was quick to smile. Femi had a confident gait. He was what all the yahoozites weren’t. No wonder he had so many admirers and well wishers. Bade wished he were in Femi’s shoes.
Chioma had been ushered to the front row; a seat already reserved for her. When she was called up stage, Bade was proud of her. She sang gracefully. Her voice filled the hall and everyone was transfixed. She seemed to create an atmosphere of love, peace, hope and joy as she sang. Bade guessed it was the effect of the prayers she had prayed but wondered if prayers could be that potent. His mother’s prayers for healing seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
He took a quick scan of the audience. They were plainly lost in worship as some sang along with Chioma. When his eyes settled on Femi up front, he stopped cold. He saw in Femi’s eyes what he had seen in his own mother’s eyes when he won a prize in elementary school. He saw love and admiration in its truest form. It wasn’t the look guys in the porn film had when they saw a mate or the look the yahoozites had when they saw a beautiful girl. This was a pure look. It made Bade feel angry and guilty at the same time for the mess he had gotten himself into in the past week.
Femi was obviously lost in Chioma’s voice and in her beauty. Bade suddenly felt jealous and couldn’t explain why. He looked back at Chioma and saw her through Femi’s eyes. It seemed like a veil had been pulled off his face. She looked so beautiful in her blue skirt suit. Her dark and full hair fell against her neck. She smiled as she sang and she was simple irresistible.
Just as he began admiring her in this way, another vile thought started creeping through his mind. ‘Chioma looks just like Claire’ he remembered the boy’s words and started imagining what Chioma would look like in a more revealing outfit. He blinked severally, bit his tongue and had to pinch himself in a struggle to discard the thoughts – they were unwelcome thoughts at the moment.
Bade couldn’t get them away and he finally gave-in to the thoughts. His hands began to shake at the thought of actually experiencing the thoughts he was harboring. He then looked at Femi and the jealously he felt was heightened and he became possessive. Chioma is mine and I will have her to myself. Thoughts to justify his inordinate affection began to creep up. Chioma is the only person, about my age, that seems to care about me and spends time with me. She even said she loved me as she would a big brother. What would happen if Femi has her and she begins to ignore me? D-one told me the other day that when I have sex with any girl, she’ll become mine and won’t ever leave me. I have to keep Chioma to myself.
Bade could hardly think of anything else but he managed to get involved in a few activities that took place. The luncheon was a success. A lot of money was raised and many praised Femi’s creativity. The book was titled “True Love”. The review was brief but the summary was that love originates from God and only God, through His word, can teach humans how to truly love each other. That seemed rather unrealistic to Bade but others seemed very excited at that seemingly new revelation.
Chioma walked over towards him and they were about leaving when Chioma heard her name. She turned to see Femi hurrying towards them.
“Chioma, you made my day. Thank you so much”, he said and gave her a quick hug.
“It was my pleasure” she said.
He shifted his attention to Bade. “I’m Femi.”
“I know” Bade said, managing a polite smile. “I’m Bade. Great work you have here”. He said honestly fingering through the copy he had bought.
“Thanks. I’ll see you around. I have to appreciate other folks; you were my priority.”
Chioma blushed and she nodded. Bade nodded too.
“Thanks again, Chioma”, he said and hurried off.
Bade could see the excitement in Chioma’s eyes and wondered if he would still have a chance with her but he decided to try anyway. I would prefer to lose the fight than not to fight at all.
“Thanks for coming. Bade, it was very good having you around” Chioma said, interrupting Bade’s thoughts.
“You’re welcome” he said flatly.
They had just finished dinner. It was going to be about two hours before Chioma’s mum returned home. Chioma had rented a romantic comedy for them to watch. They both sat on the sofa facing the TV. Bade was all too aware of Chioma’s closeness. He had never been this conscious but the events of the day had changed all of that. She wore shorts and her favorite pink T-shirt.
He stole glances at her legs and wondered why he hadn’t noticed how smooth they were. Sometimes during the movie, Chioma leaned her head on his shoulder. It was not unusual for her. She trusted him. It had been nothing to him before too but now it meant the world to him. He responded by putting his arm around her shoulder. But while Chioma took it for a brotherly gesture, Bade hoped to get more from it.
The phone rang and Chioma stood up to get it. Bade watched her as she walked to the phone, watching every movement of her body, his desire mounting. She picked the phone and sat facing him, unwittingly giving him a better view of her legs. It was Femi! Bade was mad and couldn’t bear the glee he could see consume Chioma as she spoke with him. He turned away and half-heartedly watched the movie.
A scene in the movie however caught his attention. The lead actor, who was a big time player wanted to sleep with a decent girl. Seeing she won’t budge, he went into self pity, saying that nobody loved him and she too was rejecting him. In an attempt to comfort him and make him know she cared about him, she gave in to his desires. Bade decided he would do the same with Chioma. He was glad she missed that part of the movie, so she won’t know what his real intentions were.
When she was through she smiled at him on her way back to the sofa but he looked rather sad. “What’s the matter, Badez?” she said, poking him.
“Nobody loves me”
Chioma was perplexed. “Where is this coming from? But you know mum does and I do too.”
“You don’t love me Chioma. If you did, you’ll prove it”
“Badez don’t be silly. I love you and would do anything to let you know that. Name your price and I’ll do it” Chioma said, not knowing she was asking for trouble.
Bade decided to go slow. “If you love me, you won’t be hurting me.”
“Hurting you? I’m lost, Badez”
“You are drifting away from me.”
“Now this is getting weird”, Chioma said, shaking her head, frustrated. “You’re being ridiculous. What do you mean?”
“You’re getting too close to Femi and shifting your attention to him”
She smiled, relieved. “Oh that. I thought I told you we are just friends.”
Looking rather serious, Bade looked at her. “That’s how it all starts. You say he’s just a friend, and next thing I know, you two will be dating.”
“Are you being jealous, Badez?”
“Yes I am” Bade said rather too loud. “I am in love with you Chioma”
Chioma was stunned. “What?”
“I said I am in love with you. I’ve grown attached to you, loving you more and more with each passing day. And now, you’re about to kill me with what you’re doing to me.”
“Badez, stop your jokes!” she laughed nervously. Looking at him, she saw he was serious. “But we are supposed to be family.”
It wasn’t going the way Bade had expected but he couldn’t give up now. “Yes, but we are not blood related and I have fallen hard for you.”
Chioma was dumbfounded. This must be a cruel joke. She had enjoyed Bade’s company in the last three weeks and hoped they would grow closer. But thinking of him on a romantic basis was not just in the picture at all.
“I’m sorry Badez but it can’t work. I don’t want to hurt you-”
“You already have!” he said, cutting her short. He stood to leave the living room.
“Wait!” Chioma said. She ached for him. He had really come up in the last three weeks that she didn’t want to see him withdraw into his shell again, not with the new set of fellows he was meeting regularly with. “But… do you know what you are asking?”
Bade was impressed at his ability to play the role well. He sincerely cared for her but he couldn’t think straight with the hormones cruising through this body. He had to exaggerate his feelings or do whatever else was needful to have her in bed with him. He knew Chioma was proper and he would have to work on her emotions through sentimental statements. “I said I love you. Have I lied to you before?”
Chioma was beginning to lose the fight. “No” she said.
“Do you doubt me now?”
“No, I don’t. But-”
“You don’t love me?” Bade asked, his eyes filling with tears. He was surprised at himself.
“I do. But-”
“You have so many but’s today. I want to leave your house. I’ll die if you and Femi date while I’m here. It’s better I forget I ever met you and your mum.”
“Badez, I didn’t mean to-”
“You don’t have to pacify me. I’m not good or smart enough for you. Leave me to my miserable life” he said wiping at stray tears.
Chioma was short of words. Mum, I wish you were here now. If her mother was around, Chioma was sure she would have been able to handle this ugly situation. Lord, I need wisdom here. I don’t want Bade to recoil but I don’t want to lose my head or heart wrongly instead. She hoped and prayed God will show her the way somehow. “I’m sorry Badez. I promise not to date Femi” she said and saw him ease up. She decided to quickly add. “But can I still be friends with him?”
He nodded.
“Thanks. Come, sit down.”
“What about us?” he asked, as he lowered himself to the sofa.
“We stay as before and keep loving each other.” Chioma meant love in a brother-sister way but knew Bade would take it to mean romantic love. But if the statement seemed to please him then she was fine with it. She hoped that her mum would come home a little early to end this ordeal. She couldn’t wait to spill the whole story to her.
They resumed their position on the sofa when after a few minutes, Bade said something unintelligible.
“What did you say?” she said with her head on his shoulder.
“Kiss me”
She looked up at him and laughed but she saw that he meant it. This is getting crazy. She weighed her options. A kiss wasn’t going to hurt. She assented and moved her face towards him. He immediately took the lead and kissed her passionately, a little longer than she had hoped. It all felt silly and awkward to Chloe because the kiss meant nothing to her but there was a look of satisfaction on his face.
Bade felt he needed to continue with the script and say something that would justify what had just happened. “Thanks for proving to me that you love me”
Chioma was speechless.
“I love you Chioma; please never leave me.” She nodded. “If you ever leave me, I’ll kill myself. You have given me a reason to live.”
His words sent chills down Chioma’s spine. Where is this leading? Can I continue this way? Do I have the strength to refuse his requests and hurt him instead? It was as though he was reading her thoughts; he bent towards her again, demanding another kiss and she felt helpless to refuse him. Even as she did, she couldn’t get her mind off the nagging thoughts that filled her heart. I want to love Bade like Christ would; that’s what mum and I decided to do. But would Christ approve of my going this far in the bid to show love? She decided she would talk to her mother about it when she got home. When Bade seemed satisfied, she rested her head on his shoulders as they finished the movie. Chioma couldn’t concentrate; she just stared blankly at the screen.
Chioma was however unaware that the satisfaction on Bade’s face owed only to the fact that he felt he had kissed her as passionately as the guy in the film kissed his co-star, Claire. All his thoughts and actions were directed by what he had watched many hours back in the day. He was acting what he had watched. That was just the beginning.

