Christmas is the season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the baby that changed the world. As we celebrate, we should not lose sight of the real essence of it, chief of which was to restore the broken relationship between God and mankind.
Remember that at the birth of Jesus, some angels proclaimed to the shepherds saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14. Because of Christmas, peace was proclaimed to those who would come into a relationship with God.
So let us celebrate Christmas with a heart of peace towards God and an attitude of peace towards fellowmen. Towards that end, here are my simple suggestions on the
Three Kinds of people you should make peace with this Christmas:
1. Make peace with God
When God sent Jesus Christ to be born on earth and also gave Him up to die for the ultimate redemption of mankind, He made peace with the world. You can say the war between God and the world is now over.
On a personal level, God has made peace with you by the atonement of Jesus Christ for your sins. He is no longer at war with you over your sinful nature.
But the question now is, “Are you at peace with God?” Being at peace with God means that you have spiritual peace. It means that you have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
If that is not your story yet, let this Christmas season be that opportunity you have been waiting for to be connected back to God. Without having spiritual peace, or simply put, without being reconciled to God, peace in other areas of your life may continue to elude you. Therefore, “Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you” Job 22:1.
2. Make peace with yourself
Once you have made peace with God, the next natural experience you should have is peace within yourself. Being at peace with yourself means that you have emotional peace – inner peace.
The main reason you are not at peace with yourself is because you are not at peace with God. But if you have made peace with God, it is high time you allowed the peace of God to rule your heart.
Be at peace with yourself because God is at peace with you now. Forgive yourself of your shortcomings because God has already forgiven you.
You are not perfect – no one is. What you lack in one area of your life, you gain in another.
Just as all men do, you have some strengths and some weaknesses. But which ones do you focus more on?
Often times, you focus mostly on your weaknesses rather than on your strengths. By so doing, you fail to celebrate or properly harness your strengths to your fullest advantage.
How do I know you are not focusing on your strength?
You constantly think of what you don’t have instead of what you have.
You always bemoan what you can’t do instead of doing what you can.
You intentionally begrudge other people’s talent instead of harnessing yours.
You are regularly unhappy about the places you haven’t visited instead of celebrating the places you have visited.
You complain that you can’t ‘see’, but you forgot that you can ‘hear’.
While you are doing all that, you forget that time is not waiting for you. Opportunities are passing by that you could have harnessed to make your life a little better.
If that is you, then you have something to learn from the blind Bartimaeus in the Bible.
An account in the Gospel of Mark chapter 10 verse 46-47 has it that:
… and as [Jesus Christ] went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth…
Did you see that?
When he heard…
That’s the pivotal phrase.
This story wasn’t about Jesus Himself per se. It was the story of Bartimaeus, a beggarly blind man, who could hear, who had faith, had courage, had focus, had a voice, who proved to be unstoppable, and who got his desired miracle: restoration of sight.
As you can see, there are many good things about our man Bartimaeus. But for many years, he failed to harness his strength, dwelling on his weakness (blindness).
Consequently, he became a despised roadside beggar until this documented encounter with Jesus Christ that completely turned his life around for the better.
In the mean time, I will chip in the following counsel:
Focus on your strength. If you use it very well, the resultant gains may cover your weakness.
Focus on doing what you can do and stop being so unhappy about what is beyond your capabilities.
Use the talent you have, and don’t kill yourself over the ones you don’t have.
Bartimaeus was blind but he could hear. He didn’t have the sight to see Jesus, but he had the ear to hear that Jesus was passing his way.
With that information, he activated his faith and his voice. And He called out to Jesus, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” And he got his sight back.
So I will ask you, if you can’t see, can you hear? Harness the power of your hearing first. Who knows, like Bartimaeus you will have your sight back in the process.
Picture Credits: 1. Photo by novia wu on Unsplash. 2. Photo by Stephen Arnold on Unsplash.
Have you ever let opportunities pass you by because you were focusing on your weakness rather than on your strength?
As much as you love what you do, not everyone will love you for it. While some people may be indifferent about your blogging activities, there are some other people that will come against you with harsh criticisms as feedback. But that you face some negative feedback doesn’t mean you should quit on your blog’s mission.
It certainly means you should find the best ways to handle the negative criticisms that confront you in such a way that they become beneficial to you.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Charles R. Swindoll
The question is, can there be anything beneficial in negative criticisms? I will say yes!
In this post, I will show you six good things about the negative criticisms you get on your blog:
1. Criticisms show you are being noticed.
There are millions of blogs out there. So if someone takes the time to pass a critical comment on your blog, it shows that you are gaining some visibility. Or would you rather be ignored?
2. There is some thing to learn from every criticism.
No matter how cantankerous your readers get while commenting on your blog, try not to be offended. Put a positive construction on whatever criticisms you get, because you will learn something good from it if you handle it properly.
Criticisms may cause your emotions to flare up. Learn to avoid that trap and you will be better positioned to learn something from the criticism that will make your blogging experience better.
3. Criticisms are part of your personal growth process.
You have heard the saying that if people throw stones at you, you should gather them to build a monument. You can apply that principle in blogging too.
When people throw the stones of negative criticisms at you, use them to build up yourself. In order words, don’t allow criticisms to tear you down. And specifically, do not quit on your blogging mission simply because you are being criticised.
4. Criticisms give you opportunity to be nice.
Some people have never been kind in their lives. So don’t expect them to start with your blog. When they attack you with harsh words on your blog, don’t respond to them fire for fire. Show them you are made of better stuff by responding to them as lovingly and as nicely as you can be.
Some bloggers will go the easy way of deleting negative comments on their blog, but if you do so, you would lose the opportunity of responding to someone in a way that might influence his or her life positively.
5. Criticisms make you not to rest on your oars.
Complacency may set in if you never get criticised in what you do or if all you get are only praise words.
The points of criticism you receive, if properly evaluated can be helpful to you in attaining higher grounds.
6. Some critics come as friends in disguise
Ultimately, you will get to realise that not everyone who criticises you are against you. Some are friends who wanted to help but didn’t know to frame their words better.
In dealing properly with negative criticisms, you will get to learn that some people who oppose you might turn out to become your allies.
So don’t scare people off when they leave comments you don’t like on your blog. Try your best to follow them to their own blogs. Read their posts and make valuable comments. Sooner or later, you will earn their respect.
Do you think the criticisms you receive on your blog are beneficial?
One of the many side-benefits of blogging is that it will lead to your personal development. I say that because I have experienced personal growth in many areas of my life since I took up blogging as a hobby and an avenue to interact with the rest of the world in written form.
In this post, I will show you several ways blogging has helped me in personal development. If you have been blogging for a while, I am sure you will identify with some of the benefits on the list.
Otherwise, feel free to extend the conversation by sharing your own experience in the comment section.
8 ways blogging has helped my personal development
1. Blogging has made me wiser and more knowledgeable.
As a blogger, you don’t only write posts, you read other peoples posts as well. You also find yourself researching on areas of your interest. As you do all that you will pick up plenty of wisdom and knowledge.
Apart from sharing your own thoughts, a huge part of blogging involves learning from other people through what they have written.
A reader of this blog agrees with that when he stated that “… blogging is strongest in the realm of knowledge and understanding. You can gain a great deal of insight into how people think from the vast number of personalities spread across the many forums.”
2. Blogging has made me a better writer
Writing is not blogging. But blogging is writing and more. And the more I blog, the more I write and the better I become at it.
I have not arrived yet, but I know I have improved on my written communication skill since I took up blogging. For someone whose first language is not English, blogging has definitely paid-off in helping to hone my writing talent.
So if you consider yourself an aspiring writer, blogging is one step you should take in that direction.
As one commenter on this blog once stated, “I believe that blogging can definitely be helpful in achieving personal development goals. Not only with getting to develop yourself by writing out your thoughts and beliefs and helping yourself grow from laying it all there. But, you also get thousands and thousands of examples and lessons to learn from other bloggers in the community.”
3. Blogging has strengthened my ability to handle negative criticisms.
Believe it or not you will have fun blogging. But at the same time, you will face some negative backlashes. The fact that you are getting criticised shows that you getting noticed. Or would you rather be ignored?
I don’t know about you, but as for me, I have never faced as much criticisms and negative attacks in life as much as I have faced in my short blogging journey. I am okay with the fact that not everyone will agree with my points of view. But it degenerates to a negative experience when some people become abusive or unnecessarily annoying with their comments on my blog.
That doesn’t mean I should shut down the blog. But it certainly means I should find the best ways to handle the negative criticisms.
And I do that by learning from the criticisms, responding in love rather than with hate, trying not to be offended and by staying focused on the bigger picture – refusing to give up.
4. Blogging has improved my interpersonal relationship skills.
I am sure you have encountered some internet trolls whose stock-in-trade is to post “inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages” on your blog. To be honest, they are not fun to deal with, and I have encountered a couple of them! But I would say I am doing better now in handling such people than when I started blogging.
I have learnt the hard way! I am not saying I have arrived. But both online and offline, I have improved on the way I relate with people on the blogosphere.
Blogging has taught me to be more patient, more gracious, and more understanding with people.
Some people may behave nasty to you, that’s their cup of tea. You have to be nice. It may not be easy, but don’t give up before trying.
5. Blogging increased my discipline with time management.
Just like many people, I have many times been guilty of wasting my free (valuable) time doing not-so-productive things (eg watching TV) and procrastinating on doing worthwhile things. But blogging has helped me use my spare time more productively.
As blogger, you write a lot. And you need to read wide as well. You need to discipline yourself more with the time at your disposal to achieve these two goals.
6. Blogging has enriched me spiritually.
In a way, blogging has assisted in my spiritual growth. As some one whose opinions are largely based on Biblical worldview, I read several Christian blogs whose authors have continued to impress me with their deep insights and teaching of God’s word.
In that process, I have been fed with the truths of God’s word in ways that have left me spiritually uplifted. So if you are keen on your spiritual growth, be aware that blogging can help you in that area.
7. Blogging has taught me Web-designing
If you had any web-designing skill before starting your blog, could you raise your hand please?
Well, congratulations if that’s you! As for me, I had zippo idea about web designing prior to when my blog was set up.
Setting up my blog was my first experience. Thanks to WordPress’s menu-driven processes, I can set up a functional blog for you if you want.
Before I started blogging, I had thought web development was not my thing; that it was meant for only programmers or those who have a working knowledge of markup languages such as HTML and CSS.
But now having successfully designed my own blogs and a few for other people, I am convinced I would not have known web designing if not for blogging? So you see what I mean?
8. Blogging has increased my creativity
I have found that there is an improvement in my mental creativity as a result of blogging. That’s hardly surprising because, you find that in writing blog posts, you have to be imaginative, you brain-storm on topics to blog about, you engage in meaningful conversations and so on.
