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A dear friend just shared this with me and I know you will be blessed reading it.
A King had a male servant who, in all circumstances always said to him; My king, do not be discouraged because
everything God does is perfect, no mistakes. One day, they went hunting and a wild animal attacked the king, the servant managed to kill the animal but couldn’t prevent his majesty from losing a finger. Furious and without showing gratitude, the King said; if God was good, I would not have been attacked and lost one finger. The servant replied, ‘despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good and everything He does is perfect, He is never wrong’. Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his servant.
While being taken to prison, he told the king again, God is Good & Perfect. Another day, the king left alone for another hunt and was captured by savages who use human beings for sacrifice. On the altar, the savages found out that the king didn’t have one finger in place, he was released because he was considered not “complete” to be offered to the gods. On his return to the palace, he ordered the release of his servant and said; My friend, God was really good to me. I was almost killed but for lack of a single finger, I was let go. But I have a question; If God is so good, why did He allow me to put you in prison? His servant replied; My king, if I had not been put in prison, I would have gone with you, and would have been sacrificed, because I have no missing finger.
Everything God does is perfect, He is never wrong. Often we complain about life, and the negative things that happen to us, forgetting that everything happens for a purpose. God is good and perfect!!!
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The God of the man or the man of the God?
New in the ministry, quietly seating in front of my Bishop, I was absorbing all that the older ‘man of God’ had to impart upon me. Like a tornado, he said something I will never forget for the rest of my life. ‘God can use anybody to fulfill his purpose on earth, irrespective of who they are, what they are involved in or where they came from’.
That sounded strange to me. From the Pentecostal background where I came from, I have always believed that only ‘holy’ people can be used of God. If you are not holy, then God has no use for you. It is this same mentality that a lot of Nigerians have that make them ‘worship’ their ‘men of God’. They have the impression that these so called men of God are holy and super-human. They idolize their pastors, bishops and prophets. The honor they cannot give to God is what they give to their men of God. They have forgotten that these people are first ‘men’ before they were called men of God. And that is why many ‘fake’ people are rushing into ministries as it is with Nigerian politics, because they have observed that theirs is cool cash in it and a lot of honor fame and prestige comes with it also. A lot of this fake men of God will go any length to acquire power to prophesy and wrought miracle, covering up with the name of God .
A story was told me of one them who went all the way to Ghana to consult a witch/traditionalist, who told him that the only means of getting such power was to suck the breast of the traditionalist. He did, and eventually became very powerful to the extent that he can predict all the things that will happen to you the following day and it will happen just like he has said it.
We need to be grounded in the scriptures and not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. Ephesians 4: 14. God can use any one, including the devil himself to bring to pass the purpose of God, but that does not make them men on God. Quit trusting and believing in man of God, rather believe the God who created the man.
I was reading a blog of a certain lady who felt betrayed by her man of God, having slept with her and he is now portraying her as the bad one, who intends to destroy the image of the man of God. We have heard recently of men of God who are pedophiles, cheats, homosexuals etc. it is actually not new because Jesus himself has told us about them . Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Preaching with sugar coated tongues (probably secretly laced with juju) and performing miracles does not make anyone a man of God. But by their fruits we shall know them. Matthew 7:16
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My beautiful and loving wife sent me this article and I felt I should not keep this great nuggets on parenting to my self thus the need to share it with my friends on this blog.
I have tried to locate the source of the article but I could not, but I ‘ll like to point out the fact that it didn’t originate from me.
This note is LONG! Bear with me… Although it is addressed to Nigerian parents in diaspora it applies to all parents in Western communities…
Dear (Nigerian) Parent in Diaspora,
Many months back I wrote a friendly letter to the Affluent Nigerian Parent, you can read it in my list of notes and a few of the readers requested a letter for you – the (Nigerian) Parent in Diaspora.
You live in diaspora, probably a Western country with all the benefits of constant electricity and water, healthcare, good schools and a stable work life environment. You are lucky but your children are doubly so. They are extremely lucky as compared to many other kids resident in Nigeria. Your kids will have the benefit of on-time readily available healthcare services, access to free or almost free education, opportunity and exposure to the many good things of life… the list goes on…
You are raising amazingly lucky children in the exceedingly rich, high exposure, science and process oriented environments of the Western world. You are raising your amazingly lucky children far away from the ideals, systems and communities in which you were raised; you are raising your children in an extraordinarily technologically advanced era. I believe there are certain things you must be very aware of.