Novella: In The Bid To Love (Chapter 3)

Three weeks went by. It had been quite clumsy initially but Chioma and Bade had started bonding. Bade was a happier boy. He still had mood swings when the thoughts of his late mother weighed him down but things had started looking up for him.
Florence Akpuru was preparing for her company’s annual general meeting. She had being home late and tired everyday. Chioma was left with most of the household chores, and it was quite tedious.
Washing dishes early in the morning, Chioma looked over her shoulders at her mum who was taking a hurried breakfast. “Mum, school would begin this time next week”. Understanding what her daughter was trying to say, Florence nodded. “The AGM would have been over then and I would be back to help with the chores. I’m sorry we haven’t had time to talk in the past week.”
“That’s what I’ve missed the most”, Chioma said frankly.
“I’ll make it up to you.”
“I know you will”
Clearing up her dishes, she dropped them in the dish washer and gave her daughter a side hug. “I love you”
Chioma smiled back. “I love you too, mum”
Florence was about to leave the kitchen when she remembered. “And, thanks for taking care of Bade. I’m proud of you”.
“It’s been fun mum” she said, wondering whether or not it was a good time to talk about her recent concerns about Bade. She dismissed the thought.
“I hope to catch up on some of the gist next week when I’m less busy.”
“You sure will. Have a beautiful day, mum.”
“I will. Be good”, Miss Akpuru said as she made her way out of the house.
After doing the dishes, Chioma had a bath, took her breakfast and sat on the sofa to read her favorite magazine – the Brio magazine. Not too long after, Bade walked in. “Hello sister!” he said with a mischievous grin.
“Hi brother! What are you up to this morning?”
“Nothing to be worried about. Just want to see my buddies down the street.” He noticed the expression on her face and smiled. “They are nice guys. I wouldn’t have given them a second thought if I didn’t think they were”
“I just don’t like their way of life and I don’t want you joining them.”
Bade studied Chioma for a while, and then said, “I promise I won’t let them have a negative influence on me. I just need to be around some lively guys not some bunch of boring Christian folks like your friends.”
She frowned. “Guess you take me for a boring girl too, then?”
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. Let’s just say I want to have some wild-safe fun, okay?”
“Just be careful”
“I will. See you later in the day.”
“Won’t you even eat breakfast; I made some sandwich for you.”
“Nah, thanks. We already have breakfast figured out. Some chicken and chips”
“For breakfast? That’s too heavy”
“Leave that to the boys. I have to go now. See you soon” he said walking away from her in a Lakers jersey, a Tommy jean that was half way down his behind, and a new Timberland boot.
Chioma’s heart sank at what Bade was gradually becoming but she was grateful he hadn’t pierced his ear or done anything stupid yet. She knew her mother would have known what to do if not for her very busy schedule. She bent her head and said a prayer for her new friend and brother, and continued reading her magazine.
Bade felt both elated and scared at the same time. Elated that he was fast joining the popular guys but scared at the direction his life could turn. Chioma’s words kept coming to his mind as he made his way to ‘The Den’.
‘The Den’ was a fairly large garage where a couple of teenagers met to party, drink, and hook up with girls for sex. They called themselves ‘Yahoozites’. Visitors were allowed to come have fun but to become a yahoozite involved some more commitments that Bade wasn’t ready for. All he wanted was to have a good time.
He had been invited to The Den a week ago by a neighbor next door who met him while he was dumping refuse outside the gate. He hadn’t picked a stick or bottle yet but had made many friends in the past week. He only wondered how long he would last before giving-in to the pressure he was faced with. He had met a few girls that caught his attention; some had actually made passes at him. What am I doing to myself; fraternizing with this kind of people? Somewhere deep within, he respected and admired Chioma’s circle of friends; the love, care, simplicity and modesty that characterized them was irresistible. Yet, a part of him felt he would be missing out on life if he went that way.
Getting to The Den, he nearly turned back. There was a very obscene atmosphere in the garage. He walked in and saw couples together in different corners looking at the big TV screen. He found a spot near a guy who was alone and watched. The film had just started and he saw the title; “A long night”. He wondered what direction the movie director intended to take. Possibly a suspense-filled night of murder or theft or something similar, he thought.
He looked round and saw that all eyes were fixed on the screen. Couples weren’t doing anything improper; they were just cuddled up and engrossed in what was about to show on the life-size plasma screen TV. Bade had always wondered how the yahoozites got so much money to equip The Den and afford all the parties they organized. He just assumed the yahoozites had rich parents.
He took a look at the far end and saw the leader of the yahoozites; Dayo, known as D-one, with two girls. There was a smug expression on his face as he awaited the film to begin. Just then Bade felt like running out. He was sure D-one would have already watched the film before playing it in The Den, and a film that would interest D-one was definitely not going to be good. He was about to stand when he heard excited screams, guys’ and girls’ alike. He followed their gaze to the TV screen and what he saw took his breath away. And at that moment, he knew his life would never remain the same again.
Chioma was about taking a nap when she heard the door shut. She guessed Bade was back from his time with his new found friends. She wanted to go out of her room to tell him lunch was ready but decided he would be able to help himself out if he was hungry. With that, she closed her eyes and slept.
Shutting the door, Bade couldn’t stop the rush of hormones in his body. He could feel himself shaking. For the past two hours, he had experienced the most emotionally draining time of his life. It had been so draining because the good and the bad in him had been fighting, and he was in-between.
The film shown at The Den was a pornographic film; not soft porn but hard porn. He had wanted to leave but he just couldn’t get up. For two good hours, he had seen, heard and imagined so much that his entire being had been consumed with lust and passion. Before the film even ended, couples had helped each other out to satisfying the appetite they had whet. He had no partner and was already nauseated with so much perversion that he couldn’t wait to get out. But before he could leave, the boy sitting next to him told him something that was even more disturbing.
He had said ‘you know Chioma looks like Claire. You saw how good Claire was right? I’m sure Chioma would be sweeter in bed.’ With that, Bade got up and left the garage and decided never to go back to The Den, but not before the seeds of lust had been sown in his heart.
He tried to push the sights of the film and the words of the boy out of his mind but it was impossible. Walking back to the house, he kept remembering the scenes he had watched and at unguarded moments, imagined Chioma doing the same with him.
He was both relieved and glad that Chioma was nowhere in sight when he entered. He couldn’t stand seeing her with what he had just done. Guilt was eating him up. Moreover, he couldn’t trust himself with her anymore. He remembered that some days back, Chioma and her friends had discussed on how to overcome lust. He had been so cynical and judgmental that he had gone to his room. Now, he wished he had heard them. He really wanted to get the thoughts out and the feelings removed but he had no power to do so. He recalled them saying only God, by the Holy Spirit could help, but he didn’t understand how God could help or how he was even supposed to ask for help in the first place.
Bade decided to handle it himself. It would go with time. I’m sure I can handle this. After a few minutes, he was settled and decided to sleep. After about three hours, he was woken up by hunger pangs. It was then he realized he hadn’t eaten. The yahoozites had been too preoccupied with the movie they wanted to watch that they had not made food available.
He made his way to the kitchen and saw that Chioma had made food. At the thought of Chioma, his heart beat quickened. What on earth is this about? Focusing on his food, he ate, enjoying every bit of the meal. As soon as he was done, he washed his plate, put it in the dish drainer and headed for the living room. He put on the TV and watched NBA. After his injury when playing soccer, two years back, he became a basket ball fan. His team, the Lakers, was playing against Chicago Bulls. He was glad to have a distraction.
Barely five minutes into the game, he heard footsteps and knew it was Chioma. She walked in and sat next to him. “How’s the game going, Badez?”
“Great” he replied without looking at her. Chioma had started calling him Badez one day at dinner and the name had stuck; he liked it.
“How was your time out with your buddies?”
“It was fun” he said. She was wearing her perfume and was all dressed; he wondered where she was going.
“Everything okay? You don’t look too pleased to see me.”
Only if you knew what is going on in my mind. But to pacify her, he smiled and said, “I’m good and seeing you is always a pleasure. Thanks for asking.”
“Anyway, I thought I could invite you for a luncheon. I was invited to sing there.”
“What is being launched?”
“A book”
“And who is launching this book?”
“Femi Makun. He’s such a talented writer.” She placed her hand on his. “You need to meet him”. It was an ordinary touch as they had had before, but it affected Bade differently this time. She was so close, Bade wanted to pull her close and … but he controlled himself.
“I suppose he is”
Chioma wondered if it was jealousy or a complex she read in Bade’s words and expressions. “Why the attitude?”
“You like him, right?” he said, ignoring her question.
Chioma blushed. “I guess I do, I’m not sure. We’re just friends and I’m just getting to know him.”
“He invited you to sing?”
“Yes, he did”, she said, smiling.
Pushing the warring feelings, aside, he decided to be nice and be a good friend. “I bet you’ll be the highlight of the luncheon. I hope you don’t steal the day from him” he teased.
Chioma was obviously relieved. “You really scared me with your being uptight. I sure won’t steal the attention. Thanks Badez. It’s for 2pm; I want to rehearse my lines”.
“What song are you singing?”
“Jesus, giver of all good things”
“I’ve heard you sing that twice already. Why are you singing that again?”
“Femi specifically requested that I sing it”
“Okay then. But do you have to rehearse again; you should be use to it. Sit with me and watch TV till it’s time to leave.”
“I can’t.” she said as she patted Bade’s hand and rose to leave. “The more I practice, the better I get. If I want to be a remarkable singer, I’ve got to rehearse more than ordinary singers would deem necessary. And do you know what I was doing in the last thirty minutes?”
“What?” Bade asked, wondering.
“I was praying; asking that the song would be a blessing to those who listen”. He was too amused to respond. “Please be ready in an hour’s time”. She said and walked to her room, leaving Bade to sort out all his conflicting thoughts.

