Mother’s Burdensome Religion ???

Has your mother ever forced you or drag you to church? How persuasive or persistent was your Mom on church attendance and membership?

My mother’s strong faith was very notable for as far back as when I was a little girl. I grew up noticing her love for God. Initially, it was not a problem, but as time went by, it became a bit of a burden to me. She would pray in the morning, evening, and sometimes in the afternoon when breaking her fast. Everyone staying with us had to attend her early morning and evening prayers regardless. We had to kneel beside her in a row during prayers. As a little child, I wanted my early morning sleep desperately, but with mother, early morning prayer time was not a choice. The fact that my mother was praying did not stop her from checking on every one of us as she would intermittently open one eye to monitor us. During the prayers, if anyone dared to dose off while she was praying or leading prayers, the person would be awarded a deep pinch from her. Due to this, I started avoiding kneeling anywhere close to her. I had received so many of that pinches in the past and was always sure I would get one before every prayer session finished. As we grew up, my mother wanted us the children to join different activity groups in the church and be serving God. She would prepare us for early morning ‘Mass’ and lead us to church services.

Surprisingly, I kept running into different people who shared the same story with me. A good number of them with much more intense stories. Many of them, mainly women, described how their mothers forced them into attending church by all means. Some, it was not really their mother but the actions and reactions of their pastors, clergymen, priests, preachers, etc. Some even shared how their Sunday school teachers or youth pastors were being judgmental or threatening in their teaching. Unfortunately, many were offended, and many turned their back on God because of these issues.

Come to think of it, why are some mothers so strict about church stuff? What is their intention? Honestly, in most cases, these mothers mean good. In normal circumstances, every good mother wants what is best for her child and would do anything possible to make it work. They have tasted the goodness of God and know He is worth the sharing. All their efforts, strictness, forcefulness is just out of a pure heart most of the time. No responsible mother would be unconcerned about the fate of their Godless children. It is the joy of all God-fearing parents to see their children walk in truth, just like John expressed:

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”.

3 John 1:4

These mothers must have wanted their children to be given to the things of God and be deeply involved in church activities. I can still remember my mother’s words of prayers. I can still feel her desires and longings.

If you have ever been in my shoe, I would humbly like to appeal to you to take a second look with an open mind. Many mothers did what they did because that was the best way they knew how to do it. They did all they did because of love and not hatred. They meant good and not evil. They wanted the way of peace and salvation for their children and did not commit a crime in doing so. They still deserve our love, appreciation, and respect. The best gift that any mother could ever give her child is CHRIST. As the world continues to promote (probably unintentionally) rebellion amongst youth, mothers see beyond. They are the personal manager of their children as opposed to the generic management style of the world’s system.

Even if we have witnessed the excesses of our mother and felt we were being pushed unnecessarily, we should realize that they are still our mother who cares about our eternal value. The mistakes of our mother do not change the reality of God and the Christian faith. Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life. Modernization can never change this fact. Everybody knows that sins, waywardness, drunkenness, lies, theft, jealousy, hatred, adultery, pride, fornication, etc. are real. No system of the world has succeeded in eradicating these shameful acts of men. Only Jesus can save from sins. Wickedness will continue to plague the world, but those that come to Christ will be kept safe under the shadow of His wings. We should be wise in not letting the offense in our parents’ mentoring style determine our eternal destiny.

Some people also have their story on how they were misrepresented, judged without trial, deceived, persecuted, or mistreated by their pastor, church leadership, or family at one point or the other. We must understand that we are all human beings. We sometimes see things in different ways. Our mode of approach, which in most cases is influenced by our background, culture, exposure, education, carnality etc., differs. People make mistakes, and the devil can use anyone against anybody. That is the reason we must ensure our relationship with God is personal and focus on Him mainly.

A friend once shared with me how a youth pastor led her daughter away from God as he introduced her into drugs and alcoholism. Another friend shared how her mother’s health kept deteriorating because her pastor would not support her mother’s medical treatment. The children were left to deal with the mess. There is no doubt there are a handful of unfortunate situations and bad influences in some churches. However, the fact that these things happen in some places does not speak for the generality of the church. Therefore, it is not wise to pick up quarrels against God because of the behaviors of some people. When you seek God sincerely, He will guide you to the right church where your soul could enrich itself in the truth of the gospel.

One of the people I spoke to who detested the religion of her mother, said to me that she found faith in the spirit of an insect, which is what she has been worshiping. If we refuse the right path, there would always be an alternative; something to fall for. The enemy is out there waiting for potential captives. He would supply all the pleasures you could ever imagine at the expense of your soul.