You are in charge not your child
You are the authority in your child’s life, the authority your young child must learn to obey and the learning must start from as little as when the child is 18 months. This is because as your child grows older they will encounter other forms of authority – other adults, teachers, employers, bosses, the police; it is your job to help your children understand the role of authority in the fabric of society and they will only get it if they start out recognising the authority at home.
I have witnessed parents issuing orders repeatedly to children/teenagers who proceed to pretend the parent does not exist or is not talking to him or her. I have seen children/teenagers who call their parents names in public and in private. I am always irritated when I hear parents say – “oh we can’t get our 5 year old to go to bed at 10pm; she has a mind of her own” Yes your child has a mind of his/her own and it should be used to obey you.
Swiss Development psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) used the label “egocentric” to describe children’s sense of omnipotent self-centredness. Children start out wanting to have their way, they will try, they will test limits and if you are a couple they will attempt to divide and rule/confuse but please remember you are in charge not your child. Your word is law not your child’s.
To quote John Rosemond in his book – Making the terrible Twos Terrific “the overall idea is not to make your child subservient but to create for him/her an authority upon which he can rely”.
You are not your child’s friend, you are their parent
Frequently in the western world, a lot of parents believe that the best parenting method/ way to show the children you love them is to be their friend; so they start out being friends with a 3-10 year old and later on become the enemy of their teenage child and then the adult child’s “annoying parent”!
Dear Nigerian parent in Diaspora, you are not your child’s friend, you are your child’s parent and your job is to parent your child; the time to be friends with your child will come, most likely when they are older teenagers.
It is important that you are a parent to your child and not a friend in order to ensure that a clear line of authority is established, a loving, firm line of authority. In order for you to establish this loving firm line of authority, there has to be an element of “parental fear”. Your child needs to be aware of your “omniparental powers” – You can do things! You can reward, you can punish, you can make safe, you can support, you can encourage, you can make right, you can provide, you can take away, you can make dreams come true, – you are the parent – a friend cannot do all of these things but a parent can, a loving parent can.
Just so you know, love for you may keep your child from disobeying you or from doing things that will jeopardise their future sometimes; but most of the time it will be fear – the fear of your disappointment, the fear of your response… there is a healthy form of fear and trust me this healthy form of fear will keep your children out of prison and hopefully off the dole.
Responsibilities and Chores
Children should have chores, activities they execute in the evening and on weekends that has nothing to do with the tv, games or school work. It helps children to have a sense of responsibility; a 9 year old can do dishes even if it might take forever; they can load the washing machine… there are little chores they can do, they are young not dumb.
If you are one of those parents who pay your kids to do house chores you need to stop right now. You are teaching your child to always ask “what’s in it for me?” and what’s in it for your child will not always be clear in every task. Secondly, having house chores helps your child learn the concept of contributing to a system, being a team player, after all we all live in this house and we can all help to keep it clean.
Please have a life… that doesn’t revolve around your child
I know you love your children, they are your world, your precious princes and princesses; all the amazing-ness you can ever imagine; so you decide to choke them with attention; to kowtow to their every wish.
Every activity, every decision revolves around the children and what the children want or like; not even necessarily what they need. The TV must stay on the kiddies channel all day because your children need to watch it, what you want to watch doesn’t count – afterall they are your world.
These children begin to suffer from excessive attention – a condition that only monarchs, CEOs and heads of countries should suffer from… you end up with a spoilt child that proceeds to behave like the ruler, CEO or President of an imaginary kingdom, company or nation i.e your home.
Please don’t get me wrong, I have not said be detached from your children, rather what I am saying is be involved with your children without becoming obsessive. Talk to your kids, read books to them, take them to piano lessons, painting classes, museums, spend quality time with them but you are NOT at their service. I feel very strongly that the French have succeeded in this regard and there are many books on the French parenting style.
Every child is unique but some rules still apply across board
Yes I agree very much that every child is unique and the same parenting styles don’t work for every child. This is why I won’t say no to “smacking with a rod” but I won’t say yes to it either.
This is because I believe not every child requires the rod. There are some children that need to be told things only once, kids who seem to understand your goal and your point and are almost helping you to parent them; if you have such a kid, you are lucky; put away the rod and have a conversation with your very mature child.
However most of the time, your kids will push your limits, they will disobey you, they will forget your instructions, they will remember your instructions but will choose to flaunt them… at this time I will say to you – don’t spare the rod – find what works for you and follow through. If you promise to punish a misdemeanour please follow through – keep your word to that child who broke the rule. Let your No be your No and your Yes be your Yes and as a parent the first answer is always No.
