Mobolaji: Hello Michael, thank you for joining us today. Please tell us about you.
Michael: Hey hey hey (I’m trying to sound like you now), Mobolaji!!! Thanks for having me, I’m honoured!
The name’s Michael Tobechukwu Nwokike (which translates to a child of great strength). I’m a proud “God pikin” (child of God), writer, blogger, Jesus boy, great conversationalist, football enthusiast, teacher, and communication student at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and everything else in between). I’m the first of five kids (big Bro things), from somewhere in South East Nigeria. Born, bred, buttered and “sardined” in Lagos, Nigeria.
Mobolaji: Nice. Thanks again for being here. So, how did you start writing? And when?
Michael: I have always loved scribbling things, and still do. A thought could flash through my mind, and I’ll put it down. I’ve always been like that. I recall a few times I scribbled on sand, as I didn’t have pen and paper around.
Writing for me dates back to junior high school when I’d imagine stories and write (my kid sis seems to have the same gift). Sadly, I never was able to finish most of the stories I started. That continued intermittently throughout secondary school.
I had a pretty long wait after secondary school before gaining admission into higher institution; and in that time, I’d say I lost a bit of touch with the “real” me. I took some computer classes for a few months, worked here and there, but I didn’t do much writing, just a few, which I published on Ezine Articles back in 2010.
Long story short, I got into school early 2012 and that part of me seemed to come back to life.
Mobolaji: Hmm interesting. Have you always written Christian content?
Michael: No. You can’t give what you don’t have, right? I wasn’t a Christian (in a personal relationship with Christ), so writing Christian content wasn’t possible.
You can only write Christian content when you’re a Christian in every sense of the word. So, no. Writing Christian content started pretty much recently, say 2013 (when I had to write a bible study manual for a whole semester).
Mobolaji: Interesting. I guess God has a way of capturing us all. So, why did you start a blog?
Michael: PURPOSE. Blogging for me is wrapped up in this word. I can say authoritatively from experience that discovering purpose is the best thing that can happen to anyone; it changes you inside out. It transforms you in ways that can’t be put into words. It changes your outlook of the world.
I always had an incline of my purpose but was not able to clearly define it until 2015. So, having clearly defined it, I looked at it, and went “how do I fulfil this?” (Summarily, I’m called to serve 15-40 year olds, particularly; to make them people who build their lives on and around God’s principles through written, audio and visual content).
I thought, how do I reach them? Where do they spend most of their time? What shapes their perception? Their attitudes, and ultimately their decisions, choices and actions? All these questions and more led me to a handful of things of which blogging is one. The blog is only the first of a number of other “projects” (as I like to call them) to fulfil purpose.
I strongly believe that God’s word and – nothing else – is the answer to the world’s myriad problems, especially affecting young people! That’s why I blog about it.
Mobolaji: I also noticed that you post there almost every day, how do you find time?
Michael: My sister, it’s not easy o, honestly. I just create the time, I’d say.
I started the blog last December, but started posting this February. Between that time and early March, I was juggling blogging and working as a news reporter (part of internship), it wasn’t very easy but I kept one picture on my mind while pushing through – the people I could potentially reach with the content and the effects it would have on their minds and perception. It made it relatively easier to make/ create time.
More recently, however, with school in full swing, it’s a different challenge. But I still create time to write and upload posts, mostly in the evenings/night.
Mobolaji: Nice. Ok, enough about writing. Though this is called Writers Connect, we like to talk about Jesus. What’s your Salvation story?
Michael: Hmm… I’ve always been a “Christian” (a church boy, that is). I’ve always been in and around the Church, I don’t remember ever not being a Church goer. Growing up, I was pretty committed to church activities – I was in the adult choir at one time (at around age 14/15), then I left and joined the ushers (I loved it there), where I served till around age 18/19.
But all the while, I didn’t have a personal knowledge of God, let alone, a personal relationship with Jesus. I was just committed to Church work, but didn’t personally know the God behind it all. It’s like the people of Athens in Acts 17 who “worshipped” a God they didn’t know.
Looking back though, something stands out even in those times, I had this hunger to know God. I remember I usually didn’t miss Sunday school; even though I never really knew God, I usually didn’t miss it. And I used to always go to Church with a pen and book to jot down things during sermons and teachings (not like I read or applied the notes, I just liked scribbling them).
