Monday, December 11, 2006

More from Send off


Emma Teye to stand in the Gap


Send Off for Rev Dele Kolade, 9th Dec 2006


Friday, December 01, 2006

From Lepers to Helpers

GLOBAL DELIVERANCE TEAM (GLODET) P.O.BOX 1215, OYO TOWN NIGERIA. TEL: 2348038565127 OR 2348059426557.
E-Mail – kolade2002@yahoo.com
Website – http://www.delekolade.blogspot.com/
http://www.glodetmission.blogspot.com/


FROM LEPERS TO HELPERS
(Written by Rev Dele Kolade)
How can a horrible terrible negative situation be turned around to become positive and admirable one? What are some of the divine principles to turn our negative situation around for the best? We shall textually explore 11Kgs 6 and 7 to identify the timeless radical revolutionary ideas that will help us unlock the hidden virtues and potential in us which can accelerate our breakthrough, and catapult us to the level God wants us to attain. We shall take a retrospective excursion to (Samaria) the capital of Israel in the days of Elisha the prophet and see how the power of God can turn negative situation to positive one. Come along –

The Shakings are for your Makings – One of the problems we have is getting the right definition of our situation, understanding what we are passing through. Sometimes we wrongly conclude that every negative situation we go through are meant for our destruction, but the truth of the matter is that some shakings are for our makings. Jesus’ comment on the man who was born blind, that his situation was meant to glorify God was not only a misnomer but also a big challenge to the popular worldview of his day. Jesus is by this comment is bringing a new perspective to the way we see situations and interpret events. Some seemingly negative situations are meant to accelerate our progress. Some of the challenges you are going through rather position you well to receive the supernatural touch of God. Your current problem makes you the right specimen for miracle. Lets get down to Samaria to x-ray the situation and the intervention.

Besieged but not Deceased – Samaria was besieged by the Syrian army, the resources from the outside seized, and the movement of the people curtailed. The intention of the enemy was not only to limit the people but to also psychologically suffocate them and reduce them to less than nothing. The Samaritans were surrounded but they never surrendered. One good thing about problem is that it help bring out all that is in you. Sometimes when you are confined you are better defined and refined. You can not know all you are capable of doing until you are squeezed beyond your limit. Hunger and sufferings in Samaria revealed the cannibalism in some people, some mothers, in other to survive went as far as eating their own babies. It is problem that can separate disciples from the multitude. Values and morals are better revealed in problem situations.

Why this and why me? – In the midst of problems, actions are taken and questions are asked. The questions of why? become very prominent as people try to understand what is going on with them. One important thing about the Samaria situation is the fact that the problem was not linked to any particular sin of Israel. It was not that they sinned against the Lord that they were besieged. The question of sin is out. There are things you go through that are not as a result of some sins committed. It is good that we ask questions in our problem situation but it is better we wait for divine answers to those questions also.

Intervention by Information – If there will be a release there must first be a decree. Right information is a prelude to transformation. The first verse of the chapter seven introduces a radical transition by an authoritative declaration of the prophet. “Thus says the Lord” is the key to unlocking the transition and the transformation. It doesn’t matter what others says, including your reasoning, what matters most is what the Lord says. What you are saying, what friends are sayings, what doctors and scientists are saying are only hypothesis, its only God who have the final say. What God says will surely stand, and no one can decrease what God decrees. We shall believe the report of the Lord and not the comments of men, for God watches over His words to fulfill them even to the punctuations. Divine submissions may sometimes not fit well into your human “logarithm” of doing things, it can simply blow up your mind. The unnamed senior minister of Samaria who disbelieved was cut off the provision of God because he ignorantly underestimated the divine ability. You can not figure out what God can do or limit Him based on your human understanding. He works beyond the locus of human reason.

Tomorrow by this Time – No matter the situation, if you are by God’s side, there will surely be a dawn of a new era, a new beginning and a turn of the tide. There will be a sanction from heaven, that your sorrow must end with an immediate effect. God gave a 24hour ultimatum to the Samaria’s sorrow, and that settled it. Be rest assured, no matter how humanly absurd it may sound, God will not start a thing He has not finished. What is written in His word is settled and finished already, it is only left for you to proclaim and claim the provisions in His word. God is not limited by time or by space, but because we live in time and space, He has married His purpose with His time. To experience God, you must know Him, know His purpose, and understand His timing. You need to wait for Him for he will not tarry. Hasting brings wasting, but those who know their God will patiently wait on Him for He makes everything beautiful in His time.