Your life is significant and precious before God, and I would like you to know that being a child of God does not stigmatize you. It brings meaning into your life and makes your life count. Walking with Christ saves you from all kinds of troubles, afflictions, sicknesses, and headaches. It helps you handle so many challenges in this world that ordinarily would drag people onto their knees. Even when situations come, you will receive strength and grace to go through them and come out successfully. We should never allow the offenses of the past to define our presence or endanger our future.

Regardless of any situation, Christ remains the Lord over everything. He is loving, understanding, caring, patient, and merciful. If God were to mark iniquity, none of us would be able to stand. But when mercy finds us, the story of life is rewritten in redemption. Hope replaces despair freedom replaces servitude. Please, give Christ a chance to shine His light into your heart. His love for you is unquantifiable. Believe me friend, Christ loves you still.

Akinloye, O. Margaret

Who is Your Mentor?


I remember driving to work one fateful night. The weather was so bad that visibility was almost zero. The full light of the motor vehicles met their match that night. Darkness covered the land as the snow-packed ground every made the road very slippery. It was difficult to see the road markings. The journey of supposed minutes eventually took more than an hour. At one point, I missed the road, driving in another direction before realizing it and found my way back. After traveling some kilometers, I caught up with a car driving in front of me. The driver was weathering the storm of snow, fog, and a thick cloud of darkness. It was a sort of relief to me; I now have a vehicle’s taillights to follow. I would take advantage of the car to lead me on the trip. Driving has never been an issue when there is inspiring music, but not that night. So, that driver would be my unsolicited and adopted lead and mentor. Little did I realize the lessons I would be learning afterward.

Although I started following the light of this car very closely, I was also automatically restricted and limited to its speed. I became at ease in Zion. My adopted lead would battle the weather and clear the road for me to navigate. However, the car speed was so slow that I could afford to make some essential calls and take some pictures. I nearly forget the time-sensitive obligation I had to fulfill. Suddenly, I noticed a vehicle approaching behind me at a higher speed. Within seconds, he overtook my adopted lead and I. Wow! The courage of the driver kindled a fire in me. I pull out from behind the other car, drove passed it, and ran after this new one. All I needed was a vehicle’s taillights to lead me out in the dark hour, and this truck seemed to have a brighter one. His speed was also better. My worry and timidity that moment varnished, giving way for confidence. I recovered some lost time within a few minutes of following this new driver.

However, I began having second thoughts after driving some kilometers behind this vehicle. I became uncomfortable with the speed of the truck. This speed was ok on a regular day but not on a wintry one, as I kept struggling to keep up with the speed of the driver. I doubt if this driver ever knew someone was desperately following him. Did he know but just wanted to prove his superiority? Come to think of it; he had his plans and schedule before leaving home that day. Also, his vehicle was more suited for that weather compared to mine. ‘It is unwise for me to keep following’, I said to myself. However, I needed the light from his car so much. Also, I never wanted to return to the slow speed of the former driver.

So, I made my choice and decided on a safer speed. As the truck was going farther from me, the darker my path was becoming at those moments, and the more I felt safe: not too fast, not too slow. I started weathering the storm alone at my pace and eventually reached my destination safe and happy. Although I was late, it was not unexpected.

Why didn’t I consider turning back when I first saw the road condition? Challenges are part of life. A proverb put it this way: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Ralph quoted:

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of course, I had turned back from a trip before because of unsafe road conditions. We just need to listen to our inner voice, as guided by the Spirit of God.

For days, different lessons from this experience kept flashing before me. I saw very clearly the importance of choosing the right mentor. I understood that your choice of mentor could slow you down, waste your gifts, kill your dreams, or change your destiny. I also learned how possible it is to have a mentor so buried in his high speed, in his plans, in his own goal that he becomes so insensitive to the need and safety of his mentees. Also, some mentors will never allow anyone else at the forefront, and no mentee must go beyond their level. Intentionally or unintentionally, some people are just that way.

your choice of mentor could slow you down, waste your gifts, kill your dreams, or change your destiny.

On the flip side, mentoring is not easy. It demands lots of sacrifices, commitments, and risks. It is a huge responsibility which many never dare venture. So, those willing mentors worth the appreciation and commendation. Many of them never work for gain or what they would eventually gain from their mentees but just wanted to give their best. However, as commonly said, “A leader’s error is a leading error.” So, a good mentor is open to constructive criticisms and willing to improve. The mentor who never listens to mentees, who believes he is above mistake and unwilling to take responsibility for his wrongdoings is not worth following.

