Friday, May 30, 2014

Your Reputation Is Important!

Disclaimer: This post is not an attack on those who are into the popular 'yahoo yahoo' business, nor is it an attack on those who enjoy riding the wave that comes with the business.

I published a post on my blog yesterday where I stated outrightly that I can't date, not to mention marry a man that earns a living through illegal means.  Today, I was having a chat with one of my long time buddies and we sort of gravitated towards the topic of dating men that earn a living through illegal means. Now in Nigeria, we know some of them as yahoo boys ( those that commit cyber crimes), there are drug dealers and also those that don't need the internet to scam people, they give you the one-on-one 'consultancy'. My buddy said something that had me rolling on the floor with laughter. She said "dating a guy that's into illegal business is just like dating a robber. What kind of father would he be to your kids?  After my fit of laughter, she got me thinking.... 'what kind of effect will such a relationship have on a your reputation? What effect does it have on the reputation of those that are directly involved in these deals?

I know of women that have been arrested while spending the night with a boyfriend that is knee-deep in illegal deals. Some have been arrested while innocently withdrawing cash at the ATM. Innocent or not, a criminal record is a huge stain on your reputation.
These days, I feel many of us make decisions like we don't have a future to look forward to. Granted,  we don't know what the future holds but isn't that the reason you should protect your future? One of the ways you can protect your future is to protect your reputation by making decisions that won't earn you a criminal record.  In future, you may want to run for senate, presidency or even be married to a president, become a pastor... whatever. How will you explain the taint in your reputation that might cost you your dreams and some of the biggest opportunities of your life?  These days, employers go through the trouble of doing a background check on potential employees. Why woukd you trade in so much for a few months or perhaps years of careless spending?

If a man can't earn a living through legal means, believe he won't be able to sustain his lifestyle forever.  One day, he'll decide he's had enough of that lifestyle but by then, his reputation is in the gutter, and so is yours. I know these days, many men and even women have their reasons for doing shady deals. I make it a point not to judge people because I haven't walked in their shoes but I also make it a point not to join them in anything I feel may taint my precious future which I'm still unwrapping. Don't live your life carelessly like you won't have to answer for your actions later.  There will be situations that will call you out on the decisions you made as a youngster. Don't ever forget your reputation might mean everything in such situations.  XOXO. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ladies, How Much Are You Worth?

I got this from my friend's facebook wall. I read it and found it profound! Many times, I feel ladies are too scared to say what they want and are willing to settle for any kind of man. This was a conversation I found interesting.

In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question:

‘What kind of man are you looking for?’

She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye & asking,
‘Do you really want to know?’

Reluctantly, he said, ‘Yes.

She began to expound,’
As a woman in this day & age,
I am in a position to ask a man what you can do for me that I can’t do for myself.

I pay my own bills.
I take care of my household without the help of any man…
or woman for that matter.

I am in the position to ask, ‘What can you bring to the table?’

The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money.

She quickly corrected his thought & stated, ‘
I am not referring to money.
I need something more.
I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life.

He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, & asked her to explain.

She said, ‘I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation. I don’t need a simple-minded man.

I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don’t need to be unequally yoked…believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.

I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don’t need a financial burden.

I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.

I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man.

I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God.

I need someone whom I can respect… In order to be submissive, I must respect him.

I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business.
I have no problem being submissive…he just has to be worthy.

And by the way, I am not looking for him…He will find me.
He will recognize himself in me.
He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me.
God made woman to be a help-mate for man. I can’t help a man if he can’t help him self.

When she finished her spill, she looked at him.

He sat there with a puzzled look on his face. He said, ‘You are asking a lot.

She replied, “I’m worth a lot “.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Their Marriage Broke A World Record But Their Secret Was Simple

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Before they passed, they were interviewed about what it takes to have a beautiful marriage that lasts a lifetime. See their simple and sweet answers below.

1. What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?

With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure. Divorce was NEVER an option, or even a thought.