Novella: In The Bid To Love (Chapter 2)

What was that on her face when I walked in? He was taken aback by the warm and broad smile Chioma used to usher him in. He was both surprised and embarrassed. He couldn’t deny that he had almost wanted to stay and just watch her smile; her smile was beautiful. He wondered why he hadn’t noticed that earlier.
While still musing over Chioma’s sudden and unexpected pleasant attitude, he heard a knock. It was Miss Akpuru. She came in and looked impressed at what she saw. “You’ve done a pretty good job on this room.”
“Thanks. Mum taught me”
“Really?” she asked, happy that Bade had mentioned his mother for the first time in her presence since her death.
“Yeah, she taught me how to decorate a room and make it cozy with affordable things”
“She must be proud of you”
Bade nodded and lowered his head but not before Florence saw tears fill his eyes. “Come here”, she said and extended her arms to him. He reluctantly did but gradually eased into the embrace and sobbed quietly.
“It’s going to be okay, Bade. God will take good care of you, and we’ll do our best too.” She assured him.
When he was comforted, he wiped his tears and pulled back from her embrace. “Thanks; I’ve needed that for a long time now”, he said rather shyly.
“I’ve wanted to since you came but I guessed you needed time to sort things out.” She patted his shoulder, smiled, and then added “we would like to speak with you” Bade looked up confused. “Who’s ‘we’?” His mind raced and he thought he had been betrayed and handed over to a welfare organization. How would I ever cope in a teenage orphanage? He looked at Florence with fear in his eyes, and she understood what his fear was.
“Easy boy, it’s just me and Chioma. We want to have a family kind of chat with you, is that okay with you?”
He heaved a sigh of relief. He didn’t even know he had been holding his breath until he exhaled after Florence had assured him. “That’s fine, thanks!”
“You’re welcome”
She led the way, and joined Chioma who was sitting on the rug, watching TV. Florence started up the conversation as soon as they were seated. “Bade, we want you to feel a part of this family. You’re like a son to me, and a big brother to Chioma…”
Bade felt nervous with all the attention on him in the little living room, and stole a quick glance at Chioma when her mother mentioned the ‘big brother’ part. He saw a combination of amusement and mischief on her face. He couldn’t help letting loose a smile. He noticed he had been distracted, smiling at Chioma’s expression and tried to catch up on what Florence was saying. “… or have you felt neglected so far?” she had asked as he recovered from his sidetracked thoughts.
“Then, I hope we’ll be able to become family”, she pressed.
“I hope so too” he said, optimistic but still doubtful.
“Chioma, do you have anything to say?” Miss Akpuru asked, facing her daughter.
“It would be my pleasure for us to become close and be like family, Bade”, she said smiling at him and in turn smiling at her mother. Florence smiled back, and with years of experience, she knew what her mother’s smile meant – thank you!
Chioma sounded so confident and intelligent all at once that Bade had suddenly felt insecure and intimidated but the moment she smiled, his fears were allayed and he knew she did not despise him in anyway. Florence rose, signaling the end of the family tête-à-tête, praying silently and desperately that things will work out fine.
“Dad, I have a huge crush on Chioma Akpuru.”
“Every time I hear her sing in church, I get lost in her voice”
“Is that all, son?” Dr. Makun asked, keeping his eyes on his fishing pole.
“No dad” he smiled shyly, looking at his now sweaty palms. “She’s pretty, sweet, and very intelligent. I’ve never met a girl as pleasant as she is”
“Aren’t you forgetting something, Femi?”
Knowing his dad, he knew what was missing. “She loves God and is passionate about Him too”.
“Now, we’re talking, and do you know what, son?”
“I’m proud of you”
“Thanks dad.” Femi said, delighted to hear that.
As a psychologist, Dr. Shola Makun had learnt the power of affirmation before counsel. “I’m glad you know what counts when you say you admire someone. But there’s still something you need to know.”
“I’m listening”
“The best things in life don’t always come when we want them to. We often have to be patient like…” At that, there was a sudden thug at the string. They both stood as Dr. Makun pulled in the line to see their catch.
“Wow!” Femi exclaimed.
“Impressive, isn’t it?” his dad said, almost out of breath.
“Really is! This is the largest fish I’ve seen us catch since we started fishing here last year. I had wondered if there was potential in this lake at all.”
After unhooking the fish, Shola Makun looked his son in the eye. “I believe God planned that as a sign of affirmation to the lesson I was teaching you. Patience helps you get the best out of circumstances. Take your time with Chioma, son. There’s no rush; none at all.”
Femi was disappointed but knew that his dad was right. “Thanks dad. But it’s really hard, I confess. I don’t want to lose her to some fast guy.”
“I understand your plight boy,” he said and tousled his son’s hair “but you’ll learn with time that love is indeed patient like the bible says.”
“So, what should I do now?” He sounded desperate.
“Build friendship; be real with her – no trying to impress her.”
“I’ll try dad and if I get stuck, I’ll let you know.”
“It’ll be my pleasure to help you”
“Thanks dad. I love you”
“I love you too” Dr Makun replied but couldn’t shake away the guilt he felt that he never followed the counsel his own father gave him when he was in secondary school. Looking at Femi, he said “Son, I have a confession to make!”
Femi looked perplexed. What on earth did his father have to confess, but looking at his father, he knew he really had something to let out. “I’m listening, dad”
“What I’m about to tell you is a secret that only your mum and I know about.”
“Are you sure you want to add me to the list, dad?” Femi asked, rather frightened. Dr. Makun seemed pensive a while and finally said, “Yes. Your mum and I had decided that we would tell you someday, and I guess this is the best time to”
“If you say so, dad.” Femi conceded.
They stacked the fish in the basket and sat back down. “I wasn’t close to my parents. My mother died prematurely in a car wreck, leaving my dad to fend for their seven children alone. My father was so busy trying to make ends meet after her demise that he hardly spoke a word to us except when it came to paying our school fees and miscellaneous bills.
“I lived quite wild; partied and had many girlfriends. I once even dated three girls on the same night. I was good at it” a sad smile curved his lips. “It was in one of my partying sprees that I met your mum.”
“Mum!” Femi felt like he had been slapped on the face.
“You’re surprised, right?”
“It’s hard to believe”, Femi said still trying so hard to imagine his mother in a club house or a similar setting. It just didn’t fit.
“Yes son, I know. We gave our lives to Christ one year after we met but not before we messed things up.”
“You… I mean, did you…?”
“Yes, we did. We weren’t Christians then, okay? Sleeping with your girlfriend was no issue in our circles then. But around that time, it also happened that papa, as we often called my father, was very sick and he called me into his room one day. It was so strange to be called into his room for a talk that I couldn’t even look him in the face through the monologue”
“You mean he talked all the way?”
“Yes. I couldn’t even get a word to come out of my mouth. Moreover, he was instructing me on many things, he really did not need any comment from me. And can you guess what his last instruction was to me?”
“That you should marry mum?”
“No, it wasn’t – nice try.” Shola Makun looked into the lake, reliving the day again. “He told me never to cover up a sin by committing another. He asked me to own up to my sins, repent of them, and not try to make them disappear by committing more. I listened to him but I couldn’t make much sense of the instruction at that time until something happened that redefined my life.”
“What was that, dad?” Femi asked both curious and afraid of what he might hear.
“Your mum got pregnant.” Femi was too dazed to ask any questions. He just listened. “So, I just recommended an abortion as quickly as I had to my many other girlfriends, but as I did, the words of my father kept eating at me. ‘…never cover up a sin by committing another…’ but I was too stupid and selfish then to heed.”
“So, mum aborted?”
“Yes she did.” Shola Makun could barely breath, remembering the day.
“It must have been awful for her” Femi said with tears welling up in his eyes.
“Yes it was but that wasn’t the worst part. There is a part that made me regret my decision with a passion… the abortion was poorly done and your mum’s womb was damaged.”
Dr. Makun couldn’t bear to talk anymore and Femi wasn’t ready for more bad news. Silence hung in between them for a couple of minutes. Then, as light begin to dawn on Femi; he looked up at his dad, with tears streaming down his face. “So, how did I come about?”
“We prayed so hard for a kid afterwards. We had accepted Christ and married shortly after. We trusted God but eventually, we discovered that it was a problem we would have to deal with for the rest of our lives, so we-”
“You adopted me?” Femi couldn’t even believe he had just said the words. The tears now came flowing faster as he turned away from his father and sobbed.
Dr. Makun knew better than to begin with any apologies immediately. Instead, he reached out and pulled Femi into his embrace, crying himself. They stayed cuddled for some minutes before Dr. Makun broke the silence. “We have loved you since we held you in our arms. You were just two months when you became ours.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Femi said in-between sobs that seemed would never end.
“We’re sorry son. We wanted to tell you when we were sure you knew we loved you as our own son. We didn’t want the information to create doubts in your heart about how we feel about you.”
“Are you sure I have no doubts now?”
Shola Makun stroked his son’s hair as he gave space for the question to take root in both their hearts. “Even if you have doubts son, I’m convinced that the love we share as family will kill the doubts easily. And for the record, Femi, your mother and I love you so much and couldn’t have asked for a better child.” Still stroking Femi’s hair, he added, “We still wish every now and then that we didn’t abort our child. We still imagine how beautiful he or she would have been. We calculate how old our child would have been. We still wish we hadn’t and regret the decision we made but anytime we remember you, we thank God that in His great mercies He comforted us with the best child we could have ever asked for.”
Another moment of silence passed. “Did mummy know you were going to tell me this today?”
“Yes she did. She said she couldn’t bear to see the pain and hurt she would see in your eyes when you found out. We’re sorry, son but we hope you understand.”
“I do, dad but it would take some time to get used to the fact.”
“I know but please know that we’re still family.”
“Thanks dad. I still love you so much”
“I’ve always loved you and always will, and so does your mum. Now, do you understand what I said about patience with Chioma?”
“Yes dad. But whatever the case, I still can’t wait to see her again tomorrow; I’m still in love”
“I bet you are” Dr. Makun said and pulled his son in for one more hug and silently committed Femi’s feelings for Chioma into God’s hands.

Novella: In The Bid To Love (Chapter 1)

Walking through the garden, Bade hardly noticed the scenic beauty he had always taken time to admire anytime he was in the Olive Resort. Tears blurred his vision as he absent-mindedly bent over to pluck a flower along his path. He put the flower to his nose and the sweet smell brought with it more memories. The tears stung his eyes some more and forced their way down in a steady flow.
It was one week since his mother died of breast cancer. The week had seemed like a long, painful, never-ending year to Bade. He had cried every night. Putting the flower to his nose again, he remembered a moment, the previous year, when he had come to the park with his mother. They had lain on the damp grass with Bade resting his head on his mother’s chest. Fourteen years of age at that time, he was still his mother’s baby. They always spent time together.
In school, he was called all kinds of derogatory names. The school’s tabloid, which made it a duty to gossip about students’ private lives, had even done an article on Bade when he turned thirteen. It was titled “Bade still mummy’s baby at thirteen”. The article featured a picture of Bade crying in his mother’s arms on the school’s soccer pitch the day he broke his leg in a match. He didn’t mind however because he loved his mother, was close to her and had no apologies about it.
That day, a year ago, at the park, he had excused himself to use the gents. On his way back, he had plucked the same type of flower he was holding at the moment and given it to his mother. He could still remember every bit of the ensuing minutes.
His mother had taken the flower and smelled it. She kept it close to her nose and closed her eyes for such a long time that Bade had been agitated. Lowering her hand and opening her eyes, her eyes glistered with tears. Fighting them back, she stretched out her hands to Bade and he eased himself into her embrace: it was so natural for them. She held on to him for a while and then whispered in his ears. ‘The last time someone gave me a flower was about fifteen years ago. Thank you dear. I love you’ she had said.
She then pulled back and wiped her tears. That was a year ago but it seemed like yesterday to Bade. He knew it would have been his father that gave his mother the flower. He died when Bade was three months in his mother’s womb.
Thinking back at that day, he was glad he had made his mother happy. He only wished she had stayed. Did you have to go, mum? He looked up; expecting an answer, any answer, but nothing came.
He had attempted suicide twice in the last week but had not been successful. Living without his mother was punishment – simply unbearable. His life had been tied to her for the fifteen years of his existence. They had talked, laughed and cried together since he knew himself. Life was indeed crazy and God must be definitely very cruel and heartless to be tormenting him this much. That was his conclusion.
Human beings were not any better as far as he was concerned. All those he had expected to rally round him were nowhere near. He had been disappointed by the turnout at his mother’s burial. Family and few friends were around but seemed rather in a hurry to leave. He had wanted to scream, ‘Don’t you people care that this woman loved you and worked out her life for you! Is this the best you can do?’ The words never got out of his mouth though.
Mrs. Thomas, Bade’s mother, was a committed member of the Strait Gate Assembly. She served in the welfare department and was the backbone of the department. She was always visiting folks in the hospital, prison, and in their homes depending on the situation. She was a selfless Christian, wife, mother and friend.
Bade remembered the day his mother missed his soccer match and he was mad at her. That was the first time she had disappointed him. When he got home, he saw a note she had written to him.
I’m so sorry I disappointed you. I heard Amina was ill and I had to attend to her because her family is out of town. I hate to hurt you but you know I always teach you to love all as Christ would; that’s what I’m doing. Would be home at 8pm tonight and would take you out to Tantalizers – just you and I.
I love you. Mum
That was just one of the many sacrifices his mother made for people. When she was diagnosed with cancer, one of the few things she was bothered about was that there’ll be many needy people without anyone to care for them when she was gone.
How could humans be so callous? There were still few good ones however, he conceded. He had been living with Miss Akpuru, one of his mother’s friends for the past one week. She was one of the few who he knew really appreciated his late mother. She had taken him in immediately his mother passed on but her show of love was like a drop in the ocean compared to what he had enjoyed with his mother.
There had been only one highlight so far in the week, but not strong enough to keep him indoors. Miss Florence Akpuru, his present hostess, had a beautiful daughter, Chioma: Chioma Akpuru.
Bade had exchanged pleasantries with Chioma at different times but their conversations had been rather succinct. He had excused himself over and again from the house so as to spend quiet moments alone. He did not have close friends to visit with; his mum had been his world. He had dreamt on different nights about his mother, basking in the euphoria, only to wake up to the reality that he was never going to see her again.
He put the flower aside and considered his options. His previous attempts at suicide had been futile. He could use a knife to cut himself but quickly discarded it; he wasn’t use to physical pain. His mum had never beaten him. Another option was to take an overdose of valium but he worried about what the side effects would be if he didn’t die eventually. I don’t know how it’ll happen but I know I’ll kill myself somehow.
Chioma was tidying her room when her mother came in. “Still sorting things out?”
“Yes mum. I would want to have a decent and organized room when school resumes next month. I know I won’t have much time to clear up often then.”
Florence sat on the bed and watched as her only daughter worked through her wardrobe. Chioma was fourteen. She could not help admiring her daughter. She looked more beautiful with every passing day. Florence noticed Chioma was developing an impressive figure. She was proud of her but worried-sick at the same time. She hoped her daughter would turn out better then she did at that age.
She had gotten pregnant with Chioma at age seventeen and her parents, very religious people, had insisted she have the baby. Unfortunately, she did not know who owned the baby because she had lived on the edge. Many boys had a field day with her; she was as good as public property. Now thirty-two, and still a single mother, she hoped and prayed her daughter would turn out far better than she did.
Florence Akpuru gave her life to Christ in her first year in college. Then, Chioma was three years and attending daycare. She finished her part-time college programme and earned a diploma in secretarial studies, which qualified her for the job she had. She had risen through the ranks in Micropost Ltd and was now the secretary to the CEO.
Her growth in Christ, on the other hand, had been slow but steady. She was now firmly rooted in him and so was her daughter, Chioma. Florence was in charge of the ‘Y4C’, Youths for Christ, interdenominational youth group of which Chioma was an active member. She had noticed a couple of well meaning guys stealing glances at her daughter and some out rightly staring but it seemed Chioma never noticed.
She had sat Chioma down and talked about it one rainy Saturday. Florence had learnt, by personal experience and via years of counseling teenagers, never to make assumptions. During the tête-à-tête, she discovered that Chioma was aware of her pull on guys and mentioned the names of some guys who had asked her out. But Chioma told her mother that she wasn’t going to get involved with anybody yet and gave her reasons. It was that day that she decided she could trust her daughter’s emotions. Chioma seemed to know what she was doing.
In her own words, she had said ‘Mum, frankly speaking, the pressure is much. But I have God, you, my books and the Y4C choir to be bothered about. I cannot afford any unnecessary distractions right now. I can take care of myself without any guy’s help.’ Florence had been so impressed with Chioma that day. But there was something else on Florence’s mind this time.
“Yes mum”, she replied while folding her blue camisole.
“Do you remember what we learnt at the Y4C camp last month?”
“We learnt so many things, mum” she smiled.
“Oh-” Florence got the message. That was something else Miss Akpuru loved about her daughter. She was always so specific when talking and expected others to be; a sign of intelligence. “I’m referring to the Thursday night when we had the bonfire, remember?”
“Yeah! We talked about being instruments of God’s love to those around us who feel no one cares about or understands them.”
“Honey”, she said to catch Chioma’s attention, and patted the bed. Chioma took the cue, dropped what she was folding and sat next to her mother. Florence wrapped her arm around her daughter’s waist and Chioma rested her head on her shoulder. “I think there’s someone God wants you to show love to”, she said slowly and deliberately.
“And who might that be, mum?”
Chioma immediately raised her head and looked at her mother. The expression on her face showed she was serious. “But we’ve hardly spoken to each other in the past few days. I don’t see that being feasible. He seems unreachable – so unresponsive.”
“That’s my point. He’s hurting badly. It would be your responsibility to break through his shell and reach out to him”
Thinking a while, Chioma said, “Why are you asking me to do this? You are better at this than I am.”
A smile curved Florence’s lips. “I was once as naïve in helping and encouraging people but I started from somewhere. I started someday and I guess you’ll have to start somewhere and someday too.”
“Then, I am not ready now, and obviously not starting with someone that looks like he’s tired of living – not Bade Thomas.”
Understanding dawn on Florence and she could imagine how Chioma felt. Bade had hardly eaten in the few days he had spent with them. He said very little and was in the room prepared for him most of the time when he was indoors. Otherwise, he was out of the house. It could be so hard loving someone that didn’t seem to need or appreciate your love. But that was what Christ did and He expects the same from His children. He expects us to love the unlovable.
Florence stroked her daughter’s hair. “I would have taken up the responsibility but I have to begin preparing for the company’s AGM from tomorrow and I’ll be so occupied with typing letters and stacking files.”
“Like last year when you became an absentee mother?” Chioma said, smiling.
“I would try my best, mum but I’m making no promises.”
“That would do because I know my sweetie has what this young man needs to get his life back.”
“Thanks mum. I appreciate the compliment. I trust God to help me.” In affirming her daughter’s statement, Florence squeezed Chioma’s hand gently. Little did they know that things were not going to work out as they had hoped.

Shout Outs...Happy Birthday!!!

Here is an opportunity to wish your friends a happy birthday. If you want to shout out to your friends, send their full names, their birthdays, and your messages to (if their birthdays fall in the months of the next edition, like for the next one, if their birthdays fall in August or September).
*Note: your messages will be screened and abridged (you understand why, right?)
Start sending in your shout outs now!

Moyo Aina June 1st
Tosin Ilori June 1st
Tolu Oladepo June 11th
Deacon Leke Johnson June 14th
Ife Olla June 15th
Yinka David June 16th
Kike Ogunbiyi June 18th
Iyanu Olla June 23rd
Seun Osiname June 24th
Blessing Assein June 24th
Jesujoba Osinaike June 24th
Yemi Adepoju June 29th
Toyebi Oyeyinka July 1st
Ayo Awoyemi July 13th
Wumi Badiora July 17th
Wale Adenugba July 18th
Yinka Adegoke July 18th
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Ifedayo Ogunyomi July 22nd
Tobi Oyelami July 24th
Temi Oyelami July 24th
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Tomisin Awobiyi July 29th

Purpose...O That I Live It!

Every New Year ushers in a new breath of hope, a new drive for achievement and a fresh air of possibilities. It is not surprising that people make New Year resolutions at the start of each year; some set goals, some propose new ambitions, others create targets. But not many think of their purpose in life. Buckle up… this is not about New Year Resolutions, but purpose and it should interest you because purpose defines you.

Purpose is more than ambition. You may have the greatest ambition in the universe, the biggest goal in the world and set for yourself the highest target for excellence, but if you don’t know your purpose in life you live for nothing. But before you ask the question on your mind, hear this; YOU DON’T CREATE YOUR PURPOSE, GOD DOES. YOU SIMPLY FIND IT AND LIVE IT.

And there is a reason for that. In Genesis 1:26, the Bible says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Do you realise that in Genesis 1, after God spoke anything into existence, He also stated its reason for being? That tells me that God is a God of purpose and He does nothing whimsically or out-of-context. At creation, God gave purpose to man, when God created you He did same for you. And your purpose is unique, because you are unique.

Life is like a movie; you are cast to play a part. With many cast on stage, everyone has a script with a unique role to play – including you. God is the Director and Script Writer, the stage is the world around you. And your role? To live out the details of the script in your hand. But too often we lose sight of the One who set the stage and we abandon our script in pursuit of roles we have not been cast to play. As a result we struggle in life, hurt ourselves and others around us and ask “Where is God?”

As a Youth Leader in my local church and community, I have seen too many young people “waste” their lives chasing shadows, trying to be somebody else, leaving the very script written concerning them. Someone said “While you are spending all this time, money and effort trying to be someone else, who is gonna be you?” (K. Iyalla). Stop living out others’ script, live yours! Discover God’s purpose for your life; when you do, you are totally set free from mediocrity. Purpose sets you free from what I call the “wannabe” spirit or attitude; you become confident of yourself because you suddenly realise you are made of “good stuff” and have no need for others’ affirmation. God already affirmed you when He created you.

The Apostle Paul had no reason to doubt God’s purpose for his life because he knew it. Little wonder he spoke and wrote with unequivocal zeal and passion. Listen to this man…”For the which cause I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12. Sometimes my mind fails to comprehend why Paul spoke with so much passion and lived a radical life for Christ. Then I realised that purpose births conviction, and with conviction comes boldness and assurance.

A man void of purpose in life is like a sea without course. Little wonder Jacob lived in fear of Esau until the night he was left alone and a broken hip brought about a changed destiny in his life. That night, he discovered God’s purpose for his life, quit running and lived it out. Time fails me to speak of Peter, Joseph, John the Baptist, Daniel, John the Beloved, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But I must speak of our Lord Jesus Christ, who taught (and still teaches) us a great lesson. In Matthew 26: 39, Jesus said “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”. What a great lesson to learn from Christ!

Your purpose in life is not about you, but GOD. Remember my movie illustration? The cast must act to the approval of the Director, not themselves. Your joy only results from seeking the glory of God and until you discover and begin to live out His purpose for your life, you will not find lasting joy in anything else. God must be central in all you do and His glory must be all you seek.

So how do you discover God’s purpose for your life? Seek it out. Pray like the Psalmist, “Incline my heart unto your testimonies…” Psalm 119:36, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18. Linger in prayer like Paul, “… That I may know him…” Philippians 3:10. Let God’s Word sink into the fabrics of your heart and live your life in absolute pursuit of God, alone. And when you do, you will find your heart crying out; “PURPOSE… O THAT I LIVE IT!”

