no substitutes needed! relationship isn’t a soccer team!!

credit: google images

credit: google images

Okay so Fii and Abena have been friends for close to their entire lives. Two years ago, Fii made a smart move to ask Abena to date him. Smart because Abena is the kind of girl who can stop a heated Chelsea – Man City argument just by passing by. Abena is simply endowed in the right places. And God added a sweet voice with a rather shocking thirst for Bible study. Just a stare from her can make you feel sinful remembering all the sins you committed. Like an angel on an assignment. Who wouldn’t want her?

So Fii was smart. For where? Apuu He was no serious dude until one gangster from one ghetto in US, spending holidays in the neighbourhood started making eyes at her. You know boys. They never get serious. They never give serious attention especially when they know the deal is seal until some killer with wild accent and some dollars to spend shows up. Then they become suddenly romantic.

Fii was scared into action. Of course Abena loves Fii for reasons only God can explain. So Abena said yes. Fii was the envy of town. Charlie. Even the chicks (ladies) in the hood gave Abena the Most Beautiful Queen Crown. She was a real queen chosen by a far more satisfied bench of judges and selfless voters than TV3’s Ghana’s Most Beautiful scorers.

Abena straightened Fii one time. Charlie, the guy stopped playing football on early Saturday mornings. He could not even open his eyes let alone get up from bed. Abena dragged him to all-night services every Friday at Tema. Fii became a prayer warrior. He learnt how to play “konka.” Soon Fii was on the guitar.

We lost Fii. But if to Abena, it was no lost. If it were me, boy, my shadow will even be scarce. So we all knew marriage was inevitable. Always waited for the day Fii will bring the wedding invite cards. And ask boys to at least manage protocol team.

So I was shocked when Abena started asking us about Fii’s whereabouts. We covered for him. It was becoming too much. So one day we dragged him to our own area supreme court. Charlie, it turned out Fii had found some halfco babe (half breed girl with German father and Ghanaian mother) called Lily. “So what’s up with Abena?” was the first question from TT. “Aaaah we dey! She has been behaving funny lately. I think maybe we are not meant to be” was his response with a smirk on his face.

He thought they rushed things. He thought Lily opened his eyes to real love. May be God brought Abena His way to straightened him for the Lily. “Okay so end it with Abena.” Akwasi followed up. “No! Let me double sure first.”

That was when Bis got annoyed. “Masa, which one too be this? Greedy boy. Why do you want to keep both girls? Why not put them in a ring and take the winner. So boys can try their luck on the loser.” Both girls were pretty. Fii won’t budge.

We all knew Abena was the one. The player on the field. The one everyone knew. The one who did the hard work. Lily was somehow the substitute. Fresh legs with a wild side but no less pretty. Fii was the coach; deciding the playing minutes for both girls.

Eventually Fii left Abena. All was set for Lily to enter the field. But Lily had her own plans. Fii wasn’t on it. Funny! She was long gone two weeks after Fii proposed to her which she accepted. She chose her dad and G333rmani (Germany) pastures over Fii and the green grass in front of his house. Akoa aso ay3 shi dread (He is in hot waters).

Still we are on it. 24/7 campaigning with all the resources we have. Our message is simple. “Take him back.” Our candidate is Fii. We need only one vote to win. Abena’s thumb. We are using both social and spiritual media. Different campaign messages. With one promise, “It won’t happen again.” Boys abr3. Girl no bu efu roff (Angry). We are hoping we win.