The mentor who never listens to mentees, who believes he is above mistake and unwilling to take responsibility for his wrongdoings is not worth following.

Dr. W. F. Kumuyi, a unique scholar and pastor, gave an extensive and revealing message on the significance of mentorship in his message titled “Every Esther needs a Mordecai”. There is no doubt that life generally revolves around mentors and mentees. So, everyone needs someone. However, it is necessary to choose our mentors with care and wisdom. As there are many good mentors out there, so also are the bad ones. Imagine a mentor like a typical Tortoise in the world of Cheetahs. But “slow and steady win the race”. Really? There is more to that story. Also, an unreasonable and dangerous high-speed mentor would drive his mentee into a ditch one day. Many mentors have made mentees, while many have marred others. We do not have to be examples of mis-mentored mentees. Don’t rush it. Choose wisely, choose prayerfully.

Choose wisely, choose prayerfully


Jesus said:

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”

John 10:11 (KJV)

“…I am the way, the truth, and the life…”

“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

John 14:16, John 8:12 (KJV)

As the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord, Christ will surely lead aspiring mentees to the right mentor at the right time, if we let Him.

Akinloye, O. Margaret

It is good to give thanks unto the Lord!

If we could just pause and consider the goodness of God over us, we will realise we got a lot to thank Him for.

Many times, our wants blind us to God’s goodness in our life.

Thank You Father for loving us with an everlasting love. May we never be ungrateful Lord! Thank You our dear everlasting God! We know You are good and Your mercy endures forever.

Thank You heavenly Father


I am accustomed to pulling out the thistles that I found growing with my plants and flowers. I never planted the thistles, so they were unwanted. I used to wonder how they would always find a way into my tilled soil. They appeared around my plants and I found them annoying since they are difficult to pull out without sustaining an injury. Sometimes, these thistles became more conspicuous and fresher than the planted flowers and plants themselves.

One day, I was going for a walk and then got attracted to some beautiful purple flowers. I moved closer to admire the flowers and took a close picture of the flower. It was then that I noticed that the mother plants were thistles. I had never allowed the thistles in my little garden to reach their flowering stage before I pulled them out. They just must go.

Sometimes in life, we find some unwanted situations around us. They are like thorns in our flesh. We pray, fast, seek counsel to no avail. Paul the Apostle had his share of this type of thorn. He referred to it as a messenger of Satan. God could have taken care of whatever it was, but He chose not to. God said to Paul let the thorn alone. He however assured Paul that His grace would be sufficient for him. Even our Lord and Savior had to wear the crown of thorns before the soul of men could be set free from sins, self, and Satan. Christ agonized in prayer, yet He had to carry that cross of shame and humiliation. An angel came instead to strengthen Him for He had to go through the forest of thorns. At the peak of the suffering, Christ cried out to God “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27: 46, but still He suffered the pain, died, and rose to fulfill the mission of redemption.

Nobody on the surface of the earth can boast about a life free of pain and thorns. But something glaring on the part of God’s children is the presence of God, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the grace to endure such periods. All these are made available in Christ.

Some thorns are planted to make us better. Some thorns find their ways into our paths to bring us glorious beauty and promotion at the end of their life circle. Different thorns surface for different purposes. But one certain thing is that God will never forsake His own. The promises of God are sure and certain:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Isaiah 43:2

So never lose your faith while weathering the storm of thorns. That period will eventually pass, and you will be free and lifted. You need to stay alive to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Trust in God. He is a wise God.

Thistles produce flower too


The stain

(True story)

On this particular evening, the family of Eunice (not her real name) was getting ready for bed when the phone rang. The husband picked it and was on with one of the top pastors in their church. The pastor requested that his wife Eunice prepare to take a workshop in the forthcoming conference that was bringing together different people from different countries in that continent. Eunice would be speaking to a group of women during one of the seminars.

After the phone conversation and her husband conveyed the message to his wife, Eunice was not that excited about the assignment but instead became troubled. That night, when all her family members had gone to bed, she decided to stay up and spend time in prayers. She felt the need to look inward and check herself.

Before this time, Eunice had had this feeling that some things were not right in her spiritual life. Although she was not committing sins, she knew something was wrong somewhere. Eunice was known to be lively and lovely was becoming cold, touchy, easily irritated, reading meaning into every call, etc.