Finally, remember that “A life in pursuit of the gift and not the Giver leads to both a vain pursuit and power without purpose".
*Joseph Iregbu
Joseph Iregbu is a Youth Leader in Deeper Life Bible Church, Liverpool, England and a First Class final year student at Liverpool John Moores University. You can visit the website dedicated to the forthcoming publication of his book “Even in the Well…” at:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lean On Me

My name is Ifeoluwa. I want to tell you a story that goes way down to the bottom of my heart. It comes from some years back when I was a secondary school student.

I entered secondary school a very little girl who had never left home but loved adventure. I found it exciting to be in boarding school, a world away from home. I settled into my dormitory, went to my first ever prep class and experienced lights out for the first time. It wasn’t so bad. I would get used to it. As time went on, I became acquainted with the students and made some friends. It wasn’t for long.

For some reason, everybody began to hate me. I really don’t know what I said or did to warrant such treatment. I was neat, quiet, prayerful and on time for all school programs. I didn’t step on anyone’s toes but minded my business all the time. So, why then was I being treated so badly? There was hardly a name I wasn’t called, from ‘silly’ to ‘witch’; none of the names escaped me. I became a constant object of ridicule and hate.

There was this particular senior. Her name was Jane. For some reason, Jane seemed to hate me the most. She punished me without any reason and never stopped insulting me. She would collect my provisions and call me stingy. She would send me on errands and say I was lazy. When everybody was having siesta, I was busy running one errand or the other. I was evidently the least favored among my mates. Jane just plain hated me. I particularly remember one day when she said to me, “right from the very first day I saw you, I hated you by the look of your face.”Wow! I went to the mirror. You know what, I cried. I looked at that image in the mirror and said “Ife, see how ugly you are. You are so ugly that everyone hates you.” That was the start of a very terrible decline in my life. I began to hate myself. I felt I was terrible, probably the worst creature God ever made.

Nobody else helped matters. I wore glasses. They called me ‘four eyes’, ‘oju igo’, ‘blind Bartimaeus’ and other silly names. I remember one night when my bunkmate, who was also my senior came back and told me she didn’t want me as her bunkmate anymore. More tears. Could someone please tell me what I did? Honestly, where did I go wrong? Nobody ever told me what I did to warrant such hatred. I felt they all just decided not to like me since one person had started the cycle. It didn’t end.

With time, I resigned to my fate. I gave up thinking that I’d have any friend. I became filled with self-hatred, self-pity and the likes. Inferiority complex set in. I couldn’t stand up to even my mates. Whenever nobody wanted something, I got it. I was their bin. I walked with my head down everywhere I went. I walked alone, ate alone, sat in front at assembly, was everybody’s messenger and never got to participate in anything. If I wanted to join in a game, they would say “we don’t need more people” or “you can’t do it”. I got the name “lonely soul” or “sojourner” from my mates. Because there was hardly anyone on my side, I began to think “I can’t do it. I’m no good.” I got the “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna eat cockroach” kind of approach. My pillow was never dry. I constantly wet it with my tears. Why did they do such terrible things to me? I had no answers.

I was a Christian. I only felt good when I was praying. And it wasn’t the “fell-good-because- I’m-happy” kind of feeling. I was continuously crying but just glad I could pour my heart out to God. I prayed and read my bible everyday. I began to table my problems before God. I always thanked Him and told Him He was the only friend I had. And I begged Him to send me a friend and help me forgive Senior Jane and all the others.

Somewhere along the line, God sent someone. She stepped in for me whenever somebody stood up against me. She told me that nobody could make me feel inferior except I allowed them to. She also reminded me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. She would help me with my assignments and ask me how I felt whenever I was down. For the first time in a long while, I felt that someone apart from God cared about me. Not that I didn’t believe that God cared or I didn’t know that I was special in His eyes, but there was nobody I could see physically who would let me know that and so, He sent Chichi my way.

When I got to know that someone cared for me, I began to feel better. I prayed to God to help me forgive all those who hurt me and more than forgiving, help me to love them. With the help of God and Chichi my friend, I began building up my self confidence. If I felt low or whenever depression began to set in, I would run to Chichi’s room and we would cry and pray together, and I would feel better.

Somehow, a lot of people liked and respected Chichi and since she liked me, some of them began to like me. I started joining in games and having reading partners. I mustered up confidence to join the school choir and though I never sang a solo, I was glad to belong.

I started working on myself. I forgave all those who had hurt me and worked towards loving them. I would ask them if they needed help with their assignments, if they were feeling well, if they needed to use Panadol and stuff like that. I even went to visit with senior Jane. All the while, I asked God to let his love radiate from me and let all those who hated me begin to like me. I got a lot of surprises.

People who never wanted to have anything to do with me suddenly had reason to come and meet me. Those who often looked down on me began to seek my opinion on different things. Even Senior Jane started being kind. She often asked me how I was feeling, greeted me if we met on the way and never sent me on errands. By the time she was graduating, she told me I was her best junior. My mates also started making amends. By the time we were graduating, we didn’t want to leave each other.

After forgiving, I started working on forgetting all the bad things they said and did to me. It wasn’t easy but with God’s help and constantly loving them, the bad memories began to fade.
Today, I’m still in touch with many of my friends from secondary school and you know what, I don’t even bear the slightest grudge against them. We call each other, catch up on what’s been happening in our lives and even pray for each other. It’s a whole new world of joy. I’m so glad I learnt to forgive.

*Ifeoluwa Ogunkanmi

If Ifeoluwa’s story applies to you and you want to identify with it, please send a mail to
If you are past the teen age or still a teenager and you have a story to tell that will help other teenagers, please send your story to the above e-mail address also.

The Yahoo Bug: Don't Let It Bite You

He drives around in his sleek 2005 Volkswagen Golf car. As usual, he wears one of his new ‘trademark’ T.M. Lewin shirts with a pair of cute, very cute, faded jeans and a pair of Reebok sneakers. He is the new neighborhood envy. He oozes, breathes and lives “most expensive”. The fact is he is really expensive. His phones and other accessories, his new fashion savvy also show this. That’s Seun, your elder brother’s friend and neighbor. Someone you virtually grew up with.
He’s presently an undergraduate and the newest of the growing ‘rich boys’ clique down the street. How did he get to this level? They are into ‘yahoo yahoo’ (like you already know!)

The thought of living that kind of life keeps flooding your mind. He looks very different, something close to your wish of how you want your life to be. He is the toast of the neighborhood. And this is putting you under pressure. Hey!! Please don’t let this bug bite you too. I’ll give you three reasons why you should deliberately and diligently avoid this.

1. “Yahoo Yahoo” is a sin against God and a crime against the law. It involves using deceitful means to attract sums of money from other people via the internet and telephone. It is one of the cyber crimes that governments all over the world seek daily to eliminate. And law enforcement officers are putting in their all to catch these criminals. It is an act that will receive the full measure of God’s anger. Why would you engage in an act that will make you an enemy of God, man, and the law? Or the yahoo boys look cheerful, right? It is, and will always be, short-lived. Many of these people have gone to jail before. Is it not too early in your life to be called ‘a convict’ or ‘an ex-convict’? Think sir/ma. Think!

2. Don’t you remember that ‘whatever a man sows, that he will reap’? God is not deceived even if man is. Look! Hear this and never forget it; you can determine your actions, but you cannot directly determine the consequences (results) of those actions. For instance, remember those times you did not read well enough for your test (I hope there were very few of such times), even though you wished and dreamt about passing well, you actually got the opposite.
That’s exactly how life is. But like your tests, you can influence the results of things in your life. If you can discipline yourself to always take the right decisions, you can influence the consequences of your actions positively. And as for our friends involved in ‘yahoo yahoo’, they cannot reap anything positive from their actions. You will see that in a matter of time - I have seen that over and over again. So don’t let that rampaging bug bite you. Love and obey God always, do the right things, and His blessings will be yours.

3. Now wait for this! Can you imagine Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos looking for a shop in Oshodi where he can go daily to sell provisions? That’s impossible, except the governor does not know what his role as the governor of a state is. But that’s exactly what our friends, who have been bitten by the yahoo bug, are doing. They do not know that in them lies more than enough talent, waiting for the right time to be harnessed, which can take them to any height they wish to go in life.

More so, God has made you fearfully and wonderfully, with future plans of peace and not of evil to give you a great future. So, please do not demean yourself by getting into shady things that you cannot be proud of in public; things that keep law enforcement agents on your heels.

Finally, complete obedience to God means total abstinence from sin. Don’t let this bug of sin bite you. Shield yourself from it with God’s grace that comes as a reward for complete obedience to His word. He is a faithful rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He will bless you with your own blessings. Cheers!