2. How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?

We grew up together and were best friends before we married. A friend is for life; our marriage has lasted a lifetime

3. Is there anything you would do differently after more than 80 years of marriage?

We wouldn’t change a thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other and our family.

4. What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?

Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith – when you meet him, you’ll know.

5. What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?

Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.

6. What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?

Zelmyra: A hard worker and a good provider. The 1920s were hard, but Herbert wanted and provided the best for us. I married a good man!

7. What is your best Valentine’s Day memory?

Zelmyra: I cook dinner every day. Herbert left work early and surprised me; he cooked dinner for me! He is a VERY good cook!
Herbert: I said that I was going to cook dinner for her and [that] she could relax. The look on her face and clean plate made my day!

8. You got married very young – how did you both manage to grow as individuals yet not grow apart as a couple?

Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together.

9. What is your fondest memory of your 85-year marriage?

Our legacy: 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.

10. Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?

The children are grown, so we talk more now. We can enjoy our time on the porch or our rocking chairs – together.

11. How did you cope when you had to be physically separated for long periods of time?

Herbert: We were apart for 2 months when Z was hospitalized with our 5th child. It was the most difficult time of my life. Zelmyra’s mother helped me with the house and the other children, otherwise I would have lost my mind.

12. At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?

Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.

13. Is fighting important?

Never physically! Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break!

14. What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?

We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord.We pray with and for each other every day.

Zelmyra and Herbert had an inspiring marriage, and we are lucky to have their advice. After 87 years, it was clear that they were as in love as the day they were married.

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Making love last for a lifetime isn’t easy, but it can be done. We all can use every bit of help and advice we can get!

Culled from www.epicdash.com

Monday, May 26, 2014

4 Things You Should Consider Before Giving Up On Your Marriage



Infidelity has become more rampant in recent times or maybe not, our grandparents were probably ‘decent’ enough to justify theirs through the practice of polygamy. The moral decadence in recent times is at an all time high. It is alright for a man to have a side chick in case he gets bored with his major chick-his wife or fiancĂ©e (whom in the eyes of majority of the society is the lucky one). Men are not the only ones guilty of this, women have also been found wanting in the fidelity department.

Growing up in a Yoruba setting with women still nursing heartaches and betrayal didn’t help my paranoia much but I remembered at some point I consciously projected in my mind the kind of husband I wanted. I wish I can gloat and say the perfect life I envisioned actually exists but with everyday that passes I understand just how much work marriage and dedication need from both sides.

My friend and I were discussing about the increase in the divorce rates and all the courtroom dramas that accompany it and we came to the conclusion love and hate are neighbours.  Watching the parties involved air their dirty laundry in the presence of everyone makes one wonder if love ever existed between them.

While infidelity might make up for a larger percentage of most divorces, there are other factors that lead to divorce

Whatever happened to the’ for better or worse’ you would ask? Irreconcilable differences is the most frequent ground couples on the verge of divorce give. Most times when one probes deeper, one would uncover a web of deceit, lies and betrayal. Some give up too soon while some work through it.

I am an apologist of the marriage institution and I believe some marriages can be redeemed if the problems plaguing it are rightly and promptly attended to .

·         First, communication is very important. There are times during client briefing and interview that we discover that couples have deep communication problems. Given a situation where the spouses have gotten bored with routine, the reasonable thing to do is to talk about it. For some couples, Words are misinterpreted; talking to each other is just a total disaster. Most times, it takes a while before it gets to this point. If the spouses have taken some time to talk while trying to deal with their issues without bottling up so much, then, some situation would not become so bad.

·         For those with spouses that cheated, it is always good to consider how sober the other partner is and if she/he is ready to make amends. Second chances are great, long as the two people involved understand the place of respect for the vows taken. I honestly think marriages can outlive one or two cases of cheating if the erring partner is sober enough and hands on on making a change.


·         Visit a counsellor. You will be surprised how therapeutic it can be talking about all the issues to a neutral third party. You can see a professional or a spiritual head you both trust.

·         Pray,pray and never stop praying. Some things are not as complicated as we think they are, taking them to God in prayer produce solutions to our lifelong problems. Pray for strength,courage and wisdom in building your home.

