Title: Apples of Gold
Publisher: Ceenai Multimedia Limited, Lagos, 2014
Author: Attah Ogbole
Reviewer: Bayo Ogunmupe
THE book, Apples of Gold is the inspired thoughts of Attah Ogbole as compiled by Segun Aderogba. The book is subtitled – Courage for your journey. That means life is seen as a journey. Thus, Ogbole carefully presents his inspired thoughts from his experience in his walk with God as a pastor. This book also showcases priceless quotations from the scriptures. It is a frank, prophetic and motivational volume filled with the Godly values that will guide you to make the right decisions in your journey through life.
Apples of Gold has 10 sections, which touch on attitudes, character, service, relationships, diligence, purpose and patience. These are the qualities of champions who soar high in life. If practised, the truths in this text can generate superlative results that cause you to stand out in a crowd.
Section one is on Attitudes and Diligence. It covers managing anger, following God’s purpose for you and keeping the right attitude. This section also treats issues as being grateful, character building, pride, service and enjoying God’s gifts to you. The desire for material gain and pride have beclouded visions of people. Paul captured this picture when he said: ‘‘…those whose god is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who set their minds on earthly things,” Philippians 3:19.
On keeping the right attitude, Ogbole has the following to say: ‘‘If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small, Proverbs 24:10. Also, the Bible says: ‘‘The swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all,” Ecclesiates. 9:11. Then, are you complaining? ‘‘The things that happened to those people are examples. They were written down to teach us, because we live in a time when all these things of the past have reached their goal. But you can trust God, who will not permit you to be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, He will also give you a way to escape so that you will be able to stand it,” 1 Corrinthians. 10:11, 13. God will sort you out, put your trust in Him.
Also, the author urges you to set apart a time today, to thank Jehovah for every Christmas, Sallah or Easter you have enjoyed so far and leave the rest to Him to organize. On comparing yourself to others, 2 Corinthians 10:12 says comparing yourself to others is foolish because you are unique. God made you to be you. You are an original being, don’t end up a carbon copy. Because you will always get someone doing better than you, which will make you unhappy, so never compare yourself with others.
Moreover, past failures would not stop God from using you as arbiter of the Nigerian peace. Many leaders of the Bible did not have stellar records. Moses was a murderer, David was an adulterer and murderer. Jacob stole the family inheritance from his brother Esau. Paul was a religious terrorist. Jehovah uses people with checkered past because as humans, we are not perfect. God uses average, ordinary, dysfunctional people, for if He used only perfect people, what would get done in this world? It does not matter where you are coming from. What matters is the direction you are heading to.
For Section Two, Being led by God and Move Against your fears look more relevant than ever. The fact is: you must get direction from God before you act. Sadly, many people relocate to foreign lands because others are doing so. Many buy cars or adopt other professions because others have done so. You must get real motive for any decision you make. ‘‘Then, Joshua issued instructions to the leaders of Israel to tell the people to get ready to cross the Jordan River,” Joshua 1: 10-11. There comes a time when you have to move against your fears. This was what Joshua made the Israelites do. In order for them to get to Canaan, they had to cross River Jordan which was 100 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Without a miracle, it was impossible to cross to the Promised Land. The Bible tells us in Joshua 3 that God dried up the river 17 miles upstream. This means they had to go 17 miles of water before they reach dried land.
The spiritual leaders led the journey. They stepped in up to their ankles and nothing happened. They walked further in with water up to their hips and chests. But God’s timing is perfect. The waters receded, and they were able to walk across the Jordan River and capture Canaan.
What must you do when you know what you ought to do but you are afraid to do it? You must do it anyway. To move against your fears, you must do the very thing you fear the most.
In section three, I shall treat focus. ‘‘But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said: ‘It is enough! Now Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” 1 Kings 19:4. Discouragement drains you of the strength to achieve your vision. Discouragement thrives among unbelievers. If you have faith, facts peddled by it pale into insignificance for with God all things are possible. Watching what you see and hear will put you in the right perspective.
Look up to God, read the scriptures, meditate, ‘‘And Wisdom and Knowledge will be the stability of your times,” Isaiah 33:6. Always focus on God, your purpose and with prayer and supplication, you shall conquer. Laying the Right Foundation is my concluding aphorism. ‘‘Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other,” Ephesians 4:2. In the same vein, recently, the Rosicrucian Order concluded in a symposium that the road to world peace is the pursuit of silence, humility and tolerance. Aren’t they saying the same thing as Paul? Indeed, they are! Thus, Ogbole’s thoughts are spiritually inspired. Which was why he was called to serve humanity as architect and pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Attah Ogbole is married to Bolanle and they are blessed with two children: David and Angel.