If we lose we deserve it. So do you if you ever keep a substitute. Football is different from relationship. Substitution is part of Football. I don’t know who even made it three. It should be five. When a player get injured. When a player seems lost in the game. When a player errr dey bore the coach(for real…lol). When tactics need to change. Substitution becomes imperative in a game where every second counts. It keeps the game alive. It brings hopes. It wins games. Sometimes players asked to be substituted. Sometimes they get annoyed when taken off. But who cares? Coach decides.
1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich comes to mind. Played on 26th May at Camp Nou; the home turf of my favourite team Barcelona, it was arguably the next big game after France ‘98 final. Sir Alex Ferguson’s timely injection of Ole gunnar Solskjear in the game on the 81st minute mark made a difference. He scored the winner. Writing this, I can see the tears on Sammy Kuffour’s face as if it was yesterday.

credit google images

credit google images

It becomes a problem when the idea of substitution pops up in relationship. Having a guy and keeping one behind in case it doesn’t work with the first. Rolling with one girl and holding the brakes on another if something bad happens. This is evil. Very evil. Worst is lying to that substitute you would soon kick the main player off the field. But you know you won’t. And you too you agree and hope. Oh no no no no.

Relationship isn’t a 90 minute adventure. You have all the time to fix a problem. You don’t bring another person in because the main player got hurt. You don’t bring another in when you are angered by an act or word. You don’t bring one in while you try to fix the other. You aren’t inspired to solve any impending issue with the main player once you have a substitute.

Else your actions are torn into two. Your attention is divided. Your love is divided. Your service is divided. You can’t serve two masters at the same time. Jesus mentioned it. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt 6:24 NKJV) It doesn’t work in spiritual quarters alone. It works in relationships.

So you are waiting for something to happen to end it quick for the substitute to come in. You are actually trying to orchestra a break up but smartly in a way that, it doesn’t come from you. She will be fed up and call it quit. He will eventually leave. So the blame falls on them not you. Such evil intent. Turn tables and imagine been treated like that! Call it off if you have to. Don’t make them do it and blame them. Not cool at all.

There is thin line between a good friend and a potential substitute. We both know it. Don’t lie to yourself. Let the substitute go. God doesn’t double cast. Each cast has a unique role. Why do you double cast? Why keep a substitute? Let them go!! Go work on your main player. If you are substitute, run away. Go find your own turf. Go find a field you can play eternity with no pressure. Relationship isn’t a soccer team. Keep no substitutes. Don’t be a substitute. Be Inspired.

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2015

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One way – Ignore distractions. Even the good ones

On my desk are pieces of papers. Varying sizes. Arranged yesterday but scattered today. On them are quotes, proverbs and Bible verses. Written from books, movies, sermons and yeah, the Bible. I capture stories too. One from a particular book should be blamed for the scattering. It is from a John Maxwell Book, “Developing the Leader Within You.” Great, found it. Here is it.

“A young concert violinist was asked the secret to her success. She replied, “Planned Neglect,” Then she explained, “When I was in school, there were many things that demanded my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted the floor and did whatever came to my attention. Then I hurried to my violin practice. I found I wasn’t progressing as I thought I should, so I reversed things. Until my practice period was completed, I deliberately neglected everything else. That program of Planned Neglect, I believe accounts for my success.” (Maxwell, 1993, pp 28-29)

——–

Whispers. Nods. Thumbs up. High-fives. Those were the sights among the people today. Affirmations here. Affirmations there. Critics and sympathisers agreed. This man is special. Aaaaaah yeeeeaaaah The Prophet they have been waiting for.

Give Him anything ordinary and He adds extra to it to make….well you know. Give Him nothing and He will use words. Yeah, simple words you and I use every day. He creates and heals with words. It wasn’t a rumour. It actually happened. He used words chemically to change water into wine. The couple could have started a wine business with it mpo. The wine was special. Ask the master of the banquet. (Ref: John 2)

Today, He used a boy’s lunch to feed five thousand men. Kids weren’t numbered so were women. So if I’m doing the stats, let’s just agreed on ten thousand in all. And there were left overs. Twelve baskets full. Jesus is special. He can even defeat the whole Roman army with words. No argument.

So they all affirmed. The plan was simple. “Let’s make Jesus, King.” Ask Him and He will talk His way out. They knew. So they decided not to tell Him. They won’t ask for His opinion. After eating the miraculous bread and fish, only God knows the strength they possessed now. Lifting Jesus will be a simple task. They were getting ready.

