Ungrateful 

Last Sunday, I felt ungrateful. 
In my pursuit of perfection I took for granted the One who had the means to get me there.
I felt ashamed and humbled.
A busy life often leaves us feeling like all things other than God are important. It’s an interesting illusion the world uses to confuse us. This creates misplaced priorities that can affect your peace of mind.
I wrote this prayer to remind myself and others who may feel the way I felt.
Heavenly Father forgive me.

I have taken your grace for granted.
I walk in and out of your mercy like a spoilt brat.
Seldom do I acknowledge your grace and protection.

Seldom do I greet you or ask how the day has been.
I call you Father yet, treat you like a servant.

Even the servants have greater respect for you yet bear no blood relation.
How is the All Powerful so gentle?

How is the Magnificent so understanding?
I need you more than I think I do.

Forgive the disrespect your child has shown.
I make no promises for I am human and not perfect like you.

I will however put more effort into acknowledging the mercy, grace, protection and love you show to me and my family each day.

Thank you for the greatness you instilled in me. Enable me to glorify you today and forever more.

Amen
I pray the grace of God follows you this day. May his mercy know no boundaries in your life. 
Let God know how grateful you are today. Even if it’s just a thank you. It will do way more than you can imagine.
Stay blessed and keep it One Hondred!

Mobile Money Fund Raising in Church

How many of us have sat in church and witnessed fundraising turn into an auction? Starting at about 1000 GHC all the way to 1 GHC for a worthy cause. 
During this auction, members of the congregation usually walk up to either receive envelopes, to bring cash later or drop cheques or cash in baskets. One can describe this as a social class exercise, a status walk or the physical manifestation of the social ladder.
When I find myself in such situations I either give my contribution after church is done or give it to someone to drop in the basket for me. 
I am not here to discuss whether the cause for such funding is worthy. I am here to offer a proposition for conducting this exercise in a more covert manner.

Matthew 6:1 - Don't Do Good Deeds Publicly
Matthew 6:1 – Don’t Do Good Deeds Publicly

Matthew 6:1 emphasizes the need for us to go about doing good undercover. The goal is not for us to receive praise but for God to be celebrated for using us to do good. Churches should encourage such giving and have faith that the congregation will give. 
As mentioned in God Loves A Cheerful Giver, I believe mobile money technology provide churches a means to go about collecting money efficiently and offering convenience to its members. 
I personally feel that the advent of social media, email and the Internet provide churches a means of communication with their members that go beyond Sunday service. 
In my view, churches conduct fund raising on Sunday’s because they feel its the only time they can get memebers attention and money. Many pledges have gone unpaid for as a result of this notion.
Mobile money changes this narrative from a “Sunday only” venture to one that can be conducted anytime. It thus provokes churches to gather details of the members and visitors in order to continue communication after Sunday service.
To showcase the above in action let’s assume that a church on average has a thousand members. It’s trying to raise funds to assist in the paying of hospital bills for a members surgery which is estimated at 4000 GHC.
The church makes an announcement in church on Sunday appealing for funds and continues to engage the congregation via SMS, whatsapp, email and its social media platforms. 
The campaign is simple: 
Donate 2GHC or more to help pay for John Doe’s surgery of 4000 GHC.
Everyday the word should go out including a report of the current state of the fund raiser, informing members of how far their collective efforts have gone.
If half of the members give 2 GHC each week, that amounts to 4000 GHC after a month. This is less intimidating and allows the church to work collectively.
I don’t know about you but I am more than willing to give 2 GHC every week for a worthy cause. Unfortunately this opportunity is untapped and thousands of 2GHC are up for grabs each week without being claimed. The variables can be changed but I believe the message is clear.
Churches should utilize mobile money and digital marketing to enhance their activities. It’s the way things are done now and probably the way of the future. The earlier churches start the earlier they reap.
Keep it One HONDRED!

God Loves A Cheerful Giver

How many Ghanaian Christians would like to deposit their tithes and offering one time in church via mobile money?
I have been asking people this very question for a couple of weeks now and have received mixed responses. 
I have not conducted a wide enough survey to have conclusive results but my findings so far have revealed that Christians are more comfortable with tithes being transferred via mobile money than offering.
What is it about offering that makes people uncomfortable about transferring it digitally?
People feel something is missing when offering is transffered via a transaction. (Maybe a blessing is not received when money is sent over the phone.) 
Maybe there is a fear that people wouldn’t give money in church and lean on the “I sent it via mobile money” excuse.
In my opinion, the advent of mobile money provides churches with an opportunity to both make their congregation more generous and raise more funds.
I for one last month reserved a fixed amount of cash for offering and found that I gave more than the past months because I had planned for it. Previous months found me playing wheel of fortune with my offering amount. 
“Is it too small?” 
“I need to buy something after church so I can’t give that much”
“My money is finished so I can only give this amount”
This and many more are excuses I have made in the past due to my failure to plan for the month. As a result I end up not being a cheerful giver.

