Buck The Trend!

To achieve anything worthwhile, we must defy odds stacked high against us. Sometimes the odds are societal expectations, at other times they are entrenched hegemonies.

Most times they are self-stacked odds of fears, doubts and unbelief. Yet we must win but only when we understand and change the rules of the game, do we have a fighting chance to upset the apple cart.

That’s what David had to do in the Bible, he fought with stones and a sling where the convention was hand-to-hand combat. He caught Goliath by surprise.

That’s what President Buhari did at the 2015 general elections. He fought a battle of wits and ideas against his opponent’s strategy to mudsling. People bought into him because he truly had an agenda where the trend was to have none. You just had to make all the right noises and you were a shoo in.

To win, we may have to do what others are not doing or even consider ludicrous. We may have to endure the tags ‘crazy’ and ‘obsessive’ but you will find more victors on that side of the spectrum than on the other side.

Think about Apple, the company. Think about the United Arab Emirates

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Let’s Pray For Nigeria.

I saw a documentary on the war in Afghanistan tonight. It fouled my mood so I sought to escape from it. I tuned to a local station and it was time for their flagship news programme.

I wanted some cheering news. But the very first news report did not help, rather it did the very opposite. It was of a bomb blast in Damaturu, Yobe State. 18 people lost their lives. Then it hit me that Boko Haram terror group operates in my backyard, literally, so there is no escape. I am involved.

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It was hard accepting that reality but I could not wish it away. I reflected on how I have carried on, like most of us far removed from the war zone, as if the Boko Haram bloodshed is happening a continent away. We just shrug our shoulders and go on living our lives, unconcerned.

I wondered what I could do about it. I felt very tiny and powerless compared to the gravity of the problem. I wondered what the victims go through and how their loved ones cope. I am still wondering. I pray that the December deadline is realized.

I may not be able to confront them with a gun or machete or directly confront the victims. But I can pray and recruit you to join me. Please pray for the end of Boko Haram in our nation and for the victims too. Lets pray for Nigeria, now and every other time we remember her. I am pretty sure that something substantial will give.

God bless our dear nation, Nigeria.

God bless you and yours, too.

The Land Is Green!

The UAE was a desert but now they do all kinds of cool stuff with their once rejected land. You should read the book, ‘My Vision’, by the ruler of Dubai and the Vice President of the UAE. You will marvel at the sheer audacity to pioneer and apply innovative solutions to problems.

Maybe the problems you face is in what and how you see. Maybe it is not about where you are but what you do or do not. Maybe it’s not what you don’t have that holds you back but what you have but don’t know how to use.

Maybe it is an imagination problem. Maybe you could start to see the sunny side of life; to cut the grass low on your side and water it.

And of course we must to pray too.

WHAT IS YOUR REASON?

Examine the motive behind your actions. It says a lot. Maybe you live for the applause; maybe you continue to do the same things even long after the camera crew is gone.

Maybe the way you choose to live works for you. Maybe it does not. Maybe you have not consciously made a choice. Maybe you do not even have the luxury of one.

Maybe you need to make changes. Maybe you do not. Examine your why.. I am.

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Be The Gospel!

wpid-wp-1443568987953.jpegImagine for a second that you are the closest some people are ever going to come to knowing Jesus. How does that make you feel?

Your response to the puzzle above is a clue to what your personally contribution to God’s work around you should look like.

We must live the Gospel everyday, and reach out to all men especially those who do not profess our faith.

You cannot compare the effect that light has inside darkness to the effect it has inside light. It has its place in the light but so much so inside darkness.

Prayerfully consider this thought.

Stay Sharp and thank you for reading.

Growing To Full Stature (3)

So I had an interesting ride (and chat) with a bike man on my way home today. Emmanuel told me about how he’s been riding for about four years and that he maintains a wife and three children all on his income from bike riding. While I had no problems believing what he said above, it was his claim that he built a nice house ( I did not remember to ask him for the description) in his village in Benue state that blew my mind and set me thinking.

As I walked in, I remembered another story my sister had told me of a driver in her office who maintains a family of three children and his wife, and also managed to build a 3-room bungalow somewhere on the outskirts of Lagos, all off of his 30k or thereabouts monthly salary.

Then it hit me that these guys could not have achieved what, going by how much they make and what they do, must be seen as phenomenal, if they had not humbled themselves and work unenviable jobs. In fact Emmanuel has a National Diploma from a Polytechnic but he still rides his okada. He is doing what he has to do to survive and raise a family. Shame and ego will not stop him.

But beyond humility is another lesson we can learn and that is sound financial management. These guys don’t make so much but with discipline and sheer vision, they saved what must be a major portion of their income and are able to use them judiciously to make a life for themselves and their families.

The Bible says that a man that cannot provide for his home is worse than an infidel. It also says that a good man leaves inheritance for his children and his children’s children. These two guys have my respect for their determination to make a good life with the little they earn when they could fritter it all away like some of their peers on alcohol and such vices.

I reckon that we could all learn a lesson or two from Emmanuel and the other man. Growing to full stature is on the one part about appropriating our rights as aware members of society but much more importantly, it is about coming to terms with and fulfilling our roles as responsible members of the society.

Stay sharp and strong!

Growing to Full Stature (2)

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Here are some of the key lessons I have learnt in my journey to full stature:

I learnt a lesson from Isaac’s life in the Bible about not letting adversity and envy bother me. I also learnt how not to fight for myself. I mean this guy dug well after well, even the old ones his father owned, and different sets of guys either filled them with sand or fought him for it. But Isaac simply moved on every time they contended with him for the wells, until he eventually dug one and no one fought him over it. He gave it a symbolic name, Rehoboth.

I also learnt how to let go of past hurt and that it is God that justifies, from Joseph who was sold to slavery by his own blood brothers but when he had the chance to pay them back in their own coin, he was overcome with compassion and could not repay evil with evil. He overcame their evil with good. By the way, God had already justified him by virtue of the favour he enjoyed in Egypt so there was no point revisiting old issues. Rather, he threw a feast to honour them.

Third, I learnt that God’s blessing reside in people and they take it with them everywhere they go. Abraham was a blessed man and he knew it. So when there was strife between his servants and Lot’s, he asked Lot to choose from the piece of land on offer not minding if Lot chose the best.

Of course Lot chose the  best according to what his eyes could see but the blessings of the Lord followed Abraham everywhere he went. Jacob also brought his success to bear in Laban’s house. Daniel too.

Moreover, when you see a man that trusts in God, you will notice that they are not unduly attached to things and places. They know that God can relocate and bless as generously and as often as He wills.

They are careful not to permit offences in their spirit because then they might be grieving the Spirit. They let God fight their battles. When next you are tempted to defend yourself, remember Moses, who did not enter into the promised land because he allowed himself to be offended out of his destiny.

May God help our hearts to attain to wisdom and to learn to guard our hearts and minds jealously as He nurtures us to maturity.

Have a blessed week.