A Tribute to Dad

Daddy Ekpott

ITA D. EKPOTT (1939-2016)

I am blessed to have been born to my dad. He was a model father in many ways. He was caring and patient and was a father who paid attention to his children’s affairs. During our childhood, he spent quality time with us and mentored us through his wisdom and knowledge. Daddy provided for us: food, clothing, education, opportunities to develop our abilities, and fun experiences. Even during our adult years, he surprised us on several occasions with generous gifts.

Toward others, Dad was also generous. He was a giver and had a large heart. He was a man who valued people, whether or not they were his relatives, and was willing to invest his resources in developing their abilities.

Dad was talented and intelligent; he was also disciplined and focused, attributes that enabled him accomplish much during his lifetime.

When I think about my dad, several words come to mind: patient, caring, friendly, creative, giver, planner, achiever, problem-solver, people and community builder . . .

But if these words were all I had to say about him, I would be most sorrowful. Thankfully, I can now add that to God’s glory, Daddy also gained Christ in a very genuine way before he departed this world. The Bible says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) My Dad had many privileges and accomplished much, but all that would have profited nothing if he had lost his soul. As many in his community know, he was a religious man who was active in his local church. But I do not believe he had a personal encounter with the Lord for many years. As his family, we prayed for that encounter. We wanted him to experience salvation through Christ in the way we had. We wanted to see him full of the faith, peace, and joy that attend those who have a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

God manifested the answer to our prayers in the latter part of Daddy’s life. In fact, what seemed to be the most trying days of his life became his most spiritual. In his final weeks, he repeatedly confessed, with understanding, his faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  His eyes opened to the fact that unless a man becomes born-again, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God. He saw visions and, we believe, received ministrations about his home going to glory. He delighted so much in hearing the Word of God and in partaking in worship and communion. Indeed, those times of worship seemed to be the highlight of his days. We could see that his spirit was hungry, and our faithful God surrounded him with genuine, God-honouring Christians, who ministered love and spiritual food to him.

The end of Daddy’s life was filled with answered prayers. Because he encountered Jesus Christ clearly and truly, I can say, “Daddy, sleep on until we meet again.” And the joy of that reunion will be unspeakable, free of pain and suffering.

Glory be to God forever and ever!

Are You [Still] Forgiven?


Who can afford to pay the price for his or her sins? Many realize that they can’t and have identified with the price the Lord Jesus Christ paid through His death.

But, dear brother and sister in Christ, do you know that when you refuse to forgive others for offences against you, you forfeit the pardon you received through Christ? Can you afford to bear God’s punishment for your sins? If not, then forgive — unconditionally.

The Lord Jesus Christ taught clearly about this issue because He did not want us, having received God’s forgiveness, to lose it. He said:

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings” (Mark 11:25-26)

The Lord also taught us to pray: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

I don’t know about you, but I can’t bear God’s wrath for my sins — for the wages of sin is death — therefore, I need His forgiveness continuously. Because I cannot afford to be without His forgiveness, even for a nanosecond, I continually ask Him to help me swiftly forgive those who offend me, and to do so without conditions. After I’ve forgiven, I turn to Him to heal my scars, which He does faithfully.

As I read Jesus’ sermon on the mount today, I was reminded of the weightiness of unforgiveness and I prayed: “Lord, help me to always forgive.”

May God help all who bear His name to do so. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Prosperity spoilers

It’s a sad reality that prospering in the present life ends up having a negative impact on many children of God. When the going is tough, many of God’s children look to Him with simplicity of heart and purity of worship. But when the blessings begin to roll in — financially, professionally, in societal standing, and more — the values that have brought them to their affluence are quickly forgotten. Our God is well aware of this tendency, therefore, He warns:

Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, . . . Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’

—Deuteronomy 8:11–17


Finding the beauty in your flaws.

Man will praise you one day & reject you the next. Your worth should never lie in the hands of man, but in the hands of Him whose love towards you never changes. The only consistent in a world full of inconsistent hearts.❤️ You shouldn’t have to hear the applause to feel a sense of worthiness. When your life is dependent on how loud, or how low the applause sounds, you will always be left disappointed. Personally, i’ve chosen to only pay attention to how I live my life so it is pleasing in the sight of God, and not man. Lets face it, it’ll always been an ungoing battle because sometimes we all catch ourselves paying a little too much attention to the crowd. Nevertheless, be very convinced that your value and acceptance in Christ will always be worth more and will always mean more. Psalm 139:13-16 is always…

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Let Down the Nets

fishing boat

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break (Luke 5:4-6).

When we go deeper in Christ, we “catch” a lot more from Him. When we deepen our one-on-one intimacy with Him, we become better equipped to find the purposes and provisions that He has prepared for us.