That’s because creativity involves “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something.” And both imagination and originality are familiar concepts in blogging.
You have read my experience. And hopefully, you were able to observe that beyond being a form of self-expression, blogging has become an avenue for personal development for me in many ways.
My knowledge in many fields, places and people has increased through blogging. I hone my writing skills as I write posts after posts. I am being more productive with my spare time, and I am now more self-confident than ever with blogging.
Over all, blogging is helping me become a better version of myself. I am not saying all this to draw attention to myself. Rather I am just trying to show you how blogging can help you in your personal development journey using my own experience as a case study.
I will like to hear your own story in the comment section.
Welcome to our Parentinggist parent of the month. Let’s meet our guest.
My name is Victor Uyanwanne, husband to Jennifer, father of two energetic boys and an aspiring writer.
Great, can you throw more light on your writing.
For the past three years, I have been publishing posts bothering on life and living, family issues, blogging tips, poetry and many other things that tickle my fancy. My purpose is to inspire people and equip them with the right knowledge that will help them live happier.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ, the thoughts on my blogs are presented from a Christian worldview. If you want to read my writings first hand, they can be accessed via Victors’ Corner
Awesome blog, you’ve got, how do you combine your regular job, writing and family?
Thanks for the compliment. I will say, I am combining effectively well. I take my job seriously and I put in my best all the time.
Reading and writing are my top hobbies so I have fun doing both, especially at night after work and on weekends. Except because of Lagos traffic bottlenecks, anyone here should have plenty of time after work (from the close of work at 5pm daily to whenever he or she goes to bed) to do some personal things. That’s how I find time to hone my writing skills.
As for the family, I will give all the credit to my beautiful wife for holding forth strongly at the home front. She is really a gift from heaven to me; a helpmeet indeed.
Having said that, I will add that as much as possible I try to spend much time with my family whenever I’m not at work. And I usually cut out unnecessary outings. I don’t know about you, for me, family time is fun time and best time. I have two very inquisitive boys. Answering their numerous questions and bonding with them through mutual interactions have been one of my greatest pleasures as a dad.
We would like you to share some of the numerous questions from your boys, I’m sure we would benefit from them too or laugh it out.
I have had my boys asking me scores of questions. And many of those questions I answered correctly without much ado. Yet there were ones I had to think twice before answering.
For instance, one of them once asked me, “Daddy, why do we have ten fingers?” How does one answer that? Please help me out (smiles).
When they asked, “Daddy, what is the baby of a horse called?” I am ashamed to say that I had to quickly check “Google” on my smartphone before I could tell them it’s called “a foal.”
Of all the questions my boys have ever asked me, the one that impressed me most was when the older boy (then 4years plus) asked me how he could be able to make it to Heaven at the end of this life. I must say it was my privilege to lead him to Christ that Christmas morning.
Oh this is wonderful, I must say, so what advice do you have for parents who are reading this; how can we lead our kids to make Heaven?
Parents should share the simple truths of the gospel with their children and allow them to make up their mind about receiving Jesus Christ into their lives. It is not something that can be forced.
In addition, parents should always pray for their children, that they receive the Lord and follow His way. In my boy’s case, I had prayed for him even before he turned 2 years old that he would get to be born again before the age of eight. Fortunately for me, it happened much earlier than expected.
One other thing I will add is that parents should by their conducts show good examples to their children. Children are good observers and they learn alot from their parents. If we want our children to be candidates of heaven, we should not live our lives as candidates of hell.
Thank you so much for honouring our invitation.
You are welcome. The pleasure is mine.
P.S: The interview was originally published on ParentingGist blog.
In case you have not yet noticed, I have started another blog called, Living Poems. It is a blog I am dedicating to exploring the poetic side of me.
In other words, the blog will center squarely on poetry or inspired lines as I would like to call them. It promises to be very inspiring…
The blog will document my poems in one place. Before now, my contributions to poetry on the blogosphere were posted in the poems sub category here on Victors’ Corner.
However, the poems train has now moved to my Living Poems blog. Some of my latest poems have been published there already and more are still loading…
So if you have been following me here on Victors’ Corner, kindly join me on Living Poems as well. New followers are welcomed too! Let us explore our poetic gifts together.
However, the Poetry corner of Victors’ Corner will continue to exist; the poems there will not be deleted. But the news ones will first be posted on Living Poems before they would be mirrored here (if need be).
Right now, the living poems blog is beginning to gaining some tractions already. Thanks to all the first visitors to the blog.
As I am writing this post, a notification for the first five likes has dropped in. Let’s just say I am heralding that little beginning here.
The poems posted on the new blog will be a blessing to you. Some of them will make you laugh, others will make you want to cry and angry at the same time.
But they will leave you inspired in the end. They are nary ordinary poems because they are inspired lines from Above.
As you read them, feel free to share them with your friends, like them or drop your comments. Apart from sharing the value with someone else, you would also make my day by doing so.
And if you have any good poetry blog to recommend to me, feel free to do so. It will be my pleasure to check them out.
Thank you for your time. You may now follow me to Living Poems blogs .
Being a good boy (or girl) involves obeying rules, treating other people with respect, not being lazy, helping out around the house, maintaining healthy habits, being studious, volunteering, not doing drugs, and so on and so forth.
Cast your mind back to when you were growing up. Your parents would always say to you to be a good boy (or girl) whenever they were concerned about your behaviours.
And in most cases you cooperated with them, even though there were times you fell short of their expectations.
You know how proud you made them feel whenever you made the right choices! They felt honoured!
As you well know, your parents don’t want you doing things that may embarrass your family. They are genuinely interested in you having good conducts, protecting you from harming yourself and others.
Apart from the pain your misbehaviours may cause to your parents, to you and to other people around you, you dishonour your parents (and your family) each time you engage in unwholesome activities.
Bearing that in mind, I assume you tried your best to be a good boy (or girl) when you were growing up. Now that you are fully grown and independent, do you think you should stop being a good boy (or girl)?
I bet you don’t want to do that – for two reasons:
You don’t want to break your parents’ hearts at old age.
No matter how old your parents might have become, they still want you to keep being a good kid.
And no matter how fully grown or independent you might have become, your parents still don’t you to be involved in activities that may hurt you. They love you that much!
If you don’t honour them by making right choices in your life, their hearts will ache over you and you may end up sending them to an early grave.
Even if your parents, like mine, have gone to the great beyond, still honour their memories by continuing to be a good kid in their absence.
Remember this also: besides our earthly parents, we are also accountable to a heavenly Father. So you don’t want to do anything that will impede your relationship with Him.
You want to leave a good legacy for yourself.
Come to think of it: it’s your life, you can live it the way you want. But remember that whatever you do with it is the legacy you will leave for yourself, for your children and for posterity.
That makes it imperative for you to continue to behave well, making the right choices and being a good boy (or girl).
Don’t wait for someone to force it on you. Be intentional about it. Show some commitment to making the right choices in life. And continue to be a good boy or girl.
What does being a good boy (or girl) mean to you? Share your view in the comment section.
Some of the ways your attitude towards your parents can be influenced if you are truly grateful for them:
1. You will have time for them
Never say, “I don’t have time for my parents.” Create the time for them…
Your parents spent their life, health and wealth caring for you. Now that you are independent, don’t abandon them.
No matter how busy you might have become in your life, make out time for your parents. Call them regularly. Visit with them, with your spouse and grandchildren.
As you know, grandparents always adore their grandchildren. So give them that pleasure before they leave this earth.
2. You will give them gifts.
When was the last time you ever gave any gifts to your parents? They don’t have to be in need before you can buy anything of value for them.
Within your capacity, you can present beautiful gifts to your parents – no matter how little. That’s one way you can show them you love and appreciate them.
Gifts have a way of communicating some lovely things from you to the recipient: “You mean alot to me”. “I appreciate you so much.” “You are always on my mind.” “I’ve not forgotten you.” “I celebrate you.”
If you are truly grateful for your parents, learn to give them gifts. You will experience a fresh dose of happiness by do doing so.
3. Provide for their needs
Aside giving gifts to your parents, be actively involved in meeting their pressing needs.
As your parents’ age, they might gradually become unable to meet their basic needs without help. Whatever they lack, you can provide it for them to the best of your ability.
Their daily supplies. Medical care etc, whatever their needs might be, you should find a way of being of assistance to them.
Even if they are very okay – not needing any help – still find a way to be part of their lives. You owe them that honour.
Remember what the Bible says, “”Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise”” (Ephesians 6:2).
Your parents are not perfect. They might have made choices in the past that affected you negatively. But that doesn’t mean you should hold it against them forever.
My simple advice is that you have to forgive whatever wrong your parents might have done against you in the past,. Apart from improving the relationship between you and them, it is good for your health too.
One sure way to deprive yourself of happiness is to hold grudges against your parents – refusing to forgive them.
5. You will continue to “be a good boy”
Your parents would always say to you to be a good boy (or girl) whenever they were concerned about your behaviours. And in most cases you always cooperated with them.
Now that you are grown, do you think you should stop being a good boy (or girl)? I bet you don’t want to do that – for two reasons:
You don’t want to break your parents heart at old age.
You want to leave a good legacy for yourself.
I hope that with those few points of mine, I have been able to show you some simple ways you can show your parents that you love and appreciate them.
In what other ways do you think you can demonstrate that you are grateful to your parents for the role they played in your life? Leave a comment.
As followers of Jesus Christ, let’s relate that to our attitude towards the free gift of salvation we received from Above.
Many of us would say that our salvation is what we are most grateful for in this life. And that’s a great thing!
Jesus Himself taught that our greatest joy should be that our names are written in Heaven (See Luke 10:20). So it is well in order to feel immensely grateful to God for our salvation and also allow that joyful attitude to reflect in our daily living.
But do we really live our lives daily in a way that demonstrates that we truly appreciate our salvation? Are we as joyful as we should be?
Probably not! That’s why I am writing this post, because I’m convinced some of us are falling behind expectation in that regard.
Sometimes we are immensely grateful we are saved. Some other times we don’t even seem to remember we are saved. So we go about our lives not reflecting the attitude of gratitude both before God and our fellow man or woman.
It is my believe that if we are constantly thankful to God for the free gift of salvation we received in Christ, it will positively impact on the way we respond to God and the way we treat other people.
In this post, I will highlight five ways being grateful for your salvation will impact your life positively.
5 ways you will be positively impacted if you constantly feel grateful for your salvation
1. You will find it easier to live a life of gratitude, irrespective of your estate in life.
You have the capacity for gratitude that does not depend on your external circumstances. But the question is, “Are you using it towards God and your fellow humans?”