Early 2012 when I got into school though, things started changing. I started to know this God for myself. I began to come into a personal knowing of Him. On resumption, I attended quite a number of Churches in school to see which I would be a part long term. Some hostel mates then introduced me to theirs, an interdenominational Church, where I started to understand this God and what He did for me. It was at this point that I decided, “I want this God for myself”. I started to know Him, dedicating myself to Him. I still struggled with some sins, especially watching pornography. I would fall, get back up, fight, fall, get back up… That continued for a couple of years, till I came to know the Holy Spirit and He gave me total victory.
When I look back, I see God’s hand in all of it, even in those times I didn’t know Him, even when I was struggling with pornography and the likes, even when I was only committed to Church activities and Church work – I now see His hand in all of it.
Mobolaji: Aww, sounds like a love story to me. (The God-kind though.) When or how did you realize- ‘Oh, shoot, I can’t do without Jesus!’
Michael: It was early 2012. I realised that to become all I knew I had the potential to be, I needed Jesus.
Mobolaji: Has it been worth it?
Michael: Totally. He’s a surgeon – a mind and heart surgeon. He’s changed me inside out. I call Him “my everything”.
Mobolaji: God is just too much for words. Let’s talk about relationships. What do you think should be deal breakers before anyone starts dating? I finally wrote ‘my list’ last week and my first was that my partner must be a Priest- meaning that he must be a man of Prayer. What things do you think everyone should lookout for before dating?
Michael: For me? She must LOVE GOD more than anything or anyone else – and that includes more than me, her family, her job, her friends, the children in the future – everything!
You know why? That’s the “safest” person to be in a relationship with. Everything else can be worked on building on that foundation.
Mobolaji: ‘That’s the safest person to be in a relationship with’. Mahn, I think I will need to meditate on that later.
We almost always talk about Godly relationships on this segment of the blog. What’s your take on that?
Michael: (I believe you mean dating, right?)
This thing called relationships…no be small thing o sis.
I think relationships only make sense for a Christian when your relationship with God is “airtight”. What do I mean? Just like trees, if you’ve not developed deep roots in God and knowledge of His word, when the wind blows hard (and it certainly will), you’d be blown away! You need to be really rooted in His word, before you can consider going into relationship with anyone!
Why is this important? You’d be tested, surely. You’d be tried. You’d be pushed. Our only weapon is God’s infallible word DWELLING INSIDE us.
For a Christian, any relationship should be put in its place – a distant second to our relationship with God. It’s God over every and anything else. If it’s not honouring God and advancing His kingdom on earth – you should have no business with it as a Christian!
Mobolaji: I love your answers. So deep! Ok. Are you single? You’re the first ‘bros’ on this segment since the year started. If yes, how do you stay chaste as man in this society? If no, how do you and your babe work it out to maintain a Godly relationship?
Michael: If by single you mean “unmarried”, then yes. (Myles Munroe has something different to say about being “single”).
On being chaste, it’s simply by turning on and being sensitive to your internal brake system (that’s the Holy Spirit who births self-control in us); and taking practical steps like:
1) being mindful of the places you go to 2) being mindful of the persons you hang out with 3) being really mindful of the sites you visit; and generally watching what you feed your mind.
The mind is like a fertile garden, if left without tending, it’ll grow weeds. So you have to deliberately “tend” your mind with God’s word. If you don’t think it, you’ll most likely not act it, so think God’s word! It works for me.
Yes, I’m “unmarried” but in a relationship. From day one, we had clearly defined the terms, with the boundaries drawn. And with that, no “funny” scenarios have come up.
Mobolaji: Wow. Interesting. I think it is important to clearly state dos and don’ts before dating. It guards ‘funny’ scenarios, especially when you constantly remind one another of your rules. Moving on… This month, my Church’s theme is sex and our Pastors have been ‘dissecting’ that topic very well. Lol. One time, Pastor Sam said he pities the brothers because he knows how they feel. Lol. For you guys, the ‘urge’ is strong and many of you want to marry fast to kill the urge so you don’t fornicate. What can you say about that?
Michael: Pastor Sam has been very matter-of-factly and straight-to-the-point in this series, and that’s key.
You really don’t want to get into the head of the average guy, you won’t last eleven seconds! The thoughts that flash through sometimes can make you wonder “wharrisdis?” (What is this?)