Before the crown specifications reached the goldsmith. Before the type of robe was decided on. Jesus was goooone!! Away into the mountains. Poor people. Before they thought, Jesus knew. And He didn’t stay to argue. He didn’t stay to fight. He just left. (John 5:14-15).

——-

Two stories. One, what a young girl did and now, successful at Violin. Two, what Jesus did in order to be successful in saving mankind. This is the plain truth. There are good distractions that will prevent us from fulfilling our singular purpose on earth.

Cleaning the room isn’t a bad thing. That doesn’t even come close to becoming a King. Yet in the lives of this young girl and Our Lord Jesus Christ respectively, these were distractions. Good distractions.

Has it happened to you? It has to me over and over again. Ten minutes! That’s how long it takes to get to my ghetto (office) on foot. It has taken me four hours before. Not once or twice. And no, I wasn’t crawling. I had to do this, then that and that. And I had a call from a friend to meet up somewhere. Had another text. Met an old buddy. Remembered to finish something. These weren’t bad. So I set off at 8am and finally got there 12 something pm. One day, I didn’t even go at all. I went there in my head.

Or maybe you set an agenda for the day that was never achieved. You can make a list of what distracted you and still are, often.

When the target for today is not met, it affects the week’s. Then the month’s. Then the year’s. Then your resolutions look like last year’s; undone! You stagnate. Frustration sets in. Then you blame yourself. You feel sorry. You stress. You drift into wrong thinking and accept you are not good at anything. Don’t forget, it started with one unfulfilled task because of a distraction. A good one!

I know people who have eventually decided not to set any goals again. No resolutions. Never got last year’s even fifty per cent done. Why set another one for this year?

We are naturally good people. We want to be there for people. We don’t want to disappoint. We want a pretty good name. Good name is better than riches abi. Yet you can go around doing so many good that you never get the right thing done. You never do your best. You never meet your targets. You eventually will not fulfil your purpose.

Truth is you can’t satisfy everyone. You can’t be at two places at the same time. That’s God’s job. You simply can’t. So you will have to say no to some people. You have to put some requests on hold or reschedule. You will have to say sorry. You will have to be “not good” in order to do the right things.

Like the successful violinist, planned neglect may work for you. Neglect, but let me warn you. You are likely to be hurt by comments from people. You may appear as thoughtless or insensitive. You may be reminded of a favour you need to reciprocate. Yeah, I know right. Yet these people will celebrate you when become successful by stick to your plans.

Or like Jesus you would have to run. Write this somewhere, “Every God idea is a good idea but not every good idea is the God.” Give people the chance and they will make you king over a colony when you are to rule the world.

It was taking longer than usual to write this piece. I got up for no special reason. And occasionally, I stole glances at my phone. Responded to a few emails and messages. Commented on a few statuses. Liked a few pictures on facebook and instagram. So I decided to mute my phone till I was done.

Every day you are going to have distractions. Not bad ones. Good ones. Perhaps greater good ones. If you want to achieve your targets this year. If you want to make effective changes this year. Examine anything the calls your attention off your daily targets critically. Don’t be emotional about it. Be disciplined to stick to the plan. Stay on the priority list. Focus. Be firm. Neglect, run or mute. In the next hour, a good distraction is coming your way. You decide. Be inspired.

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2015

stop fooling yourself

revolutionflame.com

revolutionflame.com

I thought you wanted to be financially independent, owing no one and having reserves for unforeseen circumstances? And yet spend impulsively beyond your means. You have no saving or investment plan. You have fallen into the temptation of desiring more. Worst, you are feeding a false created impression of yourself.

I thought you wanted to manage your time. And yet you sleep late engrossed in movies. Wake up late. Toss and turn in bed. Waste time changing channels by the television. Gallivant aimlessly following friends. Gossip instead of discussing ideas. I’m sure you know what you are doing

I thought you wanted a better life for yourself. And yet you mess your mind with impure thoughts. Contaminate your heart with unexpressed emotions. Weaken your body with unhealthy foods and inadequate exercise. Yeah, I get it you want a better life. Really?

