MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – GUNKED

chof 10Lillian stood behind the living room door and watched Iyke’s hand stroke Ursula’s small bulge idly, while the couple watched a popular series from the couch. The look on his face signified he wasn’t mindful of what his hand did on his wife’s tummy, or in Lillian’s thudding heart.

With the news of Clarence’s father’s demise, everyone had been forced to meet. Lillian just had a second son, another Iyke look-alike, and should not travel to Enugu but she wanted to see Iyke again. It seemed it was the only opportunity she now had to see him. Since the mother of all betrayals where her impotent husband set her up with her ex-lover to get pregnant, things have gone from bad to worst rather quickly.

Ursula could be due any moment but with her petite stature, it was hard to tell. It hurt that Ursula would have Iyke’s baby too. Why wasn’t she sterile like her brother? Maybe then Iyke would be forced to recognize his sons. Right now though, he had eyes only for his wife.

Unlike everyone else in the family, including Ursula, Iyke refused to look at the new baby, or speak to the older one. All his attention was on his wife.

Lillian felt her betrayal on a new level. Why had she treated Iyke this way? The wealth she got attracted to now vain. She was tired of the sex toys Clarence used on her. She hated the way Clarence maltreated her son, Nonso. She wanted warmth, love, appreciation, attention; all she’d had from Iyke back in the day, none of which she got from Clarence.

Was it possible to eat your cake and have it? Appeared so. Judging from the way Ursula behaved. Iyke never looked at her the way he did his wife.

Shame.

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PROVOCATION – NOTES ON WARFARE

52 ways cover stripWe had a night vigil in church and pastor presided over it. A guest minister who was scheduled for the program had cancelled at the last minute and pastor had turned the vigil into a prayer one.

After sharing briefly, he had gone into prophecy and prayers.

The ministration was very powerful, so many cases were called out and people were prayed for. Pastor Edward, who was renowned for handling demons, had his hands full.

As an usher, I worked tirelessly. People manifested like no man’s business. The whole church auditorium rumbled intermittently with seats tumbling and crashing under human weights, male and female alike. It was another weekend without Adaora, as Emeka had come for her after school. But other children had been kept in the conference room at the extreme end of the church hall. To keep them out of harm’s way spiritually and physically.

Emeka’s persistence and closeness to his daughter was beginning to get at me but I couldn’t allow that to sway me. Not at a critical moment as this.

Pastor Edward asked the church to keep silent. There were loud wailings, moaning, burst of tongues and praying but the hall gradually became quiet.

“The atmosphere is thick,” he said quietly. “God wants to work on some people tonight but there is demonic resistance. If you can speak in tongues, begin to do it. If you can’t, pray in your understanding.”

He began to move around while some of us ushers followed him. He turned suddenly and said, “even ushers need to pray at this moment.”

We all backed out and went to different corners of the hall to pray.

Pastor’s voice came over the microphone. “This is not the time to sleep or doze. This is a time to battle demonic influence on your life.”

I felt a nudge and I held on to my stomach and travailed. We had been taught how to pray in spiritual warfare: attack the offence not the offender, pray with scriptural backing, plead the blood of Jesus. I was so engrossed in the prayer I did not notice when Pastor Edward came to stand in front of me.

He said, “There’s someone here in this auditorium that has been afflicting this woman. Who is the person? If you are the one, come out now.”

He took me by the hand and led me to the front of the hall. My embarrassment knew no bounds. I had never been called out for anything before and what a way to debut.

Emeka came out first to my utter shock! He glared at me but the first question that came to my mind was my daughter: Where did he keep her? With Annie?

“I want you to make a confession to her,” Pastor Edward said and continued his movement around. I swallowed hard and faced Emeka. I had never seen anyone look so devastated.

“I am sorry for all the pain I have caused you,” he whispered.

“What are you doing here?” I saw another man walk out to the altar. Pastor Edward spoke with him briefly and then announced, “We seem to have another confession for Sis. Eno.”

My eyes popped. Pastor Edward laughed and said, “Demonic control is being broken here. God’s presence in the house is awesome.” The praise team raised a worship song. The second man walked up to Emeka and me.

“I don’t know you,” I blurted out.

“We needed two children and stalked your daughter and her friends for weeks. We picked on them because they were usually the last to be picked up and had the habit of playing outside after school. I don’t know what brought me to this meeting tonight but I need your forgiveness and that of the girls’ parents,” the man said.

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Emeka’s lips drooped. My throat went dry. “What did you do with her tongue?” I asked hoarsely. “How could you?” Tears coursed their way down my cheeks. Emeka was at my side at once. My controls broke and I burst out. “No, no. How could you?”

I was more hysterical by the time I was led away.

Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here

SATURDAY ROSE THORNS – 3 BASIC RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

rooo 4Someone sent this to me, and I thought it would be great and educational for my readers. I found it so.