*Dade Akinwande

Monday, June 2, 2008

Teen Celebrity

Can we meet you?
I’m Modupeoluwa Adelaja; a native of Ijegbu-Ode. I’m a Christian; second of four children and first of three girls. I’m sixteen going on seventeen.
What are you up to right now?
I’m currently doing diploma (foundation year) in Petroleum and Gas Engineering at the University of Lagos.
What church do you attend and what’s your involvement there?
I attend RCCG, Solid Rock parish (the teens’ church) and I’m both a Sunday school teacher and a chorister.
What secondary school did you attend and in what year did you finish?
I attended Caleb International College, and finished last year (2007)
What result did you finish with, that is, in your WAEC?
I had 7 A1s and 2 B3s.
We could call that all distinctions, right?
How were you able to achieve this impressive feat?
Truthfully, my aim from SS2 was to make 9 A1s and come out with the best result in West Africa and then travel to Harvard on scholarship. I wanted to study abroad without stressing my parents; that’s why I wanted a scholarship. It was this goal that pushed me to do so well.
I also had a very good, dedicated and concerned lesson teacher, whom my dad employed for me. He was of great help.
But in it all, it was God o! All the hard work would have been in vain because I had a D7 in my WAEC English at first.
Please tell us more about that.
When I saw the result, I was disappointed. But I had just learnt about what Job did in his own day of crisis, so I followed suit. I knelt and worshipped God, though it seemed insincere. The devil laughed at me and my doubts but I still worshipped.
I told God however that I didn’t want the D7 becoming a C6 but rather an A1 since He had turned water to wine before. Soon after, a friend called and told me that WAEC made mistakes in the English results of my school and had rectified the errors. I checked online and saw that my D7 in English had become a B3.
You must have read real hard, right?
Yes. I read like I would die. However, with it all, it was God’s grace that helped me to stand and not give-in to cheating. During many papers, I discovered that most questions were from parts I had just read before the exam, not the ones I had been reading for weeks and I thanked God for leading.
At times, I used ‘Iko’ for questions I didn’t know and left them in God’s hands.
What is Iko?
Common Sense
Any other tips?
Yes. The final thing was prayer. Since my SS2, till after my WAEC, I prayed for guidance as I studied and for favor with markers, and I know beyond all doubts that the prayers worked!
Did you have any distractions: TV, boys, girlfriends?
I’m not a TV freak, and NEPA didn’t help matters either. I hardly spent time with my classmates except when in class because I was a day student. About guys, my stand as a Christian was known right from time.
What was your stand?
I didn’t believe, and wasn’t interested, in secondary school relationships.
What role did your parents play in this?
Everyone was lovely. My dad gave orders that they let me read. My mum took up my chores. My brother, who was at home from ASUU strike, and my sister, did my chores and woke me to read because the alarm clock hardly helped.
Did you like all your teachers?
Yes. I made it compulsory for myself so I could get the best from them. I listened to them with a passion to learn.
What else do you do apart from reading school books?
I read novels, talk with friends, and sing worship songs.
What makes you special and different from other teenagers?
I try to live for the future. I try not to ruin tomorrow because of the pleasures of today. Most of our desires are earthly and crave to be satisfied. But I reach for the things that will count in eternity (spending time with God and with people). Only our works for God will stand at last. I can’t bear, or even imagine, losing out on heaven.
Any advice for your fellow teens?
Yes. There’s more to this world than it appears. I feel terrible seeing my brothers and sisters wasting time while claiming to have fun; boys and girls messing up with each other, cheating, and doing all sorts of things. All our decisions have repercussions and affect our tomorrow. Let’s try to deny ourselves the pleasure of today to enjoy tomorrow. We can’t achieve this (control over our fleshly desires) except we are connected to God. We, at this age, are seeking love, attention and identity but like Michael Smith sang, God is the only who can satisfy us with all these (love, wisdom and power) ‘cause He’s full of all three.
Thank you, Modupe. It was a pleasure chatting with you.
Same here. I enjoyed myself so much that I almost stabbed my class to continue this interview.

Is there something very unique about you or that you’ve achieved and you want to be interviewed on this magazine or you have a teenage friend who you know is very special and should be interviewed, send the name(s) and contacts (e-mail and phone number) to us at We’ll get back to you and after listening to you, you might just be chosen as our next Teen Celebrity.

Getting The Best Out Of Your Teachers

In my student days, many years ago, I used to see my teachers as terrors, unapproachable adults who just love disciplining young people. When I saw them coming in one direction, I took another way in order to avoid them. I hated the idea of going to the staffroom for any reason – to call a teacher, collect notes, whatever else. I detested the idea because once you entered their office; they all took it in turns to scold you for one misbehavior or the other.

Now, I am a teacher myself and I have discovered that my teachers didn’t really mean any harm. Some of the things I learnt from them that time (though the hard way) are quite beneficial to me now. How I wish I could relive those days! Since you are still in school and have the opportunity of tutelage, you need to maximize it. How? Read on!

Most of the good teachers put up a hard front, making you think they are unapproachable. The truth is, a diligent and goal-oriented student will break the farce. Every teacher wants to make friends with students who want to succeed in life. Such students encourage the teachers to put in their best, knowing that their efforts are not wasted. So, if you want to maximize the potentials in your teachers, be a hardworking student; doing and submitting your assignments at the right time.

Secondly, nobody rejects love and appreciation. Thank your teachers for every lesson, show love and concern for them and their families, and you will find them going out of their way to give you the best education you could ever get in any part of the world.

Most students wait for their teachers to help them with their academic work or any other aspect of their lives. However, it is the student who goes asking for counsel or assistance that will stand out as being different and so catches the attention of the teacher as really needing help.

The story that comes easily to mind is that of the woman who wanted the judge to avenge her of her adversary. She pestered him so much that he had to attend to her so that she did not weary him. Luke 18:2-5. This is what is expected of any serious-minded student who wants to maximize the opportunities available in learning from his teachers. Even a ‘carefree’ teacher will take note of the determination of such a student.

A student is expected to be wiser than his teachers. Psalms 119:99. When teachers discover a studious student who reads ahead of the class, challenges them, and whose claims are also right, they go out of their way to ensure that the student succeeds in his studies.

The mediocre, the one that doesn’t want to ‘stress’ himself, who is satisfied with being ordinary is often in the ‘bad books’ of the teachers and such a student then complains of victimization.

It is advisable that students who want the best out of their teachers settle down to hard work, diligence, and every other virtue that make for academic excellence. The pride of a teacher is to see his students in positions of authority in future; positions that indicate successful academic pursuit. Proverbs 22:29.

It used to be a common adage many years ago that the reward of the teacher is in heaven. However, teachers of this generation desire fulfillment in seeing that their labour over their students is not wasted. The more successful they see their students become, the more committed they get to their work.

Hello students! Go and tap all that you want from the knowledge that God has given your teachers. They are waiting!

*Mrs. Sinmisola Adigun

The Bobos' Yarn With P.Leke

Q: Hello. Please I want you to help me. I am a teenager and I am not gay but I have a gay orientation, if you know what I mean, and there is one more thing, I masturbate. At times, I have to masturbate so I can sleep. I have tried all I could think; I have even gone for deliverance twice but all to no avail. But now, I fear if I would be able to make love to my wife in the future. I haven’t told anyone about these before.

A: Hi. Are you born again? How old are you? What is your level of education? Are you married or have someone you are going out with? What situation do you think makes you go into this act?

I am particular about all of these so I would know how and where to come in just for the sake of effective communication. Well, I will still go ahead for now to give you clues on what to do to prevent it from happening / what to do to be free.

- Stop watching pornographic films, or stop reading pornographic magazines etc.
- Desist from friends of such questionable character.
- Do away with materials or relationships that can give you unnecessary arousement.
- Fill your heart with the word of God.

You now see the reason for asking the first question (Are you born again?). The word of God is the only thing that can liberate you through the help of the Holy Spirit. I am not trying to be too spiritual but to be honest, it can’t be left out.

Your arousement is from your mind, because what you conceive is what you give birth to. The bible says as a man thinks, so he is. My brother, you have to be mindful of what you fill your heart with; Masturbation does not and should not have power over you rather you have power over it (through Christ Jesus) - so you can stop it. God help you as you surrender to Jesus to help you.

Masturbation is said to have some medical side effects. For example, it weakens erection in man and consequently affects reproduction. Lastly, each time the urge comes, adopt the attitude of declaring to yourself that this act is meant for the beast of the field and you are not one because you are in God’s likeness!

Stay blessed and I look forward to reading from you soon.

You have questions you want to let out of your heart, right? Send an e-mail to and indicate if you want the question(s) addressed personally or through the magazine.

Girls' Chat With Titi

Q: I’m 19 years old; an undergraduate. I have a boyfriend who always smooches me. It started right from the inception of our relationship, two years back. We’ve done everything apart from sex itself. I want to stop but I cannot afford to lose him. He came into my life after my suicide attempt and made me feel loved ‘cause my parents don’t care about me. But I feel cheap and dirty after we ‘play’. Please help me, I’m in desperate need.