Lepers by the Gate – One of the things we do when we encounter difficulties is to compare and complain. We are tempted to think that we are going through the most difficult situation in the world, but the truth of the matter is that we are not alone, there are people with bigger trouble than we have. We have a lot to discover and learn from the situation and action of these 4 lepers by the gate of Samaria. There are some key things we must discover from the lepers before we can recover the divine supplies for us. Lets examine them succinctly –
Ø Their Situation – We must first note that the lepers seem to be the most disadvantaged. They couldn’t stay in the city because they are socially unfit to even stay inside the besieged city. Their problem seem to appear in the capital letters. They are outcast, voiceless, and in human terms most hopeless.
Ø Their Location – The issue of location is of a great importance when it comes to receiving your divine allocation. Transition, and transformation are relevantly related to locations. In human terms, the lepers were in a more dangerous location, giving the fact that they were not within the security of the wall of the city. In reality, although they stand the danger of many things, they were closer to the blessings than those within the walled city. Strangely enough, the first hard lesson we have to learn here is that most of the things that keep us from God’s touch are things that we rather think secure us from danger. We are not yet ready for the divine move until we are ready to let go our “self”, “shell” and “wall”. The confines must be removed to enjoy the divine. There is nothing more limiting than the self made wall we have constructed around our own selves. The threat of the enemies without is not as powerful as the wall we build around ourselves. Deliverance from self is more challenging than deliverance from demons. What you seriously need to urgently discover as an individual is the self made wall you have made around yourself. It may be an ideology or an habit that God will first want you released from.
Ø Their question – The lepers engaged themselves in self interrogative conversation. They questioned themselves, their actions and values. The popular saying that an unevaluated life is not worth living is a strong assertion. You need to ask yourself questions about your values, position and actions. Sameness is a cancer that must be eradicated for progress to commence. Some of the problems we have are problems of the mind and perception. Some of us need a complete overhauling of our worldview, mindset and perception. Why do we do what we do? Why are my not getting results? Instead of asking ourselves questions we are comfortable with shifting blame of our failure on others. Any time there is a problem we tend to immediately look without instead of first looking within. The lepers did well in that they were frank to challenge themselves instead of blaming others for their woes. Their question was not about the city that is closed against them, or the army ahead of them but rather about their own action and position. You are your own biggest enemy, and not until you conquer yourself, you will not be able to move forward.
Ø Their Options – Every day we make choices, and it is these choices we daily make that determines the direction and situation of our lives. The fact still remain that you choose what you become. Even when the beginning is rough, you can maintain the roughness or change the tide with your choices. You can choose to be a looser or choose to be a champion. The lepers had three options, to go back and force their way into the city and die of famine, to sit still and still die or to move on and either be killed by the Syrian army or be spared by them. Usually, in most situations, we are faced with similar options, to move on, go back or do nothing. It will interest you that indecision is also a decision, it means you have chosen to sit still. When you withdraw into yourself the meaning is that you have gone back into the city where you stand the danger of being killed by famine. Some people, when the fall, they make their falling ground to become their burial ground, they throw up their hands and easily give up any attempt to get up and get going. Life is about challenges, options and choices and it is your decision that determines your direction and condition in life.
Ø Their action – We sometimes fail not because of lack of dream or vision but because of lack of action. It is not enough to wish or dream, it is necessary we take action when required. Large number of people are still where they are because they are living in the dream land and busy planning to be and to do without actually reaching out to work out their dreams. Procrastination is a liability that disguises as an asset. It has been described as a thief of time but it is also a destroyer of vision and aspiration. It is a waster that must be fought with all whim. The lepers were not just day dreaming, but in a twilight, they really got up and practically went forward. There is an action the Lord want you to take now and you must discover it NOW!
Ø Their assumption was an Illusion – Do you know that most of what we are afraid of, in reality don’t even exist. What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of being afraid or trying out a new thing? Do you know that those who are afraid of death are not qualified to live? What is stopping you from reaching forth is not in existence, it is a fiction and figment of mere imagination. The reason why you don’t know it does not exist is simply because you have not yet taken a step forward. Your fear will fizzle out as you reach out of your cocoon. Hear this, “And when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria , behold there was no man there”. What a great discovery to the lepers! Your fear do not exist, that is the reality, but it will take a walk of faith forward to discover this. You can not know until you move.
Ø The ally’s Intervention – It is most soothing to know at the time you feel most lonely that afterwards you are not alone. Before you set off the Lord has set in already. In this journey of life, you must know that you are not alone. There is a power beyond you that is around you to both protect and fulfill you. The Lepers were not alone, for the Lord had already fixed the problem before they reached the camp. What was the arrangement here? God made the Syrian go round, gather a lot of resources from nations around, and dump them at Israel’s door. When God sets into a negative situation, He turns it around for our positive promotion.
Ø The Lepers’ Propagation – It is not enough to be blessed by God, the blessing must make you go beyond yourself. Life is what you can give and not just what you can grasp. You must be able to impact others with what you are given by the Lord. Have you ever thought of what you can also share that you are not sharing? You must proclaim what you have discovered, recovered and acquired for the benefit of the whole humanity. Not until you begin to proclaim and impact others you have not yet attained.

STRATEGIC DISCOVERY PRAYERS
Based on what you have learnt so far from the passage, navigate in prayers to appropriate divine touch and blessings in the following prayer points –
ü Lord help me understand who I am and what I am going through currently.
ü Help me see the positives in my negatives
ü Speak into my situation oh Lord!
ü Bring an end to my pain and sorrow.
ü Help me oh Lord to make right decision that will accelerate my breakthrough.
ü Let all set backs of my life become setup for my greater breakthrough.
ü Take me beyond myself and make me positively relevant to others.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rev Dele at the Warfare Prayer Campaign Nov 2006

Baptismal Pictures Cont.



Newly Baptised Members in Group Picture.


These people were baptised by Rev Dele on the 19th Nov 2006.

Section of Kids in Picture



Kids happy before the throne of Grace. Maame Yaa Darko, Vicentia Teye and Jennifer
Moore joyfully posing before camera.

Rev Dele Preaching at Church.

Rev Dele preaching with passion and power. Interpretation by Bro Darko

The Church in Pictures

A section of worshiper at the permanent site of the Church at Asukwao akosombo.

Rev Dele Baptising New Members from Akosombo And Kadjayan.

This is on the Volta Lake, new members are Baptised by Rev Dele.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Role of the Church in African Economic Emancipation

AFRICAN ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION; THE WAY FORWARD AND THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH
In this paper an attempt will be made at evaluating the current economic state and situation of the Africa continent, the current structural adjustment economic policies, the international community involvement and the role of the church today in solving the economic problem of Africa. A strategic approach will also be made at evolving pragmatic solutions to the many problems identified. The place of the church in the economic emancipation of Africa will also be carved and a new theologically sound approach to holistic ministry and total empowerment of the people established.
AN OVERVIEW
African continent is a unique continent endowed with many resources and at a very strategic place in the global geography potentially suited for global economical leadership. Despite the many potentials of Africa, the continent continues to crawl at the bottom of the ladder of global economy and also continue to rely on the mercy of the left over from other countries not potentially naturally resourced like her. The multifaceted woes of Africa seem too stubborn for the various economic reforms experimented on her from various quarters. In solving Africa problem Africa approach must be adopted and a holistic examination of the problem must first be undertaken. The hydra headed nature of Africa woes is below identified as observed by this writer.