2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG
2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG

In 2nd Corinthians we are told about God’s view on giving. Whilst this is not specifically in an offering context it still applies. For the many blessings I received knowingly and unknowingly, I believe I owe the Lord a respectable token of appreciation in the form of an offering. In order for me not to disrespect that token I set it aside each month. 
Last month I was able to go through without needing to borrow from the offering account. I would like to however just set the money aside by transferring it into the churches account. Mobile money is preferred because it is more convenient.
So if my suggestion is implemented, will I stop giving offering at church?
 No. 
I however will view such offerings as top ups and will probably want to do it via the mobile money platform.
I must caution myself however that people may not view my not giving offering on Sunday kindly. Ghanaians in my view are very traditional in nature. (Even the idea of Bibles on smart devices do not appeal to some.)
Matthew 6:1
Matthew 6:1

The anonymity of mobile money is what appeals to me. Matthew 6 does a good job of giving us an idea of how God prefers we conduct our giving. Mobile money helps in this regard. Grace however is needed to carry one through a service amidst eyes that look to guilt trip or force you into throwing air into the offering basket to put your conscience and minds of onlookers at ease. 
(The hypocrisy that sometimes surrounds churches is staggering.)
Other benefits of conducting offerings via mobile moneyinclude:

  1. Security: offering sent via mobile money is not handled by ushers and there is a paper trail of transactions.
  2. Anytime Offering: Offerings can be given anytime and not restricted to Sunday.
  3. Environmental: Envelopes used for tithes and other offerings will be reduced thus saving envelopes expenditure and as a result reducing paper wastage.

So how many offerings should a church collect on Sunday? I for one believe in taking one offering at church and also not a fan of funds being raised during Sunday service. I will however speak on that tomorrow.
So as you keep it ONE HONDRED! What do you think about mobile money and church offering?

Is Secular Music Bad?

Everyone loves music. Some love a specific genre and others have a mix of genres that they enjoy. For me it’s Hiphop. The whole idea of Hiphop as a culture is synonymous with my Christian beliefs.
“Hip means to know 
It’s a form of intelligence 
To be hip is to be up-date and relevant 
Hop is a form of movement 
You can’t just observe a hop 
You got to hop up and do it 
Hip and Hop is more than music 
Hip is the knowledge 
Hop is the movement 
Hip and Hop is intelligent movement 
Or relevant movement 
We selling the music.”
KRS-One
With that definition, the question of whether current Hiphop is really Hiphop is debatable. However, my mission here is to address the issue of secular music. 
I have looked up the definition of both secular and gospel music. As clear as they might be, people usually refer to secular music as anything that’s not Christian related (by that we mean praising God). 
That as a definition is not that bad to the ear until you realize that a lot of Christians frown upon secular music as if it’s pure evil.
I am not here to change views but to offer my perspective on the subject. 
I love Hiphop music. I love the beats, rhythms, rhyme, lyrics and skill at which artists go at their craft. Is the content good? Not really. A lot of what is being rapped or sung about for a long time is nonsense. There are however great songs and also truth within some of the nonsense that’s out there.
I find the “don’t listen to secular music agenda” flawed on a number of levels. We live in a world surrounded by good and evil. It’s our job to discern which is which and take decisions that will bring out the best in us. 
I am not saying go to a prostitute for advise but if she is giving advise, there is a possibility that it’s good advise. Just because she is a prostitite doesn’t mean she can’t do good.
It’s the same with music. You listen with a discerning ear. I must point out that not everyone can be in the presence of music and discern. If that’s how you are, establish safe zones and stick to it. 
Christians are not supposed to judge but there seems to be a lot of judging that is done by us. We fail to see the good in people. Majority of the time I feel that’s how secular music is seen. 
As an artist and a Christian I see Hiphop artist, Lecrae as a role model. I agree with his stance on not being labeled as a Christian artist. I don’t like being labeled as Christian artist. It restricts who views your art. As an advocate for good music (and by that I mean good clean music) I believe it should be consumed with no filters. 
People should take in the art and be moved by it enough to question why the artist did what they did. What inspires them? What moves them? This becomes an opportunity to reveal Christianity and more importantly Truth.
I don’t have any qualms with artists that call themselves Christian artists. My only issue is that majority of their consumers are Christians. This is not bad, if that’s who the art is targeted towards. However, if your goal is to reach the masses then one must reconsider how they will take the message if it is wrapped as a Christian message.
People want hope and inspiration. They want the truth. Christianity has all this and more but how it’s presented makes a lot of difference. The reason why we Christians are tasked with spreading God’s love is because we are sinners. Sometimes we act as if we don’t know what that was like. People need to relate with us in order to see the light. It’s also not always instantaneous. 
Secular music has its good sides and bad but so does gospel music. A good chunk of gospel music is awesome but there are some songs labeled gospel that are questionable. 
I have always found the song Hero, by Mariah Carey to be gospel in essence. Though it’s tagged secular. People will even view Mariah as a secular artist. I would drop labels and just call her an artist and encourage her to make more songs like Hero to draw people towards God.
“There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you”
Lyrics to Hero by Mariah Carey


With words like these, how can we view this song as secular. God is not mentioned in the song but it doesn’t mean God is not in the song. God is in all of us. When we allow Him to shine through us His glory is evident.
Allow God to work through you. Keep it One HONDRED!