The Bible tells us that “In all things, we should give thanks to God.” That’s a way of saying you should always maintain a heart of gratitude.
I am not saying it will be easy to do. But it is something that can be done, even when life doesn’t go the way you want it.
As someone pointed out, “It is not everything that happens that is the will of God. But it is the will of God that you should give thanks to God no matter what happens.”
2. You will live to please God rather than yourself or anyone else.
When you appreciate your salvation as something you could never achieve by your best efforts, but which God delivered to you undeservedly, it becomes imperative that you focus on pleasing the One Who got you saved in the first place.
God paid the highest price for your salvation so He deserves to get your highest love, greatest pleasure and deepest loyalty.
Before you were saved, you were living for yourself and for the devil.
Once you have been saved, you should begin to live your life to the glory of God. Always being grateful for your salvation will help you in that regard.
3. You will love other people more
When you love God with all your heart, loving other people becomes a less difficult challenge.
At salvation, you received the love of God in your heart. This love that has been shared abroad in your heart is what enables you to love other people, whether they are lovely or unlovely.
If you don’t value your salvation, you will underestimate the need to love other people with the same love God has loved you with.
4. You will not live a hopeless life
Hopelessness is a consequence of not having any expectation for a future good. But in Christ, you are guaranteed of a good future.
God has promised to bring you to an expected end. A glorious one!
Our salvation is not an end in itself. It is the restoration of our relationship with God here on earth and it points us to a more glorious future.
As a saved person you have hope in this world and in the world to come. You will not lose sight of that if you are someone that always appreciates your salvation.
Apostle Paul argues that, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” 1 Corrinthians 15:19.
Because of your salvation in Christ, you have been born into a living hope that extends beyond this world into a glorious eternity.
5. Your faith will be strengthened
Ingratitude will drain your strength! But gratitude will empower you.
The greatest thing God did for mankind is sending Jesus to die for the salvation of the world. This singular act coupled with your positive response to it by faith is what afforded you the benefit/hope of eternal salvation.
If you appreciate this on a personal level, it will strengthen your faith in God and in the belief in His willingness to answer your prayers.
Just like Apostle Paul, you will reason that , “He [God] who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32, NASB
In what other ways do you feel being grateful for your salvation in Christ will positively impact your life?
The responses I received to that question are what I present to you in this post, with the hope that you too will join in the conservation aimed at identifying the things you are most grateful for in your life.
Interestingly, I didn’t have this post in mind when I asked that question. But as I examined the feedback I received, I began to feel the need to use them as basis to write this post.
The following points are the feedback I received from 4 respondents as the things they are grateful for:
1. My salvation. My parents for being there in my formative years. And many other things;
2. For God’s elaborate salvation plan that included me.
3. My salvation, and other priceless gifts too numerous to mention!
4. The legacy bequeathed me by my dad and mom.
All the responses came from very mature people (all of them over 50 years of age each). I would take that to mean that they know what they were talking about.
From the responses of these friends on Facebook, I was able to see that there are majorly two things they are grateful for:
1. For the salvation they have;
2. For the roles their parents played in their lives.
If necessary, I will explore this two reasons in subsequent blog posts. But here, let us just continue the conversation by having you identify what you are grateful for in life.
Many of us bloggers sometimes make the mistake of thinking that we are writing only to people other than ourselves; that our posts help our readers more than they help us the writers.
But that may not always be the case. The posts we publish can be a blessing to us as much as it is to our readers. They can address our needs as much as they address the needs of other people.
Your blog posts should interest you. They should minister to you if you want them to minister to other people too.
That’s why I’m asking you: have you ever had your blog speaking to you personally?
In other words, have you ever learnt any lesson reading your own blog post?
That seems a fair question to ask, because if you are not learning anything from your own blog post, how are your readers supposed to learn from it?
I know from my own experience that most of the things I write on this blog often speak to me directly before they speak to my readers.
Apart from what I learn from other people’s posts, I learn from my own posts too!
The interesting part is that even months down the line, I could still find some of those posts addressing a particular need in my own life.
That was the experience I had recently. I am ashamed to say it now but I had a heated conversation with my wife.
“Over what” you may ask? Finances, aka money!
So that was it? Yea, yea…
Is money ever enough? Well, may be when we become billionaires. Smiles 😀
But seriously, we had some issues at hand: Our combined income for the month would barely be enough to accommodate ‘everything’ we wanted. No extras…
Futhermore, we couldn’t quite agree with the direction of our expenses for the following month. Our budget has to be a bit tightened due to some midyear obligations that needed to be settled.
But in a bid to have them resolved, our individual tempers flared up… Between each of us, we knew we raised our voices louder than normal.
You can hold me responsible for that. But I’m grateful to God we are both calmer now.
Just like many new couples would have experienced, this was not the first time finance and budgeting issues have come between us. And even though we always navigated our ways out of it, how come this kind of reality sometimes heat us hard in the face?
I mean, I love my wife and she loves me too. We both know it… We are eternally committed to each other. But how come we still disagree?
We are humans, imperfect humans. We are different in many ways.
We are still learning…Don’t you know that already?
Okay. That’s right!
Married couples do face challenges. Is there anyone here who doesn’t know that by now?
Well, there are bound to be issues in any relationship – be it marriage or not. But it is how we handle those issues that matters.
A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.
I had advised my readers in that post:
“Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. That way you will achieve a healthier method of resolution than blaming your spouse.”
In this case, I knew exactly what the problem was. And it was not my wife!
During marital problems, identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. Don’t trade blames [with your spouse. It will backfire].
It finally felt like I was talking to my point of need as well. And I was…
As I said before, ministry to self before ministry to others! I get it: my blog post has spoken to me personally once again!
Here is an excerpt from the post that came back hunting me:
Just like every married couple might have come to realise, I am sure you already know that marriage is not a bed full of roses only. It is full of plenty challenges as well.
Isn’t that pretty obvious?
More often than not, it is how you handle these challenges that will go to a large extent to determine the success and happiness or otherwise of your marital experience.
The common saying that as you make your bed, so you will lie on it holds true in marriage relationships too.
Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem. So resist the temptation to see him or her as one.
Put in proper perspective, you will realise that the challenges you have in marriage are things or issues, not a person – and definitely not your spouse!
For instance, the problem could be the manner your spouse is handling an issue at hand, or it may also be the manner you are reacting to it. Either way, you must [realise] that the problem is not a person.
A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner. You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse.
“I love you but I hate how you treat me sometimes,” a thoughtful wife once said to her husband.
You’ve got the point? Identify what the issue is and deal with it [accordingly].
A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.
Which of your blog post has ever spoken to you personally? You can paste the link in the comment section. I promise to check it out and leave you a feedback.
One of the eternal words that Jesus ever uttered includes this one: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
Knowing the truth is the way to true freedom. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
But first, here is the question:
What is the truth?
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6.
There goes another audacious claim of Jesus’:
He is the Way;
He is the Truth;
He is the Life.
With all these assertions, was Jesus just posturing or He is who He claims to be? I choose to believe the latter.
As Jesus is the Way, if you are following anyone other than Jesus alone, you are on the wrong path;
As Jesus is the Truth, if you have not believed Jesus as the full revelation of God’s truth to mankind, you have believed wrongly;
As Jesus is the Life, you will not have eternal life except you receive the life that only Jesus offers.
I know these are the kinds of statements that make some people mad. But Jesus did not offer any apologies when He made those audacious claims, neither would I.
a) Jesus is the Truth
First and foremost, truth is a person; Jesus is the Truth and He is unchanging…
So He can be trusted. You accept the truth to your eternal benefits and you reject it to your eternal peril.
There can be no meaningful “commitment to the authority of God” without a firm personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Truth.
b) The word of God is truth.
Jesus is the Word and the Word is truth, absolute truth. So the question of relative truth doesn’t apply…
All contemplations of truth must be hinged on God (through Jesus) and on His Word. You rise or fall to the truth you receive or reject.
That brings us to the question of morality.
The Standard for our morality
The word of God is truth. Therefore, more than anything else, the word of God must be the standard for our lives and the basis of our morality.
More than anything else, our morality should be based on what God thinks. Everything else is sinking sand…
But the choice is ours whether to base our morality on God’s thinking or not.
Our world today gives us three options for how to discover truth: We can choose to base our morality on what we think, on what other people think, or on what God thinks. We really have no other options. Our choice will dictate how we live, how we love, and, someday, how we die. But it’s our choice. What will you choose? – Rick Warren, in the devotional article, “You can know the truth by looking at God.”
The best foundation for our morality should be on God’s truth. Atheists may think otherwise, but I reckon that any question on morality cannot but have God in the picture.
Without God, the source of truth, there can be no a proper sense of right or wrong.
Any philosophy of life not backed by the word of God, irrespective of whoever might have propounded it, cannot be the truth.
The absolute truth as we should know it is the word of God only; whether in part or as a whole, the word of God is truth. I didn’t say so, Jesus did.
Jesus once prayed for His disciples, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17, emphasis mine).
Yes, the word of God is truth!
But there is a tragedy
Instead of choosing to knowing and living by the truth of God’s word, many people today have chosen to embrace some philosophies that are now destroying the moral fabric of the society.
Many people now believe what they want to believe. And feel they can live their lives how they want it, with or little considerations for the issues of morality.
Writing along that line in a recent devotional article, author of the best-seller The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, reminds us that What You Believe Shapes Your Life.
As he puts it, “What you believe determines your behavior. Your behavior then determines what you become, and that has a direct effect on the direction of your life.”
So you see why the behaviour of the world is going haywire? They have rejected the truth, living a lie and heading in godless directions.
If you think godless thoughts, you will believe godless things and makegodlesschoices!
Knowing Jesus and accepting God’s word as the truth will help shapen correctly what you believe and how you live.
“If you are leading anything of significance then you will regularly run into many uncertainties, obstacles, and failures. And it is the way you deal with these situations, how you handle things going wrong, that truly defines your leadership.”
Paul is someone who believes that leadership should be founded on love.
According to him, “When a culture has its foundation in love, then it is safe to fail. People start to come out of their comfort zones because they know that even if they make a mistake they are still going to be valued. Instead of being blamed, they know they will be supported and assisted to grow.”
What that means in a way is that a leader who loves his or her team will not take pleasure in dishing out blames to the team if failure occurs along the line; neither will he or she be judgemental.
Rather the leader focuses “…on discovering and truly understanding the cause of the failure, while at the same time being attuned to the feelings of the people involved.”
Paul calls that the Empathetic Discovery Approach. The principle requires that in any situation of failure, you the leader should build shared understanding of the root-cause of the problem through exploration conversations without demoralising any member of your team.