HISTORICAL ANTECEDENCE
The situation of Africa today can be understood better from the history of global civilization. Africa is part of the global historical evolution that has transformed many nations and people across the globe. It will therefore take an independent and critically objective mind to be able to analyze and understand the reasons why Africa who were at the forefront of the global civilization is still lagging behind the civilization which she one time spearheaded. Is there anything of relevance in the African past and global history in general that can serve as clue to the Africa many economic woes today? Is there any problem with the way African read their history? Where is the historical disconnection between Africa and the developed world? Can there be a reconnection today, and can African reassert her position in the process of global civilization?
Africa must be able to learn from her past if any meaningful development will be achieved. Africa seem detached from her historical past and root and this is the principal reason for her economical woes and theological humiliation. The economies that are growing today are all economies attached to the root of the people. A practical example of a flourishing economy is the Asia economy. Asia economy is growing not just because it is operating an open market economy alone but also strongly because of its social-historical consciousness of its identity. Africa economy is an amoebic economy because our pursuit of the economic reforms is detached from the social- historical identity of the African people. We have failed to unpack the good universal economic principle in African terms to fit into the Africa socio-cultural situation. We need a forum for a true Africa economic identity that will take cognizance of the Africa unique socio-historical background. There must be a continuous dialogue with our historical past.
African has read history from without instead from within. We have something in common with the Latin American because we both read history from without instead of from within. Of late an attempt is being made to re write African historical past just as the Latin America is also advocating for the re-writing of their history. We have not recognized for a long time that not only was our continent colonized but also was the deliberate and well-calculated attempt at colonization of our history and identity as a people. People from outside the Africa continent undertook most African historical projects. Till today our educational system continue to reflect our colonial masters’ mentality and cultural identity. Unfortunately we still continue to learn in foreign languages while our mother tongues continue to be relegated. There is no way you can use somebody’s language without using his philosophy. Most teachers who are teaching today learnt more of America and European geography and history better than the Africa history and geography. Of what relevance is glacier formation to someone from Sahara Africa who was taught little or nothing about deforestation and a forestation? The colonial masters of Africa did everything to completely detach Africa from her root. Social-cultural-historical colonization to me is worse than the depletion of our natural resources and slavery by the colonial masters. The impact of our detachment from our historical root on our identity and economy is far more than any other impact emanating from colonization. The problem of neo-colonialism persists till today because of the above-mentioned factors.
Apart from the fact that we read our history with colonial goggle we also tend to read it with a lot of sentiments and as a result we are not able to make objective and balanced assessment of our past. We have over concentrated on blaming only the outsiders for all our failure without carefully reflecting on our own many short fallings, which even contributed to our being exploited by the outsiders. It will be epistemologically fraudulent to deny the fact that there are internal factors in our history that have contributed to our failure as a people. Unless we come to term with our own failures we will not be able to significantly forge ahead in solving our many problems.

AFRICAN SECRECY AND METAPHYSICS
Africa is blessed with a very rich cultural heritage unequal in the overall global cultural theater. Africa sees life in its holistic form compared with the western defragmented concept of life. Philosophically speaking, Africa concept of life, which recognizes the place of metaphysics, makes Africa’s epistemology more holistic than the western ideology of truncated epistemology, which limits realities only within the confines of rationalism. African’s recognition of the supernatural realities is a plus to her way of thinking and observing.
It also worth noting, that this positive supernatural dimension to realities, in some other ways negatively affected Africa people, and contributed to her slow pace of civilization. Africa cannot be denied her place in the history of global civilization. There are scientific historical evidences proofing the fact that Africa was at the forefront of civilization. That the Greek civilization is traceable to Egypt is an undeniable fact. Africa failure to open up her many technological inventions robbed her of her position in the history of global civilization. African science and technology was shrouded in metaphysical secrecy to prevent the larger society from abusing the many inventions. The spiritual authority doubled as the main custodian of the Africa wisdom and science and will not allow those outside of the cult to have access to the secret of the many discoveries. This to a very large extent is true of Egyptian civilization. Many aspects of our culture still need to be demystified to allow the new generation see the scientific rational behind many of our beliefs and practices. There are many of our taboos that have hygienic, scientific and environmental basis but which are only coded in metaphysical secrecy. Some of these taboos would have appealed to more people if explained scientifically. How true is the belief that the beating of drums disturbs the gods during the Ga Homowo festival? Is it however wrong for the society to set apart certain period of the year for solitude and reflection? How true is the belief that the gods will be annoyed with the fisherman who goes fishing on Tuesday in Ga-Adangme area of Ghana? Is it however wrong for the society to regulate how the natural resources are used and also promote the culture of rest? Our ability to ask question is a major pre-requisite to learning and discovering more. We need to ask serious question regarding our culture and practices that is the only way we can progress. We need not be afraid of question; it only helps in strengthening our position. The new generation of African is so detach from their root that they will need to be re introduced to their culture. As a result of the metaphysical mask around most of our cultural practices, the culture is becoming non- attractive to the new generation African. It is high time we engage the new generation in meaningful dialogue with the culture in order to help them own it. The only way to ensure our culture does not go into oblivion is to make it relevant to today’s situation and help the new generation proudly own it. No culture can be kept absolutely in its original form because society is not static but dynamic. Our culture must be allowed to engage with other cultures and by so doing undergo positive reformation without necessarily losing the original identity.
The intuitive and celebrative aspect of Africa culture is something very unique with us, and a good starting point to promote our culture even beyond our borders. The secrecy associated with many of our cultural beliefs should be discarded and the culture should be presented to the new generation in a more appealing manner. Our culture can become more attractive and creative if it is allowed to engage in interaction and conversation with other cultures. The aim of the cultural inquiry and cross-cultural conversation should be to seek a clearer and deeper understanding of a particular culture in relation to the rest of the world and quality of human life. If African culture is rightly packaged, it will not only become more acceptable to the new generation African but can also be exported globally.