 

  1. Be Found

Providing unique free content can create other revenues opportunities for creative marketers. Getting traffic from Natural Search/SEO is now a “no-brainer” for most online marketers.

  1. Be Engaging

A loyal supporter is not necessarily a profitable customer. The key challenge is converting loyalty into revenue.  Experimentation is thus required with marketing initiatives to encourage ongoing participation and engagement with the aim of driving revenues upward.

  1. Be Accountable

More than just acquiring a database, purposeful curation of data. Analytical insights is key to delivering timely, relevant and targeted messaging. Look at the social report of your web analytics regularly.

Do you presently use any of the rules?

 

FRIDAY CHOCOLATE TREAT: GLORY

GloryGlory is the ultimate Miss Vulnerable. After her parents threw her out of the house for “disgracing” them, and she has to live with the father of her illegitimate baby, who saw her as nothing but a liability, she is ashamed beyond reason that she is pregnant again! Out of wedlock.

She cooked and cleaned, and satisfied the man’s every whim in exchange for shelter and food. Nothing more. Did she deserve this mean treatment from the man who once professed he loved her? She thought so.

In my #TrueDream novel, He Taketh the First, Glory believed along with everyone else who cared to have a word for her, she was a liability and a disgrace to womanhood.

Somewhere inside, her goodness is not tainted however.

I’d always said kindness rewards, no matter how badly we’ve been treated. And Glory is a kind woman. She is forgiving, she’s vulnerable toward those she loves, and she is sensitive.

And all these beautiful character traits will define her path in life.

Do you imagine who can be Glory if I were to shoot a movie based on this book? I’d go for Stella Damasus, though I’m not sure she’s huge on the screens these days.

stella damasus

Read He taketh the first, A True Dream novel by Sinmisola Ogúnyinka. Find the book online on amazon, smashwords, iBooks, and other leading online bookstores!

PROVOCATION – THE FRUIT OF JOY

52 ways cover stripThe Presence of God has a way of improving your confidence level when you are faced with traumatizing situations.

I visited Queenie at the teaching hospital where she was still being treated for the infection she got. She still couldn’t talk. The doctors had told her parents that they could cure the wound in her mouth but she would never be able to talk properly again except a plastic surgery is done on her tongue.

Queenie’s parents had told the doctors they would want that but when the facts and figures involved in the surgery came, it was way beyond their budget. The surgery could only be done by one doctor in the United States. He was a Jewish doctor, and he worked between America and Israel. His schedule though very tight could be fixed to include them, but the cash involved ran into several millions of naira. So everyone resigned themselves to getting Queenie fully healed.

They even got a sign language tutor to help communication. Physically, she had greatly improved. She could eat, cry and even babble a few words. Emotionally, she was a complete wreck. Fear was always vivid in her eyes, you could almost pull it out with your hands.

Queenie was asleep in her private room when I got there. I sat beside her like I usually did and brought out a book on bible stories for children. I began to read softly in a sing song voice.

“Once upon a time, there was a woman named Hannah. She loved children so much but had none. She cried and cried and her husband comforted her, but she was not happy. So one day, she went to the house of God and prayed to God and promised God that she would dedicate the child back to him if He gave her.

“So Hannah went back home and became pregnant. And she bore a beautiful baby boy. She called him Samuel and she kept to her promise and gave Samuel to God. Do you know what God did for her? He opened her womb and gave her three more sons and two daughters.”

Queenie opened her eyes and smiled at me. She had done that a couple of times. Joy welled up inside me. It was fulfilling that I could get her to relax and smile. Even her mother hadn’t been able to get her to smile.

I rubbed her gaunt cheeks with my knuckles tenderly. “God wants us to pray to Him always. He answers prayers. Did you pray this morning?” I asked gently. She shook her head. I could only imagine. “We’ll pray together before I go.”

There was a short tap on the door before it opened. Emeka walked in .What did he want? I thought before wondering how he knew I would be here. He explained before greeting me.

“I saw your car outside and remembered Queenie would be here so I thought to check you out.”

He was hounding me. “What brought you to teaching hospital?”

“I came to see a colleague’s wife. Her husband sent me to her. She’s a nurse in the paediatric unit.”

“I see.”

“How’s she?” He nodded toward Queenie who had closed her eyes right back.

“Her emotions are still very traumatized but she’s better physically.”

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“Your optimism about this whole situation radiates to her. I heard your sweet story from outside the door. I’ve been around a while.”

“I didn’t know my voice was so loud,” I said, embarrassed.

“I’m glad I heard you. Is there anything I can do to help improve Queenie’s condition?”

“I’m sure there’s none.” I stood up. “We should leave her to rest.”