The Customer is Never Right

Let me start by just saying that customer service is Ghana is poor. Dirt, cheap, one sugar cube left in the fridge poor. (In fact that’s a great way of looking at it.)
The standard is supposed to be a full blue box of sugar cubes (that lion brand). Rich and sweet but often, many of us receive a piss poor excuse for customer service. Makes you wonder how the country prides itself on Christianity. 
“Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.””
Mark‬ ‭12:29-31‬ ‭MSG‬‬
Love your Neighbour as yourself is the second most important commandment in the Bible according to Jesus. Yet, it seems that passage was never translated into a business lesson. 
There are many ways to look at this problem but today I want to focus on one of the fundamental rules of customer service that front end staff of the retail and service industry must live by.
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
This is where sometimes even established businesses who pride them selves at customer service get it wrong.
Yesterday I was at a cafe and a couple was making an order. The attendant at the till repeated the order after the couple was done to find out that the order according to the couple was incorrect. (This is where unfortunately, customer service reduced to one sugar cube)
Instead of the attendant apologizing and correcting the order, she decided to stage a mini debate of “but that’s what you ordered”. 
WHO CARES?
Let’s even assume the error was the customer’s. IT DOES’NT MATTER!
What matters is that THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. So you apologize for the error, smile and correct it. 
Did she do that? No!
She kept going on about how the lady ordered what she said she didn’t order and her facial expression was clearly not pleasant. She had that “I am doing you a favor and you are pissing me off” look. Clearly not the look you want other customers to see. 
The order ended up being changed but to me the service deserved a big minus. That was service with a pound of salt and not something you want your clientele remembering.
Whether you are Christian or not treating others the way you want to be treated is the best thing to do. When serving people you put your issues aside and serve each person like they are royalty.
God serves us each day with oxygen, sun, gravity and time regardless of whether we deserve it or not. How far are we willing to go for a paying customer?
Let’s treat each other better. Not for business goals but for peace of mind and harmony. 
Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Everything is magnificent…Even YOU!

Last night I was on my way home from class with a colleague when we hit the Tema motorway.
As the journey progressed, something in the sky caught my attention. It was a white bright light of sorts that creeped towards us.
It was a rather confusing sight so I drew my colleague, Robert’s attention to this unidentified flying object in the sky. I was driving, so had to be careful not to be over fixated with this light in the sky.
Robert after a while came to a similar conclusion of uncertainty. What is that light thingy in the sky?
Were aliens upon Ghana? Is this the end of the world? Were we under attack? Is Kalyppo taking over Accra?
All these thoughts flooded my mind and my heart was caught in a dilemma of staying calm or panicking.
After about six minutes in this confused state, still driving and both Robert and I glued to the sky, our unidentified flying object revealed itself as the moon covered by clouds.
Whew! 😅
What a relief. This incident however reminded me of how we take stuff for granted.
I don’t remember the last time I took time to appreciate the moon and its different phases. Last night I saw a side of the moon I had never seen before and it was beautiful. (a tad bit scary but beautiful non the less)
Everyone is like that. We all are magnificent even if we don’t believe it. God created us with this amazing feature. It may be beauty, talent or an ability you possess. The environment and people around you may not appreciate it but it doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful.
For these doubters or unappreciative audience there will come a time where they will have to attest to your magnificence. That’s because you may just go about revealing your self or your ability in a different way.
You may tryout a new hairstyle, sing a different song, do what you do in a different light and get positive feedback for the very thing you did that received negativity.
Variety is the spice of life, so I urge you all to go out and try something different. Who knows you may like the moon, get seen in a different light.
Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Birthday Prayer

Tomorrow 27th September 2016 is my birthday. So what am I doing? Not sure yet. I recently named my son and it seems as if I celebrated my birthday in that historic moment.
Tomorrow I will be bombarded with more messages than calls from friends and wanna be friends alike (Thanks Mark Zuckerberg 😒) with over 50% sending me shorthand birthday messages that suggest further that wishing me a happy birthday was a spur of the moment decision.
“HBD”
As I visit Mark Zuckerberg’s creation for the I don’t know …. 10th time today (I think), I am greeted with a prayer I wrote to God in 2011. It’s a humble prayer from a sinner like me that reminds me of how much God loves me and all of us. 
So on a day when I expect cake and is rewarded with acronym birthday messages and a pinch of bad grammar, I will switch things around and share a prayer instead. 
I believe it will touch your heart and put a smile on your face to know that you are not alone and God is forever on your side waiting for you to either be saved or lead you towards peace and happiness.
Here is the prayer:

Lord, I’m not perfect. Even my trying is not good enough. Yet you bless me with another year. The love you show me is more than amazing. You grace me with blessings everyday as if everyday is my birthday. I am honored to serve and have you in my life, unloyal as a servant I may be. Thank you Jesus