AFRICAN “TRICKLE DOWN” ECONOMIC POLICY
The signal of economic woes is more visible in the economic path most African nations are charting. One great area African government should look at in solving African economic woes is that of the kind of economic policies they are adopting. There must be a radical departure from the traditional trickle down economy we are currently operating to a bubble up economic system. The trickle down economy is driven by the public sector whereas the bubble up economy is driven by the private sector. It is scientifically proven today that economy driven by the public sector do not perform relatively well and do not chalk any great or significant success. As trickle down economy keeps going down the bubble up economy keeps growing up. Unfortunately in Africa most nations operate the trickle down economy where more than 60% of the work force is employed by the government. Money flows down mainly from the top {government} to the down instead of the capital being generated from the grass root through the private sector development strategy to the top. The government has never being a good businessperson. Most economic waste is traceable to the inefficient public sector, bulk of which must be radically absorbed by a new efficient emerging private sector. Not until Africa is ready to depart from the trickle down economy we cannot really overcome our economic woes. Asian economy is a good example of an economy being driven by strong private sector initiative. Our private sector initiative is largely paper work, and it is now high time we rise up to the task of significantly developing our private sector. In a functional private sector driven economy, more than 65% of the national workforce should be engaged by the private sector while not more than 30% should be engaged by the public sector. The role of the government should be strictly providing for the private sector, the enabling environment to profitably do business. This radical economic reform policy is a pre-requisite to the African economic breakthrough.






THE CHURCH; A CATALYST OF ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION

This aspect of the paper is the most critical dimension to the discussion on the emancipation of the African community from economic woes we are faced with .A radical attempt will be made at looking at the unfortunate ways through which the Church has contributed to the economic woes of the African people and the theologically sound ways of the Church reversing the negative trend. We must be bold as people of God to admit our mistakes and shift our paradigm if necessary. In as much as we can not brush over the many ways the Church has contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the African continent in terms of poverty alleviation and especially man power development and health we must also look at how we have falter in some other respects.
EARLY MISSIONS - The early missions must be commended for their immense contribution to the economic growth of Africa. The Church was instrumental in opening up Africa to Western education and by so doing helped in the manpower development of the African continent. The involvement of the mission in the health care delivery in Africa contributed also to the well being and being well of the African people. The church was actively involved in the improvement of the socio-economic condition of many African folk. We must say kudos to the early Christian leaders, who spearheaded the call or campaign for justice for the oppressed and the marginalized in the society. The Church was indeed the prophetic voice for those hurting and the voiceless. It must however be noted that the curriculum of the educational program of the early missions was not holistic enough to bring about a true African educational system. The limitation of this inherited educational system is still part of the African problem today.
AFRICAN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIANS - I must also give credit to the many African Christian scholars who championed the course of setting the record straight regarding the misconception that the concept of God or the divine being is foreign to Africa. The sociological impact of the African Christian Theology had significant positive effects not only on the spiritual emancipation of the African people but also on the economic emancipation. Right self-conception and identity are all needed for lasting economic breakthrough. It is also necessary to note that despite the great strides of the African Christian Scholars on the issue of identity they fail to significantly talk directly on the way Africa can concretely embark on or experience real economic emancipation. We have written severally on the issue of identity and fail to seriously talk about economic problem of Africa. It is high time we learn some good things from the Latin America’s Theology of economic emancipation. We must be prepared as African people to dialogue and be practically and actively involved in solving African many economic woes. The issue of struggling for theological identity is becoming less relevant in the face of the new trends in the global economy and the current place of Africa within the emerging new economic order. As far as the issue of theological identity is concern we have done creditably well, the new focus should be how the church can lead in the crusade for African economic liberation. The voice of the church is not well heard on contemporary issues relating to socio-economic situation of Africa. We have not done enough in practically and concretely relating our theology with real issues affecting our continent. The theology that fails to also deal with economic, environmental, political and social situations is not a balanced theology. As part of the spiritual direction the church is giving, her voice must also be clearly heard on issues like, bad governance, environmental degradation and pollution, indiscipline in the society, street children problem, HIV/AIDS pandemic etc.

FAITH OR FRAUD - The new development in the Christian world today is embarrassingly disturbing especially on the new wave of Faith, Prophetic and Prosperity movement. Most of the self styled prosperity preachers claim they are sent by God to make people rich but ironically they are parading themselves only around the urban centers where most people are relatively economically better and are hardly seen in the really poor rural communities where their “anointing” would have been more useful. These ministers that are carrying special anointing to make people rich rather strangely target the rich and always avoid the poor rural folks. Many of these ministers are fake pastors capitalizing on people’s ignorance and gullibility to rather enrich themselves and adding to the economic woes of the people. These churches do not have any practical programs of helping the poor in their midst and the communities where they minister to overcome their economic woes. Prosperity is undoubtedly a cardinal theological theme of the gospel but it is not through fraudulent means as it is seen today. Prosperity that is built on the wrong application of the “principle of sowing and reaping” interpreted to imply sowing into the gospel to help maintain a flamboyant living of some self seeking “Bishops” called papa who at the expense of the members are building mansions and buying fleet of cars all in the name of Christ who left all to reach the poor can best be describe as doctrines of demons. This new age antichrists are using priestcrafting and “baptized church lotto” to dupe unsuspecting and gullible members who are also not seriously interested in building real personal relationship with God but are looking for easy short cut avenue to becoming rich. The other menace becoming increasingly popular is the “prophetic prayer” times diabolically fixed around the most productive time for meaningful economical activities. Some untutored “prophets” engage people in prayer session’s morning till evening throughout the week all in the name of seeking for breakthroughs. The idle hands can never be blessed, prayer only work where people respect the principle of diligence and dignity of labor. Those blessed in the Bible were those who took their work very serious and at the same time in a balanced manner believed that God alone can bless the labor of their hands and not the idleness of their hands. To spend all your productive time only in prayers for economic miracle is only to increase your own poverty. Our practices must be in tandem with the truth of the word of God. There is a need to come out with true and balanced theological approach to deal with the socio-economic problems of African people. A theology that only sensitize the people to be craving for wealth will surely produce greedy church people whose true god is mammon. What examples are the African Christian leaders giving their congregation? What message are we preaching? Are the leaders themselves accountable? Are we really practically ministering to the poor in the church talk less of those outside? I seriously sense an urgent need for Revival of Fire in the church today. This current dispensation will give way to a refined dispensation of Berea- like church .