If you jump into conclusions without this empathetic exploration, you are more likely to get your team feeling hurt and getting blamed. And as you know, no one enjoys being blamed all the time.
I agreed with that position when I read it in the original post. But I was also left with the following questions:
Does this approach (of focusing on the root-cause of failure and having respect for the team members’ feelings) preclude a leader from holding people accountable for their actions?
Or is this another way of saying, “Ask what went wrong, not who was wrong?”
Here was Paul’s response to that question. (I have his permission to reproduce it here):
This approach doesn’t preclude a leader from holding people accountable for their actions. In fact, it is the opposite.
If you don’t hold people accountable then you aren’t really being a loving leader.
To give an analogy of how the approach I’m describing fits in with accountability, imagine the situation when someone is speeding in their car and a police officer pulls them over.
There is a consequence for exceeding the speed limit, which is getting fined. It is the police officer’s duty to issue that fine.
But the police officer has a decision to make about how they are going to perceive the speeding driver.
One approach is to make an assumption that the driver doesn’t care about the road laws, and then to look down on the driver for this lack of care.
Another approach is to hold back from jumping to conclusions or forming a judgement.
I guarantee that the driver will know the difference, even if the police officer did not say anything. They would sense in a lot of subtle ways whether the officer was holding that judgement or not.
Now, the officer could just issue the fine and walk away. And there is nothing wrong with that.
But think about the possibilities of approaching the situation from a standpoint of unconditional love.
The police officer might want to do the best they can to help make the chance of speeding lower in future, to protect people from preventable accidents. In his case, the loving officer would be navigating the table in my article.
The system first. What if it turns out that the speed signs had fallen down and it was impossible for drivers to know the speed limit.
If this turned out to be the case, the officer would want to arrange for the signs to be fixed to help all drivers.
But let’s say the speed signs were fine. What caused the driver to be speeding?
May be they were stressed out with many different things, and weren’t concentrating while driving.
The loving officer could listen and empathise with this, while at the same time still giving the person the fine. And who knows, maybe just taking the time to listen and to offer an encouraging word letting the person know there is hope amidst their many problems, ends up being a moment that really changes that person.
And then maybe that person is able to sort out some challenges they have that help them in many ways, only one of which is not getting distracted while driving and causing them to speed.
How much better of an outcome is this than just the person stopping speeding out of fear that they’ll get another ticket?
Or let’s say it turns out that the driver really doesn’t care and is disrespectful to the officer. At that point the officer obviously still gives them the fine, which is the consequence of their behaviour. But the officer still has a choice whether to love the person.
The unloving path is to hold the innate worth of the person lower because of the attitude they expressed. Following that path, what is the chance of this interaction actually helping that person?
It’s most likely going to re-enforce the poor attitude they have.
But on the other hand, what if the officer was loving? In this case they would not diminish the worth of the person. They would feel sorry for person, knowing the expressed attitude will lead to pain for them and others.
They would look the person in the eye, and out of genuine love say something like, “I really don’t want to see you get hurt or others get hurt. I need to give you this fine today because you have broken the law and done something dangerous. But I truly hope you value yourself as much as I value you, and stop speeding”.
Now the person may snarl and dismiss the comment. But you never know what kind of seed that moment of genuine unconditional love will plant.
The authenticity of that interaction could play some small part in really helping that person change. And even if that is only the remotest of possibilities, then it is worth it.
Linda Ikeji is one of the few Nigerian celebrities I follow on Instagram. In my own reckoning, she is one of the most smiling faces on Instagram.
For those who don’t know her, Linda is Nigeria’s most successful blogger by all ramifications.
According to some sources, her blog lindaikejisblog dot com is one of the most visited sites in Nigeria. And that’s no mean achievement.
From writing the blog as a hobby to becoming a strong media entrepreneur, Linda has broken many barriers and blazed the trails for many aspiring bloggers in the country and in Africa as a whole.
This post is not about her blog but about the woman behind it, especially about her ever smiling face on Instagram.
I will be upfront in informing you that I have never met Linda in person. Just like many other celebrities like her, all I know about her are things she shared about herself and from other media sources as well.
That is to say that there are many things I don’t know about her and there are many things about her I would never know.
What then is my interest about her in this post? I will answer that question in a few minutes…
Ever since I began following Linda on Instagram, there have been many things about her that I have found to be very admirable. Some of those things are worth-sharing and that my friend is the reason for this post.
Four admirable things about Linda Ikeji’s face on Instagram:
1. Linda’s posts are always inspiring.
Linda always posts her personal pictures on her Instagram page (that’s the purpose of the platform in the first place). But the notes and the anecdotes on many of her posts there are always very inspirational and full of lessons, especially for young people who want to be successful.
Without being carried away by her fashion sense or her expensive cars which she proudly displays in her posts, you will definitely learn something if you would put some thoughts to the notes that accompany her picture posts.
She encourages her followers to follow their passion, work hard and be focused.
I know firsthand the difference between reading a Linda Ikeji’s post on Instagram compared to those of a few other Nigerian celebrities on Instagram or other social media platforms.
Apart from Linda’s, another celebrity I like seeing/reading his Instagram post is Ali Baba, who is widely acclaimed as Nigeria’s king of comedy. His posts too are always filled with lessons for his teeming followers (May be I will write about that some day as well).
Back to Linda Ikeji.
2. Linda comes across to me as a humble person.
Linda is said to be a self-made multi-millionaire but I can’t say she is proud and pompous like some other celebrity millionaires on the block.
I have heard her say thinks that bespeak humility.
Like I already stated, I don’t know Linda in person. But as a distant observer of hers, I have many reasons to believe that she is more homely and more humble than some of her critics may want to admit.
Although, sometimes, she displays a facade that portrays her as proud, in the end her humility always shines through. So I tend not to believe when I hear some people say she is very arrogant.
The social media is replete with huge evidence to show that there are more arrogant Nigerian celebrities on the platform than there are humble ones. To me, Linda is remarkably different from them all.
You may disagree with me if you like, but don’t forget that, just like you, I am entitled to my own opinion.
3. Linda wears a genuine smile alot.
You can’t be a fan of Linda’s on Instagram without noticing her infectious smiles most of the time. I always see her smile in all her pictures and I like it alot.
A peep into some of her throwback pictures did not fail to reveal that this blogging queen has been smiling from way back, even before she became rich and famous.
Therefore, one can safely conclude that her ever-smiling face as we see on Instagram today is no fluke. It is a genuine part of her.
I can recall one time I didn’t see her smile in one of her pictures and I had to ask, “Whatever happened to the smiles we are used to?”
Although I didn’t get an answer (I understand she doesn’t have to respond to me), I wanted to pass the message across to her that she should keep on smiling. It is one of the reasons some of us admire her.
Some of my friends are aware that I follow Linda on Instagram.(I had remarked that I like the fact that she always wears a beautiful smile on her face).
One of them was quick to say, “Victor, with the kind of millions (of Naira) Linda has, any woman can’t but smile.”
I didn’t want to dispute so much but I quickly pointed out, “How come not every woman with millions out there are smiling like her?” End of discussion!
4. Linda believes in God
In an age when it has become acceptable to have celebrities who openly deny the existence of God, we still find a few exceptions. Linda Ikeji is one of such.
I do not know the depth of her relationship with God. But as a follower of hers on Instagram, I have observed that she always expresses her faith in God in her posts.
She often recognises that it was God who has made it possible for her to achieve fame and fortune beyond her imaginations.
Linda has shown that she is wise by acknowledging the existence and help of God in her life.
Why do you have a blog? Do you want to be read far and wide?
How visible is your blog?
I’m sorry to tell you that many people who should be reading your blog are not even aware that it exists in the the first place!
Well, let me clarify that this post is not for those who claim that they don’t care whether someone reads their blogs or not.
If that includes you, I think you should move on to another post right now, because there is no use you continue reading this piece.
But if you think the world should read your blog, because you have something valuable to share, I think it is worth it for you to find out how more and more people can discover yourself blog to read it.
A few times I have stumbled on some blogs with great contents (by my own reckoning that is) but with very few readers or followers.
Why is that so? I believe many people are not yet aware that such a fantastic blog exists.
Granted, some of those blogs are new on the block hence I concede that it will take some time for them to gain due popularity.
What about those blogs that have been existing for a while, have great content but not much viewership? I would say there must be something missing…
It is one thing to have a blog that publishes great contents and another thing to have people visiting the blog consistently. The good part is that the two are not mutually exclusive.
Good content should attract great readership. I wish it’s that simple!
If your blog’s content is great, then readers should be swarming in. But is that your reality?
Let’s face it, your blog is just a tiny part of the hundreds of millions of blogs existing on the blogosphere and many more millions of posts churned out week in week out.
In fact, within the next 24 hours after you have read this post, another fifty thousand new blogs would have been created around the world and over two million new posts published.
So my friend, you see, it will take some efforts on your part for your blog to be discovered, read and followed. Like me, I believe you would want your blog to have visibility.
Or don’t you want your blog to be noticed?
Four ways to make your blog noticeable
1. Is your blog private or public?
The first advice I would give you here is for you to index your blog as “public.” By so doing, it will be discoverable when people do word searches on search engines such as Google.
Only those people who don’t want their blogs to be read by just anyone should be indexed “private.” That way, their blogs will not show up in Google searches, but will be available to only those they choose to invite in.
2. Write great contents
I have heard it said over and over again that when it comes to gaining traction for your blog, content is king. The argument is that if your posts are relevant and helpful to your readers, they will keep coming back for more.
I am not saying it is foolproof but it helps to have great contents on your blog.
Generally, people are searching for solutions to something. Your post might as well be the ‘miracle meal’ that satisfies their hunger.
Don’t forget that people desire to live happier. They want to live healthier. And they want to live wealthier…
Chances are that if your content consistently provides answers in any of the three areas, more and more people will be interested in your blog.
3. Promote your posts on social media
After you have published that fantastic post on your blog, don’t call it a day yet; spread the word around about your new post.
We are in the age of social media. Take a good advantage of it to promote (I don’t want to say ‘advertise’) your posts.
Just “Share your work with the world through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks” is the best advice in this regard.
That way you will make your article available to a wider audience. Sooner or later those who so reads your article on social networks will follow you home to your blog.
You don’t have to employ all of the social media platforms out there to be able to achieve this. One or two is enough.
In my own case, Facebook and Twitter have been useful in helping people discover this blog.
With the help of Publicize, I have linked my WordPress blog to my Facebook and Twitter Accounts.
Any post I publish on the blog is automatically publicised through the two social media handles for my followers to see, read and possibly share with their own followers. You can do the same if you have not already done so.
4. Reach out to other blogs
This is about getting out of your comfort zone and connecting with other bloggers; engaging with the blogging community.
If you want your blog to be noticed, you cannot afford to stay in your cozy corner of WordPress and expect it to happen just like that. You have to deliberately interact with other blogs.
There are many ways you can achieve that: visit and read other blogs, like the posts, share a comment, link to other posts, follow other blogs you like, join a blogging community. Guest post.
When you do any or all of the above, you leave a link-trail through which people may be ‘lured’ to your blog.
If you do not make any deliberate effort to promote the posts on your blog, chances are that not everyone who should be reading your blog would be able to find it.
How do you get your blog noticed? Leave a comment.
In an epoch-making ceremony, Prince Harry took his beautiful bride, Meghan Markle, to the altar to be his lawfully wedded wife.
The whole world stood at attention as the graceful royal event took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in London.
In many ways, the marriage between the two lovebirds has been described as a break from the norm; a royal wedding with a difference.
In this post I will talk about 4 interesting things about the couple.
4 Interesting Things About The Royal Wedding Between Prince Harry And Meghan Markle
1. The couple loves each other very much.
The union between Price Harry and Meghan Markle is not a loveless union in any way as some royal marriages in the past might have been.
This one is a special marriage between two special people that specially love each other against all odds.
The love of the couple shone through every inch of the wedding ceremony. Meghan was particularly full of smiles as she pledged her marriage love and commitment to Prince Harry.
The sparks of love in her eyes were indescribable. And Prince Harry was like, “You look amazing. And I am so lucky to have you.”
I am sure the elegant Megan felt the same way too; they were visibly happy throughout the ceremony.
This couple followed their hearts, without minding what the world around them would think. They fell in love and stayed in love, standing before the Lord to be joined man and wife in holy matrimony.
From the year of our Lord 2016 when they reportedly first met each other, to this year 2018 when they walked down the isle, their love for each other stood strong, overcame many negative criticisms that arose against the royal union along the line.
2. The couple met through a blind date.
It was reported in the media that Prince Harry met Megan Markle through a blind date orchestrated by a mutual friend of theirs.
Yes! Their first time meeting with each other was through a blind date.
Meghan confirmed it when she confessed in a BBC interview that the blind date… (Wait for it)… “was a set-up.”
Now we can all see the result; that “set-up’ was definitely a blind date with a difference; It worked out gradually but surely, leading to a grand royal union.
Before now, one would have thought that this kind of blind date only happens in movies. But here we are celebrating the strong love that developed from a blind date to friendship and then to marriage into royalty.
With this development, it looks like the next (even the present) generation of young people now have a veritable example of a blind date that worked for them to imitate.
But they should remember that they are not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
3. Welcome the Biracial royal bride
As far as I know, never in the history of the British monarchy has there been a biracial bride amongst the wives of the men of their royalties. But with Meghan Markle coming into the fold, as wife of Prince Harry, a great history has been made.
In the words of Katie O’Malley, “…a mixed race woman has married into one of the whitest institutions in the UK…”
This is reality my friend!
It means that Prince Harry and Meghan have chatted a new course for mankind in matters of race relations on earth – in an unprecedented way.
As one media analyst pointed out, “Ten years ago, this would have been impossible.”
Yes, a decade ago, a marriage between a British royalty and a biracial woman wouldn’t have been possible. But it is now… And that’s progress for us humans!
When the first man landed on the Moon, it was dubbed, “one small step for a man but one giant leap for mankind.”
In the same vein, Prince Harry’s marriage to a biracial Meghan could be seen as a giant leap forward for mankind in the history of interracial relationships, not only in Britain but in many places around the world.
Meghan has now moved from being an American actress to Britain to being a royal bride with a difference.
And the good part is that many people love and adore her, calling her and Harry, “a perfect couple.”
Everyone that matters, especially Harry’s dad, Prince Charles and his grand mum, her royal majesty, Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, understandably approved of the union.
This is not to say that the couple didn’t initially face some persecutions from some sections of the public because of Megan’s racial background.
They did, but they overcame. Thanks to Prince Harry who stood firmly behind his gorgeous lady.
4. The Divorcee Question
When in 2017 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, some questions arose about her previous relationships.
As it turned out, Meghan had been married before but the marriage did not work out between her and her then spouse. We now know the name of her ex husband as Trevor Engelson, a Hollywood television and film producer.
As at the time she met Prince Harry, Meghan was already officially divorced. But the ‘divorcee’ tag on Meghan did not dissuade Harry from marrying her.
In any case, Meghan’s failed marriage to Engelson is now in the past where it belongs. A new marriage chapter has now been opened between Prince Harry and her, not only as husband and wife but also as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
What is your take on the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?
There is an error that is gradually becoming endemic in our days.
I have seen young energetic men become lazy, laid-back, lethargic and beggarly all in the guise of pursuing God or working for God (Ministry).
Those that are married lean on their wives’ income as sole income and not complementary income to support what they bring.
The ones that are not married seek ladies with steady flow of income to hook up to thereby abusing God’s order.
Some others want their wives to stop working and take care of their children without showing them practically how they intend to provide for their homes.
This laziness has led many preachers to sell their soul by engaging in many unspeakable things to make endsmeet. They are deluded by a voice supposedly from God telling them not to work.
My concern is simple; if God tells you not to work, be sure God’s provision will always be ahead of your needs.
Paul in his missionary journey worked with his hands when there was no provision. And where there was provision, he devoted the entire time in preaching the word of God.
My heart reaches out to women that are saddled with so much burden to ensure their family have the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing and basic-education).
With all these burden, many ‘MOGs’ [Men Of God] expect their wives to perform their nuptial duties at night as and when due. Failure to do so due to fatigue has been used as an excuse for extra-marital affairs.
Let us grow up and revert to the divine order where husbands provide for their homes and wives support.
Full-time ministry is to do the work of God fully with your heart, might and strength and that is also the first commandment. This is God’s minimum requirement for all Believers.
It doesn’t hinder any Man of God from working with their hands pending when their congregation is financially solvent enough to accommodate their financial burdens.
Get this fact straight, dust your certificate, get a skill and start working.
Your heart is with God even at work. Become productive, unburden your wives and lean solely on God.
A man of God will bear good fruits. He is not a man of God if he doesn’t!
In my Nigeria where I live, just like in many places around the world, I have realised that many people are quick to be called “men of God.” But the question is, “are all of them truly men of God?”
What I have also come to realise is that some of those so-called men of God hardly live up to that identity.
I am not saying this because I am judging them. But rather because, it can be seen that many of them are not conducting themselves in ways that bring glory to God.
If someone is a man of God, he should not say and do things that are attributes of men of satan.
How can you be a man of God and your lifestyle has no regard for the word of God?
A man of God should conduct himself in obedience to God.
A man called of God should seek to please God more than men.
A man of God should bear fruits that bring glory to God.
Otherwise, it gives room for avoidable doubts.
The sad truth is that many people who claim to be men of God are really not what they claim. And from such people, we should be wary.
Remember the warning Jesus handed us in Matthew chapter 7:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.“
Beware of fake men of God.
The above advice is as relevant today it was when it was given over two thousand years ago. It will be to your own peril to neglect it.
Many people who claim to be prophets are ravenous wolves in sheep clothing. But as Jesus hinted us, “we [will] know them by their fruits.”
A man of God will bear good fruits. He is not a man of God if he consistently bears bad fruits.
One source quoted the late American evangelist, Billy Graham to have said:
“A Man of God is one who depends on the Grace of God, preaches the Word of God, stays in the Will of God, fulfils the Purposes of God, respects the Servants of God, edifies the Family of God, is filled with the Spirit of God, devotes himself to the Ministry of God, loves the Word of God, and lives for the Kingdom of God!”
What drives traffic to your blog? Any idea how many readers landed on your site from search engines word searches?
Have you figured out which country most of your blog traffic come from?
Where do most people access your blog from? Do you have more or less viewers from within your geographical location or from abroad?
You may be surprised to find out that people are viewing your blog from many countries far away from where you are.
If you are interested in knowing more about this, you will have to take a good look at your blog stats page. And that is not a bad thing to do provided you approach it without being so emotionally attached to it.
WordPress support explains that “Your stats page includes a bunch of nifty graphs, charts, and lists that show you how many visits your site gets, what posts and pages are the most popular ones, and much more.”
Why don’t you take some few minutes to explore your site’s stats page? You will find some interesting results.
Just like many other parts of your wordpress site, the navigation of the stats page is menu-driven so it is not difficult to explore at all.
I’m aware that many business blogs take their blogs’ analytics very seriously. But even if yours is a personal blog, it doesn’t stop you from taking a little peep into your blog’s stats.
In this post, we are focusing on just the number of blog views by highlighting two broad ways you can review the sources of readers to your blog.
However, bear in mind that I am not an expert in blog analytics. This post is based entirely on the observations made on this blog.
You may use the comment section to share your own experience if it is different from what I am sharing here.
2 Broad Ways To Analyse Your Blog’s Traffic
Your blog’s traffic can be analysed in terms of the total number of “views by country” or in terms of the total number of “views by referrer.”
We will now take a deeper look at each of the two:
1. Analysis in terms of geographical Location
Do you have any idea in which country most readers access your blog from? You can know it by simply analysing your blog views by country.
It is important you know your blogs views by country because it will help you in some ways. If you are not sure how, this post will show you something about that.
One surprising thing I found from analying this blog’s view by country was that although I write this blog from Nigeria, majority of the people who view it are based in the United States.
Though, I was initially reluctant to publish that post, the realisation that most of my readers live in America made me overcome the initial inertia.
Second on the list is Nigeria, my country of birth and residence. Interestingly, Australia which used to occupy the second position has now been displaced to the third.
Since the year 2018 began, over 5,000 people have viewed this blog from around a hundred different countries of the world. (I know it because I counted).
But interestingly, more than 65% of the views came from within the US alone.
Don’t you think it makes great sense for you to know where majority of your readers are?
As an example, you can take a look at the following record showing the top eight countries from which this blog has been viewed from January 2018 to date:
2. Analysis in terms of Referrers
How do people get to discover your blog? What are the sources of traffic to your blog?
Apart from the ones that came through mouth to mouth recommendations, have you bothered to check your blog stats to see your highest source of referrer?
There are many sources of referrals to your blog – search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), WordPress Readers, other blogs or sites, social media (Facebook, Twitter) etc. One of these will top the list as your main referrer.
For instance, from the first quarter of this year till now, here is the summary of how readers were referred to this blog:
As can be seen in the above summary, most of the people who viewed this blog from the beginning of the year till now were referred here by search engines. And this is consistent with observations in the previous years too.