There are countless ways you can punish misdemeanour without resorting to the strokes of a cane – you must be an ingenious and firm parent.
You have a culture… tell your children about it
Your children might not be Nigerians, but you are and you are lucky because you have a culture to tell your children about, that your children can be proud of, tell them about it. Whatever your first/local language is, speak it to your children; even if they don’t end up speaking it, they will understand it, after all they are the offspring of Nigerians.
Be confident in your abilities to raise your child…
This is my final word to you, be confident, be assured of your ability to do an exemplary job of raising your child. A lot of people will tell you otherwise, they will attempt to tell you how to raise your child.
They will tell you that it’s wrong to encourage your child to make extra effort, they will tell you to let your child grow/study at his/her own pace (even if it’s no pace); let your child talk back (it’s called self expression), buy them every toy they want (even if you can’t afford it), be at your child’s beck and call, diagnose every misbehaviour as a condition instead of recognising it as pure misbehaviour. They will insist on telling you how to raise your child because parents are no longer trusted to do the best job.
This is the time for you to remember and sometimes tell them that this child is YOURS; that this child is priceless to you, is your future, your heritage, the continuity of your person and you are therefore in the best position to do well by this child; that you have turned out well and are able to pass on the ideals that produced you to your child; that this cocoa coloured child of yours bears your name and will bear YOUR name either as a successful adult or a drug junkie – you have more at stake concerning this child than anybody else and you know it well.
Well done so far in this thankless job of parenting… you really are the bravest best.
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ATTAINING WORKPLACE EXCELLENCE
Excellence is derived from a latin word – excellere , which means to stand out, to rise above. It is the desire of God that you be outstanding in your chosen field of endeavor. 3 John 1: 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul. It is his will that you lead your competitors by dishing out quality products and services in your workplace. But you should realize that excellence is more of a choice than what you will pray for. It is an action and a habit that needs to be developed.
God’s children should be the head and not the tail. Deuteronomy 28:13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Excellence comes through obedience to God in that field you have found yourself.
LESSON FROM THE PARABLE OF TALENTS
Matthew 25:14-30 Described some three businessmen who were given some various amount of capital to kickstart their businesses. The master gave each person according to his prior assessment of their capability. It is rather unfortunate that it is only two, out of the three, that attained excellence in there careers/ businesses.
When their businesses were to be audited, the successful two were adequately compensated for their due diligence and for attaining excellence. When asked for the reasons behind his failure, the last person just gave some flimsy excuses. However, in the excuse he gave, we understood his nature and from it we as Christian businessmen and women should learn some important lessons.
Matthew 25:24-27. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
This man thought he knew the master, but he was giving an outrightly wrong description of the master. He described the master as ‘a hard man who likes to reap where he has not sown’. But that was completely wrong. The master has sown in his business and it is expected that proceeds be seen from it. If we as Christian businessmen and women must succeed in our various chosen fields, we need to know the mind of our master concerning our businesses and set at it.
Daniel 11:32. … but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. For you to be able to do exploits in your workplace, you should know the mind of God for that business.
THE MIND OF GOD FOR YOUR WORKPLACE
What is the mind of God concerning our business and workplace that He desires that we know so we can attain excellence?
Do all things as unto Christ
Collosians 3:17… And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,…render your service, produce your goods in the name of Christ. Do it like an act of worship to God and not man. See your clients and customers as people that God has sent to you. Treat them nicely. Do all in the name of Christ.
People buy products and service because of the name sometimes. Over time such brands have been associated with quality. You have bought into the company of Christ and your product and service carry the logo and brand of Christ. You therefore cannot afford to give out inferior goods and services. Don’t dent or tarnish the image and name of Christ.
Treat every client and customers as messengers from Christ.
In Genesis 18, Abraham had an encounter with God and he thought he was attending to some three strangers. Abraham gave them the best treatment and they did reward him by prophesying the birth of Isaac. He would not have gotten his “Laughter”- Isaac, if he had maltreated them.
Give it all it takes.
Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord. Sometimes we see our businesses and careers as physical activities and we forget that these physical jobs have spiritual implications. We should not be slothful at it. Do it diligently. Pay attention to it. Research it, find out the latest and best ways of doing it so you will be relevant in a constantly changing world.
Maintain your testimony.
Your product and services will tell people about you, even when you are not there. When people see you conduct your business, what do they think of you? Actions speak louder than voice. The apostles of old where described as Christians in Antioch, not because they were publicizing themselves but rather , it was when we the people saw their conducts and their ways of doing things. Acts 11:26. Let your goods and services tell others of your believe.