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bible Study on Nehemiah's Mission

STUDY ON NEHEMIAH DESIGNED FOR AKOSOMBO FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
(Written by Rev Dele Kolade)

AN INTRODUCTION

The book of Nehemiah is a master piece autobiographical narrative and a good example of a community life built around common goal, mobilized behind an eculion task, led by a character resourced with people’s skill. At the time, Israel was under the Persian Empire. The historical dating of the events in this book is pegged around 445-432 BCE. The narrative is all about Nehemiah marshalling the community towards rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the socio-religious reform, and the repopulation of the city. These events are complemented by the account of EZRA. In 445 BCE,Artaxerxes 1 authorized Nehemiah to super intend the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall, a task completed within 52 days. The material we are about to study is about is about the community strategies employed by Nehemiah which led to the completion of this great project within 52 days amidst intimidations from enemies and socio-religious challenges from within the community itself.

THE BIRTH OF A VISION (NEH. 1:1-3) PART ONE

It takes a soul ignited by God’s fire to initiate divinely ordained spiritual awakening resulting in accomplishment of God’s intent. The scripture in view today is the beginning of God’s more over an individual the “conflagration” of which positively affected the entire Judean community.

The phrase, “the words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachalian” (Vs 1), Is a testimony to the historicity of the book and a formula suggesting its an autobiographical narrative. The name “Nehemiah” means “God has comforted” looking at the nature of the events in the book, can there be any connection between the name of the principal character and the events in the book?

Nehemiah was employed in the Persian court as a cupbearer (ref. Vs 11).
How relevant is Nehemiah’s Job background to his new divine appointment? How can Christians utilize their secular influence in promoting the work of God?

HANANI’S MISSION (VS 2-3) – Hanani a brother of Nehemiah and his associates’ report to Nehemiah was the very beginning of the great change about to take pace in Jerusalem. What lessons can we as Christians learn from the way Hanani communicated with Nehemiah?

The report was a sorry case of the people (remnant) of Judah who returned from exile and the once glorious Jerusalem now in ruin. What 4 problems were mentioned in verse 3? What are some of the problems we can also identify in the church today?

THE BIRTH OF A VISION (1:4 – 11) PART TWO

Our reactions to divine instruction revelations and promptings usually demonstrate what actions we will probably take. Our aliveness to the things of God is always demonstrated in our reactions to the divine promptings. Nehemiah’s reaction after hearing the “bad report” tells a lot about his relationship with God even before Hanani and his associates came to Susan. Vision thrives only in a heart that is alive in Christ.
What 4 reactions of Nehemiah are mentioned in verse 4? What do they communicate about him?

Vs 5-11 give a summary of the petitive and intercessory prayers of Nehemiah, the contents of which finds parallels in some other prayers in the Bible. These interesting parallels may be attestation to Nehemiah’s closeness with the scriptures of religious tradition of his people. Check up the following parallels:
Þ Neh 1:56 vs Deut 7:9, Dan 9:4, 1kings 8:23
Þ Neh. 1:5a vs Deut 7:21
Þ Neh 1:6 vs 1Kg 8:28-29, 8:52, 2Chro. 6:40, 7:15, Ps.130:2
Þ Neh 1:7 vs Deut 5:31, Deut 34:5
Þ Neh 1:8 vs Deut 4:27, Deut 28:64
Þ Neh 1:9 vs Deut 12:5, Deut 12:11, Deut 30:14
Þ Neh 1:10 vs Ex 32:11, 1Chron 17:21, Deut 9:29

What significance does the epithet “God of heaven” have in relation to Nehemiah’s situation and location at the time of the prayer? There is a great relevance in Nehemiah reiterating the universality of God at the time of his prayer. (vs 5)

What does the phrase “day and night” indicate about the prayer life of Nehemiah, what lessons can we learn from his piety? Vs 6a

What can we deduce from the “solidarity and representational confessions in his prayer? Vs 6-7.

In our prayer today, how we appropriate the theology of “reminding God of His promises? Vs 8-9

There is a strong indication in verse 11 that other faithful Jews were busy praying for divine intervention. The sovereignty of God is further entrenched in Nehemiah’s appeal to God grant him favor before the king. Do we also recognize God’s sovereignty over our earthly leaders?

THE LEGAL BACKING (2:1-10)

Many a time favor and break through around may be an indication of divine sanction to a project or a decision. When God gives a vision He backs kit with provision. It is necessary for every visionary to pray in favor with men and resources to accomplish the vision. Before you set out to seek for help from men, pray for divine openings and favor first. Four months after learning about Jerusalem’s sorry condition, Nehemiah found an opportunity to request help from the emperor (Nisan is around March – April)

What does the context indicated in verse 1 tell of Nehemiah’s previous nature ad attitude? What as Christian workers can we learn about our attitude to work from this picture?

Vs 2. As leaders in various capacities, we must appreciate the emperor’s ability to right discern Nehemiah’s condition and him further question. Do we also study people’s countenance? Do we investigate interrogate or intimidate people who look (negatively) different from how we used to know them?

Vs 3. Is there any relationship between importances attached by Nehemiah to the burial place of his ancestors?

