Measure of Joy

by Steve Popoola on January 30, 2017 in Belief, Faith, Love

In the dictionary, Joy is defined as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”.  Another definition described joy as, “a state of happiness or felicity”.
There is currently a lot of controversy going on about whether joy and happiness mean the same thing. I am personally not interested in the difference between the two today but rather examining what joy means to the Christian and whether it is something we produce or acquire. As a background to this discussion, I want us to examine the life of a man called Nehemiah and how he and others embarked on a journey from extreme sadness to exuberant joy.

Decision, Purpose and Commitment

by Steve Popoola on January 9, 2017 in Biblepraise

At the beginning of a new year, people everywhere tend to look at the year ahead and try to make some decisions which they hope will improve their lives. Some of these decisions are popularly referred to as ‘New year resolutions’. Unfortunately, many of those who make these resolutions give up on them barely weeks into the new year.

People make decisions for various reasons; It could be as a result of something they read, something they heard or what they saw in others. I have since discovered that decisions not backed by purpose and commitment tend not to have any strong foundation no matter how well intentioned they might be.

Do You Have Room?

by Steve Popoola on December 12, 2016 in Biblepraise

It is that time of the year again. As Christmas draws close, the shopping malls have become as busy as ever and many are feverishly trying to get all that they need as well as buying gifts to give to neighbours, family, colleagues and all who are fortunate enough to be on their Christmas list.

 

A few days ago, I joined some members of my local church to sing carols at the main shopping centre. Many shoppers walked past briskly focused on getting their shopping items sorted. Others slowed down to listen a bit to our songs while some others actually sat down to enjoy song after song as we sang.

 

After we finished singing, I was greeted by someone who asked which Church we were from and after I had told him, I remarked, “This is one of the ways we can remind people what Christmas is all about”. He agreed.

The Greatest Black Friday Ever

by Steve Popoola on November 28, 2016 in Biblepraise

The Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States is labelled Black Friday.  It heralds the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and it is characterized by significant reduction in the prizes of consumer items, thus causing a spike in sales as shoppers take advantage of the low prizes.

This practice has gained popularity in other countries like the United Kingdom where it was reported that about £2M in revenue was made every minute.

Black Friday is over now and there are many who are still basking in the euphoria of being able to purchase items at a fraction of the price, while others are already planning to sell what they bought as they are no longer sure whether they really needed the items in the first place.

Whose Choice?

by Steve Popoola on November 7, 2016 in Biblepraise

For several months, we have witnessed what has been regarded as one of the nastiest presidential campaigns in the United States of America. Not many people would remember all the campaign promises made by Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump but many would remember the personal insults traded by both camps and their supporters.

After all said and done, one person will win and become the next President but I wonder at what cost the election will be won?

Making a choice to elect a leader has always been an issue even from Biblical times. It is easy to make the choice but do people always elect the right person into office and what are the consequences of making a wrong choice?

Heaven Sent

by Joseph Mazzella on October 24, 2016 in Biblepraise

It was a chilly Autumn morning a few years ago.  I was driving along the mountain roads slower than usual trying to take in all the Fall colors.  It seemed like all of the leaves had changed overnight.  It looked as if God in His good-humor and love had painted the mountains themselves while we slept.

 
The yellow and gold leaves were sparkling in the sunshine.  The red and orange ones were fluttering brilliantly in the breeze.  The deep, rich burgundies and earthy browns were appearing as well.  The few remaining green ones looked even better being surrounded by the others.  It was so glorious.  It was a day made for happiness.  Yet, a part of me still felt sad, small, and insignificant in the midst of all of this heaven sent beauty.

Trusting in the God Who Provides

by Steve Popoola on October 3, 2016 in Biblepraise

Right from the beginning of scripture, God has always provided for man. We learn from the account of creation in Genesis 2:8, “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food”.

 

God didn’t just make man and instruct him to till the garden and sow seed for food; He already provided everything man needed. Adam was happy enough to live in the garden with all the animals God had created but God decided something was missing. Adam needed another human being he could relate with, who could be his helper. One again, Jehovah Jireh provided one of the most important needs of man; the need for companionship.

Recognizing the Prompts

by Steve Popoola on September 5, 2016 in Biblepraise

I recently learnt a hard lesson on being sensitive to prompts and signals. As human beings, we have been created to recognise and respond to prompts, signs and signals in order to take action that can keep not only us but others safe from impending harm.

My family and I set out on a trip to Taunton in Somerset, a county in South West England. Along the way, I refused to acknowledge the prompt of the navigator guiding me to take a certain road because I felt I knew a better route. It turned out that I was wrong and ended up taking a longer route through busy city traffic that I would have otherwise avoided.

The Triumph of Grace

by Steve Popoola on August 15, 2016 in Biblepraise, Faith

Grace is the most important, yet most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Its simplicity derives from God’s love towards man – God doing all that is required to redeem man in his fallen state.

 

Religion has been defined as man’s efforts to appease God. Unfortunately, the best of efforts is not enough to satisfy the requirements of divine law. If there was one person who was well versed in the law and did everything he could to follow the requirements of the law, it was Paul the Apostle.

No Middle Ground

by Steve Popoola on July 18, 2016 in Faith, World Events

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