Have an ambassadorial mentality.
John 17:14 …because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. You may be conducting business in this world, but remember that you are just a representative of God’s kingdom on earth and so you must comport yourself and business in a manner that behooves an ambassador of God.
It is important that you seek for the kingdom of God and its righteousness. Your profiting is in seeking after the things of the kingdom. Matthew 6:37
Let your word be your bond.
We live in a world today where our words do not carry any weight or value. Jesus in Matthew 5:37 told the disciples that they ought to mean everything they say. You should not say ‘yes’ when you mean to say ‘no’. if you give deadline for delivery of goods or service, ensure it is delivered on that day. If you cannot meet a deadline, call ahead to explain and apologize for your in ability to deliver.
Note that you should always give allowance for exigencies before agreeing to a deadlines. Try to foresee possible problems that may arise and include them in your deadlines
Always remember the Golden rule.
Jesus in Luke 6:31 said, ‘ And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise’. One major problem with employees in government establishment in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Nigeria where I come from is that people do not take their works seriously. They have this non-challant attitude to work. And so they treat their clients as trash. It is important that you treat everyone in the same way you will want to be attended to.
This applies to all employers of labour. Treat your employees as human with dignity and not as slaves. You could be the head today, but they could be your boss tomorrow. If you don’t treat them nicely today, what do you expect of them tomorrow?
PASTOR, I LOVE HIM, BUT CAN I CONTINUE?
It is 8 a.m. on Monday morning.
Puting the key into the key-hole of my church office door, I heard a voice behind me, ‘Good morning, Pastor’.
I had now become accustomed to that voice. It was Tola , a committed member of our church.She has just finished her weekend calls.She looks scared, tired and exhausted.
‘What could be wrong again’, I asked myself.
A senior resident with the department of Obstetrics and Gyneacology in the University Teaching Hospital, she had already told me earlier that she will be on call that weekend,so I was not surprised when I did not see her in church the sunday before. But hearing her voice that morning did nothing but surprised me because she was the last person that I expected to see in my counselling session of that day.
Turning around and sighting her, I responded with a smile,’Sister Tola, Good morning’.’Come in’.
Tola has a always been ambitious since she finished high school. Even though she went to school in a rural area, where there were no qualified teachers, except some couple of youth corp members which the government sends to the school, she made up her mind that that will not be a hinderance for her to becoming a doctor. At the age of 21, she had completed her housemanship. And that was when I knew her. Despite her busy schedule as a young doctor, she always came to church.
She lost her mother at the age of eight to complications of child birth and that made her determined that she was going to be a doctor that will help women. Tola was the first child in a polygamous family and despite the hatred and hardship experiences of her childhood , she did well in school.
‘Pastor am scared of going home’, she sobbed as she sat down in the sofa in my office. ‘I don’t feel secured with him any longer’, referring to her husband.
Still crying,’He has turned to a beast’,she said.’He beats me at every slightest provocation. I love him but I am afraid he might kill me.’
She had met this young man 4 years earlier in the church, rich and also committed. Tope was the dream man every lady would desire. An engineer, working in one of the high paying multinational oil companies in town. No one would have envisaged that the once caring and loving gentle man would change for whatever reason some few years into their marriage.
He keeps telling me that he regrets marrying me. ‘You are a man and I can’t continue living with you in this house.’ ‘ It is better you go, so that a real woman can come in and give me a baby.’
They have been married now for over four years and Tola has never conceived for once.
‘Pastor, what do I do?’ She asked.
Let us pray for God’s direction’ , I said. Apparently not satisfied with my response, she bowed her head however.
After the prayers, I wanted to console her and tell her to be strong and keep believing God for a miracle but it was glaring from Tola’s look that she was tired of hearing that from me. I have always been encouraging her to keep trusting God in our numerous counselling session.
Initially when the pressure started mounting on them, we had gone through the various medical options available to them during the counselling sessions with the couple . Tola had always cooperated but Tope had always insisted that there was nothing wrong with him. He claimed he once impregnated a girl when he was in his final year in university.
‘Where is the child,then?’ I asked.
‘The girl terminated the pregnancy because we were both not ready to be parents then.’ He said.
Tope had gone through all sorts of medical investigations ranging from from hormone assays to hysterosalpingram etc and none of it showed any abnormality. Even though all indicators point to Tope as the culprit in this problem, he remains the bully and the uncooperative one .
What do you think Tola should do? Should she leave Tope and start a new life with another man or should she continue to endue the abuse?
Send your response to email@example.com and save a soul.