I thought you wanted your dreams fulfilled. And yet you have no detailed plan on paper. No reading or learning plan. No standards. No morals. You are walking in the borrowed image of career prominence. Well?

I thought you wanted to be a light to the world. And yet you spend more time reading novels and magazines than the bible. All your memory verses are a familiar like that of a Sunday school kid. Fasting and prayers are out of the deal for you. You have found all the medical excuses not to fast. To you, it is reserved for some “ojacious” few. Your prayers are short, repetitive and lack biblical backing. Light of the world? Really?

Stop fooling yourself. Be Inspired!

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2015

Get ready angels, those were starters!

galleryhip.com

galleryhip.com

My New Year prayer requests were ridiculously huge. No, I think crazy is a better word. With Heaven busy collecting and filing all kinds of requests from first timers, faithfuls, prodigal children, etc. in hymns, songs, words, tweets, status updates, letters etc. and in whispers, shouts and thoughts, I’m pretty sure the angel assigned to Pentecost International Worship Centre (PIWC) Sakumono branch was completely shocked upon collecting mine. “Kwame!” Supposed the angel next to him was called that, “this Mankata guy paaa.” See! (Shows the requests to him).

“What!” Kwame eyes answered before his lips let out the word. “God must see this. Get it upstairs quick. These have to be worked on immediately else we won’t exhaust them before 2015 ends”. “Good point.” The angel corroborated and went upstairs. The whole day in heaven I was a celeb. “Charlie, have you heard Mankata’s requests?” the angels went about asking one another.

Yeah. Exactly that happened. Mine was taken upstairs for special attention. Crazy requests for a Crazy-In-Love-With-Me God. See, I got my inspirations from Apostle Ato Addison RTD and a sermon titled “Praying Bold Prayers” by Pastor Joel Osteen. So I decided to let Heaven feel me early in 2015. God must be awed upon receiving the requests. As for the angels, they were short of words.

No, it is not a year of praying bold prayers. It is my year of pleasing God by serving mankind with my gifts and talents. In short, placing my hands in the hand of Jesus and following hard after to where I am needed. If I am going to come near to achieving that, I better sent some requests ahead of time. Crazy ones! I know you are probably wondering what I exactly said. Take it from me; they weren’t  the usual ones we send even on 31st December nights. I planned long ago I was done with usual. Done with normal requests just to get by. Done with pleasing myself or anyone. Let’s get on to something extra ordinary. Let’s start with prayers that shock heaven.

Have all my prayers been answered? No! Should I not pray because of that? No! Better stick to the smaller ones? No!…No!… No! For the Prayer Answering Addicted God. For the Loving Father. For the Chief Owner of Owners. For the One who wasn’t scared to have it scripted, “Ask and it shall be given unto you.” (Matt 7:7). Why should I stick to requests that make angels lazy about? Why should I bind only today’s demons? Why should I limit my prayers to some perishable material stuff? Why should I obtain security for only my small family, job, church and community? Why should I get tired after a few minutes?

Why should you too? You see not only have I been selfish. I have been ignorant.

livingcivil.com

livingcivil.com

I was sad to have discovered there were a whole lot I didn’t have to take. There were whole lot I didn’t have to endure. I should have just asked. That is it. Just ask. See, the Holy Spirit is here to inspire and lead me. And when I am lost for words, He picks it up (Romans 8:26) Ma y3 me hu roff (I’m the cause for my predicaments). Chai! Never again!!

And yeah I didn’t do the, “I-got-nothing-to-lose” kind of prayer. Truth is I got nothing to lose momm (really). But I figured if I do that for long, my faith will wane and my hope will deflate. So I did the vim one. Opened the scriptures. Got my mind in order. Fuelled my faith. Got the Holy Spirit backing. Lifted my hands in grace. And sent requests mu(of) requests to heaven!

So Bra Angel Kwame and co., be reminded, that’s the first of me in 2015. As surely as grace taps me every morning and the Holy Spirit orders my step and mouth, brace yourselves. If your work depends on me, no recess in 2015. So help me God. Can you say same? Be inspired!

Kwabena Eddie Mankata (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved