Thursday, November 4, 2010

The marriage institution is under serious attack.

Ask yourself this question: Should there be anything wrong with the marriage institution? Boy meets girl; they get married; they start a family; they have good times and not so good times; they grow old together and die together. There is really nothing wrong but note this: the devil is very angry when a marriage prospers. Martin Luther even stated in 1521, "There is no estate to which Satan is more opposed than to marriage." Christians should not be fooled that the devil will be happy with the institution of marriage. Remember the holy book states that marriage between a man and a wife is like that of Jesus Christ and the church. So how can the devil be happy about prosperous marriages? How can you think that the devil does not bother about your marriage? Wake up and smell the coffee. Don’t be naïve.

Marriage is severely under attack from almost every quarter in these modern times. This militant anti-Christian view of marriage has infiltrated every sphere and stratum of our society. It is attacked by comedians, soap operas, and by modern militant feminism which seeks to rid itself of every maternal and wifely instinct. There is also heavy onslaught on the institution in movies and TV commercials. Some people think that Marriage is an antiquated idea or philosophy which can now be dispensed with by our more enlightened and liberated age. It doesn't seem very long ago that the world once considered that when a man and woman lived together outside of marriage, they were living in sin. But so successful has been the attack on marriage as a sacred and abiding institution that such is no longer the case. Previously people could not openly declare that they preferred their own kind instead of the opposite sex. The defiled bed, cohabitation, homosexuality and lesbianism are becoming the norm. People are termed to be politically incorrect if they openly criticize these abnormal tendencies. The divorce rate among Christians is said to be nearly as high as the in the secular marriages. Consider the statistics released by George Barna (www.barna.org), who directed a study on marriage and divorce in 2008. Please note that this study only refers to Americans but it is an important point of reference. Statistics showed that when evangelicals and non-evangelical born again Christians are combined into an aggregate class of born again adults, their divorce rate is statistically identical to that of non-born again adults: 32% versus 33%, respectively.  George Barna noted that Americans have grown comfortable with divorce as a natural part of life. He goes on to say that "There no longer seems to be much of a stigma attached to divorce; it is now seen as an unavoidable rite of passage. He continues that" There is also evidence that many young people are moving towards embracing the idea of serial marriage, in which a person gets married two or three times, seeking a different partner for each phase of their adult life." If ever the Christian is to combat this humanistic, atheistic and sinful attack then it is essential that Christians themselves have sound and God-glorifying marriages which are built upon a solid biblical foundation.
So for those who are contemplating entering into marriage, it is a good thing but it is also warfare. It must be built on the solid rock. It is way, way above love of a man and a wife. The Bible calls it a mystery. But know this, it was instituted by God and there are rules and regulations. Be diligent, study the Bible and get ready for the journey. It is a life long journey with trials and tests. But it is a beautiful thing.
For those who are already in it, you will agree with me that without Christ and the commitment, it is not worth the hassle. The greatest advertisement for the power of the gospel is the Christian home, and that which will commend the gospel to this decadent age is the Christian marriage. Stay strong. Be committed to your marriage. Be aware of the power of “Two-in-one” (see an earlier blog)
In conclusion, I want us to remember that we are a chosen people taken from among men to show God’s glory. Our marriages must be a visible expression of that oneness that exists between Christ and the church. Let us commit to make our marriages work. It is warfare and we can always be victorious in every battle knowing that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  Do not sleep; be alert. Make your marriage work.
For further study on the institution of marriage as God intended it, please read Genesis 2: 18-25, Ephesians 5: 21 – 33
Shalom

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do you trust your husband?

I spent some time talking with a close friend recently on his wife’s compulsive attitude to her business. He was getting worried that his wife had now placed her business as the first in her order of priorities. He couldn’t understand where the energy was coming from. She was spending an inordinate amount of time on her business to the detriment of her family and her God. He even told me that he was the one that set up the business for her so that she would not be bored but he didn’t know it would turn out to be this way. And this has been on for over 2 years.

I listened to him with rapt attention forgetting that I was the one that phoned him. I didn’t mind ‘burning my credit’ because I owed it to my friend to listen and proffer some advice. He is a good friend and I love his family. He is rich and I know that he can afford to take care of his family without the wife lifting a finger to work.

I then asked him some questions; “what do you think your wife is trying to prove?” Does she have faith in you? Does she think she needs to build a war chest while she can lest she be thrown out in the cold when there is a problem in the home or when you pass away? Do you think she trusts you? Does she think you have someone else somewhere?”

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Power of “Two-in-one” in marriage

If two shall agree
Jesus recognizes that there is increased power when two people come together in prayer. That is why the Bible records him saying this in Matthew 18:19-20: "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Jesus clearly states that if two of you agree. 

This means that you need someone to be an agreement partner with you. You need someone who knows what is at stake and appreciates what it means to stand firm and not relent. The most ideal situation is for a man and his wife to be in agreement.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reminder - Those that are still expecting the fruit of the womb

I would like us to remember those expecting the fruit of the womb. I remember those in my inner circle everyday in prayer. You may be in this category or know someone who is. If you are expecting the fruit of the womb, I just want to say, It shall not pass you by; your time shall surely come. If you know someone who is, say a prayer and re-asssure them of Jehovah's loving kindness and tender mercies.

Let us remember His promises pertaining to children.


  • And you shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfill. (Exodus 23:25, 26)
  • He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 113:9)
  •  Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the Lord is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

·         Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table (Psalm 128:3)

However all these scriptures are applicable to born-again Christians that are right with God and man. Also note that for some families still expecting, the problem may be based on misinformation or not having enough information. Please consult with your Medical Doctor so as to understand your situation and know how to pray effectively. In some cases, it may be spiritual. If any has sinned, let him or her confess and ask for forgiveness. It may be a generational curse, stand on the word concerning your new creation birth and break the curse in prayer. Confess the word, act on it and praise God for the actualization of His word for you. Husbands, this should not be left for the wives alone. Both of you working on this will make more power available. 

It shall come to pass. Shalom.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Role of the wife

I had to enlist the help of my wife in writing this piece. So everything written here has been vetted by my wife.
I praise my wife. Indeed I do. The modern times has not made it easy for the wife as she has been ‘dragged’ into helping in the provision of the family. It is now a battle between the home and the office. The modern woman spends between 8 – 12 hours out of a possible 16 hours in a day in the office. Some believe they get more relevance in the office compared to the home. She asks, “Why can’t I go out to work? Why can’t I go to the marketplace to compete? What a man can do, a woman can do better. Compared to the office, the role of the wife and mother at home may be seen as a diminishing role. But to some people, the role of building and taking care of the home is definitely NOT a diminishing role. It is a full time job. In many ways, it is just as complex as the marketplace. There’s the family’s nutrition, home decoration, kids handling and budgeting to juggle.

But what does the Bible say about the role of the wife and mother?

Proverbs 31:10-31 is often cited as the epitome of a wonderful wife and mother. This is one passage that makes every husband very happy and you would often see him reciting this to his wife .
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.  Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Role of the Husband

This article is to remind husbands of their roles and to advise the ‘wanna-be’ husbands of what is in store for them. If you are a man, please read and take note. If you are a woman, send the article to your husband or fiancé.
With the proliferation of wrong stereotypes by Hollywood; what with ‘reality’programmes like “House-husbands”, sitcoms like “The Simpsons”, “My Family”, that portray the husband as slow and dimwitted; Tim Gunn’s “Tim Gunn’s Guide to style  and the fashion show “Queer Eye for the straight Guy” that encourage men to get in touch with their feminine side (whatever that means) ; the average man on the street has no clue as to roles and responsibilities of the husband demanded by God in marriage.

What does the Bible say about husbands? Ephesians 5:21-33
From the very beginning, God designed someone to be in charge, and someone to help. Someone to be, as it were, "in authority," and someone to be "in submission." Someone to be the leader and someone to be the follower. Someone to provide and someone to be provided for. The man has the role of the headship, and the woman has the role of the one for whom that headship is to be provided. The man is the one who protects, provides, preserves, and cares for the woman who is "a fitting," or "suitable helper" for him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do you have mother-in-law troubles?

Some years ago, I met a Christian woman who was happy that she was getting married to a man whose mother was dead. As far as she was concerned, mother-in-laws spelt trouble and she believed that if her fiancé’s mother was alive, she would interfere in her marriage.
The mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is one of the most interesting relationships in marriage and family life. These two people can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. For the daughter-in-law, it could be like gaining a second mother or it could be entering a relationship filled with tension and jealousy.
You, as the daughter-in-law, need to assess the reasons why you do not get along. You need to discuss with your husband and come up with possible solutions to this issue. Ask yourself some very hard questions. Do you see her as a threat to your home? Are you jealous of the control she still wields over your husband? Do you think she is jealous of you? Is your husband always trying to please her at your expense? Is she trying to raise your children her own way? Once you have found out what the true issues are, you need to pray about this. You need to extend the olive branch to her.  You also need to let your husband define the roles of wife and mother to his mother. He needs to be able to talk to his mother since she is his mother. Now this is the approach to take if your husband is bold enough to talk to his mother and can enforce the new regime. If on the other hand your husband cannot stand up to his mother, you will need to take the matter to the Lord in prayer. You need to pray for your husband and your mother-in-law about the issue and be patient. Always show love. Do not constantly nag your husband about the situation or force him to try and take sides. Nothing is so important that it should come between the two of you. Try your best to present a united front and approach the situation in a direct manner. Keep in mind that someday you are going to be a mother-in-law yourself. Aspire to be the type of daughter-in-law that you hope to have someday.
Since this is a forum for husbands and wives, I must address the husbands because husbands have a major role to play in this issue. Husbands, the Bible says that ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’. This means that the husband should leave his mother. The umbilical cord should no longer connect a man and his mother when the man is married. As a Christian husband, you should protect your wife from unnecessary harassments; even from your mother. You know that your wife left the care of her parents and followed you under the assumption that you would take care of her and love her unconditionally. So take charge and inform your mother that your wife is your responsibility and you would defend her always. You are her knight in shining armour. 
Shalom. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Secret wishes of people in marriage

How I wish he would do something about his tommy, it is too big. How I wish she would stop giving excuses about her laziness, she never gets anything done. How I wish he would help in the housework on Saturdays instead of wasting time in front of the TV watching football. 

How I wish she would stop making that irritable sound at the back of her throat, all in the name of scratching the back of her throat. How I wish he would stop being funny when we go out. Doesn’t he know he is embarrassing us? How I wish she would do something about her weight.  

Wishes, Wishes, Wishes. These issues have been long standing unresolved issues in marriages. Harmless as they may be, when there are arguments, they become major issues that aggravate the quarrels. What have we done with these issues? 

Some people choose to ignore the issues while some continually nag about the issues. Have you discussed the issue with your spouse? Have you approached God with the issues? You may say that you have discussed this issue with him (her) but the excuse is always ‘that is how I was made, I can’t change now’.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Wedding Anniversary....12 years on the 12th September

Whao!!  It is so interesting that I have been married to the same woman for 12 years. And I still love her very, very much.
When I met her, I liked her. But now I love her.  I am the kind that believes you can’t say you love someone when you really don’t know the person. You can only love someone when you have known the person for years.
I was ready for marriage from my youth. I am the kind that, at 14, used to look up in the skies to try to think of what my future wife would be doing at the same time. I wasn’t ready to date. I had discussed with God and told him that I would be pure and holy provided he would give me the girl of my dreams – a fair, tall, God fearing woman who could tell no lies. I had my ‘spiritual’ attributes and ‘physical’ attributes. Now, don’t tell me God is not into this kind of things. He made us; He knew what I would like in a woman; So I sent the list back to Him to help me find my helpmate. HE DID. I love Him for this and I thank God for my wife.
I met her when I taught a business class in my church (Covenant Christian Center). She was one of the students and she turned out to be the best in the class.  (Not too worry, She is just 2 years younger than me o!).
I am thankful to all those that made this marriage possible. First, God; Remi, my wife who said Yes;  Mr and Mrs Olanihun – My Parents-In-law; my late parents; my siblings; Remi’s siblings; Pastor Poju Oyemade of Covenant Christian Center (I had to ask him about Remi - whether she was a good person)
The last 12 years have been eventful. Fun, Joy and Laughter and 3 blessed children.
Do I have any regrets? Any regrets about marrying my one and only Remi? No. I can’t think of any. It was definitely a battle of wits in the initial days of the marriage. What more would you expect from 2 first borns? Remi, the first of five and Me, the first of five too. First born children are used to having things done their own way and tend to be ‘bosses’. But we always sorted things out. We set rules in our household such as not keeping the score of hurts; always apologising when one party has wronged the other; sleeping on the same bed, not two beds; e.t.c
So this is from me to you, Oluwaremilekun Olabisi Ebuehi. You are once, twice, three times a lady and I love you. I cherish you. I bless the day I found you and I thank God that He helped me find you in my youth. You were created especially for me and I know I will definitely grow old with you. Happy Anniversary, my love.

P.S
Every couple deserves happiness. Just let God take charge and let your marriage be like the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church. Unconditional Love. Let your partner be your friend and your lover. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Part 2: Conflict resolution in Marriage

Related Post: Part 1: Conflict resolution in Marriage

Some actions that can be particularly destructive when faced with conflicts in marriage, are :

• Walking out in the middle of the conflict;
• Intensifying the argument in the middle of the conflict;
• Ignoring your spouse;
• Ridiculing, mocking or belittling your spouse or your spouse’s feelings and ideas in the midst of conflict;

• Believing destructive things about your spouse that are not true (that is, your spouse is actively trying to make your life miserable).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Part 1: Conflict resolution in marriages

As you move towards oneness in your relationship, you will experience times of disappointment and hurt. Marriage is said to be a bed of roses but remember rose bushes have thorns. These times can be opportunities to grow or traps that will keep you from growing in oneness, thus leading to distance and awkwardness in your relationship, if not to open hostility.

A Conflict is a situation in which people get involved in a serious disagreement or argument.

The presence of conflicts in marriages is often due to basic points of difference between the partners in marriages. As such every conflict situation, we face, has a potential to make the relationship stronger or destroy oneness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Attitude towards money in marriages.

“Me, No! Even though the premarital counselling class says that having joint accounts is good for some reasons, I beg to differ. I cannot trust my spouse to have full access to our account.”

“I don’t have to disclose everything that I earn. I should be smart enough to know that in this life, I need to build my own war-chest. What if the unthinkable happens and he leaves me penniless?”

“Do you know that I keep adding to the money you give me for the house? Instead of discussing this, you tell me you don’t have any more money. Am I the only one that knows that inflation has caught up with us and prices have gone up?”

“Why do we spend a lot of our money on your siblings and parents and my own parents don’t get as much?”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Part 2 - Christians, God never intended sexual intimacy for procreation alone

Click here for Part 1

4. Sex arousal and satisfaction is expressed differently in the different sexes. True. Sexual arousal for males can be compared to light switches; easy to turn on and off. Males tend to be aroused by visual stimuli such as viewing naked or near naked female erotic body parts. On the other hand, women are like pressing irons; it takes time for them to become hot and to cool down.

They tend to be aroused by tactile and emotional stimuli such as touching them, saying or doing things to them in an emotionally pleasing way. Satisfaction also tends to be expressed differently. While females tend to want to get more intimate and connect with their mates, the men tend to fall asleep. Understanding and discussing these differences can help to manage the responses by both parties’ expectations. Men and women should be able to work together to ensure that Sex is enjoyable.

The husband should invest in this act as he can experience the thrill of conquest whenever he makes love to his wife; she can glory in his pursuit and he can savour her melting response. Both husband and wife should avoid dull routines in their sex play. They should practice variety- variations in time or setting, variations in love play, variations in frequency, e.t.c. Afterall, variety is the spice of (life) lovemaking. After the climax, when both have been satisfied, husbands should not just roll over and sleep. They should remain close, cuddle and relax together, perhaps talk.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Part 1: Christians, God never intended sexual intimacy for procreation alone.

After my first blog about expectations from marriage, I realised that it would be instructive to share some of the most important aspects about marriage over the next couple of days. Today, I am going to talk about one of the most important, yet misunderstood but ‘not-talked-about’ aspects of marriage – Sexual intimacy.

Myles Munroe, in his book, ‘The power and purpose of Love and Marriage’ says that Many couples are confused about their sexuality, not so much with regard to their sexual identities as with understanding how to properly relate to each other sexually. Sexual dysfunction can be a significant source of frustration, conflict and unhappiness in marriage. The world has a lot to talk about sex even though based on error and misconceptions, but the church does not say much about it. This is tragic because believers, who know and follow the God who created sex and established its proper parameters, should be able to speak more intelligently and confidently about it than anyone else.

My wife and I are privileged to be one of the teams in church that talk to young people about marriage before they get married. So I will be discussing the Christian perspectives about sexual intimacy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Expectations from your marriage


Having been married for over 11 years, I find it interesting that christians go into marriage without discussing expectations about their marriage, their roles and responsibilities. One party believes that the other party should know about his or her expectations.

But unconciously, a man dives headlong into marriage expecting the following:

  • that his wife should take care of him like his mother. He thinks his wife is his mother;
  • that his wife should forget about her career after marriage. He would be able to take care of the family on his own. Afterall, the Bible says that a man that can not take care of his household is worse than an infidel;
  • that for very important decisions, he would rather discuss with his friends instead of his wife. Afterall, a woman should just go along with the decisions made;
  • that it is only the woman that should know how to cook. So the woman must always be on hand to prepare the food. He cannot see himself going into the kitchen at all;
  • that he alone decides the number of children that he will have;
  • that the woman should be the spiritual initiator in the marriage. That is always the responsibility of the woman of the house;
  • that he can win a verbal war with his wife.

Monday, August 9, 2010

WWJD - What would Jesus do?

It is really interesting when things happen around you and you react a not-very-christian way. Then you remember that you are supposed to be a spirit-filled, bible- believing,tongue-talking (wo)man of God. You sit back and relax and say to yourself 'What would Jesus have done in that situation'?
You might be fortunate to remember this when you are actually going through the situation.
When you are going home in your car and an 'okada' man hits your side mirror and continues without stopping to apologise. You remember that the first time that this happened, you had to cough out N25,000 to buy a new one because it couldn't be repaired. Every muscle in you wants to step on the accelerator and go after the 'okada' man. Ask yourself, 'What would Jesus do?'
You have been at your job for over 2 years and you have an overbearing boss who wants to be worshipped. He has just told you that you cannot go on vacation; a vacation you have planned for over 2 months. He tells you that going on leave is a priviledge, not a right. You are tempted to tell him some very interesting home truths but you stop short and ask yourself. 'What would Jesus do?'
You live in a country that is full of corruption where nothing ever seems to work. With a ruling government that promises a lot and delivers so little. As a christian, you know that most government contracts will not see the light of day unless they pass through some of these currupt officials who extort their fees before even considering your proposals. Would Jesus never do a government contract? What would Jesus do?
Incredibly, sitting down to ponder over these four words would actually change your plan of action. Though we are in this world, we are not of this world. We need to follow the examples of Jesus Christ and let the Holy Spirit guide our footsteps. Sometimes it would be tough but always know that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Christians were never promised that they would not go through tough times, they were promised that they would be victorious over tough times.
So I say, whenever you get to crossroad, ask yourself, 'What would Jesus do?'

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Watch these films - Fireproof and Why did I get married?

For those thinking of getting married or even the married folks, I would like you to watch these two films. Interesting and thought provoking.

The first one is Fireproof.


Released in 2008, Fireproof is about a heroic fireman locked in a failing marriage who accepts his father's challenge to take part in a 40-day experiment designed to teach both husband and wife the true meaning of commitment. This is a faith-based marriage drama starring Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea. Kirk Cameron is the veteran of three Rapture-themed 'Left Behind' movies. (I hope u have watched the 'Left Behind' movies)
I wouldn't want to give too much away but I would say it is a must-watch for couples and intending couples.


The second one is 'Why did I get married?'


The Tyler Perry film is about the difficulty of maintaining a solid relationship in modern times. Eight married college friends plus one other non-friend (all of whom have achieved middle to upper class economic status) go to Colorado for their annual week-long reunion, but the mood shifts when one couple's infidelity comes to light. Secrets are revealed and each couple begins to question their own marriage. Over the course of the week, the couples battle with issues of commitment, betrayal and forgiveness and examine their lives as individuals and as committed couples. This film explores the resultant emotional impact that fidelity and love have upon the constitution of marriage. It stars Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson and Jill Scott among others. It was released in 2007.

This film brings up topical issues in the modern day marriage.

You should be able to get these films at your local video club or buy them at the nearest video store.

Lets discuss if you have watched it or when you watch it.



By the way, the sequel to 'Why did I get married?', 'Why did I get married too?' was released about 2 months ago. This time, the same crew went to the Bahamas. I haven't seen it. For those who have seen it, is it worth watching?

Monday, August 2, 2010

What do you have in your hands?

Sometimes when you think you do not have all it takes to succeed, think again. You may be underestimating what you have. You may be underestimating your assets. You may think that your liabilities surpass your assets and you do not have a chance. Sit back, relax and think again. Sometimes you think of the issues around and ask how you can tackle these issues.