The king’s open ended question of what do you want is a clear sign of divine breakthrough. As a leader, are you also interested in the interest of your subordinates? That Nehemiah again resorted to God before responding to the king’s question again re-emphasized his intimacy with God and the fact that he always consulted God on every issue of his life. (Vs 4)

Nehemiah was very specific in his response and request (vs 5). One of the reasons why we don’t get what we want (either from people or God) is because we are not specific in our demands or requests.

Part of planning is timing. It is essential to set our projections around specific time frame. The king wanted to know when Nehemiah will finish the task of rebuilding Jerusalem What do you suggest necessitated this question from the king?( Vs 6 )

Vs 7-9 shows Nehemiah’s request for approval document and other resources that can help him fulfill his task. How do you think we should also request for things we need to fulfill our God’s given vision?

INSPECTION FOR PROJECTION (2:11-20)

Most visions, missions and projects are unfulfilled today because of initial lack of proper evaluation and planning. In today’s passage, Nehemiah demonstrates a very important leadership and visionary skill that we should all understand and emulate. Whenever we fail to plan and plan well then we are simply planning to woefully fail. Nehemiah is not only a good strategist but also a good communicator. How do we go about evaluation and communication of our vision? 2:11-20

FIELD OR OFFICE? (VS11) Many a time we are detached from reality because we are not at the real point or place of action. The “location” of our evaluation is important because where we are determines how we see what we see. We are plan from wrong places or wrong people our panning becomes non-effective. Nehemiah came down to where the actual problems are to have a better personal view and assessment of the matter. How should the church emulate Nehemiah in this regard?

TIME FOR PLANNING.(VS11-16)
Nehemiah demonstrated not only great planning skills but put planning in it right place. He never rushed into action but concentrated his efforts first in understanding by him the situation on the ground. He spent the first 3 days only inspecting the damage or the severity of the situation.
Why do you think Nehemiah went on inspection in the night? How do we apply this action in our planning today?
Why should Nehemiah go with only few people to inspect the damage?

MOTIVATION & MOBILIZATION (VS 17-20)
Many visionaries fail today not for lack of vision but for lack of necessary communication skill to mobilize people to work. Nehemiah knew how to arrest people’s attention and help them own the vision and the project. The sense of ownership in necessary in mobilizing people around a project

What are some of the communication skills Nehemiah employed in his address to the people?

Of what importance is his reference to the divine approval in vs 18a?

THE WORK FORCE (3:1-32)
Genuine leaders don’t act alone but they connect with others. Nehemiah knew how to connect with others and how to mobilize others to work. Pastoring is not the same as doing ministry all alone but developing people to do ministry. The picture in this passage is about a strategic division of labor by employed by Nehemiah to accomplish the big task by sharing it among the people. This can be described as using cells to handle task. What can we learn from this passage?
i. It gives a clear picture of the topography of Jerusalem
ii. It re-echoes the importance of record keeping
iii. It gives impressive evidence of Nehemiah’s organizational and administrative skill
iv. It shows widespread support for the wall building project.


Of what importance is the involvement of Eliashib and his priestly crew in the building project? Does Eliashib heading the list of the workers tell you something about the pastorate position in God’s kingdom business?

What does the apparent omission of Nehemiah’s name from the list of the workers suggest?





HANDLING OPPOSITIONS (4:1-23)

Our ability to rightly handle opposition is a major pre requisite to fulfillment of our vision and aspiration in life. That you have opposition is a clear sign that you have a strong position. Nehemiah was surrounded by opposition from every side-Sanballant from the north, the Arabs, under the influence of Geshem to the south; the Ammorites to the east and the Ashdodites to the west. Apart from these external oppositions were also internal traitors. It must be said that oppositions to Nehemiah’s vision began right away from the very beginning of his mission. Let us study how he handled his much opposition

The oppositions from the very onset were not happy with Nehemiah mission. What do you think is the reason for there grieve in 2:10?

What do you suggest caused the increase in the number of opposition in 2:19?

The people were mocked and indicted against the emperor’s authority.
What do you think the motives of the enemies were?
In 2:20 Nehemiah decided to answer the enemies. Why do you think Nehemiah should do that?

When Sanballat heard of the commencement of the building project he became greatly incensed. Why do you think he should feel this way? (4:1)

Sanballat raised 5 sarcastic questions aimed at derailing the workers. How do you analyses these questions and what could their effect had been?

· What are those feeble Jews doing?
· Will they fortify themselves or restore their wall?
· Will they offer sacrifices or expect a miracle to aid them in the project?
· Will they finish in a day or in record time?
· Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-burned as they are? Tobiah also rained verbal attack on the Jews’ workmanship and the quality of their building materials. He suggested that if a nimble fox jump on their wall it would knock it over.

Nehemiah response was also verbal but not directed directly at the enemies but an imprecatory prayer addressed to God (4:4-5)

Strategically, Nehemiah translated oppositions’ insult into catalyst for greater action. Vs 6. What can we learn from this response? What major factor is identified in this verse making the work possible?

· Vs 7-8 present a sudden change in enemies’ tactics of attack. Now, the 4 major enemies blocks came together to plan a major physical attack.
· What were the responses of Jews to the new plan of the enemies? Vs.9
· Does the addiction of watching with prayer tell you of anything? Vs 9
· What were some of the negative effects of this new development (plan of the enemies) on the Jews and the work? Vs 10-12

A new strategy for the project was developed by Nehemiah; “watching and working”. What do you think can be the dangers if the principle of combining watching with working is not practiced? Vs 17-18. What are some of the practical examples of non-application or misapplication of this principle in the Christian life today? How do we prevent and or redress these anomalies in our lives?
v How do you see Nehemiah speech of vs 14?

v What does the sounding of the trumpet represent? Vs 20.

v Why was the trumpeter needed vs 19

v Why do you think the trumpeter should be near Nehemiah? What does this imply in ministry?

v What does vs 23 connote?

SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES (5:1-19)
It was not only the threat of the external enemies that raised its head against the work but also the multifaceted internal socio-economic challenges. At time we over concentrate on the external threats and we loose sight of the many internal challenges. In this passage, certain internal challenges were recognized and consequently tackled to ease the internal frictions there were developing among the people.