He clamped his hand on my wrist and looked straight into my eyes. His were deep and sad. “I need what you have, Eno.”

Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here

PROVOCATION – LESSONS ABOUT INTEGRITY

52 ways cover stripI thought Lola was acting weird in the office. I wasn’t so sure. She had recently taken in and was a bit cranky but I thought she was taking it too far. I took Alhaji’s daily newspaper from her office without telling her. I had never done that before. But I thought she wouldn’t mind. I thought wrong.

She didn’t only mind, she was mad! She barged into my office and after shouting a few profanities, stomped out. I was stunned. Without knowing how to calm her, I quietly returned the newspaper, troubled.

During lunch break, I noticed she didn’t leave her office. I didn’t have appetite and I was so troubled by her attitude. Lola was my sweetest friend in the office.

“Lola, could I have a word with you?” I peeped in and asked.

“Leave the doorway, if you want,” she said sulkily, refusing to meet my gaze. I came in fully, and took the seat in front of her, gingerly.

I said, “Lola, sorry to bother you but I’m still upset about what happened this morning in my office.” She looked at me with a scoff. “I have to be sincere with you, these days you’ve been so mean. At first, I thought it was the baby…”

“Eeh heh, please. Don’t use your mouth to blacklist my baby.”

“Lola why? What have I done to you?” A tear slipped off my eyes before I could stop it. That did Lola in. She was shocked at my display of emotion.

She said, “Oh, are you that upset?”

I nodded, trying to tuck my sore emotions in.

“Hah, sorry o,” she said with a pinch of spite.

I swallowed hard. It had to be something I’d done. “Please if I have offended you in anyway…”

“No, you have not offended me in any way…” she cut in rudely, and then softened her voice, “but I cannot just sit by and watch you mess around. You call yourself a Christian, don’t you? Maybe I haven’t the right to challenge you.”

“Mess around? How?”

“Don’t feign ignorance. Everyone is talking about you and Alhaji. Is it proper, as a child of God to be dating another woman’s husband?”

I went pale with shock. I started saying, “I can’t believe…”

She raised her hand to stop me. My mouth drooped in mid-sentence. “Save your breath. You can’t be my friend anymore. Who knows, when you finish with Alhaji, you’ll pounce on my husband,” she said with slight.

Tears pooled in my eyes. I swallowed to keep them from dropping. I had to pull my emotions together. What a life? To think that Lola, of all people would say these terrible things to me.

I said, “Lola, can I talk?”

She replied with a shrug and to show her disinterest, turned to her computer and idly opened solitaire.

“I am not dating Alhaji! We went to that award dinner together only once. Maybe he has such intentions, I don’t know. He asked me to escort him to First Bank Manager’s 50th birthday party. I declined because I had PTA meeting in Adaora’s school and I would be too tired by the time we were through. About a week later, he asked me to follow and help him pick a gift for his mother at Jewel’s. I did. Besides that, nothing. I feel nothing for him. And I thought you know me better than this. This is Alhaji for goodness’ sake. Lola, you know him. He gets on people suddenly and before you know it, you are back in the crowd!”

She knew what I meant. It hurt that she didn’t figure it out. She looked up at me and sighed.

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“I am sorry,” she said. “I’m so glad there is nothing on your part. Alhaji’s not innocent at all. He does get on ladies suddenly but he also makes advances at them. At least I know he did it to me. I resisted. You’ll be shocked to hear this but Chioma told me he lured her into his bed, a Christian. Alhaji has no respect for any woman. You have to be careful. Keep your head above water. Avoid his gifts most especially because he has ulterior motives. If he hasn’t asked you to sleep with him, I can bet he will…”

“He has,” I whispered.

Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here

 

MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – GUTTED

chof 3Ursula had a natural small frame courted by luscious curves. The first time Lillian met her, she thought her husband’s sister was the most beautiful woman on earth. She thought they’d be friends. Ursula smiled easily, and her deep voice redefined husky.

Clarence the sadist didn’t celebrate his beautiful sister and soon Lillian realized the feeling was mutual. Clarence and Ursula might have originated from the same womb but had nothing else in common.

Seeing Ursula on Iyke’s arms the first time had driven a demon of murder into Lillian. Iyke was hers. And when Clarence plotted to have her get pregnant by her ex-lover, Lillian more than any other reason accepted with the hope her affair with Iyke will destroy his relationship with Ursula.

And it did.

So what was a wedding rumour about? She and Clarence had not been invited to the private wedding on the luxurious private Inagbe Grand Resort but the word spread like a wildfire. Her Iyke was getting married to her husband’s sister. That was pain too close to home.

If Iyke married Ursula, she was finished. After the second grand betrayal she and her husband staged against Iyke, she believed he would hate her forever. She couldn’t bear that. Marriage to Ursula would destroy her plan forever.

No, she couldn’t allow it.