In a way, I see it as a good thing because it points to the fact that my posts show up when people do specific word searches on the internet.
Some people have suggested that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps a lot in this regard. They may be right but I have not fully grasped how that works…
I simply write my posts as the words flow from my mind to the blog page, hoping that they provide answers to someone’s questions out there.
It is my belief that knowing a bit about your blog’s stats with respect to traffic referrers to your blog or where most people view your blog from will improve your total blogging experience.
Is it Google or social media that drives most traffic to your blog?
Every once in a while we are able to remember those who positively impacted our lives in one way or another. The last weekend afforded me such an opportunity, and it is my pleasure to share the story with you in this post.
I returned from Church last Sunday feeling very physically exhausted and I decided to take a little nap on my bed. As usual my smart phone was handy, so in the interim I began to surf through my messages and social media notifications.
In the process, I came across one message from Facebook informing me that, “Victor, you and G are celebrating one year of friendship on Facebook.”
Just like any other Facebook user, I know this type of message is a common one. But this very one meant a lot to me because the G in question is someone I have held in very high esteem ever since I was a teenager.
“…One year of friendship”?
I had chuckled as I read the message because although I recently reconnected with this awesome person via Facebook, we had known each other for more than two decades – long before Mark Z ever thought of gifting the world with his pervading social media platform.
Apart from once being a spiritual mentor to me way back in Secondary school, He was my English teacher at some points too. Needless to say, I owe a lot to him and to other people like him for the good foundation they laid for me while learning English as a second language.
For those of you who don’t know, English is the official language in Nigeria my home country. (Thanks to Britain, once our colonial master). But we usually learn it as a second language, after our mother tongue. And now it is a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools across the nation.
So this friendship notification from Facebook made me share the following message on my Facebook wall in celebrating the English Teacher from way back that so much impacted my life. (I’m sure he doesn’t mind my mentioning his name):
I celebrate you sir, Geoff Uti. You were an English Teacher like no other, to me. There is no doubt that I drew inspiration from both your spoken and written English.
Wherever you are right now, I’m giving you a shout out. Today, Facebook notice says we are celebrating one year as friends. But I will let the world know that I have known you for almost 3 decades. God bless you sir. May your legacies remain forever.
What happened next after I wrote the above words on my FB wall gave me the reason to share this post with you.
Although I did not expect it, I was pleasantly surprised to see a comment or response from this rare teacher. I felt humbled, or I should say honoured, by his words of commendation so I decided to share them with you here as well:
Friendship they say is not proximity but trust and fulfilment. Going back nostalgic to the days of yore when you exuded great intelligence and ingenuity academically, one is forced today to let the world know that you are a rare gift to your generation.
A figure par excellence in whom I am always well pleased and of whom the school was proud of, you are one of the rewards of the profession I am proud to belong.
A product that has today put me on the globe even when I would not have been worth it without the likes of you. You have remained a goal-getter and the sky is your stepping stone.
Your dearness to me will flourish the more as our friendship is beyond that of Teacher- Student but to father-son relationship.
All I could say after reading those sweet words was ‘wow.’ Thank you sir for this honour!
Do you have any teacher who you would never forget for the impact he made on you? Any comments?
10 Simple Ways to Appreciate Your Favourite Blogger
1. Don’t be indifferent after reading a post
When you read a post and you like it, hit the 'like' button below the post, share it with your friends on your social media handles. Leave a comment for the author or send him or her an email to let them know how good you felt about the post. Reblog it and link to it in your own posts.
Remember: Treat other bloggers the way you want to be treated. The saying that “What goes around comes around,” applies in blogging too.
2. Do this, if you disagree with the author’s perspective
If you don’t like a post or you disagree with the author’s position, don’t walk away just yet; leave him or her a comment or send an email expressing your reservations or why you disagree with the post.
Caution: Be nice about it or else walk away quietly. Unconstructive criticisms are not easy pills for anyone to swallow.
3. Offer your insights, if you think yours is better
If you have better insight on the issue on hand than the author displayed in a post, feel free to offer such insights or perspectives via the comment section of the post or through an email.
Advice: Be humble about it, because even you don’t know everything! We learn from one another to play the game better.
4. Let the author know if you spot any fundamental errors
If you notice some fundamental errors in omeone else’s post or you have some suggestions for improvement, do the writer (and the blogging world) a favour by informing him or her via an email or private chat. (Some bloggers, including yours truly, would not mind you using the comment section of the post to register your suggestions).
Caution: Please give your corrections and/or suggestions in love, no better way around it.
5. Share an experience you have if it validates the post
If you have an experience that validates the author’s position in a post you have read, be magnanimous enough to share it in the comment section so that other readers can learn from it too.
Advice: If protecting your privacy is of concern to you, you can share the experience anonymously.
6. Promote the blog sincerely
If you have a blog that you read and you really love it so much, promote the blog on your own blog or on your other social media handles.
Reason: There is love in sharing and good news is for sharing. Assist other people to discover your favourite blog and follow it so that they too can be as well.
WOW, you have blessed me so much with “your poem.” I was not expecting anything like that and have never received anything like it before.
Each day I pray for the Lord to inspire me and that He should send me something from time to time to quicken to my spirit that I am indeed doing this all for His glory and His purpose. Every now and then I get a word of encouragement from someone that confirms I am using my gift for Him. This not only confirms it but it solidifies this is w[h]ere God wants me. Thank you again for giving me such a huge blessing. ~ Have a wonderful day with Jesus.
And after I had turned my ‘poem of gratitude’ into a full post, she also remarked:
There you go again Victor blessing me again with your post! I love that you turned it into something that we can all do to let others know that we appreciate what they do. Encouraging others is so important for us to do and this is a great way to do so. ~ May God continue to use you to bless others ~
I am not trying to be sycophantic or eager to blow my own trumpet here by sharing theses comments. Rather I am only trying to reecho the sentiment that in this world of blogging, “Encouraging others is so important for us to do…”
So is there anyone whose blog posts have greatly impacted your life? Why don’t you reach out and appreciate such one?
There are a few things you may want to do to show some love to the blogger you read his or her post. In my next post, we will explore some 10 simple things you can do to make your favourite blogger feel appreciated.
In a previous post about Billy Graham, I came to the conclusion that “Just like Apostle Paul, we could say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”
It was also pointed out in that article that most people that know him acknowledge that Graham was a man of great character and integrity, who stayed true to his divine calling of evangelism throughout his active life in ministry.
Public opinion might be a very powerful force but you should not let it shape who you are or what you become in life. In other words, you should live your life independent of public opinion.
You will experience avoidable levels of frustration if you always rely on public opinion to run your life.
I read of a Chinese proverb which says that a wise man makes his own decisions whereas an ignorant man follows public opinion. You have the right to agree or disagree with that statement but I believe there is a point in those words.
There will always be public opinion. But the choice is yours whether or not to follow it.
People will talk about you no matter what you do. So make sure you do the right things so that you will not have cause to be ashamed of yourself later.
Remember the saying “Vox populi, vox Dei” (The voice of the people is the voice of God). Have you ever given a serious thought to that maxim? Or have you believed it completely simply because it is a popular saying?
Take another look at that philosophy and you will see that it cannot always be correct. The voice of the people most times is not the voice of God. So why let your life be guided by public opinion?
As you probably know, public opinion is not always correct. Much of what constitutes public opinion is born either out of the ignorance of the majority of the public or the deliberate acts of misinformation orchestrated by the people that have the power or the means to do so.
There are people that control or influence public opinion. If you are not one of such people, be sure that public opinion will not always be in your overall best interest.
You will be ruining your life if you completely pattern it after the opinions of the public. That is not to say that there is no time you can learn something from feeling the public pulse. But be sure to know where and when to draw the line.
Public opinion changes frequently. And you can not even change as fast as it does, so why fall for it?
How then should you handle public opinion?
If you know you are in the right just continue being right. Don’t shift ground to the wrong side on the strength of public opinion.
Public opinion may count but doing the right thing should count more for you.
Pursue your purpose in life and firmly resist the temptation to have sleepless nights over what people say about you. Those who live by purpose will not follow public opinion, neither will they be bothered by it. Be one of such people!
Even when public opinion favours you, as it sometimes will, you still have need to ride on its’ tide very carefully, so that you do not get drown by any means.
Those who praise you today will turn against you tomorrow. Thread cautiously. Whatever you do, do not let public opinion control how you live your life.
Some times you meet someone for the first time and all you feel tempted to do is to judge him or her, without realising that you do not even have the complete information about the person. But how correct can your judgement be?
Just like you, the other person is not perfect. So what makes you think you are in a perfect place to judge the other person?
Here are 3 simple reasons you should resist the temptation to be judgemental:
1. You do not know where the person is coming from
A man is a product of many things in his life. One of it is his experiences…
How he behaves now is somewhat a reflection of what he has been through in the past. So if you judge him by only what you see now, you are most likely to misjudge him.
2. You do not understand what the person is going through right now
Apart from what a man might have been through in the past, what he is going through right now also affects his disposition to life.
Granted, you may see that he is going through stuff but you will never understand it in and out. So don’t judge him by what you see because there is so much more happening behind the scene that you do not see.
3. You do not know the person’s future.
What you see about any body is not all there is to him or her. So don’t judge him because he or she does not fit into your mould or expectations.
A man may be down today but do not judge him as out. Being a fellow human being, you are grossly limited by your senses. What the future holds for the person may be far beyond what your natural eyes can perceive.
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” Matthew 7:1-2, NLT.
“Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.
If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention to, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.”
In addition to the referenced suggestions, here are some possible idea topics to write open letters on, to get you started:
1. The Families of victims of terrorist attacks.
The recent Manchester and London City terrorist attacks are still very fresh on our minds. One way or another, the reports about these ugly incidents must have filtered into your ears.
You do not have to bemoan the situation only in your room. You can reach out by the means of an open letter to the friends and families of the victims of these unfortunate attacks.
Reach out by speaking up against acts of terrorism. Reach out by sending out your love to the survivors of the attacks…
Just reach out. You may not know the victims personally but send their families and friends your words of sympathy, emphathy, condolences, and assurances that justice would be found for their lost loved ones.
2. The victims of the Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria.
Many people in the northern part of Nigeria have been severely affected by the rapacious activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, and many children orphaned.
Do you feel like you have some words of encouragement for this sect of endangered humans? The issues of the internally displaced people… whatever you have to say, an open letter can do it for you.
3. Those who are suffering from mental health issues, insomnia, depression etc
If you are a survivor or a therapist on mental health problems, you may take up this one. Share your experiences and suggestions that will help those who are presently having such issues.
