Which Voice Are You Listening To?

by Steve Popoola on February 8, 2016 in Faith, inspiration

One day, I called home and decided to play a prank on my children. They all know my voice and respond with about the same level of enthusiasm once they can identify that I am the one calling.

 
Of my children, the most outspoken is the middle one – my eldest daughter , who at this time was about 11 years old. She was the one I chose as my target and as I hoped, she was the one who answered the phone. The discussion went as follows;

Me: (with my voice modulated a little) Hello

Daughter: Hello, good afternoon. May I know who is speaking?

Me: My name is Peter, I am your mum’s friend, may I speak with her please?

Daughter: (There was a pause as she tried to figure who this is) Errm, sorry, who did you say you were?

Me: I said I am your mum’s friend. You are her first daughter right? She’s spoken a lot about you.

Daughter: (Another pause) I am sorry, I don’t know you. How do you know my mum?

Me: Ah! Well, she is a very good friend of mine. We met many years ago and we have remained very close.

Daughter: (She’s had enough of this) Well, I don’t know who you are. Do you know my mum is married? I really don’t understand how you can be my mum’s friend and I don’t know you. Do you know she’s a married woman?

Me: (barely able to contain the laughter trying to burst from my lips) Yes, I know she’s married but we are quite close and we talk a lot. Then I added the bit that made her lose her cool. “And I like her very much!”

Daughter: “Okay Mr, I don’t know who you are but I am definitely going to tell my daddy about this. Steer clear of my mum, she’s married and she is happy with her husband!” (Raises her voice to call her mum that she has a phone call)

When my wife picked the phone, I quickly told her what had transpired and we carried on the charade, knowing my daughter was listening in until we could no longer control ourselves and burst out laughing.

You Can Be Better!

by Steve Popoola on February 1, 2016 in Character, inspiration, success

One of my favourite scriptures in the Bible is found in Genesis 26: 12-13. “Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.

My focus here is not about getting rich or how to make a lot of money. What jumps out to me in the above scripture is the progress from one position to another.

Let us examine the background to the event described in the above quoted scripture. There was famine in the land where Isaac lived. Like any reasonable man would do, he made plans to migrate somewhere else so that he and his family would not starve. This is not different from what we see today of millions of people migrating away from countries hit by war and famine and seeking refuge in countries that are doing well economically.

Don’t You Dare Give Up!

by Steve Popoola on January 25, 2016 in Biblepraise

So you started the year with great plans. You had them carefully written down with the action plans required to fulfill those plans. You committed those plans into God’s hands, believing in His word clearly stated; “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5)

On paper, everything looked good, what in the world could possibly go wrong?

Fast-forward a couple of weeks into the New Year; you have missed some deadlines you set for yourself. You planned to read at least one chapter of a book everyday but in the last couple of days, you haven’t even read a line, talk less of a chapter. Some planned to visit the gym at least 3 times a week but so far, they have not been able to meet that target.

 

Whatever the target you set for yourself, it is possible that at this time, you are already feeling like a failure and at the brink of giving up. Before you do, I have something to say to you, ‘Don’t you dare give up!’

Write It Down!

by Steve Popoola on January 11, 2016 in Discipleshipship, Faith

It is common for people to make plans towards the end of the year and I have often heard people give a verbal list of plans or ‘resolutions’ like;

1. To start going to the gym
2. To eat healthily
3. To spend more time reading the Bible
4. To spend more time praying

As laudable as these plans may be, it is no surprise that by the end of the second week of the new year, a lot of those who made these plans would have given up on some or all of them.

From my observation in the gym where I work out, January is usually the busiest month of the year, especially the first week. Many of those who start the year resolving to start working out,  throng the various gyms.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year From Biblepraise

by Steve Popoola on December 28, 2015 in Biblepraise

It has been an eventful year and as it gradually winds to an end, I will like to seize this opportunity to thank all our  readers and supporters of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online ministry,  for your encouragement and support throughout the year. Without you, there would have been no encouragement to continue what we do.