Remember every relationship has its ups and downs. Also bear in mind that people's destinies are tied to yours like your children,so whatever you do,keep an open mind towards recoinciliation. For some, divorce is inevitable and for others, they just need to put in some work to save their marriage.  The marriage vows are to be taken very seriously ,divorce should be the very last resort, couples must seek reconciliation first.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Should My Pastor Have a Say in Who I marry?

Choosing a partner is one of the biggest risks most of us will take. Many times, people are unsure of the person they intend to exchange vows with, and sadly, given some christian views on dating,  many people don't get to really know who their partner is until they are bound as man and wife.

I can understand the desire for divine guidance when choosing a partner;  that is one area of life where no one, no matter how ditzy, wants to make a mistake. I can't help but wonder though.... does this mean your pastor has a say in who you will spend the rest of your life with? 

These days, many young ladies and men seem to put their fate in the hands of their pastor. It is not about what they feel,  it's about what the pastor says. I read about women who claim to have found the man who has everything they've ever wished for, but because their pastor said otherwise,  they decided to abort the relationship and wait upon the Lord. My question is always "waiting upon  the Lord for what exactly?  He gave you what you needed and you threw it away!" Where is the place of love, understanding,  affection, spirituality and other factors that make a marriage successful if you think all that matters is your pastor's opinion? 

Don't get me wrong;  I'm not saying it is wrong to ask for guidance or advice from your pastor but don't make your pastor's opinion the law by which you handle your relationship. Personally, I think young people these days are too lazy to pray for themselves so they can be led by God. They'd rather rely on their pastor's dream or vision. I hear of young women with perfect partners going to ask pastors and prophets if the man they are with is the right man. Many of whom were given negative responses stayed single until their hairs started to turn grey while some of those that were given the go-ahead are stuck in abusive marriages and can't leave for fear of walking out of 'God's will'.  Really people? Wake up!!! No one should tell you who to marry! If a guy or lady is God's will for you, you will have the confirmation yourself in prayer and the conviction will be strong in your heart. All you need to do is CONNECT WITH GOD YOURSELF. Stop waiting for a dream from a prophet or an idea from your pastor about who's best for you. You're the one that has to live with that person FOREVER. Imagine if you were to go on an unending road trip with only one partner..  wouldn't you want to have a say in who that partner is?

Young ladies and men, learn to pray. Even as singles, pray for your future partner.  Be armed with God's word and speak with Him daily. We are all God's children, so believe God doesn't want any harm to come to any of us. His plan for you cannot be a man that will beat you to a pulp or a man you have no emotional or intellectual connection with. God knows you inside and out, so he knows exactly what you like.  Stop trading God's plan for man's ideas. The only people that should have a say in who you marry are God,  God and God. You can tell him what you'd like in your partner and trust him to mix the perfect cocktail of attributes for you.

Stay blessed xoxo   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Key To Your Success Is In Your Mind




"The mind is very powerful." I am sure you are  reading that statement for the umpteenth time. I got tired of hearing people say it to me. "It is all in your mind", "train your mind to be positive", "think positive and you'll feel positive"...I always thought "really?" and roll my eyes. But as years have gone by, I can tell you for sure that your mind plays a big role in who you become and what you make of yourself. Everytime I told myself I couldn't do something, I failed to achieve it, and everytime I told myself otherwise, I pushed myself beyond my limits and achieved seemingly impossible targets.

I recently asked myself..."why do people, who are offered the exact same opportunities, achieve different levels of success? Why do certain people live a certain way and refuse to take up any opportunities that can make their lives better? It is all in the mind. A friend of mine once posted on facebook...."what would you do if you were  not afraid?" The question struck me the moment I read it; there are so many things I've had on my to-do list for months but for some reason, I always found a good excuse. My excuses ranged from "I don't have the capital to get that off the ground" to "I don't think I can succeed at that". To be honest, I am glad I did not go ahead with some of my plans, but there are others that still plague me and I am slowly ticking them off my list as I achieve them.

It is no secret that for you to be successful in life, you need to believe in yourself. But believing in yourself is not enough! There are many people out there that believe in themselves but are sitting on their couches, doing nothing! Laziness is a mindset. It is a mindset that is tied with the mindset of entitlement. Lazy people believe they are entitled to certain privileges in life and should have everything handed them. If you find yourself abandoning projects halfway or being too lazy to even get them off the ground, you have a lazy mindset! That is something you need to change if you want to succeed.

Another mindset is what I call the 'poverty-driven christian mindset'. This is a mindset that many christians imbibe, believing that success and wealth are against God's desire for humanity. Owing to this, many christians refuse to take up opportunities that could better their lives. They are quick to the quote the bible verse that says "the love of money is the root of all evil". The LOVE of money, not money itself. Does God want his children to be impoverished? Definitely not! He has great plans for all of us, we just need to change our mindsets.

Like I said earlier, believing in yourself is not enough! Not if you let negative people rent space in your head. many of us have the "I am not good enough" mindset so when we have a dream and others shoot it down, we quickly accept what they are saying as the gospel, instead of looking at our idea again and checking to see if we can improve it, we tell ourselves.."If Miss A or Mr B said it is stupid, then it is stupid!" STOP leving your chances of success in the hands of those that couldn't care less if you become a hobo tomorrow. I'm not saying you should not accept constructive criticism; I'm saying you should learn to draw the line between constructive criticism and negative comments that are intended to bring you down.

xoxo

Selling Jesus...


When I was in the university, I engaged in selling some insurance policies that was premised on network marketing. They were life insurance policies and given the Nigerian society, it was quite difficult to sell. The more tricky part was how to convince my student friends they could make money by also selling the policies- the kind of money that could change their lives. Well, I was not successful at convincing them, which was because I didn’t reflect the kind of extra ordinary lifestyle I was preaching. I was not the only one that was caught in this web. I had a few friends that were dreamers like me who had ideas on how to change the world but were not influential enough. We all have our incubation periods when we are allowed to remain in our shells and just be eggs but we can’t be eggs forever. We need to become hens and lay our own eggs too.

Before one can make an impact, a lot of work has to be done on oneself. I know lots of motivational speakers that lived the ‘fake it till you make it’ lifestyle and some even preach it but there are some lifestyles that cannot be faked, one is either in or out. Such is the Christian lifestyle. Much as you might be trying to sell the lifestyle to another person, personal conviction is very necessary. You need to make peace with yourself first.

I was one of those that lost count on the altar calls they answered. Like the network marketed insurance policies, I understood what it was about to accept Jesus, I wanted to live the lifestyle but the work I would put in to get results scared me. To sell the insurance policy meant being able to shut out all the reasons why it wasn’t going to work. It also meant seeing the odds but being able to recognise it was not about selling the insurance policy but being able to build a network that would have changed my life and that of those I encountered positively. 

Living the ideal Christian life entails growth. It is not enough that one accepts Jesus as one’s Lord and Saviour, one need to follow His teachings, walk and grow in it. This is a life lived expressly on faith. Understanding the depth of His love and sacrifice and being able to make another see the same.  When people can see the work of God in our lives, our lives become a gospel. For most people that know about network marketing, it is easier to bring people into one’s team when one’s life is reflective of the life one is marketing. I can’t tell you about vacationing on some beautiful island and living in a beautiful house with your  future assured when I just hopped off an ‘okada’(commercial motorcycle) with tattered shoes.

 We are all called into the business of selling Christ and like the insurance policies, selling Christ means our lives must be reflective of the life Jesus lived and died for. We need to reach out at our workplaces or wherever we find ourselves and talk to someone about Jesus. We have been commanded to do this. Matt 28:19-20
If you are in a bad place in your spiritual life, make the decision to live more consciously so as to be able to fulfil your mandate.
‘And He said unto them, go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to all creation’  Mark16:15

 The end is near and there are so many people still unsaved. Reach out to someone today; let your life change another life.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Message For Single Mums

Disclaimer: This is not a post to encourage men who walf out on the women they impreganted or to give the notion that such women are overbearing. It is a post intended to help single mothers move on, let go and make something worthwhile of themselves, against all odds.

Being a single mother can be difficult; and really, I don't think any one willingly puts herself in such a situation. For many women, being a single mother is the result of tragic incidents that still haunt them till this very day, while others are unfortunate to be dumped by the men they believed would stand by them forever, leaving them to face the difficulties of childbearing and parenthood alone. These days, the trend of single parenthood is on the rise; there are more single mothers coming up everyday, feeling they can do it all by themselves. Somewhere along the line, every single mother will feel the need for a husband, a pillar of support for themselves and for their children and that is where the baby card starts to come into play.

It is disheartening that many young men these days have sex with women they have no intention of marrying, and it is even more disturbing that women agree to sexual relations with a man that has not made any commitment before God or her family. Why these things happen, I will never understand but it's a situation many people have to face everyday, so I figured it should be addressed. As a single mum, it must be difficult to watch the father of your child move on like he didn't leave a bun in your oven, to watch him move on, marry someone else and act like you never existed in his life. But should you play the baby card to make him notice you?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

3 Tips On How To Get Mr Right



The typical love story is set when a dark and handsome young man sees a lady of his dreams and he goes all out to make her the love of his life. Well, that is the fairy tale version, not every love story in the real world plays out like that. The society has its expectations, the dos and don’ts that dictate how we live our lives. Some shoes have been built specially for men to fit in but would it be so wrong if a woman steps in those shoes once in a while.

There are sisters that look up onto the Lord everyday waiting for Mr Right to come sweep them off their feet and blow their minds but the Mr Rights never come. Can those women be the exception to the societal rule? Can a sister say to a brother ‘you are the one my heart desires and I want for us to be in a relationship together?’ or should she wait forever for the brother that might probably never muster enough courage to woo her?

The problem a woman might have sometimes might be that she doesn’t like the kind of men that have been giving her attention. Would it be so wrong if a woman goes after the man of her dreams like a man does the woman of his dreams (ok, that sounds a tinge feminist. that was not intended I’m just wondering out aloud).

No matter one’s state of mind, most people would agree with me that there is more joy when the guy does the wooing. However, I believe there are ways ladies (and yes, I mean Christian ladies) can ask guys out without expressly asking him out. Most women are oblivious of the charm they possess and are stuck in  frustrating single lives when they could have been in beautiful relationships. These are three things you could be doing that might change your relationship status.

  • Make him notice you. This doesn’t mean you should go out of your way being loud and out of line but it does mean for you to stand out in a good way. Everyone knows that sister in church that always looks neatly dressed or that leads the praise worship. If you have a group that you are walk with, you might want to consider stepping out of that group to be noticeable. I remember I used to be in a group in school and whenever we all were together; no guy ever dared come close. Those that got close to us met us separately outside the group. Everything has to be balanced, being noticeable doesn’t mean you have to be very obvious,we are not trying to make you look desperate. Just make sure that you can be identified out of a group. Stop trying not to be seen and this brings me to my next point.

  • Be yourself and exude confidence. Confidence is like cologne, using the right amount has heads turning and people are attracted towards you for all the right reasons. A man loves a woman that has a healthy sense of who she is.

  • Be approachable; this is closely related to the first point but differs a little. Being approachable also means one’s demeanour should be beautiful. There are people others dare not talk to or cross their paths. They are quick to anger and they behave rashly. There are also people who have very steel like facial expressions. You can’t blame a man for not walking up to a lady guilty of the instances made above because he also doesn’t want to be rejected. Work on yourself to be more accommodating and smile often. A smile not only brightens one’s face, it also lights up the faces of others around you. As always,nothing looks good when it is over played, just look good and relaxed enough for a brother to feel comfortable walking up to you.

Follow these steps and you are sure to turn Mr Right’s head to your direction.

Don’t forget the place of prayer in all these. Don’t act on your own knowledge alone. Let God be your guide.
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