Remember Exodus 4:1-5 when in trying to convince God that he was not capable, Moses said, "What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'". But the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" And he said,"A staff." Then He said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail"--so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand--"that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you." Moses didn't realise what he had in his hands. He didn't think that God could work with anything he had in his hand.

Another example is referenced in the Bible when Jesus Christ fed the people that came to listen to him.
As the story in Matthew 15: 32-38 goes: And the disciples said to Him, Where are we to get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated and desert place? And Jesus asked them, How many loaves of bread do you have? They replied, Seven, and a few small fish. And ordering the crowd to recline on the ground, He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. Those who ate were 4,000 men, not including the women and the children. The disciples were only focussed on the situation, not the solution. They considered the limitations rather than the opportunities.

In the face of seemingly insurmountable issues, take a checklist of what you have with you. God has already armed you with the tools to make a way. Give thanks and get go. You are blessed.

Have a wonderful week.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Random acts of Kindness

Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. Kindness is contagious. It is truly a win/win situation. The person you are being kind to benefits through your help. You feel good for having helped someone. And the world is a better place through your kindness. It is important to carry out your acts of kindness without expecting anything back from that same person. But I tell you, it will come back to you.
So today, carry out a random act of kindness today. Here are some acts you can perform
- Tell all your family members how much your appreciate them.
- Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
- Send lunch to your loved one in his/her office.
- Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
- Send someone a small gift anonymously.
- Pay for the drinks on the next table at a café.
- Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
- Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
- Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
- Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
- Compliment a work colleague for their excellence.
- Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past.
- Go to the hospital and pay for someone's bills
- Visit the orphanage and spend some time with the children
- Pray for your boss.
- Pray for your country.
- Help an elderly neighbour carry the rubbish out.
- Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
- Smile a lot.
Have a wonderful day. You deserve it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life is the Coffee......


Hi,

a friend of mine, the current President of Executive MBA class 7 of Lagos Business School, sent the article below and I decided, after taking permission, to share it with my blog readers. Happy reading.


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in their work and lives.Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups -- porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite --telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the alumni had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, "Notice that all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive, and, in some cases, even hides what we drink.What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups, and then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; your job, money, and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The type of cup one has does not define, nor change, the quality of life a person lives. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."mGod makes the coffee, man chooses the cups.

The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Enjoy your coffee!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Positional vs. Personal Power

I came across an old edition of the magazine “Life@work”. This particular issue (vol.4, no.3 - 2000) deals with Power with particular reference to the life of Moses. I will like to share some of the lessons learnt through this blog. Let me start with this quotation by Abraham Lincoln - “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
The meekness that Moses demonstrated during his life was an integral part of his personal power, while his specific role as leader of Israel was an example of the positional power that God has given him. Generally speaking, it is into those two categories that power – particularly as evidenced in the business world – falls.
Positional power is the ability to act on the basis of one’s station or platform in life. In the corporate world, a person’s positional power is measured by his title, the size and placement of his office, his salary, the number of employees he has under his control, and whether he drives his own car or has a chauffeur-driven car. The very nature of these trappings reveals that positional power is external, and, as such, it can come and go. When a corporate CEO retires, he relinquishes his right to his office.
Personal power, on the other hand, is based on moral authority. It represents a source of energy that flows from the inside out. From a theological perspective, a person with type of power knows who he is. He knows what his skills are. He knows what he was created to do. He has an eternal sense of purpose, and as a result, his life is characterized by peace, contentment and integrity. Personal power is tied to reputation, which means that if a person loses his reputation, he also can lose his personal power.
Moses, for example, never would have been able to lead the Israelites for 40 years without a good deal of personal and positional power. These are some of the lessons we can learn from his life.
Power is a Sacred Trust.
It doesn’t matter if we inherit our power, if we attain it gradually as we rise through the corporate ranks or if we receive it by virtue of being elected to a specific post. Whatever the case, it doesn’t really belong to us, and we have no guarantees that it will last. The only thing we know for sure is that, for as long as we have it, we are responsible for using it wisely. When God gives us a certain amount of power, He expects us to be good stewards of it. Power is never an end in itself, Like money, it is a tool – to influence someone, to help a cause, to right a wrong, to create an opportunity. It’s up to us to figure out why we have been blessed with our power and then to use it correctly.
Personal power and personal power must never be confused.
If a significant part of our authority stems from our position – as a CEO, a business owner or an elected official – there’s always a danger that we might slip into the mode of assuming that people do what we say because of our own influence over them. Then, when that authority slips away – when a new person takes over the office or we’re replaced by a new CEO – we lose our identity. That’s why it’s important to remember that positional power can come and go, and personal power often grows over time.
The more power we give away, the more powerful we become
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, came to visit his family in the Israelite camp. The next day, Moses opened court and began mediating the people’s disputes, from morning until evening. When Jethro realized that this was Moses’ daily practice, he gave him some advice that has stood the test of time, particularly in organizational management circles.
“What you are doing is not good,” Jethro said. “You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone….You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to Him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens……That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you” (Exodus 18:17-22). Moses took his father-in-law’s advice. He didn’t figure it out on his own, but once he shown the value of empowering the people, he didn’t try to hoard all the power. For Moses, giving power away not only was efficient and effective, but it also significantly expendade his depth of leadership. That, in turn, helped him in the continual exercise of power that was required as he led the Israelites.
When God gives us power, it is up to Him to keep us in power.
Throughout the course of his leadership tenure, Moses had significant challenges to his power. But whether they came from members of his inner circle (Miriam and Aaron) or from rebels among the people (see Numbers 16), he never fought back. He left vindication up to God, and God never failed him. If we’re in a position of leadership, it’s not a matter of whether people will challenge out power, it’s a matter of when. At that point, we are faced with the same three choices we face as we deal with any other aspect of power. We can overreact, we can unplug or we can balance on that sweet spot in the middle and wait for God to act on our behalf. However, it will require discipline to take the journey and to live with the mockery, the condescending comments, the inevitable second-guessing.
Please let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Don't just stand there, Say something

