Tithe, Trouble, Triumph

Tithing photoMy wife and I decided to pay our tithes (to donate 10% of earnings to support the Church)not just because we thought the Lord wanted us to do so but also to thank Him, the Source of all good, for the blessings we had been receiving . It may have looked strange but the Company I had worked with ( Saipem) had recalled my services after 3 years of being out of work.

As a blessing in disguise, just a few moments after we decided to offer our tithes an unfortunate thing happened in 1997 in the  office on board “Israfil Guseinov” , a Pipelaying Vessel in Azerbaijan. I had an argument with one of the Inspectors regarding his complaint about his lost luggage at the airlines when he arrived on site. I would confess that I did raise my voice during the exchange in opinions  and that made the other person lost his temper and  patience and hit me straight to my face. I was surprised!

At that time, I was on a very high morale, perhaps due to the fact that we had finally committed ourselves, my wife and I, to the Lord by way of tithes. And so the punch was not able to jar the spirit! I did not fight back. Revenge did not play a part. I prayed silently inside of me. I started to talk to God. How could this happen after one has finally returned to accept Him? And before I could even hear an answer the second punch hit my face again and finally a third strike. So much of a test of faith! At that instant the Purser next to me , a colleague of mine, stopped the man for further proceeding  with his brutal act. Some blood gushed out of my bleeding nose. Dr Milorad Prso attended to me in the medical clinic.

An hour later when things pacified the man approached me to ask for forgiveness. He explained that he had just received some  bad news that  his wife abandoned  his family and so he lost control of himself. He was so sorry. He wrote his apology in a piece of paper and at the end of the line he promised on his own accord to pay me $3000 for the mistake that he had done. The trial was over! I passed the test! Forgiveness triumphed and I knew God smiled. I thought I heard Him said, “ Well done my faithful servant!”  Humanity has inched forward a bit.

It was not until another 3 years later when I discovered that giving tithes is the most rewarding thing one could ever do in this life. John Huntsman of America was interviewed in the CNN while I was in Nigeria and I could remember him saying that in the Bible, in Malachi Chapter 3,  we are obliged to give part of our income in order for the Church to be able to perform its responsibilities.

But why 10%, one may ask. For me it is comparable to someone purchasing a piece of property. Isn’t it that a down payment is necessary to show the commitment? Well, likewise with tithing, setting apart the 10% of our income proves our real trust in the Lord. It’s the best litmus paper  test  to see what is inside  the heart and soul. Moreover, doing it consistently shapes one’s  character making him detached in material concerns keeping the closest relationship with the Almighty.

I believe this is the key to human happiness! We need to connect to Him! We need to commit! We need to show our trust! We need to live with Him. Feel Him as He touches your heart while reading this story. Hold on to Him. This is true. The experience is being shared for you! He has been waiting…..

Since then, my family and I have been seeing the mighty works of God, Opus Dei. Life has become more beautiful and so meaningful! Eureka!

Malachi 3:10

“10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

God Heard the Father’s Prayer

By Jeba Angeles. Please watch an inspiring video on how God works to show His might and power.

A Close Encounter With Nigerian Rebels In The Jungles of Nembe

It was in the year  2000….

Big and tall trees could be seen along the swamp while the rays of the sun break through the leaves. The place was so peaceful and quiet except for the sound of the wild birds. They were music to the ear! Air was so fresh! The deep forest was almost like a Paradise!

The speedboat which carried us from the Port Harcourt Base was zigzagging along the river. The trips were usually enjoyable and interesting. Life indeed had so much to offer! Our destination was to the Houseboats stationed along the swamp nearby the oil pipeline project in Nembe.

One evening we were unexpectedly visited by some rebels. Armed with long bladed weapons and guns they had demanded for some things they badly needed. It was a frightening “face-to-face” with them .What a life changing moment! There was nothing left to do but pray, deeply, and hoping to reach the Heavens instantly!

And God listened! The fear was soon gone. Lessons were learned. Life depended on its Maker!

Pray! Talk with Him heart-to-heart!

He has been waiting for you.

He loves.

He will always do.

We all are His children. Trust and strive to be happy!

Isaiah 45:12

It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.”

Penniless First Trip to America

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The sky was bright and the clouds were floating like white cotton balls in the air. The sun was up in the horizon as the chopper we were on was on its way to the oil pipeline project offshore of New Orleans. It was morning of February 1998.

“I am in America!” , I said to myself.  Thank God, it was a very beautiful sunny day!

It was the best time to converse with the Lord on my mind during the trip. I was grateful but gently  asked Him why He had allowed my pocket money to be lost in Amsterdam Schipols airport during transit. It was all the money I’ve got.

In my heart He said, “ It’s okay! You have nothing  in your pocket yet  you have entered America !”

It has become possible then to travel without money after all!

Isaiah 55. “Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water!
Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat!……”

“…..I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love.”

File photo: On board Castoro 12 during the Kashagan Project in 2011. The actual shot during 1998 helicopter flight in New Orleans is not available.

At Dawn in Papua New Guinea

The sun was shining bright across the sea early this  morning!

It was so good  watching  it  slowly  rising from the horizon.

The  orange background began becoming golden !

The scene brought  back home memories of  younger days.

At  dawn one could hear cocks crowing , announcing the start of a new day!

Squeaking sounds of water pump seemed to have said, “Here is water , it’s free! Take as much as you want! Unlimited!.

The pets and the plants were joyful! They knew someone would look after them too.

And this is life!

This is a day, not just any other day!

A precious time greatly offered from the loving heart of God.

For you.

May we be grateful to Him ? Thank God!

Childhood memories….

God is so good to have made our childhood a happy one! We were fit to climb trees, jumped over the walls, carried each other, ran the race, swam in the pond, bathe under the rain, flew against the strong winds, built paper boats & paper airplanes, made tin can cellphones, played with dogs,  chased butterflies….

We crawled on the ground, slept on the grass, watched the clouds during the day and the stars and the moon at night, greeted the sunrise in the early morning….

Those happy moments….They were enjoyed because G-d cared enough and gave   us friends too…and all throughout He has been  with us. How could we easily forget?

Isaiah 55:12

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.