So, what hinders us from going deeper? A key culprit is our susceptibility to having our hearts overcharged with the cares of this life. In His day, the Lord Jesus warned His disciples to pay attention and be on guard, lest their hearts became weighed down by self-indulgence and worldly pleasures (on one hand) and the anxieties of life (on the other)[1][1].

If self-indulgence, worldly pleasures, and anxieties were snares at that time, they are even more so these days, when the pace of life is faster, the number of activities the average individual is involved in is greater, and self-focus is the norm. To some degree, overcoming the tendency to be overly immersed in the cares and pleasures of this life is the challenge of our age.

There is much more for us to attain in Christ, hence, the Lord, by His Spirit, beckons us to come up higher. In His presence, we will experience calm—like fishes in the deep blue sea—and behold divine treasures. There, we will be changed into His image from glory to glory.

But how do we experience His presence amidst the topsy turviness of daily living? A good place to start is to intensify our efforts to spend quality time with Him each day. A second step is to trim our involvement in things that add no real value to our lives, as these only increase the noise in our souls. We need not live like recluses, but getting rid of excesses that dull our spiritual senses—the kind of activities that are “lawful but not expedient”—will help to maintain inner serenity and facilitate our spiritual journey.

Thirdly, and most importantly, we must ask the Lord for an abundance of grace—grace to stay above the drowning floods of this present age, grace to grow and become the mature body of Christ.[2]

As we take these steps, we will find ourselves soaring above the noise and distractions of our time. We will live this life but not be drowned by it. We will maintain a posture of worship to our God day in, day out.

I’m often intrigued by the fact that a saint like Daniel who was a leader in Babylon had significant responsibilities within his secular job but maintained a heart of deep communion with God.[3] How did he achieve this? Certainly not by a lukewarm, compromising lifestyle. The Bible tells us that Daniel fervently sought the Lord and lived openly for Him. In return, the Lord rewarded him not only with signs and wonders but also with depth in his spiritual life.

May God help us to rise above the drowning tide of our age and go deeper in Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


[1] Luke 21:34

[2] Ephesians 4:15

[3] Daniel 2:48–49; 6:1–4

The Real Enemy


“And a man’s enemies will be the members of his household” (Matthew 10:36).

Among other things, our Lord Jesus reveals one of the devil’s strategies against Christians in this scripture. Who is the Christian’s principal foe? Who wants to see us dead and all our dreams destroyed? Who wants to see our marriages wrecked and our family relationships marred beyond restoration? It is Satan; it is Satan who is at the root of evil against God’s people (1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6:12).

In heeding the Bible’s warning to be vigilant against the devil, we tend to look in distant circles for his activities. We look at non-Christians or nominal Christians; we look at the difficult colleague at work or the mean boss. But in Matthew 10:36, our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that a major field of demonic conflict in our lives will be our own homes.

Home is the one place where our guards are down and we feel relaxed. It is the place where our hearts are attached, and where we seek solace, comfort, and companionship. Unfortunately, home can also be the one place where we are easy prey for the devil—pretty much like when a soldier is taking a break after a long day on the battlefield.

So what do we do? Do we keep our guards and walls up in our own homes? Do we refuse to love and trust lest we be hurt? Do we avoid delving deep into each others lives just to avoid conflict? I believe that doing any of these would be counter-productive and would compromise God’s purposes for placing us in families. Rather than take such steps, we should purpose to push the devil out of our homes. We should ask the Lord to help us put on His armor and with it drive the wicked one outside the physical and spiritual boundaries of our families.

Satan’s strategies are diverse, intricate, and laced with deception. It is only through God’s light that we can truly discern them. Very often, we see their outcome and ignorantly lay the blame in all the wrong places, but we need the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the truth about our circumstances. We also need God’s armor of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God, plus Holy Spirit led prayer and watchfulness to enable us stand successfully against all the strategies and deceits of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Friends, we need love and breakthrough in our homes so that we can enjoy our families as God intends. May God grant this to us through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Meditate on this: In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and deceits of the devil (Ephesians 6: 10-11 Amplified Bible).

Pray: Dear Lord, please empower me against the enemy of my soul. Clothe me with your armor so that I may be able to repossess every ground that Satan has stolen within my home. Strengthen me so that I am able to keep him outside my family perpetually; make every member of my family vigilant and able to resist his lures. I thank you in advance for victory through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Revealed by Fire


God permits certain difficulties in our lives in order to reveal traits that we or others may not know exist. When those traits are negative, we are essentially faced with two choices: acknowledge them and seek God’s deliverance or indulge them and suffer loss.

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

—1 Corinthians 3:12–15