Honestly, no be joke. And it’s harder when some ladies decide to become a “showroom” with the way they dress. Wetin man go do? It’s to switch to a higher frequency. A frequency where you take charge of your thoughts. Always be on top of your thoughts because that’s where the hard work is. If you can win in the thoughts realm, you’ve won for real.
That said, I think sex is hugely overrated. I mean, in the way it’s painted especially in the media. You’d think it’s something capable of giving your life a meaning or making a significant difference, no! Sex is just over hyped, and people fall for that falsehood. If we have the right perspective, it’ll help a ton.
Mobolaji: Awesome. Thank you so much for being truthful. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the mind of an average guy. LOL. I have noticed how the Church has shied away from talking about sex and I think that’s a problem because believers get to learn about it the wrong way. Do you think Churches need to talk about it more?
Michael: You know one thing I’ve found to be true? The very thing you try to keep away from someone is the very thing they’d go after (parents should take note of this in raising kids).
You can’t keep people in the dark for too long, they’d grope and find their way out of the darkness and be drawn to anything that looks like light. Isn’t it better then, to bring them into the real light that God’s word offers? So, totally, it should be taught as matter-of-factly as possible from God’s word. Pastor Sam’s teachings have been truly helpful.
Mobolaji: I think I need to jot some of your points o. Lol. People basically run towards what you ask them to stay away from because they want to understand why you’re keeping them away from it. Ok. Do you think we need more Male focused ministries? Everyone seems to focus on the Females and how they can be good wives. We rarely see those focused on men.
Michael: You know, I was reading something online (can’t recall where or what now), and I was thinking to myself: “there’s so much women-oriented initiatives (with terms like girl-child education, girl power, women in business, etc), backed with wonderful materials; and not much for men, do they assume men have got it all figured out?”
Women’s day and mothers’ day are celebrated with much fanfare around the world, but virtually no one even remembers when it’s fathers’ day (there’s even nothing like men’s day!); do they think men are doing just fine without a little “well done”? Maybe it’s because men tend to not show emotion, but trust me, we hurt, too.
Totally, we do need more men focused ministries. Many are failing at being husbands and fathers; they really need help. So many are struggling, but (probably) because of ego, they can’t own up to a woman. We totally do.
Mobolaji: Great! It has been awesome having you on this segment of the blog. Continue to use your blog to draw people to Christ. Thanks for opening up to us like you did. Any final words for our ‘brothers’?
Michael: If there’s one thing God has ensured He’s impressed on my heart, it’s that nothing, I repeat nothing, can make His word fail. Has He said it? He’ll bring it to pass. Hold on.
Also, remember that in a great man’s house there are different kinds of vessels – some for special occasions and assignments, and others for putting trash. Which one will you be? Flee youthful lusts and passions, shed the weight and build your life on God’s word.
Like I love to say, life takes on renewed meaning with Jesus.
Mobolaji: God bless you. Keep shining.
Michael: It’s been a pleasure, it was a nice ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the honour. Shine bright like the star you are!
Michael Tobechukwu Nwokike is an inspired writer, faith blogger, talker, teacher, content creator and communication student. He lives and schools in Lagos, Nigeria.
He loves God, people, himself, words, music and family. He’s passionate about seeing people live lives that not only glorifies God, but helps them fulfill all that they were created to be.
He says- ‘Guess what? Remove God from the whole equation, and it all comes crashing down; I’m nothing without Him!’
SSV Blog… where God speaks to your heart
I think I got to know Micheal from the first unit meeting I attended in Daystar. (Hope I’m not wrong.) I later found out that he was also a blogger and loved Jesus too. Whoop whoop. (No be everyone way dey work for Church love Jesus o.)
I’m sure this interview blessed you. I was smiling like a fish myself. (Don’t tell me fishes don’t smile.) There’s just something about having the male perspectives of things. They’re very interesting beings. Lol. Very intellectual and straight-forward people.
We women like zig-zag sometimes. LOL. I’m kidding!
You can read past interviews here. They’ve all been awesome. From my sis- Jola, down to Michael, there are MANY lessons to learn.
Have a fantastic weekend.
Mine will be awesome and I get to see my sisters tomorrow at the TWTW meet tomorrow! Can’t wait.