I thank all the writers whose pieces and stories have been featured in this newsletter,  you have been a great help especially at those times when I didn’t have any material to share. Thank you so much and God bless you richly.

I thank God for giving myself and other writers the inspiration to share what He placed in our hearts during the course of the year. From various feedback received, it is such an encouragement to know that many have been blessed through the stories featured during the year. My hope is that in 2016, God will inspire us the more to write and to minister to a wider range of people who will be given the opportunity to read this newsletter.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year.

See you in 2016!

Steve Popoola

Steve@biblepraise.org

Editor, Biblepraise Newsletter

Why I am Thankful

by Steve Popoola on December 7, 2015 in Biblepraise

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

In a couple of days, I will be celebrating my 50th birthday. As I reflect on my life and all that I have been through, I cannot help being thankful.

My life has passed through many phases. Born in a North London hospital, loved and cared for by parents who had hopes, dreams and desires of what they would want this little baby to become. Life was good and when time came for my parents to relocate to Nigeria, I was eager, especially since I had never met my older siblings who were living with family in Nigeria.

A lot has happened between then and now. I went through all kinds of hardship I never knew I could endure. Today, I can tell a hungry person, “I understand what you are going through” because I lived through periods in my life where I did not know where the next meal was going to come from.

Are you Listening?

by Steve Popoola on November 23, 2015 in Devotion, Discipleshipship

I read the story of a man who challenged his wife with a riddle,  “You’re the engineer of a train. There are 36 people on board. At the first stop, 10 get off and 2 get on. At the next stop, no one gets off, but 5 get on. At the third stop, 4 get off and 2 get on. Now for the question: What is the name of the engineer?”
“How should I know?” snapped the wife.  The man replied, “See? you never listen! Right at the start I said, ‘You are the engineer of a train.’”

How many times have people asked for directions and still missed their way because they were not listening when they were being given the directions?  While Jesus was addressing a crowd of people, He warned, “Take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18)

With All the Chaos in My Life . . .

by Rubel Shelly on November 9, 2015 in Character, Devotion, Faith

Ever feel guilty when somebody quotes this Bible verse: “Be still, and know that I am God”? (Psalm 46:10).
I’ll bet you’d like nothing better than to find a quiet time today. Maybe you are even planning for it. Wonderful things can happen in times of solitude, stillness, and silence before God. But “stillness” is hard to come by – and simply isn’t available on some days or in certain life experiences.

There’s precious little time for stillness when production deadlines are close. A report is due in three hours. An inspection is in progress. If you live in a big city, there are voices and horns. There is constant motion. Shared living space has someone else’s music, someone else’s TV, and someone else’s voice. Where do you find God in all the noise?

God of the Second Chance

by Steve Popoola on October 26, 2015 in Biblepraise

 

Grace has one distinctive feature which I cherish greatly. I call it, ‘”The Second Chance Gift’”.

Man as we know, fell from the grace of God. However, our merciful Father, knowing what would happen, had set another plan in motion.

 
It would have been easy for Him to destroy Adam and Eve and produce another set of humans who would carry out His purpose on earth but God decided on the tougher option – love option. He chose to allow His Son to suffer so that you and I could be saved. He gave us a second chance to get back to the glory He gave to us in the beginning!

 

As I cast my mind back to the past, there are things I wished I had done differently. There were people who were hurt by the things I said and I wished I had said it differently. There were things I lost because I was not careful enough; there were decisions I made in haste and I wished I had waited a while. The list goes on and on.

Think You Are a Hopeless Case?

by Rubel Shelly on October 12, 2015 in Discipleshipship, Faith, Love

Have you noticed how candid the Bible is about its heroes? It doesn’t whitewash the flaws and foibles of its characters.
Abraham is not only the Father of All Who Believe but the scared rabbit who puts his wife in jeopardy to save his neck. King David is not only the Man After God’s Heart but the adulterer who lies and kills a man to try to keep the affair from being exposed.
Peter is not only First Among Equals in the band of apostles but the frightened fisherman who denies knowing Jesus of Nazareth in his hour of need – not once, but three times.