The first group of the complainers were probably landless poor formers who were forced to pledge the labor of their sons and daughters in exchange for essential food stuffs. How do we relate this to our contemporary child labor and abuse saga? Vs 1-2

The second group of debtors complained that they have had to pledge fields, vineyard and houses in order to get grain. (Vs 3). How do you understand their desperation for survival in term of our attitude towards possessions?

The third group of debtors has had to borrow silver in order to pay the Persian royal tax, again using their fields and vineyards as collateral (vs 4).
The unfortunate thing is that the creators who were foreclosing on loans to all three groups were members of the Jewish community. Is there any
relation in this situation with the African economic woes?


NEHEMIAH’S RESPONSE (6-13)
How good will it be if all leaders will spontaneously respond to the cry of the oppressed and the marginalized in the society just as Nehemiah did. Reflect on the following actions of Nehemiah in resolving the issue and see how these actions can be applied today in conflict resolution.

§ He boldly confronted the upper class and expressed his displeasure at their exploitation on their brethrens vs 6-7.
§ Soberly reflected on the issue .Vs 7a
§ He convened a public assembly o deal with the brutal creditors. Vs 7b
§ The response was a great repentance and restitution. Vs 12-13

Read through vs 14-19 and careful dilate on the practical example of Nehemiah in helping the less privilege and sacrificially serving God and his nation. What can leaders learn from this selfless service?

COU TERACTING ANTAGONISM (6:1-19)
Nehemiah, in this portion of the book demonstrated wisdom and prudence in dealing with the multi-dimensional antagonism besetting him and invariably his noble vision of re-fortifying and re-populating Jerusalem. It is interesting to see the many nature of the antagonism, the tactics employed and the many people involved in the various plots.

What can you probably attribute the sudden soft tone of the enemies words in vs 2 to? Can it be connected to the incredible progress chalked as started in vs 1?

Sunballat and Geshem wanted to meet with Nehemiah at Ono, 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem and for that matter one of the most remote parts of the province.

Is there anything we can learn from the courteous but candid response of Nehemiah to the request for a meeting with the enemies of Ono? Vs 3

Vs 4 why should the same message (which was already rejected) sent again 4 more time?
Nehemiah was very consistent in giving the same response. What can we learn from this consistency as Christians?

Vs 5-7 presents a change in enemies’ attack tactics. An opened letter was reportedly sent to Nehemiah accusing him of rebelling against Persian Empire. Why do you think the letter was left unsealed? If Sanballat really thought Nehemiah was traitorous, why would he want to meet with him? Nehemiah responded by refuting the allegations and praying for more divine support.

FALSE PROPHECIES (vs 10-14) Nehemiah has to contend with false prophecies from Shemaia (10) and Noadiah(vs 14)
§ How do you see Shemiaiah prophecy of fear in relation to some of our contemporary so called “prophets”?
§ What do you think is wrong with Nehemiah going into the temple’s innermost (vs 10, 13)
§ What would have been the negative consequences of Nehemiah listening to these false prophecies according to vs 13?

Vs 14 suggest very strongly that Tobiah had many political and religious supporters from inside Jerusalem.

Written By
Rev Dele Kolade
(Pastor in charge)

Akosombo First Baptist Church,Retrospect and Prospect

AKOSOMBO FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, RETROSPECT AND PROSPECTS

INTRODUCTION
This is an attempt to present the situational report of the above named church from the time of inception till date. This, is however not an exhaustive history of the church but an evaluation of the trend of the development of the church, and an informed realistic projections into the future. This has become necessary given the fact that I am “phasing out” of the direct ministry of the church. This document will therefore be of immense benefit to whosoever will be taking over from me, and also to the Grace Baptist Church Sakumono (the mother church). This, I must say can therefore be regarded as the foundational historical document of the First Baptist Church Akosombo.

IN THE BEGINNING
The situational report of the church cannot be clearly understood unless the church is looked at from her very beginning. The history of how the church began will inform the understanding of her current situation.
The move to start a Convention Baptist Church at Akosombo dated back to the 80s by the then Tema Volta Baptist Association under the leadership of Rev Oteng. Leaders like Rev Ocquaye, Rev Yelbert and some others were part of this initial move. To this effect, a piece of land was acquired at the outskirt of combine (a suburb of Akosombo Main Township). This move fizzled out because the association could not get an appropriate place to begin the church from. Churches were however planted around the surrounding villages including old Senchi. The old convention Baptist members who relocated to Akosombo were forced to join other churches like independent Baptist church, Assemblies of God Church, Central Gospel etc. some few decided to be attending Bethany Baptist Church Senchi, some kilometers away from Akosombo Township.
There were a number of village Baptist Church around which were under the co ordination of Ps. Samuel Lartey (now Reverend). He was by then working with the Tema Dangbe Baptist Association. He was equally supervising the Senchi church where some few Akosombo brethren were attending.
In the latter part of 1998, the local leader of the Senchi church (Evang. Kekkey) initiated a mid week service at Akosombo (Sis Florence Mensah Tettey’s residence). This was the initial courageous move which can be described as the Akosombo Church in its embryonic stage.
I came on board as a frontier missionary from Nigeria in 1997 December 2nd. I was then organizing cross denominational courses on Spiritual Warfare. In the early part of 1998, I was in Akosombo for two months for a Spiritual Warfare training session. Realizing the absence of viable convention Baptist presence in the area, I decided together with my assistant (now a pastor of a local Baptist Church in Owo Nigeria) to be a part of promoting Baptist ministry in the area. We then located Bethany Baptist church and were attending at our free time.