Life is already difficult on its own. To suffer any of the mentioned conditions is another huge burden.
Sometimes sufferers may be languishing in their little corner on the false belief that nobody loves or cares about them. And that’s often far from the truth.
You believe that God exists. That’s great. But as you already know, not everyone that lives in your state or country share that same belief with you.
You may not know such people personally but you are convinced that if you ever meet them, you will have something to say to them or questions to ask them. You can do that via an open letter.
By so doing, you are not forcing them to believe in God (although it would be nice to have them believe). Rather you are bearing an open testimony to them about the fact that God exists whether they believe in Him and the need for them to get to know Him, personally.
5. Widows (and widowers?)
Widows are often neglected in some societies. Are you a widow or someone close enough to know, who wants to draw attention to the pains or frustrations of being a widow?
Are there some possible joys (seriously?) in widowhood that you would like to share with the public?
No body will feel the pain of widowhood as much you do. That is to say, you are in a better position to tell your stories like they are. Write an open letter as you deem fit.
6. The president of your country.
You stay in your corner complaining that your president is not doing some things right. Given the chance, “you could pass him some good pieces of advice that may help him”, you console yourself.
Sorry to disappoint you: your president’s handlers may never come to you for advice. But you can get their attention through an open letter.
Irrespective of your country, you can write “an open letter to my president.”
7. Aspiring bloggers
You have been blogging for a while now, so you know some things new bloggers don’t know. But no aspiring blogger has come to you for guidance.
You do not have to wait for that; you can write an open letter to all aspiring bloggers, giving them insights that can help them in their journey.
The idea of being a full time housewife is unthinkable for some people. Yet many women have found it very fulfilling.
What knowledge do you possess that can be of assistance to stay-at-home moms, to help them make the most of their status? To all stay-at-home moms, how about writing an open letter highlighting your experiences – fulfilling or frustrating?
How I wish someone will be bold enough to write an open letter to the husbands of stay-at-home moms! You will agree with me that not many a husband truly appreciate the sacrifices and labour of love of their housewives at home.
9. Those preparing for a professional examination
You are a successful professional. To get to where you are right now, you have had to write your profession’s rigourous exams.
Congratulations! You passed and you recognized as a full-blooded professional.
But you know what? Many People have been struggling with the same exams for years. Why don’t you write them an open letter sharing some insights on how to pass the exam?
10. Pregnant teenage girls contemplating abortion
This happens alot: when teenagers get pregnant, the next thing many of them would think of will be how to abort the foetus. If many of them knew better, they might not have taken that option.
You can write an open letter to pregnant teenage girls who are contemplating abortion, giving them helpful reasons why they must not abort their unborn children. Who knows, one of them could read your letter and have a positive change of mind.
The Mirror, UK once reported that “Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother has admitted she considered having an abortion when she was pregnant with him.”
Just look at the hugely successful soccer star Ronaldo had become today! The world would have been robbed of this football prodigy had his mum gone ahead to abort his pregnancy.
I hope the picture is getting clearer to you now?
11. Child prostitution
As much as we may want to shy away from it, child prostitution is a problem in many parts of the world. The problem can be reduced with greater awareness and sensitisation.
As a victim or survivor of that evil, you can raise public consciousness by writing about it in an open letter. Make it anonymous if you like, but draw attention to the issues, and recommend possible solutions.
12. LGBT Community in America
I know that a lot of stuff exists in the public space on the issue of LGBT rights. I also know that in your own little corner, depending on the foundation of your value system, you have your own opinion on this LGBT discourse.
What exactly is your own position? Are you for or against it? An open letter is a veritable avenue to let us know where you stand on the issue, without fear or favour.
13. Sit-tight Presidents of some countries
In my own opinion, any nation’s president who has spent more than 10 years (or more than two terms) in office is a sit-tight leader. African leaders are particularly guilty of that behaviour.
For such people, you cannot contribute your vote to send them packing if you are not a citizen of their country. But such a limitation cannot prevent you from writing an open letter to such president.
Irrespective of your country of residence, you can air your view in favour or against the sit-tight tendencies of some of these world leaders.
14. Facebook Founder
Not too long ago, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was in my country Nigeria, on a working visit. During that visit, some young Nigerians were able to interact with him and got to hear him speak to them face to face. But some of us did not have that rare privilege.
Let’s say you were amongst those that did not get to see Mark Z on one on one basis, but in your heart you feel you have something to say to him for the benefit of the public. Just do “An open letter to the founder of Facebook.” Trust me, it will not take many hours before he or his aids will get wind of the message.
15. Adult Children who do not care about their parents.
Our aged parents need care and support for the rest of their lives. But more often and not, the children of these sages are now grown, living and working in different parts of the world, with little or no time for their parents back at home.
Even if the aged parents are put in convalescent homes, regular phone calls or visit from their children will make them happier human beings.
If you had the chance to talk to such people who have abandoned their parents, what would you tell them? Please don’t keep silent forever.
If I were you, I would use the medium of an open letter to write, “Ten things I would say to adult children that do not care for or support their aged parents.”
May be you are the parent who feels abandoned by your children, you can think of writing “5 things I would like to tell my children who have abandoned me.”
Even though your children never call home, such an open letter will get to them wherever they might be. With full disclosure of their identities, they can not escape seeing the letter, not with the power of the internet still holding sway.
16. Immigrants in your country
Immigration is a knotty issue in many developed countries of the world. As a citizen, if you feel you have some contributions to make to the discussions on immigration matters in your country, you can write an open letter to the government of the day.
Similarly, you might have some things you would like to share with the immigrants in your community to foster harmonious relationship amongst them and citizens. It would be impracticable to go to them one by one to pass your advice across. But you can write an open letter in a local medium to that effect.
17. Your future Spouse
You have hopes of getting married some day. Right now, you do not know who your future partner would be. But it doesn’t stop you from thinking about him or her every morning as you wake up.
Long before I got married, I can recall writing down “Three things I expect from my wife.” I never got to publish it, but I had the privilege of showing it to my then-would-be wife when we eventually met. If it were now, I would not have missed publishing it on my blog.
Why don’t you articulate your expectations (or your fears) in an open letter? What you are feeling in your heart for your future spouse will make an interesting read for the young people out there.
18. The good friend you’ve lost contact with
Thanks to the power of social media, many of us have reconnected with our friends from the past that we have not been in contact with for multiple of years gone by. There might still be someone from your past that you would like to renew your relationship with, but you have had no way of contacting him.
Try writing an open letter giving the necessary details about the friend. The feedback might surprise you.
19. Those who want to publish a book
It is the dream of many people to publish a book in their names before they leave this world. But many of such people do not yet have a handle on what to do.
As an experienced publisher you can write an open letter to aspiring first time publishers. I am sure your ideas will prove invaluable to them.
20. Be the one to add this one…
What would you like to centre your open letter on, apart from the area’s I covered in the post? Please share your comments…
P.S. If you decide to write an open letter on your blog following this article, kindly link this post to it to enable my readers and I join in the conversations too.
I believe that books are some of the most wonderful things on earth. And reading them is one of the most productive use of time ever – far better than sitting in front of the television for hours.
As you know, to read a book it has to be written first. Thanks to everyone who has written some thing and made it available for reading.
Writers are awesome people. They impact our worlds and experiences in greater ways than may be imagined. You too can make your own contribution to the writing experience.
When it comes to writing, there is always room for more participants. If you are not already a full fledged writer, you should accept you are a potential one; You have the potential in you. Develop it by putting it to use.
To be a writer you have to write. You might not be the best yet, but you have to start from somewhere – where you are right now.
Great writers became great by writing. And so can you…
Explore your sense of imagination… Write down your thoughts as they filter into your mind. Share your unique (or not so unique) experiences in life by putting pen to paper or hands on your keyboard.
Writing is what writers do. So why are you not writing? Do not worry if you will have readers or not. Do the writing first, readers will come along.
The best time to get started with it is now. The world is waiting for you; you should not be waiting for the world.
That book idea you have in your mind, put flesh to it and make it a physical reality. What’s the use of a book that never got written?
Whatever you write and made available will be read by someone. The only book that may never be read is the one you failed to write.
Just like everyone else, I have encountered many kinds of coaches in my lifetime. And they come in different colours and shades towards a given end.
I am sure you remember your math coach, dance coach, music coach, swimming coach, basketball coach, football coach, chess coach, business coach and any other kind of coach you might have come across in your life.
As far as I know, people who answer to any of the coaches above possess some identifiable, specific, special skills and experiences with which they impart other people who learn from them.
I do understand those ones…But I am a bit curious about those who call themselves a life coach. Those are the people this post seeks to understand better.
A life coach!
So you are a life coach? That sounds too enormous a title to me, and I am making some efforts to wrap my mind around it. That’s why I am asking these questions.
Are you a life coach? Can anyone, including you, fill that shoe properly?
Coaches are experts in something. Are you an expert in life? Have you mastered all about life itself in all areas to qualify as a life coach?
Can you give impeccably useful direction, guidance, instruction, training, support, to anyone and everyone in life that comes to you for help? Do you have the global picture?
Are you really comfortable using that term to refer to who you are and what you do? Can you let me into your world please?
Just how did you come about being refered to as a life coach? Is it a divine calling or a training, or both?
So you are a life coach, or is it just a nomenclature? Are you well rounded in all areas of life? Or shouldn’t you be?
Who certified you as a life coach? Is it God? If it is not Him, then who is the mortal that can take up that responsibility?
Speak to me! What exactly do you mean when you call yourself a life coach? I ask because I do not want to misunderstand you anymore.
You are a life coach? Is that not what they call you? Or am I the one that did not hear well?
Have you known, seen, experienced and understood life in all its ramifications? Have you been to the highest heights or descended to the lowest depths, and covered all the breadths of life?
Please don’t say I am pushing it too hard on you. I am not… I just want to know about you.
Can you help people in all areas of their lives? Can you meet people’s needs at the “spirit, soul and body” levels?
Can you excellently direct people in business, in politics, in religious, in sports, in health, in education, in entertainment, in aviation, in construction, in computing, in communication, in relationships, etc? Doesn’t being a life coach entail all of the above?
I just don’t understand you when you say you are a life coach. Should I say you might be a coach in an aspect of life and not life as a whole?
May be you should come to my aid and explain to me exactly what you mean when you say you are a life coach.
What is your greatest joy in life? Would you mind giving an honest answer to that question right now?
Before you continue reading this article, pause for a moment. And with your eyes closed, ponder a bit on the above question.
Once you have come up with an answer you are convinced about, hold it up against the brilliant light of the Scripture quoted below. (The purpose of doing that is to ensure that what you hold as your greatest joy on earth properly aligns with what God says should be your greatest joy).