Hi,

I read an article by Kenneth Copeland on speaking to things. Please read the excepts below. It is interesting and exciting.

CIRCUMSTANCES, PROBLEMS, CHECKBOOK BALANCES,RICKETY CARS, WORN-OUT WASHING MACHINES AND ALL KINDS OF THINGS IN YOUR LIFE CAN—AND WILL, FROM TIME TO TIME—TALK VERY LOUDLY TO YOU. THEY WILL TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR FUTURE. THEY WILL TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR GOD-GIVEN DREAMS. THEY’LL TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR PROSPERITY, YOUR HEALTH, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR CITY AND YOUR NATION.

Most of the time, they won’t be saying anything positive, either. Instead, they’ll point out everything that’s wrong. They’ll remind you of what you’ve prayed and believed God for and say, “You might as well give up on that. Look around you! There’s not one shred of natural evidence it’s ever going to come to pass.” I don’t even have to ask if you’ve had that experience. We’ve all had it. The question is: When things start talking to you, how do you answer?

“Oh, be serious, Brother Copeland! Why on earth would I answer a thing? No one does that!”

Jesus did, and if you’re His disciple, you ought to be following His example. You ought to be doing what He did in Mark 11 when He came across a bad-mouthed fig tree.

He encountered the tree one morning when He was walking with His disciples from Bethany to the Temple in Jerusalem. Having spent the night in prayer, Jesus was headed there to do His Father’s will. He was a Man on a mission, and on His way to carry out that mission He got hungry. “And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it” (Mark 11:13-14).

Notice that according to those verses, Jesus didn’t just speak to the fig tree. He answered it. That means the tree said something to Him first. It said, “I don’t care if You are hungry. I don’t care if You are the Son of God. You’re not getting anything to eat off me.”

Why would a tree say that to Jesus?

Because the devil was using it. He was using it the same way he might use a stack of unpaid bills and an insufficient bank balance against you. He was using it to contradict God’s Word and discourage Jesus’ faith in THE BLESSING.

The fig tree quickly found out, however, that it should have kept quiet. It found out it was talking to the Seed of Abraham - Someone who lived by faith in Abraham’s BLESSING, who truly believed God’s promise that whoever blessed Him would be blessed, and whoever cursed Him would be cursed (Genesis 12:3).

When that tree said no to Jesus, it ran head-on into the curse side of THE BLESSING. It heard words from Jesus that no tree ever wants to hear.

For more of this interesting piece, please click on this link.. http://www.givengain.com/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&cause_id=1254&news_id=89237
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