A: Hi dearie. The first truth I think you should know is that GOD REALLY LOVES YOU! When I read your question, I realized that your desperation was, and still is, evidence that God is interested in you and your future.

To start with, I know that you know what to do but you are afraid of taking the first step. Dear sister, I need you to know that true love can only come from God! It’s normal for you to see ‘your boyfriend’ as someone you cannot do without because of the time he stepped in (at the point of the suicide attempt). All I pray to God to help me do is to make you see the two sides of the coin so you can make the right choice.

You know what dear? All that has happened so far between the two of you in the name of ‘love’ (lust, I mean) has left you in a worse state than before and if you allow it to continue, you will only be toying with your eternal destiny. Please believe me, he (I wish I knew his name) does not love or respect you. If he loves you, he won’t be doing things that drain you emotionally and that diminish your self-esteem. Before you now are two choices: him or God!

If you choose him, you’ll continue the cycle of ‘feeling’ cheap and dirty until you eventually ‘become’ cheap and dirty. When he eventually leaves you (which he most likely would do), you’d be left to carry the shame throughout your life and may even return to the suicide you attempted years back.

If you choose God, He will love you like no one else can, clean you up of every ill-feeling you have developed towards yourself, restore all you have lost, bring the right people (particularly the ‘right man’ at the ‘right time’) who will love you and respect you, and finally, He will make ALL things NEW for you; giving you a new life and new hope!

If I were you, I will choose God. I will advice you prayerfully let go of him so that you can have God (who is WORTH having for life and without whom your life cannot have meaning or satisfaction) all to yourself. Just to let you know that your choice is important to you, to me, and to great destinies attached to you (posterity and generations to come). I hope to pray for you as much as I can and please remember you have a friend in me, after God!

You have questions you want to let out of your heart, right? Send an e-mail to and indicate if you want the question(s) addressed personally or through the magazine.

Can We Be Friends?

Sure you’re familiar with the above question. Girls, you have been asked that more often than the guys, haven’t you? A cool, handsome, ‘baffed-up’ guy walks up to you and recites some sweet lines of how he had noticed your sweet smile, gentle and dainty look, that he couldn’t help coming over to talk to you. And after his long speech, he ends up asking this age-long friendship question - can we be friends? Then you blush and the drama continues…

You possibly look back at how some of your friendships started. Some of the thoughts bring smiles to your face, right? And some bring tears streaming down your eyes. Some friends have been worth it while some have actually hurt you badly. Are you so hurt and depressed that you never want to make friends again? Or are you so fulfilled with your friendships that you couldn’t have asked for better friends?

Whatever category you belong to, there is one person who has been asking you this question for a long time. I wish I knew what you told Him every time He asked you but you’re the only one with that answer. You already know who I’m talking about, don’t you? Please don’t flip this page now. There are some things you really need to know. The Almighty God Himself is asking you, dear teenager, “Can we be friends?”
“How am I sure He really wants to be friends with me?” If that’s your question, then may I remind you that there must have been something God desired so badly that motivated Him to give up Jesus, His only Son. He wanted friends! And He still wants friends. Adam and Eve were His friends, as in, friends! God usually had evening chats with them. Can you imagine; a tête-à-tête with God Himself. If you’re doubtful, check out Genesis 3: 8&9.

However, the worst nightmare of all time, the devil, came in-between God and His friends. Just like those sly fellows who have stolen your friends from you before, the devil did the same to God. God so missed His friendship with man and He longed for a restoration. Abraham was one of the few people in the Old Testament who God was able to make friends with. But God wasn’t satisfied. He wanted, and still wants, all of us to be His friends. So guess what He did? Your guess is as good as mine. He died to pave an opportunity for a restoration of that friendship.

And every day He cries out to you….. Bola, Segun, Chioma, Chike, Audu, Aisha… He’s calling your name right now, whispering in your ears… yes, your own ears… saying, “Please, can we be friends?” He’s whispering in your ears now, can you hear Him? If you can, then let me tell you why you should feel privileged to be a recipient of His invitation – why you need to scream out Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! We can be friends!

When you become friends with God, your days of sorrow will be history. Why? Because your fears, pains, heartaches, insecurities, doubts, worries and more, become His. He takes responsibility for them and begins to sort you out. That’s why He said you should cast your cares on Him. He also said you should ask Him for all things that you need until your joy is full. Being friends with God guarantees your being happy indeed. So, if happiness has always eluded you, you have just hit your jackpot!

Furthermore, the bible says when you’re friends with God, your enemies become God’s enemies and because they know what God is capable of, they’ll either leave you alone or face the consequences. God watches jealously over His friends. He definitely will not allow anyone hurt you, so no need to be worried about death, sickness, accidents and the likes when you and God are pals.

Can you imagine being President Yaradua’s close pal, whom he really loves? Do you think there’s anything you ever need he won’t give you? Guess you can imagine the number of military guys he’ll appoint to watch over your house. Think deeply about how safe, secure and confident you’ll be if you were that close to him.

Now, we aren’t talking of a man that can die, we’re talking of being friends with the Almighty God Himself. Isn’t that an exciting thought? Beings friends with someone with immeasurable power; who made a house boy become Prime Minister (Joseph) and made a slave a First Lady (Esther). This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Please choose right ‘cause with Him, there’ll be no limit to your greatness.

However, let me spell out the consequences of rejecting his offer. You will be On Your Own – OYO. Sickness will hit you anytime, demons will play with your brain in the exam hall, life will play hard tricks on you and you’ll be left defenseless. Worst of all, when God will be throwing a party for His friends in Heaven Plaza, you will not get an IV ‘cause the delivery boys (angels) don’t deliver IVs to people in Hell Avenue. Now, I’m sure you don’t want that!

“I’m ready!!!” you scream, “I don’t want to lose out on both sides”. If that’s you, then you’ve just put a smile on Jesus’ face. Just tell Him right now that you want to be friends with Him. If you’ve not received Christ into your heart before, say ‘the love prayer’ beneath this article and if you have, you might want to still rededicate your life to Him; you can never overdo it.

Are you done with the prayer? Now, just like in your earthly relationships, friendship with God can only be sustained through the following things. Please pay attention to them. This is supposed to be a life-long friendship, not a hit-and-run, okay?

Apt Apologies: If ever and whenever you hurt Him, be quick to repent, apologize to Him and renew your friendship.

Constant communication: Spend at least an hour daily listening to God, through His word, and talking to Him in prayers. Communication makes you two closer.

Full Fidelity: Be faithful to Him. Don’t hurt Him by meddling with sin. Don’t let some guy touch your body before marriage. Don’t listen to music He detests… the list is endless. Just don’t hurt Him.

Generous giving: The proof of love is giving. Give God your money, resources, talents, time, in fact, give Him your all. And do so cheerfully!

Special surprises: Go the extra mile for God once in a while. Do for Him what He loves most – talk to sinners about His love, spend a whole day with Him, give out your favorite dresses to the orphans (He really cares about those kids). Just do something special for Him and enjoy the pleasure of seeing God smile.

Total trust: Talk to God about anything and everything that happens to you. Let Him be the first person you turn to in sharing your joys or pains.

Tender touches: Just like hugs help friendships; hug God daily with your worship. Make it a habit to let Him know how much He means to you.

Dearest, given these few guidelines (they are not absolute), you’re likely to become God’s ‘buddie’ in no time. You never can tell, you might even make it to becoming the best friend God has ever had on earth. Oh yes! It’s very possible!

Please note however that the only way you can make the best out of this friendship is to depend on the Holy Spirit. If you have been Holy Spirit baptized, pray in tongues often. If you have not, please see your pastor about it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become closer to Him and you can be sure He’ll do just that.

“But I have been hurt before, and I don’t want God to hurt me too. I’m afraid He’ll quit on me when He sees how messed up I am”. If that’s you, you’re the kind of person He’s looking for. “Why me?” you may ask. Because HE FEELS YOU!!! He’s been through what you’re going through and He wants to stand close to you as a friend throughout life.

“Are you sure He won’t get tired of me and leave me?” If that’s your fear, friend, let me tell you that… oh wait! Can you hear something? He seems to want to answer you Himself… He’s whispering lovingly in your ears… can you hear Him now… I’m sure you can. He’s saying “I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you”

*Timilehin Adigun

The Love Prayer
Dear God, I have heard about your love and I thank you for loving me in spite of my many sins and weaknesses. I believe, Jesus, that you’re the son of God and that you died and rose again to save me. I repent of my sins and forsake them. I will live to please you as your Holy Spirit helps me. I receive you into my heart and I ask that you make me yours forever. Help me to be your friend and may we love each other for all eternity. Thank you Father for accepting me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time, please send an e-mail to us at and we’ll be quick to get back to you to stand by you in this new adventure of life.