I took over the leadership of the Senchi congregation in 1999. A more aggressive approach was adopted at getting a church started at Akosombo, and on the 10th of September 1999, the first Sunday service was held at Sis Florence residence, with 10
People (including children), in attendance. The name of the foundation members are:
Ø Rev Dele Kolade
Ø Bro Emmanuel Teye
Ø Sis Florence Mensah Tettey
Ø Sis Patience Teye
Ø Sis Ameley
Ø Emmanuel Daitey Teye Jnr.
Ø Joycelene Teye
Ø Festus Teye
Ø Sis Sarah Lagudah
Ø Bro Kwame Darko
These are principally those who were present at the first Sunday service held on the 12th Sept 1999.



PERIOD OF AFFILIATION AND FURTHER CONSOLIDATION
We were in close relationship with the KADET, a splitter group from the Tema association headed by Rev Lartey. We realized that for the church to survive a more accessible land must be secured, given the fact that VRA will not allow church service in the residence. With the tireless efforts of people like bro Tettey Florence husband), Emma Teye and Darko a plot of land was discovered at a vantage place in Asukwao. The members contributed money and the single plot was acquired. At this time Amankwa family (former Convention Estate Officer) from Calvary Baptist Church Accra joined us. His technical contribution to the growth of the church must be mentioned. Among the long standing members who really struggled for this great dream to come to pass include the families of Bro Emma Teye, Sis Florence Mensah, Bro Kwame Darko and Sis Sarah Laguda (now in UK). These are great people who toiled with everything they are and have to see to the establishment of First Baptist Church Akosombo. The next plot to the one we bought was later acquired from the owner all by the members of the church. It must however be started that when the first plot was acquire, a sum from 200,000 cedis was borrowed from a project money from Rev Lartey with the agreement that it will be refunded. The money has since been refunded.
After careful considerations and evaluation of the operation of KADETS (now KLO Association), the Akosombo church decided to realign with the Tema Association, and after full adoption to the Tema Association we were handed over to the Grace Baptist Church Sakumono as the daughter church.

STRUGGLES OF SURVIVAL AND GROWTH
The Church continued with serious evangelism and fellowship. We began to slowly increase in number. For a more effective ministry we decided to move to the church plot. Flour bags were sewed together for shade and services were held under this temporal shade. All efforts to get help from the Association and convention to erect a more decent structure proofed futile. A sum of 1million was added to the church money by the Grace Baptist Church to erect a relatively more decent shade with iron sheets and poles. This singular move brought about some significant numerical growth. The fact still remains that a good physical worship structure can contribute significantly to the growth of the church. It was just of late that the church acquired a drum set and a keyboard. We do not yet use any public address system but there is a plan to acquire some soon. For the period of time spent in Akosombo, there was no decent mission house for the pastor. An effort is currently underway to correct this. We have rented a place and we are re modifying it to the taste of the church. In this regard, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Moore must be very specially commended for accommodating and taking good care of me for years. 2000 – 2004 was also a period of struggle in that I was at the Seminary doing my degree program. I was only regularly coming two weekends a month. The church had to struggle to cope with the unavailability of the pastor most days of the week. When my BTh ended in 2004, I came back fully to continue my full ministry work at Akosombo.

OUTSIDE MISSIONS
The church is a mission oriented church. Despite the many challenges, we were and are still committed to mission especially to the nearby sister churches. We have significantly contributed to the continuous existence of some of the rural churches. We went to the rescue of the Survey line Church at the time the structure was at the verge of collapsing. We gave all assistance towards the roofing of the building at the time we were also meeting under a floor sack structure. We came to the rescue of the Berean Baptist church at the time the church lost all courage to continue. Members were detailed from Akosombo to be going there to help organize Sunday services. We helped them acquire benches and drum to improve on the service life. Till today, someone is regularly going to Senchi from Akosombo church to help steer the affair of the church there. Several other individual from the near by churches have received one help or the other from the Akosombo church. The fact still strongly remains that the future of the rural churches around Akosombo area, largely depend on the presence of a more resourced church in Akosombo.

PROPERTY INVENTORY
The church, though small in number, is not a pauper church. The members must be commended for their strong financial commitment, not only to the projects of the church but also to the needs and calls from other sister churches. The properties listed below were purchased by the money principally raised internally by the church.
Ø 2 plots of land situated at Asukwao. A temporal structure on which the church is meeting and a permanent structure now at the foundation level.
Ø Set of drum.
Ø Konga (Twin drum).
Ø Tambourine (3).
Ø 53 plastic chairs.
Ø 14 benches (8 of it now sent to Berea).
Ø Gas lamp.
Ø Organ (keyboard)
Ø Lord’s Supper cups
Ø Wall clock





lMembership has grown from 10 people (including children) in 1999 to 57 people today (including children). The numerical growth is not encouraging. Our lack of decent auditorium is principally responsible for this. Akosombo is not a village where evangelism of 5 benches and a local drum under a shady tree can thrive. Akosombo is a community of its own class, and the residents are people of taste. Other denominations who operate central system did not find it difficult to reap the fruit of their evangelism because other necessary facilities to facilitate lively worship were easily provided. The few Akosombo brethren were over milked to provide the current facilities including the land. All attempts to get support from the Convention and Association failed. We recognize the tireless efforts of Grace Baptist Church together with the few Akosombo brethren who are committed to ensuring the continuous existence of the Church. The convention and association must see Akosombo mission project as a joint work, given the fact that Akosombo is a strategic place in term of tourism and also for the destinies of the many rural churches around the town. Akosombo is a melting point, a miniature of Ghana. It is however disappointing that the Baptist presence here is still very weak. As a pioneer leader, I have had to sweat and sacrifice a lot including lack of mission house. The foundation members have also had to sweat to build the church to this level. At the time when many Baptist members in town decided to loose their identity and join other denominations, these strong and committed brethren decided to sow with tear and get a convention Baptist here. They must be commended. There must a realistic strategic plan to help the church stand on her feet and do mission in the area. Akosombo mission must become a joint mission of the entire convention family.

Submitted By


Dele Kolade
(Pastor- in-charge)
25th September 2006