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
From the above passage of the Scriptures, you can see at least three reasons to glory in life:
Intelligence – The wise man glories in his wisdom;
Strength – The mighty one glories in his might;
Wealth – The rich man glories in his riches.
But God wants the reason for your joy to be beyond the fact that you possess some high level of wisdom, intellectual power, physical strength, wealth or achievements in life.
He wants you to rejoice in the fact that you know Him as “the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.”
If your greatest joy is based on the things of the world, then your joy will be temporary. But a joy based on your knowing God will have no ending.
I first began to perceive the truths of Jeremiah 9:23-24 at a crucial point in time during my undergraduate days.
One mid-morning like that while reading my Bible, the scripture quoted above literally leapt off the pages of the Bible right into my heart with a force so meaningful that I was left without any iota of doubt on the fundamental reason I should glory in life.
I was doing relatively well in school then, despite the harsh academic environment of that time. My grades were moving up against all odds. I thought that was a good reason to praise God.
“Yes, it was,” you might want to agree with me. But God had to put things in better perspectives for me. He graciously showed me that there was a greater reason I had to rejoice than academic progress.
Now I know better… so I am sharing it with you, with the hope that you will see some light in it too.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, your greatest joy in life should not be based on the fact that you passed your exams, you got promoted at work, you bought a dream car, moved into your dream home, married your dream spouse, or had some other great goals you have accomplished.
Those are not bad reasons to be joyful. But your joy has to be based on something of eternal significance and not on things of ephemeral value. It has to be based on your relationship with God, not on things of the world.
For emphasis sake, l will have to say it again:
Your greatest joy should be that you know the Lord.
Your greatest joy should be the joy of your salvation.
Your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the Book of Life.
Jesus validated this position during one of the feedback conversations He had with His disciples as recorded in the Gospels.
According to the account in Luke chapter 10, Jesus had sent out seventy-two of His followers to go preach the gospel of the Kingdom around the neighbouring towns and villages. These specially appointed men went out and accomplished the evangelistic mandate given to them by their Master.
More so, they returned with joyful testimonies, declaring that demons were subjected to them in the name of Jesus.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
You would have thought that the identified reason these rookie evangelists were filled with joy was good enough for them to rejoice as they did. But Jesus raised the bar when He responded to them saying, “…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
“That your name is written in Heaven should be your greatest joy,” Jesus says.
Therefore, whatever you are able to accomplish on earth – whether in spiritual or secular things – should not be your greatest joy. Neither should your joy be in what this world can offer you. Rather your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the book of life in Heaven.
If you are not sure your name is there already in the book of life, you can get it in by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour now. There is no other way to achieve that.
What is your greatest joy in life? Share your views.
It is a brand new year. A new beginning. How about spending the whole year following your passion or doing what you love? It is not impossible to do so! And this post will show you why.
I was going through a blog recently when I came across what I would consider a brutally honest statement that got me thinking deeply. “I have never done anything that I truly loved, except for mommyhood,” said the author of that blog.
The curious part to me is that the author said she possesses three academic degrees. So I took it that her statement quoted above couldn’t have been because she didn’t have any good opportunities at all. But rather because, she probably had not found one that sufficiently fit her love and passion at the “right price.”
“As far as getting paid to do something [is concerned],” she explained, “it has been hard to find a truly good fit for me.” While pondering on the issue, it didn’t take too long for me to see that many people have been caught up in the same job quagmire – against their innermost desires.
If you are one of such persons, maybe it’s time to have a rethink! By that I mean, it is either you find a way to love what you do, or you find what you love and begin to do it.
If you are for the latter option, then make a change! Take the risk…Branch out! Or how long are you going to continue doing what you don’t love?
“As long as it pays my bills,” you might want to say. That’s a familiar answer, I know. But if that matters to you more than self-actualisation or personal fulfilment, then the choice is entirely yours to maintain the status quo. Nothing more to worry about!
In that case, you may want to take my first suggestion: find a way to love what you do. But there are people who will argue that it is better to follow your passion than being stuck in a job you don’t like just because of the economic reward it offers – money!
But then, the question will be, “Is making good money and following your passion mutually exclusive in the long run?” Maybe not…
But who says you can’t possibly find a job that you love that pays your bills too? Who says more money will not follow you if you follow your passion?
Why then are you feeling stuck doing the job you don’t love? Could it be because you are afraid of making the necessary changes in your personal goals? Or is it that you don’t want to leave your comfort zone? Or vacate certainty for uncertainty?
Overall, it could be very frustrating spending your valuable time (life) doing what you hate. On the other hand, doing what you love in the long run can:
1. Make you happier in life;
2. Boost your self-confidence and enthusiasm at the job;
3. Bring you some level of personal fulfilment you might not find doing something else;
4. Mean less frustration for you on the job;
5. Enable you to make more impact in your sphere of influence; and hopefully,
6. Bring you more reward (financial and/or otherwise).
Are you already doing what you love? And are you getting paid handsomely for doing it? I believe that’s what the author I cited earlier was angling for.
You too should get to the point of doing what you love and making money through it as well. It is possible. That’s where the ultimate fun and fulfilment are.
If you are already there, please enjoy it and don’t forget to share your story so that millions of people out there can learn from you. But it has to be said that everything is not about doing what you love and making much money through it. Adding value to people’s lives also matters.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. Share yours in the comment section.
Every body needs to have self-confidence – that “feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.” Not much progress can be made by a life ravaged by self-doubt, especially if you are a young person.
Earlier in the year, I had the privilege of being invited to speak to a group of Christian youths. The talk centred on building self-confidence as a Christian youth. This post presents an excerpt from the things I shared with those beautiful young minds.
5 simple ways you can consistently build up your self-confidence.
1. Live righteously
As a Christian youth, don’t be a law-breaker. Live righteously and you will have no course to bury your head in shame. Provide 28:1 tells us that “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
There is a kind of self-confidence that comes from living a righteous life that you can’t get by any other means. In other words, living righteously makes you bold. You cannot afford to live your life anyhow. The word of God should be your ultimate guide in life.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9.
Obedience to the word of God will help you build your self-esteem. David boldly said, “… I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands,” Psalm 119:6.
2. Have a good image about yourself.
As a Christian youth, how do you see yourself? How you see yourself will affect your level of confidence.
Remember that you are a son or a daughter of the most-high God. Do not harbour thoughts that undermine this lofty position of yours.
You know what the Bible says:As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). We can paraphrase this to read, “As a youth thinks in his heart so is he.”
When it comes to building your self-confidence as a Christian youth, it matters how you see yourself. If you see yourself as a nonentity, you will carry yourself as one. If you see yourself as a beloved child of God, you naturally feel that way.
You should have a positive image of who you are. If you always think negatively about yourself, your self-esteem will be low and your confidence level will be low too.
Focus on who you are in Christ. That’s your most important identity. Don’t let anything else define you. Irrespective of your socioeconomic status, remember that Christ in you is the hope of glory.
3. Dress well
As a Christian youth, you can’t feel confident about yourself dressing in a sloppy way. Let your dressing be always on point and you will have one more reason to feel confident. As the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa once advised, “Dress the way you want to be addressed.”
You don’t have to dress outlandishly to prove a point. Dress neatly and smartly. Even the Bible says, “wash your clothes,” (Numb 21:24), so personal cleanliness should be taken seriously.
4. Be very good at what you do.
This is a challenge to be excellent in whatever you do. Excel in your studies, in your career or vocation. Whatever your hands find to do as a Christian youth, do them well. Don’t find an excuse to be lazy or be mediocre.
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [men]. Proverbs 22:29
You have what it takes to excel in life. The Spirit of God is in you. The wisdom of God is accessible to you. The power of God is available to you.
5. Be knowledgeable.
The wheel of progress is largely driven by knowledge. As a Christian youth in this information age, do not be left behind in the quest for relevant knowledge.
Know your scriptures and know more than the scriptures too. Whether it is history or sciences, know more than the average person. Refuse to be a pushover…
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Timothy 2:15.
As much as you can, gather knowledge; read voraciously, study widely, research deeply and attend relevant seminars. Do everything within your power to be knowledgeable in at least one or two areas of endeavour.
Always be in the know. You have heard that knowledge is power. Knowledge gives you an edge. Let me add that knowledge boosts confidence too.
How else can a Christian youth build self-confidence? Please share and leave a comment.
You will often do what matters to you. In other words, the traceable patterns of what you do over a long period of time paint a vivid picture of your most dominant inner inclinations.
Let me share with you three simple things you do that show what you consider important to you.
1. What you spend your time on.
What you regularly spend your time on indicates what interests you or matters more to you. Where you often spend your time tells alot about where your heart is. How you spend your time demonstrates something about your dominant passion.
You can’t control time but you can control what you use it for. You can use your time to your advantage or to your disadvantage.
You use it to advantage if you use it on things you value. Because time is not available to you in unlimited quantity, it is imperative that you use it wisely. One of the best ways of doing that is to use your time for things that matter in the long run.
Take a proper look at the things you spend your time doing. Ask yourself, “Are they really worth it?” If not, then you will have to make some changes that will involve reordering your priorities.
2. What you spend your money on.
You will not spend your hard-earned money on sh*t except you value it. Just like time, you do not have unlimited amount of money. Therefore, you will often want to spend your money on the things that give you the most value. (Of course, I assume you are a wise spender).
Even if I don’t know you before, if you show me your bank statement and/or your expense records, it will not take long for me to figure out the things that matter to you. Except you spend your money under duress, most often than not, your expenses will flow in the same direction as your interests and aspirations. In order words, what you spend money on often is an indication of what matters to you.
Now is the time to review your expense records to see if you have been spending money on things that do not matter to you. You know what to do after the check!
3. The company you keep.
Just like everyone else, you like to be in the company of the people you love and people that love you or people that share your values. As they say, “Birds of a feather always flock together.
Only a few people will consistently hang out with the wrong crowd. If you are in any crowd, it should not take long to figure out whether you are a ‘misfit’ or not. This realisation will either prompt you to blend in or to retrace your steps.
The people you are willing and glad to hang out with are pointers to your interests and aspirations. If you have interest in music, I will not be surprised to see you hang around ‘musical’ people both online and physically. I often find myself ‘following’ bloggers and other writers because of interest.
Are the people you hang out with leading you in the direction of your goals? If your answer is ‘no’, then you are in the wrong company.
What you frequently spend your money on, what you regularly do with your time and the kind of company you keep are good indicators of what matters to you. You may want to retrace your steps if you find that where you are presently on these three patterns do not represent your long term values or objectives.