She said to herself: ”I do not think l am worthy to stand before any group of women now to teach” She knew she needed to rediscover her identity in Christ and find out her level in the Kingdom of Christ first. So, she went on a quest that night on her knee, groaning in prayer. She abandoned herself at the feet of Christ saying, “l know Lord that I am your child, but l am not sure if l still worth one”. She knew the things of God is not about the activity but the backing of the Master, the Lord Jesus. Anybody could teach and teach well, especially when such has done it several times and has mastered it. But when the Author of the message is duly involved, all kinds of transformation happen with ease.

In this lowly state, she suddenly found herself among some groups of people, camping. They were all in groups of three or four. One common thing among them was their white garment, including Eunice. Suddenly, something moved her to check her clothing at the back. That was when she noticed a stain in her dress. Her glittering radiant garment had got a stain. She knew right away that she did not belong in that group of dignified royalty. She pulled back immediately to get rid of the stain. With determination, she started to wash off the stain. Then, she woke up and slept again instantly. She found herself back in the same camp, but this time in a place designated for washing and cleansing, like a bathroom. People were going in and out of the building for washing. She turned into the building and washed thoroughly. When she finally came out, she felt pure, happy, and free.

Something, however, happened after. There was a thick heavy scent that filled the entire room where Eunice had been praying. It was so much that it woke her up. She started sniffing her husband, waking him up and asking him if he got perfume at work. At that same moment, the fragrance began to gather together in one place like a cloud of smoke and was gently exiting that room through the wall. She turned to her husband and said: “’ X’ Jesus has just visited us in this room”. Without any doubt, Eunice was ready for that assignment. She took the time to get herself fixed spiritually before trying to fix others. Testimonies backed up her ministration at that conference.

Friends, how about the present situations of many children and servants of God these days? It is not surprising when people wonder if God still moves and perform wonders today. Of course, God does. He still answers prayers and still saves from sins. God is still the mighty Man of war. He still delivers and sets free. If only men and women of God could create time to mend their ways, rebuild their altars, and reinforce their war room.

Fix the stain

There is no doubt that the “wilderness experience” is real in Christendom, and sometimes the children of God stray into it. Ministers also get tired and weary at some points. The splash of stains could get to them too and soil their radiant garments. Prophet Isaiah once cried out “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”. So, it is possible to get our hands soiled at one point or the other. This situation, however, becomes a problem when the beloved child & servant of God keep patching things up. “Dying but still pursuing” kind of David experience does not apply here. God, in all His revelations, frowns at sin and does not condone stain or defilement of any kind. He sees through every life. If the system of the world could be so developed to throw satellite into space and monitor some activities on earth, how much more the Power that holds the universe together. God cannot be bribed with religious activities regardless of how awesome they look. Once a stain is noticed or perceived, it is wise to pull back from any religious activity and set time apart to seek God, His righteousness, and His strength. Each time a man/woman of God humbles him/herself to restore and re-fire, miracles happen. It would never be difficult to feel God and the demonstration of His power amid such people.

God once opened the eyes of Zechariah in a vision to see Joshua a high priest standing before the Angel of God and Satan standing against him, resisting him. It was not difficult for the accuser of the brethren to do this because he could identify Joshua’s filthy garment (Zechariah 3). Sadly, it took a vision to bring this to light. God needed a reliable, diligent, and committed servant in whose hands He could commit a great assignment. He had found Joshua who was once a High priest before the exile, but for the filthy garment. How merciful is the God of heaven and earth Who is always willing to forgive iniquities and wash away stains. He commanded that Joshua’s filthy garment be taken off. God did not leave Joshua naked either but ordered that he be clothed with a changed garment. So, Satan lost, and mercy prevailed. However, God had a message still for Joshua that is worth ruminating over. Zechariah 3:7: “If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keeps my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by”.

Satan loses when we set time apart to look inward and stand before God, washing off the stain(s). The enemies back off when we operate in a transparent relationship with God. Conspiracy of hell is destroyed when we do not indulge in sins nor look for scriptures to justify the pollution and defilement. “Coat of many colors” like that of Joseph is unacceptable before the God of holiness in this context, but pure and stainless garment which signifies the righteousness of the saints.

This topic is not only about the ministers but every one that is mindful of heaven. Every child of God is a priest in a way and in his world. Stains and filth hinder the move of God. When we sincerely give the stains to God, He purges us and blesses us as well. It is dangerous hiding stains or masking them up with white paint. The accuser of the brethren is also watching.

Have you noticed any stain in your garment? How long have you been managing those secret sins? What do you do with your stain(s)? There is forgiveness with God when we sincerely and humbly fight off the stains instead of finding excuses for them. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” Psalm 51:17 (KJV).


“Be ye holy for I am holy” says God.

Akinloye, O. Margaret